Tennessee Police Warned About “Meth Gators,” Then Had to Walk It Back

Remember that urban legend that said if you flushed a baby alligator down the toilet, the poor little fella would end up in the sewer, get enormous, have a major chip on its shoulder for being deserted, and then would go on a killing rampage? It’s actually the basis of a schlocky 1980 movie called Alligator.

Well, there’s a new alligator-centered urban legend you should familiarize yourself with because it’s a doozy…and police in Tennessee had to backtrack after the story went viral. Let’s begin, shall we?

Police in Loretto, Tennessee, posted a photo on Facebook about a drug bust. In the post, they also told people they shouldn’t flush their drugs down the toilet because it ends up in local waterways and that’s always bad news…oh, and it might create meth gators.

You read that right, meth gators.

The Facebook post read:

“Folks…please don’t flush your drugs m’kay. When you send something down the sewer pipe it ends up in our retention ponds for processing before it is sent down stream. Now our sewer guys take great pride in releasing water that is cleaner than what is in the creek, but they are not really prepared for meth.

Ducks, Geese, and other fowl frequent our treatment ponds and we shudder to think what one all hyped up on meth would do. Furthermore, if it made it far enough we could create meth-gators in Shoal Creek and the Tennessee River down in North Alabama. They’ve had enough methed up animals the past few weeks without our help. So, if you need to dispose of your drugs just give us a call and we will make sure they are disposed of in the proper way.”

People on social media bought into the hype and shared their thoughts.

Because the story went viral and people totally believed these doped-up reptiles might be coming to hunt them down, the Loretto Police Department had to clarify that meth gators are not, in fact, real.

I mean, this story even went international:

Loretto Police chief Bobby Joe Killen said, “As far as I know, there’s no methed-up gators being sighted anywhere. It’s just a joke to let people know they don’t need to be flushing their drugs of any kind down the sewer system. They need to dispose of it in a proper manner.”

Killen added, “We take our job seriously, but we like to joke amongst ourselves at the department. When you work eight, 10-hour shifts in our line of work, there are times when we like to laugh a little bit. Otherwise, you take your problems home.”

I predict a horror movie franchise based on meth gators and I could not be more pleased about it!

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A Project Turns Discarded Fishing Nets into Surfboards and Helps Reduce Ocean Pollution

As you already know, the ocean (and most of the rest of the planet) is slowly being poisoned by discarded plastics, and people all over the world are looking for ways to try to mitigate, ease, or even reverse the devastating effects that humans are wreaking on the marine environment.

The latest effort comes from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, where fishermen are gathering discarded fishing nets to turn into surfboards.

The project is a collaboration between DSM, a nutrition and sustainable living corporation, and Thailand-based water sports company Starboard. DSM’s operations director explained to The Straits Times that they take the nets (often they are unusably broken) from the water, then clean, granulate, and transport them to their Indian factories to be reborn as ec0-friendly surfboards.

The nets are a big problem for both people and fish, in more ways than one.

The fish who don’t get caught in the nets often consume bits of them, and then as smaller fish are eaten by bigger ones, the plastics make their way up the food chain. The nets also tangle in boat propellors, damaging engines, and they can also strangle unsuspecting marine life, like turtles or cetaceans.

According to a DSM press release, experts estimate around 640,000 tons of trash nets remain in the ocean – 10% of all ocean plastic waste. Matt Gray, a commercial director at DSM, explained their mission in more detail.

“We look beyond society’s current model of take-make-dispose and instead try to mimic nature and the circle of life. By transforming the nets into fins, fin boxes, SUP pumps, and other parts of surfboards, the nets can return to the ocean in a much more environmentally conscious way.”

The effort is also supplying jobs for the local communities in India, which means the companies and the project are doing double the good.

Good on them. Now, let’s all find a way to do the same!

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Scientists Developed a Vaccine That May Finally Solve Cat Allergies

This could potentially be a game-changer.

