8 Things You Need To Know This AM — Oct 29 2015

Bidhya Devi Bhandari was elected as Nepal’s first female president; meanwhile, here in the U.S., a Twitter egg just made the millionth joke insinuating that Hillary Clinton is a sexless bitch. In what was only its second election since abolishing the monarchy in 2008, Nepal’s parliament selected Community Party candidate Bidhya Devi Bhandari as its next president, making her the first woman to lead the newly democratic country. It is no surprise that a woman obtained one of the top political posts in Nepal — earlier this year, the South Asian nation adopted a new constitution that enshrines certain gender requirements. According to the Nepalese constitution, a woman must be elected to serve as either president or vice president and the parliament must be at least one-third women. (Quartz)
For some ill-advised reason, Rick Santorum is taking credit for part of Donald Trump’s platform, claiming it was stolen from his book.

Rick Santorum really wants the American public to know that if they like Donald Trump, they’d really like him, too. During an appearance on an AM radio show, the former Pennsylvania senator alleged that parts of Trump’s platform — “making America great again, talking about manufacturing and trade, and immigration” — all come from his book, Blue Collar Conservative. Apparently, the two met in New York last summer and Trump brought along his copy of the book. “He was saying how he had liked the book, he had read the book,” Santorum said. “Of course, I didn’t believe he had read the book. I say, ‘You know what, I can’t believe Donald Trump read my book,’ and he assured me that he did.” (Buzzfeed)
Inspired by Ariana Grande, a massive million-dollar military blimp broke free of its tether and roamed the skies.

A military surveillance blimp, finally brave enough to pursue its own Eat Pray Love adventure, tore from its mooring in a Maryland army base and cruised the Pennsylvanian open skies. A tool of NORAD’s surveillance of the East Coast, the untethered 243-foot-long blimp, or “aerostat” if you’re a fancy Army person, was quickly pursued by two F-16 fighter jets in order to maintain some semblance of air traffic safety. After about four hours of self-exploration and low-altitude flying, the blimp descended to the ground on its own. (Gizmodo)
A University of Michigan student posted 5,000 flyers around campus accusing a football star of giving her chlamydia.

University of Michigan football player Jabrill Peppers’ reputation is under attack by an unknown scorned woman who is plastering the campus with thousands of open letters accusing Peppers of being a “despicable piece of shit” and giving her chlamydia. Twice. Turning up in multiple women’s bathrooms and at least one dorm, the fliers have prompted Peppers to retaliate on Twitter. “The slander is crazy. My word is all I have,” wrote the Wolverines safety. “I will continue to walk w. my chest and chin high. People love bringing someone down. #prayedup” (Jezebel)
Iran accepted an invitation to join the U.S. and Russia in discussions about Syria’s future. A three-way call behind Syria’s back? Who said that politics isn’t like Mean Girls? Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will join U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and officials from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, and Turkey in a series of meetings to discuss Syria’s ongoing civil war with the intent of determining a resolution. Iran was included in the talks at Russia’s behest, the latter telling reporters that it desired a “widening of the [Syrian] dialogue.” If the meetings occur as planned, this will be the first time Secretary of State Kerry and Foreign Minister Zarif meet on the global stage to discuss something other than nuclear agreements. (BBC News)
A Salem witch took the “world’s best-known warlock” to court over harassment; somehow, this is real life and not just the worst entry in Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark. Even magic cannot protect you from some creep dude. Lori Sforza, leader of a pagan church and proprietor of a Salem witchcraft shop, is seeking a court-ordered protection against a former business partner who also happens to be “the world’s best-known warlock.” According to Sforza, Christian Day has spent the past three years systematically harassing her by calling her from unlisted numbers to “swear at her” and writing cruel posts online. Why the “world’s best-known warlock” had to resort to fairly quotidian means of revenge and doesn't just put a hex on his enemy is beyond us. (The Guardian)
Juniper plants are in a “critical state” due to a new fungal disease, meaning we’re on the precipice of a very serious gin shortage right before the holidays. Can someone please protect the vodka plants?

Britain’s juniper plants, which are responsible for gin’s unique and, in our humble opinion, highly delicious flavor, are currently under siege by a deadly new fungal disease. Back in 2013, the very same mystifying fungus managed to decimate nearly 70% of south England’s juniper populations. The disease has now spread to Scotland, previously referred to as European juniper’s “last remaining stronghold,” where bushes already had to fight against an escalating loss of habitat in order to survive. (Wired)
A professor alleged that the “lazy” Australian accent was developed by years of heavy drinking, so our kids will probably all have Australian accents.

Dean Frenkel, a public speaking expert from Victoria University in Melbourne, has a rather interesting theory about Australians’ distinctive way of speaking: The accent is just a glorified slur. Frenkel theorizes that early settler’s chronic drinking created a specific habit of dropping consonants and “lazily transforming” vowels. “Our forefathers regularly got drunk together, and through their frequent interactions, unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our national speech patterns,” he posits. “...Aussie-speak developed in the early days of colonial settlement from a cocktail of English, Irish, Aboriginal, and German – before another mystery influence was slipped into the mix.” (The Telegraph)

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