Mad Minute stories from Thursday, January 11th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Thursday, January 11th

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Ikea has released an ad like no other ad seen before. The ad actually encourages women to pee on it... pregnant women specifically. The paper the ad is printed on is a special type of paper that also doubles as a pregnancy test.
The urine from pregnant women will actually change the paper, revealing a special discount price on the cribs. So while it sounds a bit gross... there is a benefit. Ikea will sell their cribs at a discounted price for anyone who turns in a "positive" pregnancy ad page.
The ad is running in a Swedish women's magazine called Amelia.
Here's what the advertising agency who created the ad had to say:
"In order to make the interactive functions of this ad work in reality, we had to make several technical advancements. The pregnancy test strip was used as a starting point, which relies on antibodies that bind to the pregnancy hormone hCG, resulting in a color change. For scaling up of this technique and adopting it to the physical format of a printed ad, Mercene Labs has used their experience in development of surface active materials for microfluidics and medical diagnostics. Careful selection of materials, together with a controlled capillary flow have been crucial for the success of this project. Technical advancements made during the work with this campaign have the potential to improve medical diagnostics."

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YORK, Maine (AP) - Beachgoers in Maine have caught an unusual sight - an ice skater's blades gliding over frozen sand and surf.
Grant Long celebrated his 18th birthday Saturday by skating on the newfound patch of ice after record-low temperatures caused Long Sands Beach to freeze over.
Long's mother says her son got his skates for Christmas and felt as if the ice was a "birthday bonus."
Onlookers at the beach captured a video of Long skating and posted it to Facebook Monday. The video has gathered more than 170,000 views, with commenters saying they have never witnessed such a sight.
Long's mother says the teen is an old soul, and he will definitely write about his experience in his journal

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BANGKOK (AP) - Thai police said they have arrested a 74-year-old fugitive Japanese gang member who was recognized when photos of his full-body tattoos were circulated online.
A police statement said Shigeharu Shirai was arrested Wednesday in a province north of Bangkok where he has been hiding for over 10 years to evade murder charges in Japan in connection with the death of a rival gang member.
His arrest apparently came after photos of him sitting around a checkers table were posted on Facebook in August last year by a Thai who was impressed by the man's tattoos. The post was shared over 10,000 times and some users identified the former gang member.
Police Gen. Wirachai Songmetta said Japanese associates paid visits to Shirai two to three times a year, each time bearing cash gifts. He is married to a Thai woman and kept a low profile over the past decade, police said.
Shirai will face illegal entry charges before he is handed over to Japanese authorities, the police statement said.
Police said Shirai was implicated, along with seven others, in the killing of Kazuhiko Otobe. Japan's Kyodo News service said police in Mie prefecture had obtained an arrest warrant in the 15-year-old case.
Shirai and Otobe were members of small rival factions affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan's largest yakuza, or underworld, syndicate.
Tattoos on the back, upper arms and a missing tip of a little finger are trademarks of Japanese yakuza. Tattooed guests are often refused entry to public baths and swimming pools.
According to the National Police Agency, 22 organizations were designated as organized crime groups in 2017, with membership totaling more than 20,000. Almost three-quarters of the gangsters belong to the Yamaguchi-gumi and two other groups, Sumiyoshi-kai and Inagawa-kai, which together dominate Japan's underworld.
In addition to illegal drug sales and gambling, which are their traditional ways of earning money, gangsters also have entered construction, finance and security businesses.

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NEVIS, Minn. (AP) - An aviation student in northern Minnesota pulled off a sky-high marriage proposal by writing "Marry Me" in the snow, then flying his long-time girlfriend over his handiwork.
Gavin Becker enlisted his family's help to pen the life-changing question using a snow blower on the frozen Eight Crow Wing Lake near Nevis.
Ed Becker, Gavin's father, tells KARE-TV that it took about 4½ hours to create the 25-foot-tall (7.5-meter-tall) letters and a huge heart.
Gavin Becker, a University of North Dakota aviation student, then rented a plane and took his high-school sweetheart, Olivia Toft, for a trip over the lake Sunday.
Toft, realizing it was snow joke, told him "yes."
 
