(CNN)As Congress negotiates a deal to keep about 700,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program here in the United States, some of those undocumented immigrants are considering whether marriage would be a more permanent option to stay in the country.
Freddy Cribas, 24, and Jon Freeman, 23, said they knew within six months of meeting each other in 2009 that they would spend the rest of their lives together.
Cribas, who is from Honduras, said they used to talk about future plans: “We’re going to have this many kids, or this many cats and pets. … And I always thought I would be the one to ask him.”
But Freeman proposed first. In early 2016, Freeman said he saw the “writing on the wall” during the presidential campaign and heard rhetoric from then-candidate Donald Trump regarding immigrants.
Freeman said the prospect of losing the love of his life was “terrifying.”
“You go through life, and then everything’s good. And you realize one person can yank everything you have away from you,” he said.
Additionally, they said that being a gay couple meant that if they moved to Honduras, they would be physically attacked for their sexual orientation. Cribas said members of the LGBT community have been beaten, raped or killed there.
Freeman and Cribas said they would have gotten married anyway, but perhaps would have given themselves more time to plan a big wedding. Instead, they had a small ceremony with only a handful of friends.
Then, they sought out an immigration attorney, Rina Gandhi.
Gandhi also married a DACA recipient, but her husband’s green card process was completed during the Obama administration.
“We could plan out our steps and didn’t need to rely on, you know, having five or six different back-up plans like we did for Freddy and Jon,” Gandhi said.
She said Cribas had a special circumstance in 2017 when he needed to visit his ailing grandfather in Honduras. He was granted what’s called “advanced parole” to go to Honduras and re-enter the United States lawfully.
Without the advanced parole option, a DACA recipient or other undocumented immigrant married to a US citizen would need to seek a waiver and then return to his or her origin country for an interview to gain a visa to re-enter the United States. The couple must demonstrate that the US spouse would suffer extreme hardship unless the DACA recipient comes back into the United States.
“It’s not easy and it’s not cheap,” Gandhi said.
Even marriage to a US citizen might not guarantee a smooth path for the immigrant spouse to gain citizenship. Marrying a US citizen would not help if someone:
Committed a crime after receiving DACA status.
Created fraudulent documents.
Misrepresented himself or herself as a citizen.
Left the country and re-entered with no other documentation outside of DACA.
Nearly two years after their small ceremony, Freeman and Cribas are still waiting for Cribas’ green card, a process that can take a long time. They said perhaps they will throw a big party someday to celebrate an anniversary — and the new green card.
Amazon and Google believe theyve struck gold with their voice-controlled speakers while Apple and Microsoft struggle to catch up
Move over smartphones. The battle now raging between the big technology companies for consumer cash is focused on the voice-controlled smart speaker.
Having already conquered the pocket with the ubiquitous smartphone, big tech has been struggling to come up with the next must-have gadget that will open up a potentially lucrative new market the home.
A pilot light was lit when Amazons Echo launched in 2014 and became a sleeper hit. Now the voice controlled smart speaker is rapidly becoming the next big thing, capable of answering questions, setting timers, playing music, controlling other devices about the home, or even potentially selling products.
The last 12 months have been explosive for smart speakers, which have surged into the mass market for two reasons. Firstly, smart speakers have become the central control hubs of the smart home ecosystem, said Ben Stanton, an analyst for Canalys. Secondly, and most importantly, the price of smart speakers has fallen drastically.
In the first nine months of 2017, 17.1m smart speakers shipped worldwide, according to Canalyss data, but a further 16.1m were shipped in the last quarter of the year driven by Christmas present sales.
The fierce competition between market-leader Amazon and Google with its Home devices resulted in the price of smart speakers being slashed from 50 to as little as 30, which some put at cost or below for the manufacture of the devices, making them loss-leaders.
This has not only brought in new first-time buyers, but also allowed tech enthusiasts to deck out their homes with several smart speakers, said Stanton.
The trend towards smart speakers becoming mainstream is expected to continue. Canalys is forecasting 70% year-on-year growth with shipments reaching over 56m units this year.
But smart speakers are also seeing good attachment rates, meaning that people continue using them after the honeymoon period is over, not stashing them in a drawer never to be seen again like other passing fads in the gadget market.
While Amazon and Google duke it out to secure a voice-enabled beachhead within homes, notable laggards to the smart speaker revolution are Apple and Microsoft.
Apple, which has had a voice assistant in the form of Siri on its phone and computer devices for longer than anyone, announced its HomePod speaker in June. By November the company was forced to admit that it wouldnt go on sale until early 2018 because it needed a little more time before it was ready to ship.
