WEIRD NEWS

Pants That Last 100 Years!

So would you pay $645 for a pair of pants? What if I told you they were not some hot designer brand? But now what if I told you they would last for 100 years? That's the promise of adventure clothing brand Vollebak, which claims that its new "100 Year Pants" will last at least a full century. Vollebak cofounder Steve Tidball says the new pants are so tough you can walk through fire in them. They feature an innovative three-layer material designed to withstand various threats. The outer layer repels water and is designed to resist abrasions, the middle layer is fireproof and also expands as an airbag at high temperatures, acting as a barrier between your legs and the flames, while the third layer is an aramid fiber, a nylon-related synthetic doesn't burn or melt, offering extra protection. Tidball notes, "It was originally designed to help soldiers handle the most extreme situations, but without having to dress like firefighters." To ensure they'd last a century, Volleback put them through the Martindale abrasion resistance test, where a mechanical thumb is rubbed against the fabric until the fibers start to break. A regular polyester fabric can survive around 25,000 revolutions, but these pants passed 100,000 cycles of wear and even then, it needed to be checked with a magnifying glass to see broken fibers. Volleback claims they hadn't. But they're not just tough, they're surprisingly comfortable and designed to stretch with your body, making them suitable for all kinds of activities, from mountain climbing to yoga, and are stylish enough to be worn on casual outings. Goes perfect with the 100-year hoodie the company released last year. (Fast Company)

New Assistant Principal Needed in West Virginia

In Harrison County, West Virginia, 15-year-old Michael Critchfield, who is a transgender boy at Liberty High School, says assistant principal Lee Livengood confronted him while he was in a bathroom stall, challenging him to "come out here and use the urinal" to prove that he was really a boy. The ACLU of West Virginia got involved and sent a letter to Dr. Mark A. Manchin, superintendent of Harrison County Schools, claiming that Critchfield explained that he was a boy and that the bathroom was empty. However, "Mr. Livengood continued to berate Michael, raising his voice and asking Michael what would happen if another boy thought Michael was checking him out. Michael's classmates later told him they could hear Livengood yelling from outside the restroom in the hallway and cafeteria." Livengood also allegedly said at one point, "I'm not going to lie. You freak me out." The ACLU-WV says in its letter that Michael "began crying uncontrollably" after the alleged encounter, and went on to experience "severe anxiety" that only added to the preexisting stress of being repeatedly misgendered by several teachers at his school. Despite the shocking nature of the allegations, the ACLU-WV is not yet filing a lawsuit, pushing instead for the school district to discipline Livengood, institute transgender-inclusive training for staff, and create new best practice policies for LGBT students. (Daily Beast)

New Gym Teacher Needed in Iowa

In Dubuque, Iowa's Jefferson Middle School, 38-year-old gym teacher Erin Ellerbach was allegedly drunk on the job. Officials say she had a blood alcohol content of .224 Monday afternoon during a breath test. Administrators called police and a school resource officer who responded said Ellerbach smelled of alcohol, slurred speech, and had red and watery eyes. School officials also found one open 16 oz. can of Mike's Harder Strawberry in her office with two unopened 16 oz. cans of Mike's Harder alcoholic beverages. Ellerbach was arrested and charged with Public Intoxication and is reportedly no longer employed by the district. (KDTH)

New Trump Amphibian Name Was Expensive

A UK-based company paid $25,000 so they could name a newly discovered amphibian after President Trump. Oh there's a big pun coming depending on which team you play for. The new species - Dermophis donaldtrumpi - is a small, blind caecilian that buries its head in the sand. That's what Aidan Bell says the president does on climate change. He's the co-founder of sustainable building materials company EnviroBuild, which bid $25,000 at an auction fundraiser benefiting the nonprofit Rainforest Trust to nab the naming honor and raise awareness about climate change. Dermophis donaldtrumpi-is a shiny, worm-like amphibian, about 4 inches long, and discovered living mostly underground in Panama. Bell says, "It is particularly susceptible to the impacts of climate change and is therefore in danger of becoming extinct as a direct result of its namesake's climate policies." As part of the deal, scientists have agreed to use the name chosen by Bell in scientific literature announcing the discovery. (BBC)

