News & Information

News & Information

Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 to encourage generosity and altruism. The holidays are an ideal time to share our blessings and fortunes with others who may be less fortunate. Many charities find this time the busiest of the year and funds are needed to help the great work they do, hence #GivingTuesday couldn’t come at a more opportune time. Donations of any size can be life saving. However, some of us may be on very tight budgets and unable to donate money. No worries …. Giving Tuesday is not just about monetary donations. There are TONS of meaningful ways one can give to help others. Blood Donation The winter season is a challenging time for many of our blood banks and every 3 seconds, someone needs blood. When one donates a pint of blood it can help save up to 3 lives. And it doesn’t cost a cent. The American Red Cross is accepting blood donations. Local blood drives can be found at redcross.org. Vitalant has locations throughout the country that can accept your blood donation as well. Contact Vitalant here. Food Drives Collecting non perishable food items from your pantry, neighbors or coworkers can be done quickly, easily and when taken to a shelter or organization can feed hungry and malnourished people in your community. Clothing Drives How many of us have saved our clothes from high school hoping we’ll fit into them again? Well we won't ...so why hold on to a lost dream. Tons of clothes…
In Michigan, a 33 year old man named Alex Lavell Rawls (our suspect) kicked down a door in search of his ex-girlfriend. Perhaps obviously, he wasn’t there to rescue her. After a series of harassment and threats of violence against her, he decided to go kick her door down. So, Rawls goes over to her place to due her harm, not knowing that - she had already moved to another state in order to get away from his lunatic ass! Cut to: Rawls gets to her apartment and pounds on the door. Enter Ben Ball, 36. Ben is a regular kind of guy who likes regular kind of things - he goes to work, he plays video games, he watches cool things on TV and … oh yeah, he collects and practices in the use of medieval weaponry! You see, on the weekends, Ball and friends choreograph and video live re-enactments of savage Viking-esq warrior combat. Ball has a wide collection of medieval weapons in his apartment up to and including, as he puts its, “my baby,” and in this case, his baby is a replica double headed carbon steel battle axe. By “replica” I don’t mean fake. I mean, it’s an exact recreation of a battle axe that had been specifically designed to injure an armored knight. Or cut off limbs of an unarmored person. Keep that in mind. Back to Rawls. He heads over to his ex-girlfriend's house for some more harassing and threatening. He pounds on her…
Weird, but delightful news! Buck’s T-4 Lodge in Big Sky, Montana (about 45 minutes from Yellowstone National Park) had an uninvited guest wander into the motel and take a nap. A young black bear made his way into the ladies bathroom, climbed up on the sink and hung out for a while. In this case, “hung out” means, “took a huge dump.” Which is kind of hilarious. Staff tried their best to coax the bear out but the little bear that could was unfazed and opted to climb onto the sink and chill. Apparently, staff had heard the bear banging around outside and one even saw him through the window but no one actually expected the bear to climb up an outside wall and slip through a window into the building - which is precisely what the crafty little guy did. Which is how he ended up in the bathroom - and that’s how he was stuck. He was unable to climb back out and obviously didn’t understand how to open a door. So he pretty much decided to just take a nap on the sink. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officers were called in and had to tranquilize the bear but it sounds like the little guy was unharmed in the process and so officers picked up the sleeping bear and removed him from the hotel. Officers then checked his vitals and released him in a remote area of Montana. Talk about "smarter than the average, bear!" 
I don’t know about you but I was hoping to have a relaxing weekend of BBQ, beer and games. Instead, Hurricane Dorian was upgraded to a Category 5 and absolutely devastated the Bahamas. Dorian is expected to remain Category 5 and hit parts of Florida and Georgia but meteorologists hope a wind shift will push the hurricane a bit East and the two coasts will avoid the worst of the storm. Another mass shooting killing rampage happened, this time in West Texas. A 36 year old man was fired from his job and then, a few hours later started massacring citizens. At least 7 people were killed with another 20 wounded. It ended when police rammed the shooter’s vehicle and, as he tried to exit the stolen car, police shot him dead. A 75 foot boat called the Conception caught fire off the coast of Southern California. At least five people have been rescued but the ship was entirely ablaze and it looks unlikely rescuers will find other survivors. Approx. 30 people, maybe more, were on board. For thirteen weeks protestors in Hong Kong have been battle state authorities. That’s - thirteen weeks! Hong Kong is obviously a city in China but for more than a century it was a colony of the United Kingdom until 1997 when the British handed it back to China. The problem being is that Hong Kong still has a political and legal system based off British rule which is known as the Basic Law,…
Foodie showdown! For those who have not heard - the Impossible Burger is restaurants (and chains) hottest trend right now! If you’re unfamiliar with the Impossible Burger allow me to fill you in. The Impossible Burger is a meat free burger made entirely of soy, potato, flavored with plant molecules with added coconut and sunflower oils to give it that meat sizzle. If you want to learn more about the science behind the Impossible Burger head over to the main site of Impossible Foods, they can explain it much better than I. But, basically, it looks like a burger, tastes much like a burger and has just as much protein as a burger. Only, it’s not a burger and it doesn’t have an ounce of meat or use a drop of animal product. Vegetarians, vegans and even meat lovers are giving the Impossible Burger rave reviews and more and more fast food chains and restaurants are putting them on the menu. Well, the folks over at Arby’s have gone a different route and told media the roast beef loving chain will never sell “fake meat.” A rep for Arby’s went as far as saying: “The chances we will bring plant-based menu items to our restaurants, now or in the future, are absolutely impossible.” Fair enough, their motto is “We have the meats.” Um, okay. Of course, maybe that’s what they say today and maybe they’ll change their mind tomorrow. I mean, it does seem a bit weird to me that…
