Fun In the News

Funny News Stories from Around the World:

Everyone who suffers from PTSD or trauma , or anyone who knows someone with PTSD and trauma; knows how stressful things can get. Things can seem overwhelming and at times unbearable. This page is dedicated to bringing funny and zany news stories from around the world to the spotlight, to provide a brief moment of relief. Enjoy and smile at the world below!



Kurt Cobain's cigarette-burned sweater sells for $334,000  afp.com


A quarter century after grunge's enigmatic rhapsodist took his own life, Kurt Cobain's iconic cigarette-singed cardigan worn during Nirvana's 1993 "Unplugged" performance has sold for $334,000. The tattered, olive-green, Manhattan-brand, button-up sweater, which has never been washed since Cobain wore it, came with dark stains and a burn hole.


The seller, Garrett Kletjian, owner of Forty7 Motorsports, bought it four years ago for $137,500. "This cardigan, it's the holy grail of any article of clothing that he ever wore," said Darren Julien, CEO and president of Julien's Auctions.


"Kurt created the grunge look; he didn't wear show clothes," Julien told AFP at a New York exhibition preview.



The auction house had predicted it would fetch $200,000-300,000.


The music cable channel MTV began its "Unplugged" series in 1989, recording live performances of acts that generally played their normally electrified music on sparse acoustics. Cobain's haunting "Unplugged" performance with Nirvana -- recorded less than six months before his suicide at age 27 -- is considered one of the most iconic shows of the series, and was released posthumously.  Already deep into an emotional, drug-addled downward spiral, the depressive but singular talent with ocean-blue eyes reportedly lamented to "Unplugged" programmer Amy Finnerty after the set that the audience seemed not to like the show.

"Kurt," she told him, "they think you are Jesus Christ." Cobain's left-handed Fender Mustang guitar, which he used during the band's "In Utero" tour, sold for $340,000.




'Justice for Jerry': Runaway bull charms Croatia afp.com


The plight of a fugitive one-year-old bull named Jerry has won hearts in Croatia after the animal escaped from a slaughterhouse last Friday and has been on the lam ever since. Charmed by the 650-kilogramme (1,433-pound) brown bovine's jailbreak, Croatians are calling for his life to spared.


"Justice for Jerry" and "Hang in there Jerry!" read some of the comments rooting for the bull on social media. A cat-and-mouse game has emerged as police, veterinarians and hunters help search for the bull, who was nicknamed after the mouse in the iconic Tom and Jerry cartoon series.


The bull's owner, Ivan Bozic, has pledged to save the animal's life if he is captured.


"Since he managed to escape a certain death he will certainly stay alive," he told local media. The owner of the slaughterhouse, based outside the coastal town of Split, said he is still baffled at how the animal managed to escape. "I simply don't know how it happened. Apparently, pure force defeated technology," Petar Skejo told local media of how the bull appeared to have slipped out of a corral where cattle intended for slaughter are kept.


He took off into the woods and was later seen by locals near a hill, but again evaded capture. "We wanted to catch him alive but when we approached him he jumped skilfully like a cat on a rock... and disappeared in the bushes," Skejo told state-run HRT television. One politician, MP Ivan Pernar, has also come out in support for the beast.  "Jerry I wish you all the luck in the world," he wrote on Facebook.





Cancer Patient Wins $200K Lottery on Way to Last Chemo Round Inside Edition Staff


A North Carolina man who finished his last round of chemotherapy has many reasons to celebrate — especially after winning the lottery on his way to the final treatment. Ronnie Foster bought some lottery tickets at a convenience story in Beulaville last week. When he won $5 from the first scratch off, he used his winnings to buy another ticket. Then, at the "last minute," he decided to shell out for a third ticket.  He snagged a $200,000 prize with the last one.


"I was happy because it was my last round of chemo. Winning this made it my lucky day," Foster said, according to the North Carolina Education Lottery. "I saw all those zeroes and I froze. ... I started shaking. I couldn't believe it."Foster, a retired Department of Transportation worker, found out he had colon cancer in January, CBS News reported. After having surgery in February, he started chemo therapy. With his big win j ust before starting his final treatment, he wasn't sure if it was a good omen so much as being in "the right place at the right time."


