Couple’s Horrible Tipping ‘Trick’ Is Going Viral

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

Even if you’ve never worked in the service industry before, you can likely empathize with the fact that waiters and waitresses often have to deal with unpleasant customers.

Despite this, some patrons still choose to antagonize restaurant staff time and time again.

 

 

A couple who fits that description recently shared a rude tipping strategy they like to employ on Facebook and it has the internet furious.

The so called ‘trick,’ according to the Facebook post, is to put five single bills on the table at the beginning of dinner for the waiter or waitress to see.

The post says you then take a dollar away for each time the server messes up. The unnamed poster claims you will receive the best service of your life and that is was “a good dinner experiment we both wanted to see play out.”

 

 

Although we couldn’t locate the original Facebook post (perhaps the couple deleted it when they realized how horrible it made them sound?) plenty of screen grabs of the advice have been shared on Twitter.

And people have not been holding back their feelings on the matter.

“If you want the wait staff to spit in your food, you could always just ask,” wrote one man.

18 Items You Should Never Pay For

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

Nothing in life comes absolutely free, but there are things you can take advantage of getting for free in your everyday life.

Why go to a cafe that charges you for Wi-fi when you can go to one that offers it free of charge? And why shell out for someone to help you with tax preparation and filing when there are tons of reliable online resources you can use for free?

Being frugal is about being smart, and sometimes there are ways to cut expenses without having to sacrifice the services or items that you need.

There are alternative options and different methods for everything on this list, and paying for any of these is a spending mistake.

Here are 18 everyday items and services that you should never pay for:

ATM fees

Napkins

DVDs/VHS tapes

Bottled water

Travel-sized toiletries 

Foreign language lessons

Travel/navigation apps

Tax preparation

Museum tickets

News

Wi-fi outside of your home

Cable TV

Books (hard copy or on an e-reader)

Extended warranties on big purchases

Credit card usage abroad

Memory sticks/cards

Credit report/score

Long-distance phone calls

Sometimes, it’s as simple as utilizing the free version of an app instead of upgrading to the premium or taking advantage of free water in cafes and restaurants.

Of course, it’s difficult to cut the necessary costs in life, like groceries and gas.

But the good thing to know is that when you need to cut corners, there are certainly ways around the everyday expenses.

More on AOL.com:

12 items you should always buy at a drugstore

5 shopping habits to nix before you turn 30

30 items to avoid at Wal-Mart

 

5 Tricks Grocery Stores Use To Make You Spend More

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

It’s no accident products are placed where they are.

Grocers carefully design the floor plans and shelving of their stores using sensory psychology and clever techniques to manipulate consumer behavior. Placement of items is very deliberate and very strategic — and we all fall for it.

Think about the last time you went to the store to restock on milk and came back with three bags full of food. Sounds familiar, right? That’s exactly what your supermarket was aiming for — and here’s how they did it:

1. Staples are placed in the back

Necessities such as milk and eggs are always packed in the rear, so consumers have to walk through the entirety of the store even if they just want to pick up a few things.

2. Flowers and bakery items are in the front

These fragrant and visually appealing products are deliberately placed in the front of the store to activate shoppers’ salivary glands and makes them hungry, which leads them to buy more during their trip. These are also high margin departments, so grocers place them in the front when a shopper’s cart is empty and they’re more likely to add to it.

3. Fresh produce is near the front

These bright and aesthetic items excite the eye, prompting consumers to spend more.

4. Shelving is based on adult shopping habits and children’s habits

Expensive and leading brands are at eye-level, and kid-friendly products like sugary cereals are typically at kids’ eye-level.

5. Foods are paired together

Shoppers are much more likely to buy a complementing item if it’s right next to it, such as chips and salsa, or bread and spreads.

More from AOL.com:

You’ve been carrying your wallet all wrong, study shows

This degree is a complete waste of money, according to Mark Cuban

13 words you should never use to describe yourself

5 Best Things To Buy Duty-Free At The Airport

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

You’ve heard it before: Most things at the airport are a total rip-off. Traveling necessities like food, refillable water bottles, books, socks and electronics should always be packed from home so you can avoid inflated airport prices.

