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AskReaders: What is the most interesting documentary you’ve ever watched?

We asked our regular contributors through e-mail, What is the most interesting documentary you’ve ever watched? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way.

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1. Finding Vivian Maier.

Guy buys a box of negatives from a storage auction, finds thousands of extremely old, breathtaking photos that no one has ever seen.

He uses the pictures to piece together the story of the photographer.

It’s amazing!!!

– dowhatchafeel

2. Does Planet Earth count? Cause nothing can top 20 hours of it.

– thetwistur

3. The up series.

Follows kids at the age of 7 up to 50+. Started in the 50’s and was updated every 7 years. Amazing to see the nature vs. nature argument in front of your own eyes. Also, lists top documentaries by category.

– nightmaretraining

4. Going Clear.

It’s about people who escape from Scientology.

– Haldum96

5. Winter on Fire.

It’s about how a student protest in Ukraine turned into a revolutionary movement. A lot of it is real footage as it unfolds. Seeing protesters gunned down by their government as it happened shook me.

– sunbearimon

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6. The Jinx: The Life & Deaths of Robert Durst. I love true crime and this is the best documentary I’ve seen in that genre.

Very different but also amazing is Touching the Void. Really gripping.

– mr_nincompoop

7. Icarus.

A scandal/sports documentary that in real-time, evolves into a Russian assassination conspiracy.

– SlowDownBrother

8. The Barkley Marathons. The story of a grueling footrace based on the escape of James Earl Ray, MLK’s assassin.

Crips and Bloods: Made in America. It shows the history of violence and gangs in south LA. Very eye-opening.

– berryraz03

9. Flight From Death.

An award-winning documentary about one of the most empirically tested ideas in psychology that sprung out of a Pulitzer Prize winning book.

The basic idea is fear of death drives some immortality project in all of us, ranging from religion(particularly fundamentalist religion) to fame to politics to procreation. When we feel our immortality project is under assault (for example, just hearing about someone who disagrees with our religion), we react with the same kind of violent emotions we would have if our lives were under attack. It also works the other way: When we are reminded of death, we become less tolerant of the “other”.

It’s basically the closest thing we have to a metatheory of motivation and shows our death anxiety is largely responsible for things as important as building civilizations and making war. It’s obviously not comprehensive (we’re far too complex to always boil down to one motivation), but the effect shows up an amazing number of places.

– Bilbo_Fraggins

10. Fog of War.

Robert McNamara reflects on what he learned from his roles in WWII, Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam. Fascinating!!!

– grumplenuts


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25 Interesting Facts About Bakeries

Here are 25 Interesting Bakery facts.

1-5 Bakery Facts

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1. In Yreka, California, a bakery operated for 100 years called the Yreka Bakery, which formed a palindrome. When the business closed and a gallery opened in the same spot, they named themselves the Yrella Gallery so that it would also form a palindrome. – Source

2. A loaf of bread made in Pompeii in first century AD was discovered. Impressed on it was a Roman bread stamp, which bakeries were required to do to prevent fraud. – Source

3. “The Mother Dough,” the oldest in the USA can be found at the Boudin Bakery in San Francisco. Over 400 loaves of bread a day are made from a living yeast strain over 160 years old. The yeast/dough mixture doubles in size every day. – Source

4. In France, by law a bakery has to make all the bread it sells from scratch in order to have the right to be called a bakery. – Source

5. The CIA secretly spiked the bread from a bakery in the French village of Pont-Saint-Esprit with enormous quantities of LSD as part of its cold war mind-control experiments. – Source

6-10 Bakery Facts

6. The cracker was invented in a small bakery in the U.S. The recipe was bought by the National Biscuit Company, now known as Nabisco. – Source

7. One company produces up to 80% of the communion wafers used in U.S. Catholic churches. The company is a secular industrial bakery that churns out more than 25 million wafers every week. – Source

8. Aboard the British Battleship HMS Vanguard, an Engineer would travel 7 miles and climb 3,000 feet of stairs daily during his turn of inspection and that the ship’s bakery produced 1,000 lbs of bread daily. – Source

