Pastafarian fights for right to wear spaghetti strainer on his head for drivers license photo


An unusual religious headwear battle has hit a boiling point in Surrey, B.C., where a “Pastafarian” is fighting for his right to wear a colander in his driver’s licence photo.

imageObi Canuel, who is an ordained minister in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, says the Insurance Corporation of B.C. is denying him the right to be able to wear the spaghetti strainer on his head.

The 36-year-old says he believed he would be able to wear the kitchen accessory when he renewed his licence last fall because ICBC affirms the right to religious expression. 

But, the insurer disagreed. In a letter, they told him “there is no religious requirement that prohibits you from removing the colander for the purpose of taking the photo to appear on your driver’s license.”

ICBC said its religious head covering policy strive to strike a balance between respect for the driver’s religious beliefs and a need to preserve the integrity of the licensing system.

The company said it would not issue a new driver’s licence with the colander photo, but encouraged him to go into any office and have a free colander-free photo taken – and a new licence would be issued.

“The truth is sometimes I have the spiritual inkling to wear the colander and I don’t think ICBC should be making decisions about what kind of religious headgear is appropriate or not,” Canuel told CTV Vancouver.

Strangely, a photo of Canuel wearing the exact same strainer on his head was approved for his new B.C. Services card.

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was created nine years ago by a U.S. man to satirize certain aspects of creationism. It follows a belief that an undetectable flying pasta creature created the universe after “drinking heavily.”

As it gained popularity in the media, the Flying Spaghetti Monster became a symbol against intelligent design used in the public education system.

At least four countries, including the U.S., allow Pastafarians to wear colanders in their driver’s licence photos.

Canuel documented his struggles with ICBC in a YouTube video titled “Dear ICBC: Where is my license?”

When you’re pulling a safe full of drugs stolen from a pharmacy behind your car with a rope, it’s best not to pass the police car


An Onslow County man is accused of breaking into a pharmacy, stealing a safe, and dragging it behind his car.  He was arrested after passing a police officer.

The Swansboro Police Department said the alarms of Family Care Pharmacy, located at 1106 Main St., were activated at about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.

IMullins-Ryan-James--web--jpgnvestigators said 22-year-old Ryan Mullins, of Swansboro, smashed in a window at the pharmacy’s drive-through to enter the building. Mullins then tied a nylon rope around a 100-pound safe containing prescription drugs and drove about two miles with the safe dragging behind his vehicle, Swansboro Police said.

By 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, a Swansboro police officer pulled out in front of Mullins and saw in his rear view mirror that there was something swinging behind Mullins’ vehicle, investigators said. The police officer pulled over to let Mullins pass, then saw the safe being dragged. The officer immediately pulled Mullins over.

Mullins is charged with felony breaking and entering, larceny, possession of stolen goods, two felony counts of trafficking opium or heroin, one count of safe cracking and misdemeanor DWI.

Mullins is being held at the Onslow County Jail on a $240,000 bond. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday morning.

Ancient Roman Coins You’ve Never Seen — Guess What They Were Used for?!


It’s no secret that the ancient Roman empire loved sex. There were all sorts of taboos that were captured clearly in poetry and graffiti throughout cities.

What we weren’t aware of is that there was an entire coinage system with pornographic acts brazenly depicted. The question remains, did they used these coins in their everyday lives?


The answer appears to be a resounding no. According to io9, the “coins” were called “spintriae” and are non-monetary tokens, and were a bit smaller than a quarter.

Historians aren’t fully certain as to what they are used for, but there are two main theories:

1. Some have assumed the tokens were used in brothels and bath houses in exchange for various pleasures.

2. Others are certain they were used as game pieces, much in the same way playing cards are used today. CoinsWeekly explains, “The spintriae may well have had a similar function – as tokens in a game whose rules are unknown to us.” There were 16 tokens in the set, and there was evidence that private companies recreated the coins for mass production.