The costs of goods typically surge at airports because of supply and demand. An airport eatery or shop is a traveler’s only option for a last-minute purchase or meal, so if a traveler is in a bind, he or she will shell out the cash. In addition, airport rent space is very expensive for vendors, so retailers often hike the prices of their products to make a profit.

However, some items in duty-free shops (otherwise known as tax-free) are actually worth the buy. So if you’re in a scramble for a few things before your flight, we compiled a list of the best steals.

1. Alcohol

In duty-free shops, alcohol is a great steal without tax, and can be anywhere from 25-50% off compared to domestic prices. Plus, according to TSA, you can bring up to 3.4 oz on the plane, and mini bottles of alcohol are usually about 1.7 oz, so you can easily throw your purchase into your carry-on!

2. Tobacco products

Just like alcohol, you can also find great deals on tobacco products including cigars and cigarettes pre-tax.

3. Hair and skincare products

Premium beauty products can be up to 50% at duty-free shops.

4. Makeup

Similar to hair and skin products, you can find top-notch makeup at airports with huge discounts.

5. Magazines

Although magazines are on the pricier side at airports, if you want some light reading for the plane, you can still grab a copy for a few bucks. It may cost a little more than you’d usually pay somewhere else, but the price difference isn’t huge. And if it’ll get you through the flight, this purchase is worth it.

More from AOL.com:

13 resume phrases that will get you hired
This 17-year-old has some serious makeup skills
Your bank might soon let you withdraw cash from your phone

11 Incredibly Useful Hacks For Peanut Butter

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

No matter if you’re more of a crunchy versus creamy person, store it in the pantry or the fridge, eat it plain or on a sandwich, there’s no denying that peanut butter is the miracle of all foods.

But it’s not just for eating though. Peanut butter is actually much more versatile than being the chosen dip for your Oreo. You can use peanut butter, like Jif, for anything from repairing wood floors to getting that stubborn stain out of your couch. It also has quite the plethora of beauty benefits, too, as a moisturizing shaving cream or a conditioning, homemade hair mask.

Check out below to see all of peanut butter’s unusual uses. You’ll want to opt for a bigger jar next time you head to the grocery store, trust us!

1. Shaving

The oils in peanut butter are really good for your skin. If you find yourself out of shaving gel, just slab some on and get shaving. Plus, it won’t ruin your razor.

2. Cleaning leather

Use peanut butter to remove stains and scratches on leather. Using a quarter-sized dollop, apply the peanut butter to the stain and scrub with a buffing washcloth or dry sponge. It works well on clothes, bags, shoes, furniture and more!

3. Removing gum from hair and other surfaces

You’re probably already aware of this age-old trick. Rub the gum with peanut butter and voila, you’re free!

4. Removing scratches from CDs and DVDs

If you notice your favorite DVD freezing or skipping over scenes, just dab a bit of peanut butter on it and wipe away with a dried cloth. It’ll be as good as new!

5. Rid yourself of annoying squeaks

Squeaky door or restless wood floor? It’s nothing that a little bit of peanut butter can’t fix. Add a little bit to a rusty hinge or a floorboard and you’re good to go!

6. Rid yourself of unwavering price stickers

It’s the most frustrating thing when you come home with a new bowl or vase, only to find a stubborn price tag at the bottom. There’s no point in fretting — start peeling just the slightest bit and then add some peanut butter to get rid of the sticky residue and paper remnants.

7. Salvage scratched wood

Whether you notice a roughed-up door or drawer or floorboard, peanut butter can actually help mask its scratches. Use peanut butter to smooth it out and wipe it away with a washcloth — then it’ll be almost invisible!

8. Sealant for ice cream cone

If you haven’t heard this one before, it’ll change your life! Add a dime-sized bit to the bottom of the cone — and you can forget about unwanted drips and messes for life!

