Monday, February 20, 2017

WEIRD NEWS

Did You Check the Pockets?

Giving away clothes to charity? Good for you - just always check your pockets. That's the official word from Bob Hoffman who learned the hard way after his wife donated one of his old shirts - along with the $8,000 cash he had stuffed in a pocket! Hoffman, of Long Beach, Calif., was actually keeping the secret stash to surprise his wife, Linda, with a dream trip to Italy after he retired in 2018. He'd been saving up the cash for six years - and using a bank account - until he withdrew the cash earlier this month with the intention of helping out a relative who had fallen on hard times. In the meantime, he tucked in an envelope in the pocket of an orange shirt deep in his closet. Then he forgot about it until he had another $100 to contribute. Hoffman remembered that two days earlier his wife was making a Goodwill run and he helpfully offered to donate a bunch of old shirts. In the pile was the cash-stuffed orange shirt. He later confessed his botched romantic plan to his wife, and the pair raced to the charity shop but the shirt was gone. Linda Hoffman later said, "Bob is an extremely strong human being. I don't want to hurt his male ego ... but he was crying." They went home and prayed. The next morning at 7:30 a phone call restored their faith in humanity. A Goodwill worker searching the warehouse found a bin of men's shirts -- including an orange one. The couple recovered the cash and offered a fat reward. Goodwill refused. The Hoffmanns compromised and paid for a pizza party for the staff. (Orange County Register)

Oh Come On Tiffany!

A former employee of Tiffany & Co. says the jewelry giant fired her after she had her breasts and ovaries removed to avoid getting cancer. Lisa O'Rourke alleges in a federal lawsuit that the company discriminated against her because she carries a gene mutation that put her at high risk for developing cancer, and she was compelled to have surgeries that her lawyer says were life-saving. She's now suing because she says she wants to get the word out to Tiffany's many female customers, especially high-profile women affected by breast cancer including Angelina Jolie, who has been photographed in Tiffany and has had the same surgeries. O'Rourke, 45, was director of strategic sourcing for Tiffany at its manufacturing facility in Cumberland, RI. She took a leave to have the surgery in January and February 2014, and said she told Tiffany there would be more surgeries down the line. She says she took unpaid leave for a third surgery in July 2014 and told the company in October she would need another leave for a fourth surgery. A month later, she was told her job would be eliminated. Her lawyer says it is a case of discrimination due to her genetic condition. Tiffany is fighting the lawsuit and says it believes the allegations are "completely without merit." (Newser)

Happy Ending to Girl Scouts Robbed at Gunpoint!

Thanks to a mass act of kindness by Union City, California police officers, the story of a cookie-selling Girl Scout robbed at gunpoint has a sweet ending. The 12-year-old and her mom were selling cookies outside a California Safeway grocery store when a man approached and asked about buying some cookies. He walked off but soon returned and allegedly pulled out a handgun and threatened the Girl Scout's mom, who handed over an undisclosed amount of their cookie proceeds. The suspect fled and is still at large. Officer Lisa Gratez said, "We see all kinds of awful things, but this is horrible." But then something great happened. Sgt. Steve Mendez says that after hearing about the robbery, officers around the city "started busting out their wallets." While officers collected donations to cover the money the Girl Scout lost in the robbery, the Union City Police Officers Association bought out her remaining cookie stock. All told, police gave the Girl Scout more than $1,000! (Mercury News)

Monopoly Says The Thimble Is Out!

Good news and bad news Monopoly fans. The good news is you can still pass "Go" and collect $200 on the Monopoly board, but the bad news is you can no longer do it with the thimble! Voters have voted out the beloved thimble, considered by many to be an integral part of the game since 1935! The move is part of a campaign to select the next generation of game pieces which may include hashtags, emojis, and even a rubber duck to replace the more traditional dog, cat, and hat in an upcoming version. Hasbro is holding a worldwide contest to let people choose the eight tokens to be included in the next generation of the property acquisition game, based on the real streets of Atlantic City, NJ. Winners will be announced March 19, and will be included in games hitting shelves this August. (Newser)