After taxes, Foster went home with a total of $141,501. He said he wants to use the money to help pay off his medical bills. He also wants to put some into savings, and maybe buy a new lawnmower and car.

A Seattle man broke into an office building, ate $200 worth of chocolate, and collapsed in a sugar coma Mack DeGeurin

A man attempting to break into a financial building earlier this month was thwarted by his own gluttonous appetite. The unnamed 44-year-old man snuck into a downtown Seattle office building just before 7 p.m. on October 3, according to a Seattle Police blotter, took the elevator up to a financial services office, and shook the doors open. An employee in the office at the time saw the man and hid.

The suspect then went into an office, moved a painting on the wall, and discovered his Kryptonite - a glistening glass bowl filled with gourmet chocolates. The hidden employee saw the man make his way over to the bowl and scarf down the treats. He ate an estimated $200 worth of luxury chocolates. And then, in the midst of an apparent sugar coma, he took a nap.

"You'll have to kill me to take me to jail"


By the time security arrived on the scene, the man had reportedly stripped off his shoes, jacket, and watch and was sprawled out on an office couch. When security attempted to remove him from the office, the man reportedly yelled, "you'll have to kill me to take me to jail," but he quickly gave up. The man was arrested on suspicion of burglary, malicious mischief and two other warrants.


The Seattle Police Department did not immediately respond to Insider's

request for comment about the man. 




Teen breaks into German prison in bid to win back jailed ex AP


BERLIN — A teenager has broken into a German prison in an attempt to win back his ex-girlfriend. Prison authorities in the northwestern town of Vechta told news agency dpa the 18-year-old scaled a 4-meter (13-foot) wall last week to get to his ex's window.


Prison officials intercepted the man. He refused to climb back down, and the fire service was called to bring him down with a ladder. It wasn't clear whether the escapade succeeded in winning back the heart of the young woman, also 18, who had broken up with him by phone. The man is being investigated for trespassing and unauthorized contact with prisoners.


Regional broadcaster NDR reported that the man was half-naked, having taken off many of his clothes to avoid getting caught on barbed wire.





This Is How Much the Queen’s Coronation Crown Is Worth Ellen Gutoskey


St. Edward’s Crown, worn briefly by the new British monarch during their coronation ceremony, is the crown jewel of all the Crown Jewels—the crowns, robes, scepters, and other ceremonial items that have been housed in the Tower of London for centuries.


Weighing nearly five pounds, the opulent headgear comprises gold, velvet, ermine, and a plethora of glittering gemstones. And for the first 300 years of the crown's existence, those gemstones were just loaners, temporarily set in the crown for the coronation and returned immediately afterward. That changed in 1911, when the monarchy invested in a permanent collection of gems for the crown before the coronation of George V, Elizabeth II’s grandfather.


With sapphires, topaz, amethysts, and more, you can safely assume that this bejeweled hat would be pretty pricey to recreate for your Halloween costume. But when it comes to putting an actual price on the item, it’s not as simple as it seems. First, because the Crown Jewels are considered too historically important to ascribe a value to, there are no official figures attributed to them individually—the worth of the entire collection, St. Edward’s Crown included, is estimated to be more than $3.5 billion. Second, a professional gem valuer would need to remove and inspect each gem from the crown in order to properly evaluate their worth.


Having said that, there are other resources that we can use to form an educated guess. With the help of Dr. Roger Harding’s book The Crown Jewels, the International Gem Society’s gem size guide, the catalog of the Queen’s fabric supplier, and several other reference materials, CashNetUSA’s blog SavingSpot virtually deconstructed St. Edward’s Crown and estimated the value of every single part to come up with a ballpark price for the genuinely priceless piece.


Based on their calculations, the crown costs a respectable $4,519,709. The most expensive components are its seven sapphires, which total $2,142,000, followed by 26 tourmaline stones, which came in at $345,000. The 22-karat gold, responsible for most of the crown’s weight, only costs about $87,000. Wondering if there’s any single element of St. Edward’s Crown that you could afford? Surprisingly, yes—the vibrant, lush velvet is worth only $3, and that characteristically regal ermine ring would set you back just $34.





 Man gets prison for stealing lemur from California zoo AP


SANTA ANA, Calif.— A man who admitted stealing a ring-tailed lemur from a Southern California zoo has been sentenced to three months in federal prison.