Historians seem to agree the second theory is correct for one simple reason: One of the coins features a portrait of Augustus. This coin would have never been associated with brothels — but in good humor, it could have been a part of a game played in parlors across the Roman Empire.

Beyond these tokens being quite interesting to look at, the originals are worth a pretty penny!

Police kill unarmed 18 year old with shots to the back of the head and neck as he’s running away. Police spokesman: He was resisting


53e85d70c7bd6.preview-620A calmer dawn broke Monday morning after a night of protest and looting in Ferguson left broken glass and at least one burned-out building.

Officer Brian Schellman of the St. Louis County police said two officers were injured overnight Sunday — one was hit by a brick and one suffered knee injuries. Police arrested 32 people for theft, assault or burglary.

The protests followed the fatal shooting on Saturday of Michael Brown, 18, by police. Authorities said Sunday that a police officer shot Brown, who was unarmed, after the teen attacked the Ferguson officer. After protests and a vigil earlier in the day, some people broke into stores and looted them, setting fire to a QuikTrip and leaving glass and other debris strewn about.

Schellman said the looting and destruction stopped and the area had quieted a down about 3:30 a.m. Monday.

He said the police helicopter was shot at once or twice, but was not hit. He said the night was a scary situation for even veteran officers.

Jennings school district canceled the first day of school today, saying it was concerned for student safety in the wake of Sunday night’s violence.

“Safety is our uppermost concern,” a Jennings release said. “At this time we do not feel it’s safe for our students to walk to school.”

Officials said they hoped classes could begin Tuesday.

On the lot of a QuikTrip that was looted and burned Sunday night, some men who said they had been there last night defended the damage as a response injustice.

DeAndre Smith, 30, of Ferguson was happy to justify the looting when a reporter asked him about it Monday morning.

“This is exactly what is supposed to be happening when an injustice is happening in your community,” he said, adding: “You have kids getting killed for nothing.”

He moved to St. Louis from New York in December.

“I don’t think it’s over honestly,” he said. “I just think they got a taste of what fighting back means.”

Others showed up to express dismay at the looting or help clean up.

Leonetta Hilliard, who works as a middle school English teacher, stopped by the QuikTrip. Using one of her school folders, she wrote a note to the store and take it to the side wall.

“Corporate neighbor: I am sorry this act of robbery and violence has happened. Please return soon.”

The note was taped over graffiti saying “187 county police,” the 187 a slang reference to murder.

She said she comes to the store to two or three times per week and has been doing so for about 15 years.

“This just doesn’t represent who we are as a community and I wanted just to say something to do something that was productive,” she said.

Leonetta Hilliard, who lives nearby, left a note at the QuikTrip, taped over graffiti that said “187 county police,” a refere

Pamela Richardson, 51, of Jennings, came to Ferguson on Monday morning and started picking up trash left by the looters at the QuikTrip store. A bit of smoke was still coming from the burned-out building. She rounded up beer cans and discarded Powerball tickets and crushed soda cans from the lot.

“It sends the wrong kind of message,” she said of the looters. “Don’t destroy other people’s property that they worked hard for because something else has happened. One doesn’t outweigh the other, you know. No connection between the two.”

Our earlier story:

FERGUSON • A day of protests and vigils Sunday for an unarmed black teenager who was shot to death by a Ferguson police officer erupted Sunday night with confrontations, looting and gunshots.

Authorities said Sunday that a police officer shot an unarmed black teenager after the teen attacked the Ferguson officer. But pressure for a deeper explanation grew locally and nationally through the day.

Hundreds of people gathered at the shooting site Sunday night for a vigil for Michael Brown, 18, who was to begin technical school classes today.

While some people prayed, others spilled onto West Florissant Avenue, choking off traffic. Looting was reported at a QuikTrip at 9420 West Florissant Avenue about 9 p.m. and soon spread from there. Most of the businesses being targeted were mainly along West Florissant.

Around 11 p.m., looters smashed into a Wal-Mart in the area near Interstate 270, as well as cell phone, clothing and dollar stores. A large fire was burning at West Florissant and Northwinds Estates Drive. A civilian was reported beaten near West Florissant and Chambers.

