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Video of tourists lighting Australian quokka on fire leads to court case

Monday Apr 20th 2015

Australia's favourite random animal, the quokka, has been at the centre of a horrific court case.

On Friday, two French tourists were fined $4,000 for lighting one of the endangered marsupials on fire on Rottness Island, Western Australia, according to ABC News.

See also: If you haven't taken a selfie with a quokka, you haven't lived

A video of the incident shows one man spraying an aerosol can and lighting it with a lighter, to burn the quokka. The other man filmed it and both men can be heard laughing in the background.

Thibaud Valette, 24, and Jean Batrikian, 18, were charged with animal cruelty over the April 3 incident. The pair could have been fined up to $50,000 and sentenced to five years in jail for the crime. Magistrate Elizabeth Langdon told Fremantle Magistrates Court she hoped the fines would act as a deterrent Read more...

More about Australia, Us World, and Animal Cruelty

The pub argument of the decade: Do you skol or scull a beer?

Monday Apr 20th 2015

Everyone needs to take a deep breath, have a drink and hug it out.

We are here to tell you that the scull/skol debate is over. The spelling battle heated up over the weekend after Prime Minister Tony Abbott downed a schooner of VB in record time at the local pub

See also: Australia's prime minister skols a beer, dribbles some on his shirt

Instead of focussing on the great Aussie achievement, Twitter users went down a rabbit hole debating the spelling of the verb, which means to drink an alcoholic beverage in one go.

Skol is technically correct by the way, but scull also acceptable if you are not a humourless pedant

— Dave Krantz (@weskrantz) April 19, 2015

More about Australia, Us World, Scull, and Skol

This Star Wars super fan created his own working BB-8 droid

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

Can't get enough of BB-8, the new rolling ball-bot from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and potential candidate for droid that's cuter than R2-D2?

One diehard Star Wars fan decided to take his affection for the new 'bot to another level. Industrial designer Christian Poulsen challenged himself to build a miniature BB-8 that actually works — in one day

See also: 'Star Wars' has an amazing new droid: How does the BB-8 work in real life?

Poulsen's BB-8 is made from a modified Sphero robot ball. After cutting the toy up, painting it and adding an internal magnet to hold up BB-8's head, he had himself an adorable droid. His BB-8 is controlled via Bluetooth with the Sphero mobile app. Read more...

More about Diy, Robots, Star Wars, Tech, and Dev Design

A shocking moment on 'Once Upon a Time' will change everything on the show

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

The game of good vs. evil in Storybrooke may have had its match point tonight

Specifically, Emma Swan reached the end of her battle between the light and the darkness, and it wasn't the answer that anyone was hoping for

See also: 7 ways 'Mad Men' obsessed over historic details

In "Sympathy For the De Vil," Emma had no sympathy for Cruella de Vil when the dog whisperer held Henry hostage, and after a standoff at the edge of the cliff, the villain met her maker at the hands of Emma. That's two down, one to go for the Queens of Darkness.

Dark Emma…. is legit everything on #OnceUponATime right now!!!

— Monica (@OncersSource) April 20, 2015

More about Television, Entertainment, Tv, Once Upon A Time, and Recaps

6.4 earthquake strikes off the coast of Taiwan, tsunami alert for Japan cancelled

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Taiwan on Monday morning, local time, triggering a tsunami alert for Japan.

The quake was registered at 9:42 a.m. at 71km (44mi) SE of Su'ao, Taiwan, according to the United States Geological Survey. It was first reported to be a 6.8 magnitude quake, before it was downgraded to 6.4 magnitude.

See also: El Niño could bring a quiet Atlantic hurricane season

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued and cancelled a tsunami warning for waves up to one metre in height in the southern Okinawa region of Japan. "Get out of the water and leave the coast immediately," the agency advised. "As the strong current will continue, do not get in the sea or approach coasts until the advisory is cleared." Read more...

More about Earthquake, Japan, Us World, Taiwan, and Climate

Hardware companies shine in Techstars' startup accelerator

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

IrisVR and Cartesian Co. are two of the 12 companies selected to participate in Techstars' Winter 2015 class in New York City. "If you're running a startup outside of Silicon Valley, you want to be at Techstars," said Ariel Briner, CEO of Cartesian Co. "They're one of the top two accelerators in the world."

See also: The future of preventive care: How 7 startups are making an impact

Both companies rely on hardware as their primary technology — a rare breed in startup culture, where many companies are software-based, with apps and websites. Cartesian Co. built the world's first 3d printer for electronic circuit boards, while IrisVR takes virtual reality beyond gaming by creating a suite of products to help edit, share and visualize space. Read more...

More about Startups, Tech, Techstars, Apps Software, and Dev Design

'Silicon Valley' Season 2, episode 2 recap: 'It's just business'

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

Pied Piper is in big trouble.

