Monday, April 3, 2017

WEIRD NEWS

Diggin' the President Man! For the Third Time!

So much for President James K. Polk resting in peace. The Tennessee Senate just voted 20-6 to allow the remains of the 11th president to be exhumed and reburied - for the third time! Here's the back story: Polk died of cholera in 1849 and was quickly buried in a mass grave in Nashville City Cemetery. Laws at the time required people who died of infectious diseases to be buried within 24 hours. A year later, his body was reburied at his home in Nashville as specified in his will. His remains were moved again in 1891 after a family fight resulted in his home being sold and eventually becoming a hotel. Now the idea is to move Polk's remains a third time - from the grounds of the state Capitol to his family's home in Columbia. Tom Price, the curator of the James K. Polk Home and Museum, says the move will help better preserve Polk's legacy and improve awareness of the former president -- and maybe even increase visits to the museum, which lag far behind those to Andrew Jackson's nearby home. But some of Polk's descendants are against the move, calling it "degrading" and akin to "grave robbery." But this ain't a done deal. The resolution still needs to be approved by a court, the state's House of Representatives, and the Tennessee Historical Society. (Washington Post)

Hells No! You Are Not Bringing Grandma to the Prom!

Alabama's Eufaula High School is very clear in its prom rules - no taking grandma, unless your grandma happens to be under the age of 20. Which has left senior Bryce Maine in a bit of a spot since he'd asked his grandmother, Catherine Maine, to be his date to the special event because she wasn't able to go to her own prom. But the school says no way insisting that for safety reasons prom guests need to be all about the same age. What? But reportedly the school board is also afraid if they let Bryce bring Nanny in all seriousness, others will want to do it as a joke at future proms. The Maine family is furious and says their grandmother already bought a dress for the April 8 dance. Fellow students at Bryce's school are also pushing the #letnannygotoprom hashtag on social media. One Twitter user notes what others are thinking: "Of course the rules exist for good reasons, but common sense exists to tell them when exceptions should be made." (WVTM)

OMG! There Goes Dandelion Yellow!

Hope you don't like coloring dandelions. The fine folks at Crayloa just announced they're nixing "Dandelion Yellow" from the 24-box. Of course, trying to get as much publicity out of this silly thing as possible, Crayola is still counting down to its National Crayon Day announcement this Friday - when they'll reveal the "color family" of the new addition to the box of 24 at an event in Times Square. The company says the Dandelion color has been around for 27 years, and joined the 24-box 18 years ago. It joins numerous others in retirement, including Blizzard Blue, Magic Mint, Mulberry, and Teal Blue, which were dropped in 2003. Burnt Sienna got a reprieve that year after winning the "Save the Shade" contest held to celebrate the Crayola line's 100th anniversary. (Consumerist)

Single and Loving It!

Forget everything you've heard about single people being lonely and miserable. And studies that suggest otherwise are flawed - at least according to Bella DePaulo, the author of "Singled Out" and a project scientist at University of California, Santa Barbara, who by her own description has been "single all my life, and I always loved it." She found that the way researchers study single people puts all divorced people into the "single people" category. Nowadays, singledom is more widespread than ever before: The number of never-married people has only been growing over the years, and young people today are taking longer to marry, and a record percentage - 25% - may never marry, according to the Pew Research Center. DePaulo found that in the long term, married couples weren't any happier on average years into marriage than they had been when single. Single people are also more connected to other people than married people, have more friends and value meaningful work more. Even if you could employ the gold standard of scientific research to study this subject, randomly assigning married or single life to people, DePaulo believes it would be impossible to examine objectively. That's because of what she calls "singlism and matrimania" - the narrative favoring wedded bliss over sad singledom. (Newser)

Trump U Former Students Suddenly Feeling Excited! Happy! Vindicated!

On Friday, US District Judge Gonzalo Curiel approved an agreement for President Donald Trump to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits over his now-defunct Trump University, ending nearly seven years of legal battles with customers who claimed they were misled by failed promises to teach success in real estate. The ruling settles two class-action lawsuits and a civil lawsuit by New York AG Eric Schneiderman. Trump had vowed never to settle but said after the election he didn't have time for a trial, even though he believed he would've prevailed. Under terms of the settlement, he admits no wrongdoing. The lawsuits alleged that Trump University gave nationwide seminars that were like infomercials, constantly pressuring people to spend more and, in the end, failing to deliver. Attorneys for ex-customers have said their clients will get at least 90% of their money back, based on the roughly 3,730 claims submitted. The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling. But keep checking Twitter...you never know! (Newser)

Punk Rock Vs. Ted Cruz

Texas hasn't elected a Democrat to the US Senate in 30 years but former punk rocker Beto O'Rourke wants to end that drought - by taking down Sen. Ted Cruz. The US representative from El Paso officially entered the race against the former presidential candidate Friday. O'Rourke isn't well known outside West Texas, but that's probably about to change. Politico describes him as a "44-year-old former hard rock musician and internet entrepreneur." O'Rourke used to play guitar for a punk rock band that included a future member of Grammy-winning band The Mars Volta, the Dallas Morning News reports. O'Rourke also wrote a book advocating for the legalization of marijuana and is described as "free-spirited." Of course it ain't gonna be easy. Texas' other GOP senator, John Cornyn, says O'Rourke is on a "suicide mission." But O'Rourke isn't discouraged saying, "I'm under no illusions this will be anything but hard. Nothing I've ever done that's amounted to anything has been easy." (Dallas Morning News)

What the What?

It very well could have been the world's deadliest photobomb. Bianca Dickinson was just trying to take a nice photo of her 2-year-old little girl, Mollie, in front of some wheat fields, when Australia's second-deadliest snake, an Eastern brown, slithered into the picture frame. Dickinson didn't realize the snake was there until a few seconds after she snapped the picture. Luckily, the deadly reptile didn't want any attention, and kept to itself. The mom of four quickly grabbed her youngest before disaster could strike. Both Mollie and the snake remain alive and well. Dickinson later told reporters she feels sick just looking at the photos. (New York

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