Jimmy Muhammad, 32, said he and his colleagues had just fended off a gang of masked young men with guns who tried to break into his uncle’s store, United Mart, in the 10300 block of West Florissant. The front door was shattered.

“It’s bad,” said Muhammad, still gripping a pistol. Sirens blasted from all the police vehicles speeding by to other crime scenes. “I don’t blame the police, but they can’t keep up.”

Silas Chung, 53, didn’t get to his small store, Up N Up Fashion, in the 11600 block of West Florissant, soon enough to defend it.

“I feel bad,” said Chung, cleaning up the damage. “This world is getting worse and worse.”

At Ferguson Avenue and West Florissant Road, about 150 demonstrators also blocked traffic. They were taunting police officers, who were lined up in riot gear, carrying shields and batons.

“It could have been one of your kids,” yelled Charles Staton, 35, of Ferguson, at the officers. “Protect and serve. They aren’t protecting.”

At the same time, about 100 people remained in front of the Ferguson police station, where South Florissant Road was also blocked by demonstrators. There the emphasis was on keeping the peace.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar promised a thorough outside investigation.

“It’s turning into something it’s not supposed to be,” said Darryl Jones of Pine Lawn as the looting began.

Late Sunday, County Executive Charlie Dooley came to the line and tried to convince raucous demonstrators to leave. His efforts were yelled down. Eventually, officers moved their line forward with the help of barking dogs on tight leashes.

“It’s time to leave,” the officers said. Reporters on the scene said the area calmed down shortly after as action moved elsewhere.

Some people were caught in the crowds, though, and couldn’t easily leave. J.R. Grace came for the vigil but never made it because of the blockade. He was disheartened by the events playing out.

“The businesses didn’t kill that man. That’s not going to solve anything,” he said. “That’s only going to make things worse.”

Gunshots were reported in the area late Sunday, and a SWAT team was seen in the area. Hundreds of police officers from surrounding communities reported on the scene.

“We have officers from just about every department around here,” said St. Louis Police Capt. Ed Kuntz. “Obviously we don’t want to use force. We are hoping that just the presence is enough.”

By 1 a.m. today, he said pockets of stores had been looted from north of Interstate 270 to the city’s northern border. Kuntz, who has worked in policing for 34 years, said of the level of looting: “This is the first time I can remember this ever happening here.”

Benjamin L. Crump, a civil rights lawyer known for representing the family of Florida shooting victim Trayvon Martin, announced Sunday night that he had been hired to represent Brown’s family. Crump is based in Tallahassee, Fla.

In Washington, a spokesperson said Attorney General Eric Holder asked civil rights lawyers in the Justice Department to monitor the case. In St. Louis, Special Agent Cheryl Mimura said, “I can confirm that the FBI is working closely with the St Louis County PD to review the matter at this time.”

Protesters complained that the killing was emblematic of deep tensions between black residents of North County and a predominantly white Ferguson police force. Officials have not revealed the race of the officer who killed Brown.

“We have to stick together because we are targets,” said Robert Brefford, 26, an African-American musician from Berkeley who spoke in front of the police station Sunday night. He said police in the area pull over, poke and prod black drivers to provoke them.

“The bleeding began long before Michael Brown,” said Pastor Traci Blackmon of Christ the King United Church of Christ, in nearby Florissant.

She passed a petition seeking a dialogue with officials. “We come in peace,” she said. “But we are angry and in need of action and answers.”

Shontell Walters, of Berkeley, complained to stone-faced police outside their headquarters: “This child was ready to go to college and you killed his dream.” She added, “He is not coming back. He could have owned a business and made money for Ferguson someday, but you killed him.”

Dooley also visited protesters around noon Sunday to acknowledge their “justifiable anger” and implore them to “channel this anger into justice.” But the group turned on him for expressing confidence in the ability of county police to do a fair investigation, buffeting him with heated rhetoric and questions.

