Jurors got a rare behind-the-scenes look at a David Copperfield disappearing act during testimony in a negligence lawsuit involving a British man who claims he was badly hurt when he fell while participating in a 2013 Las Vegas show. The magician's friend and executive producer, Chris Kenner, revealed to jurors the mystery behind a signature Copperfield illusion that appears to make about a dozen audience members vanish onstage. Practiced stagehands with flashlights hurried randomly chosen participants through dark curtains, down unfamiliar passageways, outdoors, indoors, and through an MGM Grand resort kitchen in time to re-enter the back of the theater for their "reappearance" during the show finale, Kenner testified. Gavin Cox was one of those participants and says lasting brain and bodily injuries have cost him more than $400,000 in medical care. Copperfield's lawyers lost pretrial bids to close proceedings to the public to avoid giving away secrets. MGM Grand Hotel attorney Jerry Popovich said the illusion is no longer used to close the show. Magicians, media members, and lawyers were disqualified to protect the secrecy of the trick that Kenner estimated Copperfield performed tens of thousands of times over 20 years. (Newser)
When Your Getaway Car is a Skateboard
Police in Great Falls, Minnesota had little trouble apprehending an alleged bank robber after he held up a teller at a Stockman Bank branch on 5th Street. It seems his getaway vehicle of choice was a skateboard. Within about 20 minutes of the initial report, an officer located the suspect where he was taken into custody. Witness Courtney Cappis said, "The suspect did not have a good choice of getaway vehicles....he tried to evade cops via walking and skateboard!" So far, the suspect's identity has not been released. (KRTV)
Guy Wants Divorce After Finding Out His 9 Kids Aren't His!
A professor in the small Moroccan city of Sidi Slimane has filed for divorce after undergoing a routine health checkup where he learned he had been sterile for most of his life. This is a problem because he and his wife of 35 years have nine children, which couldn't possibly be his. He apparently had a small cyst on his right testicle, which he told the doctor had been there for as long as he could remember. The physician decided to run some tests, and while the results showed that the cyst was not life-threatening, they also showed that its presence rendered the man sterile. Holding out hope for a miracle, he didn't rush to file for divorce until other tests confirmed he could not have fathered any children in the last 50 years. Shocked by this revelation, the man contacted his lawyer and filed a lawsuit against his wife, accusing her of adultery and demanding both a divorce and the disownment of all of his nine children. Adultery is a punishable crime in Morocco, so if the man's wife is proven guilty, she faces a potential prison time. (Al-Massae)
Unicorns Are Real
A unicorn island exists - and you'll find it in Subic Bay in the Philippines, around 80 miles west of Manila. OK - so it's an inflatable unicorn island - still, it looks absolutely enchanting. The Inflatable Island is the biggest floating playground in Asia - about the size of eight basketball courts placed side by side. It features a range of inflatable slides, bridges, swings, towers and something called a "human launcher." And yes there is a giant unicorn, along with a rainbow walk, some slippery slopes and a super slide! Oh daddy, can't we go today! (Metro)
Free Weed for a Year?
Police in Halifax, Nova Scotia, are looking into the legality of a contest being promoted by a chain of East Coast smoke shops that promises four winners "free weed for a year." Mary Janes, which has a store in St. John's, N.L., and three stores in Nova Scotia, is promoting the contest on social media claiming the winner's name will be drawn the day marijuana becomes legal in Canada. Customers must make a purchase to get a raffle ticket. Employees at one of the chain's two Halifax-area outlets say there has been lots of interest, but didn't have details on the amount to be won, or the legality of it. Const. Carol McIsaac says, "Presently it is illegal for any person, business or entity to sell, give or distribute cannabis unless authorized by the federal government." Each province and territory is developing its own legal regime for cannabis production and consumption. (The Star)
You Have Almost Nothing... So You Should Give it All to the Church!
The President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell Marion Nelson Sr., traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, to deliver a message to over 2,000 people who showed up to hear him speak. Despite living in poverty, East African Mormons made Nelson's visit a priority and many traveled hundreds of miles to hear his message. Regarding all that poverty, Nelson told them that poverty is a spiritual issue and can only be broken through the act of tithing. He said, "We preach tithing to the poor people of the world because the poor people of the world have had cycles of poverty, generation after generation. That same poverty continues from one generation to another, until people pay their tithing." One man, Palaasi Charles, from Uganda traveled more than 16 hours to hear Nelson speak and said his message on tithing encouraged him to return home and be the change in his family. He added, "I will share with them the importance of us having temple recommends. That tithing is going to break the cycle of poverty." (Raw Story)
Yay! The Pancake Teacher Won't Be Fired!
Good news! Middle school teacher Kyle Byler won't be fired for serving pancakes to 8th-grade students during state testing. Thanks to the power of the internet and the story going internationally viral, he has been cleared to return to work today. School District of Lancaster spokeswoman Kelly Burkholder says "dismissal action" was never on the agenda Tuesday and no further action will be taken because "the personnel matter has been resolved with the employee, who is scheduled to return to work." It didn't hurt that some 100 supporters - including parents and students holding "Bring Back Byler" signs - turned up at Tuesday's meeting to support the Hand Middle School teacher. (Lancaster Online)
What the What?
A funny mix-up in the courts of Wilkes-Barre, PA. Damien Shrader was shocked to receive a jury summons in the mail. He had only received one other letter during his life and that was from Santa. That's because Damien is 4-years-old and really prefers playing with his toys, riding his bike and being with friends over deliberating on a jury. His mother, Desiree Shrader said, "I was curious to know how they got his information and decided that he needed to come and make some kind of decisions here." There were a few laughs at the courthouse and the little boy was granted a formal excuse, because he had preschool that day. The court administrator believes Damien's name and information were mistakenly added to list of potential jurors from tax documents his great-grandmother filed after buying him stocks. (WNEP News)