9. Remove odors

If you have a pan or cutting board that perpetually smells like onions, peanut butter can be the ultimate hack. Scrub with some peanut butter and let it soak and it’ll smell as fresh as new!

10. Distribute medicine

If you’re having trouble getting your child to take their vitamins, or your pup to take their medication, mask it with peanut butter. Disguise the taste with the pill inside a tablespoon of the butter.

11. Moisturize your hair

If it’s good enough to eat, it’s good enough to put in your hair. Make a homemade peanut butter mask and let it soak on your scalp for 15 minutes for shiny locks!

More from Aol.com:

Melania Trump heads back to D.C. in coziest, yet chicest, way
Women have started eating McDonald’s french fries to boost fertility after sex
Meghan Markle’s ‘Audrey brows’ is the new trend you need in your life

There’s A Way You Can Buy Groceries At Costco Without Being A Member

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to walk through the glorious Costco warehouse doors that lead you into the much-loved shopping mecca, it goes without saying that having a membership to the store is definitely a worthwhile investment.

But not everyone is fortunate to live within a reasonable distance of a Costco store, and for some, the annual membership price might not be justified if they’re only making a couple of trips to the retailer a year.

Luckily, there’s a way to beat the system.

No membership? No problem! You can still shop at Costco without paying the members’ fee — and without even having to leave your house.

Food delivery services are growing in popularity, with stores like Amazon and Walmart offering store-to-door grocery delivery for customers.

Some stores, however, outsource to larger delivery services that will send a personal shopper to pick up your groceries at stores of your choice — all you have to do is pay a delivery fee and tip your shopper.

One of these services, Instacart, conveniently works closely with Costco, allowing users of the service to order groceries from the warehouse regardless of their membership status.

If you’re willing to eat the fee for delivery and tip, it might be a well worth it way to get those bulk products you need every once and a while.

More on AOL.com:

Here’s where Americans are buying their groceries

20 things you should never buy at the grocery store

America’s newest grocery store chain has an advantage that should terrify Walmart

Budget Better: Things You Should Never Buy At The Dollar Store

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

We brought you the best items to get at the dollar store, but these are common Dollar Tree purchases we think you’re better off skipping.

Although they may be only $1 a pop, you may be throwing money down the drain by investing in these low grade items. You can sometimes risk substandard quality, missing components and smaller packaging.

Untitled

It’s best to err on the side of caution for some dollar store deals like cables and toys that may not meet safety requirements or are prone to breaking. Consider skipping over potential medicine and vitamin knock-offs that risk inferior quality to a drugstore version, or opting for Costco for some bulk buys.

When shopping for these 9 everyday items, you’re better off scoping out wholesale stores or the clearance aisle at retail stores if you’re on a tight budget.

I'll buy that for a dollar!

Avoid being short-changed, and check out our list of products you should skip at Dollar Tree and shop for elsewhere.

Electric cords

It’s best to err on the side of caution when buying cords and cables at the dollar store. Some merchandise may not reach safety requirements or may be prone to breaking.

Toys

Toys run the same risk as cords, so consider buying toys from the clearance aisle at a retail store if you’re on a tight budget.

 $1 Princes

Tools

Tools at the dollar store are typically of substandard quality, so you may want to find a discounted set at a hardware store instead.

Medicines

Medicines at the dollar store may be missing ingredients, so you’re better off buying at a drugstore to ensure the highest quality.

 

Hot item at the Dollar Store…

Vitamins

Similar to medicines, we recommend purchasing vitamins at your local drugstore.

Pet food

In addition to medicines and vitamins, you run the risk that dollar store pet food is missing ingredients and of lesser quality.

Soda

Soda at the dollar store is often packaged in only 1L bottles, so you’ll most likely find a better bargain at a grocery shop or wholesale store.

 

When I go to the 99 Cent Store, I always try to guess which brand of soda Shasta is ripping off…

Chewing gum

Similar to soda, gum is often sold in smaller packaging at the dollar store, so you’re better off buying in bulk at wholesale store.