There’s not a whole lot of in-between out there when you talk to folks about our feline friends. Most people absolutely adore cats…or they despise them. And I’m pretty sure a lot of people use the excuse “I’m allergic” just so they don’t have to deal with cats on any level, whether at a friend’s house, significant other’s, etc.

Well, the people who pull the “allergy card” might not be able to do that for much longer. And on the flip side, people who really love cats and are legitimately allergic to them will be able to play with all the furry buddies they want to! How, you ask? Because scientists have invented a vaccine that can be given to cats to make us humans less allergic to them. Hallelujah!

The vaccine is injected into cats (meaning you don’t even have to take the needle yourself), and it makes them produce less of the allergen that causes people to sneeze uncontrollably around them. The researchers have been working on the project for five years, and they call the vaccine HypoCat.

One of the researchers, Martin Bachmann, said, “We feel the numbers and conclusions are sufficient to drive our investment in further development. This is also reflected by the fact that JACI the Nr 1 allergy journal, published our study. In 2020, more safety and efficacy testing studies will be initiated.”

Bachmann said that once it is released, HypoCat will be affordable for pet owners. According to one of the researchers, the vaccine should be available sometime in 2022. Hooray!

Do you think anti-vaxxers will just have to weigh in on this one as well?

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Take a Look at This Village Designed Specifically for Patients with Severe Dementia

To see someone struggling with dementia is a grueling experience. That’s why places like HammondCare in Cardiff, New South Wales, Australia, are so important and groundbreaking.

The facility that recently opened in Cardiff was designed specifically for patients suffering from severe dementia. It’s laid out like an actual village, complete with houses and shops, and can accommodate 99 residents. The HammondCare village in Cardiff is based on similar villages in Europe, where dementia patients have been found to have a much better quality of life.

HammondCare will be opening a new dementia specific village at Cardiff this August. We are looking to recruit up to 150…

Posted by HammondCare on Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Angela Raguz of Hammond Residential Care says, “There is a growing body of evidence that people living in functioning homes have better outcomes for quality of life, they are less likely to be transferred to hospital inappropriately, and are less likely to have the wrong medications being given.”

Raguz adds, “For people with dementia, it is really important to give them a continuing sense of things they are familiar with. The idea of the built environment is that we design environments that enable a person to see or sense where they would like to go.”

The residents are allowed to live freely, and nurses are on staff 24 hours a day. According to Raguz, it allows patients to have their independence while having on-hand care if needed. Patients have their own small homes with kitchens and living areas, and outside they can visit shops, small parks, and even a hairdresser.

And while it seems like this kind of service would only be reserved for the wealthy, “No one, regardless of their financial circumstances, is excluded from being able to access this type of care. If you don’t have money, it’s not a reason not to call, or to come and have a look. The care is provided to all equally.”

Yesterday, HammondCare welcomed visitors to the Cardiff Open Day. Visitors had the opportunity to explore our…

Posted by HammondCare on Thursday, August 8, 2019

Amen to that. This is a great idea.

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French People Have Spent 20 Years Building a Castle with Medieval Techniques, and It’s Almost Done

This is spectacular!

You don’t need to be a fan of history or obsessed with the Middle Ages to appreciate the hard work and determination that went into this incredible project.

The Guédelon is a castle built over the past 20 years in Burgundy, France, with only technology and materials that were available during the 13th century.

Posted by Guédelon on Saturday, July 13, 2019

That means stones are transported by cart, and specially designed cranes (13th-century style, of course) are used to get heavy rocks to the top of the castle.

Posted by Guédelon on Saturday, July 13, 2019

The project began in 1997 with Michel Guyot and Maryline Martin, who spearheaded the effort to get the castle built. Final completion is expected around 2023.

Posted by Guédelon on Tuesday, June 25, 2019

During the lengthy construction phase the site drew 300,000 curious visitors each year. Guédelon even has a historically accurate backstory attached to it as well, which he uses to guide all the castle’s design and construction decisions.

The backstory begins in 1228, and with each year that passes, the researchers and volunteers who work on the castle must adapt to changes in technology that actually occurred. The backstory now places the castle in 1248.