“How can we protect our children?” one mother screamed at him.

The shaken Dooley responded, “This is not the way to console the family right now.”

The NAACP and State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, joined a chorus seeking a federal investigation.

State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, said of the gathering in front of the Ferguson police station: “This demonstration has to happen to release all the negative energy people are feeling on the inside. And we are doing it peacefully.”

Activist Zaki Baruti said the presence of police dogs near demonstrations reinforced the perception of bias against black people. “It sends a very negative message, and it is a very insensitive reaction to the outrage of the people,” he said.

Another protest was scheduled for 10 a.m. today outside the police station. And the St. Louis County NAACP is planning a mass public meeting at 6 p.m. today at Murchison Tabernacle Church, 7629 Natural Bridge in St. Louis.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, a New York-based civil rights leader, called the shooting “very disturbing” and said he planned to meet here with Brown’s family today or Tuesday.

The demonstrations Sunday drew national news media attention to two sites: the police station, at 222 South Florissant Road, and the street where Brown fell, in the 2900 block of Canfield Drive.

Brown’s stepfather, Louis Head, sat cross-legged, head in hands, sobbing Sunday morning before a memorial on Canfield that would grow exponentially though Sunday with teddy bears, flowers and tributes.

“Ferguson killed my son,” he said. “Ferguson flat-out murdered my son in the street, a cold-blooded murder.”

In a news conference Sunday morning, Belmar, the county police chief, said the Ferguson officer had an encounter with two “individuals” about noon Saturday and that Brown pushed the officer back into his car and “assaulted” him in the vehicle.

Belmar said one shot was fired by the officer’s gun inside the car during the struggle, hitting no one, and that the officer then fired multiple times as Brown ran away. Brown fell dead in the street. Belmar said the crime scene covered a distance of just 35 feet.

Belmar did not describe the reason for the initial contact, nor indicate whether police think the shooting was justified. He also did not provide any details about the person who had been with Brown.

He said the shots that hit Brown were “more than just a couple but I don’t think it was many more than that.” He said an autopsy was pending.

The chief said the investigation’s results will be forwarded to St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, whose office would decide whether criminal charges were justified.

Belmar noted that as Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson arrived at the scene Saturday, he called Belmar to ask for a county investigation.

Jackson sat beside Belmar but did not speak in a short news conference at 10 a.m. at the community’s firehouse.

Belmar emphasized that the outside investigation and consultation with the FBI — which has jurisdiction over allegations of civil rights violations by police — are “standard protocols.”

The officer who fired, whose name has not been disclosed, is now on administrative leave. Belmar said that officer has been on the Ferguson force for six years and appears to have “no other issues” in his past.

Belmar and Jackson abruptly left the news conference as reporters continued to call out questions.

Ferguson police and demonstration leaders were forced late Sunday morning to tamp down a rumor that a youth who had been with Brown in the police encounter was found dead.

It apparently began on social media and was still circulating Sunday afternoon despite a promise from Baruti, a demonstration organizer, that it was not true.

About a block from the police station, at Wellspring Church, Pastor F. Willis Johnson Jr. urged Sunday morning that frustration and anger be channeled into constructive acts, such as praying and volunteering in schools.

“We can’t act unjust in the name of justice. We can’t act uncivil, and then cry for civility,” Johnson preached.

Brown, a 2014 Normandy High School graduate, was scheduled to begin classes today at Vatterott College.

Obituary Begins With ‘Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead’


It seem that our little state of Delaware is always making headlines with these crazy obituaries that have been popping up lately.

Wicked-Witch1This is just the case with the obituary for 70-year old Joanna Scarpitti, which opened with the famous Wizard Of Oz catch-phrase “Ding dong the witch is dead”. However, before everyone gets their panties in a bunch about a “disrespectful” or “mean-spirited” remembrance, there is actually a really good reason behind the family’s use of the quote.

Prior to her death, Scarpetti made her youngest daughter promise that when she passed away she would have that particular phrase printed with her obituary, as the two shared a a love of The Wizard Of Oz and a great sense of humor.