Aquinas Kasbar of Newport Beach on Monday was also ordered to pay more than $8,000 in restitution to the Santa Ana Zoo. The 19-year-old pleaded guilty in July to one misdemeanor count of unlawfully taking an endangered species. In a plea agreement, Kasbar acknowledged that he broke into the zoo, cut a hole in an enclosure and took 32-year-old Isaac, the oldest captive ring-tailed lemur in North America.


The animal was placed in a container with no ventilation and later abandoned at a hotel with notes identifying it as having been taken from the zoo. It was returned unharmed. Ring-tailed lemurs are native to Madagascar and among the 25 most endangered primates.





Oxford University’s Student Union Is Replacing Clapping With Jazz Hands Ellen Gutoskey


On Tuesday, the University of Oxford student union voted in favor of silent applause. Instead of clapping, yelling, or other noises, audiences will now show their support with jazz hands. Metro reports that the decision was made in order to foster a more sensitive, inclusive environment for students with anxiety or other disorders who might be triggered by loud noises. Jazz hands, a hand-waving motion popularized on stage and screen by choreographer Bob Fosse, is the British Sign Language expression for applause.


According to The Oxford Student, noises like whooping and clapping “are argued to present an access issue for some disabled students who have anxiety disorders, sensory sensitivity, and/or those who use hearing impairment aids.” Considering that the motion was made during the very first meeting of the year, it definitely seemslike an especially important cause to students. As officer Róisín McCallion told Metro, “Inclusivity is one of the Students’ Union’s founding principles.”


The clapping ban will be specific to student union events at first, and the officers hope to expand it to other university events if it’s successful. Oxford isn’t the first institution to enact such a mandate. According to The Telegraph, the National Union of Students in the UK started using jazz hands back in 2015, and the Manchester University student union sanctioned a clapping ban just last year. Noise sensitivity is a good example of an issue that we might not always realize is actually a sign of anxiety—here are some other common problems that can be related to the disorder.



Croatian turns garden into site for plane parties  afp.com


In the middle of a tiny village in northwestern Croatia lies a Fokker-100 plane parked in a local resident's garden, but after 23 years of travelling the world, the aircraft will not be going anywhere.


Plane enthusiast Robert Sedlar, 50, and his friends are finding a new use for the aircraft by transforming it into a tourist attraction where it will be rented out for all sorts of events and parties. Cars slow down to view the scene that resembles an accident site in the picturesque hilly village of Strmec Stubicki, The Dutch jet, made in 1991 and retired in 2014, was used by companies in Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil and Croatia.

 Sedlar, a construction engineer, did not want to disclose the amount he paid for the aircraft.  He said he plans to rent it for events such as weddings and children's parties.


He told AFP that "parking" a plane next to his house in the village of 760 inhabitants was an "idea from his childhood, born out of a love for planes". The aircraft, built to carry 100 passengers, is currently stripped of all seats, engines and cockpit equipment. All that remains are the throttles.


Getting the plane from Osijek airport, 340 kilometres (211 miles) from the village was a big operation."Because of its exceptional dimensions, a span of 28 metres and a length of 34.5 metres (91 by 113 feet), we had to break it down into several pieces to transport it," Sedlar said.


It took six weekends to break down the plane and five days to transport it. "Now, we reconstruct it, we will repair the damaged parts of the hull, before painting it... In the cockpit, we will put two flight simulators," he said. The plane enthusiast has set March 8 as the opening date, the same day as his 51st birthday and International Women's Day.




Unique guitar-shaped hotel opens at Florida Seminole casino By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press


HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — It looks like the guitar Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page played. But this one is 450 feet (137 meters) tall and is a light-beam hotel that the Seminole Tribe wants to become South Florida's latest tourist destination.


The Guitar Hotel's grand opening is Thursday on the tribe's land in Hollywood. It's the latest step in the Seminole Hard Rock empire, which includes naming rights on the Miami-area stadium where the 2020 Super Bowl will be played. It's a unique addition to South Florida's tourist landscape and no hotel is like it in the world. It has more than 600 rooms and at night, beams of light will mimic the strings of the guitar.

The $1.5 billion project also has a refurbished venue for concerts and other events, starting with Maroon 5 on Friday.