One of the guides at the castle said that the backstory somehow needed a little extra something to get visitors excited:

“The rule is that only what we know from documents that existed at the time is allowed. Funnily enough, we found that even though we knew we were being accurate, somehow the castle lacked soul. So we invented a character – the owner – who would have likes and dislikes, wanting this and not wanting that.”

Les préparations pour la nouvelle saison continuent !Preparations for the coming season are under way!

Posted by Guédelon on Thursday, March 6, 2014

So the “owner” of the castle is Seigneur Guilbert, a middle-ranking feudal lord who was allowed to build his castle on the land because he sided with the French crown during a rebellion. Clever, isn’t it?!?!

What a wonderful project.

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Beware! Scammers Are Sending out Fake Letters from the IRS

Be very careful, because IRS scammers have some new tricks up their sleeves!

Scammers have long impersonated the IRS to try to trick people into handing over their personal information or paying money. They often do this by calling people on the phone and asking about an overdue “tax bill.” The IRS very rarely calls people on the phone to ask for payment, which means many taxpayers are catching on to this scam.

But now, Forbes reports, some scammers are disguising themselves a bit more skillfully by sending letters instead. Unlike a phone call, it can be difficult for taxpayers to tell whether a letter is really from the IRS or not.

Photo Credit: iStock

One scam involves a letter about taxes that are owed to the “Bureau of Tax Enforcement.” The letter threatens an IRS lien or levy, which may make it sound legit. But there is no such thing as the Bureau of Tax Enforcement, and these letters are 100% a scam.

Other fake IRS letters include different warnings, like a notice that a warrant for arrest has been issued for a taxpayer because of unpaid taxes.

Sometimes these letters are made even more confusing and scary by the fact that they reference actual tax debts. This information is available to the public in some cases, though, so just because a letter includes factual info doesn’t mean it’s not a scam.

So, how can you tell that a letter really is from the IRS?

Photo Credit: iStock

First, it will usually arrive in a government envelope with the IRS seal. It will also include a notice or letter number, your truncated tax ID number, the tax year(s) in question, and IRS contact information. It will also include information about your rights as a taxpayer. The IRS will never threaten to arrest or deport you.

If in doubt, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040.

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The Heavy Metal Knitting World Championships Recently Took Place in Finland

There are no doubt a bunch of funny/weird/eccentric competitions out there that you and I haven’t heard about yet.

But this is something you should probably acquaint yourself with…because it is EPIC. The Heavy Metal Knitting World Championships took place in Joensuu, Finland, in July 2019 – and by the looks of it, it was a helluva lot of fun.

Posted by Heavy Metal Knitting on Thursday, July 11, 2019

It’s pretty simple: knitters get onstage and a heavy metal band plays. So the knitters kind of become part of the band. Heavy metal is hugely popular in Finland, so it only makes sense that this unusual contest took place there. Finnish heavy metal bands that are popular include HIM, Insomnium, Children of Bodom, Amorphis, Lordi, and Nightwish.

Posted by Heavy Metal Knitting on Thursday, July 11, 2019

You know what else is really popular in Finland? You guessed it! Knitting! Perfect combination, right? A band called Maniac Abductor (great name, by the way) played while the knitters feverishly worked their fingers to the bone.

One competitor in the competition said, “Knitting is such a meditative activity, but now it’s energetic and it’s heart-pumping.” Another added, “It’s ridiculous, but it’s so much fun.”