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NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine (AP) - Officials at a Maine outdoor center are warning skiers to watch out for an "aggressive dive-bombing" owl that recently struck a man.
Pineland Farms says in a Facebook post the owl cut the man's head when it attacked, and neither skiers nor trail groomers have seen the bird since.
Pineland says the owl is protecting a nest near a cross-country ski trail. They believe the bird is either a barred owl or a great horned owl.
The center has posted warning signs around the trail. They recommend people wave their arms overhead or wear a hat if they must pass by the area.
Pineland says "owls are silent when they strike, so you will not hear it coming."

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ATLANTA (AP) - A spate of recent owl attacks has ruffled the feathers of metropolitan Atlanta's residents.
WSB-TV reports there have been at least three instances of owls attacking humans or pets since late December, most recently in the heart of Midtown.
Serrita Holt says her Yorkie, Freedom, was killed following a Dec. 23 attack in Henry County. She said the dog sustained puncture wounds to his back and chest.
The next week, Deborah Johnson was scratched on her leg and knocked over by a large owl attacking her dachshund in Cobb County.
And on Wednesday, Eric Thornton says an owl swooped down as he left his townhouse, cutting his head.
Atlanta Audubon Society spokesman Adam Betuel says owl attacks are rare, but recent cold weather might have made younger birds more aggressive.

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HAGATNA, Guam (AP) - Guam's governor was duped by a pair of Russian comedians who pretended to be officials from Ukraine.
Pacific Daily News reports that Guam officials received an email in September 2017 requesting a phone call with Gov. Eddie Calvo. The senders claimed to be from the office of the Ukraine prime minister and wanted to talk about North Korea's threat to Guam.
Guam government spokeswoman Jenna Blas says the email included verifiable information, which led officials to proceed with the phone call.
Blas says Calvo caught wind of something not being right partway through the interview, but that he completed the call in a professional manner.
On Tuesday, comedians Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov posted a video with an audio recording of the phone call on their YouTube channel.

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MIAMI (AP) - Jurors in Florida decided a police officer owes $15,000 in damages to a couple she illegally snooped on more than 100 times over the past two years.
The SunSentinel reports 41-year-old Pembroke Pines Police Officer Melodie Carpio admitted she used her job to look up information about her boyfriend's ex-wife and her new husband on confidential law enforcement databases. The verdict was announced Tuesday after a one day trial in federal court in Miami.
Court records showed she snooped 167 times.
Carpio is personally liable to pay the civil judgment to Cindy Thibault and Claude Letourneau.
Attorneys Michael Glasser and Eric Rudenberg said they believe the verdict sends a message to law enforcement officers who abuse their power.
Pembroke Pines police disciplined Carpio after an investigation in 2016, but she kept her job.

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The youngest of three Maine chefs has taken first place in the inaugural Augusta Agricultural Trades Show gourmet grilled cheese sandwich contest.
The "get Real. get Maine." cooking contest took place Wednesday, with 10-year-old Jade Eastman taking the top prize with her grilled cheese. The Portland Press Herald reports the trio of competitors was given 30 minutes to prepare a grilled cheese sandwich, and they were given no advance warning on what they'd be cooking.
Jade received a gift bag from Hannaford Bros. supermarkets for her win. Runners-up Chase Daigle and Ethan Hobart, both 12, got to keep their official competition aprons and chef hats, as did Jade.
The 77th Agricultural Trades Show continues from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.

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BOSTON (AP) - Boston's venerable Museum of Fine Arts has gone to the dogs.
The museum on Wednesday introduced the newest addition to its staff, a Weimaraner puppy named Riley that will be trained to sniff out insects or other pests that could potentially damage priceless works of art.
Riley belongs to and will be trained by Nicki Luongo, the museum's director of protective services.
Deputy Director Katie Getchell tells The Boston Globe that insects are an ongoing concern for museums and there already are existing protocols in place to handle potential infestations. Riley will add another layer and help sniff out pests humans can't see.
Getchell says she's not aware of another institution using a dog for similar work.
Riley will be used behind the scenes and won't be seen by visitors.

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