Thursday, June 8, 2017

WEIRD NEWS

There's Something Different About This High-Rise

This is different. America is getting it's very first all-wood high-rise. Officials in Oregon have approved construction permits for the 12-story building, called Framework, which will break ground this fall in Portland's trendy and rapidly growing Pearl District and is expected to be completed by the following winter. The decision by state and local authorities to allow construction comes after months of painstaking testing of the emerging technologies that will be used to build it, including a product called cross-laminated timber, or CLT. To make CLT, lumber manufacturers align 2-by-4 boards in perpendicular layers and then glue them together like a giant sandwich before sliding the resulting panels into a massive press for drying. The resulting panels are stronger than traditional wood because of the cross-hatched layers; CLT can withstand horizontal and vertical pressures similar to those from a significant earthquake with minimal damage. They are also lighter and easier to work with than regular timber, resulting in lower cost and less waste. State officials hope the building will stir greater interest in high-rise construction using mass timber and help revitalize the state's lagging logging industry. (Newser)

And You Think You Were Mad When They Lost Your Luggage

Think you got mad when the airline lost your luggage? Golfer Michael Buttacavoli just withdrew from his last chance to play in the U.S. Open's sectional qualifiers - because American Airlines lost his golf clubs. The 29-year-old, who's on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica roster, had flown on a red-eye from Ecuador to Miami and was dismayed to find that even though he made it to his early-morning tee time at Florida's Jupiter Hills Club, his clubs were nowhere to be found. A very frustrated Buttacavoli sarcastically tweeted: Thank u @AmericanAir. AA offered to help track the bag down in a responding tweet, but Buttacavoli noted that ship had sailed. "It's too late," he retorted. "I already withdrew. You just needed to do your job in the first place." The airline tried to apologize, saying, "This wasn't the experience we had planned for you," but Buttacavoli was having none of it. "Stop apologizing. Don't need sympathy or u to be PC. Just do better," he tweeted. (USA Today)

So How Bad is This Opioid Addiction Thing?

Just how bad is the opioid crisis in the US? An alarming new statistic should wake you up. Believe it or not, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for people under the age of 50! State and county death records reveal an estimated 62,500 people died from drug overdoses last year - 19% more than in 2015. While the 2016 figure is only "a first look," as the CDC won't be able to figure out final numbers until December, it still shows the biggest annual jump ever recorded in the United States. Large increases were seen on the East Coast in Maryland, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Ohio, where fentanyl and similar substances have caused a dramatic rise in drug seizures. Some Western states, on the other hand, saw overdose deaths hold steady or even fall in 2016. That's likely because black tar heroin remains most prevalent there, as opposed to powdered heroin, which can be laced with fentanyl or carfentanil. (New York Times)

Damn You Cupcake Blogger!

While recipes can't be copyrighted, videos can be - which means the Food Network may now find itself in a pot of hot water. Food blogger Elizabeth LaBau of SugarHero.com is suing the network claiming they not only stole her "signature recipe" for cupcakes, but made a "shot-for-shot" reproduction of her video showing how to make it! LaBau's recipe for "snow globe cupcakes" with gelatin domes first went viral in 2014 before she revisited it this past December, posting a tutorial video on Facebook that received 5.7 million views. But the Food Network was perhaps a little too sweet on her recipe. LaBau says it copied the video less than three weeks later, using the same camera angles, colors, lighting, and text. Several commenters demanded the network acknowledge LaBau, who spent "several weeks" crafting the recipe, per the suit. The network refused which motivated LaBau to sue them. While a recipe usually isn't protected under copyright law, a description, explanation, or illustration" of a recipe can be. LaBau argues the Food Network's video, which has received more than 11 million views, stole "business and attention" from her site. In addition to lost advertising revenue, she says she also suffered "severe distress" and damage to her brand. She's seeking up to $150,000 in damages. The Food Network hasn't commented. (Washington Post)

You Won't Treat Me Like a Lab Monkey and Get Away With It!

This is very sad. Yue Chen is a terminally ill cancer patient who was arrested and charged with attempted murder after he traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area to kill three doctors who had treated him. Authorities say Chen also planned to kill himself and was angry the doctors had treated him like a "laboratory monkey," according to a suicide note found by police. The 58-year-old's family reported him missing on May 31 and responding officers found evidence of the plot at his Visalia home. They then alerted the doctors and Bay Area officials. Fortunately, Chen failed to find any of the doctors, got lost, and was possibly on his way back home when he was arrested in San Jose later that day. Officials found two loaded handguns in his car, as well as maps with directions to the doctors' homes. After his arrest, Chen told detectives he believed he was being used for research purposes. Chen was charged in Santa Clara County with three felony counts of premeditated attempted murder. (Mercury News)

Is Your State Safe?

Drug problems aside, living in Vermont is your safest bet to stay safe, according to WalletHub. The website reviewed a variety of data falling under the categories of personal, financial, workplace, and road safety, as well as emergency preparedness, to give the states a safety score out of 100. Here's what they found. As for the safest states:
Vermont: 65
Maine: 62.5
Massachusetts: 62
Minnesota: 62
New Hampshire: 61.5

As for the most dangerous states:
Mississippi: 31
Louisiana: 36
Oklahoma: 38
South Carolina: 39
Missouri: 40

Wait - out of a possible 100, the very safest spot in America scored only a 65? Say what? (WalletHub)


What the What?

Police in American Fork, Utah have arrested a 47-year-old mother who pulled two of her son's teeth in a Walmart restroom! Prosecutors said the woman bought hand sanitizer and needle-nose pliers from the store, then took them into the restroom and pulled two of her 7-year-old son's teeth. Police say the boy's older brother heard the child screaming and got him out of the restroom. Prosecutors say the woman didn't use any kind of anesthetic and has been charged with felony child abuse. Her name has been withheld to avoid identifying the child. (Newser)

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