Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, January 24th - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, January 24th

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - The owner of a $300,000 Ferrari is suing Marriott International, saying a hotel valet gave his keys to a young man who was trying to impress a woman he just met.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that 73-year-old attorney James "Skip" Fowler parked his yellow 458 Italia Spider outside the Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club last July 27 while attending a lawyer's convention in St. Petersburg.
There the 2014 Ferrari remained for more than 12 hours, until Levi Miles, then 28, showed up. Miles said he told the woman it was his and demanded the keys, telling the valet that the ticket was in the car and he'd bring it back. He never did. The two sat in the car for "quite a while," according to a St. Petersburg police report. Eventually, the valet said he stopped paying attention after he "figured he wasn't getting a tip."
Miles drove off with Chloe Rimmer in the passenger seat until an officer stopped him for driving without taillights. The police report noted that the driver had "difficulty" handling the car, that cocaine was found on the center console, and that Rimmer had marijuana in her purse.
Miles told several stories. Then he said he had just met Rimmer, and she asked if the Ferrari was his. "Yeah, that's my car," he said he told her.
"I was just trying to impress the girl I just met at the Vinoy," he told officers.
But Miles says he's innocent of grand theft, because the valet gave him the keys. He also faces charges of cocaine possession and habitually driving with a suspended or revoked license. Rimmer faces a charge of marijuana possession.
Fowler, meanwhile is accusing the hotel and valet, 717 Parking Enterprises, of negligence. He said had to spend "significant sums" on car inspections, repairs and legal fees after he got his Ferrari back, and that its value had been "diminished."

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - Police say a fast-food worker upset at having to work a morning shift has given new meaning to a burrito to go, slinging a hot one at his Taco Bell supervisor.
Police in South Carolina say officers were called to the Spartanburg eatery Monday, where a supervisor reported telling the worker to "stop being a crybaby" - just before being beaned with the food-filled projectile.
A police report says the supervisor had turned away when melted cheese from the airborne burrito splattered her left arm, side and leg. Gooey stuff also "made a mess of the entire kitchen," police say.
Police say the worker didn't stop there, adding they were told he took off his headset, broke it on his knee and "stormed out."
No arrests have been made.
 
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BERLIN (AP) - It's that time of the year to fulfill those ambitious New Year's resolutions again: More vegetables, less alcohol, sign up for the gym.
But not for Torben Bertram. Fed up with colleagues who kept pressuring him to join workout sessions during his lunch break, the 39-year-old Berliner founded Germany's first couch potato club.
Bertram says his Sofa Sports Association is proudly geared toward the non-vegan, non-overachieving, non-career-obsessed masses.
"I just didn't like this constant pressure to improve myself," Bertram said, adding that he is the antithesis of many young people in Berlin: Skinny, well-groomed but stressed.
Club activities include swaying back and forth, like in a beer hall; the "Tarzan yell" - beating your chest with your fists and yelling; and the potato chip competition, consisting of eating a plastic cup full of chips without using one's hands - a favorite among the club's child members.
The club has been meeting for about a year at bars and pubs in the German capital and now boasts 25 members from 8 to 64 years old. Men, women and children are all welcome. Bertram's wife initially thought sofa sports was "nonsense" - but she joined anyway, Bertram said with a smug smile.
The father of two, who works in political communications, sports a goatee and has a penchant for cycling shirts that are too tight around the belly. He speaks with eyes full of mischief, suggesting one shouldn't take everything he says at face value.
Lounging on a worn-out couch at one of his favorite bars in Berlin, Bertram said the club only meets in bars with sofas, where everyone is encouraged to participate in the club's unique fitness program.
The association's "sofa exercises" aren't just bar games, Bertram said with a deadpan expression. Some strengthen back and arm muscles, or burn calories. The beer-hall sway, for example, is said to combine popular German traditions with eastern-Asian forms of body awareness including elements from the Chinese Qigong system of body coordination.
"We are no regular couch potatoes because we're not idling away our time in front of the TV," he said. "We've put some serious thought into this."
It was the traditional beer-mug hoisting that convinced Patricia Bernreuther to join the club.
"It's really just a variety of what we've been doing in Bavaria for generations," the 28-year-old parliamentary aide said while holding a heavy glass of beer in her outstretched hand with ease. "It makes me feel like I'm back home."
Unlike southern Germans, who competitively carry more than 20 mugs at the same time, the Berliners are satisfied to exercise with one glass at a time, at a sloth-like speed. Most importantly, sessions are fun.
Norbert Buddendick, a 50-year-old lobbyist, said the couch potato meetings are much more fulfilling than his previous gym workouts.
"I like the whole-body approach," he said, tongue-in-cheek, as he ordered another glass of wheat beer. "And it's really great to mingle with like-minded people."
It's not just fun and games - the club wouldn't be German without some serious rules and order. Bertram has taken out accident insurance for the group, registered it with fiscal authorities and applied for membership in the regional sports association.
And the couch potatoes have their own ambitions, too.
"We are convinced that we will grow and expand across country borders," Bertram said. "For 2019, we envision a European championship in sofa sport exercises."