TV reporter fired after climbing on cars live at auto show Sven Gustafson


TV news is no stranger to using stunts to attract eyeballs — think reporters struggling to do standups in roaring hurricanes and pouring rain — but this will make enthusiasts and automotive journalists cringe. It’s a live segment that happened Sunday on the final day of the Sacramento International Auto Show on “Good Day Sacramento” on KMAX-TV, a CW station which is owned by CBS. And it reportedly got the correspondent, Angel Cardenas, fired.


The roughly four-minute segment begins with Cardenas stumbling on the lead-off question from the anchors back in the studio about how many cars were on display at the show, and it quickly goes downhill from there.


“No one is out here to tell me which car I can’t go in, because some of these are off-limits, so I’m just gonna live on the wild side,” Cardenas, who appears on camera in an untucked white shirt and tie, says as he hoists himself onto the rear of a privately owned yellow, 1950s-era Ford Thunderbird and reclines. “Tell me what you think about this pose here, Tina.” He adds, “I feel like a kid in a candy store without the owner because you can do anything.”


Next, Cardenas opens the door of a pink 1957 Thunderbird, dinging the door of another T-bird parked right beside it, then plops himself into the driver seat. Later, he asks a woman staffing the Ford kiosk if he can go pose on the hood of a 2020 Ford Explorer despite acknowledging a sign asking people to keep off the display. He then saunters over to the turntable, slides under the railing and hops onto the hood — but not before having to be corrected by one of the anchors in the studio about the show’s closing time for the day. “I would get off that now,” one of the female anchors is heard saying. And he does, apparently prompted by someone we can’t hear off camera.


The whole segment is like watching a slow-motion train wreck, though it’s worth pointing out that the show’s Twitter bio describes it in part as “unscripted zaniness with a side of news.” Viewers were not amused, however, and reportedly flooded the station and its social media accounts with complaints. The station removed the video of the segment from its website. The auto show itself said it received notice on Monday that Cardenas had been sacked, and his bio no longer appears on the show’s website, though neither the station nor CBS has commented on the matter.




Man gets postcard 28 years after he sent it to parents letting them know he’d arrived safely in Spain  James Rodger


A decorator was left stunned after he received a postcard he had sent to his parents while on holiday in Spain - 28 years ago. Jim Green, who lives in his parents former home, was rifling through his mail earlier this month when he discovered a postcard from Benidorm dated from September 1991. Baffled Jim, 66, took a closer look and realised it was a postcard sent from his former 39-year-old self to his parents letting them know he had arrived safely on his holiday.


The letter, dated September 12, 1991, read: "To Mum and Dad. Had a good flight over. Everything's ok. Good hotel, weather etc. Weather has been very hot. Hope cats are ok. Must close now, love Jim." Jim lives at the family home in Braintree, Essex, with his decorator brother Christopher Green, 61, and Christopher's partner Anna Dollimore, 59 who is a full-time carer for her mum.


The postcard arrived on Thursday morning (October 17), whilst Christopher was watching TV.

Jim said: "I picked up the letter and my first thought was: 'Who is in Benidorm?' Then I looked at the date and realised it was 28 years late! I was amazed! "Then I realised that I had written it to tell my parents I had arrived to Benidorm safely.


"When I was younger I used to go on holiday. I remember I was single at the time and I went with my friend who was also single and a married couple. "I can't really remember writing it but I know I would have sent it fairly early on in the holiday.


"With these kind of things, you always say it's a great holiday but actually it wasn't good at all! We were quite on a high floor in the hotel and we couldn't get hot water- in fact we were struggling to get cold water! "We had to buy bottles of water just to wash. Eventually we got it sorted, I think we actually moved rooms!

"One day, we went down the road and we went into this bar. We all fancied strawberries in cream but it wasn't a good idea because we all had tummy bugs. My friend had it for quite a while!" Jim's mother, Winifred, died five years ago and his father, Christopher, died in 1997.  He said: "My dad would have just said: 'Well that's just the post for you!'


"They never really went abroad on holiday, they used to go to the seaside at Clacton or Maldon or go on coach trips. I think at the time there weren't many people that went away for holidays. "I suppose it gave them an idea of what Benidorm looked like."