Batteries

You risk knock-offs to name brand versions that are less efficient.

 

A post shared by 99Deals4U (@99deals4u) on

 

More from AOL.com:

The best states to grow old in may surprise you

10 business books by top CEOs that will change your life

Americans with these jobs retire the earliest

Night Noises Turned Out To Be A Stranger Living In Her Attic

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

A Virginia woman heard weird noises in her home in the middle of the night, and soon learned a stranger was living in her attic.

Police made the discovery in the woman’s Arlington home early Friday, NBC Washington reports.

The woman, who asked to remain unnamed, said she heard someone walking in the attic above her.

“I heard footsteps above me, and I checked in with my landlord, because sometimes he’s used the storage above,” she told the local outlet.

She checked with landlord, who she said sometimes uses the space for storage. He alerted Arlington County Police.

Police searched the attic and found 60-year-old Anthony Jones, in addition to bedding, clothing and a backpack.

“As we [officers] were coming up that staircase, they announced that officers were on scene and that if you were in the attic, to come forward,” police spokeswoman Ashley Savage told the station.

Jones, who is believed to be homeless, was charged with unlawful entry and is being held without bail.

Police said it is unclear how long he was in the residence.

More from AOL.com:

Woman found guilty of murdering husband in murder witnessed by parrot
Coroner rules neck wound killed 11-yr-old AbbieGail Smith as family prepares to bury her
O.J. Simpson mistakenly called 90 years old in awkward moment at parole hearing

 

Super Lice Have Taken Over 25 States And Aren’t Slowing Down

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

“Super lice” have taken over 25 states in the U.S. and show no signs of slowing down. These special lice are resistant to over-the-counter treatments, making them extremely difficult to get rid of.

In 2000, pyrethroids would work 100 percent of the time in killing lice, but only worked only in 25 percent of cases by 2013. These super lice were first spotted in Virginia and Texas but now plague 50 percent of the country.

To combat these super resistant creatures, Lice Clinics of America created a new weapon called AirAllé, ABC10 reports.

“We use heated air and we dehydrate the lice and the eggs in a single treatment,” Claire Roberts, CEO, Lice Clinics of America said. “It takes about an hour, and we guarantee it.”

The device is FDA approved and costs about $170 but may be covered by insurance. Prescription medication or and combing can also get rid of the super creatures, but the best option in the fight against the lice is prevention.

“Don’t share hats, don’t share hairbrushes,” Roberts said. “Try to avoid the actual contact with hair or another head. That’s how the lice are transferred.”

If someone in your family does get lice, experts say just vacuum, wash bedding in hot water, and put stuffed animals and clothing in a hot dryer.

More from AOL.com:

Police union votes against boycotting Beyoncé, still has concerns
Who said it? Donald Trump or Kanye West
Colorful bird is the recipient of the world’s first 3-D printed titanium beak

This Optical Illusion Of A Man Walking On Water Has The Internet Freaking Out

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

No, it’s not Photoshop. And no he’s not Jesus.

A photograph of a man taking a stroll on a super-clear frozen lake in Michigan has gone viral.

Andre Poineau, 63, has ventured onto Lake Charlevoix while frozen before. It’s right next to his cottage at Springwater Beach in Boyne City.

He thought the lake would have a good freeze last Saturday, but when he went down to have a look, he found the lake completely frozen, and eerily clear.

The lake was so clear, in fact, that Poineau said when he took a shovel on his walk to test the ice, there were no bubbles or cracks to indicate thinner areas within the ice sheet.

By chopping a hole in the ice, Poineau was unnerved to find it was 2 inches thick.

He then took to Facebook where he shared a photo of him standing on the ice.

And for Poineau, the most puzzling part of the story is the overwhelming response he’s received from the internet since posting the photograph.

“The most interesting part is how quickly it’s gone completely viral,” the 63-year-old architect told MLive. “I posted it on my Facebook and I have a hundred or so followers. Next thing I know, it’s on Reddit, and from there it went to Physics-Astronomy.com’s Facebook.”

