With a long weekend to work with, the world had plenty of time to give us crazy stuff to talk about and boy did it deliver. A possible Ebola vaccine, a woman’s 127th birthday, and Miley Cyrus believing in the power of true love make for one hell of way to start the week. Let’s dig in.
Orange County PTA Embroiled in Drugs, Planted Evidence, and Fake Indian Accents
Pointless Parent-Teacher Association feuds reached a new level of absurdity when a delightful couple from California was accused of planting drugs inside a PTA rival’s car after she allegedly called their son ‘slow’ and left him unsupervised at Plaza Vista elementary school. Kent Easter is on trial for allegedly planting marijuana, Percocet, and Vicodin in Kelli Peters’ car and calling police to report the drugs while using an Indian accent to disguise his voice. But hey, at least he’s accountable — Easter refuses to own up to it, saying his wife, Jill Easter, is responsible. She pleaded guilty last year and served her 120-day sentence.
Ebola Outbreak May Meet Its Match in Clinical Trial 4,500 Miles Away
The Ebola virus outbreak may be a distant concern in your day-to-day life, but with over 1,500 deaths attributed to the disease and more than 3,000 suspected cases (including two Americans who were brought home for treatment), it’s not as far as you might think. So it’s probably a good thing that a human trial for a potential Ebola vaccine is starting this week – even if that feels a little ‘Outbreak’ to you. Twenty people between the ages of 18 and 50 will receive the vaccine at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The World Health Organization seems convinced this outbreak isn’t going to stop any time soon, with officials saying it could eventually exceed 20,000 people. So … yeah. Let’s hope this works. Fingers crossed.
France: Where Good Parenting Means Reporting Your Child’s Terrorist Tendencies
Apparently, France and militant Islamic groups have more in common than you’d guess. French officials estimate that 800 or more of their citizens have already shipped off to Syria to join Islamist groups there. That’s a lot of people, and a surprising number of them are children, including a 16-year-old girl who was arrested in Nice on Sunday after she tried to board a plane to Syria “for jihad.’’ Things have gotten so bad that there is actually a hotline for parents to report their kids for signs of “violent radicalization.’’ The hotline has already gotten 300 reports, nearly half of which were about females. Get it together, France.
Man’s Last Name Doubles as Fitting Adjective in Ice Bucket Challenge Gone Awry
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has sparked an impressive wave of creativity in the name of charity – a little too creative, methinks. Belgian photographer Bruno Brokken briefly forgot that you should not use a firefighting plane when a simple bucket will do. Brokken was knocked unconscious and is recovering in the hospital after he had his pilot friend drop 396 gallons of water on him from a plane flying 22 feet overhead. The stunt, and the excessive amount of water involved, are being described as “miscalculated.’’ No kidding.
Anything Meds Can Do, Weed Does It Better
Marijuana is quickly becoming the duct tape of the medical world — a fact that only became more evident after researchers found that small amounts of THC, the primary chemical in marijuana, can be used to slow or even prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. That’s right, the drug that inspired a movie about two guys who couldn’t remember where their car was parked could now actually help people treat a horrendous disease that cripples the human memory. Go figure.
World’s Oldest Woman Prescribes Chocolate, Naps, Becomes World’s Favorite Woman
August 31 was a big day for Leandra Becerra Lumbreras, who became the oldest person ever to have lived when she turned 127 on Sunday. Of course, with that title comes the privilege of delivering the very popular hot take that chocolate and lots of sleep make people live longer. Perhaps not surprisingly, Lumbreras says she lost her birth certificate, which is a shame because it would’ve made for an awesome post from her Instagram account.
Every Time You Stream a Song, A Record Store Gets Its Wings
In case you haven’t heard, the Internet is killing your local record shop and it’s killing it fast. Nationwide album sales fell below 4 million last week, which is the first time that’s happened since Nielsen began tracking sales figures 23 years ago. And while record sales typically decline over the course of a year, the trend since 2002 is for this year’s lowest sales figures to become next year’s highest. That could be a crushing blow for your local Sam Goody, but it’s so hard to say no to these very cool, very free streaming services.
Ferguson Police Are Doing Last What They Should Have Done First: Be Accountable
It only took the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, national media outcries and oh, about 21 days, but police officers in Ferguson, Missouri are now finally wearing body cameras. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said training on how to use the cameras is almost complete and that they were first used at a march on Saturday protesting Brown’s death. Perhaps this will be a step in the right direction toward accountability.
Miley Believes in True Love and So Should You
Miley Cyrus may be the queen of controversy, but that doesn’t mean she’s heartless. Despite the tumultuous end to her relationship with actor Liam Hemsworth, the pop star apparently still has feelings for the man that reportedly inspired the hit song “Wrecking Ball.’’ Cyrus told Australian TV Show Sunday Night that “I love Liam. Liam loves me,’’ which is a strong statement considering it’s been almost a year since they split. But hey, when it comes to celebrities, true love always wins out, right?