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Monday, November 5, 2018

WEIRD NEWS

Go Ahead and Hack That Soviet Scum

According to the Center for Public Integrity, the Pentagon has a plan in place to push back on Russia if it once again tries to interfere in the 2018 midterms, including giving the thumbs-up to US military hackers to preemptively access Russian cyber networks. That way, if retribution is necessary, the US is ahead of the game. This move is part of a larger executive order signed by President Trump in August that gives Defense Secretary James Mattis and DNI chief Dan Coats the authority to make certain retaliatory moves on their own. Former President Obama actually had done the same thing but Obama's order had a "much more protracted process for the premeditated deployment of cyber weapons." Understandably, the details of exactly what will go down if Russia meddles in this week's elections aren't being spilled. But one senior official said "swift and severe" action will come in the wake of any direct interference, such as messing with voter registration or recording how ballots were cast-tactics that would "fundamentally [wreck] the natural process that we have established in this country." (Newser)

Don't Ignore Your Sore Throat

Samantha Scott was a top rower for Kansas State University. The 23-year-old architectural engineering major hadn't been feeling well and suspected she had tonsillitis but unfortunately put off doing anything about it. By the time she finally went to the hospital two weeks later, it was too late. Scott died not of tonsillitis, but of a rare bacterial infection. The sickness, called Lemierre syndrome, typically starts in the throat (as Scott's did) accompanied by a fever, then pushes pus-filled tissue through the body and to major organs. By the time it was discovered , the antibiotics usually used to treat the infection were useless. "Samantha was a great leader for our program and more importantly a great person," her rowing coach said in a statement. "She was so well-liked by all of her teammates and had such a big impact on our program both on and off the water." A GoFundMe to help Scott's parents pay for medical expenses incurred and now funeral costs had raised nearly $5,000 as of Friday morning. (People)

Do You Know Your CLV?

Do you know your CLV? That's your "customer lifetime value" and it may have a direct link to how long you're on hold and the quality of customer service you get. In a new report, the Wall Street Journal reveals that if you have a high CLV score, chances are you'll spend less time on hold and get extra TLC from customer service reps. You might, for example, get that airplane seat upgrade over someone with a lower CLV rating. Companies use their own metrics to determine such scores, but the general rule is that if you shop a lot and don't return stuff or make complaints-and all of this type of behavior is easy to track-you'll have a solid score - or scores. Everyone probably has several with various companies. As one Harvard marketing professor puts it, "There's no free lunch. The more profitable you are, the better service you will get." General demographics play a role too. A married middle-aged woman is probably going to get faster service on the phone than a single guy in his early 20s, according to data scientists interviewed. If those two people called to cancel a service such as a credit card or a cable package, the perks they are offered to change their mind will be different, too. Curious about your own CLV rating? Good luck with that. Unlike credit scores, these aren't publicly available. (Wall Street Journal)

Stealing Cocaine From a Drug Dealer is a Really Bad Idea

Here's a little pro tip for you: Stealing cocaine from a drug dealer is probably not the best path to take. Police believe 26-year-old Charleston Prentice Goodman, who has been missing since January, may have been killed and fed to some hogs as revenge for doing just that. Goodman was last seen on Jan. 28, when several people saw him arguing with a group of men, who then shoved him into a minivan and drove off. Reportedly, someone saw Goodman's dead body in the back of a van two days later. A confidential informant told police that a drug dealer had evidence that Goodman had broken into his apartment and stole two bricks of cocaine, so the dealer hired a crew to kidnap him. Goodman's dead body was wrapped in plastic bags and stored at an unknown location before the former friend could dump it, and another said the body "is believed to have been fed to hogs," according to the search warrant application. Anyone with information about Goodman is asked to call Durham police. (WRAL)

You Set a Goal - And You Go For It!

Meanwhile, in Portugal, a nude internet model known only as Lilith the Cenobite, has put on 300 pounds in just three years in bizarre bid to become the world's heaviest woman. Lilith says some people see her as a "goddess" and she hopes to one day be the heaviest woman ever in the Guinness Book of World Records. The 26-year-old from Faial, Azores, grew up poor and food was hard to come by so she was brought up to see food as "a forbidden thing that shouldn't be enjoyed". The fear and guilt Lilith associated with food disappeared when she was diagnosed with terminal hepatic encephalopathy in 2015 as a result of complications from a rare condition she was born with. This shock diagnosis changed her way of thinking about food and she discovered the feedism community online which involves gaining weight to fulfil a sexual fetish. In just three years she went from 112 pounds to just over 400 pounds. Lilith says, "Given that I only eat if and when someone chooses to feed me, my weight is entirely at the whim of the feedism community. Hopefully I get fed enough to reach my goal." She sadly added, "You can't use my health as a reason, because I'm dying in a few years anyway. (The Sun)

You Know What - Don't Climb Down Wells!

In Deleon Springs, Florida, first responders had to rescue an idiot who got stuck after climbing into a 30-feet deep well just "to say he did it." Volusia County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Scott Smoak said our friend was stuck for about an hour before being pulled to safety. Apparently he didn't have the strength to pull himself out of the narrow well but he was awake and talking to rescuers the entire time. He says the man suffered a few bumps and bruises. The well is located in DeLand, which is near Daytona Beach on Florida's Atlantic Coast. Smoak added that the well is one of many in the area, and it needs a barrier around it to "keep people from going down in these things." (New York Times)

What the What?

In Valdosta, Georgia, construction workers were shocked to find around 1,000 human teeth hidden inside the wall of an old building they are renovating. Harry Evans, a researcher for the Lowndes County Historical Society and Museum says the building was once occupied by a dentist named Clarence Whittington in 1900. The building was then occupied by a different dentist - Dr. Lester G. Youmans - until at least 1930. Local historians believe the teeth were probably stowed during the time the building was used by the dentists, but are baffled as to why they were put in a wall. (The Sun)

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