“To this minute, it keeps rolling at like 1,200 shares an hour.”

The photo has since been shared over 50,000 times on Facebook and Reddit.

“There’s so many comments on Reddit that are saying it’s Photoshopped,” Poineau said. “People are taking my image and playing with it. Initially (with the commenters) it was astonishment, but then they settled into conspiracy theories.”

More from AOL.com
Everlane’s latest drop promises the illusion of longer legs
Man performs magic trick that captivates orangutan
Woman drives nail through her own hand on live TV

This Island Of Dolls Will Give You Nightmares

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

Isla de las Muñecas may be the creepiest island on Earth. Mutilated dolls are hung on trees across the island.”Island of the Dolls” is located in the Xochimilco canals which is outside of Mexico City.

Legend has it that years ago, a man named Don Julio Santana found a dead girl and her toy near the island’s waters.

As a way to pay his respects, he spent his life collecting dolls and decorating the island with them. Don Julio believed each one of the dolls was possessed by the spirit of the dead girl.

The story gets even darker. 50 years after moving to the island, Don Julio was found dead floating in the canal in the same spot he found the young girl.

Myths say today the dolls come alive at night. Opening their eyes and moving their limbs. Locals claim to hear their whispers.

 

More from AOL.com

Creepiest haunted locations in all 50 states
Bar’s perfect warning for creepy customers goes viral
Creepy clown sightings actually started in the ’80s

The Shanley Hotel Is So Haunted Visitors Are Required To Sign A Waiver

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

Haunted hotels have a way of making people nervous — and The Shanley Hotel is no different.

The Shanley Hotel in has built a reputation as the most haunted hotel on the East Coast — requiring guests to sign a waiver if they wish to stay.

It’s located in the quiet town of Napanoch, New York, the hotel sits at the center of the Shawagunk Mountains. In addition to its 35 rooms, the hotel has a hidden chamber located in the basement.

 

It’s most notable feature, however, stands to be the number of paranormal phenomena reported on the property.

A lot of people seem to think the back story of the hotel may have to do with the reported supernatural occurrences. Since the hotel was built in 1985, the original owner’s three newborn infants died and an on-site barber’s child died after falling into a well.

According to report, supernatural activity has since been reported in every corner of the hotel. There is even a section of the property that once belonged to a speakeasy and brothel during the Prohibition era — what many claim remains to be the most haunted.

via GIPHY

To date, there have been several other deaths have followed that tragedy, some accidental, others by murder, and many people have been reported missing.

Paranormal investigators have also reportedly confirmed there is funny activity going on in “Bordello” — or “brothel.” There, guest have been said to have experienced shortness of breath and extreme shifts in emotions from joy to sadness upon entering the area.

Other bizarre reports were also made surrounding the Shanley Hotel, such as footsteps — from which people believe are made from the original owner James Shanley — and whistles, sounds of non-visible children laughing and objects moving by themselves.

If you dare, bookings can be made here.

 

 

More from AOL.com:

Chilling video surfaces of ‘ghost’ playing piano by itself
New York man goes viral with harrowing tale of evil ghost
Eerie photos surface online of Dear David

 

First Grader’s Viral Math Problem Is Driving Adults Insane

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

You may be familiar with the Holderness family from their smash-hit holiday video “#XMAS JAMMIES“.

This week, however, the singing and dancing North Carolina family is going viral for a much different reason.

Adults around the web have been left dumbfounded by one of 6-year-old Penn Holderness’ homework questions, which was shared on Facebook via the Holderness family’s fan page on January 9th.

“Internet friends: solve this 1st grade math homework,” they wrote, adding the hashtags #showyourwork and #mybrainhurts.

Since it was posted on Facebook a mere two days ago, the conundrum has racked up over 500 shares and amassed over 1,700 reactions.

And after reviewing some of the 1,600 comments, it becomes pretty clear that people are A.) not too happy about the difficulty level of homework being given to first graders these days, and B.) completely unable to solve the problem themselves.