9. The U.S. banned sliced bread in 1943, and that the FDA was serious enough about this to issue the warning “to protect the cooperating bakeries against the unfair competition of those who continue to slice their own bread, we are prepared to take stern measures if necessary.” – Source

10. Tim Horton hasn’t had fresh in-store made bakery items since 2010. – Source

11-15 Bakery Facts

11. A bakery has more locations in the UK than McDonald’s or Starbucks. Greggs sells 2.5 million sausage rolls and 1 million cups of coffee a week at its 1,698 bakeries. – Source

12. Up until two years ago, there was a law in Paris that required local bakeries to spread out their vacation time so that there was enough bread for the city during the holidays. – Source

13. A bakery being used to smuggle drugs into Greece accidentally served cocaine covered biscuits to funeral mourners leading to the arrest of the drug traffickers. – Source

14. Girl Scout cookies have regional differences depending on which bakery they get their cookies from. – Source

15. The bakery responsible for starting the Great Fire of London apologized for doing so, in 1986. – Source

16-20 Bakery Facts

16. The cronut, a combination of a croissant and doughnut, sold at a bakery in NYC, has its own black market, and scalpers sell them for ~$100. – Source

17. There is an Honesty Bakery in Mecca that has no cashier, instead, they rely on trust. – Source

18. In the 1980s, national bread bakeries added wood pulp to bread to increase fiber content and reduce calories. – Source

19. An employee has embezzled almost $17M from a bakery for years, while living the most lavish lifestyle in a tight-knit community, and no one has suspected a thing. – Source

20. Homeboy Bakery, a non-profit organization, takes Los Angeles gang members and turns them into bakers. – Source

21-25 Bakery Facts

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21. Bimbo Bakeries USA is the largest bakery in the U.S. – Source

22. The first fortune cookies were made in a San Francisco bakery. – Source

23. A situation similar to the “Freedom Fries” incident in America happened in Iran. In 2006, in response to a Danish cartoonist drawing Muhammad in his comic strip, bakeries in Iran’s capital changed the name of Danish pastries to “Roses of the Prophet Muhammad”. – Source

24. Many San Francisco bakeries use Sourdough starter from 1849. – Source

25. There is bakery in Warsaw where you can buy bread in a bag with books excerpts so you could get to know new books. – Source



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5 Life Pro Tips of the Week – Part 122

Here are this week’s Life Pro Tips.

1. X percent of Y is equal to Y percent of X. So, if you want to find out what 7% of 50 is, you could instead find out what 50% of 7 is, which is 3.5. This means that 7% of 50 is also equal to 3.5.

More examples: If you want to find out what 2% of 20 is, do 20% of 2 instead and you’ll get 0.4. So, 2% of 20 also equals 0.4.

Or, 12% of 25 can be alternatively written out as 25% of 12 instead, which would be 3.


2.  If you get a kitten, do use your hands to play so you can teach restraint when they are too rough.

Restraint is naturally learned in play with hands and littermates because the fun stops when a bite or scratch is too much. Adult cats who didn’t play this way are more likely to scratch or bite.

Obviously, this only works if you shout loudly (“OWW!”) and stop playing if a bite or scratch is too hard.

3. As a manager, give praise in public and give discipline in private.

4. When browsing, you can replace “en” with “simple” to bring up simple English Wikipedia, where everything is explained like you’re five.

5. Store potatoes and onions are well apart from each other. They release moisture and gases that can make the other get worse faster.


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25 Kickass Random Facts List #363

Here are 25 kickass random facts. For part 362, click here.

