She's Judge Judy with a dash of Dr. Seuss: Clackamas County Circuit Judge Susie Norby decided to start spitting out rhymes before convicting an Oregon man of stealing a $2,000 bulldog puppy at gunpoint.
JaJuane Deshawn Etheridge, 24, was found guilty Monday of robbery, theft, unlawful use of a firearm, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The entire saga began in 2012 with Etheridge meeting a retired couple in a shopping center parking lot and stealing Harpo, the puppy they had for sale. His girlfriend saw a story about the stolen dog on the news, and called police; Etheridge ended up in a three-hour standoff with a SWAT team before surrendering. While in jail, he was taped berating his girlfriend and telling her not to testify and to stop helping authorities.
Etheridge swore he wasn't guilty, but rather had been set up by friends and his girlfriend — a defense Norby didn't buy. "The inescapable conclusion from the many phone calls and the absurdity of the defendant's testimony on the witness stand is that [Etheridge] will tell any lie, to anyone, at any time, to try to get out of the consequences of his action," she said.
Then, right before announcing her ruling, Norby decided it was time to pull an Emily Dickinson and share a poem she had written for the occasion: "You lied and lied; I can't put that aside. It was your car; you went too far. You hid the pup; the jig was up. You got rid of the gun; your game is done."
Etheridge will be sentenced August 1, perhaps in the form of a sonnet.
If you've got good digestive health, you could be making an easy $13,000 a year.
People infected with the bacteria C. difficile need fecal transplants to help their gut. Without constant antibiotics, sufferers may undergo "extreme gastrointestinal distress" and may even become housebound, The Washington Post reports. To help these patients, a company called OpenBiome delivers frozen stool transplants to those in need.
The healthy fecal transplants can be transferred to those with the C. difficile bacteria through endoscopy, nasal tubes, or swallowed capsules. According to the Post, OpenBiome has already shipped roughly 2,000 treatments to 185 hospitals nationwide. And it pays: Donors get $40 per sample, with an extra $50 for those who come in five days a week. So for a year's worth of donations, you could be looking at $13,000.
Don't get too excited, though: The donations have to be made on-site in Medford, Massachusetts, and only about four percent of prospective donors pass the "extensive medical questioning and stool testing," the Post notes. But if you make the cut, you'll be helping others in addition to making some fast cash.
"Everyone thinks it's great that they're making money doing such an easy thing," OpenBiome co-founder Carolyn Edelstein told the Post. "But they also love to hear us say, 'Look, your poop just helped this lady who's been sick for nine years go to her daughter's graduation.'"
Turn off Friends and step away from your laptop. A new University of Texas study says binge-watching shouldn't be considered a "harmless addiction."
People who experience depression and loneliness are more likely to binge-watch TV than others. Predictably, the same goes for people with low levels of self-control.
"When binge-watching becomes rampant, viewers may start to neglect their work and their relationships with others," said researcher Yoon Hi Sung. "Even though people know they should not, they have difficulty resisting the desire to watch episodes continuously."
In other words, if you want a healthy social life, you might just have to stop trying to keep up with the Kardashians.
In early January, Vice President Joe Biden interrupted his vacation on the Caribbean island of St. Croix to make a one-day trip to Brazil for the inauguration of the country's president, Dilma Rousseff. Hotel and vehicle costs alone for the veep's single day visit totaled $421,000.
About $191,000 of that went to hotel costs, which is more than the median price of a house in the United States. While Biden clearly knows how to travel in style — his vehicle requirements included 22 cars, 28 vans, three trucks, one bus, and one SUV — maybe next time he could just use Skype?
In a memo from Provost Louise Lennihan, the school announced that as of this semester, professors should "eliminate the use of gendered salutations and references in correspondence to students, prospective students, and third parties. Accordingly, Mr. and Ms. should be omitted from salutations." Professors are encouraged to instead address people by their full first and last names.
While the school attributes the new policy to the legal requirements of Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in education, this interpretation of the law's requirements is highly unusual, to say the least.
Weeks after hiking interest rates to an 11-year high, Russia unexpectedly cut them again, Bloomberg News reports.
The central bank lowered the benchmark rate from 17 percent to 15 percent. That sparked ruble sales, driving it down 4 percent against the dollar.
In 2014, the central bank raised the rate six times. Officials and business leaders have warned the economy will crash unless rates come down. Earlier in January, an aide to President Vladimir Putin called doing business "impossible" at the current interest rate.
In an 11 a.m. call with senior donors, Mitt Romney announced that despite heavy speculation that he would step into the 2016 race, he will not consider a presidential run. "After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I've decided it is best to give other leaders in the Party the opportunity to become our next nominee," Romney said.
The city of Boston fined Secretary of State John Kerry $50 this week when he didn't shovel the snow in front of his Beacon Hill home. Kerry was in Saudi Arabia for the funeral of King Abdullah, but that apparently wasn't a good enough reason to avoid being fined.
The Boston Globe reports that a snow removal company saw Kerry's house blocked off by yellow hazard tape, which was to warn pedestrians about falling snow and ice from the building's roof. But the company thought it wa police tape and didn't clear the walk. When they understood that they were indeed allowed to enter the area, the company cleared Kerry's sidewalk late Thursday morning.
"Diplomats — they're just like us," Kerry's spokesman Glen Johnson said to the Globe." The snow has all been shoveled now, the secretary will gladly pay the ticket, and let's hope this is the last blizzard of the year."
There's a new species of dinosaur, and it resembles a mythical Chinese dragon. Local farmers in Qijiang city, China, originally found its fossils back in 2006 and dubbed the dinosaur Qijianglong, meaning "dragon of Qijiang," CNN reports.
In findings published this week in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, University of Alberta researchers say the dinosaur, a species unique to Asia, was 50 feet long, with its neck taking up half its body.
"The new dinosaur tells us that these extreme species thrived in isolation from the rest of the world," researcher Tetsuto Miyashita told CNN.
They found a vertebrae, skull, and tail, which will all end up at the city's new dinosaur museum when construction wraps up.
A new poll from The New York Times found that a majority of Americans, including almost half of Republicans, support government action to stop climate change. Seventy-seven percent of Americans said the federal government "should be doing a substantial amount to combat climate change," according to the Times.
The Times conducted the poll in conjunction with Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future. The poll, which surveyed 1,006 adults from Jan. 7-22, could affect 2016 presidential campaigns — two-thirds of Americans said they were more likely to vote for candidates whose campaign platforms included fighting climate change.
Climate change wasn't a deciding factor in the respondents' votes, but it does influence their decision, according to the Times. Sixty-seven percent of respondents, including 48 percent of Republicans, said they were less likely to vote for candidates who denied that humans are the cause of climate change.
South African apartheid death-squad leader Eugene de Kock, also known as "Prime Evil," was granted parole Friday, The Guardian reports. The ex-cop will be released from prison fter serving more than 20 years for the torture and murder of black South African activists in the 1980s and early 1990s.
South Africa justice minister Michael Masutha said in a news conference de Kock was released "in the interests of nation-building and reconciliation." Masutha also mentioned de Kock has expressed remorse and helped authorities recover remains of some of his victims.
De Kock is said to have been responsible for more atrocities than any other man in an attempt to preserve white rule, according to The Guardian. Many South Africans believe he should die behind bars.