The Sideshow
  • Forty-four-year-old Rod Whitaker spent nearly all of his life believing he was an only child without a father. Over the same time period, his father never even knew of Rod’s existence, having been sent to fight in the Vietnam War without knowing that Rod’s mother was pregnant with their child.

    But on Wednesday, Whitaker landed at San Francisco International Airport, where he reunited not only with his father but with five brothers he had never met.

    And when Whitaker celebrates his 45th birthday on Friday, he’ll be doing so with hundreds of relatives at a Fourth of July family reunion picnic.

    “To go from my mom’s only child to, hopefully, getting in fights about getting hugs on me ...,” Whitaker said in an interview with local affiliate ABC7, contemplating how much his life had changed in one day.

    Whitaker said he searched through websites like before eventually tracking down his biological father in California. His dad is a Vietnam War veteran who served three tours of

    Read More »from Georgia man meets his father and five brothers for the first time after 44 years apart
  • The claws have come out in Phillipston, Massachusetts. Depending on whom you ask, it’s either a case of a good deed being punished, or just deserts for a public employee who regularly abused his authority.

    Back in May, former highway superintendent Jim Mackie received a phone call asking him to rescue a cat that had gotten itself stranded in a 40-foot-tall tree during a recent storm.

    So, Mackie took a bucket truck out to the scene and rescued the cat, Kaboodle.

    "I went up to the top of the tree, grabbed the kitten and brought it back down," Mackie told local CBS affiliate WBZ. "Everyone was happy."

    However, far from a feel good animal rescue story, Mackie’s rescue operation ended up costing him his job.

    That’s because Kaboodle was stuck in a tree several miles outside of the Phillipston town limits in neighboring Westminster and the person who called Mackie for help was his girlfriend, Jackie Prime.

    The situation escalated when Mackie phoned a local highway worker to pull the bucket

    Read More »from Massachusetts town worker loses job after saving cat in neighboring town
  • He's here! He oinks! Get used to it!

    Wilbur is a handsome fella, loyal to owner Nadine Darsanlal and a hit with many in his Queens neighborhood in New York City. And though we doubt he knows it, he's also become something of a poster pig for equal animal rights around the city, CBS 2 reports.

    Wilbur is a certified therapy pig, licensed by the city to provide emotional support to Darsanlal, a disabled Navy veteran who contracted bacterial meningitis while serving overseas.

    While Darsanlal is a big fan of Wilbur and vice versa ("I wake up with him doing piggy kisses on my cheek," Darsanlal tells CBS 2), it's a different story with the city's health department. It recently issued Darsanlal a citation and a $500 fine for keeping a prohibited animal — despite Wilbur's reported status as a service animal.

    CBS 2 reports that a judge reviewed Wilbur's badge (let that statement sink in for a moment) and found that while the pig is indeed a certified emotional support animal, the fine must be

    Read More »from Oinkers away! Therapy pig keeps getting ticketed in Queens


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  • World's largest solar boat on Greek prehistoric mission

    The world's largest solar boat, the catamaran PlanetSolar, will embark on a Greek mission to find one of the oldest sites inhabited by man in Europe, an organiser said Monday. Starting on August 11, a team of Swiss and Greek scientists will seek a "prehistoric countryside" in the southeastern Peloponnese peninsula, University of Geneva researcher Julien Beck told AFP. The month-long mission, jointly organised with the Swiss school of archaeology and the Greek culture ministry, will search around the Franchthi cave in the Argolic gulf, where early Europeans lived between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods. "If we could find this village, it would be among the oldest in Greece and Europe," he said.

  • Apple wants to make it even easier for you to buy an iPhone 6 in its retail stores
    Apple wants to make it even easier for you to buy an iPhone 6 in its retail stores

    Apple will reportedly offer potential iPhone buyers a new way of acquiring iPhones in its retail stores, in addition to on-contract, prepaid and full price purchases, 9to5Mac has learned. The company will apparently test drive iPhone purchases via carriers’ early upgrade programs, including AT&T Next, T-Mobile Jump and Verizon Edge. It’s not known whether Sprint’s One Up plan will also be supported. FROM EARLIER: 5.5-inch iPhone 6 and new iPads reportedly heading to production in September Following the test phase, the new iPhone purchase option could be rolled out to all Apple retail stores in the U.S., likely in time for the iPhone 6 launch, which is expected to be the biggest iPhone launch in Apple’s history. With either AT&T’s, T-Mobile’s

  • Some MH17 victims may 'never be found'
    Some MH17 victims may 'never be found'

    All remains of the 298 people who died on downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in rebel-held east Ukraine may never be recovered, Dutch police chief Gerard Bouman said on Monday. "What we found in the body bags in Ukraine was indescribable.

  • Fist bumps more hygienic than handshakes, say scientists
    Fist bumps more hygienic than handshakes, say scientists

    Fist bumps are more hygienic than handshakes and drastically reduce the risk of spreading infectious diseases, researchers in Britain have found. The study discovered that a handshake transfers 10 times as much bacteria as a fist bump, following a series of tests at Aberystwyth University on the west coast of Wales. Doctor Dave Whitworth, who led the research, said the study could have a serious impact on public health. The results of the research, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, showed that handshakes passed on far more of the dangerous bacteria than fist bumps or high fives.

  • Police charge 2 men in fatal Philly carjacking
    Police charge 2 men in fatal Philly carjacking

    Police on Monday charged two men with murder in a carjacking and subsequent crash that killed three children and critically injured their mother as they were selling fruit on a street corner for a church fundraiser.

  • Russia ordered to pay $50 billion over Yukos
    Russia ordered to pay $50 billion over Yukos

    LONDON (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin's government must pay $50 billion for using tax claims to destroy Yukos, once the country's largest oil producer, and its Kremlin-critical CEO, an international court has ruled.

  • Britain's Prince Harry joins photobomb craze
    Britain's Prince Harry joins photobomb craze

    Britain's Prince Harry has followed his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II into the photobomb craze, giving the thumbs up in an image of acclaimed New Zealand rugby sevens coach Gordon Tietjens at the Commonwealth Games. Just days after the queen was snapped beaming in the background as Australian hockey players Jayde Taylor and Brooke Peris took a selfie, the 29-year-old prince popped up as Tietjens was being photographed at the swimming pool. Tietjens, New Zealand deputy chef de mission Trevor Shailer and sports psychologist Gary Hermansson were photographed as they sat a few rows in front of the prince, his brother Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.

  • Rule aims to help clear air around Grand Canyon
    Rule aims to help clear air around Grand Canyon

    FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The largest coal-fired power plant in the West will produce one-third less energy by 2020 and could close in 2044 under a proposal that the federal government adopted to cut haze-causing emissions of nitrogen oxide at places like the Grand Canyon.

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