1-5 Kickass Random Facts

1. There’s a restaurant in New York that doesn’t employ chefs; they employ grandmas. Every day, a different grandma from around the world designs her own menu. – Source

2. Comedian Ryan Stiles from Whose Line is it Anyway? has been a frequent fundraiser for children with burn injuries, raising over $500,000 for the Burned Children Recovery Center since 2009, helping the foundation to recover from the economic crash of 2008. – Source

3. In one of Thomas Jefferson’s letters to James Madison in 1789, he stated that the Constitution and laws should expire after 19 years. This was to allow the new generations to learn from the past and change accordingly, it was also to prevent older generations from “binding” subsequent ones. – Source

4. Avocados depended on megafaunas to disperse its seeds. However, when the megafaunas became extinct, avocados survived primarily due to human cultivation. – Source

5. A chimpanzee became the 22nd most successful money manager on Wall St after choosing stocks by throwing darts at a board of 133 tech companies. – Source

6-10 Kickass Random Facts

6. The aviation industry always uses “deaths per km” to quote safety to the public, while internally insurers use “deaths per journey”, where air travel is more dangerous than most other forms of transportation. – Source

7. The 90s sketch comedy show “In Living Color” drew away 22% of Super Bowl XXVI’s viewers during its halftime show by doing a special live episode of their own, which is why subsequent Super Bowls got A-List performers and dropped the previous themed marching band format. – Source

8. No symphony orchestra can ever make a profit on its own, even if it sold out tickets at every show. This is mainly because the show consists of 40-100 fully salaried members who only perform the same piece 2 or 3 times. Most orchestras rely heavily on donators to be profitable. – Source

9. President LBJ was a competitive womanizer, and whenever people mentioned Kennedy’s many affairs, LBJ would bang the table and declare that he had more women by accident than Kennedy ever had on purpose. – Source

10. Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, began life in a mud hut. – Source

11-15 Kickass Random Facts

11. McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish was created in 1962 for Catholics abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent. According to McDonald’s, a quarter of all its Filet-O-Fish sandwiches were sold during Lent last year. – Source

12. A New Zealand couple disappeared after $6M was accidentally credited to their bank account. – Source

13. “Happy Birthday” is now in the Public Domain after Time Warner was sued in 2016. – Source

14. The engine on the BMW M5 is so quiet that the company plays fake engine noises through the speakers to “remind” drivers of their car’s performance. – Source

15. Orcas and other marine mammals are given a plethora of drugs to deal with their captivity. These drugs include antacids (to treat ulcers from stress), antibiotics (for injuries and infections), antipsychotics, benzodiazepines (valium, again for stress), and contraceptives. – Source


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25 Interesting Historical Photos – Part 124

Here are this week’s interesting historical photos. For part 123, click here.

1. Eddie” The Eagle” Edwards soars above a roaring crowd at the 1992 Calgary Winter Olympics.

He finished last.

2. Cow shoes used by moonshiners in the Prohibition days to disguise their footprints, 1924.

3. Residents of West Berlin show children to their grandparents who reside on the eastern side, 1961.

4. A British Army bomb disposal specialist approaches a car bomb during the troubles, 1970s.

5. Execution by cannon, Shiraz, Iran, 1890s.

6. A Croatian soldier and his darling, saying farewell to each other, 1995.

7. Walter Cronkite of CBS interviewing Professor Mai of the University of Hue in Vietnam, February 20, 1968.

8. Danuta Danielsson, a Jew whose mother survived Auschwitz, hitting a skinhead during a march in the Swedish town of Växjö, 1985.

9. Generalfeldmarschall August von Mackensen c.1920s.

10. Amelia Earhart, London, 1928.


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40 Interesting Facts About Bridges

Here are 40 Interesting Bridge facts.

1-5 Bridge Facts

1. When building the Golden Gate Bridge, the lead structural engineer insisted on the installation of a safety net even though its $130,000 cost was deemed exorbitant. Over the four years of its construction, the net saved 19 men, who named themselves the “Halfway to Hell Club.” – Source

2. The five-mile-long Mackinac Bridge has a program that sends a crew member to drive people across if they’re too afraid to drive themselves. It gets between 1,200 to 1,400 calls every year. – Source

3. The first person to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge was a professional high diver who “wanted to demonstrate that people did not die by simply falling through the air”. He proved himself correct by falling 135 feet safely through the air, only dying when he hit the water. – Source

