Bookstore's Tweet Leads To Love, Then Marriage

It’s a story as old as time. Man tweets as bookstore. Woman falls in love with his literary Pokemon jokes. The inevitable next chapter: marriage.

Wait. What?

It started in 2012. Jonathan O’Brien was running the social media accounts for a Waterstone’s book store on Oxford Street in London.

He tweeted a couple of jokes about books and Pokemon.

#bookfacts While there are now millions of books, the first 150 were obviously the best. No, wait..that’s Pokemon. #pokemonfacts

— WaterstonesTCR (@WaterstonesTCR) November 20, 2012

Victoria Carlin, a circus performer at the time, didn’t know who was behind the account — but she knew she was a fan. So she tweeted back.

“Well I’m in love with whoever is manning the @WstonesOxfordSt account,” she wrote. “Be still my actual beating heart.”

well I’m in love with whoever is manning the @WstonesOxfordSt account. Be still my actual beating heart.

— Victoria (@VictoriaOB_) November 20, 2012

That led to these tweets:

Bookstore: “Pff, he’s not that dreamy in real life.”

Carlin: “Pffft. Book nerds > dreamboats. #girlfacts”

And four years later, this (appropriately literary) one.

Dear reader, I married him #noreally #yeahidunnohoweither

— Victoria (@VictoriaOB_) July 17, 2016

Of course, the course of true love never did run smooth — or at least, it takes a little more than just a few tweets to snag a mate.

After all, O’Brien told the Guardian that as the Waterstone’s Twitter account, he got marriage proposals all the time. (No surprise there.) He didn’t follow up on them by reaching out as, you know, a person. “That would be unprofessional,” he told the paper.

But Carlin was motivated. She’d been dared to get a date with him. So she tweeted again. This time — because of a typo, she says — she seemed to suggest that the two had actually gone out for drinks, and O’Brien noticed that little inaccuracy. He responded with his personal account, to correct the record.

Now that Carlin knew his real identity, it was time to meet face-to-face. And for that, she brought doughnuts. Here’s The Guardian:

“Victoria, a circus performer, was on a tour break [when] she noticed Jonathan tweeting a hankering for doughnuts. She had time to spare, so she bought a bag and went to the shop.

” ‘ My legs were taking me and my head was going: “What are you doing?” ‘ Upstairs, she worked out who he was. ‘And he was so much taller than I thought he would be. I’m only 5ft. I stood in the queue waiting. He went: “Hi, how can I help you?” and I just said: “There you go, there’s a doughnut. As requested.” Then I bottled it and ran away.’ “

Later, they went for a walk on O’Brien’s lunch break. Then they went on their first real date — to a secret cocktail bar, O’Brien told Mashable.

“It was easily the best first date I’ve ever been on (and hopefully the last first date I’ll ever go on). I brought a book of The Wizard of Oz as a present because Victoria had mentioned to me how much she loves the film,” Jonathan continued.

The two were married in London over the weekend. (Pokemon played a role in that, too; the groom was playing Pokemon Go shortly before the ceremony.)

Carlin has left the touring circus life, and now works in the theater. O’Brien, who has written a book, is no longer tweeting as a bookstore: He now works for the drink company Innocent.

That means there’s a new social media manager at the Waterstone’s Oxford account (now Waterstone’s Tottenham Court Road).

Meanwhile, this new Social Media Manager is desperately single. Will marry for retweets.

— WaterstonesTCR (@WaterstonesTCR) July 18, 2016

And — in case you were wondering — he, or she, is looking.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Brazilian sex shop reveals its Olympic line

According to a sex shop in Sao Paulo, during the Rio Olympics everyone can be an athlete, or more specifically a ‘Sex Athlete’, in keeping with new line of Games-themed toys shop owners unveiled.

“The range is called ‘Sex Athletes’, and consists of gels for the lower regions, which cool or heat up, vibrators, costumes, it is a complete range which references the Olympics Games,” Director General of the Hot Flowers sex shop, Lucas Bertipaglia, explained.

As Brazil heats up for the three weeks of Olympic action beginning August 5, Bertipaglia hopes to get the nation involved in the spirit of the Games.