The upbeat mood of Silicon Valley's Season 2 premiere took a dive in episode 2, as Richard and the guys deal with the fallout of Hooli's lawsuit

CEO Gavin Belson's scare tactic has successfully spooked every venture capital firm that previously showed interest in funding Pied Piper. As a result, "Runaway Devaluation" often feels like the reverse of "Sand Hill Shuffle" — first with Raviga rescinding its offer, then during the montage of other VC rejections, which saw Erlich taking a much more deferential approach in meetings.

See also: 'Silicon Valley' Season 2 premiere recap: Mo' money, mo' problems Read more...

More about Television, Silicon Valley, Hbo, Entertainment, and Tv

Jon Snow made the hardest decision of his life on 'Game of Thrones'

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

Note: This post contains spoilers about the latest episode of Game of Thrones.

All of his life, the bastard Jon Snow wanted one thing: to be a true Stark like his brothers and father. And in the second episode of Game of Thrones' fifth season, King Stannis Baratheon offered to grant him that wish — and the lordship of Winterfell — in return for his loyalty in the coming wars.

Ultimately, Jon chose a bastard's life — and his vows — at the Wall instead.

See also: 'Game of Thrones' just killed another character who's still alive in the books

"If I don't take my own words seriously, what sort of lord of Winterfell would I be?" he asks. Read more...

More about Television, Entertainment, Tv, Game Of Thrones, and Recaps

Pitcher Jon Lester goes rogue, throws his glove to first base for the out

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

Baseball, one of the oldest American sports, doesn't usually pack too many surprises

But on Sunday, fans were treated to a bit of on-the-field innovation that may rank as one of the cleverest baseball plays in recent memory, thanks to a bit of quick thinking

See also: Yankee fans with a spare $600,000 can buy the old Yankee Stadium lettering

Image: MLB via Facebook

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester, attempting to toss the ball to first base to help tag out a player from the San Diego Padres, was faced with a dilemma: the ball was stuck in his glove

So Lester did what any quick thinking baseball player with a penchant for thinking outside of the box would do — he threw his entire glove to his first baseman Read more...

More about Baseball, Watercooler, Pics, Videos, and Sports

A sweet, single-serving lesson on marijuana edibles

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

DENVER, Colorado — The edibles market in Colorado is sweet on education

But smoking marijuana and consuming a THC-infused edible create two vastly different experiences. So when the state legalized recreational marijuana, allowing any adult over the age of 21 years to purchase cannabis products, guidelines for edibles consumption needed to be put in place.

See also: Inside the marijuana farm growing Colorado's most beautiful cannabis

The dosages on marijuana edibles aren't just for those experimenting with cannabis for the first time — or the first time since their college days — they're for everyone. Prior to the state of Colorado setting a standard dosage, most people didn't know the size of a single-serving Read more...

More about Cookies, Marijuana, Watercooler, Conversations, and Colorado

These shoes grow five sizes to keep up with the kids who wear them

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

One entrepreneur has dreamt up a simple fix to an age-old problem: the constant need to buy new shoes for kids who outgrow them just months later.

American charity worker Kenton Lee and his team invented sandals that match the pace of children's growth via a system of buckles, buttons and pegs, which expand the shoes in length by up to five sizes. Build to last at least five years, they are made out of durable leather, metal snaps and compressed rubber.

See also: Michael Jackson patented 'anti-gravity' shoes following famous lean dance

In much of the developed world, the clothing needs of fast-growing kids can significantly impact a family's budget; but for those in impoverished areas who can't afford to buy shoes, the consequences can be far more severe. Without protection for their feet, these children are susceptible to infections from cuts, scrapes and soil-borne parasites that burrow into the skin, according to Lee's website The Show That Grows. Read more...

More about Kids, Children, Shoes, Startups, and Us World

New 'Fantastic Four' trailer shows off super powers, darker origin story

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

20th Century Fox revealed the latest trailer for its reboot of the Fantastic Four and it's the best one we've seen yet

With an inter-dimensional twist on the group's origin story, we're given a much better look at their powers, from The Human Torch (Michael B. Jordan) in "flame on" mode, to Mr. Fantastic (Miles Teller) stretching his way out of trouble

See also: 19 Kickass Lady Superheroes You Should Know More About

The trailer also offers a closer look at The Thing (Jamie Bell), traditionally one of the hardest characters in the group to pull off realistically in live-action films due to his rocky exterior Read more...

More about Movies, Film, Trailers, Comic Books, and Entertainment

Miley Cyrus once played the Tibetan bowls for Joan Jett and a pig at sunset

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

Miley Cyrus inducted Joan Jett into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland during the April 18 ceremony, giving a heartfelt speech about the iconic rock singer's effect on her life.

Ever the provocateur, Cyrus was photographed backstage at the ceremony wearing a dress and pink, heart-shaped pasties covering her nipples. Cyrus drew the letter "j" on each of the pasties, Jett's initials.

She also mentioned something about a pig and sunset and Tibetan bowls. Wait, what?

See also: 12 gorgeous record stores worth raiding on Record Store Day

Buried near the end of Cyrus's induction speech was an anecdote that we feel needs further explaining. Here's the bit we're talking about: Read more...

