10 Major Malfunctions At Disney Parks

10 Major Malfunctions At Disney Parks -

Disney has designed a system for their amusement parks that usually runs very smoothly. People love returning to Disney World and Disneyland every single year because there is so much to do and see.

However, the sheer magnitude of the number of rides and attractions, combined with the millions of people who come in and out of the parks each year, the odds are that something will inevitably go wrong. Here are ten major malfunctions that happened at Disney Parks.

 

10 The Not-So-Magic Carpet Ride

At Disney parks, live musical shows reenact some of the most famous scenes from animated films. Kids love watching their favorite “real” characters on stage. Usually, the live performance has some sort of show-stopping feature that amazes everyone in the theater. In the case of “Disney’s Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular,” there is a “real” magic carpet that lifts in the air during the song “A Whole New World.”

In September of 2011, the illusion was shattered when the actors were lifted up and, suddenly, the supports snapped. The carpet flipped upside-down, and the actors were dangling from a single harness, swinging back and forth like a pendulum. Audience members quickly pulled out their phones to record video and photos, while shouting, “Hold on!” and “Please catch them! Please!” The lights dimmed, and a pre-recorded voice asked the audience to leave. Thankfully, the safety harnesses were strong enough to hold the actors. They were rescued without any injuries.[1]

9 Faulty Float Maintenance

Jaime and Elena Boruchovas traveled all the way from Uruguay to visit Disney World in Orlando Florida in 1991 for their wedding anniversary. They were watching a parade on Main Street, USA, when the driver of the Snow White float lost control and hit the curb. One of the dwarves went flying into the crowd, snagging some of the lights from the float along with them. Everything came crashing down on Elena. The light bulbs from the float were so hot that she received severe burns on her leg. She was rushed to the hospital where doctors performed skin graft surgery.

While they were in the hospital, a representative from Disney World showed up to Elena’s room. They handed the couple a measly $1,222 (which was probably a refund for their stay at the park) and a contract that absolved Disney of any responsibility for Elena’s injury. The only problem is, the paperwork was in English, and Jaime and Elena only spoke Spanish. When they returned to Uruguay, Elena’s leg got worse, and it was painful for her to walk. She continued to need medical treatment for her leg, and it completely changed her life. A lawyer eventually helped them sue Disney, and they won $100,000 because the judge agreed that the contract was not valid when they had no understanding of what it said.[2]

 

8 Self-Absorbed Safety Hazard

In 2015, “selfie sticks” became a fad. People use them with their phones to take photos and videos with all of their friends. However, it would be incredibly stupid to pull a selfie stick out on a roller coaster that dips at fast speeds and loops upside-down, because it would most likely fly out of the person’s hand and injure or even kill someone.

In June 2015 common sense did not stop one park guest from pulling out their selfie stick on the California Screamin Roller Coaster. Once park employees spotted the selfie stick, they completely stopped the roller coaster while guests were already in the air, just before it had a chance to drop. For two hours, park guests were suspended in the roller coaster, and there was an emergency evacuation. The name of the selfie stick owner was left out of the media, which usually indicates that they were a minor.[3]

Since this incident, Disney parks have made it very clear that guests are not allowed to use selfie sticks because they are a distracting safety hazard. Now, there are “No Selfie Stick” signs all over the parks.

7 Lane Graves

It was a warm evening in June at Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando. The Graves family were visiting from a small town in Nebraska on a Disney World vacation. It was 9:30 at night and everyone was sitting outside to watch the fireworks. They would have never known that it is dangerous to be around lakes at night in Florida, so they allowed their two-year-old son Lane to play near the edge of Disney’s Seven Seas Lagoon. It is a man-made lake in the middle of a luxurious resort, so while his parents were keeping an eye on him to make sure he didn’t go in the water, they never could have anticipated what happened next.

Out of the darkness, an alligator snatched the toddler up and pulled him into the water. Lane’s father immediately sprinted towards his son and tried to wrestle the alligator, but it was futile, and the creature pulled his son underwater. The next day, scuba divers found and killed five alligators from the lake before they could recover Lane’s body.[4]

6 A Few Too Many

Certain areas of Disney parks serve beer and wine at their restaurants, and they even designate certain locations for drinking, like Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar, which stops allowing children after 8:00 p.m. Considering that it is mainly a place for families and children, most people hold back from heavy drinking. It does not make a lot of sense to pay hundreds of dollars for a Disney experience just to get black-out drunk . . . Except in the case of one 53-year-old man named Glenn Horlacher—that is exactly what he did.

In February 2012 Glenn Horlacher was visiting Disney’s California Adventure, and he got completely wasted. He was standing outside of The Tower of Terror, apparently being loud and vulgar. Glenn was asked to stop by an employee because he was disturbing nearby families. Glenn responded by throwing punches. A few visitors to the park jumped to hold him back. He continued to yell, kick, and act violently. Someone pulled out their phone and started recording, just as a Disney security guard calmly approached and pepper sprayed Glenn in the face. Glenn Horlacher was escorted out of the park and arrested for assaulting the park employee.[5]

 

5 The Unmarked Van

Disney does not want anything to ruin their magical image. Whenever something goes wrong, they try to handle it as discreetly as possible. In 1981, an 18-year-old named Mel Yorba was at a private party in Tomorrowland. He got into a fight with a 28-year old man named James O’Driscoll. Things escalated quickly, and James stabbed Mel.

Instead of calling 911, park employees called in a Disneyland nurse. Security brought Mel over to a black unmarked van, and the nurse, who was arguably unqualified to treat a stab wound, drove him to the hospital, but he died. Mel’s parents sued Disney, claiming that if they had just called 911 in the first place, there would have been highly trained paramedics giving him the proper medical attention immediately, and he may still be alive. They lost the court case for “lack of evidence.”

In a New York Times article from 1981, Disney publicly denied that they chose not to call 911 as a way to protect their image, and they honestly felt like they gave Mel Yorba adequate medical treatment. However, in 2000, it was actually proven in court that their policy was, in fact, aimed at protecting Disney’s image. Employees were taught that if anyone got injured, they must call security guards first, instead of 911.

After the tragic mutilation and eventual death of four-year-old Brandon Zucker, the family sued Disney, and they finally changed their employee policy so that 911 is called right away.[6]

4 It’s a Rough World, After All

Disneyland opened in 1955, and one of its first popular attractions was “It’s A Small World.” Back in the 50s, there were very few places that thought about the needs of disabled people, and even in 1990, when the Americans with Disabilities Act was created, companies usually only upgraded things that were absolutely necessary to comply with the new law.

The very vintage “It’s a Small World” ride broke down several times on March 28, 2013, and yet park employees did not shut it down. They kept trying to make small fixes, before reopening it to let in more passengers. A quadriplegic man named Jose Martinez was in one of the boats, and he and his wife entered a dark cave filled with speakers blaring loud music. Suddenly, the ride jolted to a stop. Since he was in his wheelchair, the maddening “It’s a Small World” song was blaring directly into Jose’s ear. And, as he is paralyzed, he could not escape.[7]

On top of his paralysis, Jose suffers from panic attacks, combined with a condition called dysreflexia, which causes sudden spikes in blood pressure. The darkness, loud music, and inability to evacuate were an excruciating combination for Jose. For 30 minutes, he was calling for help, pleading to be taken off the ride, or turn the music off, at the very least. But there was no way to get him out of the tunnel since he is in a wheelchair. In retrospect, the situation could have been far worse, but the point of the entire experience is that Disney was not prepared to help.

Jose Martinez and his family sued Disney, trying to get them to change their evacuation policies for disabled park guests. The judge awarded Jose $8,000 for his emotional suffering but chose not to force Disney to change anything, except to warn disabled people next time, if a ride was having issues.

3The “Anti-Vaccer” Outbreak

In 2015, an 11-year-old child whose parents refused to vaccinate their kids caught measles. Then, they took a trip to Disneyland. This child became patient zero of what ended up becoming a country-wide epidemic, and it all started one day in the park.

The Center for Disease control was able to track down 125 people who caught measles after “patient zero” entered the park. Out of those 125 people, 39 of them were visiting Disneyland that day, and 34 of them were family members who caught it once an infected person returned home from Disney. A total of 110 of them lived in California, so many of these people caught it randomly once the virus was out in public. The vast majority of the people who caught measles were never vaccinated, either. While none of this was Disney’s fault, it still became a major incident in the park’s history, and it is an illustration of how quickly an epidemic can begin in a place with so many people.[8]

2 Look Out Below

Disney’s Skyway ride was a gondola lift that suspended park guests as high as 60 feet off the ground. People rode along the cable to the opposite side of the park. It was seen as a convenient method of transportation that ran all day, every day. In 1994, a 30-year-old man named Randle Charles fell from the Skyway when it was 20 feet off the ground, and he landed in a tree. The park rescue team had to get him down, and he was taken to the hospital with a few minor injuries. He tried to sue Disney for $25,000, claiming that the Skyway was dangerous and that he fell out.

Later, he admitted that he actually opened the door and jumped out on purpose, so the case was dropped. The Skyway was eventually removed from Disneyland, but the reasons for its removal had nothing to do with the Randle Charles incident.[9]

1 To Infinity and Beyond

For years, if an accident happened on a ride in a Disneyland park, the company was not required to report it to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, (or Cal-OSHA for short). In 1997, Cal-OSHA discovered that 7,260 people were admitted to the emergency room for injuries due to amusement park ride malfunctions, which was significantly higher than previous years. Because of this, they passed a state law that amusement parks need annual safety inspections on all of their rides, and incidents where people are hurt need to be reported within 24 hours.

The first incident at Disneyland that was reported to Cal-OSHA was a crash on Space Mountain in the year 2000. One of the cars derailed after a wheel flew off, and nine people had to go to the hospital. A man named Ray Gomez was crushed inside of his seat, and the fire department had to remove bolts from the ride just to get him out. Unlike past quick-fixes performed by unqualified mechanics, Disney actually closed down the ride for several days and hired professionals who could make sure the issues were repaired, because they knew OSHA would be hearing about it.[10]

Disney is known for its discretion, pay-offs to keep quiet, and down-playing of park incidents. Knowing that they did not have to report incidents for nearly 50 years, one can only imagine how many major malfunctions took place at Disneyland that the world will never know.

 


Brazen Mom Made Millions Growing Pot In Guarded Warehouse Near Police Headquarters

Brazen Mom Made Millions Growing Pot In Guarded Warehouse Near Police Headquarters

 

 

A mother police describe as a drug queen was detained on Wednesday in what might be the largest indoor marijuana operation ever discovered in San Bernardino, Calif.

Stephanie Smith, 43, allegedly ran the unlicensed operation, which included employees, guards, an advanced drip-irrigation system, multiple buildings filled with more than 24,000 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, and a $67,000 electric bill, according to San Bernardino police.

The outsized electric bill — linked to an old, ostensibly empty warehouse — helped lead authorities to the operation.

Smith earned millions of dollars each month, according to CBS Los Angeles.

“The huge operation is normally associated with a drug lord,” police said.

Smith lived in nearby Pacific Palisades, and police issued a search warrant of her home and detained her there, according to KTLA.

She had paid cash for two warehouses and a home for the operation, KTLA reported.

One of the warehouses is on the same block as a San Bernardino police headquarters entrance. It was fortified with concrete block walls, gates and armed security guards.

Though voters in California legalized marijuana about a year ago, marijuana growers must still have their operations registered and approved by cities. They also must register with the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.

Smith took none of those steps, police say.

Officers described the operation as sophisticated and Smith as brazen, considering the size of the operation and its proximity to police headquarters.

An officer described it as the largest he’d ever seen, according to ABC7.

“This is the largest single grow that I’ve ever seen for an indoor operation,” said Lt. Mike Madden with the San Bernardino police. “There’s just floors with multiple rooms with plants. ... It’s a very, very sophisticated operation.”

Eight people were taken into custody on suspicion of marijuana cultivation.


'Lucky' Homeless Man Pilfers €300,000 From Charles-De-Gaulle Airport

Lucky' Homeless Man Pilfers €300,000 From Charles-De-Gaulle Airport

Police in Paris are hunting an opportunistic homeless man who "landed himself a Christmas present" by taking advantage of an unlocked door to steal €300,000 in cash from Charles-de-Gaulle airport.
The theft is unlikely to inspire the plot of an Ocean's 11 movie, nevertheless it was incredible in its own way.
A homeless man in his 50s, who has been sleeping rough at Charles-de-Gaulle airport for some time is now sitting on €300,000 desperately trying to evade capture by police, Le Parisien newspaper reports.
All he had to do to pilfer such a large amount of cash was gently push open the door of an office belonging to Loomis, a company which handles cash deliveries to and from businesses.
The door of the offices at terminal 2F is normally locked tight to protect the large amounts of cash stored there, and needs a security code to be opened, but last Friday it was apparently left unlocked, according to reports.
At around 5.30pm an alarm was set off at the offices which prompted France's border police to rush to the scene. After looking at CCTV images they saw the homelessman searching in the bins next to the office.
He then leans against the door and to his obvious surprise it opened. He drops the bag he is carrying and enters only to return seconds later carrying two bags of money containing a loot of €300,000.
A source close to the investigation told Le Parisien newspaper: "This is indeed extremely fortuitous. This homeless man benefited from a combination of circumstances to land himself a huge Christmas present."
After taking the sacks of cash he then disappears and police have been unable to track him down.
The bag he left behind has not revealed his identity.
Police, who know the suspect as one of up to 100 rough sleepers in the area, have been searching the usual airport spots where homeless people are known to hang out but he is yet to reappear.
But with €300,000 in cash on him, perhaps police would be better popping into some of the capitals luxury hotels or perhaps he booked himself on the next flight out of Charles-de-Gaulle airport.
Loomis have so far been unable to explain why the door was left open.

 

 


Watch Expert Describes The Differences Between A $5,000 Watch And An $85,000 Watch

Watch Expert Describes The Differences Between A $5,000 Watch And An $85,000 Watch

 

 

A Patek Philippe 5170P costs a boatload more than a (still very expensive!) Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. Does it justify the difference?

 


UPS Lost $850K Inheritance - Family Says Bank Isn't Helping

UPS Lost $850K Inheritance - Family Says Bank Isn't Helping

Last February, Ontario's Louis Paul Hebert went to the UPS Store to pick up a TD Canada Trust bank draft for nearly $850,000—his portion of an inheritance from his father. But the bank draft never showed, and now his family is mired in what CBC News calls a "three-way David vs. Goliaths battle," with UPS having no clue what happened to the draft it was hired to ship, and TD Canada Trust placing what the family says are unfair demands to issue a new one. "Never in my wildest imagination did I think something like this would happen," says Lorette Taylor, Hebert's sister, who was responsible for dealing with their dad's will and doling out the inheritances to 61-year-old Hebert and their sister. Taylor says TD Canada Trust suggested putting the funds in bank draft form, assuring her and her husband, John, that if the bank draft were lost or stolen, it wouldn't be a big deal to replace it.

"I was told there were procedures to deal with that," John says. Those procedures, however, are onerous ones, say the Taylors, including making Lorette liable if the missing draft is ever cashed, as well as either making her put a lien on her home for at least three years or buy a guaranteed investment certificate for that period for the inheritance amount: $846,648.46. "In situations where a bank draft is lost or stolen, before we can agree to a replacement or reimbursement we need appropriate security to be in place," a bank rep tells the CBC, adding bank drafts don't expire and are like cash. Meanwhile, Hebert has maxed out his credit cards. He calls this "a massive screw-up where the big guys look after themselves." "I would have been retired," he adds. As for UPS, they refunded the $32 shipping charge and apologized for losing the bank draft, noting, "We are unfortunately not perfect."

 


What It's Like To Be Absolutely Obsessed With Bitcoin

What It's Like To Be Absolutely Obsessed With Bitcoin

Over the past year, the price of a Bitcoin has skyrocketed from less than $800 to nearly $20,000 — a meteoric rise that financial insiders say is no different than the escalating cost of a tulip in seventeenth-century Amsterdam.

 


Family Of Man Who Died During A Beer Pong Game Awarded $15.6 Million

Family Of Man Who Died During A Beer Pong Game Awarded $15.6 Million

The family of a Connecticut man who died during a game of beer pong have actually been rewarded $15.6 million thanks to a lawsuit they filed against the other players in the game.

It all kicked off in 2013 when 24-year-old victim, Salomon Martinez, got together in Stratford to play a game of beer pong with Kyle Gonzalez, Matthew Chandler and Stephanie Dwyer. Everyone agreed to a $10 wager, but during the game, a fight erupted after the other players accused Martinez of cheating. The fight led to bottles being thrown, a fish tank being smashed and worst of all, Martinez somehow falling out of a fourth-story window to his death.

The LADbible

As the altercation got more heated, Martinez fled upstairs and locked himself in a child’s bedroom, but Gonzalez broke down the door. One of the men was allegedly brandishing a knife. It is not known how, but in the ensuing fracas Salomon fell from the building and landed on the street below. He suffered broken legs, a fractured skull, and organ damage in the fall.

Police attended the scene but the partygoers had no knowledge of Martinez’s fall. The cops were called back an hour later once the body was discovered.

When Gonzalez was brought from prison to give evidence to the court, he said that even though he broke down the door, Martinez was no longer in the room. However, Salomon’s mother, Yolanda Martinez, cried when detailing the heartbreak her son’s death has caused not only to her, but to his young family as well.

Gonzalez and Chandler were just sentenced as they both plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter, with Gonzalez getting 15 years and Chandler getting ten. The woman, Dwyer, fled the state after the incident and is thought to be living in Florida. Police have yet to locate her.