Generations of Jim's family have lived in the Essex neighbourhood of Finchingfield, going back as far as the mid-1800s. Jim lived with his parents before taking over tenancy of the family house after his mother died. Although the surprise delivery certainly put on a smile on Jim's face, he is still non the wiser as to why it appeared on his doormat so late.


He added: "I don't know why it arrived after this length of time. Whether it got lost over here or whether it got lost over here, I don't know. "I'm still trying to figure out why the delay was that long, I don't think we'll ever know what really happened. I think it would be pretty hard to trace it back."


The postcard, which has pictures of sunny Benidorm on the front, now takes pride of place on his mantlepiece next to a Victorian clock owned by Jim's grandfather. A spokesman for Royal Mail said: "It is difficult to speculate what may have happened to this item of mail, but it is likely that it was put back into the postal system by someone recently, rather than it being lost or stuck somewhere.


"Royal Mail regularly checks all its delivery offices and clears its processing machines daily. Once an item is in the postal system then it will be delivered to the address on the card."




Eagle nearly bankrupts Russian tracking programme with roaming text messages  Alec Luhn


A steppe eagle has nearly bankrupted a Russian bird-tracking programme with roaming text messages after he flew to Iran and began transmitting backlogged GPS data. Scientists from the Siberian Environmental Centre were forced to turn to crowdfunding, with donations flooding in since the story made national news.

Named “Min” after his birthplace near the city of Minusinsk, the steppe eagle was fitted with a GPS tracker powered by a miniature solar panel in 2018. 


A project by the Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network is tracking 13 of the endangered eagles to better understand what threats they face during their migration south to countries in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Outfitted with a mobile phone card, the tracker takes an eagle's location 12 times a day and texts the coordinates to the researchers' number in four messages. If the bird is outside mobile coverage area, as is often the case, it stores the data to text once it comes back in range. 


After spending most of this summer out of coverage in western Kazakhstan, Min flew to Iran so quickly earlier this month that his tracker still couldn't get a mobile connection. Once he landed near a rubbish dump in Iran, it began sending hundreds of text messages of GPS data, costing the programme's shoestring budget up to 7,000 roubles (£85) a day. Each text from Iran is priced at 49 roubles, about 25 times more than in Russia and three times more than in Kazakhstan. Min's data quickly used up all the researchers' phone credit, which had already been depleted by three other eagles that flew to Iran, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, SibEco Centre ornithologist Yelena Shnaider told The Telegraph. The researchers even had to take out a loan.

“He wasn't in touch all summer … We were happy to get a text from him,” she said. “We had expected to get it from Kazakhstan but suddenly he's in Iran, and we started to get his summer locations at three times the price.”


“But Min's a good boy, about a week ago he left Iran and went to Saudi Arabia where it's cheaper,” she added. Since she called on supporters to “put money on the eagle's phone,” more than 250,000 roubles (£3,000) have been raised, enough to track all 13 birds through the end of the year. Featured on the flags of Egypt and Kazakhstan, the steppe eagle can have a wingspan of more than seven feet and preys upon small mammals and birds in the plains and deserts of Eurasia. It was once found as far west as Ukraine, but its numbers have plummeted in recent years. The species was updated to critically endangered on the IUCN red list in 2015, thanks in part to Russian tracking programmes. 


During a long yearly migration south to countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, the bird often comes across dangerous power lines or poison traps that farmers put out for wolves and other predators. Not above scavenging from carcasses, it is also highly vulnerable to the veterinary drug diclofenac, which has already killed off 99 per cent of India's white-rumped vulture population. Tracking the steppe eagles will help environmentalists identify problem areas, Ms Shnaider said. Farmers can be fined for putting out illegal poisons, and companies can be pressured to put bird protecting insulation around power lines. 


“During wintering and migration the steppe eagle meets many dangers, and we can't neutralise these dangers across its whole range, but we can focus our efforts on concrete points,” she said. “The main threats are poison and electrocution and illegal hunting, too.”





Dad of 3 Posts Viral Letter About the Things He Would Have Told His 'Childless Self'              

  MAYA CHUNG


A dad shared a letter to his “24-year-old childless self" in a heartwarming Facebook post.

