WEIRD NEWS

Let's Get Rid of That Bitcoin Now!

Here's an interesting twist in the Bitcoin saga. US attorneys in Utah prosecuting a multimillion-dollar opioid drug ring are moving quickly to sell seized bitcoin that has exploded in value to about $8.5 million since the alleged ringleader's arrest a year ago. The bitcoin cache was worth less than $500,000 when Aaron Shamo was arrested on drug charges, but the value of the digital currency has skyrocketed since then. For federal prosecutors in Utah, sales of seized assets like cars are routine, but bitcoin, which is prone to dizzying swings in value, is new territory. Shamo is accused of selling pills containing the powerful opioid fentanyl on the dark web to thousands of people all over the US, at one point raking in $2.8 million in less than a year. The 500,000-pill bust ranked among the largest of its kind in the country, and authorities also found $1 million of cash stuffed into trash bags. Shamo has pleaded not guilty to a dozen charges. The proceeds of the bitcoin sale will be held until the case is resolved, and then decisions will be made about where the money goes according to police spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch. (Newser)

Call and Ambulance-No Wait, Call Uber!

A new study says more and more people are calling Uber rather than an ambulance to get to the hospital. Economics professor David Slusky and Dr. Leon Moskatel looked at ambulance usage in 766 US cities upon the arrival of Uber from 2013 to 2015. Slusky notes that when Uber came to a city ambulance usage dropped "at least" 7% using the "most conservative" numbers. Moskatel says they expect it to increase to 10% to 15% "as Uber continues to expand as an alternative for people." Ironically, Uber is not necessarily thrilled about this development and spokesperson Andrew Hasbun said, "Uber is not a substitute for law enforcement or medical professionals. In the event of any medical emergency, we always encourage people to call 911." But the researchers say Uber subbing for ambulances isn't always a bad thing. For people who aren't having a medical emergency, Uber is a far more cost-effective option than an ambulance. It could also save insurance companies money to the point they might want to consider advocating for ride-sharing apps. Using an Uber instead of an ambulance would allow passengers to choose their hospital instead of being driven to the nearest one. However, the president of the American College of Emergency Physicians says patients can't always be trusted to judge if their situation is an emergency or not. (Mercury News)

Guns, Vodka and an Angry Father - Guess What's Next!

In Chicago, a 48-year-old police sergeant was arrested for allegedly trying to kill his son-over missing vodka! Raymond Leuser is being held without bond as prosecutors laid out the alleged motive for Tuesday's shooting at Leuser's home on Chicago's Southwest Side. Leuser is a sergeant with the Indian Head Park Police Department and once served as interim chief. Now, he is charged with attempting to murder his 22-year-son. Prosecutors say Leuser called in sick on Monday, stopped by a convenience store and bought vodka, pizza and popcorn. Around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, the son drank three cups of the vodka and replaced it with water. At some point, Leuser discovered the switch so when his son walked into the kitchen, the elder Leuser shot him in the stomach, thigh and shoulders. The defense is claiming self-defense, saying Leuser had a black eye but prosecutors said there were no signs of a struggle in the house. (CBS2)

Star Wars Going to Outer Space

The movie franchise that has made billions on stories about life in outer space is finally going there. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station will soon be able to watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which opened here on Earth last Friday. NASA spokesperson Dan Huot said, "I can confirm the crew will be able to watch it on orbit. Don't have a definitive timeline yet." The International Space Station has a library of about 500 or so digital films, which astronauts watch on their days off or while working out on the ISS treadmill or on movie nights. They'll be able to watch the new Star Wars on the station's laptops or a projector. But of course the bigger question is do they have popcorn and Junior Mints in space? (Verge)

Man Cures Stage Four Cancer with Vegan Diet?

Back in 2012, Rob Mooberry, 43, was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer after he was rushed to hospital with a perforated colon. After undergoing surgery, chemo and radiotherapy, his cancer diagnosis was downgraded to stage 3A. But before resuming treatment, Mooberry, from Las Vegas, tried a raw vegan diet. Medics had warned he would need two rounds of chemotherapy and radiation therapy and there was the possibility that he would need a colostomy bag fitted. In November 2012, he started a plant-based diet along with his wife Amanda, who was previously a vegetarian. His next scan in early 2013 revealed his cancer had shrunk by almost 80% in size. He is now celebrating being cancer free for five years raising his 20-month-old twins and runs a small cancer charity when he's not busy working at his bar job. Mooberry said, "I'm not standing here on my soap box saying everyone needs to go plant-based and vegan. But if you're going to ask me what worked for me, I'll tell you: the diet." We should also stress that Rob underwent surgery, chemo and radiotherapy, which is what doctors suggested following his diagnosis. Mooberry also said that he doesn't want people to take his experience as an endorsement for veganism, although he hopes it makes them consider the healthiness of his lifestyle. (Metro)

He Looks Good For His Age!

Scientists have discovered a shark believed to be 512-years-old. That means it was born before Shakespeare and would be the oldest living known vertebrate in the world. Living in the icy waters of the Arctic, the giant creature could have been born as early as 1505, measuring by its size. It was the oldest of 28 Greenland sharks to be analyzed. This particular shark was measured at 18ft in length, meaning it could be anywhere between 272 to 512-years-old. How do they know? This particular species grows at a rate of 1cm a year. Greenland sharks have an estimated life span of 400 years, and usually spend their time swimming around looking for a mate. Kind of like guys on Tinder. (Metro)

What the What?

In Tottenham, North London, a 70-year-old John Nolan died under very mysterious circumstances when he suddenly burst into flames in the middle of the street. No kidding. Nolan was found in the middle of the road at 1pm on September 17. People tried to help him and firefighters were able to put out the fire before he was taken to a specialist hospital by London Air Ambulance. A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as severe burns and an inquest will take place next March. Investigators are trying to establish the cause of the fire as they have not found any accelerants. A spokesperson said, "Mr Nolan was a well-liked member of the community and none of our enquiries so far have indicated that he had been involved in a dispute of any sort. Nor does any account given by witnesses suggest that he had been in contact with another person at the time of the fire." (Metro)

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