And a day of deliberation, the jury agreed that his family should be awarded $15.6 million, although that won’t be bringing back Martinez anytime soon.

It is unclear when the family will actually receive the sum.


Uber Charges Dude $14,401 For A 5-Mile Ride

Uber Charges Dude $14,401 For A 5-Mile Ride

Should have just taken a private jet.

 

A guy in Toronto was charged an absurd amount of money for a short drive. The unidentified man was looking to go five miles at a peak time — which means that this Uber ride should have cost about $16 max. Well, it cost a tad more.

 

 

This guy was instead charged 18,518.50 Canadian dollars (U.S. $14,401.25). Proof of the bill was shared on Twitter by a woman named Emily Kennard, who claimed to be the Uber passenger’s pal.

 

 

https://twitter.com/emilykennard/status/939534163564253187

 

 

It gets crazier. According to TheComeback.com, Uber agreed that the bill was real and then they refused to refund the money. But then they had a change of heart according to an Uber spokeswoman, who said the company decided to refund the money. Have a look at what she said:

“There was an error here and it has been resolved. We have provided a full refund to this rider and apologized to him for this experience. We have safeguards in place to help prevent something like this from happening, and we are working to understand how this occurred.”

So not only did Uber at first refuse to refund his money, but they then decided as a company to refund the money eventually.  Come on, Uber, you need to get your shit together or people are going to go back to walking to their destination. I’m kidding, what is walking anyway?

Read more at http://www.craveonline.com/mandatory/1352289-uber-charges-dude-14401-5-mile-ride#X1JlVFWovxB1BIFA.99


How DRASTICALLY Plastic Surgery Can Change Your Life

How DRASTICALLY Plastic Surgery Can Change Your Life

Lele Pons is an Internet phenomenon who became the first Viner to accumulate one billion loops.

1

She eventually amassed over 8 billion loops. She extended her fame to YouTube, where she's amassed over 6 million subscribers to her self-titled channel.

2

Her best friend talked her into starting her Vine. Fellow Viner Jerome Jarre later convinced her to continue making videos.

3

Born Eleanora Pons Maronese in Venezuela, she moved to the U.S. when she was five years old. She has no siblings and her mother graduated from medical school.

4

Pons was named one of 2016’s 30 Most Influential People on the Internet by Time Magazine.

5

Pons was ranked number 8 on Forbes' Top Influencers of 2017 in the Entertainment Industry

6

I guess talent can only take you so far, but you can always buy a pretty face.

#7


SKIP GIVING THE HOMELESS PERSON MONEY IN THE CUP AND GIVE THEM SOME SOCKS WITH AMAZON

SKIP GIVING THE HOMELESS PERSON MONEY IN THE CUP AND GIVE THEM SOME SOCKS WITH AMAZON

Note: this video is NOT SPONSORED OR AFFILIATED WITH AMAZON. I'm sure this technique could be used with Postmates or whoever else too. I simply wanted to demonstrate how easy and convenient it can be to bring a person in need, what they need, and to encourage that behavior.


The Untold Truth Of ALDI

The Untold Truth Of ALDI

 

In 2017, Aldi announced they were planning on becoming a major competitor in the US grocery store market, investing a mind-blowing $3.4 billion into current and future American endeavors. If you don't have an Aldi near you now, one might be popping up soon. So, what can you expect? Here's the fascinating history behind this up-and-coming US chain.

 

 


The Top 10 TV Gifts Of 2017 For The TV Lover In Your Life

The Top 10 TV Gifts Of 2017 For The TV Lover In Your Life

 

 

Just in time for Cyber Monday, the TV buffs at Paste have a short-and-sweet guide to the best gifts for the TV lover in your life—Trekkies, Clone Clubbers, Breaking Baddies and more. From toys and puzzles to apparel and must-have boxed sets, this list offers a range of items and price points, so if you’re still stumped about what to get this season, take a gander. We’re sure you’ll find something worth snapping up, even if it’s to (in Parks and Rec parlance) Treat. Yo. Self.

1. Star Trek Mirror Universe Tribble (Quantum Mechanix, $9.95)


When it comes to my filmed entertainment, I’m a pretty omnivorous fella. I’m just as happy watching a nature documentary series as I am watching The West WingBuffy the Vampire Slayer or John Jakes’ The Bastard . Well, maybe I am a little happier watching Buffy... but I digress. The Star Trek: TOS episode “The Trouble With Tribbles” was always one of my favorites, and longtime Paste TV Hall of Fame geektacular vendor Quantum Mechanix has recently released the second-best plush we’ve ever covered in this guide: a Mirror Universe Tribble. Not satisfied with quadrotriticale, these little bastards pretty much snap at everything in sight (despite having no discernable eyes)—except Klingons, of course. Ok, it’s not canon, but at least it’s not the Kelvin timeline! —Mark Rabinowitz

2. Breaking Bad 101: The Complete Critical Companion by Alan Sepinwall (Harry N. Abrams, $18)


Any fan of Alan Sepinwall’s writing knows the Uproxx TV critic is a witty, funny, insightful, and verbose TV watcher. He loves TV just as much as we do, and his writing is compulsively readable. Honestly, I like reading what he has to say even about shows I don’t watch. His latest book, Breaking Bad 101: The Complete Critical Companion, is a must-read for any Walter White fan in your life. The book, which comes with a terrific introduction from Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof, breaks down the series episode by episode. Even if you read his reviews of the AMC drama when they were originally posted, here, like any great artist, Sepinwall has polished and perfected his writing. With more time to reflect on an episode and, in a one case, having the benefit of not being hospitalized with a burst appendix, his writing is even more discerning, more robust. And if you haven’t watched Breaking Bad yet and want to, give this book as a gift to yourself. The book travels through the series spoiler free. After you’re done reading, it will be clear that Sepinwall is the TV critic who knocks. —Amy Amatangelo

3. Grimm: The Complete Collection (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, $104.96)


To be honest, if you added up every show that I called “one of my five favorites of the past 10 years” or some variation thereof, you’d likely end up with 10 to 15 series, but yeah, Grimm would be on that list. It was that rare successful mix of fantasy and horror that pretty much hit on all cylinders from start to finish, avoiding both the “limp across the finish line” final season and the dreaded “Oh my God, we’re canceled, we need to wrap everything up, now!” syndrome. Creators David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf whipped up a compelling and original world, by using (mostly) existing fairy tales and myths as source material and then bringing these Old World stories into the 21st century. Then again, It’s not like Greenwalt (Buffy the Vampire SlayerEurekaAngel) and Kouf (AngelGhost Whisperer) were beginners! It was at times terrifying, often exhilarating and surprisingly romantic (Rosalee and Monroe were adorable, but I was team Nadalind, all the way). What will us Grimmsters do without it? I guess buy this set. —Mark Rabinowitz

4. Orphan Black: The Complete Series (BBC America, $89.56)


  Orphan Black is one of the most original and compelling series, sci-fi or otherwise, of the past decade, and Tatiana Maslany’s performance(s) rightfully garnered her multiple (Ha! Get it?) awards, including a 2016 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Like Buffybefore it, Orphan Black was a female-driven show that developed a strong fan base that relished the opportunity to bring newbies into the fold, thus growing the audience. While the set doesn’t contain any video extras that the individual sets didn’t already have, it does have a nifty (and exclusive to this release) 64-page booklet, “Orphan Black Classified Clone Reports by Dr. Delphine Cormier,” and presents the Clone Club with the opportunity to spread the word! —Mark Rabinowitz

5. Westworld and Silicon Valley Funko Pop! Figures (HBO Store, prices vary)


Is it just me, or are the folks over at Funko getting even better at designing these adorable, mouthless hunks of vinyl? Don’t get me wrong, we here at Paste have long been fans of the Pop! phenomenon, but they really nailed Dinesh’s irritated bemusement, Gilfoyle’s utter contempt, and poor, psychotic Jared’s utter helplessness, all without the benefit of mouths. And Westworld’s Bernard’s bi-focals are actually halfway down his nose! The real genius touch, however, is that while Erlich’s half-lidded stoner look isn’t all that hard to do, they actually managed to give a bloodshot eye effect to a figure that has only giant, black pupils. Now that’ssome skill. —Mark Rabinowitz

6. BritBox (BritBox.com, $6.99/month)


It seems like every other week a new streaming service pops up. By my count there are currently 4,347 of them, and to be honest, not all are worth the shekels they’re asking for. If you’re a fan of British TV, however, BritBox most decidedly is, and not just for classic shows like Blackadder(squee!), Fawlty Towers or AbFab, either. For the low low price of $7 a month, you could be tucking into the very latest episodes of ever-lasting British soaps like Coronation Street or Eastenders, new episodes of cult classic Red Dwarf (not to mention all previous 11 seasons), and Ned Stark himself (Sean Bean) starring in the highly regarded new series, Broken. If that all wasn’t enough, the service recently inked a deal with Australia’s Freemantle Media to bring their programming to the service, including the comedy game show Qi and the recent fantasy hit, Merlin. Oh, did I forget to mention that all existing classic Doctor Who episodes currently reside on BritBox? A joint partnership between British broadcasters BBC and ITV, BritBox combines very nicely with last year’s Top 10 entry Acorn TV for the Anglophile in your life. Now if they could only, between the two of them, bring us Paul Abbot’s exceptional 1997 miniseries Recklessand 1998’s Reckless: The Sequel, I could die happy. —Mark Rabinowitz

7. Game of Thrones “Long May She Reign” Puzzle (HBO Store, $19.99)


When it comes to Game of Thrones, HBO keeps putting out merch. And why wouldn’t they? If Cersei had a Westerosi cash cow like this, she wouldn’t have to borrow from the Iron Bank of Braavos. OK, maybe I’m stretching the metaphor a bit, but the bottom line is we keep buying stuff, so they keep making it—and, to be honest, a lot of what they put out is pretty cool. Sure, there are the obvious hoodies and replica swords but then you have legitimate works of art, like this puzzle made from the Season Six, episode 10 entry of artist Robert Ball’s amazing Beautiful Death series. Assuming you’re able to finish this 1,000 piece puzzle, you might consider framing it. —Mark Rabinowitz

8. The Art of Rick and Morty and Steven Universe: Art & Origins(Dark Horse Comics, $35.99 / Abrams Books, $29.95)


When it comes to the Stages of Gift Giving for TV Fandom, the “art of…” book represents a more mature phase. In general, it’s a gift for the established fan, the fan who is likely already well on his or her way to accumulating the Blu-ray season compilations, the clothing merch, the Pop! figures, etc. Still, for those fans, such books can represent a perfect gift—the item that they might not get for themselves, but which they love receiving. Fortunately, if you know someone who is a fan of contemporary animation, it’s practically guaranteed you know a fan or either Steven Universe or Rick and Morty. The former is infused with love for one’s family and inclusiveness and is bolstered by a bevy of musical gems thanks to creator Rebecca Sugar. The latter is infused with—Szechuan sauce, maybe?—and is dark and hilarious in ways for which creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon are justly blamed. Frankly, while it’s a near certainty your friend or family member will love at least one of the shows, the Venn diagram revealing how many love both hasn’t been drawn yet. Regardless, whether it’s The Art of Rick and Morty or Steven Universe: Art & Origins, you at least can be sure you’ve done a fan a solid and provided some great behind-the-scenes looks into how some of the best shows Adult Swim and Cartoon Network has to offer came and continue to be. —Michael Burgin

9. Doctor Who Four-Poster Set (Etsy, $25.08 and up)


For the Whovian everywhere whose significant other denies them a TARDIS shower curtain (guilty) or a vintage full-size radio-controlled K9 (only the mini version), I present these fantastic poster prints of the TARDIS, a Cyberman, a Dalek and The 10th Doctor. Not only are these pretty nifty looking (and appropriately blue), their particularly creative Etsy seller gives you the option of choosing how large (or small) you want them. So while a set of four 5×7-inch prints will run you $22.39 plus shipping, you also have the option of going all the way up to a whopping 24×36 inches for $229.30. The same seller also has a five-poster set that includes a Weeping Angel, but at the moment doesn’t seem to be offering them in Face of Boe size. —Mark Rabinowitz

10. Will & Grace Classic Names T-Shirt (NBC Store, $22.95)


Sure, it’s derivative—I already considered buying A Little Life-themed rendition after sobbing through Hanya Yanagihara’s novel this summer—but then again, so is the revival of NBC’s beloved sitcom, brought back to life by co-creators Max Mutchnick and David Kohan earlier this fall. Still, these characters (especially Will Truman) are such a signal feature of my own coming-of-age that it’s been reassuring to reconnect with them, a familiarity that this T-shirt, with its immediately recognizable script, captures rather perfectly. Maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe it’s my increasing appreciation for earnest comedies in troubled times. Maybe it’s realizing, with the sparkling gay conversion camp send-up “Grandpa Jack,” that the new Will & Grace retains some of the original’s warm magic. Whatever the reason, I wouldn’t mind finding this T-shirt (pink print, please) in my stocking come Christmas morning. —Matt Brennan


10 Mind-Blowing Things That Happened Last Week

10 Mind-Blowing Things That Happened Last Week -

 

 

Keeping up with the news is hard. So hard, in fact, that we’ve decided to save you the hassle by rounding up the most significant, unusual, or just plain old mind-blowing stories each week.

The first full week of December managed to surprise nobody with the region its biggest news was poring out of. The Middle East was once again in the headlines and once again tilting toward chaos. We’ll cover the latest twist in the region’s saga below, alongside the crazy news flowing out of Washington, Africa, and all over Europe.http://listverse.com/?p=362108&preview=true

10 The US Recognized Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital

Photo credit: BBC News

If anyone wants to write the definitive list of 2017’s controversial news stories, this will be a shoo-in for number one. On Wednesday, President Trump fulfilled a campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, making the US the first country on Earth to do so, and pledged to move the US embassy there. In doing so, he kicked off a storm that threatens to destabilize the whole region.[1]

East Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive places on Earth. Captured from Jordan in the 1967 war, it is the claimed capital of both Israel and any future Palestinian state. Its Old City is coveted by Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, with an additional ethnic claim by Armenia. (Armenians are Christians but have a unique historical presence in the city.) As a result, the international community has not recognized it as belonging to anyone. Until now.

The president’s announcement was greeted with hostility from US allies in the Middle East. Turkey threatened to withdraw its recognition of Israel in retaliation. The UK and EU also criticized the move, saying it could lead to another intifada.

9 The ICC Moved To Begin A Formal Investigation Of The UK

Photo credit: The Guardian

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the world’s highest court. Having grown out of the International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the court is tasked with prosecuting genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. At the start of this year, it had conducted ten formal investigations in its lifetime, against nine countries. (The Central African Republic got investigated twice.) This week, it announced its intention to add a new country to that list: the United Kingdom.[2]

This is big news, not least because the ICC has only ever formally investigated one non-African state: the Caucasus nation of Georgia, over its 2008 war with Russia. The case against the UK will be focused on the mistreatment of detainees in Iraq. It would be the first time individuals from an OECD nation have been put in the dock.

It’s important to note the formal investigation has not actually begun and may yet be called off. However, that may be cold comfort to London. The ICC is also moving to begin a formal investigation into crimes committed in Afghanistan. One of the defendants in that case would also be the United Kingdom.

8 Fake Terrorism Returned To Germany

Photo credit: Sebastian Gabsch/EPA

Remember the Dortmund bus bombing? In April this year, a bus carrying Germany’s Dortmund soccer team was attacked with a roadside bomb, injuring two. Although made to look like a terrorist attack, it quickly became clear that it was anything but. The guy behind it was a white collar criminal who staged the attack to make a killing off the effect it would have on the team’s share price.

At the time, we thought this was a one-off story. Apparently not. Last weekend, another “fake” terrorist attack caused panic in Germany. A bomb found at the Potsdam Christmas market turned out to be an elaborate attempt to scam delivery company DHL out of millions.[3]

The bomb was mailed via DHL, who then received a message threatening to detonate it unless they paid the bomber €10 million. The company refused. It was pure luck that the bomb was so shoddily made that it didn’t explode when it was opened.

The bomb was the third one mailed via DHL in the last few months. Strange as it seems, there’s more than one person in Germany willing to commit terrorism in the name of cash.

7 Yemen’s Former President Was Executed by Rebel Forces

Former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh was until recently the slipperiest character in the Arab world. Ruling in Yemen from 1978 to 2012, he spent the last decade of his reign fighting Houthi rebels in a brutal civil war. Then came the Arab Spring. Chased out of power, Saleh switched sides, joined up with the Houthi, and helped launch the all-out assault that has left the country a ruined wasteland.

This week, the old snake tried to pull the same trick again. He offered to betray the Houthi and team up with their enemies, Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately for Saleh, he overplayed his hand this time. The Houthi caught wind of his plan, captured him as he tried to sneak out the country, and brutally executed him.[4] With Saleh suddenly gone, lasting peace in Yemen now looks more distant than ever.

Tyrant though he was, Saleh was at least good at juggling the demands of Yemen’s many tribes and ethnicities. Without his bridge-building skills, Yemen threatens to slide permanently into the endless sort of chaos that has affected Libya.

6 Belgium’s Snowflake Prince Sued The Government

Photo credit: CEN

Meet Prince Laurent, the biggest snowflake prince Europe’s royal bloodlines ever produced. Brother of the Belgian king, Prince Laurent is a gaffe-prone walking PR disaster with none of the charm of Britain’s Prince Phillip and a strange habit of dressing like a 1980s South American dictator (complete with military uniform and ridiculous sunglasses).