 

After the birth of his third child this past summer, Ted Gonder, 29, said he was able to enjoy paternity leave and ponder what he’d learned throughout the years of being a husband and dad. One of the major lessons was, “Wifey carried baby IN her belly for 9 months. So you carry baby ON your belly for 9 months every chance you get. Not only does it help her recover but it bonds you to your kid more than imaginable.”


Along with, “Make her the decaf coffee every morning. Even if she leaves it cold and forgets to drink it most mornings because she falls back asleep while you're working or (later) taking the kids to school. She was up all night feeding the baby so help start her day in a way that helps her reset.”


Gonder, who lives in Germany with his family, said he wrote the post because it has been hard for him to find “good dad advice” along his journey. Some of the other tips included: "Tell her she’s beautiful when she doesn’t feel like it, take the heat [because] hormones are crazy pre and post birth," and "change every diaper you can."


These tips have helped his family thrive, he said.


“I’ve become more comfortable and intuitively attuned to my kids now than I was at the beginning, and that is just what happens with experience,” Gonder told InsideEdition.com. “More interesting has been how my wife and I have grown as a team. We choose every day to invest in each other, support each other’s goals, and lean into ‘difficult’ conversations.”


The dad said he wasn’t expecting the post to go viral, but he now he sees why it did. “The topic struck a chord with folks because it hits on a lot of themes that are important today: gender equality, masculinity, and modern parenting,” Gonder said. “Thousands of people wrote to me and my wife to share their stories and it was so enlightening.”


The post has been shared more than 55,000 times. 


“Truly disturbing to hear of how many men decide to ignore their partners’ and kids’ needs. They don’t know what they’re missing! But on the other hand it was so encouraging to see literally hundreds of thousands of women tagged their partners thanking them for being their rock,” he added.





A woman's 'please hide packages from my husband' doormat went viral after UPS honored her request Anneta Konstantinides


But one woman's doormat asking postal workers to "please hide packages from my husband" has gone viral after UPS actually honored her request. Ebony Freeman told Insider that she "laughed out loud" when she found a package placed underneath the mat in front of her home in Mineola, Texas. The delivery was a huge roll of AstroTurf, wrapped in bright-blue packaging, that stuck out from both sides of the rug.

  

"We don't use our front door all the time, so when I walked around from the garage it was a hilarious surprise," Freeman said. She immediately posted a picture of the package and mat on Facebook and tagged her friend Amanda Harper, who bought the mat from the Etsy shop Crafty Indy Gal as a gift for Freeman. "Amanda Harper Oh my god look! The UPS guy actually hid it under the rug!" Freeman wrote in the Facebook post, which quickly went viral and has more than 49,000 shares at the time of writing.


"I am shocked, like it's just a rug, you know?" Freeman told Insider. "I think it just gained attention because it's a cute ordeal and we have so much negativity on the news and social media. It's a breath of fresh air just seeing something fun like this."


Freeman said her husband loves the mat and told her "that's so you!" when she first showed him Harper's gift."I would say I order two to three packages a week and my husband laughed and said 'No, you order like five a week, you have something coming every day,"' Freeman added. 


As for what exactly she's ordering, Freeman said she is usually buying things for her dogs - the AstroTurf was for their play area in her backyard - as well as "decor items, food items I can't find in stores, shoes, accessories, pretty much everything." And Freeman said her husband has no problem with her Amazon habit. "He would say something if I was out of control spending, trust me," she added.


Freeman has already ordered a special new doormat for the holidays. Written to the tune of "Here Comes Santa Claus," it reads: "Here comes Amazon, here comes Amazon, right down my driveway."








 


A Parking Space in Hong Kong Just Sold for Almost $1 Million  Shawna Kwan


(Bloomberg) -- If anyone needed further evidence of Hong Kong’s sky-high real estate prices they found it this week with news that a car parking spot sold for almost $1 million.


The space went for HK$7.6 million ($970,000), making it the most expensive place to park an automobile in the city, and perhaps anywhere in the world. The seller was Johnny Cheung Shun-yee, a businessman with a reputation for flipping property. He made around HK$900 million last year in about nine months by buying and selling floors in an office building. The car-parking spot is actually in the same building -- The Center in Central, which also happens to be the priciest office tower in the world. For the cost of the parking space, you could buy a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.


“A lot of those owners in The Center are in finance or in other high-growth businesses,” said Stanley Poon, a manager.