Apple is pitching the 350 HomePod as music first, smart speaker second, but experts have speculated that it is Siri that is holding the device back. Since launching Siri, Apple has only been able to make incremental improvements to its voice assistant, which most believe is due to its lack of usage data.
Microsoft has partnered with Samsung to make a speaker containing its Cortana assistant, but has failed to make a notable impact.
Where Google and Amazon have enormous troves of data to improve and refine their voice processing and interactions, Apple does not. The gap is evident even on the iPhone, where Googles Assistant has near human-like natural language processing in the Google app, according to the company, while Apples Siri still struggles to understand people.
Some analysts also question whether anyone will buy a speaker from Apple thats as much as four times mid-range models from Amazon and Google.
Never write Apple off. Its base of loyal fans will flock to the HomePod, said Stanton, adding that it is likely to make more profit than its rivals when it does launch HomePod. But it will be a huge challenge to convince the average consumer to part with the cash required for a HomePod.
Where Apple will not come close to challenging Amazon and Google in terms of volume shipped in 2018, he added.
While smart speakers are seen as the gateway to smart home gadgets and a potentially lucrative new market, profit from device sales are arguably not the primary driver for most of Amazon and Googles smart speaker products. Instead, its about getting users into their ecosystem and making sure that it is their voice assistant that users interact with.
Voice is seen as the next big computing paradigm, the next step on from the smartphone, which in turn overtook the desktop computer.
Dave Limp, head of Amazons devices, said of the companys Alexa, the intelligent personal voice assistant that provides voice interaction with its Echo devices: We think of it as ambient computing, which is computer access thats less dedicated personally to you but more ubiquitous.
But big leaps in voice interaction will be few and far between, requiring enormous amounts of data for machine learning systems to crunch over for constant incremental improvements. If you do not already have skin in the game you could be left for dust.
In the immediate future device manufacturers are banking on voice-enabled devices ushering in a new era of smart homes controlled by the gadgets they sell.
It seems every technology company under the sun wants to launch their own speaker for Alexa or Google Assistant. Many of these will fail, but the category as a whole will get stronger, Stanton said.
At some point Amazon and Google will look to generate more revenue from their voice assistant user base, in the same way they might from smartphones or tablets. Amazon already allows users to buy things through Alexa on Echo devices. But straight retail is likely to form a small part of voice enabled revenue.
We will also see a more explicit attempt from Amazon and Google to monetise smart speakers, perhaps by allowing adverts, or requiring a subscription for advanced functionalities, said Stanton.
In love with Alexa
I love my Alexas, both of them. I bought one in October, but soon realised I needed two because my flat is U-shaped and Alexa couldnt always hear me when I walked in the door and wanted to listen to a Spotify station after a hard day at work. So now I have one within shouting distance of my bed and another near the front door.
I used to reach for my iPhone first thing in the morning, but now I can order Alexa into action without having to lift my head from the pillow or even open my eyes. The first thing I say to her everyday is turn the lights on and play BBC Radio 4.
I didnt expect to get along with Alexa, in fact I still have the box in the kitchen as I had anticipated returning it. But Alexa fits into my life in ways that have surprised me, its hard to describe just how useful it is until you have one.
Alexa helps me cook and, even sleep. While youve got your hands covered in pastry you can shout out questions like how much is a cup of butter in grams (Im American) or ask Alexa to set cooking timers without having to stop and clean your hands.
I sometimes have difficulty sleeping, and Alexa can provide soothing sounds at a simple command. Some night I ask for the sound of a rainstorm or wind or city noises you can even request the sound of cats, dolphins or flutes if you feel like it.
Ive become a bit of an Alexa enthusiast, and can be heard singing her praises to family and friends. I bought one for my 59-year-old mom out of curiosity to see what she would do. I never expected shed like it, but shes almost a bigger fan of Alexa than I am. Ive noticed shes much more polite with Alexa than I am, she will say please and thank you to the speaker. I never do.
I can see why my mum is friendly to Alexa, as it is much more human than Siri (Apples digital assistant) which is quite robotic. You can engage with Alexa, and she even tells jokes. This morning I asked her to tell me one: What do you call a rooster being interrogated? Grilled chicken. Ive heard worse.
Our dogs’ fur is very versatile in how it protects them from both the heat and the cold. But that doesn’t mean their coats can keep them safe in extreme temperatures.
