you can't make this stuff up
October 19, 2018

On the East Coast this weekend, witches will gather to put a hex on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, while on the West Coast, a Catholic exorcist will hold a Mass for him as a way of blocking this "conjuring of evil."

The hexing will take place Saturday at Catland Books in Brooklyn, and while the online invitation states that Kavanaugh will be "the focal point," he is not "the only target, so bring your rage and all of the axes you've got to grind." Kavanaugh has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault, allegations he has denied. Event organizer Dakota Bracciale told Time that the hexing is being held as a way of "raising visibility and letting people know they're not alone with the monsters. Even the witches are coming out of the woodwork to stop this." This isn't the first hexing to take place at Catland, either — over the summer, three events were held to hex President Trump.

Fr. Gary Thomas, exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose in California, told The National Catholic Register that he is "appalled," arguing that "conjuring up personified evil does not fall under free speech." He will offer Mass for Kavanaugh, who is Catholic, and is urging others to pray and fast. "The decision to do this against a Supreme Court justice is a heinous act and says a lot about the character of these people that should not be underestimated or dismissed," he said. Catherine Garcia

January 11, 2017

The global law firm advising President-elect Donald Trump on his business conflicts apparently has a great working relationship with Russia. Shortly after Trump's press conference Wednesday, it surfaced that his attorney's firm, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, was named "Russia Law Firm of the Year" in 2016 by the law profession directory Chambers & Partners for its "high-profile" work in Russia.

Just let that sink in for a second: While Trump defended himself against allegations he'd colluded with Russia to win the presidential election and denied rumors that Russia has amassed damning information about him, a lawyer from Russia's law firm of the year was standing by his side.

Yeah. Becca Stanek

July 1, 2015

A northern California woman experienced an intense three days, beginning Thursday when she delivered a baby in the middle of a forest and ending Saturday when she started a wildfire in order to be rescued.

Amber Pangborn, 35, was driving to her parents' house when she started to go into labor, NBC News reports. She decided to take a back road in the Plumas County National Forest, and wound up giving birth, then running out of gas in a remote area without cell phone reception. Pangborn said she survived by drinking the tiny bit of water she had with her and eating some apples. By Saturday, Pangborn was afraid she and her daughter, Marisa, would die, so she used a lighter and hairspray to start a brush fire. "The whole side of the mountain caught on fire," she said. "I was looking at Marisa and was like, 'I think Mommy just started a forest fire.'"

Pangborn's plan worked, and she was found by members of the U.S. Forest Service, who came racing to the quarter-acre blaze. Pangborn and her baby were taken to separate hospitals, and were expected to be reunited Tuesday. Although not everyone will approve of Pangborn starting a fire in a drought-stricken state, her mother, Dianna Williams, thought it was a great idea. "I'm elated and the baby's beautiful," she told NBC affiliate KCRA. "I'm glad that she's a smart kid. She's always been smart." Catherine Garcia

February 25, 2015

The owners of a floating strip club in Alaska are facing allegations that they illegally dumped human waste into a harbor, and it's not the first time they've been accused of illicit activities.

An indictment from Feb. 18 alleges that Darren Byler and Kimberly Riedel-Byler pumped raw sewage into a harbor near Kodiak instead of disposing of it three miles offshore, The Associated Press reports. Byler pleaded not guilty on Monday, and told AP they never pumped into the channel or lied about it to anyone. Riedel-Byler is expected to be arrested soon.

The Wild Alaskan was once a crabbing boat, but now it features a small stage surrounded by folding chairs and a bar, with patrons arriving by water taxi. Since opening in June 2014, the club has had its fair share of issues: It was briefly shut down after someone reported that the water taxis had too many people on board, and the boat itself was found to have inoperable navigation sidelights, expired inflatable devices on two life rafts, and an expired personal location beacon. In December, the liquor license was revoked over concerns about Byler's common carrier license.

Byler believes he is being targeted because of the nature of his establishment. "Let's face it, this is business," he told AP. "It's nothing personal. And by the way, this business has been around for a while. I didn't invent it." He plans to open up the Wild Alaskan again in the spring. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads