Going to be spending Valentine's Day alone this year - because someone done you wrong? Well you might be interested in a most ingenious promotion from the El Paso Zoo in Texas. They call it the "Quit Bugging Me" event and the plan is this: You can submit the name of your ex (or a friend's ex) on the zoo's Facebook page. They will then use those names to name cockroaches, which will then be fed to the zoo's meerkats at 2:15pm on Valentine's Day! What a wonderful release of pain and anger, watching your ex's namesake being fed live to hungry meerkats! El Paso Zoo Event Coordinator Sarah Borrego said, "This is a fun way to get the community involved in our daily enrichment activities. The meerkats love to get cockroaches as a snack and what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than by feeding them a cockroach named after your ex!" The public is invited to attend the "Quit Bugging Me" event. The zoo will also show the event on Facebook Live and the meerkat webcam available on the zoo's website www.elpasozoo.org. No word on how the cockroaches feel about all this. (WLOS)
Having Trouble Conceiving? Get High!
Are you having trouble conceiving? Well new research out of Harvard finds that men who have used marijuana have higher sperm counts than those who haven't. To get there, lead author Feiby Nassan and her team studied 662 men, all of whom were seen with their partners at the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center between 2000 and 2017. In addition to providing a total of 1,143 semen samples, they answered questions about previous marijuana use. About 55% said they had smoked at least 2 joints in their life; the rest said they had never smoked. The team found those who had smoked pot had sperm concentrations of 62.7 million per milliliter, compared to about 45.4 million per milliliter for those who had not. Nassan cautioned that the research unearthed only correlation, not causation, and she shared some thoughts: It's possible that the detrimental effects hold true for frequent smokers, which is what previous studies have tended to look at. Sorry, I'm only seeing one takeaway here: Get high, get pregnant! (Quartz)
Woman Killed Preparing for Garage Sale
Police in the Houston suburb of Tomball say 29-year-old Elizabeth Barraza was shot four times at point-blank range in the driveway of her home a little before 7am on Jan. 25 as she was preparing for a garage sale. A neighbor's security camera video shows somebody who had been driving a dark-colored Nissan Frontier pickup walk up to Barraza and speak to her before opening fire. The truck pulled up just four minutes after her husband Sergio Barraza left for work. She was having the garage sale to make some money for their upcoming fifth anniversary. Elizabeth's grieving husband said, "I had to trade our fifth anniversary for her funeral." Police don't know if the attack was random or targeted, but the couple hadn't advertised the garage sale, apart from signs put up earlier that morning. Barraza was pronounced dead at Memorial Hermann hospital, where she and her husband were volunteers for a group that works with Make-a-Wish. "It is so sad my wife passed away in the same hospital we did so many hours of volunteering at," Sergio Barraza says. A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest. (ABC News)
Delta and Coke Get Full-On Creepy!
Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola say they were just trying to encourage a little "old school flirting." Customers have a different take: you're creepy! It seems the two companies starting passing out Diet Coke napkins that encouraged people to write down their phone number on them and hand them to their "plane crush." The napkins read: "Because, you're on a plane full of interesting people and hey... you never know." Of course Twitter blew up. Comments were similar to this one: "Pretty sure no one appreciated unsolicited phone numbers in the ‘good old days' and they sure as heck don't want the number of someone who has been gawking at them on a plane for hours today." Both companies have issued apologies. Delta admitted the napkins "missed the mark," while Coke said it "sincerely apologized for any offense." But not everybody hated the idea. One traveler requested that Delta ship her a box of the napkins so she can "use them everywhere." (Fox News)
It's Getting' Hot in Here, So Take Off All Your Carbon Emissions
You think last year was hot? Well, scientists have confirmed it was the earth's fourth-warmest year on record. But meteorologists say you ain't seen nothing yet. They are predicting the next five years will be much hotter, maybe even record-breaking. Two US agencies, the United Kingdom Met Office, and the World Meteorological Organization analyzed global temperatures in slightly different ways, but each came to the same conclusion: 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record behind 2016, 2015, and 2017. The US government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said 2018's average temperature was 58.42 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 1.42 degrees warmer than the 20th-century average. Records go back to 1880. Potsdam Institute climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf said, "Those who live in denial of this fact are in denial of physics." Using computer simulations, the British weather office forecasts that the next five years will average somewhere between 58.51 and 59.49 degrees. That would be warmer than the last four years. Outside scientists, such as Natalie Mahowald of Cornell University, said the forecast is consistent with what researchers know about warming and natural variability. (Newser)
Wanna Guess How Much Netflix Paid in Federal Taxes Last Year?
Whatever you paid for Netflix last year - either $8.99 for basic, $12.99 for standard, or splurged for the $15.99 premium package - that amount is still far more than they paid in Federal and local taxes! Matthew Gardner, ITEP senior fellow at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) said, "The popular video streaming service Netflix posted its largest-ever U.S. profit in 2018-$845 million-on which it didn't pay a dime in federal or state income taxes." Not a dime. Not one penny. He added, "When hugely profitable corporations avoid tax, that means smaller businesses and working families must make up the difference." He also pointed out that in fact, Netflix reported a "$22 million federal income tax rebate." So how does this happen? Well, it's that Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that Congress passed and Trump signed into law in December of 2017. As companies are finally releasing their complete 2018 earnings reports-which Netflix did last month-the public is finally getting a look at just how well some of the nation's most profitable corporations are making out. While the bill was sold to the voting public by promising lower corporate rates would be offset by the closure of loopholes, Gardner says Netflix is a test case for how bogus those promises were. (Alternet.org)
What the What?
Well we've got a new "End of the World" date: December 28, 2019! And of course, the source for this amazing prophecy is none other David Montaigne, a guy who has written multiple books about the end times, and bills himself as a historian and "prophecy scholar." Let's set aside for a moment the fact that none of David's previous "the world is ending" claims ever came true - the most recent being June of 2016. According to Montaigne, an astronomical alignment in December will create a series of events such as earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, and massive sharknadoes. On December 21, 2019, those who survived all that will experience the first day of a pole shift - when the entire surface of the planet will shift out of position and move over the more fluid layers beneath the crust. Over the next few days this will cause more earthquakes and tidal waves and volcanic activity which will almost completely destroy what is left of our civilization. It gets worse each day until the natural disasters culminate on December 28 - Judgment Day. In his most recent blog post David asks the question: "Are My Books Being Discredited Because I'm Actually Onto Something Important?" No Dave. To be discredited, your books would have to have been considered credible to begin with. Sadlty - they are not. (AScienceEnthusiast.com)