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Monday, January 8, 2018

WEIRD NEWS

Best. Snowplow. Ever?

Innovators often arise out of the most grueling circumstances, and Jonathan Schill is no exception. The young Pennsylvania man was shoveling snow at his new home when he became exhausted after just 15 minutes. He didn't have a snowplow to tap into, but he did have a lawn mower - and a huge cardboard box that once held a 50-inch TV. Thanks to some cables and weights, he was soon able to put together a snow-throwing contraption that actually did the job. His fiancé, Kaitlynn Toporzycki, was so impressed she posted a Facebook video that now has upward of 10 million views. Schill says, "I didn't really intend to do this to be funny, I did it to save myself from being tired and all that." He's since made a more durable wood plow, but he says he'll hold onto the box for the memories. (Chambersburg Public Opinion)

Talk About a Buzz Kill

The stock market may still be setting new records, but Marijuana-related stocks are in the toilet as concerns about the industry's future have taken hold thanks mostly to Attorney General Jeff Sessions who signaled a tougher approach last week to federal pot enforcement. Nevertheless, defiant growers and sellers vowed to keep operating as several marijuana stocks saw double-digit losses immediately following Sessions announcement. Shares of garden-supply company Scotts Miracle-Gro also skidded, following a steady rise last year after it added fertilizer, lights, and other products to serve marijuana growers. But Steve DeAngelo, owner of California's largest marijuana retailer, says it will be "business as usual" at his Harborside dispensary in Oakland adding, "I think the main impact of this is really going to be on investors, more than anything else." (Newser)

Better Just Keep Your Hands to Yourself

San Diego's Mike Timon is crying foul and says he's a victim of discrimination against men after he was banned from Alaska Airlines for touching a flight attendant. The airline says Timon touched a female flight attendant on the buttocks as he sat in first class on a flight from Oregon to San Diego on Dec. 26. But Timon says he only touched the woman politely on her back to get her attention so he could order a drink. Timon, who owns a medical equipment company and frequently flies first class, said that when no drink came, he pressed his call button, and a male flight attendant came to say he had been cut off. Timon said he had only had a single drink and was sober. He also says his gesture was misunderstood as sexual harassment, and he was met by police who escorted him off the plane. Police took statements from Timon and others but there was no further action. "For me to be accused of this, and for me to be escorted off the plane by police? This is it. I'm blowing up," Timon says. "It's unnecessary. It's discrimination toward me." He says widespread concern over sexual harassment has hurt men like him. "It's out of control and I am pissed," he says. Alaska spokeswoman Ann Johnson confirmed that Timon cannot fly on the airline pending the outcome of an investigation but said she could not provide specifics about his case. Johnson added, "Alaska Airlines will not tolerate any type of sexual misconduct that creates an unsafe environment for our guests and crew members and we are fully committed to do our part to address this serious issue." (Newser)

Don't Question Fate When Buying Lottery Tickets

In Manhattan, 46-year-old Oksana Zaharov was trying to buy a $1 New York Lottery scratch-off ticket. Instead, the store clerk unwittingly handed her a $10 Set For Life ticket. She says while she realized the mistake, she went ahead and bought it anyway. That proved to be one of the best decisions of her life. Zaharov said, "I actually used the ticket as a bookmark for a couple weeks before I decided to scratch it." When she did, she discovered it was worth over $5 million! The $5 million will be distributed over 20 years, plus she gets annual net sums of $172,068 after that for the rest of her life. Zaharov says she'll take her family on a Bahamas vacation and plans to fund her children's college education. (Huffington Post)

Your Own Selfie in Your Latte! Who Says There's No God.

A cafe in London is taking barista art to a new level by giving customers the chance to sip on their own selfies. The Tea Terrace is now offering up the "Selfieccino," which features an image of customers' faces on the frothy topping of their drinks. Patrons send their headshots via an online messaging app to the barista and are given the choice of either a cappuccino or hot chocolate as their canvas. The image is uploaded to the "Cino" machine while the drink is placed in position. The picture is then scanned and reproduced onto the froth using a flavorless food coloring. The process takes around four minutes before an image is presented on the froth, ready to be photographed and sent to all points via social media before drinking. All that will cost you $7.50. Ehab Salem Shouly, owner of The Tea Terrace said, "Due to social media, the dining experience has completely shifted. It's not enough anymore to just deliver great food and great service - it's got to be Instagram worthy." Very sad... and very true! (Reuters)

S'mores are Dangerous

It was supposed to be a fun New Year's Eve or roasting s'mores... but turned into a nightmare. In Fort Pierce, Florida, 14-year-old Layne Chesney suffered third-degree burns to 95% of her body while roasting marshmallows for s'mores and her family is thankful it wasn't worse. Leigh Chesney, the girl's mother says her daughter was severely injured when a gas can exploded near an outdoor fire at her friend's house before 10pm Sunday. She could have easily died. As Layne was engulfed in flames near Fort Pierce, the friend's "parents ran outside and the father grabbed hold of Layne and tried to use his own body to put out the flames," according to Leigh. The father was severely burned on his chest and stomach. His wife and 18-year-old son were also injured while trying to put out the fire - "but he did save her life." Though Layne was alert and talking when authorities arrived at the scene, doctors initially warned her mother to expect the worst. The only part of her body that was not burned was the bottom of her feet. Layne remains in critical but stable condition at a Miami hospital and will have a long road ahead as she undergoes multiple surgeries to replace 90% of damaged skin. (TC Palm)

What the What?

In Cordova, Tennessee, three female customers walked into a Waffle House around 1:30pm and ask a 21-year-old employee to turn down the thermostat, complaining it was too hot. She said she'd ask the manager... so they attacked her! One of the women didn't like the answer and instead punched the employee while another allegedly threatened to get a gun. Police described the women in the attack as a 50-year-old heavyset woman, a 16-year-old and a 25-year-old heavyset woman. Fortunately the victim was not seriously injured. All this was caught on video and officials were able to get the license plate on the white four-door Nissan Altima the women got into and drove off in. Police are still looking for them. (Daily Mail)

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