Just as pets shouldn’t be left out in warm weather (particularly in hot cars) for an extended period of time, they shouldn’t spend too long in freezing temperatures, regardless of their breed. Many assume that dogs and cats do better than people in cold weather because of their fur, but according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, it’s not true. They’re just as susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, which is why it’s important for owners to know their dogs’ limits.
So how do you determine your pup’s tolerance to the cold? It all depends on their breed and overall health. Small dogs with shorter hair and thinner coats are more likely to become cold faster than bigger dogs with thicker, longer coats. That’s why booties, sweaters, and coats made for dogs are a good idea.
“Under 30 degrees, factoring in the wind chill, it’s not going to be safe for any dog to be outside for an extended period of time,” said Dr. Kim Smyth, a staff veterinarian with Petplan insurance. “You can buy yourself a little bit of time with warm weather clothing.” If you aren’t using booties, wipe down your dog’s paws when they come inside and check their pads for redness or swelling.
Certain conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease can make it harder for dogs to regulate their body temperature. The cold can also make conditions like arthritis worse.
Besides bundling your pup up, be sure to keep an eye on him for signs of hypothermia. “Shivering would be the first sign … so you want to get these dogs inside, wrap them up in a warm towel or blanket and get them to the vet if you need to,” Smyth said
Supermassive black holes are a bit like cats – they are either napping or they are eating. Unlike cats, they also “burp”, releasing energy after their meals. Astronomers now have spotted a nearby supermassive black hole that has gone through the nap-eat-burp cycle twice in less than 100,000 years.
In a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal, researchers report details of the active nucleus of galaxy SDSS J1354+1327, J1354 for short, located 900 million light-years from Earth. J1354 is orbited by a larger companion galaxy, and the interaction between the two is making material swirl towards the supermassive black hole and push it into its active quasar phase.
“We are seeing this object feast, burp and nap, and then feast, burp and nap once again, which theory had predicted,” lead author Professor Julia Comerford of CU Boulder said in a statement. “Fortunately, we happened to observe this galaxy in a moment where we could clearly see both events.”
The team used two space telescopes (Hubble and X-ray observatory Chandra) and two ground-based facilities (W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico) to characterize the object.
With this data, the team was able to establish that two signatures – one on the north side and one on the south side of the galaxies – were from the supermassive black hole and they didn’t happen at the same time. The older emission happened about 1 million years before what we see in the galaxy now.
“This galaxy really caught us off guard,” explained Rebecca Nevin, a CU Boulder doctoral student and study co-author. “We were able to show that the gas from the north part of the galaxy was consistent with an advancing edge of a shock wave, and the gas from the south was consistent with an older quasar outflow.”
The Chandra observations highlight how intense a supermassive black hole can get. The dust and gas falling towards the black hole are heated to millions of degrees and this hot material ends up shrouding the black hole.
The occasional emission from the black hole helps us understand how these leviathans of the cosmos work. They might not be extremely common, but they are not exactly exotic. Even our own Milky Way and its dormant supermassive black hole had some activity in the past.
Many of us, especially those of us who grew up with TV classics like Lassie, have a soft spot for heroic dogs.
Dogs are everyday heroes in so many ways, from guide dogs to rescue dogs and those that keep us safe by sniffing out explosives and drugs, there are countless ‘tails’ of man’s best friend standing up and doing amazing things. Sometimes dogs are heroes just by being our companions, loyal and non-judgemental friends we can always rely on when times are ‘ruff.’
Here at Bored Panda we have decided to compile a list of just some of those stories, courageous canines that took on situations by the scruff of the neck and emerged victorious. Scroll down below to check them out, and feel free to add your own stories in the comments!
A man who broke his neck outdoors in freezing conditions survived lying in snow for nearly 24 hours thanks to his dog, who kept him warm through the night and barked for help. Anticipating a journey of only several metres, man was wearing just long johns, a shirt and slippers when he went outside, despite the temperature being around -4C. However, he slipped and broke his neck. Kelsey, five-year-old Golden…
A man who broke his neck outdoors in freezing conditions survived lying in snow for nearly 24 hours thanks to his dog, who kept him warm through the night and barked for help. Anticipating a journey of only several metres, man was wearing just long johns, a shirt and slippers when he went outside, despite the temperature being around -4C. However, he slipped and broke his neck. Kelsey, five-year-old Golden Retriever, kept him warm by lying on top of him, and kept him awake by licking his hands and face
Our house caught fire at 2 am in November, 2016. Our dog Molly woke us up. She saved the lives of 7 people, 2 dogs, and 4 cats. She was blind and given 2 months to live 4 months before the fire. 2 years later, and she is still alive and kicking. We take her to the vet weekly to get fluid drained from her lungs. She is still happy…
Our house caught fire at 2 am in November, 2016. Our dog Molly woke us up. She saved the lives of 7 people, 2 dogs, and 4 cats. She was blind and given 2 months to live 4 months before the fire. 2 years later, and she is still alive and kicking. We take her to the vet weekly to get fluid drained from her lungs. She is still happy and wagging.