Iowa Town Plans to Save the World

You may owe more to the town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa than you realize. The town is on a mission to roll out the red carpet for bees in order to save the human race. You may have read where the population of the pollinating insects has been cut in half over the past 70 years, and that spells trouble for humans who enjoy having food to eat. Part of the problem is that the natural habitats of bees have been fast disappearing, replaced by parking lots, lawns, and other signs of human development, according to Popular Science. Cedar Rapids is hoping to reverse the trend by converting 1,000 acres of unused land into prime bee real estate. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett says this project and others like it are "critical to the future of both pollinators and people." The 1,000 Acre Pollinator Initiative, led by Cedar Rapids Parks Superintendent Daniel Gibbins, will plant seeds for 39 species of wildflowers and seven species of prairie grass on 188 acres of land this spring. That includes some of the less-trafficked parts of golf courses, parks, sewage ditches, and more. The project, which has $180,000 in funding so far, hopes to reach its 1,000-acre goal within five years. Gibbins says 99.9% of Iowa's natural habitat is gone, and this project will help all sorts of animals, not just bees. (Popular Science)

Dog Vanity?

A Russian family is getting major flack after they took their Jack Russell Terrier in for plastic surgery because they didn't like the shape of its ears and wanted it to look more like the dog from "The Mask." Marina Esmat, 37, bought the puppy for her son but they noticed that his ears were growing upwards. The family used weights and glue to try and keep them down, but when that failed they opted for plastic surgery instead. She admits, "The doctors tried to convince us not to do it, but we decided that that way it would look more aesthetic." Surgeon Andrey Mezin said he was against the operation but ultimately gave in deciding it would be better to have it done correctly than by some vet hack. The story and pictures of the dog post surgery have gone viral, unleashing a wave of furious attacks against the family who many call cruel. (Metro)

Fake News Regret?

Not too long ago Paul Horner was pretty proud of what he had done. Horner is one of the major disseminators of fake news stories and shortly after the recent presidential election claimed in a Washington Postinterview to be a major factor in getting Donald Trump elected and in the White House! Now apparently Mr. Horner is having second thoughts saying in a text message, "I truly regret my comment about saying that I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me." He now describes himself as a fierce opponent of Trump and is changing his tune saying, "When I said that comment, it was because I was confused how this evil got elected president and I thought maybe instead of hurting his campaign, maybe I had helped it." During the presidential campaign, Horner authored numerous stories that he describes as satire, but tens of thousands believed were legitimate. Among those was the president's son, Eric Trump, who retweeted one of Horner's fake news stories about protesters getting paid to demonstrate against his father. However, Horner said he has no regrets about posting the made-up stories saying he is "proud" of his work. HIs entire message read: "I truly regret my comment about saying that I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me. I know all I did was attack him and his supporters and got people not to vote for him. When I said that comment it was because I was confused how this evil got elected President and I thought maybe instead of hurting his campaign, maybe I had helped it. My intention was to get his supporters NOT to vote for him and I know for a fact that I accomplished that goal. The far right, a lot of the Bible thumpers and alt right were going to vote him regardless, but I know I swayed so many that were on the fence." (AZ Family)

Who Says Guys Won't Ask For Directions?

The stereotype is that guys just won't ask for directions. But that's not always true. In a bizarre story coming out of the middle east, it seems the pilot of a Kazakhstani chopper landed his $14 million military aircraft on a snowy highway, stopping trucks in their tracks. Soon, the pilot hops out, runs to the first truck, shakes the driver's hand, has a chat, runs back to his Mi-8 gunship, and takes off. Turns out the guy was just lost and stopped to ask "which way to Aktobe." A video of the incident is now making the rounds, prompting the Kazakhstan Ministry of Defense to defend its trainee pilot. He was apparently sent out as part of a "visual orienteering exercise" in which he was supposed to figure out his way back "by means of human survey." It's not clear, however, whether stopping to ask truckers counts as cheating. (RT)

What the What?

Gotta love those great typos! In a classified ad spotted in Northern Wales, a woman is apparently offering Fart classes! Okay - it was supposed to read "Art Classes" and was soliciting for those with an interest in drawing and painting. But someone at the paper typed it wrong so it was posted as "Fart Classes" drawing much laughter and viral hilarity. It is not known if anyone has contacted the group with an interest in learning more about flatulence. (Metro)

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