Many people know that the opioid crisis has been linked to over-the-counter pain medication being over prescribed by doctors. The problem is that there is not a practical solution for people with chronic pain. Brain scientists have been studying this question and are looking for a substance that can decrease pain without engaging the pleasure receptors that opioids do. Luckily, snail venom might do just that. We didn’t even know snails have venom, but apparently they have venom to paralyze fish. If scientists could use this substance in an easily applied drug, they might be able to help people with chronic pain without risking addiction. In the meantime maybe avoid escargot?
You Can’t Spell Presidential Without P
A pub in Dublin, Ireland, called the Adelphi is seeking the return of its urinal mural of Donald Trump after it was stolen in August. The drinking establishment is offering a €100 beer tab (about $118 in U.S. dollars) to whoever brings the urine target practice mural back to its home next door to the porcelain thrones. The pub’s manager, Tony McCabe, told the Huffington Post that the Trump mural had “made the trip to the bathroom a ‘wee’ bit more entertaining” for customers.
A trio of robbers at a doughnut shop in Houston were captured on surveillance video handing out sweets to their victims while they ransacked the business for cash, according to the Houston Police Department. The video shows three masked robbers entering the shop on the afternoon of Oct. 16. One carried a handgun, while another stole money from the cash register, and the third took the customers’ cell phones, offering them sweet treats in return. All three assailants fled on foot and remain at large.
According to a new study by Princeton University’s baby lab, cooing, baby talk, or making random cute sounds to infants is pretty much a universal concept. Researchers took samples of mothers speaking to their infants in 10 different languages and found that they changed their voice to a cutesy timbre in much the same ways. Elize Piazza, a researcher at the baby lab, stated in a press release that mothers may have “a universal form of communication that mothers implicitly use to engage their babies.”
Cards Against In-Humanity
The company behind the card game for horrible people, Cards Against Humanity, wants to stop President Donald Trump from building a border wall with Mexico by purchasing plots of vacant border land. The company has also retained the services of a law firm that specializes in eminent domain “to make it as time-consuming and expensive as possible for the wall to get built.” In years prior, the company has been involved in holiday pranks such as celebrating Black Friday by throwing $100,000 into a giant hole, and selling nothing for $5, which managed to raise $70,000.
Don’t Tell Your Dentist
If you’ve ever found yourself thinking, “You know what Pepsi needs? More sugar,” then you’re in luck. Pepsi just released Salted Caramel flavored cola just in time for the holidays. Nothing says the season of giving like giving yourself several cavities. Unsurprisingly, the internet is very divided on the subject. One Twitter user described the soda, “like someone put a pancake covered in syrup in a Pepsi bottle.” Whatever it tastes like, we’re pretty sure those aren’t “natural” flavorings.
One Small Step for Kitties
In 1963 a cat went into space, but now her story is nearly forgotten. A British designer who found out about Félicette the space cat is now raising funds to build a statue in her honor in her hometown, Paris. Other astro-animals who went into space have statues memorializing them, but not Félicette. Félicette was chosen out of 13 other cats to train to be an astrocat. She experienced five full minutes of weightlessness and then returned safely to Earth, only to be later put to sleep so French scientists could perform tests. R.I.P. Félicette, the astrocat.
The Shitty State of Our Politics
As if the stories surrounding Roy Moore and the Alabama Senate race aren’t bad enough, this week a fake robocall made things worse. An Alabama radio station reported that one of its listeners received a robocall from a man pretending to be a Washington Post reporter. The man, who used the name “Lenny Bernstein,” offered the listener several thousand dollars in exchange for phony damaging remarks about Roy Moore. The robocall seeks to undermine the real journalism that the Post did while reporting on Moore’s interactions with teenaged girls and alleged sexual assault as a county prosecutor in the 1970s. It also draws on horrible, anti-semitic stereotypes to accomplish this. The real Lenny Bernstein who really does work at the Washington Post said on Twitter that he was appalled by the news, and thankful for the support he had received.
It sucks getting to the platform just in time to see your train leaving the station. But Japanese rail company Tsukuba Express feels our pain. One of their trains departing from Tokyo to the city of Tsukuba left 20 seconds early, and the company issued an apology. The train was scheduled to leave at 9:44:40 local time, but in fact left at 9:44:20. In its apology, the company said the crew “did not sufficiently check the departure time and performed the departure operation,” according to the BBC. Luckily, the Japanese ridership seemed to give the company a free pass, as no one complained about the atrocity.
A letter from 400 millionaires and billionaires was sent to the U.S. Congress this week asking lawmakers not to cut their taxes, and instead raise taxes on the wealthy. Yay! However, in the U.S., there are now 10.8 million millionaires, according to a study quoted in CNBC. Boo! It’s nice to know at least some of them have a conscience.
Holy Lamborghini, Batman!
What do you do when you’ve built a reputation on helping the poor, but then you’re offered a fancy new Lamborghini? That was the conundrum facing Pope Francis this week, when the car company offered him a special edition Huracan (base price $217,000) customized just for papal uses (It’s white with gold detailing). First, he blessed it. But it doesn’t look like he’s going to be tooling around Vatican city in the car. Instead, he’s decided to auction it off and donate the proceeds to a charity. A classy choice, Pope Francis, but can we get a ride in it first?
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