A woman saved a pit bull named TatorTot just hours before he was scheduled to be euthanized and less than a week later TatorTot returned the favor when he helped save her 4-year-old son. That night the pit bull began barking and running back and forth between woman and her son. She thought that TatorTot just hadn’t exercised out all of his energy, but the pit bull wouldn’t give up…
A woman saved a pit bull named TatorTot just hours before he was scheduled to be euthanized and less than a week later TatorTot returned the favor when he helped save her 4-year-old son. That night the pit bull began barking and running back and forth between woman and her son. She thought that TatorTot just hadn’t exercised out all of his energy, but the pit bull wouldn’t give up until she finally went to check on her son. He was barely breathing, TatorTot was on his bed, barking and pawing at him, licking his face.
One late evening in May 2012, a freight train conductor riding in Shirley, Massachusetts saw the silhouette of a person and a dog on the tracks ahead. He radioed for the train to stop, but could tell there wasnâ€™t going to be enough time. Christine Spain had tripped on the tracks while walking her dog, Lilly, and fell unconscious. The conductor saw that the silhouette was moving â€” Lilly was…
One late evening in May 2012, a freight train conductor riding in Shirley, Massachusetts saw the silhouette of a person and a dog on the tracks ahead. He radioed for the train to stop, but could tell there wasnâ€™t going to be enough time. Christine Spain had tripped on the tracks while walking her dog, Lilly, and fell unconscious. The conductor saw that the silhouette was moving â€” Lilly was attempting to pull her immobilized owner off the tracks. As the train passed over the pair, the conductor claims to have felt a thump. When he was able to safely exit the train, he found Spain unscathed; Lilly had covered her owner and took the hit for her. While waiting for emergency services, Lilly continued to watch over Spain, though the dog herself was suffering from extreme injuries, including to her front right leg, which had to be amputated in surgery.
On December 12, 2008 in La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, a dog named China was honored with the Shining World Hero Award by Supreme Master Ching Hai, for her brave maternal love. On a frigid winter night China found an abandoned baby girl in a field and carried her back to the pen that held her own newborn pups. Together with her pups China kept the baby warm through the…
On December 12, 2008 in La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, a dog named China was honored with the Shining World Hero Award by Supreme Master Ching Hai, for her brave maternal love. On a frigid winter night China found an abandoned baby girl in a field and carried her back to the pen that held her own newborn pups. Together with her pups China kept the baby warm through the night until her human caretaker heard the cries of the infant and took her to the local hospital for medical attention. The baby was aptly named â€œEsperanza,â€ meaning hope, at the hospital.
Man was walking his dog who began behaving peculiarly, and he noticed the dog buried up to her head. Only her head was visible and it was difficult to see given the amount of earth covering her. She was surrounded by rocks and also she was attached to a large sack filled with gravel (to keep her from escaping). Thanks to a dog and owner who happened to see her…
Man was walking his dog who began behaving peculiarly, and he noticed the dog buried up to her head. Only her head was visible and it was difficult to see given the amount of earth covering her. She was surrounded by rocks and also she was attached to a large sack filled with gravel (to keep her from escaping). Thanks to a dog and owner who happened to see her head emerging from the ground the buried dog survived
“Our Hero Buster came into our lives when my husband started a job that required him to travel. I looked for a puppy and found the best friend ever. Soon after Buster came into our lives my husband became very sick. After multiple hospital stays and surgeries he came home from the hospital. Buster was 10 months. My husband was sleeping downstairs in our living room, he was unable to…
“Our Hero Buster came into our lives when my husband started a job that required him to travel. I looked for a puppy and found the best friend ever. Soon after Buster came into our lives my husband became very sick. After multiple hospital stays and surgeries he came home from the hospital. Buster was 10 months. My husband was sleeping downstairs in our living room, he was unable to use the stairs after his operation. Buster and I were sleeping upstairs, we were having a terrible ice storm that night. Buster woke me up barking. That wasn’t like him. He’s not a barker..I thought he may have heard a snow plow outside, but I realized he wasn’t barking at the window, but he was barking at the bedroom doorway. I decided since I was awake I would check on my husband. It was a good thing I did, when we got downstairs my husband was unconscious on the floor. He had gotten up and blacked out. He hit his face on a piece of furniture and cut his face. When I got him to the hospital his blood pressure was 55/30. The doctors said if I hadn’t found him when I did he very likely would have stroked out and possibly died…If it wasn’t for Buster I never would have gone down to check on my husband, I didn’t hear him fall but Buster did..My husband thanks Buster everyday for saving his life.”