Over the years, he’s swindled the taxpayers to pay for his children’s skiing holidays, been caught cavorting with Gadhafi’s son, become embroiled in shady business ventures in the Congo, and generally acted like a petulant toddler trapped in the body of an overweight middle-aged man. Last Friday, his whining reached new heights. After the Belgian government considered cutting his €308,000 annual allowance by 15 percent, the spoiled prince sued them for breaching his human rights.[5]

The case is unlikely to win him any friends in Belgium. The Flemish nationalists are gunning for his scalp, the king has effectively banned him from court, and the prime minister seems eager to bring him to heel. Failing that, there’s always revolution.

5 Cameroon Geared Up For Civil War

Photo credit: Stringer/AFP

About two months ago, we told you how separatism protests in Cameroon were threatening to spiral into crisis. This week, that crisis may have finally arrived. Following the killing of six soldiers, President Paul Biya declared “war” on secessionist forces. In practical terms, this seems to have been code for ethnic cleansing of Cameroon’s anglophone regions.[6]

Cameroon is formed from two old colonies held by the French and British. While the majority in Cameroon today are French speakers, an English-speaking minority remains in two states by the Nigerian border. For years, the English speakers have felt ignored by their francophone rulers. Recently, they began to agitate for independence. Leader Sisiku Ayuk Tabe declared the establishment of a new state, Ambazonia. Yaounde disagreed and sent in the troops. All of this has led us to our current destination of violence and a looming civil conflict.

English speakers are currently fleeing across the border into Nigeria, hoping to escape the violence. Things may yet calm down. Or they may blow up into yet another devastating war.

4 Japan Set A Date For Its Emperor’s Abdication

Remember Emperor Kokaku? Of course you don’t; he died in 1840. This huge gap of time between Kokaku and the present highlights just how unusual the news coming out of Japan has been. Last Friday, Tokyo set a date for Emperor Akihito’s coming abdication. He will be the first person to surrender the throne since Kokaku stepped down in 1817.[7]

Akihito rose to the throne after the death of his father, Hirohito, in 1989. Although hugely popular in Japan, he’s been gently campaigning to be allowed to step down for the past year. Since Japan has no mechanisms in place for dealing with this sort of thing, his wishes caused a minor crisis. It was only after a meeting between the government, the opposition, the imperial family, and the Supreme Court that it was agreed to let Akihito step down on April 30, 2019. On May 1, his son, Naruhito, will take his place.

This isn’t the last succession crisis Japan will likely face. Only males can inherit the throne, and Japan’s imperial family is mostly female. There are four eligible heirs left, one of whom is a child and one of whom is as old as Akihito.

3 Wildfires Tore Into LA

Photo credit: KNBC

It’s been a bad year for wildfires in California. At least 43 people have been killed this season, many of them during a particularly brutal October. Now, the wildfires have returned. This time, they’re threatening the biggest Californian city of them all: Los Angeles.[8]

On Wednesday, fires were already raging across the limits of the city. By Thursday morning, they’d swept in, destroying buildings, overwhelming freeways, and threatening to do untold damage. One blaze, known as the Skirball Fire, hit the wealthy Bel Air neighborhood. The Getty Museum was threatened. Parts of the UCLA campus had to be evacuated. Thousands upon thousands were forced to flee. And still the fire raged.

By the time you read this, the fire may yet have spread further into the city and caused even more damage. We can only pray that California’s worst wildfire season in decades doesn’t end with the biggest catastrophe of them all.

2 We Discovered The True Extent Of The Crisis In The Congo

Worse than Yemen. Worse than Iraq. Worse even than Syria. That’s how aid agencies this week described the crisis underway in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where 1.7 million people have become internal refugees since August. A cholera epidemic, a delayed election poll, new armed conflicts, and a resurgence of old armed groups have all contributed to what’s being called a “mega crisis.”

The DRC has effectively been floundering since a 1998–2003 civil war that killed over two million people. Each day, hundreds flee their homes, and dozens more are killed. But this year, things have stepped up a gear to that point where they’re now threatening nearby nations. On Tuesday, it was reported that the sheer number of refugees escaping over the border threatened to send neighboring Zambia spinning into a crisis of its own.[9]

Perhaps most striking of all is how underreported much of this violence has been. Everyone is aware of the wars in Syria, Yemen, and Libya, but the carnage in DRC goes largely ignored.

1 Former General Michael Flynn Struck A Plea Deal

Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Despite all these other stories happening around the world, there was only one piece of news being talked about in Washington, DC, this week. Last Friday, disgraced former general Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. He subsequently struck a plea deal to provide Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign with information. The capital exploded with speculation.[10]

Plea deals are only struck when prosecutors want to go after a bigger fish. To paraphrase a Politico report, Flynn is already a pretty big fish. If Mueller’s agreeing to go lightly on him, he must have someone especially important in his sights. After over half a year humming away in the background, his investigation is finally heading toward explosive, HBO series–worthy developments.

A lot of the rumors at the moment swirl around whether Flynn has something on the president. It’s certainly possible, but the smarter gossip seems to be zeroing in on Jared Kushner as the fish Mueller’s looking to fry. Whether there’s really anything there to find is another matter. But one thing’s for certain: We’re going to be seeing a lot more explosive headlines from Mueller and his team in the coming months.


15 Life Hacks For People With Loose Morals

15 Life Hacks For People With Loose Morals

 

 

 


2,400 Auditors Are About To Descend On The Pentagon

2,400 Auditors Are About To Descend On The Pentagon -

The Department of Defense had a budget of $590 billion last year and will have one of nearly $700 billion next year. It has an estimated $2.4 trillion in assets. And yet the department has never been audited. That finally changes this month when the Pentagon undergoes its first-ever financial audit, NPR reports. The federal government started requiring financial reports from agencies two decades ago, but the Department of Defense put it off. In 2010, Congress set a 2017 deadline for a Pentagon audit. With that deadline here, 2,400 auditors will begin to go over everything from personnel to weapons to bases, according to a Pentagon press release.

"It demonstrates our commitment to fiscal responsibility and maximizing the value of every taxpayer dollar that is entrusted to us," Department of Defense spokesperson Dana White says. It also might be far past due. It was reported last year that Pentagon officials were hiding reports of "$125 billion in administrative waste" in order to preserve their budget. And the Government Accountability Office accused the Department of Defense of "serious financial management problems" last January. Department of Defense comptroller David Norquist, who calls the audit a "great opportunity," says they will now happen yearly. "Annual audits ... ensure visibility over the quantity and quality of the equipment and supplies our troops use," the Hill quotes Norquist as saying.

These Infographics Show How Much It Costs To Be A Superhero

These Infographics Show How Much It Costs To Be A Superhero

 


People Are Outraged At Chris Brown Over Insta Video Of His Daughter And Her Pet Monkey

People Are Outraged At Chris Brown Over Insta Video Of His Daughter And Her Pet Monkey

Chris Brown, a rapper who somehow continues to have a hugely successful career in spite of everything, is in hot water again with the people of the internet. And it's surprisingly not related to his treatment of women, this time.

The 28-year-old shared an Instagram video on Wednesday that shows his three-year-old daughter, Royalty, cradling a baby marmoset monkey he got her as a pet. The internet is furious at Brown for the video, and not because it's so cute it hurt their eyes.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcYnvicF7CT/

"Is that your baby?" Brown asks his (very adorable) daughter in the video. "She's gonna be bigger than you!"

As adorable as this little girl and her pet monkey are, many commenters have pointed out that monkeys are exotic animals and belong in the wild. They are not meant to be household pets, and living in captivity can jeopardize their own health and safety as well as the humans they live with.

 

These commenters aren't wrong. According to most animal experts, monkeys make terrible household pets. As Veterinarian Kevin Wright, director of conservation at the Phoenix Zoo in Arizona, told National Geographic:

If you try to keep [monkeys] as pets you're creating a mentally disturbed animal in 99.9 percent of the cases. The animal will never be able to fit in any other home. Never learn how to get along with other monkeys. And, more often than not, will end up with a lot of behavioral traits that are self-destructive.

Monkeys are cute, but they are not household pets. Monkeys are cute, but they are not household pets. <--- writing this over and over on a chalkboard until I get the message because after watching that video OMG I WANT ONE!!!!!!!!!!!

 


Idiot Cements Microwave To Head And Firefighters Have To Rescue Him

Idiot Cements Microwave To Head And Firefighters Have To Rescue Him

Here’s another piece of advice from me to you. Are you bored? Get a hobby. Collect stamps. Read a book. Draw. Just don’t, for the love of everything that is holy, do what Jay Swingler did.

The 22-year-old from Wolverhampton, England, decided that getting YouTube views was important enough to him that he was going to cement his head inside a microwave for some reason. Well to no one’s shock not only did this idiot do just that, but his head became stuck, forcing him to reach out to firefighters to release him.

Swingler mixed seven bags of Polyfilla before his “pals” tipped the microwave over his head. Swingler had a plastic bag over his head and a tube to breathe, but he still found himself struggling to breathe when the microwave became stuck.

 

His just as dumb friends spent 90 minutes trying to rescue Swingler before they called for help. Firefighters showed up and took an hour of their time rescuing this fool.

“As funny as this sounds, this young man could quite easily have suffocated or have been seriously injured,” Watch Commander Shaun Dakin of the West Midlands Fire Service crew said. “Taking the microwave apart was tricky, because a lot of it was welded. We video-called our technical rescue colleagues for advice and eventually managed to get him unstuck.”

Dakin adds that while the group of dudes were sorry, it was a “rescue” call that they shouldn’t have needed to make.

“It took us nearly an hour to free him,” Dakin said. “All of the group involved were very apologetic, but this was clearly a call-out which might have prevented us from helping someone else in genuine, accidental need.”

https://twitter.com/WestMidsFire/status/938831999770521600

And what did Swingler have to say about all this? Well…

https://twitter.com/JayFromTGF/status/938799179710812166


Should Our Society Get Free Money? Universal Basic Income Explained

Should Our Society Get Free Money? Universal Basic Income Explained -

If we were to give everyone a minimum basic income, would that improve our lives for the better or actually make it worse?

 


The Rise Of Bad Jobs Explained

The Rise Of Bad Jobs Explained

 

 

It's easy to find a job, just not a good one.


John Cena Buys Fancy Car, Sells It, Gets Sued By Ford

John Cena Buys Fancy Car, Sells It, Gets Sued By Ford

 

John Cena is being sued by Ford for allegedly selling his new 2017 Ford GT too soon after buying it for $460,000, the Washington Post reports. According to Jalopnik, approximately 7,000 people applied for a chance to buy the limited-edition supercar, and Cena was one of 500 selected to purchase it. In its lawsuit—filed Thursday in Michigan—Ford says it "reserves these unique vehicles for only those individuals who truly desire a special ownership experience, such as ... individuals who will be influencers and ambassadors of the vehicle and the Ford brand." Cena seemingly fit the bill, filming a YouTube video touting the wonders of the Ford GT. But the lawsuit claims the wrestler and actor broke contract with Ford when he turned around and flipped his GT for a profit.

 

 

As part of the process to buy the GT, Cena had to agree multiple times to maintain ownership of it for at least two years. But the lawsuit claims he sold it Oct. 20—less than a month after receiving it—and in doing so caused Ford "loss of brand value, ambassador activity, and customer goodwill." The lawsuit states Cena admitted to selling the car "for cash to take care of expenses" and said he would "make it right" but has not yet done so. Ford claims Cena "made a large profit" on the sale of the car and is seeking whatever he sold it for plus damages, TMZ reports. Those damages are said to exceed $75,000.


15 Big Industry Secrets That Aren't Supposed To Be Known To The Public

15 Big Industry Secrets That Aren't Supposed To Be Known To The Public

 

Does your business have any secrets of their own?

1. astrath -- Now I'm curious just how different they taste.

Pretty much all 'wasabi' outside of Japan is actually just regular horseradish dyed green.

2. zerbey -- Google is the true technical support.

I work in technical support. If I put you on hold saying I need to research something, it means I'm frantically searching Google because I have no clue what the answer is. If I have to "call you back in a few minutes" it means I'm running around the office asking other people about your obscure issue. Finally if I'm "doing some internal research" it means I'm totally stumped and had to escalate to someone else (very rare).

3. TrentZoolander -- Noted.

10 years of radio tells me ... if you call in to win ... pretend to be excited. We don't even waste our time with Johnny Boring-AF ... Answer that phone with GUSTO and VERVE ... and you will win always!

We are looking for something that sounds good. Honestly, if your farts were interesting and written here, they'd make Canadian Content.

4. themightyshrek -- This explains why I am not a tennis superstar, yet.

Tennis: whatever racquet your hero is using, you won't be able to buy it. Babolat was actually sued because of this. They are mostly old models or prototypes, with a paint job to make them look like whatever the company is currently peddling. EDIT: because of the interest shown, here is a nice article about this practice.

5. EpicElk -- Pretty fucking scummy, indeed.

I work for one of Australia's largest online bookmakers (racing and sports betting).

At the end of our adverts, we tell you to 'gamble responsibly'. But what we don't tell you is that if you consistently win over a short period of time, we will limit/ban your account.

Either you lose your money, or you get banned. Pretty fucking scummy.

6. ferocitanium -- This is a wholesome lie, though.

From a family member who works in childcare: most babies in daycare take their first steps at daycare. The providers lie to the parents about it and tell the parents "they're nearly there."

7. Chef_Cutiecat -- Interesting.

Recycling is actually pretty profitable when it's done remotely well and the fact that it's charged for as a service is fucking stupid. It's gross managerial incompetence on the part of many recycling companies that leads to cities and municipalities paying for it with taxpayer dollars.

8. 12lawliet12 -- But really, what did you expect?

Most hotel room coffee pots have never been properly washed, just rinsed out in the bathroom sink. Also, the comforters and topcovers don't get washed between guests unless there's a visible stain.

9. WhoKilledZekeIddon -- This is kinda fucked.

Entering an online competition via social media? The company won't 'randomly' pick a winner - they'll spend time figuring out who has got the most followers/social influence, then pick that guy.

10. blueoysterpulp -- Cheesecake is good no matter where it comes from.

My friend works at a korean bakery... they sell cheesecake and a lot of people seem to like it a lot. They buy it from cheesecake factory but imply they make it.

11. hashtagsugary -- That's nasty.

Corporate office cleaning, I work really late some nights and see the same cloth they use to wipe out trash bins being used on kitchen counter surfaces.

Corporations always go with the cheapest contractor in the market, but good luck explaining the spread of germs or infection because you literally will Get what you pay for.

Gross.

12. bballer5455 -- We are eating old-ass apples.

Some of the apples you buy in the store today were picked more than a year ago and treated/stored in such a way that they stay "fresh"

13. Mathiasb4u -- C'mon phlebotomists.

When you get lab work done, and they tell you there was a problem and they need to test again... It's because the nurse/assistant/phlebotomist didn't properly handle the specimen.

14. Erikthered65 -- Well we talk shit about them too, so it's only fair.

Teachers absolutely talk shit about you and your kids in the staff room.

15. DrBalance -- TIL I could work in IT.

In IT we are just googling the exact error message you read out to us and using the first forum search result as the fix. We aren't actually geniuses.


McDonald's Manager Gets Big Reward For Murder Suspect Tip

McDonald's Manager Gets Big Reward For Murder Suspect Tip

 A McDonald's manager will get a $110,000 reward for tipping off police about a man accused of killing four people and terrorizing a Florida neighborhood for 51 days. Tampa police chief Brian Dugan said at a news conference Friday that Delonda Walker will receive "every penny" of the reward money. Her tip to police on Tuesday led to the arrest of 24-year-old Howell Emanuel Donaldson III.

 

Donaldson is charged with four counts of first-degree murder. His victims were apparently randomly shot during October and November. Donaldson worked at the McDonald's and left his loaded gun in the restaurant. In a statement, Walker said getting a reward never entered her mind. She said she simply "wanted to do the right thing."


Man Tries To Pay Ticket With Pennies, Gets Choked Out By Guard And Then Defecates Himself

Man Tries To Pay Ticket With Pennies, Gets Choked Out By Guard And Then Defecates Himself

When Anthony Sevy got a parking ticket in Royal Oak, he wasn't pleased. When he went to pay his ticket with pennies, he was turned away, choked, and then defecated himself - his attorney claims.

"I don't think that in everyday course of business, we poop our pants or go around defecating ourselves," his attorney Jonathan Marco said.

Let's back up. Sevy went to pay his $10 parking ticket in Royal Oak's 44th District Court in February, but was told he'd have a $1.75 surcharge on his credit card. He wasn't happy and left.

His attorney says he came back to pay with rolls of pennies. He's on video with the court officers and his bag of pennies making what his attorney called a symbolic protest.

 


10 Of The World’s Most Ridiculous Lawsuits

10 Of The World’s Most Ridiculous Lawsuits

 

 

When we think of lawsuits, many of us picture attorneys in expensive power suits trying their cases in solemn courtrooms. It all seems so serious, with dramatic issues of justice on the line.

Then there are the less serious cases. We’ve all heard about the ridiculous incident where a man tried to sue Red Bull for false marketing after he discovered that the energy drink did not give him wings. Not surprisingly, he claimed that the drink had not enhanced his physical or intellectual prowess, either, even after a decade of gulping it down.

Here are 10 more ridiculous cases that have clogged the justice system over the years.

10 Sperm Theft

In 1998, a man from Albuquerque filed a lawsuit against his former girlfriend for impregnating herself without his consent. Plaintiff Peter Wallis accused defendant Kellie Smith of fraud and breach of contract for “intentionally acquiring and misusing his sperm.”