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It's one week since the 1st Heavy Metal Knitting World Championship and we're still overwhelmed by all of this! There has been so many articles, interviews and media interest towards our newly established sport that we've completely lost track of how far and wide the information has spread. We checked the top 10 most viewed videos on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube – combined they have 24 million views and around 200 000 shares at the moment, and it's just the top 30 posts of these channels :O A month ago "heavy metal knitting" search in Google resulted in a few thousand results. Today the amount of results stands at over 500 000 🤯 There has been several tv-spots in Japan, radio interviews in Australia and UK, many of the contestants have been interviewed in their home countries. So amazing and crazy at the same time! Knitting is definitely no bullshitting. Thank you for making this all possible! We're currently drafting the outlines of the event for next year and will let you know immediately when we've agreed on the date of the competition 🤘 (The Knitting is no Bullshitting cloth was used in @antra.karkla final act 😉) (Picture by @tovarimarketing @joonakotilainen 😘) #heavymetalknitting

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This is how the event’s Facebook page sums it up:

“In heavy metal knitting, needlework and music become united like never before. On the same stage, accompanied by a million-dollar guitar solo, with hair flowing in the air, there’s heavy metal music and knitting, shaking hands.

Knitting to the rhythm of heavy metal music can be compared to playing air guitar — which is a Finnish way to goof around as well. In heavy metal knitting, the knitter becomes a part of the band, showing their best needlework tricks as the heavy riffs echo on the background. The knitter takes part in the jam while their balls of yarn and knitting needles swish through the air…”

And get a load of who ended up winning the championship.

Incredible. Here’s some video of the event you need to see.

I think I’m gonna have to go to this next year…Finland, here I come!

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This Teenager’s Lung Collapsed After He Vaped for 18 Months

You see all kinds of people vaping everywhere now, especially younger folks. But it seems like the jury is still out on how harmful e-cigarettes really are. An 18-year-old young man named Chance Ammirata learned this the hard way.

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Guess that word

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Ammirata started vaping when he was 16, and 18 months into his new habit, he started experiencing awful chest pains. He couldn’t even sleep on his left side because it was so painful. One day when he was bowling with friends, Ammirata’s friend made him laugh and his chest hurt so bad he felt like he was having a heart attack.

Ammirata was rushed to the hospital. He said, “Seven surgeons came in, and it’s scary when you see seven surgeons come in, you think they’re going to tell you you have like five days to live.”

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This whole experience is absolutely insane and life changing (disclaimer I don’t always look this bad just when I’m glued to the hospital bed for 8 days) I came into this experience completely negative mad at the world , and scared of how things were gonna turn out after my lung collapsed. But I decided to take this negative and completely find another meaning. I decided that spreading my story could help others not have to go through the same thing as me. One by one reading each message from every single one of you explaining how I was able to CHANGE YOUR MINDSET I was able to help you throw out your juul. Makes you realize enough is enough and that nicotine is rotting our brains and destroying our bodies. It overcame me with emotions. I’ve never been happier to make such a difference. My surgery to get my chest tube removed is scheduled in around 2/3 hours and I’m insanely nervous. But I want to make sure my story is always out there. And that the change doesn’t stop. Every day we need to fight to help not only ourselves but the ones we love put down the nicotine. This epidemic has taken enough. We don’t need more evidence telling us just how bad it is. How many more kids are going to have to get hospitalized for us to stop !? None should be the answer don’t take this with a grain of salt. And keep on pushing yourselves to take control of these cravings. I know it’s hard , and I know it will be a long one/2 weeks of getting over the addiction. But 1/2 weeks is so much more worth it than a lifetime of consequences. #lunglove #stopjuul #revolution #wewillmakeachange #wearenotcontrolled edit: hole* reference to third slide

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Ammirata was informed that doctors had found black spots and a hole in his lung. His collapsed lung was reinflated, and doctors told him that whatever he was smoking caused the black spots. Ammirata has never smoked cigarettes, so he knew that the Juul he had been smoking for a year-and-a-half was the culprit.

Ammirata admits that he never thought his e-cigarette could be so dangerous. He said, “Everyone was doing it,” Chance said, “and the problem was no one was saying they were addicted, just using it occasionally when they were stressed, so it was different from a cigarette.”

The young man wants to use his incident to highlight the dangers of vaping for other people who may be unaware that there are potentially serious side effects. Ammirata said,

“This whole experience is absolutely insane and life changing. I came into this experience completely negative, mad at the world, and scared of how things were gonna turn out after my lung collapsed. But I decided to take this negative and completely find another meaning. I decided that spreading my story could help others not have to go through the same thing as me.”

