Monday, May 15, 2017

WEIRD NEWS

Surprise!

It may be the greatest marriage proposal surprise of all time. In Australia, a man, identified only as Terry, had given his girlfriend, Anna, a necklace on their one-year dating anniversary. Using Huon pine, a wood native to Tasmania, he carved the necklace himself, and she wore it almost every day for the next year. What she didn't know was that inside the necklace he'd hidden an engagement ring. Terry says, "It was literally under her nose." Flash forward to November 2016 when the couple took a trip to Smoo Cave in Scotland, a place they'd talked about visiting since they first met. On location, Terry asked for the necklace so he could take a photo of it. Secretly, he broke the seal she didn't know was there with a knife and with his camera rolling, got down on one knee, pulled the necklace out of his pocket, cracked it open, and popped the question. After initial shock and confusion, Anna "finally worked out what had happened" and yelled "Yes!" Terry says she then kind of flipped out, saying: "It's been in there the entire time? I could have lost it, you freakin' idiot!" (Huffington Post)

How to Hide Your Child Porn PSA? WHAT?

This is hard to believe but KAVV-FM, an oldies country music radio station serving a rural Arizona area, has been airing a public service announcement for two years telling people how to hide potential evidence in child pornography cases! They finally stopped airing the announcement after advertisers received threats. It was the station's owner Paul Lotsof who thought up and made the decision to air the ads - not because he's a fan of child porn but because he thinks Arizona's 10-year minimum sentence for each image of child porn is too harsh and costly for taxpayers. Lotsof said, "Nobody put me up to it, and nobody paid. My feeling is that these people don't deserve life in prison just because they have pictures of naked juveniles." But recent public comment about the announcement was "99.9%" negative and some radio station advertisers received threats. The announcement, protected under the First Amendment, described Arizona's tough penalties for possession of child pornography and then provided advice on how to avoid convictions. "If you have such material, you can save yourselves and your family a ton of grief and save the taxpayers a lot of money," he explains, going on to offer advice related to hard drives. A local sheriff called it "disgusting and unacceptable" and encouraging "evil behavior." (Newser)

Free Pizza Ain't Free If It Also Comes With Free Hypothermia

There are people who love pizza, and then there are those who'd climb a mountain in a snowstorm just to get their hands on a free slice. A hiker from Flagstaff, Ariz., is apparently among the latter group. The Coconino County Sheriff's Office says a search-and-rescue team had to come to the aid of the 30-year-old hiker, who got stuck in heavy snow on Mount Elden during his quest for a free pizza. The unidentified hiker, wearing only shorts and a tank top, had been racing to the mountain peak in order to win a free pizza from local pizzeria Pizzicletta but was apparently unaware of heavy snow conditions and called for help around 9am. A rep for the Coconino County Sheriff's Office tells KPNX he was "shivering heavily and probably at mild stages of hypothermia." The owner of Pizzicletta says the contest for a free pizza was voluntary and he expected participants to check the weather forecast before taking part. He added, "We never want anyone to risk their life for pizza." (Arizona Republic)

Man Accused of "Murdering" Mannequin

Meanwhile in Las Vegas, 30-year-old Shane Allen Schindler has denied that he tried to murder a mannequin in an empty building using a hammer. As weird as this sounds, there's a little more to it. The mannequin was actually left by police as a decoy close to the scene where two homeless men were murdered while they slept. So far, Schindler has not been charged for the murders of Daniel Aldape on January 4, or that of David Dunn on February 3. Both were sleeping when they were murdered and they died from head injuries. Schindler was arrested a couple of weeks later on February 22 after police spotted him on surveillance cameras creeping up on the mannequin. They saw him pull a hood over his head and he then used a two-handed grip to pummel the blanket-covered head of the decoy with a 4lb ball-peen hammer. Schindler's story is he knew it was a mannequin all along but prosecutor Marc DiGiacomo says there's no way Schindler could not have known that. Schindler was indicted and his trial starts August 8. Clark County Public Defender Phil Kohn has derided the charge of attempted murder as a legal impossibility, saying someone can't kill an inanimate object. But Nevada appellate law appears to support the charge. The state Supreme Court in 1976 and 1989 pointed to intent when it rejected arguments of legal impossibility in attempted crimes. (Metro)

Too Much Screen Time Leads to Speech Delays in Toddlers

Bad news for new parents - too much tablet time may slow speech development in young children. Pediatricians at the Hospital for Sick Children in Canada who examined the effect of screen time on 900 children between 6 months and 2 years old found a 49% increased risk of delayed speech for every additional 30 minutes spent using a touch screen. While previous studies have reported negative effects associated with screen time, including sleeping problems, the research presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies was the first to establish a link between handheld devices and expressive language delay. Team leader Dr. Catherine Birken says in a news release that all screen time for children under 18 months should be discouraged, a suggestion echoed by the AAP. That even goes for apps marketed as educational. One expert tells Time that the littlest ones can't understand the connection between what they see on the screen and what they see in the real world. (Time)

What the What?

In Florida, tragedy came to Robert Dreyer on his 89th birthday. While driving he crashed into a fire hydrant and then incredibly was sucked into a hole in the ground and killed. Dreyer got out of his car and dropped into what witnesses estimate was a 5-foot-deep hole. The hole was possibly made by the force of the crash and resulting water pressure. Lt. Channing Taylor of the Florida Highway Patrol says, "The force of the water created an air pocket and sucked him down into the hole where he was under water for some period of time." With water shooting several feet into the air, witnesses attempted to pull Dreyer from the hole but the water pressure was too great. Another witness said the situation was too dangerous for anyone attempting to help. Witnesses did eventually pull Dreyer out of the hole but estimate he was under water for three or four minutes. Mr. Dreyer was pronounced dead at the hospital. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating. (Florida Today)

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