According to Wallis, Smith had given her word that she would use the Pill. Then she intentionally stopped taking it to have his baby. This resulted in Wallis being the father of a baby without his knowledge or consent to the plan. His plea for money was based on the grounds that he would have to pay the expenses to support a child whom he did not want.

On the defendant’s side, lawyers argued that Smith could not have “stolen” the sperm because it was transferred during a voluntary act. Therefore, it should be legally classed as a gift and Wallis no longer had any right of possession.

Upon hearing of the pregnancy, Wallis proposed to Smith and requested that she get an abortion.[1] However, Smith declined both offers and moved in with her parents instead. Contrary to Wallis’s argument that women have all the choices and that it wasn’t fair for him to have to pay up, Smith was within her rights with both rejections and therefore won the case.

9 McDonald’s Under Heat

In 1992, 79-year-old Albuquerque resident Stella Liebeck was a passenger in her grandson’s car when they ordered coffee at a local McDonald’s drive-through window. The coffee was served in a Styrofoam cup with a plastic lid. Liebeck attempted to remove the lid so that she could add cream and sugar to her beverage.

She placed the coffee cup between her knees and peeled at the lid, which resulted in the contents of the cup being spilled on her lap. Unfortunately, the situation was made worse by her attire as her sweatpants absorbed the boiling hot coffee, held it against her skin, and worsened the burns. She suffered third-degree burns on her inner thighs and was hospitalized for eight days while she underwent skin graft procedures.

Upon filing the lawsuit against McDonald’s, Liebeck wished to settle for $20,000 to cover her medical expenses and lost income for her daughter (who took time off from work to care for Liebeck). However, McDonald’s refused the offer. The case unveiled a previous 700 claims over burns from the coffee between 1982 and 1992, some of which also included third-degree burns.[2]

Liebeck’s lawyers used this to prove that the organization was aware of the risks of the temperature of their coffee and tried to sue further for negligence. At the conclusion of the case, the jury awarded Liebeck $160,000 in compensatory damages and $2.7 million in punitive damages. The punitive damages were later reduced to $480,000 after information was given that the temperature of the coffee had been recorded wrong.

8 Godly Powers

In 2005, Minnesota resident Christopher Roller sued illusionist David Copperfield for $50 million. Roller was convinced that he was God, and the acts of several magicians led him to honestly believe that they were stealing his powers and improperly using them to perform magic.

During the dispute, Roller addressed reporters to inform them that he would withdraw the lawsuit if Copperfield could prove how he performed his magic without using the powers of God.[3]

Following the dismissal of his lawsuit, Roller applied for a patent for exclusive rights to the use of godly powers on Earth. He argued that he is a god entity and that others have been receiving unethical financial gains from the use of his powers.

The former US Navy nuclear engineer stated in his application that he realized the potential of his supernatural gift when he noticed millions of spirits entering his soul in 1999. Obviously, the patent application was rejected.

7 Victoria’s Secret

In 2008, 52-year-old Macrida Patterson, who was employed by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, filed a lawsuit against retail giant Victoria’s Secret. The story behind her case is that she suffered damage to her eye after a metal fastener snapped off a thong and scratched her cornea, causing an injury that did not require surgery.

The plaintiff argued that she was using the product as intended by the defendants. However, there was debate about a sizing issue and the fact that the product had been worn and laundered several times.[4]

Patterson’s attorney said that the injury would affect his client for the rest of her life. Although Patterson sought compensation of at least $25,000 for lost wages, medical expenses, and damages, her lawyer stated that the case was not about money but about making retailers aware that they are accountable for the products they sell.

6 The Work Is Too Boring

In a 2016 case, Frenchman Frederic Desnard filed a case against his former employer for 360,000 euros after using the phrases “descent into hell” and “nightmare” to describe his boredom levels at work. The defendant was French perfumer Interparfums where Desnard was an employee for eight years before apparently being forced out of his job by increased levels of boredom.

He believes that the company intentionally cast him aside after losing a major contract. Then, after seven months’ sick leave for health issues like epilepsy and ulcers, he was fired.[5]

The case went on to include workplace harassment by Desnard’s superiors, including name-calling and insulting duties like picking up their kids from school. Desnard’s lawyer stated that “bore-out” is considered harassment and that the company should be required to pay for any mental torment caused to their employee.

The case was finally considered by a labor tribunal in Paris. Although they were supposed to issue a decision on July 27, 2016, they set the case for a new hearing instead.

5 False Weather Prediction

Ever been in one of those situations where you’re really looking forward to a day off that has been forecast to be sunny—and then it rains? An Israeli woman had this unfortunate experience, too.

However, instead of moving on with her day, she filed a lawsuit against the TV weatherman for malpractice. After hearing the weather prediction of a sunny day, the plaintiff dressed lightly. She got caught in a storm, contracted the flu, missed four days of work, and forked out $38 on medication.

For compensation, she sued for $1,000 dollars due to added stress. She also demanded an apology from weatherman Danny Rup. The TV station settled out of court and paid the woman $1,000. Oh, and Rup apologized.[6]

4 Smelly Feet

In 1999, Netherlands student Teunis Tenbrook was expelled from Erasmus University due to the smell of his feet. No joke. He was removed from the institution on the grounds that the smell of his feet prevented students and teachers from focusing and they could no longer be around him.[7]

Tenbrook, who had been studying philosophy at the time of the incident, filed a lawsuit against the learning institution so that he could be reinstated. After a 10-year fight in court, the judge ruled that the university had to reinstate the student and learn to deal with the issue of his smelly feet. No word on whether he ever graduated.

3 Radio Station Prank

Photo credit: OSX

In 2000, Catherine McGowan, single mother and manager of a local videoshop, called up a radio station to enter a contest that offered a brand-new Renault Clio as a prize. Little did she know that her prize was actually a toy model of the car, which left her infuriated and humiliated. So McGowan sued the radio station.

As a result of the lawsuit, Chris Constantine, the radio DJ behind the stunt, was sacked for breaching the station’s governing rules that competition should be conducted ethically. The station manager then contacted reporters to admit that McGowan had been incorrectly led to believe that the competition was legit.

Luckily for McGowan, she won the case and was awarded enough money to buy a real, brand-new Renault Clio.[8]

2 Too Scary Halloween

Every year, thousands of people cross the world to attend Universal Studios’ famous Halloween Horror Night. They expect fear, thrills, and excitement to be thrown their way. In 1998, Cleanthi Peters, however, was not ready for the fright she received, later claiming that she was assaulted by a chainsaw-wielding maniac.

She filed a lawsuit against Universal Studios for emotional and physical damage caused by one of their haunted houses, which she had attended with her 10-year-old granddaughter. After receiving a fright from the chainsaw-wielding man, the duo fled to the exit. Both slipped on the floor, which was moist from a mist used by Universal to cool visitors after their trip though the horror house.[9]

The suit demanded over $15,000 dollars for unspecified injuries and mental trauma. Universal settled out of court.

1 Dangerous Nike Weapon

Photo credit: oregonlive.com

A judge was made to formally dismiss a $100 million lawsuit in which convict Sirgiorgio Sanford Clardy claimed that Nike should have warned him that his Air Jordans were a dangerous weapon in disguise. Clardy was given a 100-year prison sentence after stomping on the face of a man outside a Portland motel. The victim required stitches and plastic surgery on his nose as a result of the incident.

Clardy then made international headlines when he filed a suit to shift the responsibility for his attack on Nike for their alleged failure to warn him of the shoes’ dangers. The 24-minute hearing included a short response from Nike’s attorneys. They explained that there was no defect in the shoes and no danger of causing such grievous bodily harm if the sneakers were used as intended.

The judge denied Clardy a free attorney because it was a civil lawsuit. Eventually, the judge also had to ask Clardy to be quiet so that he could make a judgment. Although Nike obviously won the case, records show that they spent over $1,400 in court fees.[10]


20 Vintage Ads For Old Technology That Used To Be Insanely Expensive

20 Vintage Ads For Old Technology That Used To Be Insanely Expensive

 

 




Cheese Expert Guesses Cheap VS Expensive Cheeses

Cheese Expert Guesses Cheap VS Expensive Cheeses

 

Epicurious challenged cheese expert and noted author Liz Thorpe to guess which one of two cheeses was more expensive. Liz breaks down cheap vs expensive parmesan cheese, goat cheese, gruyère cheese, feta cheese, and blue cheese. For each round of cheap cheese vs expensive cheese, Liz visually analyzed, smelled, then executed a taste test before guessing which cheese cost more. Once the prices were revealed, Thorpe explained why a specific cheese making process costs more and dives into the specifics of how to make the different cheeses.

 


5 Video Game Microtransactions Most People Would Actually LOVE To Pay For

 

5 Video Game Microtransactions Most People Would Actually LOVE To Pay For

Right now, microtransactions are the scourge of the video game world, and with good reason! It sucks feeling like a game is nickel-and-diming you, asking you to buy loot crates for random equipment in hopes you'll get the thing you want. Even worse is when a game is pay-to-win, like in the case of the easily mocked Star Wars Battlefront 2 — until recently, someone who spent extra money on the game could get perks that would make them more likely to win in online multiplayer. The whole idea of microtransactions is, in a word, whack.

But maybe they don't have to be? Here are some microtransactions that, if they were offered in video games, I would be "happy" to pay:

 

Loot boxes in Crash Bandicoot


(source)

I feel like I'm always missing just a couple of boxes at the end of a level in Crash Bandicoot. In a series where it doesn't matter what's inside the boxes, only that you break them, I'd be happy to drop some money on loot boxes. Just give me the crystal you get when you break all the boxes that I don't remember what it does!

 

Pay for inventory slots in Resident Evil


(source)

There's nothing more frustrating than finding an item in a Resident Evil game and not having enough open inventory slots to collect it. The Resident Evil games with limited inventory space (read: the ONLY Resident Evil games) are all single-player experiences, so it won't affect anyone but yourself if you mismanage and buy more slots. Plus, this would add to the realism of a zombie outbreak-type environment — the very first thing I would do if my city was infested with zombies would be to go out and buy a backpack so I could hold all my red jewels and animal medallions. The second thing I would do is die.

 

Pay-to-just be done with Skyrim


(source)

Game is long. Like, LONG long. If I gave the developers some money, could I just, like, be done, but maintain credibility in the various gaming forums I frequent?

 

Pay-to-be-nice-to-me-online


(source)

Playing first-person shooters online will get you called every horrible name in the book. I would love some sort of microtransaction system where I could pay everyone to be nice to me. That's how I got through middle school.

 

DLB (DownLoadable Beauty)


(source)

Flower is a beautiful game, and I would be happy to pay for more beauty. An added pedal loping lazily to to the ground? An extra wind blowing by, soft enough so as not to disturb but active enough to remind there are forces bigger than you; bigger than me; bigger than us all? Yeah, I'd drop 3.99 on that.

Well. 2.99.

JK, All of this is garbage. Get and keep micro transactions out of games. They should be the death of any good reputation a game company has. The only way to keep it out of games for good is by not supporting games that include micro transactions.


10 Reasons Why Bitcoin Will Fail

10 Reasons Why Bitcoin Will Fail

 

For people outside of the complex and exciting world of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin can be hard to understand. Many have brushed it off for years, saying that it was a fad that would disappear as quickly as the value of Beanie Babies. However, with the price spiking in the thousands of dollars for a single Bitcoin, naysayers are suddenly singing a different tune. Newcomers are dumping their money into Bitcoin, hoping that the price will only continue to grow.

Many old-school investors who haven’t done their research will simply say it’s in an economic bubble and call it a day. But the reasons why Bitcoin cannot succeed in the long run go so much deeper than that. Just like any other speculative asset, no one really knows what is going to happen in the future. However, when one looks at the big picture, it becomes clear that Bitcoin will struggle to survive.

10 Blockchain > Bitcoin


The most valuable thing about Bitcoin is that it introduced blockchain technology to the world. Blockchain technology drastically improves the speed, privacy, and security of sending money. Bitcoin can be sent from one person to another without a middleman, and it encrypts everyone’s identity to a long string of letters and numbers called a “wallet.” Blockchain is a big deal. Its potential to change technology is as big as the Internet. At the moment, the world of blockchain is young and exciting, like the Wild West of the digital world.

However, even though Bitcoin was the first to introduce blockchain to the world, it’s not necessary for blockchain to exist. Sort of like if one web page goes down, the Internet still exists. Most people never saw the very first website that was ever created. It was a blank white page that was titled “World Wide Web” and a list of text links. That’s it.[1] No one could have ever imagined that that seemingly unimpressive page would evolve into what has now become what the Internet is today. There are already bigger, better, and faster versions of blockchain that made improvements on the original Bitcoin, like Ethereum and Ripple. Both of these coins, or “cryptocurrencies,” are already available on the market.

9 Big Brother Is Watching


One of the biggest benefits of Bitcoin it that it is supposed to be private, secure, and untraceable. Obviously, this was a huge benefit for criminals on the Dark Web. Cryptocurrency got a really bad reputation once news broke that Bitcoin was being used to send money anonymously on the drug trafficking website Silk Road.

The appeal that a lot of Americans see in Bitcoin is that they believe they can avoid paying taxes to the IRS, which is also a crime. It’s tax evasion. In 2013, 44 percent of the Bitcoin supply belonged to people who identify as Libertarian. Today, the market has way more newcomers, so the percentage of Libertarians is much smaller as more casual people join to invest in hopes of getting rich, rather than trying to start a revolution.

What casual Bitcoin users don’t seem to understand is that even though their name is protected as a string of numbers and letters on the public ledger, that doesn’t mean they are fully anonymous. Most Bitcoin exchanges like Coinbase require that new users must upload the front and back of a Photo ID as well as take a selfie to prove that it’s really them. In Coinbase’s privacy policy, they state that they will keep your name, address, phone number, and more for up to five years and will give it to law enforcement if there was ever a subpoena.[2]

The FBI has made it very clear that they are watching Bitcoin very closely, and they are getting better and better at finding the true identities of the people who use Bitcoin for illegal activity. They are fully aware that not everyone who uses Bitcoin is a criminal. In fact, they have a public dossier of their educational materials given to law enforcement to help them understand what it is. There are plenty of ways for hackers to hide their identity, but for the casual user, they are not getting any added expectation of privacy from Bitcoin. At this point in time, the only way to truly have an anonymous and untraceable financial transaction is with cold, hard cash.

8 The Lack Of Leadership


Bitcoin was created by the man of mystery, Satoshi Nakamoto. While there are many compelling theories about his true identity, no one knows exactly who he is. At the beginning of the Bitcoin project, Satoshi was able to guide the coders who helped create the platform any time they had a question. Once investigation agencies all over the world began searching for him, Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared. All over the world, homes of suspected Satoshis have been raided. Despite law enforcement’s best efforts, his true identity is still a mystery.

Now, coders and miners must come to a consensus every time a decision about Bitcoin’s future must be made. Unfortunately, the community cannot seem to agree on even the smallest decisions. There is no clear business plan mapping out Bitcoin’s future. In fact, the Reddit community message boards had to split into two totally separate Bitcoin groups, because opposing opinions wanted to continue to talk inside an echo chamber instead of getting along.[3]

Other cryptocurrencies actually have leaders to guide them. Vitalik Buterin is the boy genius creator of Ethereum. Harvard-educated Brad Garlinghouse is the CEO of Ripple. Both Buterin and Garlinghouse met with central banks and the Federal Reserve in October 2017, but Bitcoin did not have a seat, because there is no leader to represent them.

7 Laws And Regulations


In October 2017, China declared that it was illegal to create an “ICO,” which stands for “Initial Coin Offering.” Start-up companies were learning how to use blockchain to make their own spin-off coins to raise funds. The only downside was that a lot of these coins were fraudulent. A few fake coin companies took millions of dollars from desperate people who were trying to invest so they could “get rich” on these ICOs.

In New York, all businesses who want to accept Bitcoin are required to register for a “BitLicense” if they want to do business. The license promises to comply with United States taxation laws and regulations. The application costs $5,000, and there are 500 pages of legal paperwork that would require a team of taxation lawyers to decipher. For most businesses, it’s simply not worth the money, time, and effort to accept Bitcoin when so few people will actually use it in their stores.[4]

In 2014, the IRS released a guideline that anyone who profits from digital currency needs to pay taxes in the same way that anyone selling their stocks or bonds must pay their taxes. If the Bitcoin revolutionaries stick to their morals, they aren’t going to listen to the IRS. When there is such a huge spotlight on an activity that is known for tax evasion, it is obviously something that law enforcement takes notice of.

6 Use Cases


Many small businesses in California’s Silicon Valley accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, but larger corporations still only accept cash and cards. Unless Bitcoin can actually buy and sell things with bigger companies, they will never actually have very much of a purpose, since blockchain technology can exist without Bitcoin. The Journal of Government Financial Managementsays that blockchain technology can truly help the financial system, but they need to see more successful examples of use cases, first.

At the moment, the one and only digital currency that is actually working with the US Federal Reserve is a company called Ripple. They have proven that they can work with large corporations, banks, and credit card companies. They’re even going to process the financial transactions of American Express. Ripple has their own cryptocurrency, called XRP.

All of the original ideas for possible use cases for the blockchain are actually coming true through Ripple, not Bitcoin. In October 2017, Bill Gatesannounced that he chose Ripple to run his project that will help alleviate poverty in developing nations, despite having promoted Bitcoin in the past.[5]

5 Time And Mining Problems


The longer Bitcoin exists, the more difficult it becomes to “mine,” or create new coins. Without the miners, the Bitcoin network collapses. The cost of getting started as a new miner is so far out of reach for the average person that the main miners are gigantic warehouses in China. In most countries, the cost of electricity to run these computers is actually more than what the digital currency is worth, which makes it pointless to even try.