The jaw-dropping price is also another illustration of the gap in Hong Kong between the ultra rich and ordinary people. That income inequality has fueled violent protests that have rocked the city for months now and show no sign of stopping.


Hong Kong’s Gini coefficient was the most for any developed economy in 2016 at a 45-year high, and for all the luxury and glamour, one in five residents live below the poverty line. 

To contact the reporter on this story: Shawna Kwan in Hong Kong at wkwan35@bloomberg.neting director at Centaline Commercial. 




Couple with 21 Grandchildren Snag $80 Million Powerball Prize STEPHANIE OFFICER


Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go—because she is $80 million dollars richer. A Michigan family hit the massive Powerball drawing on Sept. 21, but collected their winnings on Wednesday. 

Phillip Chippewa, 54, and his wife, Dawn, took their family along to claim the prize. They have seven children and 21 grandchildren. According to Time, they will split their riches with them. The Chippewas opted for a lump sum payment of $42 million.

However, the couple won’t be taking any breaks.They both work for and are members of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized Native American tribe. The Chippewas say they plan to keep on working.  



Man’s bizarre condition causes his stomach to brew its own alcohol  Mike Wehner


When a 46-year-old man was pulled over for suspected drunk driving, officers figured it would be an open-and-shut case. A test revealed a blood alcohol level of 0.2, well past the legal limit, and the man’s claims that he didn’t ingest even a drop of alcohol seemed like a poor excuse. As it turns out, he was telling the truth.


The man’s unusual condition, called auto-brewery syndrome, causes his stomach to produce its own alcohol. The case was described in a new report which explains that an extended regimen of antibiotics was likely responsible for a dramatic shift in the many’s stomach chemistry. Getting drunk without drinking sounds like something you’d see in a Saturday Night Live sketch, but the reality was no laughing matter for the man. After three weeks on antibiotics, the man began experiencing a wide range of symptoms that you’d normally associate with having one too many cocktails, including “brain fog,” depression, and aggression.

A family member had heard of auto-brewery syndrome before and urged the man to contact a specialist. Subsequent testing showed that the man’s blood-alcohol level spiked after eating a carb-heavy meal, so he was told to avoid carbs entirely. This helped for a while but eventually, the symptoms returned. One of his “drunken” episodes resulted in a fall and a serious head injury, leading him to seek medical help once again. Further testing revealed unusual fungal growth in the man’s gut. Antifungal therapy was administered, eventually accompanied by a probiotic, and that seemed to do the trick. Now, a year and a half later, he remains free of symptoms and is believed to be back to normal.


In the case report, the authors suggest that the condition is likely more prevalent than anyone realizes: ABS is probably an underdiagnosed condition. We believe that our patient’s symptoms were triggered by exposure to antibiotics, which resulted in a change in his gastrointestinal microbiome allowing fungal overgrowth. The doctors believe that carbohydrate testing should be done on patients with a history of elevated blood-alcohol levels who insist they did not consume alcohol prior to the testing.



Are Haunted House Waivers Legally Enforceable? Jake Rossen


Before you step into a haunted house attraction this Halloween season, you might be prompted to sign or at least offer an electronic acknowledgment of a waiver. These documents make it clear that patrons entering a spooky gauntlet of chainsaw-wielding goons and bloody terrors are assuming a certain level of risk. Running away from an axe-toting maniac, for example, might result in a slip and a nasty bruise or bone break.


Are these disclaimers just marketing gimmicks? Or can a waiver really insulate haunted houses from being sued? For the most part, an attendee entering a place designed to scare and startle is doing so at their own peril, according to David Hoffman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. “It’s a little like going to a baseball game,” Hoffman tells Mental Floss. “You’re assuming the risk of getting hit by the ball.”


That hasn’t stopped people from trying to pursue legal remedies for suffering injuries on haunted premises. In 1996, the family of a 10-year-old girl sued a haunted attraction in Louisiana because the youngster ran into a wall covered in black plastic sheeting after being spooked by an employee. The appeals court, however, found that such circumstances were understood to be part of a place decorated for the purpose of frightening guests. In 2011, a man in San Diego filed a lawsuit after walking out of a haunted house and being surprised by an employee revving a chainsaw. Terrified, he ran, fell, and injured both of his wrists. Once again, the court found in favor of the business. He was there to be scared: Mission accomplished.


