It may be the most amazing cruise story of the summer. A 3-year-old employee of Norwegian Getaway cruises went overboard Saturday afternoon-only to be rescued by a Carnival Cruise ship nearly a full day later! The man's identity has not been released but he is apparently OK physically but will be evaluated at a hospital when the Carnival ship docks in Cozumel, Mexico. Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Lin said, "This is nothing short of miraculous. Kudos to the Carnival Glory team." It remains unclear how the crew member went overboard, but the Norwegian Getaway notified the Coast Guard about 3:20pm Saturday. The ship halted its trip and helped the Coast Guard search into Saturday night before calling it off. All seemed hopeless until the Carnival ship spotted the man in the water about 21 miles north of Cuba about 1:00pm Sunday and pulled him aboard. He was ok, though obviously distressed from being in the water for so long. (ABC News)
We Lost How Much Making Pennies?
It's probably time for America to give up on pennies. We lost $69 million bucks making them last year. Yep, it costs more than a penny to make a penny. The US Mint produced more than 8.4 billion of the one-cent coins last year at a cost of almost two cents each when one accounts for production costs and shipping. It's the biggest loss making pennies in nine years. One of the big issues is that zinc - yes, pennies are mostly zinc with just a tiny amount of copper - has been rising in price. Nickels, which are worth five cents, cost seven cents each to make, but dimes and quarters cost less than their value to produce, which ends up making up for the losses associated with pennies and nickels. Even so, petitions abound on the internet to abolish the penny and nickel. (Quartz)
Guess Who Moved In Next Door?
Hillary Harris was adopted as an infant and for years she searched for her birth family. She knew she had a half-sister, and she knew the sister's name from her adoption file, but she couldn't find her. And then the unimaginable happened - this half-sister moved in next door! It took several months for Harris to put the pieces together but finally Harris asked the neighbor, Dawn Johnson, "Who is your birth father?" Johnson replied, "Wayne Clouse, but he unfortunately passed away in 2010." Harris could barely process it. Her search was finally over and started screaming in disbelief. In that moment, it clicked for Johnson, too. Johnson was raised by her stepfather and first met her birth father, Clouse, when she was 18. She had never thought about whether Clouse had other children, but it made sense that he did. The next morning, Johnson went by Harris' house with a card, a bouquet of flowers and all the pictures she had of her birth father. When Harris opened the door, Johnson said, "Hi, sis." Over the past year, the sisters have become inseparable. Johnson said, "We talk every day; we're 20 feet apart." (News OK)
Please Keep Your Hands and Fingers Inside the Yacht at All Times
An Australian woman is feeling lucky to be alive after being pulled into the water by a shark. Melissa Brunning was on a friend's yacht off the coast of Australia's rugged Kimberley region when her group got the opportunity to feed some Tawny nurse sharks. Eager to experience the animals, which can grow up to 10 feet long, Brunning said she joined the others at the back of the boat. While everyone else was leaving fish in the water for the sharks to suck up into powerful, tooth-lined jaws, Brunning made the mistake of trying to feed one of the creatures by hand. Using the suction it would typically reserve for forcing prey out of holes on the sea floor, the shark sucked up Brunning's finger and pulled her into the water. FYI - coastal waters in the region are also home to saltwater crocodiles, vicious predators that can grow to 20 feet or more. Lucky for Brunning, the shark was frightened away and she was able to crawl back up to the safety of the boat. While she initially believed she'd lost an entire finger, the shark's many teeth managed to leave behind only some minor wounds. (PerthNow)
Taiwan's Cruel Pigeon Races
Every year, more than a million pigeons die while competing in Taiwan's controversial pigeon sea races, a series of grueling events in which young birds are shipped far out to sea, released in the middle of nowhere and then forced to fly home. According to several reports from animal rights organizations, less than 1 percent of them make it back to land. Even though an incredibly small country, Taiwan hosts more pigeon racing events than any other country in the world. A reported 500,000 Taiwanese race pigeons every year, competing for billions of New Taiwan dollars in prize money. Pigeon racing is such a big business that the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology once introduced an optional course on it, which proved very popular with both young and old pigeon racers. PETA first blew the lid off Taiwan's cruel pigeon sea races in 2014. Tens of thousands of birds are crammed together into cargo crates, shipped far out into the ocean by fishing boats and released to see which ones make it back home the fastest. Some drop into the water right after being released, after crashing into each other or into the boat, while the rest succumb to fatigue, or typhoon-strength winds. The multi-billion dollar pigeon racing scene in Taiwan is so competitive that many participants rely on all kinds of shady tactics to increase their chances of success. Many racers drug their birds with little concern for their health, while others try to doctor the birds' leg ring numbers or even kidnap favorites and hold them for ransom. In June of last year, the crew of an Australian barge discovered that a struggling pigeon had hitched a ride on their vessel. Upon closer inspection, they discovered that the inside of its wings had been tattooed with colorful symbols and Chinese characters. (Oddity Central)
Meanwhile in New Jersey, Dorothy Stein is happily doing business as the "back-biting masseuse" because one of her controversial technique involves sinking her teeth into her clients to "tenderize" their muscle and promote blood circulation. No kidding. Dr. Dot, as rock legend Frank Zappa nicknamed Stein in the 80's, when she used to massage bands just to get into shows, was encouraged to use her teeth as a massage tool by her mother, at a very young age. She was only five when her mom asked her to give her a massage for the first time. However, her hands weren't strong enough at the time, so her mother asked her to bite her instead. It apparently worked, because over four decades later, Dorothy Stein is still using her chompers to tenderize her clients' muscles and promote blood circulation. Don't laugh - the back-biting masseuse has big names like Kanye West, Katy Perry and Simon Cowell on her client list, and charges around $150 per massage session. Stein says, "I take big bites, obviously not firm enough to break skin, but firm and deep enough to grab and ‘tenderize' the back muscles, warming them up for the real rubdown that follows." (Oddity Central)
What the What?
If you encounter a rattlesnake in the wild, experts advise freezing and then slowly backing away from the animal. They certainly don't advise biting its rattle off and then turning it loose in your neighbor's trailer, as a Caldwell County, Texas, man is accused of doing. Police say that 39-year-old Ryan Felton Sauter placed the de-rattled snake in the trailer of neighbor Keith Monroe after an argument earlier in the day. The snake was apparently silenced in the hope that it would attack without warning. Monroe says he spotted Sauter leaving his trailer, and when he asked his neighbor why he'd entered his residence without permission, he was told: "You'll see why." Monroe says he then entered to see the 3-foot-long snake curled up on the floor. After an initial freak out, he killed the snake with a machete before contacting police, who arrested Sauter on charges of deadly conduct and criminal trespass of a habitation. (KVUE News)