Thursday, April 27, 2017

WEIRD NEWS

Foiled by Fitbit!
In Ellington, Connecticut, Richard Dabate called 911 and claimed his wife had been fatally shot inside the couple's home by a masked killer who was a "tall, obese man" with a voice like Vin Diesel. The killer had also allegedly tied Dabate up. That story has since unraveled thanks to his wife's Fitbit. Now, 16 months after the crime, Dabate has been charged with felony murder and other crimes. He claimed Connie Dabate was killed around 9am, when she returned home from the gym. But police say she used Facebook some 40 minutes later, before her Fitbit recorded her last movements around 10am. An investigation revealed Richard Dabate was having an affair with a woman he had gotten pregnant. Meanwhile, his wife - apparently unaware of the affair - had penned a list of her own reasons why she wanted a divorce, including that Dabate took money from "accounts that don't belong to him." Her last text message to her husband read, "Merry [expletive] Christmas." According to police, Dabate checked his wife's gym schedule before arriving home and shooting her with a recently purchased Magnum .357. Five days later, he unsuccessfully tried to cash in on her $475,000 life insurance policy. (Hartford Courant)

101-year-old Woman is Way More Amazing Than You
She may be 101, but Man Kaur is a world champion sprinter. The Indian woman just completed a 100-meter race in one minute and 14 seconds, after being the only athlete to compete in her 100+ age category at the World Masters Games in Auckland. She has won 17 gold medals since taking up the sport at the late age of 93 and has been dubbed the "Miracle from Chandigarh." After a short dance on the winner's podium, she told reporters, "I enjoyed it and am very, very happy." The centenarian sprinter also plans to compete in the 200m sprint, 2kg shot put and 400-gram javelin at Auckland. This could take her medal tally up to 20. (Times of India)

Hershey's Answer to Fewer Calories
Hershey's has finally figured out a great way to make their famed chocolate bars have fewer calories - just make them smaller! Yep, by 2022, half of all Hershey's individually wrapped sweets will contain 200 calories or fewer - because your chocolate bar will be a tad smaller. Hershey's creative spin on the idea is that it will allow you to make "smarter snack choices." Currently, less than a third of Hershey's individually wrapped treats come in under the 200-calorie mark. In addition to making some items smaller, the company will hit its calorie goal by reworking the recipe for some items. A Hershey's spokesperson calls the goal "very close," as the standard Hershey's chocolate bar is already only 210 calories. They also plan to put a calorie label on the front of all its packaging by the end of 2018. And there are plans to make those giant "king-size" treats easier to share or save for later, presumably to discourage customers from eating the whole thing at once. Yeah - like that's gonna happen. "Here Dave, I only bought the king-size so I could share with you!" (USA Today)

Facebook Live is Getting Out of Hand
At the rate we're going, Facebook Live is soon going to be known as little more than a haven for society's most psychotic freaks. In Thailand, a 20-year-old man streamed himself hanging his 11-month-old daughter on Facebook Live before killing himself in a vacant hotel. The very disturbing four-minute video shows a crying Wuttisan Wongtalay tying a noose around his daughter's neck and dropping her over the side of the hotel in Phuket (Poo- KET). Family members - including the baby's mother - saw the video and called police. Officers arrived to find Wongtalay having hanged himself as well. Police say Wongtalay was jealous and upset with his wife, who he had accused of being with another man. The wrenching video stayed up on Facebook for about 20 hours before the company finally removed it. Facebook sent condolences to the family, calling the incident "appalling." The company had already promised to review its Facebook Live procedures this month after a man in Cleveland streamed himself killing an elderly man. Facebook Live has also seen live-streamed sex abuse, rape, suicide, and child abuse this year. (New York Times)

Mmmmm! More Plastic Please!
Many scientific breakthroughs are little more than happy accidents - like the discovery of penicillin thanks to moldy petri dishes. Well good news - our mounting plastic crisis might be solved by just such an accident. Over in Spain, one scientist and an amateur beekeper have discovered that the larvae of wax moths, which live on beeswax and thus frustrate bees and their keepers, appear to have quite the appetite for plastic. Not only does it seem they love the stuff - they have a highly unusual ability to digest it! The grubs the beekeeper removed from one of her hives and then tossed in a plastic bag chewed their way out in minutes. These critters are often bred as fish bait, and the Times of London notes the irony: Worms that usually lead to the demise of fish may point toward a way of saving their habitat instead. In a world where Americans alone generate 33 million tons of plastic a year, less than 10% of which we recycle, there is now the possibility that scientists could unleash the worms on waste in the oceans and elsewhere, though more research is needed. (Current Biology)

The Bell That's Blowing Minds
A nearly 500-pound bell has been returned to Colorado State University after being stolen a century ago. And it's got quite the tale to tell. The president of Associated Students of CSU said, "The story of the bell really blew our minds." The bell was built in 1894 and the university got it in 1910 and installed it in Old Main, the oldest building on campus. Students would ring the bell for the start of classes and after football victories. Then the bell's clapper was stolen - possibly by neighbors tired of hearing the darn thing - so resourceful students resorted to ringing it by sledgehammer. But then the bell itself was stolen by an unknown group of students in 1919 and buried at a nearby farm. By the 1970's, Old Main had burned down during student protests and the bell had been dug up and relocated to an unknown fraternity. By then most people had forgotten it even existed and at some point the bell was mysteriously moved out of Colorado. Last year, the executive director of the CSU alumni association received a call from a lawyer asking if the university would be interested in getting the bell back. She said yes, and the bell somehow materialized outside her house while she was taking her kids to basketball practice. Whoever had the bell apparently thought the opening of a new CSU football stadium was the right time to return it. The restored bell will be installed at the university's new alumni center and ring once again next year. (Denver Post)

What the What?
Remember folks - we're not trying to gross you out - just reporting the facts. Apparently a new study says that it's actually good for you to pick your news and eat what you find! Katharina Ribbeck, an assistant professor in the department of biological engineering at MIT said while snot and boogers may be gross, they're actually full of healthy bacteria that helps protect your teeth! The stuff can also help prevent infection and fight off respiratory infections and stomach ulcers. And Austrian respiratory specialist Prof. Friedrich Bischinger added that people who pick their noses are healthier, happier, and likely in better tune with their bodies. He said, "Eating the dry remains of what you pull out [of your nose] is a great way of strengthening the body's immune system." He added, "Medically it makes great sense and is a perfectly natural thing to do." (Metro)

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