Maria Waltherr-Willard, 61, is suing her Cincinnati-area school district for violating an implied contract to keep her away from young kids. Waltherr-Willard, who quit in 2011, had taught high school French for more than 30 years before the district reassigned her to teach middle school Spanish. Since the 1990s, she has suffered from pedophobia, a fear of younger kids that causes anxiety, chest pains, vomiting, nightmares, and dangerously high blood pressure. "It's a tough phobia," says Dr. Caleb Adler.
Archaeologists have discovered what they believe is a long-lost ancient city — and the find is so legendary, they won't even reveal its location.
Archaeologists from the U.S. and Honduras set out to find the rumored "City of the Monkey God," about which little is known to history. They found an earthen pyramid, stone sculptures, and a map of plazas — but they won't unveil the site's location, to protect the finds from looters. The archaeologists left the 52 artifacts unexcavated, National Geographic reports.
— ancient-origins (@ancientorigins) March 3, 2015
Christopher Fisher, an archaeologist from Colorado State University who was part of the exhibition, told National Geographic the site's well-preserved condition was "incredibly rare." He noted that the stone sculptures were likely an offering, since they were found at the bottom of the pyramid. Fisher and the team also believe there are a number of artifacts still waiting to be discovered below ground at the site.
According to Fisher, the "most striking object" in the collection is the head of a "were-jaguar," which dates to between 1,000 and 1,400 C.E., National Geographic notes.
Ruins of a so-called "lost city" were first identified in 2012, but National Geographic notes that archaeologists "no longer believe in" the notion of one lost city, as legend had described. Rather, they believe there are many sites of "lost cities" that are part of an entire lost civilization, which National Geographic says is "far more important."
The Japanese originally brought cats to remote Aoshima Island to deal with rodent infestations on their fishing boats. Now, the human population has dwindled to 22 and the cat population has ballooned to somewhere above 120. There is little else on the island, but the feline hordes bring up to 34 tourists a day on the twice-a-day ferry from the mainland. This isn't Japan's only "cat island," The Atlantic notes in a new photo blog of the island's cats. Watch Reuters' video tour of Aoshima below. —Peter Weber
The state of Georgia had scheduled Kelly Renee Gissendaner's execution for 7 p.m. on Monday night, but postponed it "out of an abundance of caution," after questions arose about the lethal-injection drug to be administered, according to Georgia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gwendolyn Hogan. Gissendaner, 46, was convicted of planning the 1997 murder of her husband by her boyfriend, Gregory Owen, who testified against her in a plea deal.
This was the second delay in Gissendaner's planned execution, and Georgia officials didn't disclose a new date. If executed, she will be Georgia's first female death row inmate put to death in 70 years, and only the 16th woman executed since 1976, when the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment.
Last week, Jimmy Kimmel broadcast this surprisingly hard-hitting public service announcement about childhood vaccinations. He felt the need to talk about vaccinations, he said, because, at least in some parts of Southern California, "parents care more about gluten than smallpox." Since anti-vaccination parents wouldn't take advice from a talk-show host, Kimmel invited on real (foul-mouthed) doctors, who "didn't learn about the human body from their friends' Facebook page." Jenny McCarthy probably won't go on Kimmel Live anytime soon:
On Monday night's show, Kimmel noted that, not surprisingly, anti-vaccination advocates weren't pleased with his segment. The part where Kimmel reads terrible things people tweeted at him, then refuses their demands to apologize or "give the other side," is really good television. The part where "Jack and Becky" try to convince parents to let their kids decide about vaccinations is merely amusing. —Peter Weber
A curious thing happened last Thursday. An insane number of people looked at a photo of a dress and couldn't agree on what colors it was. And they argued about it online and in person for, like, 24 hours. But you are on the internet, so you already knew that. If you're not sick of "The Dress" — or need a quick primer — Jimmy Kimmel had some thoughtful things to say about it on Monday night's Jimmy Kimmel Live:
On Monday night's Late Night, Seth Meyers took a closer look at the uproar, in a segment he calls "A Closer Look." The "married couple" skit is pretty funny. —Peter Weber
When Democrats controlled the Senate and Republicans ruled the House, Washington was mired in gridlock, Jon Stewart said on Monday night's Daily Show. But when the GOP took the reins in the Senate, Republicans were supposed to get stuff done. Stewart even made up a promising buddy cop show starring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner to illustrate this new era of GOP congressional action.