4. In an effort to reduce the high number of suicides on South Korea’s Mapo Bridge, it was unofficially renamed the Bridge of Life. It was decorated with positive affirmations and even sympathetic sculptures. Suicides increased sixfold the following year. – Source

5. People who survived suicide attempts by jumping off the Golden Gate bridge often regret their decision in midair, if not before. Said one survivor: “I instantly realized that everything in my life that I’d thought was unfixable was totally fixable except for having just jumped.” – Source

6-10 Bridge Facts

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6. The Øresund Bridge, connecting Sweden with Denmark, ends overwater and continues underwater. – Source

7. In 1848, to begin construction on the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge, engineers needed to secure a line across the 800-foot chasm. The lead engineer held a kite-flying contest and eventually paid a local boy $5 for securing the first line over the river. – Source

8. The Euro currency was designed featuring imagery of fictitious bridges to represent architectural styles throughout time in Europe. They had to be careful not feature one country over the others, though, but the Netherlands then built the bridges in real life anyway. – Source

9. The largest natural bridge on Earth was virtually unknown to the rest of the world, until it was observed on Google Earth. – Source

10. Engineers in Canada receive an Iron Ring to remind them to have humility. It is in memory of a bridge that collapsed twice due to incorrect calculations involving iron. – Source

11-15 Bridge Facts

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11. There are no bridges over the Amazon River. – Source

12. A guy showed up to the I-40 bridge collapse and took command of the federal disaster response by impersonating a U.S. Army Captain. He led the response effort for two days before fleeing. – Source

13. Albert Gunton is a London city bus driver who, in 1952 found himself driving his route crossing Tower Bridge when the bridge began to rise to allow a ship to pass. He accelerated and jumped the gap, and was awarded £10 for bravery. – Source

14. A German graffiti artist painted a 250 square meter bridge to make it look like it was made out of Lego. – Source

15. Hungary held a contest to name a Danube River bridge. Within days, “Stephen Colbert hid” (hid is Hungarian for the bridge) was number one in the poll with 17 million votes, seven million more than the population of Hungary. – Source

16-20 Bridge Facts

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16. A bridge built in 2003 in Northern Costa Rica is colloquially known as “Backstab Bridge”. It was paid for, designed and built by Taiwan only for Costa Rica to cut off ties with Taiwan in favor of China. – Source

17. Soldiers are required to “route step” (or walk out of step) when crossing bridges because, in 1831, the rhythmic march of British soldiers broke a bridge, throwing soldiers off of the bridge. – Source

18. Bridges can be made from the roots of living trees. These Root Bridges takes at least 15 years to build, but is automatically strengthened over time and can last centuries. – Source

19. In 480 BC, King Xerxes I of Persia built bridges to invade Greece. But a storm destroyed these bridges. Enraged, King Xerxes threw chains in the sea, whipped the sea 300 times and burned it with red-hot irons as his men shouted at the water. The next bridge built was not destroyed. – Source

20. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is a bridge whose support towers are so tall and far apart that, due to the curvature of the earth, are almost two inches farther apart at the top than the bottom. – Source

21-25 Bridge Facts

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21. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana, the longest continuous bridge passing over water, is so long that for 8 of its 24 miles, you can’t see land in any direction. – Source

22. Engineers building a bridge between Germany and Switzerland found that when the two halves met their elevations differed by 54 cm. Germany bases sea level on the North Sea, and Switzerland by the Mediterranean; someone messed up the correction, doubling it instead of cancelling it out. – Source

23. In 1996, Woody Harrelson was arrested for climbing the Golden Gate Bridge to hang a banner protesting the destruction of the Redwood forest. – Source

24. One of the earliest weapons of mass destruction was used during the Siege of Antwerp in 1585. A Dutch explosive fire ship containing 4 tons of explosive rammed a fortified Spanish bridge, killing 800 Spaniards, causing a small tsunami, and vibrating windows 22 miles away. – Source

25. Just as the ribbon was about to be cut on the Sydney harbour bridge, a man in military uniform rode up on a horse, slashing the ribbon with his sword and opening it in the name of the people of New South Wales before the official ceremony began. He was promptly arrested. – Source


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5 Things You Should Know – Part 172

Here are 5 things you should know.