“What the actual hell is the point if this? Am I missing something?” commented one woman. “Is there some skill that this absurdity is supposed to hone?”

“What purpose does this serve in life? Whatever happened to normal math homework,” pondered another.

“What the heck? I am not smarter than a first grader,” another bravely admitted.

via GIPHY

Luckily, the Holderness family jumped back in to assure angry commenters that this is not the typical type of problem included in their son’s homework.

“FYI, this was the final page on a 7 page sheet,” they wrote. “The previous 6 pages were a much more normal level for a first grader. I don’t think the teacher expects everyone to get this, I think it was meant to be a problem that would challenge the children, so for that reason I think it’s great that our school included it!”

Considering the sheer number of commenters (presumably over the age of 6) who could not figure out the answer, we think ‘challenge the children’ is an understatement.

And just so you’re able to sleep soundly tonight, here’s one commenter’s unverified yet seemingly accurate solution.

“While I agree this is too advanced for a 1st grader (my 7 year old niece would not understand this complexity at all!); I still had to solve it!” wrote Heather Combs Dutton.

“You add diagonally and subtract across and down to get the missing number of 14 (J).”

Seems simple when you put it that way.

(h/t Daily Mail)

More from AOL.com:

Banning homework has become a trend in schools
Many US schools don’t teach CPR even when states require it
Mermaid school is a real thing and they take it very seriously

 

This Video Of A Seemingly Possessed Toddler Is Freaking People The Hell Out

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

A creepy video that looks like it could be a scene straight out of Paranormal Activity is currently making the rounds on social media.

The 52-second long clip, shot by what appears to be some type of nanny cam, shows a seemingly possessed little boy named Connor climbing up the side of his crib and up onto the edge of the railing, balancing way too perfectly while repeatedly screaming for his mom.

Since it was uploaded on March 9, the YouTube video has amassed more than 2.5 million views and 500 comments from people with varying degrees of skepticism about its validity.

“All I see is a child crying out for his mom and being ignored,” YouTube user Rudolph H. commented.

“Not possessed its just good at balancing… It would however been scary if the baby fell forwards,’ wrote another.

“That is so freaky, notice something grabbing him. Its like he can see the demon, its so scary,” expressed the user who most closely aligned with out own feelings on the clip.

Real or not, you have to admit there’s still something seriously disturbing about this clip — besides the terrible parenting skills, obviously.

via GIPHY

More to from AOL.com

Nearly 75 percent of parents help their adult children financially
Parents can now face jail time if their child is a bully
2 girls crawled into bed with their father after he died in his sleep

Urine Therapy Is The Latest Beauty Trend

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

There are always odd health and beauty trends out there, and this is one of the weirdest yet. “Urine therapy” is apparently the next big thing in skincare.

Urine therapy is the act of collecting your own urine and proceeding to wash your face and body with it. According to dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, this can actually benefit your skin. She told Marie Claire that due to urine’s anti-fungal and antibacterial traits, urine can act as an effective cleanser and toner.

 

“We already use urea, a component of urine, in a lot of skincare products,” Nazarian said. “Urine is essentially mostly water—but a small percentage is urea.”

It’s said that urine has the ability to not only clean the skin but clear breakouts, reduce the appearance of scars and help treat Keratosis pilaris or the “chicken skin” that appears on the back of arms and thighs.

Not only that, but it can also moisturize and exfoliate. According to Nazarian, “Urea acts as an ‘exfoliant’ of sorts by breaking down the rough skin and exposing a smoother, softer skin.”

Apparently, this trend is not new, either: French women would take urine baths as far back as the eighteenth century. Whether it will catch on again, however, has yet to be determined.

via GIPHY

More from AOL.com:

Trump revokes Obama guidelines on transgender bathrooms
Mom livid after child emerges from McDonald’s play area covered in feces
Pee on a postcard to determine if you have a UTI

 

Is This The Scariest Ride In The World?

This extreme roller coaster is called Insanity. It spins you 900 feet above the city of Las Vegas and tilts you 70 degrees downwards. If that isn’t extreme enough, it also spins at speeds of three G’s. Unsurprisingly, this thrill ride offers the most spectacular sights of any roller coaster.   