The longer Bitcoin exists, the longer it takes for these computer systems to process the information. At the time this article was written, the official time for a Bitcoin transfer is “one hour,” but anyone who uses Bitcoin on a regular basis knows that is far from the truth. Transactions can take up to six hours at busy times of the day, because it averages 15 transactions per second. There is no guarantee that it will ever improve. In fact, it is likely to keep getting worse.[6]

In contrast, Ripple’s coin XRP settles 1,500 transactions every second, and they have the technology and infrastructure to make sure that they’ll never slow down. In the digital age, where people want things to happen within a split second, it is simply not realistic to think that as the world slowly begins to understand and use blockchain in their everyday lives, they will choose the slower option, Bitcoin, over currencies that are faster.

4 Fear, Uncertainty, And Doubt


The current Bitcoin market is extremely volatile. If Bitcoin is in the news, its price can fluctuate hundreds of dollars in a matter of hours. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt are talked about so often in the community that everyone just calls them “FUD.” If there was ever any reason for the public to believe that Bitcoin may become illegal, if there was a hack, a virus, or any other issue in the system, the value will drop dramatically as people panic and sell as quickly as possible. It’s very similar to the stock market in that way.

If the Great Depression and the 2008 recession were any clue about the future, people will sell without hesitation if they lose faith in Bitcoin. Without any clear vision of where Bitcoin is going, there is very little for an investor to count on or to have faith in. Many people have been rewarded for holding onto their Bitcoins for dear life, but good news can only last for so long.[7]

3 Will The Real Bitcoin Please Stand Up?


Since the Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto is no longer publishing his opinions, all coders have left is the documentation he left behind. One person can read the same exact paragraph in the Bitcoin White Paper and come up with a totally different interpretation of Satoshi’s words than the next person. There are a lot of people who believe that in order for Bitcoin to survive, there needs to be a mass exodus to another platform that would be faster and more reliable.

Developers have come up with a solution called a “hard fork,” which is why Bitcoin Cash was created. However, they believed that Bitcoin Cash still did not solve the problems, so there was a much-contested plan to create yet another hard fork called Bitcoin Gold. That plan, known as SegWit2x, was eventually called off, and it resulted in another sharp spike in the price of the original Bitcoin.[8]

As of 2017, the amount of Bitcoin that Satoshi Nakamoto owns is now worth billions of dollars, and he has made it clear that he is done with the project. He could possibly be on a private island enjoying life while coders continue to argue over which coin gets to be the “real” Bitcoin.

2 The One Percent Hate Bitcoin


Billionaire Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan chase, has called Bitcoin a fraud and says that it is destined to fail. He said that even if the price of one Bitcoin rises to $100,000, it would not change his opinion that it is destined for failure some day.[9]

Every single year, Toronto hosts a banking conference called the Swift International Banking Operations Seminar (SIBOS), where some of the most powerful people in the world meet. The major company that runs the convention is called Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). They are in charge of what the world currently uses for banking transfers. One individual bank moves billions of dollars every year. Almost all of the banks in the world use SWIFT’s now-outdated technology, and they handle quadrillions of dollars.

At the October 2017 SIBOS, SWIFT CEO Gottfried Leibbrandt said during an interview that their company is trying to come out with a technology that will improve security, anonymity, and speed. It’s easy to read between the lines and know that what he is really saying is that they want to make their own blockchain. However, he claims that it will take them over a year to actually get their technology up and running. Ripple was so confident that they can beat SWIFT that they they purposely scheduled their own conference, called SWELL, at the same time and location as SIBOS. Their party-crashing resulted in successfully adopting hundreds of new banking partners to use their technology. The one percent aren’t threatened by Ripple the way they are by Bitcoin.

1 The End Of The World As We Know It


The most enthusiastic supporters of Bitcoin are revolutionaries. Some hope that people will rise up and choose to go with Bitcoin instead of using traditional banks. Michael Lewis, the author of Moneyball, was encouraged to talk to these Bitcoin revolutionaries in Silicon Valley, because it might make for good material for another book. He watched as the revolutionaries very literally sat around smoking weed and talking about their ideas of the future, and he left feeling as though Bitcoin was going to fail. He decided not to write a book on the subject.[10]

In order for these revolutionaries to get what they want—people losing faith in banks and switching to Bitcoin—the economy of the world as we know it would have to collapse. If that actually happened, people would have to lose their jobs, their homes, and maybe even their lives. Active revolutionaries who are pushing for a collapse are in short supply.

While they’re not necessarily one and the same, a member of Anonymoustold Vice News that many of the members have left and that the organization is full of distrust. Others make false promises and never act out on their plans of revolution. For the most part, it’s just kids writing on the Internet about how they want the world to change, without a real plan on how to execute it. If one revolutionary group like Anonymous can fall apart, what’s to stop Bitcoin from suffering the same fate? Even if they could change everything in an instant, would they really be prepared to push the big red button to begin the end of the world?


FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Facts About Nauru — The Island That Was Once The World’s Richest Country

FASCINATING FACTS: 10 Facts About Nauru — The Island That Was Once The World’s Richest Country

Nauru is an island of about eight and a half square miles with a population of around 10,000. It’s located in the South Pacific about halfway between Australia and Hawaii. The country has a storied history, to say the least. In a period of fewer than three decades, Nauru went from being the world’s wealthiest country to one of the poorest. Its story involves environmental destruction, money laundering for the Russian mob, and a series of ill-conceived, money-making schemes.

1. Nauru was considered the world’s wealthiest country in 1980, but by 2017, it was one of the five poorest.

Image source:1,2

The reason it was considered the wealthiest country was due to the large income the government made by selling phosphate. The island had large deposits of high-grade phosphate rock that had formed as a result of several millenniums’ worth of seabird guano. In 1975, the country earned the equivalent of $2.5 billion which gave it the highest income per resident in the world. The government’s large income allowed it to collect no taxes and provide essential services for free including health care, dental care, bus transportation, and education. If a Nauruan needed medical treatment not available on the island, the government would pay to fly them to Australia. In addition, qualified Naurans could go to university in Australia for free, and government housing was available for less than $5 a month.

But the country’s downfall came when the phosphate deposits started becoming depleted.(1,2)

2. Nauru started suffering from persistent droughts, and there’s a theory that they were caused by the “oven effect.” That means rain clouds are blown away by hot air rising from the island’s bare, rocky interior that was the result of the mining.

Image source: wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauru

Over the years, the extensive phosphate mining has resulted in almost 80% of the island’s interior becoming uninhabitable since it’s covered with abandoned, surface mines.  It has been described as a “barren moonscape of jagged rock,” full of stone canals, coral outcroppings, and limestone towers. As a result, the island’s population lives only on the outer rim of the island.(source)

3. In the early 1990’s, the phosphate resources started running out.  The government tried to generate income in a number of ways but ended up losing large amounts of money instead. One of their plans was to invest in a musical theater show.

Image source: 1,2

One of the government’s financial advisers was previously a roadie for a British pop band and had co-written a musical with the band’s lead singer. The musical was based on the life of Leonardo Da Vinci and was called “Leonardo the Musical: A Portrait of Love.” The financial adviser convinced the government to finance the show.

The show debuted in London in June of 1993, and most of the audience left before the performance ended. It was panned by critics for its rambling plot. The show closed a few weeks later. By investing in the show, the government lost approximately $7 million in today’s currency.

That wasn’t the only time Nauru had poor luck with its financial advisers. Another adviser embezzled $60 million from the country. Also, the Nauru government fell for an investment scam in 1992 and lost $30 million. The scam involved selling investors like Nauru “prime bank notes” that were supposedly traded in secret by the super-rich.(1,2)

4. Other money-making schemes considered by the Nauru government included manufacturing coffee tables and getting into the phone-sex industry.

Image source: 1,2

One government official said there was some discussion about allowing Nauru’s phone code to be used for 1-900 phone-sex lines. In 2000, the president said Nauru was studying a proposal to cut slabs from the limestone pinnacles on the island and use them to make coffee tables for sale in the West.

Nauru has even used its membership in the UN General Assembly to make money. Unrecognized nations, such as the breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia, have paid Nauru tens of millions to help legitimize them by “recognizing” their countries.(source)

5. One way the government successfully made money was by offering other countries the opportunity to set up banks on the island. Nauru specializes in “shell banks,” which means they only exist on paper. Shell banks in Nauru are free from the standard requirement of recording major transactions which makes them ideal for money laundering.

Image source: 1,2

As of 2000, Nauru had at least 400 shell banks registered on the island. But since shell banks only exist on paper, Nauru’s banking system consisted only of a bunch of computers in a shack.(source)

6. The island’s loose banking laws made it attractive to the Russian mafia. In 1998, they set up shell banks and laundered more than $70 billion through Nauru.

Image source: 1,2

This money-laundering operation is considered responsible for crippling Russia’s economy. In 2000, more than half of the 400 shell banks on the island were owned by Russian clients. Because the country keeps no records of shell banks’ transactions, Nauru doesn’t make money based on the amount of funds passing through the banks. Instead, they collect only a start-up fee of $20,000 and an annual renewal fee of $1,000.(1,2)

7. In 2000, the president of Nauru tried to extort $10 million from the US Treasury Department. He wrote a letter asking for the money and said in exchange he would reform Nauru’s banking system.

Image source: 1,2

Nauru’s shell banks were used in the 1999 Bank of New York money-laundering scandal which laundered $7 billion, so the US was putting pressure on Nauru to change its banking laws.

In the letter, the president said he would only change the laws if the US paid $10 million. The letter claimed that the money was simply compensation for Nauru’s losses due to “unsubstantiated allegations” of money laundering.

In response, the deputy treasury secretary said in a speech that ”Nauru should not expect to receive a big check anytime soon.” Instead, Nauru was put under some of the harshest sanctions on any country. Western banks now won’t permit transactions involving Nauru.(source)

8. In 2001, Australia denied entry to 434 refugees and paid Nauru to temporarily house them. To deter future refugees from coming to Australia, the people were treated like criminals and held in detention centers under horrible conditions. Following that first group of refugees, Australia has continued to send many more.

Image source: 1,2

In addition to Nauru, Australia sends refugees to similar camps in Papua New Guinea. As of this year, there are more than 2,000 refugees currently in Australia’s offshore system. It has turned out to be very lucrative for Nauru. Australia has paid Nauru and Papua New Guinea nearly $10 billion over the last four years for housing refugees.

The chief psychiatrist for the detention camps said the conditions there are tortuous. There have been allegations of medical neglect leading to death, and also sexual abuse, and torture by guards. After one refugee was told he would spend the next 10 years there, he set himself on fire in front a group of visiting officials from the United Nations.

One way the Nauru government has tried to keep the treatment of the refugees quiet is by making it difficult for journalists to get a media visa.(source)

9. In 2014, Nauru made it more difficult for foreign journalists to report on the country. The government increased the cost of applying for a media visa from $200 to $8,000, and the fee was non-refundable even if the application was rejected.

Image source: 1,2,3

Australian opposition politicians said the change was likely requested by the Australian government to limit media coverage on the treatment of refugees in Nauru. And, if the higher fee wasn’t enough, several journalists who requested visa application forms said they received no response.(1,2)

10. In 2000, Nauru’s president said the country planned to rehabilitate the island. Since there’s no topsoil left, it’s estimated that rehabilitating the island would cost $300 million and take 20 years.

Image source: 1,2

The president also said they planned to leave one area of the island as it is with all the damage from mining preserved. He said the area will act as a kind of museum, “so that future generations can see what it was like.” But in 2016, the government-owned Nauru Rehabilitation Corporation (NRC) said it was currently focusing on building seawalls to stop the erosion of the coastline. The NRC said it will begin a reforestation project once the seawalls are completed.(1,2)


7 Big Movie Franchises That Never Happened

7 Big Movie Franchises That Never Happened

There are few things Hollywood loves more than a safe bet. Franchise money is safe money, even when critics and audiences alike are fighting against the dreaded franchise fatigue. Even Transformers has started to bring in a few million dollars less than Paramount would like. But a lot of franchises don't get as far in as their fourth sequel. Some don't even make it past the first entry.

For every successful franchise like a Transformers or a Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's a handful of potential blockbusters that stalled at the gate. Maybe the box office didn't take off the way the studio wanted; maybe there was drama behind the scenes; maybe critics and audiences just didn't bite (And sometimes, they keep going despite all that). In the wake of Universal's Dark Universe slowly collapsing in on itself, here are eight different franchises that didn't even make it off the ground.

1. The Golden Compass

Armored polar bears helping defend orphans from goblins? The Golden Compass sounds like every fantasy lover's dream on paper. The production was extremely troubled from the start, with delays caused by directors coming and going and a hefty budget of $180 million. The original plan was to film the following two books in Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, but a disappointing box office (only $70 million domestically) ended talks pretty quickly.

Even considering the movie's massive $300 million+ internatonal haul, the international rights were sold to help fund the movie, which resulted in New Line losing a ton of money and eventually merging with Warner Bros. Pictures. So we'll never get to see what happened with all those polar bears.

2. Ender's Game

Orson Scott Card's sci-fi classic finally came to the big screen back in 2013. A story of children tricked into playing war games by their military academy teachers is a milestone in the genre, one that many people - including Card himself - didn't think would make it to the big screen. He cracked and eventually drafted a screenplay that turned into a star vehicle for Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, and Viola Davis.

It cost upwards of $110 million to make and grossed almost half that ($61 million) in the states. On top of the terrible box office, there were boycotts surrounding Card's opposition to gay marriage and financial support of vocal anti-gay organizations. A sequel based on the book Ender's Shadow was supposed to be filmed back-to-back, but the budget was too small.

3. The Lone Ranger

Oof, where to start with this one? Disney started work on this adaptation in 2008, but production came to a screching halt in 2011 when they went over budget. Production started again in 2012, with Armie Hammer set to play the title character and Johnny Depp to portray Tonto. By the time the film saw the light of day in 2013, its budget was $250 million and it barely managed to make $10 million more than that with its domestic and international total combined.

Critics ripped the film apart and the audiences that did show up to see it weren't much nicer. There was also much controversey around the fact that Depp, who is very white, was playing the Native American character Tonto. A bad movie that went overbudget and had racism front and center? Talk about a triple whammy.

4. Green Lantern

The DC Extended Universe is still struggling to get off the ground, but it was only a few years ago when things were a lot worse. 2011 saw one of the worst films - superhero or otherwise - of all time in Green Lantern, which starred Ryan Reynolds in an awful Green Lantern suit.

It grossed $116 million in the US on a $200 million budget and recouped just enough globally to not be a complete bust. Green Lantern was originally meant to be the start of a trilogy and the catalyst to the DC Extended Universe, but the extreme negative response to the film kept it buried in the back of comic and movie fans' minds for the last six years.

5. I Am Number Four

Imagine Transformers but with magic alien teenagers instead of giant robots and you've basically got a read on I Am Number Four. It's based on the first book of the Lorien Legacies series about a race of superpowered aliens on the run from mercenaries on planet Earth and starred Alex Pettyfer, Teresa Palmer, and Timothy Olyphant.

It cost $50 million to make and brought in $150 million globally and the studio decided against making more because they found the take disappointing. Considering the saturation of movies based on young adult novels at the time, this isn't that much of a surprise. People were angsted out.  

6. John Carter

John Carter is a book series that inspired a ton of pop culture across the 20th century, so expectations were high when Disney annonced a film adaptation. Taylor Kitsch was cast as the titular Carter, a Civil War vet teleported to the surface of Mars who becomes a superhero of sorts. That template alone laid the groundwork for characters like Superman, but unfortunately the movie just didn't catch on.

The film grossed $72 million in the US, a fraction of the $263 million budget. Disney planned on adapting more books in the series, but any chance floated away after that box office take.

7. Jumper

Hayden Christensen's role as Darth Vader in the Star Wars prequels made him one of the hottest actors on the planet at one point. He was snatched up for the lead role in Jumper very quickly, a story about a group of people who could teleport across the planet being chased by a group of religious zelots. It has all the trappings of a potential sci-fi franchise...until it wasn't. Samuel L. Jackson wthi snow white hair wasn't enough, I guess.

It barely made its $85 million budget back in the US but grossed over $200 million around the world, so even if the execution was a little off, people were expecting a sequel. Even Christensen himself was interested in returning, but it just never happened. It's probably better this way so we don't have to see how Jackson starved to death in that hole on the side of the mountain.


Uber Paid Hackers To Delete Stolen Data On 57 Million People

Uber Paid Hackers To Delete Stolen Data On 57 Million People

 

 

Hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber Technologies Inc., a massive breach that the company concealed for more than a year. This week, the ride-hailing firm ousted its chief security officer and one of his deputies for their roles in keeping the hack under wraps, which included a $100,000 payment to the attackers.

Compromised data from the October 2016 attack included names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million Uber riders around the world, the company told Bloomberg on Tuesday. The personal information of about 7 million drivers was accessed as well, including some 600,000 U.S. driver’s license numbers. No Social Security numbers, credit card information, trip location details or other data were taken, Uber said.

At the time of the incident, Uber was negotiating with U.S. regulators investigating separate claims of privacy violations. Uber now says it had a legal obligation to report the hack to regulators and to drivers whose license numbers were taken. Instead, the company paid hackers to delete the data and keep the breach quiet. Uber said it believes the information was never used but declined to disclose the identities of the attackers.

“None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it,” Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over as chief executive officer in September, said in an emailed statement. “We are changing the way we do business.”

 

After Uber’s disclosure Tuesday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation into the hack, his spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick said. The company was also sued for negligence over the breach by a customer seeking class-action status.