The range includes nation-themed costumes from Germany, the United States, Greece and Asia, among others, costing between 60 and 190.40 Brazilian reais (18.40 to 58.50 U.S. dollars).

Where traditional sectors have seen low activity amid Brazil’s worst generation since the 1930s, Bertipaglia says the nation is turning its mind and money elsewhere.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

WATCH: Roll Call To Officially Nominate Donald Trump Begins


National Republicans are hoping for an orderly process on Tuesday evening as GOP convention delegates prepare to officially nominate Donald Trump as their nominee for president.

The roll call of delegates began shortly before 6 p.m. ET. Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, a close friend and adviser of Trump’s, will officially nominate him, while New York Rep. Chris Collins, the first congressman to endorse Trump, will second the motion.

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster, a more establishment Republican who surprisingly endorsed Trump ahead of the Palmetto State’s crucial primary, will also deliver a nominating speech.

The states will proceed alphabetically to cast votes for Trump, but some states are expected to pass so that Donald Trump, Jr., can officially put his father over the top from his home state of New York.

After that, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is expected to nominated for vice president by a voice vote of acclimation.

The usually orderly process was thrown into chaos on Monday afternoon when a vote on the rules governing the binding of delegates was objected to by anti-Trump forces. In a kerfuffle on the floor, their calls for a roll call vote on the rules was overruled.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Sources: Murdochs Moving To Oust Roger Ailes After Sexual Harassment Allegations

Negotiations are underway to oust Fox News Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, NPR's David Folkenflik reports.

Negotiations are underway to oust Fox News Channel Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, NPR’s David Folkenflik reports. Wesley Mann/Fox News/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Wesley Mann/Fox News/Getty Images

The Murdoch family is moving to oust the chairman of Fox News Channel after multiple women have accused him of sexual harassment, NPR’s David Folkenflik reports.

Roger Ailes is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of the news channel. Multiple sources at Fox News tell David that the Murdochs, who are controlling owners of parent company 21st Century Fox, are moving to push Ailes out of his prominent, powerful role.

21st Century Fox released this statement: “Roger is at work. The review is ongoing. The only agreement that is in place is his existing employment agreement.”

As we’ve reported, former Fox news anchor Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes for sexual harassment earlier this month. Ailes has denied the allegations.

Carlson says in the suit that she attempted to complain to Ailes about sexist treatment from her colleagues on Fox & Friends, to which Ailes replied, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago.”

She alleges that Ailes repeatedly ogled her and commented on her body and that she was punished professionally for refusing Ailes’ advances.

David describes the charges as “a textbook example of quid pro quo sexual harassment.”

Ailes denies the charges and accuses Carlson of retaliating against the end of her contract, as David reported last week. Ailes maintains that Carlson’s contract ended because of her ratings — not because she resisted his sexual overtures.

In her lawsuit, Carlson implied that other women at Fox News have been treated similarly and remained silent to protect their careers. Since her lawsuit became public, a half-dozen have come forward with similar allegations, which Ailes also denies.

New York Magazine reports that high-profile Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, too, may have been harassed and might be involved with an outside investigation into Ailes’ behavior.

“If Megyn Kelly is testifying to this outside inquiry conducted by a major New York City law firm, Paul, Weiss, and she says he sexually harassed her, I think it’s ballgame over,” David said on NPR’s Here and Now earlier Tuesday.

David has more on the major players involved in the negotiations over Ailes’ future:

“Ailes, 76, is the visionary behind the channel’s winning formula. It is an Ailesian alchemy of conservative ideology, fast-paced reporting, highly sexed and confrontational presentation of debate, patriotic fervor and grievance.

“Rupert Murdoch is the man who founded it, and he is in the slow process of transitioning the control of the parent company over to his sons. Lachlan and James serve as News Corp. co-chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox, respectively, and they have little affection for Ailes, who treated them with contempt earlier in their careers. …

“There is no clear successor to run the network once Ailes leaves. Shine, the senior programming executive, does not command the same level of respect from the Murdochs, while the former top news executive, Michael Clemente, was recently sidelined by Ailes. James Murdoch in particular is known to favor a model more like the Murdochs’ Sky News in Britain, which is lively but less openly political. And the Murdoch sons would like the company to reflect what they believe are more 21st century values.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Scientists Report The Planet Was Hotter Than Ever In The First Half Of 2016

If you think it’s been hot this year, you’re right. The latest temperature numbers from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the first six months of 2016 were the hottest on record around the planet.