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - An Oklahoma woman was all alone at work when a man barged into the office, demanding money, and then began tying her up.  But things took a bizarre turn, when he stopped in the middle of the crime, and tried to get her number.
Myka Sederis  said she was the only one working in a loan office in Oklahoma city, when the robber walked in and demanded money. He then tied her up and as he was looking for cash, he started making conversation. She says she stayed calm, as the man began hitting on her.
"Well, I might want to call you. I like a woman who can listen," The robber told Sederis. Sederis then said the robber continued, "You stay calm, You go with it. Less chance of someone getting hurt." Thankfully, he fled without anyone getting hurt, and the robber didn't get her phone number.

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MAHOMET, Ill. (WAND) - Money on the highway caused major traffic backups on Interstate 74 Tuesday. 
Illinois State Police responded to the crash just before noon near the 176 mile post. That's about two miles east of Mahomet. 
The crash involved a Ford Escape and a pick up truck. Bills were then scattered across the highway. 
Luckily there were only minor injuries reported from the crash. 
Traffic was blocked for nearly an hour. The eastbound lanes have since re-opened. 

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ATHENS, Ohio (AP) - A student newspaper in Ohio is getting some social media love meant for the award-winning movie with the same name.  
The Post of Ohio University in Athens has the Twitter handle ThePost , which some people have assumed belongs to "The Post" movie.
Steven Spielberg's real-life 1970s drama about The Washington Post this week was nominated for the best picture Oscar, while Meryl Streep earned her 21st best actress nomination.
But some messages meant for ThePostMovie have gone to the Ohio U. Post's account. Besides a 20th Century Fox congrats for Streep, there have been fan messages and promos for TV appearances and movie showings including at theaters in England.
The Post's social media director blogged this week about "numerous compliments for the great work we've done, which we actually haven't."

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CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. - A North Carolina doughnut shop created a Tide Pod you can actually take a bite out of.
Wake N Bake Donuts in Carolina Beach created Tide Pod doughnuts to counter a dangerous social media trend where people post videos of themselves eating the pods.
The shop posted pictures of the Tide Pod doughnut on Facebook Sunday.
The post read, "One of our Millennial employees (Caitlin) decided to take a moment to teach they youth the difference between what to eat and what not to eat. This is a Donut….you can eat this! Tide is for laundry silly. Available at our Carolina Beach location today!"
Tide's parent company, Proctor and Gamble, has released numerous statements about the danger over the last several weeks.