By 11:10 we could see the first of the flames across the valley. By 11:15 they were growing larger and the winds went mad. We had loaded up the dogs and cats, but Odin, our stubborn and fearless Great Pyrenees would not leave the goats. Even under the best of circumstances it is nearly impossible to separate Odin from the goats after nightfall when he takes over the close watch from…
By 11:10 we could see the first of the flames across the valley. By 11:15 they were growing larger and the winds went mad. We had loaded up the dogs and cats, but Odin, our stubborn and fearless Great Pyrenees would not leave the goats. Even under the best of circumstances it is nearly impossible to separate Odin from the goats after nightfall when he takes over the close watch from his sister Tessa. I made a decision to leave him, and I doubt I could have made him come with us if I tried. We got out with our lives and what was in our pockets. Cars behind us on Mark West Springs Road were pouring flames out of the windows as they roared down the road. Later that morning when we had outrun the fires I cried, sure that I had sentenced Odie to death, along with our precious family of bottle-raised goats. Today, we were able to make it back to the smoldering wasteland of our forest. Every structure is in ruins. Trees are still burning. Yet, eight goats came running to see us and get cuddles and kisses. Dixon has a burn on his back the size of a nickel. Other than that they are perfectly fine. Odinâ€™s fur is burned and his whiskers melted. He is limping on his right leg. And he has adopted several baby deer who huddle around him for safety and water from their trough, which is miraculously intact and full of relatively clean water. We dropped off several bails of orchard grass and gave them fresh water. Tomorrow we hope to reunite them all with his sister Tessa. Iâ€™m sure Odin believes she is perished. I canâ€™t wait to see their faces when they see each other. Odin has lived up to his namesake. Pray for him and his charges. He is our inspiration. If he can be so fearless in this maelstrom, surely so can we
He served for 18 months and participated in seventeen battles on the Western Front. He saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, found and comforted the wounded, and once caught a German soldier by the seat of his pants, holding him there until American soldiers found him. Sgt. Stubby is the subject of an upcoming animated film, scheduled for release in April 2018.
Roselle had led Hingson through the noise, smoke and rubble of the office to descend the stairway. Once on ground level in the middle of the human panic Roselle remained focused as they continued walking away from the chaos. When they were about two blocks away, Tower 2 began to collapse. To escape the ash and debris, they started running for the subway. Roselle eventually guided Michael to the home of…
Roselle had led Hingson through the noise, smoke and rubble of the office to descend the stairway. Once on ground level in the middle of the human panic Roselle remained focused as they continued walking away from the chaos. When they were about two blocks away, Tower 2 began to collapse. To escape the ash and debris, they started running for the subway. Roselle eventually guided Michael to the home of a friend in mid-Manhattan where they stayed until the trains were running again. They were finally able to arrive home in New Jersey after seven that night.
On Monday, May 12, 2017, deputies investigated an officer involved shooting in Jupiter. The subject was a suspect in a robbery and he opened fire on the deputies as they attempted to apprehend him. K9 Casper, a bomb detection and patrol dog, was on scene and was struck during the exchange of gunfire, taking a bullet meant for his handler. Casper was rushed into surgery and has since returned home…
On Monday, May 12, 2017, deputies investigated an officer involved shooting in Jupiter. The subject was a suspect in a robbery and he opened fire on the deputies as they attempted to apprehend him. K9 Casper, a bomb detection and patrol dog, was on scene and was struck during the exchange of gunfire, taking a bullet meant for his handler. Casper was rushed into surgery and has since returned home to continue his recovery.