It sits on top of the Stratosphere Hotel. What a terrifying view.

For thrill seekers looking for the most extreme experience in Las Vegas, this has to be the go to ride. It has been given tons of awards, and CNN, USA Today, Expedia and others have all commended the Stratosphere hotel for this roller coaster. For example, CNN said, “these spinning mechanical arms will get your heart pounding probably even before you’ve strapped yourself to a seat” and, “[Insanity] is the one most likely to make you question your sanity.”


With Big Shot, passengers strap themselves in at 921 feet in the air. It then shoots the passengers up to a height of 1,081 feet in seconds. This is the highest ride in the U.S., so for those looking for the most extreme ride possible, look no further. X-Scream is like a giant see-saw only it’s 866 feet over the ground. It shoots riders 27 feet away from the edge of the Hotel. Riders then dangle weightlessly above the Las Vegas Strip, before the ride pulls back and starts all over again.

It costs $35 for a person to access the observation deck and go on all three rides, which seems like a small price to pay for one of the most thrilling experiences possible. Find out more about the Stratosphere Hotel’s attractions here.

2017 is set to break records around the world for extreme weather

With so much happening in the news in 2017, it can be hard to realize that this year’s weather patterns have been perhaps the strangest on record. It’s seen 6 major hurricanes including Harvey and Irma, which both caused mass destruction and devastation. And that’s not all; in a rare event, a hurricane hit Ireland.

The storm system formerly known as hurricane Ophelia is said to be the most severe storm in Ireland in half a century. It brought 120 mph winds and massive waves. Ophelia tore off roofs and ripped trees out of the ground. The storm resulted in 3 fatalities and thousands of homes and businesses lost power.

14-nhc-ophelia-track-wind-sat-11pm-AST.w710.h473.png

Though Ophelia has not been as destructive as other storms, it is very unusual. It is the farthest east and farthest north a major hurricane in the Atlantic basin has been recorded since satellite technology began. Ophelia actually resulted in satellite forecast images being cut off, due to it being out of normal tracking range.

Typically, waters that far north are too cold to result in a storm this strong, but as sea surface temperatures continue to warm as a result of climate change, the region of the Atlantic that can support tropical storms will expand.

It’s no coincidence that 2017 has seen the highest upper ocean heat content on record in the tropical Atlantic. Just another reason to take action on global warming.

mangum_ok_meteogram.jpg

Moving on from hurricanes, the huge surges from hot to cold have also been unique. In Oklahoma, for example, the town of Mangum recorded an all time high February temperature of 99.4 degrees fahrenheit. Then, three days later, on Valentine’s Day, the town saw snow. Stories like this have been repeated throughout the world.   

Another sobering thought is that it isn’t over yet. There are still almost 2 months left of 2017. Who knows what other records will be set? While hurricane season usually ends around 30th November, this year it’s impossible to predict what will happen.

This Terrifying Creature Will Haunt Your Dreams

Did you know that the fish from Finding Nemo is real? No, we don’t mean clownfish, although they are of course real. We mean the monstrous creature that Marlin and Dory encounter in the murky depths of the ocean, when they are lured in by a mysterious light that turns out to be the most terrifying thing ever seen in a kids’ movie. Yes, that fish.

finding_nemo_dory_marlin_angler_fish

They’re called viperfish and are every bit as scary and fascinating as Finding Nemo portrays. Viperfish have long needle-like teeth and hinged lower jaws. They use their fang-like teeth to immobilize their victims. It’s only able to close its mouth by folding its jaws behind its head.

Just like in Finding Nemo, before they attack their prey, they lure it with light-producing organs called photophores. They stay where it’s dark, so that their lures are as noticeable as possible. For most of the viperfish’s prey, the bright lure and brief illumination of the fish’s body are the last things they ever see.They also have prominent long photophores all over their skin to attract prey and mates.

