People really liked the Uplifting News Stories segment, so we have decided to add yet another segment called the Funniest News Stories of the Week. We are going to shift the AskReaders segment to Saturdays from now on. Since this is the first week of the segment, we are going to include the funniest stories of the past month and then move on to weekly news stories in the coming weeks.

01. Study about butter, funded by butter industry, finds that butter is bad for you

01. Study about butter

Last month, something unusual happened in the food industry. The Danish Dairy Research Foundation, likely in hopes of boosting butter’s regard, funded a study about the popular lipid. But when the research was delivered, it didn’t exactly paint butter in a favorable light. The study’s findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, established that even moderate levels of butter consumption could result in higher cholesterol. At the very least, the study showed that butter raises blood cholesterol levels more than alternatives such as olive oil. So a study about butter, funded by the butter industry, found that butter is bad for you. If that sounds unlikely, that’s because it is.


02. Goonies house shut down after owner gets sick of people doing the Truffle Shuffle on the lawn

02. Goonies house shut down

A house in Astoria, Oregon that was used in 1985 cult classic The Goonies has been closed to visitors after the woman who owned it got tired of having literally thousands of people visit her home every day. The building, best known for being the site where Chunk was made to do the “truffle shuffle” before entry, was still attracting 1,500 visitors a day, according to city officials, more than 30 years after it was made. The owner had no problem with people taking a nostalgic look at her home, but drew the line at beer bottles and cigarette butts being left outside and dogs urinating on her lawn, now covering the property in blue tarpaulin and putting a sign in front of it telling people to leave the premises.


03. ‘Fantastic Four’ director swears he’s not responsible for ‘Fantastic Four’ movie

03. 'Fantastic Four'

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the new “Fantastic Four” movie isn’t doing too hot. Of course, everyone involved seemed to have been bracing for impact. But no one expected director Josh Trank say this on a tweet:

A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would’ve recieved great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though.

— Josh Trank (@joshuatrank) August 7, 2015

It took approximately zero minutes for the tweet to disappear from Trank’s Twitter timeline, but it was too late. Screenshots are forever.


04. Woman gets pregnant 13 times in 10 years to avoid jail sentence

04. Woman gets pregnant 13 times A Chinese woman sentenced to life imprisonment for corruption in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region was able to evade a prison sentence for a decade by adopting a novel, if slightly extreme, tactic – getting pregnant 13 times before finally being sent to jail by a court. She actually claimed 14 pregnancies in 10 years, of which, one was false, and the remaining 13 were true. The woman, whose surname is Zeng, was sentenced to life in prison for graft in 2005. On October 17, 2005, Zeng was sentenced to life imprisonment by Urumqi Intermediate People’s Court. Due to her pregnancy at the time, the court made the probation decision. When Zeng knew that she would be put in prison, she said she was pregnant again. After the probation decision, she went for an abortion. Since 2006, Zeng has claimed 14 pregnancies, of which, one was false, and the remaining 13 were true. Recently, the Municipal Bureau of Justice resubmitted the suggestion to put her in prison to Urumqi Intermediate People’s Court. Finally Zeng, who is now 39-year-old, has started to serve her sentence in prison.


05. GOP official: I used Ashley Madison for ‘opposition research’

05. GOP official opposition research The executive director of the Louisiana GOP spent $176 on Ashley Madison, a website for people seeking affairs, but he says he wasn’t using it to cheat. Jason Doré acknowledged that his name is on the list released by hackers this week, according to The Times-Picayune. But he said he used the account strictly for “opposition research.” “As the state’s leading opposition research firm, our law office routinely searches public records, online databases and websites of all types to provide clients with comprehensive reports,” he said. He didn’t say who the account was for, though he did say that “it ended up being a waste of money and time.”


06. AT&T wants to know why a town is building a 1Gbps network when it already offers 6Mbps DSL

06. AT&T why town needs 1Gbps network

Why is one bandwidth-hungry town building its own 1Gbps fiber network for its citizens when AT&T already offers them 6Mbps DSL? That’s the question AT&T would like to ask city leaders in Chanute, Kansas, a small town of roughly 9,000 people that is petitioning the state to allow it to offer greater access to the high-speed fiber network that it built to support town utility operations. AT&T is concerned about this development and filed to officially intervene in the case and was granted that permission. “Any decision made by the KCC could impact AT&T’s business operations in the area, which is why we asked to intervene in the proceeding,” AT&T said. “AT&T remains interested in both broadband issues and the work of the KCC.”