â€œAbout 11am this morning, Peanut started going crazy at our house,â€ reads the text of a letter written by her new owner and shared in the post. â€œShe was running up and down the stairs, barking and yelping. She then went and got my husband, who was in the garage working on some projects, and alerted him that she wanted to go outside. He said he could hear her running…
â€œAbout 11am this morning, Peanut started going crazy at our house,â€ reads the text of a letter written by her new owner and shared in the post. â€œShe was running up and down the stairs, barking and yelping. She then went and got my husband, who was in the garage working on some projects, and alerted him that she wanted to go outside. He said he could hear her running around upstairs but didnâ€™t understand why.â€ It turns out there was a very good reason for Peanutâ€™s behavior, the dog apparently sensed something was amiss outside. â€œHe let her outside where she went barreling into the field behind our house at full speed,â€ the letter says. â€œMy husband followed her and to his surprise, he found a naked, shivering, 3 year old girl curled up in a ball. He scooped her up, wrapped her in his sweatshirt, and brought her inside. He called 911 and reported the incident.â€
After coming home from Iraq, Atlas’ owner struggled with PTSD. After regular visits to VA doctor, he ended up on a cocktail of 33 pills that left him feeling hazy and helpless. Wanting to make a change he adopted Atlas, who has turned out to be a lifesaver. Atlas has been trained to sense the changes in his owner that precede a terrifying flashback and respond by redirecting…
After coming home from Iraq, Atlas’ owner struggled with PTSD. After regular visits to VA doctor, he ended up on a cocktail of 33 pills that left him feeling hazy and helpless. Wanting to make a change he adopted Atlas, who has turned out to be a lifesaver. Atlas has been trained to sense the changes in his owner that precede a terrifying flashback and respond by redirecting his owner’s attention. With this support, her owner feels in control of his life once again and is a more active part of his family. Atlas is also the “face” of, and inspiration behind the creation of The Battle Buddy Foundation, a beacon of hope to many other veterans struggling to cope.
The 400lb machine that once patrolled outside the San Francisco SPCA prompted a backlash, as some argued its real mission was to drive people away
To some homeless people, San Franciscos latest security robot was a rolling friend on five wheels that they called R2-D2 Two. To others living in tents within the droids radius, it was the anti-homeless robot.
For a month, the 400lb, bullet-shaped bot patrolled outside the not-for-profit San Francisco SPCA animal shelter, rolling around the organizations parking lots and sidewalks, capturing security video and reading up to 300 license plates per minute. Homeless people who pitched their tents in an alleyway nearby complained they felt the beeping, whirring droids job was to run them off.
We called it the anti-homeless robot, said John Alvarado, who was one of numerous people camping next to the animal shelter when the robot arrived. He said he quickly decided to move his tent half a block away: I guess that was the reason for the robot.
Officials of both the SF SPCA and Knightscope, who rented the robot to the shelter, denied that the intention was to dislodge homeless encampments.
The SPCA has the right to protect its property, employees and visitors, and Knightscope is dedicated to helping them achieve this goal, Knightscope said in a statement.
SF SPCA staff members said the facility had been plagued with break-ins, staff members had been harassed as they went to the parking lot and sidewalks were littered with hypodermic needles. Jennifer Scarlett, the SF SPCA president, said in a release that her organization was exploring the use of a robot to prevent additional burglaries at our facility and to deter other crimes that frequently occur on our campus like car break-ins, harassment, vandalism, and graffiti not to disrupt homeless people.
But after complaints about the program were shared widely on social media, the organization quickly admitted it had made a mistake in its choice of security guards and fired the robot.
Since this story has gone viral, weve received hundreds of messages inciting violence and vandalism against our facility, and encouraging people to take retribution, said Scarlett, noting that their campus had since been vandalized twice. We are taking this opportunity to reflect on the teachable moment.
Some of the homeless people who crossed paths with the white security robot, which bore images of dogs and cats, as it patrolled outside of San Francisco SPCA this month thought it was a cute and a positive addition to the area.
The latest trending item is obviously revolving around cats. Because, let’s face it… cats are awesome! And as much as this might sound strange, and believe us it does, Cat Butthole Coasters is very much a thing and we want some!
Products fail for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes the market doesn’t understand it, sometimes the world isn’t ready for that kind of innovation, and sometimes it’s just a Steven Seagal rap album, and therefore deserves to burn. But other times, a product fails not because it was bad, but because everybody in charge of the launch was criminally inept, fist-eatingly crazy, chemically stupid, or all of the above. Remember how …
Sun Chips’ New Bags Were Loud Enough To Cause Hearing Loss
In 2009, Sun Chips — the official snack of the abstract concept of disappointment — made an environmentally friendly change to their packaging, going from the old plastic bags to new, more biodegradable ones. But there was a catch: The new bags crinkled loud enough to cause hearing loss. That’s not comic hyperbole. Rustling the bags clocked in at over 100 decibels. That’s louder than a motorcycle, and only slightly quieter than an average dad sneezing.