Hackers have successfully infiltrated numerous companies in recent years. The Uber breach, while large, is dwarfed by those at Yahoo, MySpace, Target Corp., Anthem Inc. and Equifax Inc. What’s more alarming are the extreme measures Uber took to hide the attack. The breach is the latest scandal Khosrowshahi inherits from his predecessor, Travis Kalanick.

 

Kalanick, Uber’s co-founder and former CEO, learned of the hack in November 2016, a month after it took place, the company said. Uber had just settled a lawsuit with the New York attorney general over data security disclosures and was in the process of negotiating with the Federal Trade Commission over the handling of consumer data. Kalanick declined to comment on the hack.

Joe Sullivan, the outgoing security chief, spearheaded the response to the hack last year, a spokesman told Bloomberg. Sullivan, a onetime federal prosecutor who joined Uber in 2015 from Facebook Inc., has been at the center of much of the decision-making that has come back to bite Uber this year. Bloomberg reported last month that the board commissioned an investigation into the activities of Sullivan’s security team. This project, conducted by an outside law firm, discovered the hack and the failure to disclose, Uber said.

Here’s how the hack went down: Two attackers accessed a private GitHub coding site used by Uber software engineers and then used login credentials they obtained there to access data stored on an Amazon Web Services account that handled computing tasks for the company. From there, the hackers discovered an archive of rider and driver information. Later, they emailed Uber asking for money, according to the company.

A patchwork of state and federal laws require companies to alert people and government agencies when sensitive data breaches occur. Uber said it was obligated to report the hack of driver’s license information and failed to do so.

“At the time of the incident, we took immediate steps to secure the data and shut down further unauthorized access by the individuals,” Khosrowshahi said. “We also implemented security measures to restrict access to and strengthen controls on our cloud-based storage accounts.”

Uber has earned a reputation for flouting regulations in areas where it has operated since its founding in 2009. The U.S. has opened at least five criminal probes into possible bribes, illicit software, questionable pricing schemes and theft of a competitor’s intellectual property, people familiar with the matters have said. The San Francisco-based company also faces dozens of civil suits.

U.K. regulators including the National Crime Agency are also looking into the scale of the breach. London and other governments have previously taken steps toward banning the service, citing what they say is reckless behavior by Uber.

In January 2016, the New York attorney general fined Uber $20,000 for failing to promptly disclose an earlier data breach in 2014. After last year’s cyberattack, the company was negotiating with the FTC on a privacy settlement even as it haggled with the hackers on containing the breach, Uber said. The company finally agreed to the FTC settlement three months ago, without admitting wrongdoing and before telling the agency about last year’s attack.

The new CEO said his goal is to change Uber’s ways. Uber said it informed New York’s attorney general and the FTC about the October 2016 hack for the first time on Tuesday. Khosrowshahi asked for the resignation of Sullivan and fired Craig Clark, a senior lawyer who reported to Sullivan. The men didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Khosrowshahi said in his emailed statement: “While I can’t erase the past, I can commit on behalf of every Uber employee that we will learn from our mistakes.”

The company said its investigation found that Salle Yoo, the outgoing chief legal officer who has been scrutinized for her responses to other matters, hadn’t been told about the incident. Her replacement, Tony West, will start at Uber on Wednesday and has been briefed on the cyberattack.

Travis Kalanick

Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Kalanick was ousted as CEO in June under pressure from investors, who said he put the company at legal risk. He remains on the board and recently filled two seats he controlled.

Uber said it has hired Matt Olsen, a former general counsel at the National Security Agency and director of the National Counterterrorism Center, as an adviser. He will help the company restructure its security teams. Uber hired Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm owned by FireEye Inc., to investigate the hack.

The company plans to release a statement to customers saying it has seen “no evidence of fraud or misuse tied to the incident.” Uber said it will provide drivers whose licenses were compromised with free credit protection monitoring and identity theft protection.

 


10 Wild Game Show Scandals Where Someone Got Scammed

10 Wild Game Show Scandals Where Someone Got Scammed

Game shows appeal to our primal desires. At best, their prizes offer us an ability to put a down payment on a house or send our kids to college. At worst, you’ve beaten and bloodied a stranger for a Blu-ray box set of The Crown.

Either way, it’s a snatchy, gross business. No wonder it’s attracted so many scammers with so many different ways of cheating, although some have ultimately had to settle for the prize of a prison sentence.

10.Charles Ingram Almost Steals £1 Million On Who Wants To Be A Millionaire

Photo credit: Threaders

In September 2001, Charles Ingram appeared on the UK version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. He did extraordinarily well, ultimately winning the top prize of a million pounds. Ingram rarely seemed confident. He erratically switched from one answer to another but always somehow landed on the right one.

As it turns out, he was being fed the answers by two accomplices: Tecwen Whittock, a college lecturer, and Diana Ingram, Charles’s wife. Whittock was sitting in the Fastest Finger First contestant section and would go on to have his own run at a million. Diana sat in the audience. She had previously won £32,000 on the show. The couple seems to have been obsessed with it.

Charles’s bumbling over the answers apologetically was actually part of the trio’s system for victory. It was Whittock’s or Diana’s job to cough at the appropriate moments to indicate to Charles which answer he should pick.

Show producers found the whole thing fishy enough to take it to court. There, a sound expert claimed that 192 coughs had been made during the recording and that 36 were likely made by Whittock.[1]

The trio received fines and suspended prison sentences. A year later, Charles Ingram declared bankruptcy.

9.The Twenty One Scandal

Photo credit: The New Yorker

In 1956, NBC launched a new quiz show called Twenty One. Contestants were pitted against each other head-to-head and tasked with answering general knowledge questions. The first player to answer 21 questions correctly was the winner.

It was designed to be a quiz for true trivia aficionados with genuinely difficult questions and a serious sporting tone. But it didn’t make for compelling viewing. In fact, Dan Enright, the show’s producer, described the initial broadcast this way: “A dismal failure. It was just plain dull.”

To make the show more interesting, the decision was made to simply rig it. That way, there would never be a dull contest. Also, Enright wanted characters that people could invest in. Some they could hate, some they could root for. The most important thing was that they were familiar faces whom people tuned in to see. It was therefore crucial that a star for the show was chosen and fed questions to ensure that he remained the show’s champion.

Herb Stempel was the first poster boy with a six-week streak of victories. At that point, Enright and his colleagues decided that they’d had enough of Stempel and decided to replace him with what they believed was a more marketable young academic named Charles Van Doren.

Stempel and Van Doren battled each other over several shows—each time ending in a rigged draw. The strategy proved to be a success, and audience interest steadily increased. People tuned in to see if the champion would finally be toppled. That happened on December 5, 1956, and Van Doren’s winning streak would not end until March 1957.[2]

The public’s love affair with the Twenty One champion came to a bitter end when mounting evidence from Stempel and other former contestants on the show made the truth undeniable. As a result, the show was canceled in 1958.

At the time of the scandal, no law existed that the producers of Twenty Onewere breaking. However, in 1960, as a result of the incident, the Communications Act of 1934 was amended to specifically prohibit the fixing of quiz shows.

8.The Dotto Scandal

Photo credit: memorabletv.com

At the time of Dotto’s cancellation in August 1958, it was the highest-rated daytime television show in history. It had only been on the air since January 1958, so it was a bit of a head-scratcher to the general public who wasn’t made aware that the show was fixed.

That didn’t last long. On August 28, the district attorney announced that he’d be investigating the suspicious circumstances of Dotto’s cancellation.

It turned out that the notebook of a contestant named Marie Winn had been found by a standby, Edward Hilgemeier Jr. It contained questions and answers to the show’s ongoing taping. Hilgemeier showed the pages to that night’s beaten contestant, leading producers to pay $4,000 to the loser and $1,500 to Hilgemeier to keep them quiet.[3]

But Hilgemeier eventually broke his silence, contacting the show’s sponsor, Colgate-Palmolive, who decided only a week later that the show needed to disappear completely.

7.UK Version Of Twenty One Also Rigged, Leading To Bad Prizes Being Offered For Decades

Photo credit: zetnet.co.uk

The 1950s was just a rotten time for game shows and Twenty One in particular. Not only was the American version proven to be fixed, the English one was, too.

In 1958, UK TV station ITV pulled Twenty One off the air after contestant Stanley Armstrong declared that he’d received “definite leads” to the answers. The tip-offs took the form of a set reading list for favored contestants.

Initial reaction was relatively mild. TV regulators simply decreed that a printed statement of quiz shows’ rules had to be made available from then on, including statements about the extent to which contestants were coached beforehand and the prizes they would receive.

However, the incident did foreshadow a monumental shift for British quiz shows a few years later when the Pilkington Report was published.[4] It suggested that the removal of large cash prizes would eliminate most interest in the shows as they were simply a celebration of greed in their current form. The report concluded that a cash cap for quiz show prizes of £1,000 would help clear up issues of morality.

The government agreed, and a cap remained in place until the mid-1990s. By the time of its abolition, the cap had been raised to the point where the UK version of The $64,000 Question was able to offer the marginally gluttonous prize of £6,400.

6.The ‘You Say We Pay’ Scandal On Richard & Judy

Photo credit: The Telegraph

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan were the king and queen of light entertainment in the UK. Their eponymous early afternoon show, Richard & Judy, was a ratings hit for Channel 4, and thus their phone-in game show segment, “You Say We Pay,” attracted millions of callers.

It was essentially first come, first served as far as contestants went. So there was a certain point where all the slots were filled and no more callers could possibly be selected. However, instead of informing viewers and closing the phone lines, the hosts would routinely continue to encourage viewers at home to call in for their chance to win a big cash prize.

Richard and Judy successfully argued that they had no knowledge of the practice, and the blame was instead placed on Eckoh, the contracted operators of the phone-in. The Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services ended up fining them £150,000.

Over the show’s run, around five million people had called to take part in the quiz. The committee stated that around half had been unfairly charged the £1 call-in fee. As a result, Eckoh was ordered to pay around £1.5 million back to cheated members of the public.[5]

5.The $64,000 Question And The $64,000 Challenge Scandal

Photo credit: CBS News

Reverend Charles “Stoney” Jackson Jr. first appeared on The $64,000 Question in the late 1950s. He was confused by his success almost immediately. Producer Mert Koplin had informally quizzed him before the show. Whenever Jackson couldn’t produce an answer to one of Koplin’s questions, it was given to him.

On his second appearance, Jackson was happy enough to continue the lucrative masquerade. Producers fed him questions that they believed he could answer until he had won $16,000. At that point, he was told that he could quit and collect his winnings or they’d give him a question he had no chance of knowing. Jackson took the money.[6]

Now firmly in the producer’s good graces, Jackson was invited back two months later to compete in the spin-off show The $64,000 Challenge. It pitted winners of over $8,000 on the main show against new competitors. Jackson won again, beating Doll Goosetree. Jackson later found out that Goosetree had been misled into believing that Shakespeare would be featured prominently.

Jackson’s crisis of conscience reached a boiling point, and he began contacting anyone who would listen. The New York Times and Timemagazine weren’t interested in printing his story. The legitimacy of Jackson’s claims only became apparent when bundled with the concurrent Twenty Oneand Dotto scandals.

4.The ‘Hello Pappy’ Scandal On Wowowee

Willie “Pappy” Revillame was the host of light entertainment show Wowowee. It was largely built around a collection of mini games in which lucky contestants could win prizes.

The games were often retooled or even scrapped, so the sets often came across as fairly rinky-dink during their trial runs. That formed the basis of Revillame’s defense when he was accused of aiding the cheating on the show.

The incident in question happened on a segment called “Wilyonaryo” with similar rules to Deal Or No Deal. The contestant had to decide whether to keep the amount offered by Revillame or gamble it all by picking whatever was inside a large, white, poorly constructed wheel.

Initially, the caller wanted to gamble, but Revillame convinced her not to. It was revealed that if the contestant had picked the wheel, she would have lost all her money—suggesting Revillame had previous knowledge of what was inside.

Further complicating the matter was Revillame’s claim that a purple wheel housed the jackpot prize. When he opened up the wheel, it also indicated that the caller would have lost everything. After fiddling with the wheel, Revillame suspiciously peeled away another number, this time indicating a jackpot victory.[7]

Producers claimed that it was an honest mechanical glitch rather than a sign of shenanigans. The Department of Trade and Industry disagreed and fined the show the equivalent of around $5,700 (in November 2017 US dollars).

3.The Our Little Genius Scandal
Mark Burnett Cancels His Own Show

Photo via Wikipedia

In the lead-up to Our Little Genius’s premiere, there had been a significant amount of backlash about the show’s premise. Critics argued that it placed too much pressure on young children, who would be asked trivia questions that could potentially result in the acquisition of “life-changing money” for their families.

As it turns out, the show was canceled before any episodes aired. However, pushing kids toward nervous breakdowns had nothing to do with it. The show’s creator, Mark Burnett, stated at the time that he “discovered that there was an issue with how information was relayed to contestants during the preproduction.”[8]

A contestant’s parent sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission stating that they had been advised which topics to study and had received direct answers to at least four questions. For instance, the letter claims that they were told, “It was very important to know that the hemidemisemiquaver is the British name for the sixty-fourth note.” If you take just one thing away from this listicle, let it be the hemidemisemiquaver.

Contestants were allowed to keep their winnings, and Burnett initially planned to reshoot the show. However, likely due to the resulting controversy, the show has never reemerged.

2.Million Dollar Money Drop Cheats Couple Out Of A Correct Answer Through Poor Research

Photo credit: nydailynews.com

In the Million Dollar Money Drop, contestants start off the show in possession of a million dollars. The entire amount must be gambled over a series of questions, and they get to keep whatever remains at the end.

On the first aired episode of the show in 2010, Gabe Okoye and Brittany Mayti lost $800,000 on a question that asked whether the Macintosh computer, Post-it notes, or the Sony Walkman was the first product sold in stores. They answered Post-it notes. According to the emcee, the “correct” answer was the Sony Walkman.

The show had failed to take into account a four-city test marketing campaign for Post-it notes that happened in 1977. They were sold under the name “Press & Peel,” but we’re still counting it.[9] The Walkman was first released in Japanese stores in 1979—two years later.

The show’s executive producer offered the contestants a chance to return to the show to play again. Unfortunately, the show was canceled before they had a chance to take him up on the offer.

1.A Wanted Fugitive Wins Big On Super Password

Photo via Wikipedia

In 1988, a man calling himself Patrick Quinn appeared on Super Password and won $58,600 over the course of four days. It was a supremely risky move because he was a wanted fugitive with outstanding fraud warrants. Among his crimes was the staging of his wife’s death to collect her $100,000 insurance policy.

It turned out that Patrick Quinn was actually the name of one of the fraudster’s college professors. The contestant’s real name was Kerry Ketchem. A bank manager recognized him and subsequently called the Secret Service.

Shortly after, Ketchem phoned the show’s producers and claimed that he needed to leave the country imminently on a business trip. He made arrangements to pop over to their offices to collect the money in person instead of the standard procedure of receiving the check in the mail.[10]

When Ketchem arrived, local officials arrested him. Unsurprisingly, he didn’t get to keep his winnings. The show’s judges contended that he was in violation of contestant eligibility rules because he had used a false identity. Ketchem was also sentenced to five years in prison for insurance fraud.

SOURCE


10 Terrifying True Accounts Of Black Market Organ Theft

10 Terrifying True Accounts Of Black Market Organ Theft

We all know the urban legend: some unfortunate man or woman wakes up in a bathtub, submerged in ice, only to realize that one of their kidneys has been removed á la the 2002 film Dirty Pretty Things. It's a horrifying situation, to be sure, and the truth is, this kind of organ trafficking is not exactly fiction.

Organ theft is a very lucrative black market trade. The victims of this barbaric practice, however, are not the hapless teenagers from the cautionary tales we've all heard; rather, they are the marginalized and impoverished, people who easily fall prey to ruthless criminal organizations (or in some cases, governments).

The stories below are very much true. Real life cases of organ theft are more common that you would think and – as this list illustrates – often much more brutal than you could ever imagine.

 


African Man Visiting The Bronx Gets Robbed Of $190K In Apartment Building

African Man Visiting The Bronx Gets Robbed Of $190K In Apartment Building

 

 

A man from West Africa said he lost more than $190,000 he was planning to use to open a restaurant when muggers attacked him in a New York City apartment stairwell. Abdul Bah, 46, told News 4 New York he was leaving the walk-up in Claremont Village in the Bronx on Nov. 7 with a bag full of cash when the two muggers struck. He did his best to hold onto the money -- which he sold his property in his home country of Guinea to get -- but couldn't hold on. "Without the money, it's going to be hard to pay everything for the restaurant," he said. Surveillance footage from the attack shows one of the two attackers passing the man as if he were going up the stairs as the other hangs back at the bottom of the landing. Then, one of the men yanks Bah's arm and pulls him up the stairs.

 

 


Chicago Woman Busted After Robbing Bank She Used To Work At In Pink Nightgown

Chicago Woman Busted After Robbing Bank She Used To Work At In Pink Nightgown

 

Sometimes knowing too much about “dual access codes” can be your downfall.

A 24-year-old Chicago woman is totally fucked after getting pinched for trying to rob the bank she used to work at.

Just how did authorities know it was Latasha Gamble who robbed the Chase Bank off N. Sheridan Road at gunpoint before 10 a.m. on November 9? You guessed it – the bank tellers working that day said they were “fairly certain” it was her despite her disguise of a “dark curly wig, black lipstick, black winter gloves, a tan winter coat and a patterned pink nightgown.”