But of course, Republicans flailed in their first big standoff with President Obama, trying to tie funding for the Department of Homeland Security to overturning Obama's executive orders on immigration. And Stewart was happy to dance on their flub, both substantively — "To stop the president from being too lenient on illegal immigration, you want to defund the department that secures the border?" he asked incredulously — and politically. McConnell came up with a workable compromise, but the House GOP said no, showing who's been clogging up Washington's plumbing for the past four years, Stewart said. "Turns out, no one can work with the Republican House. They're the Keith Olbermann of Congresses." It gets worse for Boehner. Watch below. —Peter Weber
When Iraq launched its third attempt to retake Tirkit from Islamic State on Monday, Iran was aiding it with drones, artillery, and rockets, and Revolutionary Guard troops and commanders. Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran's Quds Force militia, was on the ground near Tikrit, according to Iran's Fars news agency. The U.S. was watching from the sidelines.
"We are fully aware of the operation, but the Iraqis did not request our support for it," Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told The Wall Street Journal. "Our presence in Iraq is at the request of the Iraqi government." And Iraq didn't request American help, U.S. officials said, because Iran was supporting the 15,000 Iraq army troops, roughly 15,000 Shiite militia volunteers, and up to 2,000 Sunni tribal fighters. Tikrit, the home of Saddam Hussein, is largely Sunni, while Iran and Iraq's government is Shiite.
The U.S. and Iran are both working with Baghdad to defeat ISIS, but they aren't working together. Instead, a U.S. official tells The Journal, the U.S. supports Iraq's military in central Anbar province and the Kurdish regions in the north, while Iran assists mostly in areas to the east of Baghdad, where "geography naturally favors more Iranian influence." The BBC helpfully explains why Iraq's military needs the help, in this 45-second video. —Peter Weber
Fans of The Walking Dead who have always wanted to own part of a town and happen to have $680,000 are in luck: Downtown Grantville, Georgia, featured on an episode during the show's third season, is up for sale on eBay.
The town's former mayor, Jim Sells, owns the historic property and is hoping to sell it to someone who has "a vision," he told BuzzFeed. He said he'd like to see it "active and thriving," and noted that fans of The Walking Dead flock to the town on tours. The property boasts nine buildings with apartments, restaurants, office space, a pharmacy, and retail space, and is located 40 miles away from Atlanta. Its moment in the spotlight isn't done yet, either — three movies, including a sequel to The Ring, will soon be filmed in the area. —Catherine Garcia
Police stations across the United States are now doubling as safe havens for Craigslist buyers and sellers.
In Naperville, Illinois, police Cmdr. Ken Parcel said Monday that allowing Craigslist users to buy and sell in the station lobby is "a preventative measure to ensure there's a safe place to allow [buyers and sellers] to conduct their normal lives and businesses." He stressed that officers and staff are not assisting with transactions. Chicago does not have official safety zones, but the city's police department did say in a statement it urged people who are buying and selling to meet in well-lit public places and bring along a friend or relative.
In Indiana, a number of violent crimes linked to Craigslist made the town manager of Whitestown spring to action. Dax Morton told the Chicago Tribune the violence was the "straw that broke the camel's back," and that residents in his town can now use the municipal complex for transactions and can ask for police supervision. "My wife uses Craigslist a lot," he said. "I think it's a great idea."
During her four years as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton didn't have a government email account and used only her private account, in possible violation of the Federal Records Act, The New York Times reported Monday night. Just two months ago, Clinton advisers reviewed tens out thousands of pages of Clinton's emails from that period and turned 55,000 pages over to the State Department for archiving.
This blockbuster report didn't escape the notice of former Gov. Jeb Bush (R), who made public 250,000 emails from his eight years as governor back in December, before an anticipated 2016 presidential run:
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) March 3, 2015
"Hillary Clinton should release her emails," Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told the Tampa Bay Times. "Gov. Bush believes transparency is a critical part of public service and of governing." And she, too, pointed to jebemails.com. But "the Bush files, though enormous, are not complete," noted the Miami Herald's Mary Ellen Klas in January:
The former governor conducted all his communication on his private Jeb@jeb.org account and turned over the hand-selected batch to the state archives when he left office. Absent from the stash are emails the governor deemed not relevant to the public record: those relating to politics, fundraising, and personal matters while he was governor. [Tampa Bay Times]
In case you weren't counting, the Iowa caucuses are in 11 short months.