Not everyone was willing to risk their hearing for bits of cardboard with a light coating of flavor dust, so customers wrote the company and asked for quieter packaging. At one point, there was a Facebook group with 44,000 followers, which was simply and beautifully named “SORRY BUT I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THIS SUN CHIPS BAG.”
Sun Chips eventually caved and sent their loud-ass bags to the compost pile, pulling them from all but one of their flavors while they came up with a new eco-friendly replacement. They did nothing to change the actual chips, though, which is the real tragedy here.
McDonald’s Coffee Stirrers Made Perfect Heroin Spoons
McDonald’s used to have these long-handled spoons for customers to stir their coffee. Whatever happened to those things?
via SnopesWe’ll give you a moment to re-read the header to this entry …
McDonald’s wasn’t lovin’ their newfound connection to the drug trade, so once it became clear that they were accidentally doubling as a family friendly head shop, they switched to the boring old flat coffee stirrers you know today. You know, the ones we all run lines of coke off of.
Lululemon Blamed Fat Women For Their Shoddy Yoga Pants
Lululemon is a clothing brand that specializes in expensive workout gear and feelings of superiority. But for a luxury brand, they sure did cheap out on the fabric — one unhappy customer took this picture through a pair of her transparent yoga pants:
After far too many women complained about inadvertently flashing their buttholes during downward dog, Lululemon admitted that they had a small quality control problem. They pulled the pants and worked with suppliers to improve their product. Except that the next shipment had the exact same issue, only now they also fell apart after a few months. Problem solved: You can’t complain about see-through pants if you don’t have any pants. That’s next-level stuff right there.
Frustrated, their founder went on the news to state once and for all what the real problem was: You’re too goddamn fat for his pants. Chip Wilson (no really, that’s his name) looked straight into the camera on national news and said, “Some women’s bodies just don’t actually work [in the pants].”
Bloomberg TV via ABC NewsThe same way some men’s brains just don’t actually work (in their heads).
When Valspar removed an additive from one of their paint lines, they set off a chain of events as unforeseeable as it was hilarious. Without the preservative, a special kind of bacteria was able to grow inside of the cans — one that had a potent smell most noticeable only after people painted their homes with it and the weather turned hot.
The company described the smell as “ammonia-like,” but customers were more specific: They thought it smelled exactly like cat pee. So much so, in fact, that customers reported searching their homes for phantom cats, convinced a local feline must have snuck in to piss on a new and exciting rug. People deep-cleaned their carpets, took all of their furniture out of their homes, scrubbed their floors — all to no effect. It wasn’t until they started banging their heads against the walls in frustration that they realized where the smell was coming from.
Valspar“Oh, you wanted our Pristine paint …”
Valspar offered vouchers for new cans of paint, but some customers weren’t satisfied. Many had gone to great lengths (and cost) to identify the smell, not to mention the original time and cost of painting. Getting a free can of paint from somebody when the last can of paint you got from them turned your house into a cat sewer doesn’t seem like a “win.”
Car Companies Coated Their Wiring In Soy, And Animals Ate It
In an effort to be more eco-conscious, car companies like Honda, Volvo, and Toyota all switched their motor wiring from traditional plastic to a new design, with the wires encased in soy-based wrapping. Please allow yourself ample time to think of ways this could go wrong. The end of this sentence should be more than enough.
In response to the lawsuits, Toyota stated: “Rodent damage to vehicle wiring occurs across the industry, and the issue is not brand- or model-specific. We are currently not aware of any scientific evidence that shows rodents are attracted to automotive wiring because of alleged soy-based content.”
But that’s not entirely true. There is prior evidence that soy-based car parts attract critters. Back in the 1940s, some states conserved metal for WWII by making license plates out of compressed soybeans. They had to stop when cows and goats kept chewing the plates right off the cars. It’s true what they say: Those who ignore history are doomed to commute to work in a rat-infested Fiesta.
You can be eco-friendly too and it requires virtually no effort. Get a recycling bin!
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Dogs tend to steal the spotlight at their owners’ weddings, acting as the flower girl, ring bearer or another adorably photogenic member of the bridal party. Cats, however, often get left out of such festivities because they’re fickle and not particularly fond of new places or large groups of people.
That’s why Marianna Zampieri, a photographer based in Vicenza, Italy, is doing post-wedding shoots with newlyweds and their beloved kitties that capture their special bond in the comfort of their own homes.