1. If you’re job hunting, mention it to everybody that you can.

You never know whose brother’s neighbor’s dog-sitter is hiring.

2. Credit cards with contactless payments have cumulative spending limits that are reset when you pay using your PIN.

If you are seeing proximity transactions refused despite having available credit, you have probably reached the limit.

Try the transaction again using the chip card and your PIN, the limit will be reset and contactless payments will begin working properly again.

If you regularly use your PIN, you will probably never hit the limit.

3. Diamonds are of no use.

Their prevalence as engagement rings is only because of a very very successful marketing scheme:**t

4. As a reminder, the IRS does not call your house and does not send emails if there is a problem.

The IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

Link to source is from 2016 but still valid

5. EpiPen is a brand name, but if your doctor writes a script for “epinephrine auto-injector” you can get cheaper and just as effective alternative pens.

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Of note, there are now generics available with the EpiPen mechanism, but you can’t get brand alternatives if your doctor writes for EpiPen because the pens have slightly different mechanisms, and as such are not considered substitutable by pharmacies. For example, some alternatives require you press the pen to the body for ten seconds instead of three seconds. They are just as effective medically but are slightly different. This could save you hundreds of dollars.


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25 Uplifting Headlines of the Week – Part 69

Here are this week’s uplifting headlines.

1-5 Uplifting Headlines of the Week

1. The BBC is to ban single-use plastics by 2020, after TV series Blue Planet II highlighted the scale of sea pollution. – Source

2. Gorilla hugging man who saved her life wins Photographer of the Year. – Source

3. A heroic math teacher saved her students during the Florida shooting by covering the classroom windows and refusing to let even the SWAT team in. – Source

4. Lonely library dog now has many wanting to read him a story. – Source

5. Seattle TV Station pays off medical debts for 1,000 people. – Source

6-10 Uplifting Headlines of the Week

6. Actor Emma Watson donates £1m to the anti-harassment campaign. Watson is one of the first donors to the UK Justice and Equality Fund, which has launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for a new advice network. – Source

7. Hundreds of Penn State students raise more than $10M for pediatric cancer patients in annual 46-hour dance marathon known as Thon. – Source

8. Kentucky second-grader with Down syndrome qualifies for the regional spelling bee. – Source

9. Cow escapes on way to the slaughterhouse, smashes through a metal fence, breaks the arm of a man trying to catch her then swims to safety on an island in the lake: Local politician reportedly agrees to let the animal live after its ordeal captures public attention. – Source

10. The couple who lost everything in fire wins $1 million lottery. – Source

11-15 Uplifting Headlines of the Week

11. Baltimore is at 12 days without a homicide: the longest streak since 2015. – Source

12. Cool Runnings II: The Jamaican women’s bobsleigh team’s Olympic dream is still alive after a beer company has offered to buy them a new sled. – Source

13. Missing Alabama woman found alive in the woods following a disorienting car accident. She was found after a 36-hour search. – Source

14. A couple accidentally proposed to each other at the same time. – Source

15. Germany considers making public transport free to fight air pollution. – Source


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24 Interesting Facts About BMW

Here are 24 Interesting BMW facts.

1-5 BMW Facts

1. The engine on the BMW M5 is so quiet that the company plays fake engine noises through the speakers to “remind” drivers of their car’s performance. – Source

2. The step-grandchildren of Joseph Goebbels control 46% of BMW. – Source

3. BMW had to recall their GPS system because male German drivers refused to take directions from a female voice. – Source

4. When Andy Warhol was commissioned by BMW to paint the supercar M1 for the BMW Art Car Project, he turned down the scale practice model, painted immediately onto the full size vehicle, and finished in 24 minutes. – Source

