Monday, September 25, 2017

WEIRD NEWS

Just How Rich is Mark Zuckerberg?

Want to know just how rich Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is? He's planning to sell 75 million shares of his Facebook stock, which is almost a fifth of his stake in the company. This is the first step in his pledge to eventually giving away 99% of his stock in the company. In a post, Zuckerberg explains that he has dropped his controversial plan to create non-voting shares in the company because his shares have become so valuable that he can sell enough to fund his philanthropy and "retain voting control of Facebook for 20 years or more." He adds that Facebook "was not originally founded to be a company, but to accomplish a social mission." The stock has soared to more than $170 a share, meaning Zuckerberg's sell-off could raise up to $12.8 billion. His earlier plan to create a new class of shares would have allowed him to sell off almost all his stock and still retain control of the company, but it was deeply unpopular with other shareholders. He says the share sale will fund work at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative including efforts at "curing all diseases in our children's lifetime and personalizing education for every student." (TechCrunch)

Meet Female Chuck Norris

They're calling Angela McQueen the female Chuck Norris. She's the incredibly brave math and PE teacher at Mattoon High School in Illinois who took down the16-year-old school cafeteria shooter and saved who knows how many lives in the process. Witnesses say McQueen did exactly as she was taught in recent active shooter training, grabbing the shooter's arm to take away his ability to aim - he fired multiple shots into the ceiling after McQueen grabbed him - and taking him to the ground. The student was then disarmed by a school resource officer. Police Chief Jeff Branson said, "I can't tell you how impressed I am with her." A Mattoon student put it another way: "Mrs. McQueen is Chuck Norris, basically." McQueen turned down requests for comment, but her mother, Barbara McQueen, says, "When she saw the situation and, you know, 'Okay, this kid's going to kill somebody if I don't do something,' she just took action.'" On the Mattoon High School website, McQueen - who scored more than 1,000 points as a high-school basketball star - says she became a teacher "to make the world a better place." (Chicago Tribune)

So Much For Freedom of Speech

President Trump seems to be having some difficulty with the whole freedom of speech concept. The president says NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he's encouraging spectators to walk out in protest. The latter of course would be a reasonable and completely legal response. The former would violate the First Amendment. The comment came during an extended freewheeling riff at a rally in Alabama Friday night. Trump also bemoaned that football games have become less aggressive, saying, "They're ruining the game." Several athletes, including a handful of NFL players, have refused to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner" to protest of the treatment of blacks by police. Trump says those players are disrespecting the flag and deserve to lose their jobs. "That's a total disrespect of our heritage. That's a total disrespect of everything that we stand for," he said, encouraging owners to act. Trump, who was in Alabama campaigning for Sen. Luther Strange, also blamed a decline in NFL ratings on the nation's interest in "yours truly" as well as what he described as a decline in violence in the game. He said players are being thrown out for aggressive tackles, and it's "not the same game." But Trump said the anthem protest was the top reason NFL viewership had waned. (Newser)

The World According to Tom Brady

Tom Brady released his first book last week. Let's just say it's...um... interesting. Sports Illustrated reports The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance contains "some extremely questionable scientific claims" along with some extremely excellent photos of Tom Brady. That questionable science starts with "pliable" muscles, which the Patriots quarterback credits for his longevity in football. Brady claims running and weight-lifting lead to dense, easily injured muscles. Pliable muscles -- a non-scientific term that one expert calls "balderdash" - apparently absorb stress to decrease the likelihood of injury. Brady says you can get pliable muscles through "targeted, deep-force muscle work" and "the daily acts of living that complement my off-field life." As for Brady's nutrition advice, he starts well enough - avoid sugary foods and processed carbs - but then goes on to claim strawberries, tomatoes, and salmon are bad for you - but it's not totally clear why. But perhaps the most eye-popping claim in the book: Water can prevent sunburns. Brady claims to drink about 2.5 gallons of water per day and credits that for not getting sunburns like he did when he was a kid. He then goes on to highlight the benefits and drawbacks of various types of water, from tap to mineral to carbonated. But in the end, as the New York Times puts it, Brady's book is, if nothing else, "large and handsome" like the quarterback himself. (Sports Illustrated)

Walmart Manages to Make Shopping Even Lazier!

With the new home delivery grocery craze one would be tempted to think shopping couldn't get any lazier. Walmart just raised the bar. It what seems to be a never-ending competition with Amazon - Walmart is now is testing out a grocery delivery service in which the delivery person actually enters the customer's home and puts the groceries away in their refrigerator and freezer! The new service, which is being tested in Silicon Valley, is a partnership with August Home, which makes smart locks and other home tech, according to Reuters. The service is only available to August Home customers for the moment. Of course this could be a very tough sell. Response on the story from Business Insider readers include: "There is not a chance in hell I would let them in my house when I am not home." Another says, "What moron would ever let a stranger into their home for any reason ... my dogs [would] eat them alive." (Fortune)

Teacher Teaching Nazi Salute No Longer Teacher

Teaching your students how to do a Nazi salute seems to be a good way to make sure you're not a teacher anymore. In Georgia, a substitute teacher was fired after demonstrating the Nazi salute for a group of third grade students. Franklin West Supervisory Union Superintendent Ned Kirsch wrote to parents that the incident involved a "long-term substitute" interacting with students who were walking to the cafeteria. Kirsch wrote, "The children were standing with their arm out in front of them and the teacher was modeling the position. She then raised her arm slightly and said, 'And now we say, Heil Hitler.'" While Kirsch declined to identify the teacher he did say, "I'm at a loss on the whole thing. People are shocked." The fired teacher was subbing for a teacher on maternity leave who was scheduled to return today. She had as a substitute at the school regularly for years and had not been the subject of any complaints. Kirsch added: "This incident was completely unacceptable and I apologize." (Seven Days)

What the What?

In Darlington, Pennsylvania, 24-yera-old Kevin Cook was too drunk to drive and he knew it. He sort of did the right thing by getting someone to come drive him home. Problem was the person he got was 8-years-old. When another driver saw the child driving and almost wrecking the car twice, they called 911. The girl told police Cook made her switch seats so he could get behind the wheel before they arrived. Police say Cook was so drunk he couldn't finish a field sobriety test. He be in jail now. (Arkansas Online)

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