Pacific-Viperfish-teeth

It’s also incredibly resilient. The viperfish has an in-built defence mechanism that can absorb shock from biting prey. However, they do have some natural predators. Both dolphins and sharks eat viperfish.

They can grow up to 23 inches long. Viperfish stay in deeper water in the daytime, move to shallower depths at night and can be found in primarily tropical and temperate waters. Luckily, the viperfish tends to stay in lower depths in the daytime (around 250-5,000 feet) but tends to go significantly higher in the night (around 80 feet.)

Anglerfish2.jpg

Due the the deep waters that they live in and the strange way that they cannot survive in captivity, the viperfish is still a highly mysterious creature. For example, it is unknown whether or not they migrate and, most weirdly, scientists cannot identify the substance that they produce to cover their bodies.

New Science Miracle: Disease Fighting Chicken Eggs

Japanese scientists have genetically engineered chickens to lay eggs that contain disease-fighting drugs. The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) is behind the medical feat. They’ve designed hens to lay eggs that contain a pharmaceutical agent that can be used to treat multiple diseases, including cancer, hepatitis and multiple sclerosis. The drug is interferon beta, which is a type of protein with antiviral properties.

Not only is this feat of science a convenient way to treat patients, it could also dramatically reduce the cost of medical treatment. Interferon beta currently costs up to 100,000 yen ($888) for a very small amount. Getting chickens to produce this substance in their eggs will make the drug incredibly cheap. The team behind the eggs aims to bring down the cost of the drug to just 10% of its current price through their miracle method.  

The chickens were created using genome editing. First, genes that produce interferon beta were introduced to cells that were set to become chicken sperm. Those cells were then used to fertilize eggs that produce male chicks. The male chicks were crossbred with several females, who then produced the eggs containing the drug.

There are reportedly 3 hens that lay the interferon beta eggs almost every day. Researchers hope this leads to the development of more cheaply made drugs. But we may have to wait a while, as Japan has strict regulations around new or foreign pharmaceutical products.

The AIST is producing a range of other notable products, that will make life easier for all who use them. One such invention is a humanoid robot, the HRP-2 “Promet.” This robot could become an incredible domestic servant and is a massive improvement on other prototypes seen previously in Japan. It also developed a “Paro” or robot baby seal that is used as a surrogate for animal assisted therapy.

What Exactly Are Kidney Stones And How Do People Get Them In The First Place?

Kidney stones are hard deposits made from salt and minerals from inside your kidneys. They form when urine becomes too concentrated, which allows the minerals to crystallize and stick together.

6353828969_3fc9517d2d_b

Passing a kidney stone can be a painful experience. Sometimes the stones get lodged in the urinary tract and can cause infections or complications that require surgery. However, for those looking for a cheaper solution, kidney stones have flown out of people while riding on roller coasters. Urological Surgeon David Wartinger conducted a study and found that the centripetal force of roller coasters helps pass the stones. But if you’re not a thrill seeker, some pain medication and drinking lots of water may help the stones pass.

How do you know if you have a kidney stone?

5507761503_516da9d0bc_b

Common symptoms include pain in the side and back, below the ribs, pain while urinating, accompanied by pink, red or brown urine. Risk factors include a family history of kidney stones, dehydration, a salty diet and a high body mass index.

If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms, you should see a doctor.

Harvard Health provides a 5 step guide for preventing kidney stones. It includes drinking plenty of water, getting enough calcium, eating less salt, eating less animal protein and avoiding stone forming foods, such as chocolate.

However, if you do experience a kidney stone, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Some of history’s greats have suffered from the ailment. Famous kidney stone sufferers include Bond actor Roger Moore, renaissance painter Michelangelo, singer Bing Crosby, Roman emperor Augustus, president Lyndon B Johnson, scientist Sir Issac Newton and founding father Benjamin Franklin.

According to Guinness World Records, the world’s largest kidney stone was 5.11 inches (13cm) wide. The unlucky producer of this record was Hemendra Shah of Mumbai India. The stone had to be surgically removed in 2004.