It’s true that a 1Gbps fiber service would definitely impact AT&T’s business operations in the area and likely for the very worse. Chanute would charge citizens just $40 per month for its 1Gbps service, which is a mere $5 more than the six-month teaser rate for AT&T’s 6Mbps service. What’s more, AT&T’s plan includes a hard data cap of 150GB per month and going over that limit will set you back by an additional $10 per month.

Despite AT&T’s interference, Chanute officials don’t think the state will do anything to block their plan, which has already survived a major challenge after activists beat back legislation that would have all but crippled towns’ ability to build their own fiber networks. What’s more, AT&T says that it hasn’t taken an official position on the fiber network and is simply seeking out more information on why the town might be interested in building such a network and how it might impact AT&T’s own DSL business.


07. We don’t need to drink less soda, according to research funded by Coca-Cola

An employee inspects skids of Coca-Cola soft-drink ready for dispatch from the Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. bottling plant in Sydney, Australia, on Thursday, April 30, 2009. Coca- Cola Amatil Ltd. is Australia's biggest soft-drink maker. Photographer: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg News

Leave it to the world’s largest seller of sugary drinks to tell people how to lose weight. Amid a national obesity epidemic, Coca-Cola has been quietly supporting a new nonprofit organization called the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN) whose primary goal is to spread the message that we might be a little too worried about what we eat and drink. The group, which was the subject of a New York Times piece published is led by a network of reputable scientists who have helped communicate that more exercise not less food is the key to a healthier lifestyle.

An inaugural video published last year depicts Steven N. Blair, the GEBN’s vice president, communicating this very point. “Most of the focus in the popular media and in the scientific press is, ‘Oh they’re eating too much, eating too much, eating too much’ — blaming fast food, blaming sugary drinks and so on,” he says as two bottles of soda — both of which are manufactured by Coca-Cola — are depicted. “There’s really virtually no compelling evidence that that, in fact, is the cause.”

The suggestion is a provocative one to say the least. Many prominent institutions and health experts hold that there is, in fact, compelling evidence that sugar is indeed partly responsible for rising obesity. The Harvard School of Public health says bluntly on its Web site that “rising consumption of sugary drinks has been a major contributor to the obesity epidemic.” The school’s Web site also cites several studies that establish sugary drinks (of which soda is the most prevalent example) increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, among other things.


08. Teen Accidentally Shoots Himself In Leg For Second Time In 3 Months

08. Teen Accidentally Shoots Himself twice

An Oklahoma 16-year-old boy is in serious condition after he accidentally shot himself in the leg for the second time over the last three months. Tulsa police found the teen injured from a single gunshot to his left leg. The victim was conscious but incoherent and suffered from a large amount of blood loss. A tourniquet was applied to stop the bleeding after police feared the teenager had severed an artery. The victim was taken to St. John Medical Center in serious condition. The “quick action” of an officer helped save the boy from bleeding to death. It is unknown where the victim accessed the gun.

Police note that this is the second time the teenager accidentally shot himself with a handgun. Three months ago, officers responded to the same residence after he suffered non-life-threatening injuries from a gunshot wound to the leg.

09. Meerkat-keeper guilty of assaulting monkey-keeper over love triangle with llama-keeper

09. Love triangle with llama-keeper

A former London Zoo zoologist has been found guilty of glassing the ex-girlfriend of her llama-keeper lover during a Christmas party fight. Caroline Westlake, 30, assaulted monkey-keeper Kate Sanders after being confronted about dating Adam Davies. However, Westlake claimed Ms. Sanders punched her in the face first, and that she struck out with the glass accidentally.

In the image above top left (new gf) stabbed bottom left (ex gf) in the face with a glass bottle for boyfriend on right.


10. Father launches campaign to find son’s hit and run driver only to realize he was responsible

10. Father find son’s hit and run driver was him

A British father who started a Facebook campaign to find a hit-and-run driver who injured his baby son has tragically realized he was responsible. Jamie Ellison, a father-of-four from Gloucester, accidentally reversed over his 15-month-old son AJ while driving his daughters to school. He completed the trip without realizing the incident had occurred, and returned home to find authorities treating his son’s injuries. Mr Ellison then launched a Facebook campaign to find what he assumed was a hit-and-run driver. Local police also appealed for information, but realized Mr. Ellison was responsible when they reviewed CCTV footage. The distraught father expressed his shock and remorse on Facebook.

“Could you imagine what I felt like then knowing I nearly killed my own son completely unaware that I was responsible?” he wrote.

“Yes it was me. I just didn’t see him or feel a bump… so imagine how I feel right now to be told that I accidentally ran over my own son. Think about that.

“That guilt will be with me forever.”

His baby son was treated for his injuries at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital before returning home.


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Last Update: April 25, 2016

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