Thursday, May 18, 2017

WEIRD NEWS

And McDonald's Steps In It

McDonald's appears to be the latest major company that made a very poor advertising decision. The burger giant is now apologizing after one of its UK commercials caused an uproar for exploiting childhood grief. In the ad, a young boy is shown asking his mom to describe his late father. He becomes more and more disappointed when he doesn't see any similarities between himself and his dad. That is, until he's eating with his mom at a McDonald's and his mom mentions that he and his dad both loved McDonald's Filet-O-Fish. Yep. Among the zillions of Twitter comments are: "vulgar" and "trashy beyond belief." In a statement, McDonald's responded by apologizing for the "upset" it caused, saying that was not its intention and, per a spokesperson, "we wanted to highlight the role McDonald's has played in our customers' everyday lives - both in good and difficult times." A UK bereavement charity says it has received numerous calls from parents of actual bereaved children, saying their kids were very upset by the commercial. One critic notes it's particularly upsetting that the ad features no advice for parents and children dealing with the loss of a loved one. He asks, "What are children supposed to think after watching it? That a simple meal can solve their emotional pain?" McDonald's says it's pulling the ad. (Fortune)

That Time Your Date Was a Threat to Civilized Society

In Austin, Texas, 37-year-old Brandan Vezmar is suing the date he met through the Bumble dating app, and wants $17.31- the price he paid for her 3-D movie ticket - back! He says, "I am fully aware of the weirdness of this situation," but says his date's behavior "is a threat to civilized society." It seems the 35-year-old Round Rock woman repeatedly texted during the movie, something Vezmar calls "one of my biggest pet peeves." They had gone to see the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and claims his date opened up her phone between 10 and 20 times in 15 minutes to text, which he points out is a "direct violation" of the theater's policy. When he asked her to stop, then suggested she take it outside, she did - and never returned, even though she'd driven them to the theater. He later texted her to ask for his money back and says she declined to pay. He says the amount he's seeking isn't important, it's the principle, the suit claims, "as Defendant's behavior is a threat to civilized society." The unnamed woman says she didn't even know about the suit until contacted by reporters. She said, "This is crazy." Her version is she only texted two or three times to a pal who was fighting with a boyfriend. She also said she ditched Vezmar because he made her "extremely uncomfortable" and is filing a protective order against him because he's been pestering her sister for the ticket money. (KVUE)

What Book Would Bill Gates Give to Every College Grad?

Bill Gates may be a college dropout himself, but he still gets hit up for advice quite a bit from college graduates. In a series of tweets spotted by Business Insider, Gates writes that if he were a college freshman today, he would study artificial intelligence, energy, and the biosciences, all "promising fields where you can make a huge impact." Some other nuggets: A regret: "I also have one big regret: When I left school, I knew little about the world's worst inequities. Took me decades to learn." On happiness: "Like @WarrenBuffett I measure my happiness by whether people close to me are happy and love me, & by the difference I make for others." A gift: "If I could give each of you a graduation present, it would be this--the most inspiring book I've ever read." The book is Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature. (Business Insider)

Hate Trump? No Worries- Here Comes Michael Moore!

Film director Michael Moore says he has been secretly making an anti-Trump documentary that will be powerful enough to bring down the president. The documentary, titled Fahrenheit 11/9 in reference to the day Trump's election win was confirmed, has been acquired by Bob and Harvey Weinstein who distributed Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, which remains the highest-grossing documentary of all time. "There is no greater part of what we can do right now than to have the power to bring Michael Moore to a mass audience," the Weinsteins said in a statement, adding that they are "ecstatic to be a part of this revolution." The documentary, which is still in production, will look at the factors leading up to Trump's election and at his presidency. A press release says it will help dissolve Trump's "Teflon shield" -- and his presidency. "No matter what you throw at him, it hasn't worked. No matter what is revealed, he remains standing. Facts, reality, brains cannot defeat him," Moore said in a statement. "Even when he commits a self-inflicted wound, he gets up the next morning and keeps going and tweeting. That all ends with this movie." No release date has been set. (Los Angeles Times)

Guess Who's Coming to Monday Night Football?

A lady play-by-play announcer is coming to EPSN's Monday Night Football for the first time in 30 years. Beth Mowins is set to call the second part of a season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader in September. She'll team with former NFL Coach Rex Ryan when the Los Angeles Chargers visit the Denver Broncos on Sept. 11. Mowins joined ESPN in 1994 and has called college football for the network since 2005. She has also done play-by-play for locally broadcast preseason Oakland Raiders games. ESPN Senior Vice President Stephanie Druley says Mowins "deserves this opportunity." The last woman to call an NFL game was NBC's Gayle Sierens in 1987. (ESPN)

If Your Husband Doesn't Like Your Friends, Divorce Could Be Coming

Back before Facebook, Match and Tinder, a lot of folks met their spouses through mutual friends. But now that people are hooking up online and sometimes falling in love without knowing anything about the other person's social circles, scientists are wondering about what they call the "effect of merging friend networks" on marriages. Katherine Fiori, co-author of a new study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships suggest that not liking the friends who come along with one's spouse can have a negative impact on a marriage's survival. Studying 355 heterosexual couples (both black and white pairs, but not interracial ones) surveyed after they wed in Wayne County, Mich., in 1986, researchers found 70% of white couples were married 16 years later when men said early on in the marriage they liked their wives' friends, but barely 50% were when they didn't. Women's feelings about their husbands' friends didn't seem to impact marriage survival, and it apparently didn't matter at all with black couples. That said, when husbands viewed their wives' friends as taking it a step further and actually interfering with their marriages, the chance of divorce doubled, regardless of race. (Live Science)

What the What?

The world's hottest chilli pepper is so hot it can actually kill you, but doctors are going to use it as an anesthetic anyway. This new pepper, created in North Wales and nicknamed Dragon's Breath, is so hot it would burn and close up your airways if you swallowed one. But amazingly, it's potent oils mean it can numb the skin as an anesthetic. Measuring a firey 2.48 million on the heat measuring Scoville scale, the pepper dwarfs the Caroline Reaper, which once held the title of world's hottest at 2.2m. To put its heat in perspective, a Scotch bonnet, a chilli that is typically eaten as a challenge, is between 100,000 and 350,000 Scovilles. And The US military use pepper spray which registers at around 2m on the Scoville scale.Hobby grower Mike Smith, the man behind the record-breaking pepper said, 'It's not been tried orally. I've tried it on the tip of my tongue and it just burned and burned. "I spat it out in about 10 seconds. The heat intensity just grows." Smith explains, "This was developed because a lot of people are allergic to anesthetic, and this can be applied to the skin-it is so strong it numbs it." It is also hoped the chilli's oils could also be used in developing countries, where many traditional anesthetics are too expensive for most. (Metro)

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