It's Your Lucky Day When the Prosecutor Shows Up Drunk

It's sad when those who are supposed to serve and protect us screw everything up. In Osceola, Iowa, Judge Marti Mertz had little choice but to arrest a prosecutor who showed up to court drunk, and dismiss charges against a man accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy. Mertz chastised Clarke County Attorney Michelle Rivera. The prosecutor's unavailability at a recent hearing in the case "was the finale following unexplained periods of inactivity and lack of responsiveness" since the man's arrest more than a year ago, the judge said. A sheriff's deputy arrested Rivera for being drunk in an Osceola courtroom just moments before the defendant was scheduled to enter a new plea and be sentenced in the case. The defendant later sought a dismissal because he hadn't been tried within a year of his arraignment. He was initially charged with sex assault and telephone dissemination of obscene material to a minor. Investigators say he admitted engaging in sex act with a minor in August 2017. Even worse, the state can't refile the same charges against the man. Rivera lost her re-election bid in November. She was arrested again last week in Osceola on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and child endangerment. According to court documents, an officer said Rivera was intoxicated when she dropped her daughter off at a day care. (FOX News)

More Advertisers Join Tucker Carlson Boycott

IHOP has become the latest advertiser to yank its ads from Tucker Carlson Tonight amid an outcry over the host's comments about immigrants. Advertisers have been leaving the Fox News show in droves since last week, when Carlson complained that admitting immigrants was making America "poorer, dirtier, and more divided." An IHOP rep said, "At our core, we stand for welcoming folks from all backgrounds and beliefs into our restaurants and continually evaluate ad placements to ensure they align with our values. In this case, we will no longer be advertising on this show." At least 10 other companies, including Ancestry.com and TD Ameritrade, have also pulled their ads from Carlson's show, though some, including Mitsubishi and John Deere, don't plan any changes. Carlson said on his show Monday that he would not be "intimidated" by the boycott, which he said was part of a liberal effort to silence him. He has the support of the network, which said in a statement that he was the target of "agenda-driven intimidation efforts." Yeah buddy they say that now but they also started boycotting Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly and you know what happened to them. Just sayin'. (Newser)

Urging Suicide is Never a Good Move

A New York state senator apologized for what he called a "poor choice of words" after sending a tweet to a legislative staffer urging her to commit suicide. Democrat Kevin Parker's tweet to Republican Senate aide Candice Giove consisted of only two words: "Kill yourself!" It came after Giove took to Twitter to accuse Parker of misusing a Senate parking placard in Manhattan. Parker quickly deleted the tweet and later apologized in another message sent to Giove writing, "I used a poor choice of words. Suicide is a serious thing and should not be made light of." Commenters on Twitter quickly condemned the remarks, with some urging Parker to resign. The Senate's incoming leader, Democrat Andrea Stewart-Cousins, released a statement welcoming Parker's apology. "I was disappointed in Senator Parker's tweet," Stewart-Cousins wrote. "Suicide is a serious issue and should not be joked about in this manner. I am glad that he has apologized." Giove is a spokeswoman for the Senate's Republican conference. The Senate's Republican leader, Long Island Sen. John Flanagan, called on Parker's Democratic colleagues to "reprimand" him for the comments. (Newser)

Glitter Bomb - 1, Porch Pirate - 0

Mark Rober felt violated when a package was stolen off his doorstep a few months back, so he decided to get revenge-in a big way. Rober, an engineer who has worked on NASA's Curiosity Rover, joined forces with a friend who makes custom circuit boards to create a high-tech decoy package. The package, which was designed to look like an Apple HomePod delivered via Amazon, combined a number of amazing features: It was a glitter bomb that shot glitter everywhere when it opened; it also sprayed fart spray every 30 seconds and recorded the whole experience from four different angles to ensure the thief's reaction upon opening the package was captured on video. Rober posted the resulting highly entertaining videos on his YouTube channel this week. Very worth watching. (USA Today)

What the What?

Turning on the engine and letting your car warm up before driving away is a regular rite of winter in cold climates like New Jersey. Unfortunately it is also now apparently against the law- well, if done for too long. Sparta Police Lt. John Lamon said it is not uncommon for an officer to spot a parked vehicle left running while the driver dashes inside a convenience store. However, usually, rather than hand out a ticket, Lamon said police will typically issue a warning and get a thankful, if slightly astonished, response. "A lot of people don't even know the law. They'll go, 'really?'" New Jersey prohibits idling -- defined as when the engine is running but the vehicle is not moving -- to no more than 3 minutes under most circumstances, with tickets starting at $100. The aim is safeguarding health and the environment. (NJ.com)

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