 

Photo: FBI

Sadly, Gamble still worked for Chase bank albeit at another branch, and police arrested her later in the week when she showed up to work at that location.We’ll go out on a limb and they that that working relationship has come to an end.

Police said Gamble initially denied having anything to with robbing the bank of nearly $126,000, saying that she was instead with a relative and then later at the dentist. But it appears as though the Chicago Police Department can really apply pressure to the taint, as Gamble quickly changed her tune and admitted it was her.

 


10 Most Valuable Playboy Magazine Editions Of All Time

10 Most Valuable Playboy Magazine Editions Of All Time

 

There are many reasons to read Playboy Magazine: articles, pictures, and inherent collector’s value?

I still think this may be some sort of hoax, but last week, Playboy magazine announced that they would no longer be featuring fully naked women in their magazine. In other news, McDonald’s announced that they were no longer serving hamburgers, Starbucks will only serve mineral water, Eminem will now play the cello and cats are now going to be helpful.

Those were all jokes, by the way, but this Playboy news is huge. For decades, Playboy has been known for naked women, and now they’ve announced that they will no longer provide that product. It makes perfect sense though. As anyone can point out, every smartphone and computer is just a few clicks away from all kinds of depravity to which PlayboyHustler and Penthousecan’t even come close. Seriously, that’s not a joke. While the “Rules of the Internet” may be a joke, they’re true, and none are truer than rule 34 which of course states that if you can think of something, the adult entertainment business has already done it. Back to the point however, with so much free nudity EVERYWHERE, there’s almost no point to Playboy having pictures of naked women.

Playboy magazines with naked women are a thing of the past, but it will be interesting to see if they can do anything to keep their name different from publications like Maxim. They’ve suggested that they will continue with interviews and journalism, but focus on including art themes while maintaining an intellectual atmosphere. In short, they are trying to further modernize the magazine in hopes of attracting young men who live in cities. According to a brief interview with the CEO of Playboy, they want the difference between the readership of their publication and that of Vice is that “we’re going after the guy with the job”. A half decent zinger dealt to Vice.

In honor of Playboy no longer offering nudity, here is a look at editions of the magazine from the last 62 nudity filled years that are worth the most today. Some are actual copies, while others are just for the covers. Different sources will value particular issues and certain covers and such, so if you’re an aficionado, feel free to scrutinize my sources as you see fit.

10. November 1954 – Centerfold: Diane Hunter

via:mindspring.com

It won’t be news to anyone, but the first couple of years worth of Playboy magazines are worth something today. Diane Hunter was one of the early 1950’s most popular pinup models, having been featured in several calendars and finally the November 1954 issue of Playboy. While all of the 1954 editions of the magazine are valuable today, November is one of those elusive months and can be found on auction sites for over $300.

9. January 1955 – Bettie Page

via:nandhadarkness13.blogspot.com

Commonly considered the “Queen of Pinups”, Bettie Page was a favorite of not only young men everywhere in the fifties, but also of Hugh Hefner, who spoke fondly of her as a model and as a person. Her dark hair and bright blue eyes could potentially make her the 50’s equivalent to Katy Perry. This rare edition of the magazine is generally listed for over $450 online. Some sites have suggested it is worth over $800 however.

8. February and March 1954 – Yvonne Menard (Cover) and Dolores Del Monte

via:lewiswaynegallery.com/

I listed these two together because they are considered to be worth roughly the same. Yvonne Menard was an actress in the late 40’s and early 50’s, and graced the cover of the February 1954 edition. Dolores Del Monte earned some fame as a pinup model in the 1950’s and was chosen as the cover model for March 1954. It depends where you look but these editions, if in good condition, are worth anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000.

7. January 1954 – First Dated Issue and First With The Rabbit

via:http://iconicauctions.com/

Actress Margie Harrison was the first model to be named “Playmate of the Month” in the second edition of Playboy, back in January 1954. Because Hugh Hefner didn’t see his magazine becoming a huge success yet, he didn’t even put a date on the first cover (more on that later). January 1954 was the first to feature a date and the start of the rabbit theme. As you can see, the bunny looked quite a bit different back then. One of these usually costs between $1,900 and just under $3,000 these days on auction sites.

6. June 1962 – Merissa Mathes

via:www.ebay.com

Merissa Mathes was the cover model and centerfold girl for 1962, as well as the ‘Playmate of the Month’ for June of that year. She went on to have a decent film career in the 1960’s. Her photoshoot was hot, but the cover, which only featured her “bikini area”, was considered very risque for the time (as you might imagine), and instantly flew off the shelves. A few years ago, one of these magazines sold at auction for almost $4,000.

5. August 1993 – Pamela Anderson and Dan Aykroyd (Original Cover Photo)

via:amazon.com

We’re now stepping into the territory of those Playboy editions with multiple covers. Some of these are worth quite a bit, as we’ll see in the following entries. Pam Anderson has been on tons of covers (13 to be exact), but in 1993 she joined Dan Aykroyd, who was dressed up as a character from the 1993 movie Coneheads. During Playboy‘s “Year of the Rabbit” auction, a few years back in 2010, a copy of this cover was valued between $5,000 and $7,000.

4. September 2009 – Heidi Montag (Original Cover Photo)

via:popsugar-assets.com

Much like the cover featuring Pamela Anderson and Dan Aykroyd, Heidi Montag’s original 2009 cover photo is worth quite a bit. The Hills star appeared in the September edition of that year and the original cover, in which she is covered in mud, with a bunny drawn on her midsection, is estimated to be worth a large total of over $5,000, according to the “Year of the Rabbit” auction. We’re sure her husband Spencer, has his own copy of the magazine stored away somewhere safe.

3. November 1993 – Jerry Seinfeld and Various Models (Original Cover Photo)

via:etsystatic.com

Another edition of the magazine with a highly sought after cover is that from 1993, when none other than comedian Jerry Seinfeld was in the magazine. He was interviewed and did not appear naked (we’re pretty happy about that), but was featured on the cover with the “Women of the Pac-10”. The magazine edition has been valued between $7,000 and $9,000. Who knew a funnyman photographed with a group of beautiful women would be worth so much money.

2. March 1980 – Bo Derek

via:www.digitalspy.com

For those born in the last two (three?) decades, Bo Derekwas, back in the 80’s, what Kate Upton is now, what Megan Fox was five years ago, and what Heidi Klum was in the 90’s, and so on. Basically, she was so hot that it hurt. Her first major film was called 10, and is both the name of the film and her rating out of ten. Don’t search the rest of the internet, I’m the first to make that joke.

A mint condition original copy of her 1980 cover has sold for over $12,000 at auction before.

 

1. December 1953 – Marilyn Monroe

via:amazonaws.com

This was the first Playboy ever, and as such, if you didn’t see this being the most valuable, I must wonder whether you have been ingesting glue or paint. The sex icon of her era, and a mistress of President Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe was the first woman to be immortalized in Playboy. There were only 70,000 of the first edition printed, because as I previously noted, Heff didn’t think his magazine would take off.

While the cover art is worth well over $10,000, a copy of the original magazine is worth between $20,000 and $40,000.

 


Hollywood Actor Outbid After Model Sells Her Virginity For 3 Million Dollars

Hollywood Actor Outbid After Model Sells Her Virginity For 3 Million Dollars

 

What. In. The…. This is the greatest business of all time. You only get to do it once in your life and with the rates of these girls exploding you can only imagine it going into the 5 million next time around!

Last time there was a “Sale” on virginity a model went for 1.2 million. Fast forward 9 months and we have broke 3 milli!

According to Metro: A teenage model has sold her virginity for around $3 million. Giselle, 19, was offered the huge amount by a businessman from Abu Dhabi who outbid an unidentified Hollywood actor. The third highest bid came from a Russian politician. 

The American model, who put her innocence up for sale with Cinderella Escorts, says she wanted to do it so she can pay for tuition fees and go traveling. She said: ‘I would never have dreamed that the bid would rise so high and we would have reached 2.5 million euros. This is a dream come true. ‘I think the trend to sell your virginity is a form of emancipation and I am shocked about people who are against allowing a woman to sell HER virginity. ‘If I want to spend my first time with someone who is not my first love, that’s my decision.’

The teenager said selling her virginity was her idea. She then sought out an agency so the transaction and meet could be done safely.

A hotel in Germany has already been booked. She will be accompanied by security from the agency who will stay close by while the businessman takes her virginity. Giselle will speak with the man before they meet and can cancel at any time.

A spokesperson for Cinderella said: ‘On our website you will find a video where girls from all over the world talk about the reasons to sell their virginity. Girls from Australia, Europe, Africa, North and South America. From Arab countries and Asian.

‘This shows us that the desire to auction a virginity is no exception. ‘And on the other hand, the high bidding for Giselle’s auction shows us how high the demand for virgins is. Business people from all over the world have been bidding.’

 

 


10 Obvious Lies That Changed The World

10 Obvious Lies That Changed The World

It should be no surprise that someone in history has been caught in a lie. Most people lie everyday: “I’ll be there in five.” “I read the terms and conditions.” “You do look good in those jeans.” Any of those sound familiar?

But when you tell a little white lie, you don’t expect it to alter the course of human history. However, that’s exactly what happened in the following ten cases.

10 Magic Tricks Kept Algeria A French Colony

Photo credit: EsoterX

In 1856, Algeria was on the verge of rebellion. The local holy men, referred to as marabouts, had convinced the locals that they had magical powers. Obviously, the Algerian public was willing to hear out anything a sorcerer said. The French were already wary of the influence these men held. When the maraboutsannounced that Algeria should rebel against its colonizers, France was furious. To quell any talks of armed resurrection, the French had to convince the populace that the marabouts were fraudsters. Napoleon III dispatched France’s greatest magician and the father of modern magic, Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, to Algeria to pose as a more powerful sorcerer.

Robert-Houdin’s tricks were very basic, like pulling a cannonball out of a hat, but the Algerians were still amazed. With electromagnets, he turned a light box heavy at the flick of a switch. The marabouts looked like fools when they failed to lift the box. Robert-Houdin turned off the magnet and picked it up no problem. Robert-Houdin also sent small electrical jolts to the handles as he told them that he was sapping their strength from them. When an angry local challenged him to a duel, Robert-Houdin accepted. The next morning, he “caught” the bullet in his teeth. This trick proved he was the best wizard in the country, and the maraboutswere discredited.[1] Algeria would not achieve independence for more than a century.

9 An Iconic Rock Band Formed By Posing As Another Band

Photo credit: Craig ONeal

In 1968, the British band the Zombies had a huge top ten hit in the United States with “Time of the Season.” To capitalize on their success, the Zombies toured the US under the guidance of Delta Promotions. The concerts were so lucrative that for a period in 1968, Delta had two bands touring as the Zombies. The problem was that neither of these bands were the real Zombies. The original British Zombies had already broken up and had no idea the song was big in the US. No one told them about Delta or the way they lied.

To get money off a nonexistent band, Delta, led by Bill Kehoe, gave two groups the rights to all of the Zombies’ songs. One of them was stationed in Michigan, and the other was in Texas. The lie was so ridiculous that for the Texas band, the record label only hired four members to masquerade as a rock quintet. To keep the illusion up, Delta told their fans that the organist was in jail. Another reason Bill Kehoe gave for the missing member was that the lead singer Colin Blunstone, who is still alive, was killed. Ultimately, Chris White, afraid that these fake Zombies would ruin the reputation of his real band, brought the band back from the dead to release a few more singles.

The real musical legacy of this scheme is what became of the Texas Zombies.[2]Two of the musicians hired to pretend to be the Zombies were Frank Beard and Dusty Hill. With the skills and friendship they gained as fake Zombies, they formed the other famous band that starts with a “Z”: ZZ Top.

8 A Fraudulent Letter Made Jesus White


Despite being born in the Middle East, almost every painting and general depiction of Jesus looks less like Chaim Topol and more like Ted Neeley. The reason you picture the Lamb of God with a face as a white as snow is one letter written centuries after Jesus had died.

The modern descriptions of Jesus are modeled on a letter allegedly written by Publius Lentulus, the governor of Jerusalem who served before Pontius Pilate. It was printed in “The Introduction to the works of St. Anselm” during the 15th century. The letter describes Jesus as “a man in stature . . . having hair of the hue of unripe hazelnut, almost down to his ears . . . with a face without wrinkle or any blemish, which a moderate color makes beautiful.”[3] This version of Jesus served as the model for Renaissance artists’ paintings, which then became the template for Western depictions.

The letter, however, has so many stupid mistakes that it’s amazing anybody believed it. First, it does not appear in any of St. Anselm’s writings. Second, there is no such position as the governor of Jerusalem. Thirdly, Publius Lentulus did not exist. Fourthly, it uses language not yet invented at the time it was supposedly written. Despite the glaring errors, this portrayal of Jesus has become the standard model we all know.

The Exorcist Was Funded By A Television Prank

Photo credit: Flashbak

Even more than four decades after its release, The Exorcist is still the one of the most influential horror movies and books of all time. The movie is so disturbing that it has forever changed the way people look at pea soup. For something so synonymous with fear and dread, the origin of the story is not scary but silly.

In 1961, the novel’s eventual author, William Peter Blatty, was only a toiling writer unsure what he wanted to do it for a living.[4] One assignment he was working on was an article called “I was an Arab Prince.” The premise was this hilarious bit where Blatty would crash Hollywood parties and dress up as a Saudi royal named “Prince Xeer.” Xeer would tell crazy stories about his life in the Middle East. In hindsight, this isn’t that funny, but it killed at the time.

His schtick was so well-received that Groucho Marx invited Blatty to come on his hit show You Bet Your Life dressed as the Saudi prince. Blatty won the show and its $5,000 prize. When asked what he was going to do with the money, he said, “It’s gonna finance me to finish the next book.”

The next day, Blatty quit his job as publicity director at the University of Southern California to become a full-time writer. That career would give us such classics as A Shot in the DarkNinth Configuration, and his most prized possession, The Exorcist.

6 A Fake Nazi Scientist Brought Down Juan Peron


In 1949, one of Argentina’s most beloved presidents, Juan Peron, wanted his country to become the next nuclear power. To accomplish this, he hired Dr. Ronald W. Richter. Richter seemed like the best choice. He claimed to have been a high-ranking Nazi scientist and one of the world’s foremost experts in nuclear energy. In reality, he was just an Austrian who had only worked for six months as an explosions technician.

Despite that less-than-impressive resume, Richter kept up the charade for a year. Peron, wondering where his money was going, asked Richter if he had any breakthroughs. Richter boasted that he had not only solved fission, but he had accomplished the impossible: harnessed fusion. Even though this would have been a major scientific breakthrough, Richter asked Peron to keep the details secret. Instead, Peron bragged to the world in March 1951.

The scientific community was more than skeptical. To prove he wasn’t lying, Richter had a display of his fusion explosion. Really, all he did was set off a fake explosion of TNT. This didn’t convince anybody. Actual Nazi scientists, like Werner Heisenberg, then came forward and said they had never heard of Richter, which triggered an investigation. It was revealed that Richter hadn’t achieved anything. All he really did was cost Argentina millions.[5] The military arrested Richter. After Richter blatantly lied to the people and cost the country a lot of money over a fake nuke program, the military ultimately overthrew Peron.

5 Country Music Was Built On An Empire Of Fake Goat Testicle Surgeries

Photo credit: Wikimedia

John Brinkley is probably the most influential doctor in music since Dre. His career started in the 1920s as one of the greatest quacks in medical history. After watching two particularly excitable goats, Brinkley came up with the idea that goat testicles could be grafted into the scrotums of sterile men to improve fertility. From his small practice in Kansas, Brinkley advertised his pseudoscientific treatment on radio station KFKB in 1923.

After that, Brinkley’s surgeries were in high demand. Some of the most prominent Americans of the time, including Woodrow Wilson, Huey Long, and Rudolph Valentino, were said to have gone under Brinkley’s knife. Finding Brinkley’s practice unscientific, the American Medical Association tried to shut him down. The FCC revoked his broadcast license, so he moved his operations to Mexico.

To advertise from Mexico into the United States, Brinkley built the most powerful tower in the world. On the new radio channel, XER, he hawked his surgeries for hours at a time. These speeches are now considered the forerunners of the modern infomercial. In between advertisements for goat implants, he played entertainment. Brinkley was the first person to broadcast country music across the nation.[6] His station has the distinction of being the first one to play soon-to-be country legends the Carter Family.

Brinkley’s station is credited with popularizing the genre outside of its regional limits. Moving country out of Appalachia to Texas created the country western sound that would dominate the genre from there on. When he died decades later, his seat at the radio station was replaced by Wolfman Jack, who spread rock and roll like Brinkley before him.

4 Michelangelo Started Off As An Art Forger

Photo credit: Daniele da Volterra

In 1492, Michelangelo was only a struggling young artist. To make ends meet, he traveled around Italy looking for new patrons. People kept ignoring Michelangelo’s genius to buy old classical statues instead. Michelangelo hatched a plan: If people wanted to buy ancient Roman sculptures, he would just forge ancient Roman sculptures.

One of these forgeries was Sleeping Cupid. To pass it off as a newly discovered antiquity, he sculpted it, buried it in dirt, and roughed it up. Initially, the muddied-up sculpture successfully conned the man who bought it, Cardinal Riario. Michelangelo could have gotten away with it, but he was a better artist than forger. When returning to Cardinal Riario’s house, he accidentally let it slip that he was the sculptor.

Riaro was mad that he had been swindled, but he was more impressed that Michelangelo could successfully replicate the works of the masters. He became Michelangelo’s new patron.[7] With this new finical backing and fresh reputation, he made two of his most famous works, Bacchus and Pieta. From there, his career only blossomed into one of history’s greats.