Hoffman cautions that while these episodes are common, the nature of a haunted outlet doesn’t give operators the right to ignore a needlessly reckless hazard. A guest should reasonably expect creatures and dark surroundings, but not, for example, a giant hole in the floor, or an employee who acts so aggressively that you’re injured. “You run the risk of running into a wall, but not necessarily the risk of being tackled or assaulted,” he says. To that end, a woman in Pontiac, Michigan sued Erebus Haunt Attraction in 2014 after a moving wall knocked her down, leading to leg fractures and other injuries. The two parties settled in 2015 for $125,000.


Erebus printed a disclaimer on admission tickets, but that may not offer much protection. For one thing, Hoffman says, haunted locales would have to prove the disclaimer was read by guests and that they had the option to get a refund if they refused to agree to terms.


The bottom line? No one is forced to visit a Halloween scare maze. If you do, you’re not all that likely to find a sympathetic court if you should happen to be injured while running away from one of its creepy denizens in the process. The real waiver is in willingly giving over money to be scared. Barring a grossly negligent hazard, you’re assuming all the risk.




Mystery Solved: How Thousands of Rubber Bands Got to an Uninhabited Island in Cornwall

Michele Debczak


Mullion Island, just south of Cornwall in England, seems like it should be an idyllic place. There are no permanent residents on the island, and anyone looking to step foot there needs to obtain a permit first. But the isolated patch of land is plagued by a problem that's common in cities: Rampant pollution. Rubber bands have been turning up there by the thousands, and experts think the problem stems from the bands' resemblance to worms, Smithsonian reports.


The rangers who managed the island owned by the National Trust were initially baffled by the appearance of the bands. The knew they weren't coming from the site's visitors, so something else had to have been transporting the trash there.


Birding organization West Cornwall Ringing Group investigated the mystery further this year. Mullion Island is a sanctuary for gulls and other types of seabirds, so the researchers visited their old nesting area to clear the built-up waste and possibly identify its source. They found what they were looking for in pellets of bird poop: The feces contained remnants of rubber bands and fishing line, indicating that the birds had been mistaking them for food. They likely picked up the bands while looking for food on the farms of nearby Cornwall. Many of these farms grow flowers and use rubber bands to secure them together, and scientists believe birds searching for food in the fields then eat the bands.


If the Mullion birds are swallowing rubber and plastic and feeding it to their young, that could have disastrous consequences for the population. Researchers reported that the 2019 nesting season was "disappointingly poor" for the 70 pairs of great black-backed gulls on the island. The presence of litter on the island was likely just one factor at play: Warming seas and dwindling fish stocks have driven the decline of seabirds across the UK in recent years.



Scientists have taught rats to drive tiny cars Sky News

Researchers have taught rats to drive tiny little cars in order to receive treats in a study which could help scientists understand how learning skills affect the human mind and stress levels.They discovered not only that rats can learn to drive little cars but that rats which were housed in an "enriched environment" designed to stimulate them with ladders and toys were able to learn better than a control group in normal housing.


According to Professor Kelly Lambert at the University of Richmond, Virginia, the study bears a lot of relevance for the way that the human mind works too. It advances her theory regarding "the well-grounded brain, the brain which is engaged in authentic interactions with the real world and the social world rather than looking at Facebook."


The study used a tiny car constructed from a plastic jug on wheels. The floor was made of aluminium, and three copper bars allowed the rat to steer by gripping any of the bars with their pars, completing an electrical circuit. In order to encourage the rats to learn to drive, the researchers placed a sweet cereal product within a particularly constructed arena.


The team then attempted to push the rats to drive in more complicated ways by placing the treats in increasingly distant points from them and at difficult angles. "They learned to navigate the car in unique ways and engaged in steering patterns they had never used to eventually arrive at the reward," said Prof Lambert.


Her study also examined the rats' droppings and discovered that learning to drive appeared to relax them, judging by the levels of stress hormones they were excreting. According to Prof Lambert, who was interviewed by New Scientist, her study suggests that researchers could "potentially replace traditional maze tests with more complex driving tasks when using rat models to study neuropsychiatric conditions".


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