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WICHITA, Kans. - A popular doughnut chain has created a new sweet treat in response to the latest social media challenge.
The Tide Pod challenge involves people posting videos of themselves eating laundry capsules on social media.
For years, children have inadvertently eaten the toxic packets, leading to accidental poisonings and calls for parents to keep them away from their kids. Some said the products can be mistaken for candy.
In recent weeks, the Tide Pod challenge has exploded, leading the American Association of Poison Control Centers to issue an alert.
"A recent trend among teenagers ingesting the packets - and uploading videos to various internet platforms including video-sharing websites, social media and vlogging platforms - has caused significant concern among poison control centers," the association said Tuesday
After word of the challenge began spreading, Hurts Donut decided to clear up any confusion about what is edible.
"We just kind of put out the post as just a funny alternative to a more serious topic,"  Trista Patterson, owner of Hurts Donut in Wichita, Kansas, told KSN. "We see so much heavy stuff everyday that we're just putting a little lighter approach on a serious subject."
While many customers thought the post was funny, others were not amused.
"Really can't believe y'all did this. This is not cool or funny. Honestly love your donuts but will never have another one. I hope this puts you out of business," one Facebook user wrote on the Norman store's page.
"Irresponsible stupid not a laughing matter Not only are stupid teens dying because of these pods but small children have as well What if it was your child-very disrespectful," another wrote.
Patterson told KSN that the post is not encouraging people to eat the laundry detergent.
"Hurts Donut company in general has never really claimed to be a serious business anyways so we're just kind of poking fun at it and saying you know putting out our own PSA saying eat this not that," she said.

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(Huffington Post) Barney the Dinosaur famously sings "I love you, you love me" in the theme song of the PBS children's show "Barney & Friends."
But the actor who played the purple character from the early '90s to the early 2000s isn't loving the way he was portrayed in an article about his latest occupation: Tantric massage therapist.
David Joyner charges female clients (he calls them "goddesses") $350 for three to four hours of ritual bath, chakra balancing and massage that can lead to "mind-blowing orgasms," Vice wrote.
Apparently the article was an anti-climax for Joyner. "I truly wish more people would try to see the spiritual side of Tantra & not think it's all about sex," he complained on Facebook Tuesday. "Sometimes people here in the west can be so sad."
The 54-year-old Joyner, who has had his practice since 2004, said he used his tantra training to maintain his energy in the 70-pound Barney costume during long days of shooting. (The character's voice was usually supplied by another actor.)
"The energy I brought up while in the costume is based on the foundation of tantra, which is love," he told Vice. "Everything stems, grows and evolves from love. Even when you have emotionally blocked energy, the best way to remove it is to remove it with love, and then replace it with God's divine love. Love heals and allows you to continue to grow."
Head over to Vice for the full interview.

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(BBC) AL-RUMAHIYA, Saudi Arabia Twelve prized camels have been disqualified from a beauty contest in Saudi Arabia after their owners tried to tweak their good looks with Botox.
Thousands of camels are paraded at the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival to be judged on their shapely lips and humps.
But judges stepped in when they discovered some owners had cheated in a bid to win the cash prizes.
The festival, which also features camel racing and camel milk tasting, has combined prize money of $57m (£40m).
Ali Al Mazrouei, the son of a top Emirati breeder, said Botox was used for the lips, the nose and even the jaw, news website The National reported.
Visitors to the festival in al-Dahna, north of Riyadh, can also watch camel racing
"It makes the head more inflated so when the camel comes it's like, 'oh look at how big that head is. It has big lips, a big nose'," he said.
Judges are also looking for perfectly placed humps, muscular physiques and leathery mouths.
In the lead up to the festival, Saudi media reported that a vet had been caught giving camels plastic surgery including Botox injections and reducing the size of their ears.
Saudi authorities take the festival very seriously and chief judge Fawzan al-Madi said the camel was "a symbol of Saudi Arabia".
"We used to preserve it out of necessity, now we preserve it as a pastime," he said.
The camel beauty contest was first held in 2000 and last year was relocated from a remote desert area to a permanent venue north of the capital, Riyadh.