3 The April Fool’s Prank That Launched Spiritualism

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Spiritualism was one of the most popular belief systems in the late 1800s. Many people still believe in the main ideas, like the ability to communicate with spirits through possessions, mediums, or Ouija boards. Their faith hasn’t wavered, even though the people who got it going admitted to being frauds.

In 1848, Maggie Fox and her little sister Katy wanted to scare their mother. They would tap on the walls and tell her the house was haunted. Keeping their hands above the table, they bunched their toes and knocked on the floor. To convince her there was a ghost walking around the house, the girls tied strings to apples and then dropped them on the stairs.[8]

On March 31, Maggie and Katy upped the ante by telling their mom they were going to talk to the ghost. This was supposed to be their last trick and reveal it was all an April Fools’ prank. The mother was amazed how much the ghost knew about her and her daughters’ lives. It’s much less impressive knowing that it was really the daughters answering the questions about themselves.

The mother ran next door and asked their neighbor to come over to ask the ghost some questions. Afraid they were going to get in trouble if they admitted it was a hoax, the sisters just kept it going. Over the next weeks, more and more neighbors came to the house, each asking similar questions. Within the year, similar supposed mediums were seen across the country.

2 The Romantic Movement Was Launched By A Hoax

Photo credit: George Romney

In the 1800s, Romanticism was the new philosophy of wanting to return to past. One of the founders of the movement, James Macpherson, really looked to the past when he discovered a series of poems by the third-century poet Ossian. The poems tell of the exploits of the legendary Gaelic myth of Fingal.

Due to unusual structure of the verses, the poems became insanely popular, something that doesn’t happen that much anymore. Thomas Jefferson loved the poems so much that he learned Gaelic just to understand the originals. Napoleonfound them so inspiring that he brought them along with him into battle. He was so moved by the poems that he commissioned paintings of scenes in them. That was hardly the extent of the epic’s artistic legacy. Writers as varied as Diderot, Klopstock, Goethe, Byron, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Walter Scott, and Yeats all cite Ossian’s poems as inspiring them to write. Even composers like Felix Mendelssohn, Le Sueur, and Franz Schubert said these poems motivated them.

The poems may have jump-started the modern world, but it was all a hoax.[9]There were suspicions of poems’ origin from the beginning because of anachronisms in the text. Also, Ossian didn’t exist. Macpherson just made up the poems as he went along. If he couldn’t think of anything else, he stole lines from earlier poems. To bury his tracks, he wrote the stories in English, then translated them into Gaelic, and then back into English.

1 Johannes Gutenberg Was A Failed Con Man

Photo credit: Wikimedia

During the Middle Ages, pilgrims would flock to see religious artifacts across Europe. For the most part, the authenticity of these items was already fraudulent. Pilgrims had to travel for hundreds of miles just to see some random body part and return home knowing they would never see it again. If they wanted to preserve these precious moments, the faithful had mirrors on their heads to capture the holiness at their shrines. The image’s reflection would bounce off the mirror and land in a box. The box then contained all of the relic’s divinity.

Whether this really works depends on your faith, but two people who thought this was junk science were Johannes Gutenberg and his partner Andreas Dritzehn. Instead of being moved by the good word, they were more motivated by chance to make a good fortune. They moved to Aachen to set up shop for their get-rich-quick scheme selling mirrors because the city houses a lot of relics.

Unfortunately for Gutenberg and Dritzehn, the pope banned Aachen pilgrimages in 1439. Earlier that year, a strain of the plague broke out, and all travel to the region was prohibited. Thus, none of Gutenberg’s mirrors were sold. With no more money, Gutenberg returned to his home in Mainz.

Gutenberg had convinced his investors that his scheme was guaranteed to turn a quick profit. Now bankrupt, he had to find a way to repay his debts.[10] He went into the wine industry. He would later refashion a wine press to make the first printing press, a very important invention. There is a direct line from that failed con 500 years ago to the article you’re reading right now.

 


19 SECRET SOCIETIES THAT MIGHT BE RUNNING THE WORLD

19 SECRET SOCIETIES THAT MIGHT BE RUNNING THE WORLD

 

 

 

 


Why The Rise Of The Robots Won’t Mean The End Of Work

Why The Rise Of The Robots Won’t Mean The End Of Work

 

 

For now, at least, we have better things to worry about.

 


20 Scandalous Secrets About Scamming People Out Of Money

 

20 Scandalous Secrets About Scamming People Out Of Money

 

 

 

 

 


EA Causes An Internet Uproar Over Horribly Handled Microtransactions in 'Star Wars: Battlefront 2', Gets Most Down-Voted Reddit Comment of All Time

EA Causes An Internet Uproar Over Horribly Handled Microtransactions in 'Star Wars: Battlefront 2', Gets Most Down-Voted Reddit Comment of All Time

 

 

EA, the gaming juggernaut that is known for its price gouging techniques and destroying your favorite gaming studios, is making headlines after their disastrous handling of the Star Wars brand. Unfortunately companies like EA have no desire to deliver you a clean and finished product. They're vampires, and they'd rather suck you dry through microtransatcions and pay walls.

Don't be fooled by the title of EA's upcoming 'Star Wars: Battlefront 2' because the EA 'Battlefront' games are connected to the original games by name only. The games are stripped back, soul-less, shells of the original titles that literally only exist so that EA can cash in on the Disney 'Star Wars' hype.

The most recent dumpster fire lit by EA is the 'Battlefront 2' "progression" system, which is directly tied to real currency.

Before microtransactions progression systems in shooters were tied to experience which was awarded at the end of matches based on individual player performance. EA has decided to replace that instead with a system that awards all players the same number of credits at the end of a round, completely removing any element of skill. Someone could be AFK for an entire match and make the same credits as the MVP.

Here's the kicker though. Players can spent credits on either RNG loot crates or locked content. The loot crates serve as a substitute for normal progression, things that would be unlocked using XP in other games. These can be bought with real money, making 'Battlefront 2' a literal pay-to-win game.

EA further forces you to spend real money on these crates by locking content behind huge pay walls.

Want to play Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker? That's going to cost 120,000 credits, which is roughly 80 hours of gameplay. While you're saving up for those two heroes you'll have to buy the normal progression crates with your own money.

TL;DR:

EA sucks and is forcing you to pay money to unlock content that should already be unlocked or should otherwise be unlocked through gameplay. Heroes are locked behind a massive paywall.

At the beginning of the outrage EA's community manager for 'Star Wars: Battlefront 2' made the poor decision to try to discredit those complaining about EA's price-gouging.

The tweet was deleted soon after and the author has since removed their title from their Twitter account.

EA responds to complaints regarding locked content and microtransactions.

This comment achieved the crowning achievement of being the MOST down-voted comment in the history of Reddit.

EA then proceeded to post a 'Pay-to-Win' bundle on the ingame store.


Deputy Explains How A Florida Couple Shot Themselves & Staged Home Invasion For Insurance Money

 

Deputy Explains How A Florida Couple Shot Themselves & Staged Home Invasion For Insurance Money

 The things people do for money.

 


Woman Calls Police To Turn In Boyfriend For Reward Money While Driving Together In Stolen Car

Woman Calls Police To Turn In Boyfriend For Reward Money While Driving Together In Stolen Car

 

Talk about not wasting any time.

According to the Metro Nashville Police, Chance Mongeon and his girlfriend, Cristy Cardwell, decided to steal a rental car from the Nashville Airport after jumping the counter of the rental car facility at the airport, grabbing the keys to a 2017 Dodge Challenger and taking off. Mongeon was able to avert cops on a one-way road and over two spike strips, but it was his own girl that was his downfall.

 

Police actually received a call from Cardwell and she told them that she knew her boyfriend had stolen the car, but would not reveal his intentions until she received reward money, saying, “she knew the law very well and didn’t have to give him up.” Oh, and Cardwell was actually in the stolen car, too, and would give up their location after she got the reward money.

Well none of that mattered because police eventually caught up to the pair and they were both arrested. Cardwell was arrested for attempting to harbor and abet a fugitive, intentions to hinder his arrest and for refusal to provide aid to assist in Mongeon’s arrest.

No word yet if this pair will remain a couple. I’m going to go with my gut and say they won’t be remaining one.


EVIL GIRL WITH AN IMMORAL GLEAM OF GREED IN HER EYES STEALS TIPS FROM A HARD WORKING UBER DRIVER

EVIL GIRL WITH AN IMMORAL GLEAM OF GREED IN HER EYES STEALS TIPS FROM A HARD WORKING UBER DRIVER

According to the driver, Uber responded with a canned response when he emailed them about the incident. “You may want to initiate a formal investigation via the police. Uber will comply with any formal requests from law enforcement.” The driver was too busy working to file a police report.


The iPhone X Performs Very, Very Badly In Drop Tests

The iPhone X Performs Very, Very Badly In Drop Tests -

 

The new, $1,000 iPhone X is "all screen" and mostly glass and it certainly acts like it.

 


Leak Reveals Offshore Secrets Of Queen, Celebrities

Leak Reveals Offshore Secrets Of Queen, Celebrities

 A massive leak of internal documents from Bermuda-based law firm Appleby has exposed the financial secrets of many of the world's elites—but while it may cause many tough questions to be asked, no evidence of law-breaking has surfaced. The "Paradise Papers" leak of 13.4 million records to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which shared it with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, is second only in size to the similar Panama Papers leak in 2016. It exposes the offshore interests of thousands of people, including celebrities, more than 100 politicians, and Queen Elizabeth II, whose private estate reduced the tax payable to Her Majesty's Government by investing millions of pounds in at least one offshore fund.

Other famous names on the list include Keira Knightley, Madonna, and Bono, who became part owner of a shopping mall in Lithuania through a low-tax investment in Malta, the New York Daily News reports. The Guardian reports that in a major embarrassment to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has promised to target tax avoidance, the papers reveal that his chief fundraiser and financial adviser, Stephen Bronfman, shifted millions of dollars from Canada to tax havens such as the Cayman Islands. The papers also name Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, reports the New York Times. The documents reveal links to Vladimir Putin's son-in-law that Ross didn't disclose during his confirmation process.


ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER DOLLAR – RESPECT THE HUSTLE (BAGS FULL OF CASH) IN THE STRIP CLUB

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER DOLLAR – RESPECT THE HUSTLE (BAGS FULL OF CASH) IN THE STRIP CLUB

Sex sells, and this revealing footage from backstage at a strip club shows just how much. A group of performers are seen literally counting trash bags full of dollar bills after a lucrative night disrobing.


10 Secrets Movie Theaters Are Hiding From You

10 Secrets Movie Theaters Are Hiding From You

 

We all love watching movies on the big screen. But many things in movie theaters seem quite strange. For example, the fact that popcorn can be as expensive as your ticket.

 

10. Choose the best seat.

To get the best sound and visuals, you should sit about two-thirds of the way back, as close to the center as possible. This is where the engineers sit to calibrate the sound system.

9. The workers do not properly clean the movie halls due to tight time shifts.

Have you ever noticed that movie theater floors can be sticky and quite dirty even though the workers clean the halls after each screening? Because of tight timings between the movies, all the cleaners can do in that little time is sweep the floors, and sometimes that is done quickly and carelessly. The floors are properly cleaned and mopped with cleaning solution at night.

8. It’s easier for the workers to pick up trash if you place it on the seat, not under it.

Of course, the best option is for you to throw it out yourself. But if you decided to leave your cup or popcorn box, it’s better to put it on your seat instead of throwing it on the floor. This will make it much easier for cleaners to collect the trash once the movie is over.

7. High volumes in the movie theater can be dangerous to your hearing.

Despite the fact that audio system standards and volume level requirements exist, some movie theaters regulate them to suit themselves. Beware of action movies with many bombings and battle scenes, during which the volume usually exceeds the approved level. At least for your health, do not watch too many action movies on the big screen.

6. Popcorn prices are unjustly overpriced.

According to several sources of data, 10.5 oz of popcorn costs more than a good quality steak of the same weight. The prices for this beloved movie snack are so overpriced that it would be cheaper to go to a good restaurant instead.

In the USA, a large popcorn bucket costs an average of $8, whereas it is supplied to the movie theater for only $1...the same price you’ll pay at the grocery store.

5. Until 1981, seats did not have cup holders.

Interestingly, cup holders were invented only in 1981, about 60 years after the first air-conditioned movie theater opened in the US.

By the way, popcorn started being associated with movie watching in the USA during World War Two, when a sugar shortage caused movie theaters to stop selling candy.

4. Why does popcorn smell so good?

There are a few reasons why we cannot resist the alluring smell of popcorn. Firstly, movie theaters have their own secret recipes which help create the incredible scent. For instance, some add a mixture of coconut and canola. Secondly...well, there’s always food additives.

3. At least once a week the workers must kick an amorous couple out of the movie hall.

Those who like cuddling, making out, and embarrassing the viewers around them should know that most movie theaters have cameras which capture you in action. At that moment, you are detected, given a warning by a worker, or kicked out altogether. The best solution is to cuddle up in front of the TV at home.

2. Combo deals will not save you money.

Combo deals consisting of popcorn, a soda, and other snacks will actually not save you money. If you add up the prices of all the components of the deal separately and compare with the combo price, the benefit is not all that big. You will save much more if you simply go down a size on your order.

1. Popcorn is not always sold fresh.

Most movie theater workers admit that one of the best qualities of popcorn is that it does not go bad for days. If popcorn is not sold out at night, the workers will pack up the leftovers and store it in plastic bags, heating it up and selling it again in the morning.

 

 


New York County Legislator Has Epic Meltdown in Attempt to Get Out Of Speeding Ticket

New York County Legislator Has Epic Meltdown in Attempt to Get Out Of Speeding Ticket

 

 

A New York county legislator had a crazy meltdown in an attempt to get out of a ticket when she was pulled over by a police officer for speeding.

 

That was too much drama for a speeding ticket, TBH.

 

 

Democratic lawmaker Jennifer Schwartz Berky of Ulster County claimed to have PTSD while pleading to Officer Gary Short not to issue her a ticket for going 43 mph in a 30 mph zone.

 


12 Of The Strangest Things You Can Buy Off Of Amazon

12 Of The Strangest Things You Can Buy Off Of Amazon

 

You can find literally anything on Amazon (including some very specific complaints). But one of the things you can't help but stumble across are its weird products. We've collected below the weirdest things you can find on Amazon — don’t worry, they’re all eligible for Prime!

 

Yodeling pickle

(source)

You might think to yourself, "When am I ever going to need a yodeling pickle?" But the real question is, when are you not going to need a yodeling pickle?

 

Nicholas Cage pillow

(source)

Your bed isn’t made until it’s accessorized with a Nicholas Cage pillow. His piercing eyes practically beg you to come to bed. It’s the perfect gift for the Cage connoisseur in your life!

 

Two adult Madagascar hissing cockroaches

(source)

Do you want only one adult Madagascar hissing cockroach? Then go somewhere else! These very real and very alive insects and they are not sold separately.

 

Glow-in-the-dark toilet paper

(source)

Glow-in-the-dark toilet paper pairs perfectly with the glow-in-the-dark toilet seat, which Amazon also sells. It makes it so much easier to see what you’re doing when nature calls at 3 AM!

 

Men’s handerpants

(source)

What are you supposed to wear under gloves? Why, handerpants, of course! Make sure your digits never go commando!

 

One pound of human body fat replica

(source)

Move over human skeleton replicas! Human body fat replicas are on the market! The only question is, does it weigh more than the human muscle replica?

 

Cat turntable

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Trying to train your cat to be a DJ? Then you’ll need the cat turntable, of course! Mr. Whiskers will become DJ Mr. Whiskers in no time!

 

Salmon sushi pillow

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When Jiro dreams of sushi, he dreams those dreams while resting his head on this salmon pillow. Don’t worry! It doesn’t have the same contamination hazards as raw fish!

 

Senior woman with asthma wall decal

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This item is frequently bought with the Nicholas Cage pillow. Hey, some people are into some weird stuff, and that weird stuff is enabled by Amazon.

 

Life-size Yeti statue

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At $2,565, this statue is a steal! It’s perfect for the prankster who wants to make hikers think they’re having a Bigfoot sighting. It is life-sized, after all!

 

Potty putter

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Now your toilet time doesn’t have to go to waste! You can work on your swing from the comforts of your own crapper. It’s like having your cake and eating it too, then practicing your golf when you sh*t out that cake that you ate.

 

Nothing

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Amazon has everything... and nothing. Yup, you can literally buy nothing on Amazon. It’s a gift that will make the lucky recipient say, "Thanks?"

 


Girl's Request For 'Terry Crews' Debit Card Is Denied, Then The Man Himself Pulls Through

Girl's Request For 'Terry Crews' Debit Card Is Denied, Then The Man Himself Pulls Through

 

What do you do if your bank declines your custom debit card request on the grounds that you need a celebrities permission? Take to social media of course!

These days anyone is just a few key presses away and, if your target is as wholesome as Terry Crews, it might just work out in your favor.

All evidence we've seen points to the fact that Terry Crews is the kinda guy you'd want to grab a beer with and this is no exception.

 

 

BILLIONAIRE MARK CUBAN GIVES US SOME ADVICE ON HOW TO GET RICH

BILLIONAIRE MARK CUBAN GIVES US SOME ADVICE ON HOW TO GET RICH

Mark Cuban has had a remarkable career as a businessman, investor, and NBA owner of the Dallas Mavericks. Here are his 9 tips for saving money, getting a better return on your investments, building wealth, bitcoin and getting rich.