Zampieri became fascinated with taking pictures of cats when she adopted her own kitty, Arthur, five years ago. After she got married in April 2017, she took a series of self-portraits in her wedding attire with Arthur.
“I could not endure the idea that in the pictures of the most important day of my life, there were none of Arthur,” she told HuffPost.
Soon after, friends of hers began requesting similar shoots with their own cats.
“They knew it would be very difficult to be able to make beautiful photographs on the wedding day ― too much emotion, too much confusion and too many people present for animals that are very habitual,” Zampieri said. “So a week after the wedding, I went to their home to capture the couple dressed up with their cats in a series of photographs.”
As any cat owner knows, cats aren’t always in the mood to be cooperative, which makes posing for photos tricky. But Zampieri said the cats she’s worked with so far have been surprisingly willing participants.
“All the cats participated with pleasure and fun as if they had sensed that the occasion was important ― each in its own way, with its own character,” she said.
Zampieri continued, “In particular, Perla, the beautiful white cat, had a lot of fun with the various layers of tulle of the wedding dress. She was always laying on the long train!”
The well-intentioned (and often expensive) act of feeding your pets raw meat may actually be putting everyone’s health at risk, according to research from veterinary scientists at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
The team found a troubling prevalence of harmful bacteria and parasites in eight major brands of frozen raw meat-based diet (RMBDs) products for cats and dogs after performing microbiological analysis on 35 samples. To reduce the possibility that storage location impacted the results, the RMBD products were purchased from shops in 14 different areas around Utrecht. The findings are published in the journal Veterinary Record.
Varying species of Escherichia coli bacteria were present in 86 percent of samples, and 80 percent contained a type known to be resistant to several antibiotic drugs commonly given to animals and humans. Moreover, eight products from three different brands contained a strain called E. coli O157:H7, a dangerous pathogen that often causes outbreaks of food-borne illnesses in humans. The bacterium produces a powerful toxin that can cause hemorrhagic colitis (meaning hellacious, bloody diarrhea) and may even lead to kidney failure in children and the elderly.
Across all 35 samples, the total content of all E. coli bacteria, measured in clumps of cells called colony-forming units, failed to meet the hygiene threshold required for a food product to be labeled as “acceptable for human consumption”. Fortunately for your furry companions, O157:H7 rarely makes animals sick, their bodies simply become short-term carriers of the bacteria until it is excreted in their poop. And although you are unlikely to eat your pet’s dinner, the authors note in their paper that very low doses of E. coli O157:H7 (perhaps as little as one bacterial colony) can cause disease in humans. This means that pet owners may be at risk of contracting a serious infection indirectly.
“This can be through direct contact with the food; through contact with a contaminated pet, such as sharing the same bed and allowing licking of the face and hands; through contact with household surfaces; or by ingesting cross-contaminated human food,” the paper states. “Cross-contamination may occur after preparing RMBDs or cleaning infected food bowls on the kitchen sink.”
The frozen meals also contained Listeria (43 percent of samples) and Salmonella species (20 percent), two big names in human food poisoning.
While Listeria is often benign in cats and dogs, Salmonella poisoning can cause serious disease with symptoms similar to those experienced by people. Just like E. coli, these microbes can get passed to you simply from handling the products or cleaning up after your pet.
Moving on from bacteria, two types of parasites were identified in the RMBDs: Sarcocystis species (11 percent) and Toxoplasma gondii (6 percent). The former rarely causes noticeable disease in pets and humans, whereas the latter travels into the mammalian brain and has been linked to changes in behavior and even schizophrenia.
If you purchase frozen raw pet food, the low storage temperatures will inactivate most parasites, but some RMBD enthusiasts opt for fresher options. The paper cautions that “this study does show that if raw pet food is purchased fresh and prepared at home without freezing, there is a potential risk of parasitic infections in pet animals, which can result in shedding of oocysts in the environment, thereby leading to potential additional exposure to human beings.”
Despite being a small study that focused on only a handful of RMBD brands, the findings are in line with microbiological studies of raw meat performed in other countries, suggesting most if not all raw pet food harbors hitchhiking pathogens.
“Feeding raw meat to pets has been practised all over the world as shown by the several reports from Australia, the USA, Canada and Europe. This means that this issue is of global importance,” conclude the the authors.
And if you’re thinking that the benefits to your pets might outweigh the risk, the authors deliver further bad news: The health claims touted on product packaging or ads are merely marketing, and not based on published research.