More about Music, Miley Cyrus, Dogs, Watercooler, and Conversations

Hacked emails indicate Ben Affleck asked PBS not to reveal his slave-owning ancestor

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

Hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks have brought to light an incident in which Ben Affleck apparently asked the creators of the PBS show Finding Your Roots not to reveal that one of his ancestors was a slave owner.

Affleck's episode, which aired in September 2014, did not include any information about his slave-owning ancestor, although PBS has denied any censorship on its end.

See also: Genetic study shows how much America really is a melting pot

The email conversation was between Sony executive Michael Lynton and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a Harvard professor and the host of Finding Your Roots. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Pbs, Film, Conversations, and Watercooler

Customer service from hell: 96 minutes and 3,800 words with a rep, but still no cancellation

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

Comcast may have some competition for the title of most infuriating customer service.

Sky, a British telecom company, reportedly forced one unsatisfied customer to endure a 96-minute long conversation with a representative online last month just to cancel his account. And after all that, the customer still wasn't able to actually cancel it

See also: Comcast Rep Stonewalls Customer in Cancellation Request Gone Awry

The full transcript of the online conversation, which was provided to The Telegraph, is nearly 3,800 words. It starts off with the customer, Gavin Hackwood, saying that he wants to cancel Sky's service because of the cost. Hackwood makes it clear that he's at work, and just wants the representative to process the cancellation and be done with it. Read more...

More about Customer Service and Business

Lilly Pulitzer for Target items are sold out everywhere and people are pissed

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

Hundreds of thousands of fashion fans woke up early Sunday morning in hopes of snagging items from the highly anticipated Lilly Pulitzer for Target collaboration line, only to discover that most everything was already sold out.

The majority of people failed to secure anything online, as they — along with hoards of others — logged on as early as 3 a.m. to shop for products., according to a company spokesperson, was inaccessible for 15 minutes to ensure that all products were being rolled out as efficiently as possible.

See also: Love Coachella fashion trends? Here's how to pull them off at work Read more...

More about Ebay, Shopping, Target, Conversations, and Lifestyle

First 'Star Wars' spin-off movie will show theft of Death Star plans

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Rogue One, the first Star Wars spin-off movie, will deal with a group of resistance fighters stealing the plans for the Death Star from the Empire in the run-up to the original movie, Lucasfilm confirmed Sunday

Directed by Gareth Edwards, who helmed 2014's Godzilla, the film is a departure from normal Star Wars fare in that it promises to be a dark, gritty war film à la Zero Dark Thirty and Saving Private Ryan (its crew will contain veterans of those films, including Ryan's special effects guru).

See also: The new 'Star Wars' trailer: A scene-by-scene analysis

"It's called Star Wars," a droll Edwards emphasized to a packed house at Star Wars Celebration, the official Lucasfilm event in Anaheim where the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer was unveiled earlier this week. Read more...

More about Star Wars, Entertainment, Film, and Star Wars Rogue One

Beauty and buds: A weed facial experience in Colorado

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

ENGLEWOOD, Colorado — "Is this going to make my face high?"

At a spa tucked in a suburban retail megacenter outside Denver, an esthetician lightly strips off the remnants of yesterday's mascara, and preps my face for a cannabis oil-infused treatment. In a hushed voice, she assures me that topical applications of THC create no psychoactive effects. I make a half-joking mental note to not eat any lotion

See also: Inside the marijuana farm growing Colorado's most beautiful cannabis

The Primal Wellness Day Spa and Studio opened last October, operating at the budding intersection of beauty and marijuana. Clients select from the usual spa offerings of facials and massages, but each treatment includes the option of a cannabis-oil infusion. Read more...

More about Beauty, 4 20, Videos, Lifestyle, and Travel Leisure

Original Moore's Law paper doesn't say what you think it does

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

In 1965, a relatively young Gordon Moore penned his now legendary paper with the scholarly title, "Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits."

That paper, by the future Intel co-founder, is widely celebrated as the original inspiration for Moore's Law, which states roughly that the number of transistors that can be installed on an integrated circuit doubles every two years. His breakthrough observation became a sort of guiding principle for the still very young computer industry. During the next 30 years, it was often difficult to tell if chip and computer manufacturers were proving Moore's theory, or following it like some kind of law. Read more...

More about Intel, Computers, Moore S Law, Tech, and Dev Design

Marco Rubio doubts manmade global warming, says 'climate is always changing'

Sunday Apr 19th 2015

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who announced his presidential candidacy last week, told Bob Schieffer of CBS News on Sunday that he does not believe in manmade global warming. Instead, Rubio said he recognizes the climate is changing, but that scientists have not determined what percentage of such changes are due to human activities, such as burning coal, oil and gas for energy, compared to natural climate variability.

Unfortunately for Rubio, scientists have been quite clear that the majority of warming during the past few decades is due to manmade global warming.

In an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, Rubio said that if the government implements policies such as a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it would be "devastating" for the economy, and scientists can't say precisely what the climate benefits would be Read more...

More about China, Climate Change, Obama, Global Warming, and Marco Rubio
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