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(Huffington Post) Chew on this: A man in China decides he needs to verify if a smartphone battery is legit ? so he bites it?!?!?
It's a decision that literally blew up in his face, as the now-viral video above demonstrates.
Security camera footage captured Jan. 19 at a store in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, shows the unidentified man biting into the iPhone battery, presumedly to check its authenticity.
The move quickly proves to be a mistake, as the battery explodes. Amazingly, the man wasn't seriously hurt in the blast.
Since then, the wisdom in chomping down on a toxic lithium-ion battery has been the subject of some debate.
Taiwan News noted that it's common for people in China to test the authenticity of gold by biting it, which led Apple Insider to speculate the man somehow thought he could test the authenticity of the battery using the same technique.
Gizmodo rightfully noted that iPhone batteries don't have much gold in them, but they do contain a lot of toxic items that no one should ingest. 
On the rare occasions when a phone explodes, it's often because the "positive" and "negative" battery plates have become joined, such as if the battery was pierced by a metal object, according to TeamKnowHow.com.
The website points out that lithium-ion batteries, though considered very safe, can explode if they're overcharged.
It's a problem associated with knockoff battery chargers and other dubious third-party accessories that are rampant in China, which may have explained why the man was biting the battery in the first place.  

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Robots may already be taking our jobs in some industries, but humans offering customer service on the shop floor look as if they're safe for a while yet.
The judgment comes after witnessing a recent trial of a Pepper robot in a Scottish grocery store.
Filmed by the BBC for a documentary on the latest innovations in robotics, Pepper, a humanoid robot created by Japanese telecoms giant SoftBank, was put to work in Margiotta Food & Wine in Edinburgh for a whole week, helping customers with inquiries while at the same time attempting to offer some light entertainment.
Pepper, for the uninitiated, launched in Japan in 2015 and is being marketed as an assistant for businesses as well as a companion for families and those living alone. Standing 120-cm tall, the robot can understand speech and respond with his own voice, and also communicate via a torso-based tablet. A set of wheels allows it to move around, though admittedly stairs prove a bit of a challenge. For the grocery store trial, Pepper had a chatbot created by a local university so he could have relevant exchanges with customers.
Initial reactions to Pepper, or "Fabio" as the staff at Margiotta decide to call him, appear to be largely positive. "He's just superb," says one shop worker with a look of utter glee on his face, while the shoppers seem both amused and curious about the latest addition to the team. At least they didn't beat him up like this customer did in another store a few years ago.
Soon, however, it becomes apparent that Fabio is rather limited in the way he can help customers, and his answers don't seem that helpful. For example, when a woman asks where she can find the milk, Fabio says only that it's "in the fridge section," without explaining where the fridge section is, and without taking her there. The same happens when he's asked about wine, answering, "It's in the alcohol section." Thanks, Fabio.
Other customers get no response at all from the robot helper, though this is put down to the store's ambient noise causing a problem for his built-in microphones, indicating that Pepper's sensors need improving if it's to function effectively in noisy surroundings.
The owner of the store, Franco Margiotta, decides to try out Fabio for himself, asking where the steaks are (of course, they're in the fridge). Having delivered his rather unhelpful answer, Fabio sees a chance to impress his boss by delivering a meat-related joke, asking: "What's it called when one cow spies on another cow?" Franco has no idea.
"A steak out," says Fabio. Franco laughs more than you might expect at this, but it's probably the first time he's ever heard a robot tell a joke, so how could you not be bowled over?
The final task for Fabio involves offering samples of pulled pork to customers, but it soon becomes apparent that shoppers are very adept at completely ignoring the robot, as well as the pulled pork. "It's just a walking sign," says Franco's daughter, Luisa.
A member of staff in another part of the store offers the same sample, and has far more success engaging with shoppers and getting them to try the food. The human has clearly beaten the robot in this particular task.
"Unfortunately, Fabio didn't perform as well as we'd hoped," Luisa says, and with that, it was time to fire Fabio for his underwhelming performance.
"Regarding that contract, I don't think you need to sign it just yet," Franco tells Fabio, to which he responds rather endearingly, "Are you angry?"
Luisa admits, however, that she's going to miss Fabio. "At the moment, we're not looking for a robot to replace a human's job, but I'm going to miss him. I'm going to come into the shop looking for him and he's not going to be there."
Perhaps Pepper isn't quite ready for the shop floor, though a number of companies and organizations are still trying the robot to see how it might fit with their business. And as the technology improves, Pepper and robots like it will inevitably find a growing role in our lives.

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