Monday, July 10, 2017

WEIRD NEWS

I Wish You Pain

A commencement speech given by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is getting praise - after he wished the students bad luck! While the speech was given back on June 3, it's only now getting attention after the Washington Post published excerpts. Roberts told students at New Hampshire's elite Cardigan Mountain Boarding School for boys, where Roberts' own son is graduating from the 9th grade, that he hoped their future would see them hurt, ignored, and betrayed . And Robert Barnes at the Post calls it "the best thing Chief Justice Roberts has written this term." That's because Roberts went on to explain that with pain comes compassion. Being ignored teaches "the importance of listening to others," he said. Betrayal teaches "the importance of loyalty." One standout line: "I wish you bad luck - again, from time to time. Bad luck means you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved, and that the failure of others is not completely deserved, either." (Washington Post)

Marathon Runner Outruns Two Bears!

Professional runner Moninda Marube came in second in a marathon in Maine, but fortunately came in first in a private race with two black bears! Marube says he met the bears early in the morning on a dirt road in woods near Auburn, Maine. He says he can't swim, and knows better than to try to climb a tree to escape a bear, so he decided running was his only option when they charged. Marube says he managed to make it to a vacant house he had passed earlier. He got to the porch and closed the screen door with the bears just 10 yards behind him. Over the next few minutes, the two bears sniffed around the porch and looked through the screening before wandering off. Marube says he now plans to start his runs later in the morning and will carry pepper spray in the future. Authorities in Maine say people who encounter aggressive bears are not advised to run. Instead, they should try to make themselves look larger while slowly backing away - and "remain calm" if they charge. Marube says he was aware of advice to "stand your ground" - but found it hard to follow it when the bears charged him. (Lewiston Sun Journal)

Woman Gets 30-Years for Stillbirth!

In El Salvador, a 19-year-old woman has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after delivering a stillborn baby. Prosecutors accused Evelyn Beatriz Hernandez Cruz basically blowing off proper prenatal care, which led to the child's death, and convicted her of aggravated homicide. Hernandez claims she didn't know she was pregnant until she went into labor in a bathroom in April 2016 after severe stomach and back pain. Her pregnancy was reportedly the result of being raped repeatedly by a gang member. Hernandez's lawyers say she'd been too scared to ever report the rapes to police. She gave birth into a toilet, but prosecutors scoffed at her claims of ignorance, saying she knew about the pregnancy, didn't want the baby, and tried to kill him by tossing him into the toilet after he was born. Medical experts couldn't say for sure if the baby had been born deceased or died just after delivery. El Salvador is one of just six countries in the world that don't allow abortions under any circumstances. (Guardian)

Welcome to the Era of Bailing

According to David Brooks, we are living in the "golden age of bailing." The New York Times columnist says by that he means it's way too easy these days for people to make a commitment, then bow out at the last second with a text offering some kind of excuse. He admits to the etiquette offense himself but thinks the trend has gone too far. It might be time for "social norms" to kick in with consequences for bailers that would make them think twice. Brooks goes on to say that "bailing is one of the defining acts of the current moment because it stands at the nexus of so many larger trends: the ambiguity of modern social relationships, the fraying of commitments, what my friend Hayley Darden calls the ethic of flexibility ushered in by smartphone apps - not to mention the decline of civilization, the collapse of morality and the ruination of all we hold dear." In the column, he outlines a three-step formula to gauge offenses: Was the excuse legit, was it presented "well" (no whining about your busy life), and was the impact on the other person fully considered? (New York Times)

Little Leaguer With One Hand Hits Home Run

Keenan Briggs was born without a left hand, but that doesn't seem to have had a negative impact on the 11-year-old's baseball career. He's a Kentucky Little League All-Star who's always been a pretty gifted contact hitter. He proved it again by hitting a homerun in his district's All-Star tournament. The two-run homer went out of the park, helping Briggs' team win the game. He later told reporters, "It felt great! Once I hit it, I just knew it was going. It was amazing." (USA Today)

Pot in Montana? No Way! Fully Automatic AK-47? No Problem!

Police in East Helena, Montana, were called to investigate a man firing an AK-47 in his yard. So they arrived at the home of 49-year-old Patrick Ofaron Longdon who at first claimed he was firing blanks. However, when questioned further by the officers, Longdon admitted he was firing live ammunition and said he had recently built the fully automatic rifle and "just wanted to see if it worked." He claimed he shot off roughly 10 rounds. Police also noted Longdon was drunk during the conversation. Longdon then told an officer he "needed to get rid of the rifle" and asked him to retrieve it out of his home. He also happened to mention that he had two pot plants hanging in his bedroom that he knew were illegal. The gun and the pot plants were confiscated from the bedroom. But here's the wild thing- prosecutors have only charged Longdon with felony criminal production or manufacturing of dangerous drugs. There are no charges for having and shooting the illegal AK-47! Why? Because Montana - that's why!! (The Independent)

What the What?

Down in Georgia, Dena Everman was trying to sell her home. Without her knowledge, an entire family moved in and now the city says Dena can't kick them out! After discovering the squatters she assumed a quick call to the police would clear them out. To her horror, she discovered there's some archaic Georgia law that says if someone sets up residence in your home, it doesn't matter how they get in there they have rights until they are legally evicted - which can be a very long process. Tamera Pritchett is living in the home with her fiance and two kids and says they found it listed for rent on Craigslist, they signed a lease by fax, paid their rent via money order, never saw the ad poster and only learned there was a problem when Everman called the police. Completely believable right? Well, this type of scam is being pulled by vagrants all over the country and while cities can easily pass laws to make it explicitly illegal, many don't want to as they see it as their voter base pulling one over on "the man." (WSB-TV)

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