Scarpetti’s obituary also went on to say that she was a loving mother and grandmother and “spoiled her grandchildren without complaint”.  Scarpetti’s youngest daughter Lucy has received some backlash online for the printed obituary, but she claims that it was something that was special between herself and her mother and she was only following her mother’s wishes.

In addition to the printed obituary, Scarpetti’s daughters also promised to dress her in black and white stockings and red ruby slippers, which they delivered on as well and it has given the family a sense of fulfillment.

Scarpetti passed away unexpected during a vacation trip to her summer home in Fenwick Island, DE. While her death was sudden her family does seem to be keeping their spirits up, in fact her widow Joesph claimed that he was only an “innocent bystander” in the whole obituary printing and said his daughters would not be allowed to write his, however they joked that at the time he would have no say in the matter.

This Man Is An Athlete In The Sport Of ‘Cloud Chasing’


Vaping has apparently become a sport.

With e-cigarettes gaining popularity and dedicated vape shops popping up in cities all across the country, perhaps it won’t come a shock that there are so-called “professional vapers” out there who compete against one another to blow the biggest, baddest clouds of smoke. The activity is known in the vape world as “cloud chasing.”

In the video above, posted online by Mashable last week, watch as vapers compete in what’s known as a “cloud competition” in the Henley Vaporium in New York City.

During the event, dubbed the “X-Games of vaping” by an attendee, contestants took turns exhaling clouds of epic proportions. To win the competition, a vaper had to create the biggest and densest cloud.

According to Mashable, the professional vapers at the event weren’t smoking e-cigarettes, per se. Instead they used modified devices to burn vegetable glycerol and liquid nicotine. (In April, a manager of a vape shop in Arizona told the Arizona Republic that some “cloud chasers” don’t even use nicotine.)

Competitive vaping is actually not a totally new phenomenon.

The “sport” apparently started as a West Coast trend, but cloud competitions have popped up in recent months in New Jersey, Illinois and New Mexico. Earlier this year, an International Cloud Championship was held in California; and in March, vapers competed against one another at Vape Blast 2014, described as “the first Texas vape convention.”

Some people have given the sport a thumbs-up. “It’s kind of impressive,”

But others have pointed out potential hazards associated with the activity: The jury is still out on whether or not e-cigarettes are safe; and vaping enthusiasts on Reddit,vaping forums and blogs have pointed out the danger of meddling with a vaping device to produce more smoke.

In short: We wouldn’t recommend trying this at home.

Instead, watch the vaping masters in action in the video above.

Man charged with violating Virginia’s ‘French Kiss’ law


Virginia made national headlines in 2008 when state lawmakers made it illegal for an adult to use his or her tongue while kissing a child. The so-called “French Kiss” law was signed by then Virginia Governor Tim Kaine.

20140804_herandez-tellez_erick_a_21Fast forward six years and it appears someone has been arrested — for the first time — for breaking that law.

Police arrested Erick Alezndro Hernandez Tellez, 21, of Henrico for sexual assaulting a 12-year-old “female acquaintance,” police said. Specifically Tellez was charged with violating Virginia Code 18.2-370.6, which states:

Any person 18 years of age or older who, with lascivious intent, kisses a child under the age of 13 on the mouth while knowingly and intentionally penetrating the mouth of such child with his tongue is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Del. Riley Ingram (R – Chesterfield, Henrico, Prince George and Hopewell) sponsored the 2008 bill. He said he believed this was the first time anyone had been arrested for breaking the law he helped pass.

“The one about French kissing?” Del. Ingram replied when asked about it over the phone. “I don’t know of anyone whose been arrested for that.”

Requests were made with both the state and Henrico Police to confirm Del. Riley’s belief.

Del. Riley said he introduced the bill on behalf of a Henrico mother who was upset when a man French kissed her young daughter in a “daycare setting” and felt that person’s punishment was not appropriate for the situation, he recalled.