Ammirata added,

“Juul is really manipulating it like it’s OK, and it’s not and there’s not enough evidence, but I feel like it’s my responsibility as a victim to let people know it isn’t safe. Even if they said I could smoke again, I would never pick up a Juul or anything that has smoke, I’m never going to pick up again.”

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Miniature Horses Are Now One of the Service Animals That Airlines Must Allow to Fly

Be prepared to possibly see an unexpected animal on your next flight.

The list of service animal just keeps growing, doesn’t it? And specifically, I’m talking about service animals that are allowed on planes. In addition to dogs, we’ve seen ducks and all other kinds of creatures accompanying their human handlers on flights.

Well, it’s time to add another furry friend to the list of animals allowed to fly on planes: miniature horses. The U.S. Department of Transportation is encouraging airlines to allow miniature horses on flights as service animals.

And while it may sound a little odd, miniature horses are actually quite popular as service animals, right up there with dogs and cats.

The official word from the Department of Transportation says, “After reviewing the comments on this issue, we believe that it would be in the public interest and within our discretionary authority to prioritize ensuring that the most commonly recognized service animals (i.e., dogs, cats, and miniature horses) are accepted for transport.”

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A play date that was just her size•We held our first, “Toddler Time” with Martha, last week, giving kids, ages 2-4 years, to come be with Martha•She was the quintessential hostess of her playground 🎪 and all the kids loved petting her fluffy hair•When the goodbyes were said, each child got to choose a button of one of the horses•Surprisingly, there were no duplicates🏵Such a cute way to share Martha with a tiny little population and add more exposure to kids as we continue our goal for her therapy work😊Think about all the good that comes from exposing a child to a horse at this young and how it effects their future feelings towards them😊….sound . . . . . . . #miniaturehorse #miniaturehorses #miniaturehorsesofinstagram #horse #horses #horsesofinstagram #dwarfhorse #rescuehorse #adoptdontshop #hunterjumper #dressage #eventing #horseriding #horsebackriding #equine #equitation #equinetherapy #equinephotography #equestrian #equestrianlife #kids

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Airlines aren’t obligated to allow therapy horses on their flights, but if they ignore the new guideline from the Department of Transportation, they could be penalized. And just to get down to the nitty gritty: this guideline does not apply to emotional support horses, only service horses that help people with visual impairments or issues with mobility. Emotional service animals are often times dealt with on a case-by-case basis at the airport.

The guidelines also say what CAN’T be used as service animals: no snakes, rodents, reptiles, spiders, or ferrets are allowed. Thank goodness for that…

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Here’s Everything That’s Coming in Marvel’s Phase Four

Marvel fans, listen up!

The Marvel Universe is hotter than ever right now, and fans all across the globe are anxiously waiting to see what’s next from the studio.

The hugely successful Avengers: Endgame was the final piece of Marvel’s 22-film saga that started with Iron Man in 2008. Fans (more like fanatics) have been waiting to get some news…and here it is.

At the San Diego Comic-Con in July, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige revealed what the first two years of Marvel’s Phase Four will look like.

Let’s take a look at the upcoming releases.

1. Black Widow

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: May 1, 2020

2. The Eternals

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: November 6, 2020

3. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: February 12, 2021

4. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: May 7, 2021

5. Thor: Love and Thunder

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: November 5, 2021

6. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: TBA

7. Black Panther 2

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: TBA

8. Blade

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: TBA

9. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: Fall 2020

10. Wanda Vision

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: Spring 2021

11. Loki

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: Spring 2021

12.What If…?

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: Summer 2021

13. Hawkeye

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: Fall 2021

14. Captain Marvel 2

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: TBA

15. Fantastic Four

Photo Credit: Marvel

Release Date: TBA

These all have the potential to be GREAT. Even Fantastic Four, maybe.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited.

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