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Tuesday, April 18, 2017


In God We Trust!
When Ben Lamb put out the call for funds for a new home for his Indiana church, the pastor hoped congregants would step up but as time ticked away to secure a bank loan for a permanent building for GracePoint Church, he began to lose hope. One man donated $150,000, but the church needed twice that. Then a woman offered up a gold $20 Double Eagle coin. The rare piece stamped 1866 was in the first series stamped with "In God We Trust." The coin, one of 30, was never put in circulation. There are believed to be only 10 left and the coin could sell for more than $300,000 at an auction later this month. "Honestly, we were completely stunned by the value of the coin," Lamb says. The donor, who requested anonymity, said she has all she needs. "I can get by just fine. I'm not looking for wealth." For Lamb, the "incredible gift" that will allow GracePoint to move into a converted furniture store has restored his faith. "It's ironic that the last few hours before our financial deadline, the congregation had to do exactly what the coin's motto said over a hundred years ago: trust God." (Chicago Tribune)

Bill Gates Assures Your Safety From the NSA
Up-to-date Microsoft customers are safe from the purported National Security Agency spying tools dumped online, the software company said Saturday, tamping down fears that the digital arsenal was poised to wreak havoc across the internet. In a blog post, Microsoft security manager Phillip Misner said that it had already built defenses against nine of the 12 tools disclosed by TheShadowBrokers, a mysterious group that has repeatedly published NSA code. The three others affected old, unsupported products. "Most of the exploits are already patched," Misner said. He added, "We encourage customers to ensure their computers are up-to-date." (Newser)

NASA Assures Your Safety From Mega Asteroid!
Well it turns out there's a giant asteroid hurtling toward Earth. The good news is NASA says you don't need to worry - there is no chance it could hit us. The space rock - about the size of six NFL football fields - is named 2014-JO25 will buzz Earth at a distance of 1.1 million miles, or a reassuring five times the distance to the moon. It will then keep going past Jupiter. Smaller space rocks swirl around Earth all the time, but this is the closest pass of a really big one since 2004, when the 3.1-mile-wide Toutatis passed within "four lunar distances," NASA says. Not much is known about the latest asteroid, though reports indicate it has a reflective surface twice as bright at the moon. The close encounter means that even amateur astronomers with small telescopes or binoculars will be able to catch a peek. It will be visible for one or two nights, before slowly fading away. (CNN)

Professor Sues Walmart...For Calling Him a Toilet Cleaner
Gilbert Kalonde is an assistant professor of technology education at Montana State University. He's also suing Walmart for libel after he says an employee at the Bozeman store listed his occupation on a fishing license as a "toilet cleaner." Kalonde is seeking unspecified damages and Walmart spokesman Ragan Dickens said, "To our knowledge an administrative process to resolve this with Dr. Kalonde is ongoing. We've not been served with the lawsuit, but we take the claims seriously and will respond appropriately with the court." According to the complaint, Kalonde bought a state fishing license in April 2015, showing the Walmart employee identification of his employment at MSU. But the Walmart employee entered "clean toilets" into the state database as Kalonde's occupation. The suit contends Walmart exposed Kalonde to "hatred, contempt, ridicule" through the incident. (Bozeman Daily Chronicle)

Now That's a Nursery!
An outdoor nursery that's thrown the health and safety rule book out of the window is getting rave reviews. The Elves and Fairies Woodland Nursery in Dorset, England is seen by some as an antidote to the overly cautious culture that is so prevalent these days. Here children aged as young as two get to climb on trees, roll around in the mud, saw wood, chop vegetables and cook lunch on an open fire. The group spends all day outside in the elements, with the pre-school adopting the motto "there is no such thing as bad weather-only the wrong clothing." The idea came from Scandinavia where outdoor nurseries are quite common. And, at $48 bucks per day, it's cheaper than many of its indoor counterparts. The Office for Standards in Education - or Ofsted - said: "Children are highly motivated by the extremely exciting range of challenging learning experiences that staff provide. They become immersed in learning as they explore, investigate and engage with the natural environment of the woodland." It praised the quality of teaching as "inspirational" and said staff have an "outstanding knowledge of how to engage with children to support and challenge their learning" and exceptionally high safety standards. (Metro)

The horror just won't end for United Airlines. A bride and groom from Utah say they barely made it to their own wedding on time after getting kicked off a United Airlines flight. Michael Hohl and Amber Maxwell say they were on their way from Salt Lake City to Costa Rica with friends on Saturday when they boarded their connecting flight in Houston and found a sleeping man sprawled across their row of seats. They say they were the last passengers to board the flight and decided to sit in empty seats a few rows up instead of waking the man. They did move back to their assigned seats after a flight attendant asked them to - but then, a US marshal boarded the plane, said they'd been disorderly, and told them to get off. Hohl said, "It was the strangest thing I have ever had to go through." The couple decided to comply with the officer's order because they remembered video of passenger David Dao being dragged off a United flight the previous weekend. He says they made it to their Sunday wedding after being rebooked on a flight the next day - but they won't be flying United again. The airline has a different take on events saying the couple repeatedly tried to sit in upgraded premium economy seats they hadn't paid for and refused requests to return to their seats. The TSA said that no federal air marshals were involved in the incident. (Houston Chronicle)

Sauna of Horror
A mother and daughter are dead thanks to a broken door handle in a sauna in the Czech Republic. Officials say the two women, aged 65 and 45, died after becoming trapped in their friend's sauna for roughly 90 minutes. It appears the women were unable to exit the sauna after the handle broke, and their attempts to break the door's window were unsuccessful. Their friend found them on the floor after noting the time and deciding to check on them. While sauna deaths are rare, they do occur. (AFP)

What the What?
Two Slovakian brothers are promising to protect coffee lovers from stained teeth with a concoction they're calling the world's "first colorless coffee drink." It's called CLR CFF and looks like a bottle of water. Self-described heavy coffee drinker David Nagy says he came up with the idea with brother Adam while in London. They won't tell their production process except to say it involves methods never used before. They say it's safe, however, with Arabica beans, water, and no chemicals or sweeteners. A 200ml bottle has 100mg of caffeine, on par with a typical cup of coffee. If you want to sample it, you'll have to go to London (Whole Foods is among the retailers stocking it there), or order it online, where a two-pack of 200ml bottles costs $7.50. Buzz is apparently growing, because the site warns that delivery could take up to four weeks thanks to a "huge amount of orders." (Evening Standard)

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