Jeffrey Epstein's cause of death has been ruled a suicide by hanging; however, there a series of conspiracy theories that suggest he was strangled. There are some distinct physical findings that would differentiate the two. 66 year-old Jeffrey Epstein, who recently pleaded not guilty of sex trafficking charges, was found dead in his jail cell on August 10. He had recently been on suicide watch and reports initially suggested he had hung himself by his bed sheet. However, the results of the financier’s autopsy suggest he sustained trauma consistent with hanging (after preliminary reports suggested strangulation). How do forensic experts tell the difference? Hanging With hanging, one drops from a height and suspends, incurring a fracture of a neck bone which in turn may sever the spinal cord. A severe blood pressure drop can ensue and the victim may die within minutes As seen above, a “hangman’s fracture” is seen with hyperextension injuries where the pars interarticularis on the pedicle of the C2 vertebrae becomes fractured. The distance of the drop is crucial in determining the success of the execution. A drop to long could cause beheading, a drop too short could cause strangulation. If they do strangulate ...they asphyxiate (lose air flow), or lose blood flow from their carotid arteries being compromised. From a capital punishment standpoint, hanging is one of the most common and barbaric ways to execute. Three states still have this form of execution as an option if lethal injection is not available (DE, NH, WA).…
This year the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association) predicts a “near-normal” hurricane season. According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, this season may have 9 to 15 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 4 to 8 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). June 1st marks the official start of Hurricane season and it runs until November 30th. September is usually the most active month. Hurricanes are categorized by their wind speed as designated as the following using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale: Category I have sustained winds of 74 to 95 mph Category II have sustained winds of 96 to 110 mph Category III have sustained winds of 111 to 129 mph Category IV have sustained winds of 130 to 156 mph Category V have sustained winds of over 157 mph Category III storms have known to cause “devastating” damage and Categories IV and V have been associated with “catastrophic” damage. In a given year, the Atlantic Ocean averages 12 named storms with 6 becoming “hurricanes” and 3 becoming “major” meaning a Category III or greater. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was at one point a Category V but when it hit landfall it was a Category 3, tragically killing over 1800 people and causing $108 billion in damage. The deadliest hurricane to ever hit US soil, however, was the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900…
Henry Ross Perot was an American’s American. He died this week at age 89. His 1992 and 1996 independent runs for President were a pre-curser for Donald Trump’s win in 2016. His legacy, however, is embodied in every American who ever took a risk and either succeeded or failed. Perot was largely successful. He started Electronic Data Systems with $1000 and experience at IBM as a salesman fresh out of the Navy. In 1984, he sold it to General Motors—the least entrepreneurial company in the United States—for $2.5-billion dollars. He got a seat on GM’s board and became its biggest shareholder. That’s when the fireworks started. Perot wanted GM to make better cars. He soon found out that GM Chairman Roger Smith regarded EDS as a shiny new thing. “At EDS when we see a snake we kill it. At GM they appoint a committee to study snakes,” was Perot’s comment. Smith soon had enough and the company coughed up another $750-million to get rid of the Texas provocateur once and for all. What GM didn’t get was a non-compete agreement. Perot soon started Perot Systems which was bought by Dell in 2009. One other thing about Perot was important. Being from Texas, he never lost touch with Middle America. No matter how rich he became, he never stopped being the guy from Texarkana whose Daddy was a cotton trader. He always understood that between the east coast and the west coast was a majority of Americans who worked hard,…
After a 67 year run, Mad magazine will cease publication and join its one time (and only real) rival publication Cracked magazine in going “the way of the dodo.” Cracked closed shop in 2007 and Mad magazine will no longer publish new content as of next month. Of course, “no longer publish NEW content” is far from “closing permanently.” Cracked ceased publication but evolved into a highly successful website: Cracked.com. Mad magazine will cease publishing “original content” and instead will revert to publishing “new” monthly issues that contain recycled material from its previous 67 year run. Of course, the “new” issues will still have original cover artwork and it sounds as if the planned end of the year “holiday” issue will actually have new art and new content. The other kicker is that Mad magazine will no longer be widely available in, say - supermarkets or bookstores. In order to receive a copy you will have to either subscribe or visit a specialty comic book shop (Mad magazine is now owned by DC comics). So, Mad magazine is not exactly ceasing all publication as reported at the beginning of the week. I mean, at least for now. A subscription based model that reprints recycled bits from Mad’s long history, um … miiiiiight work. But, probably not. Which is too bad because, like many, I grew up reading Mad (and Cracked) thinking that Mad host character Alfred E. Neuman and his moniker, “What, me worry” was pretty damn cool. Spy vs.…
Ah, internet. How I love you, and hate you at the same time. You have done so much right and so much wrong. And this Chipotle disaster is another case of wrong. Let’s set the scene: A few months ago at a Chipotle in St. Paul, MN, five young, black men in their early twenties come into the restaurant and order food. The manager, a twenty three year old woman named Dominique Moran, tells the five black men, “...you gotta pay (up front) because you never have any money when you come in here, boys.” Well, the boys were recording the interaction and, in the following two minute video (linked on the front), you see the boys claim they are being profiled and ask white customers “do you have to pay up front before you get your food?” This is a fair question. If Moran is only asking black men to pay up front, but not asking white customers the same thing - she’s probably doing something wrong. Right? Well, the boys left the restaurant and posted their various videos to social medial. At least one video went viral, one shot by Masud Ali, 21 (again, the one linked to the front page). There was an immediate and huge backlash against Moran with many rage comments calling her the “racist white manager,” and at targeting Chipotle itself for being racist and for racial profiling black men. Within 24 hours Chipotle issued an apology, stating: “This is not how we treat…
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