In an epic ironic twist, the owners of the website Mugshots.com are getting mugshots of their own. California authorities have arrested Sahar Sarid, Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie, Thomas Keesee, and David Usdan on charges of extortion, money laundering, and identity theft. Mugshots collects individuals' names, booking photos and charges from police websites, publishes the data online, and then charges a fee to remove it. When people see the mugshot online, their first instinct is to contact the site to get it down, only to be routed to another website called Unpublisharrest.com which charges a fee, usually $399, to have the content removed. Mugshots publishes the photo even if charges were dismissed or the arrest was made in error. There are other sites like Mugshots, which has allegedly raked in more than $2.4 million in fees from at least 5,703 people in the last three years, reports the Washington Post. In 2014 California passed a law that makes it illegal to charge a fee for mugshot removal, and other states have similar legislation, but websites have ignored the laws or figured out how to work around them. The release of incriminating information can take an enormous toll. One widow said in an affidavit that she tried to get the site to remove the mugshot of her husband, who was never charged with a crime and later committed suicide. She said, "They are profiting from people's pain." (Washington Post)
Royal Shells and Cheese
The fine folks at Velveeta know a solid marketing opportunity when they see one. They're now rolling out a new product in honor of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's weekend wedding - a "luxurious, extra indulgent" special edition of its Shells & Cheese product - but the macaroni will be in the shape of crowns! That's not all you'll get. The fancy package also comes with a gold-plated spoon and wrapped up in a large gold foil box. No word on the cost or where to buy just yet... but keep your eye out! (Newser)
Maybe It Was an Emotional Support Explosive Drone
For some reason, we're just now getting word of this, but it seems back in April 2015, employees from AeroVironment allegedly brought a drone with explosives attached to it in a carry-on bag, on a Delta commercial flight. The flight had 230 passengers and when another employee, Mark Anderson, discovered this and reported it to the Department of Defense a month later, he said he was punished, stripped of his responsibilities and then fired without a severance package. AeroVironment counts the US government as a major customer and has supplied the Navy with submarine-launched spy drones. A recent report from the company said that over half of its income is from being a government contractor. It's pretty easy, if not more than a little predictable, to see why the company reacted to Anderson's claims the way it did. For its part, the company says that the complaint is "baseless" and that the legal claims are without merit. (Engadget.com)
That Smell Though!
It's perhaps one of the most recognizable scents from childhood - and Hasbro has now trademarked the scent of Play-doh. The toy company has announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office has recognized Play-doh's distinctive smell with a registered trademark, something rarely issued for a scent. The Rhode Island toymaker describes it as a "sweet, slightly musky, vanilla fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, combined with the smell of a salted, wheat-based dough." The Play-doh brand has been around since 1956 and Hasbro applied for the scent trademark last year. The company says in a news release that the smell "has always been synonymous with childhood and fun" and explains that the trademark allows it to protect "an invaluable point of connection between the brand and fans." There are already some Play-doh-scented products available online, including cologne and soy candles. (Newser)
Places to Not Hide Your Cocaine
Meanwhile in London, 19-year-old George Cassidy, a popular teenage beautician, died after hiding a bag of cocaine in her mouth after being pulled over by police at a routine check stop. The police found nothing suspicious during the check and the car was allowed to drive away soon after. But Cassidy suffered from a serious seizure later the same day and was rushed to a hospital where she died from cocaine toxicity three days later. Coroner André Rebello reassured Cassidy's family there was "no suggestion that she had any connection with drugs", adding: "Tragically, her death has occurred from an accident." He went on to lambast drug dealers who profit from pushing drugs onto young people, telling the family: "Clearly the only people that benefit out of these tragic events are [...] the drug dealers and the people at the top of the chain. (Echo)
Royal Wedding Swag Bags
If you watched, you probably already know that Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba, George and Amal Clooney, the Beckhams, and Serena Williams were among the hundreds of celebrities, royalty, and other guests who trickled in Saturday to St. George's Chapel for Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle. And what's a party without goodie bags? Yes, the more high-profile guests left with plenty of royal swag, stuffed into little tote bags with bright-blue handles and dressed with an "HM" crest. Among the contents: a large chocolate coin with Harry and Meghan's initials, shortbread, a bottle of water (the ceremony could be a long one), a shopping coupon, and even a fridge magnet. Also waiting for the guests allowed inside the castle: some hot coffee and bacon "butty," which is basically what we Americans call a bacon sandwich. (Business Insider)
What the What?
In Dallas, Texas, 25-year-old Sidney Bouvier Gilstrap-Portley passed himself off as a teenager and enrolled at the Skyline High School last year, claiming to be a Hurricane Harvey refugee named Rashun Richardson. He did this for one reason - so he could once again relive his glory days as a teen basketball player. He joined the school's basketball team, became its star player and was voted the District 11-5A offensive player of the year for the 2017-2018 season. Unfortunately for Sidney, his love for basketball proved to be his undoing. Last month, one of his old coaches from North Mesquite High School recognized him during a game and told the Hillcrest coach that "one of my former players who graduated a long time ago is playing for you." Police were called and Gilstrap-Portley was arrested on charges of tampering with government records, but has since bonded out, according to court documents. He has no previous criminal history. (FOX 4)