5. In 2001, BMW released a series of short films called “The Hire” that featured famous filmmakers, starred Clive Owen as the “Driver”, and highlighted the performance aspects of BMW cars. It was a huge success and helped increase car sales 12% over the previous year. – Source

6-10 BMW Facts

6. Hackers worked out how to open BMW car doors via SMS by reverse engineering their assistive technology. – Source

7. BMW used to offer Flame Throwers on their cars to stop carjacking in South Africa. – Source

8. A self-driving BMW can also drift. It is equally as good as a professional drift driver. – Source

9. A California man sued BMW for giving him an erection. – Source

10. The BMW M3 gets more MPG than a Toyota Prius when going 100 MPH. – Source

11-15 BMW Facts

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11. BMW built a concept car that could change its shape. The movable frame is controlled by actuators, which stretch the water-resistant spandex shell, either automatically depending on driving conditions, or at the driver’s command. – Source

12. Owners of BMW i3s have increased their fuel tank capacity with a software hack. The tank was electronically limited to meet an emissions loophole. – Source

13. BMW once paid to name a cold snap weather event after its Mini Cooper car as a promo stunt. The stunt went sour after the snap killed 112 people in Eastern Europe. – Source

14. In the 80’s BMW made a 1.5L 4 cylinder that produced 1,100 HP; they later boosted it to 2 and then 2.5 liters and made 1,400 HP. – Source

15. BMW’s manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, SC, which manufactures the X3, X5, and X6 sport utility vehicles, was the fastest factory start-up in automotive history and BMW’s first full facility outside Germany. – Source

16-20 BMW Facts

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16. When BMW sold its 3.0CSL sports car in the 1970s, the car’s spoiler was left in the trunk for installation by the owner after purchase because boot spoilers were illegal in Germany at the time. – Source

17. BMW sells armored versions of their vehicles. – Source

18. Bimmer and Beamer are two different slang terms, one for BMW cars and the other for BMW motorcycles. – Source

19. BMW has developed a combination gasoline & steam engine and called it; The Turbosteamer. – Source

20. The car that Steve Urkel drove on Family Matters was actually a real BMW model called the Isetta. – Source

21-24 BMW Facts

21. The BMW logo is an airplane propeller because they originally produced airplane engines. – Source

22. BMW created their own skateboard with parts from a BMW 5 series car. – Source

23. The remote-controlled BMW in “James Bond – Tomorrow Never Dies” was actually driven by a guy sitting in the lowered back seat who even had control over all the installed gadgets. – Source

24. BMW i8 only has three cylinders. – Source



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25 Crazy Headlines of the Month – Part 66

Here are this month’s crazy headlines.

1-5 Crazy Headlines

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1. EPA head says he needs to fly first class because people are mean to him in coach. – Source

2. After 4th DWI, the man argues legal limit discriminates against alcoholics. – Source

3. Facebook is suggesting mobile users protect themselves by downloading a Facebook-owned app that tracks their mobile usage. – Source

4. The pastor was counseling the young, naked man tied up in his car, he says. – Source

5. A police officer fired for not shooting black suspect wins $175,000. – Source

6-10 Crazy Headlines

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6. People are walking into the glass at the new Apple headquarters. – Source

7. School tells sixth-graders they can’t say no when asked to dance. – Source

8. North Korean cheerleaders caught off guard by fake Kim Jong Un. – Source

9. Brazilian drug dealer kidnaps medical staff, makes them vaccinate community against yellow fever. – Source

10. Xerox engineers say Chicago crime rate fell after printer jams fixed. – Source

11-15 Crazy Headlines

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11. A woman tries hiding from police by placing washing basket on her head. – Source

12. Teen wins Gold at Olympics, despite sleeping in after Brooklyn Nine-Nine binge. – Source

13. Peter Rabbit food bullying: Film studio apologizes over a scene showing animals pelting allergic man with blackberries. – Source

14. Edmonton woman catches purse-snatcher, returns the wallet, takes thief for coffee. – Source

15. Onion writer’s routinely recycled mass-shooting headline hits close to home. – Source


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