Here we are at another Friday the 13th. But why exactly is this day so unlucky? Is it because a really bad franchise of American horror films about a machete-wielding killer who never dies, and wears a hockey mask? Nope. Many people believe that the superstition is rooted in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. According to the Bible, Christ was betrayed on a Friday, and at the Last Supper there were 13 individuals present. However, we also have the stock market to blame for Friday 13th hysteria. A 1907 novel by Thomas W. Lawson called Friday, the Thirteenth helped spread awareness of the date. The novel is about a stockbroker who decides to create a financial panic around the date itself in order to take advantage of the result. Dan Brown book fans will also remember King Philip IV of France ordered the deaths of the Knights of the Templar on Friday, October 13, 1307. Yet in Spain and Greece, Tuesday 13th is thought to be the unlucky date, while Italians believe Friday 17th is a day of doom. Beyond all this, no one quite knows the logic behind why everyone should have something to fear on a particular date. But if you see a masked man in a ripped parka in a dark alleyway this Friday, you better run. (Metro)
Somebody Needs a Check Up... from the Neck Up
In Rockwall, Texas, pediatrician Dr. Kurt Pflieger has been suspended from his practice for a series of bizarre acts. The 20-year medical veteran reportedly showed up to work last week crying and wearing pajamas. Last January, Pflieger was roughhousing with a 2-year-old when he tried to throw him on his shoulder and missed, dropping the child to the ground, on his head. Pflieger had also started praying aloud and yelling the word "Satan" during visits with patients, along with wearing the same sweatpants and shirt to work three days in a row. He started bringing a dog into the office and rolling around with it in the hallways as patients and families walked through. The report also says he would show up late, miss appointments and often arrive with slurred speech. In a matter of weeks, he told a co-worker on one occasion he was late because he was having sex with his fiancee, slapped another co-worker on the rear, kissed another on the face, then called a staff meeting to announce he was now single. At one point he handed out prescription pads to the office staff to write them if they needed to, which is illegal. But he might be back. The suspension is considered temporary. (CBS/DFW)
Guess Who Just Joined the Cannabis Board?
When he was Speaker of the House, John Boehner was adamantly against marijuana legalization. In fact, in 2011, he said he was "unalterably opposed" to legalization out of a concern that it would "result in increased abuse of all varieties of drugs." Things have changed. It turns out he was only alterably opposed to it, because he's now joined the board of a cannabis operation. Acreage Holdings says it's "one of the nation's largest, multi-state actively-managed cannabis corporations" and that its "mission is to become the world's leading cannabis company, bringing safe, affordable cannabis to everyone who needs it." In a tweet announcing the move, Boehner said his views on the subject of cannabis, currently classified as a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level, have "evolved." He added, "I'm convinced de-scheduling the drug is needed so we can do research, help our veterans, and reverse the opioid epidemic ravaging our communities." Boehner also said that by de-scheduling cannabis, tension between federal policy and states that have legalized the drug will be reduced, thus allowing "research and testing from federally funded institutions" to be done. (Washington Post)
About That Vegetarian Diet...
A 50-year-old woman in Wuhan, China, was recently diagnosed with severe spinal neuron damage caused by a lack of vitamin B12. The woman had been on a strict vegetarian diet for over thirty years, and did not take any B12 supplements. She reportedly turned to a vegetarian diet in her 20s, in order to lose weight, and after seeing some truly amazing results, decided to stick with it for the rest of her life. Standing 5-foot 2-inches, the woman identified only as Chen told doctors that she used to weigh 121-pounds when she was young, but managed to drop to 100-pounds after becoming a vegetarian, a weight that she was proud of having maintained for over three decades. However, she never imagined that her seemingly healthy diet would put her at risk of becoming paralyzed. (Oddity Central)
You've Won a New Car... 50 Years From Now!
The Mexican town of Ojinaga has made international headlines for a rather unusual raffle. Instead of being awarded to the winner, the prize - a brand new car - was buried as a time capsule, to be used by the winner's relatives, 50 years from now. Who knows if we'll even be driving cars in 2068, but one Mexican family will be the lucky winner of a brand new, 2018 car built in the Ojinaga town square, earlier this month. Dubbed "El Viajero Del Tiempo" or The Time Traveler. It was filled up with photographs, handwritten letters and a bunch of things from 2018 for the people to discover, then lowered into a concrete-lined hole in the town square, using a large crane. It was then sealed in concrete. (Oddity Central)
The morning commute in the nation's capital was a little more stressful than normal yesterday after a naked man attacked two passengers on a D.C. Metro train. Metro Transit Police took the man into custody inside the Dupont Circle Metro Station after allegedly assaulting riders on the Red Line train. A witness who recorded the incident said he first spotted the naked man inside the Galley Place Metro Station located downtown, where the man first got on the train. Another witness said the naked man exited the train at DuPont and then did "naked calisthenics" on the platform. Police said the injuries to passengers are not believed to be serious, and an investigation is ongoing. Officials said the man may have been on some kind of drug at the time of the early-morning incident. Gee - ya think? (FOX)
For the second time in five months, an infant has been left in a baby box at a northwestern Indiana volunteer fire station. Lt. Chuck Kohler says he was on scene tending to the baby girl less than a minute after receiving a page Sunday night. The page alerted him that alarms had been triggered on the Safe Haven Baby Box at the Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department, near Michigan City. Kohler says everything worked as planned. The girl appeared healthy and was taken to a hospital for care. She'll be placed in the custody of the Indiana Department of Child Services. The padded, climate-controlled box was installed about two years ago. The program allows a mother to relinquish her newborn anonymously, without fear of prosecution. Another baby girl was safely rescued after being left in the box last November. (WFLA)
What the What?
Police say a 26-year-old Connecticut man with a crush on singer Taylor Swift robbed a bank and then went to the pop star's Rhode Island mansion where he threw cash over a fence in an attempt to impress her. Bruce Rowley, of Derby, has been charged with robbing an Ansonia, Connecticut, bank on April 4, the AP reports. Police say "it seemed he wanted to propose" to Swift, so he drove about 60 miles to Westerly, Rhode Island, and started throwing some of the roughly $1,600 he's charged with stealing over Swift's fence. Rowley was pursued by Rhode Island State Police back to Connecticut where he was arrested. That's where he allegedly told police about his plan. (Newser)