Let’s look at June. Scientists took temperatures from around the world and got a June average. What they found was a world that was 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than the average June in the 20th Century. How about January? Hottest ever. Same with February, March, April and May. Every month in 2016 has been warmer than ever, at least since people started keeping reliable records — that was 1880.

How much warmer is 2016 so far? Overall, this year has been almost two degrees warmer than what people experienced in the 20th Century.

Now, you may remember, LAST year broke the record for the hottest year ever globally. Says Gavin Schmidt, climate scientist and director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies: “2016 has really has blown that out of the water.” Schmidt has calculated the chance that the rest of this year will continue on its record pace, based on the first six months. “It indicates that we have roughly a 99 percent chance of a new record in 2016,” he says.

Now, a couple of degrees warmer overall may not sound like much; it changes more than that in a day. But Schmidt points out that it’s persistent warming over decades that alters the atmosphere, the oceans, and most everything else. An average eliminates the temperature extremes and variations and renders a number that indicates a persistent trend.

So, while a temporary increase in temperature won’t affect sea level, a long-term one will. “Sea level rise is a cumulative effect of persistent warming for decade and decades and decades,” Schmidt explains, “that is warming up the interior of the ocean.” Eventually, a warmer ocean expands, just as heated water does in a kettle. A warmer ocean also causes more evaporation to rise from the surface, which leads to more rainfall in some places.

Another effect of prolonged warming is melting of sea ice in the Arctic. NASA scientists say this year it’s melted down to its lowest extent since the late 1970s. “We’ve had the lowest sea ice extent average over the first six months by a fair amount in our satellite record going back to 1979,” says Walt Meier, a NASA sea ice scientist.

Schmidt says the warming trend has been pretty steady for decades with a few wobbles now and then. Part of the reason this year was so warm was because of El Nino. El Nino is a weather pattern that arises every few years that brings extra-warm Pacific water — and air — eastward. “With the El Nino … what we had was an upwiggle on top of a long term trend,” Schmidt says.

The NASA team says El Nino’s warming influence will disappear by the end of the year. Which should mean 2017 might be a bit cooler. But they point out that the long-term underlying trend over the past several decades — and into the foreseeable future — is continued warming.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

When Police Come Near, BB Guns Look All Too Real

Twelve-year-old Mannie Thames knows a lot of kids with BB guns. He says kids have them for safety and because they’re cool.

“Sometimes people get bullied a lot, and they want to have something to protect their self,” Thames says. “And sometimes people think it’s cool, they want to shoot people for fun.”

He explains this in between bites of snacks at the after school center, Penn North Kids Safe Zone, in West Baltimore.

Replica guns that shoot BBs and other projectiles are popular with kids. But in some settings, they pose a special danger.

Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice had an air pellet gun that looked like a handgun when he was shot and killed by Cleveland police in 2014. Earlier this year, after a 150-yard chase, Baltimore police shot 14-year-old Dedric Colvin, who had a BB gun that looked like a real pistol.

That teenager survived, but it drew new attention to what can happen when kids in high crime areas carry what look like real guns.

Thames’ mother had strong words for him about guns, telling him not to play with them because they are bad for him and could get him killed.

But Thames admits that he has bought BB guns in the past.

Since he heard about the boy who was shot, however, “I’m not going to buy one never in my life no more.”

Asia Moss, a middle-schooler, says she was shot with a BB when she was younger. She says the kids who are toughest have BB guns, pocket knives or mace.

“They use it for protection, but some of them just use it to be fun and they use it to harm other people and think it’s fun,” Moss says.

BB guns have sparked discussion among parents.

Kim Shelton of East Baltimore says her son was used to playing with them. She’s tried to change that, but a few months ago she saw her 11-year-old playing on the street with a BB gun.

“I was looking outside my window,” Shelton remembers. “And I ran downstairs and I said to him, ‘Please, I don’t ever want to see you playing with guns ever again,’ because to me it looked a real gun. I was hysterical.”

Federal law requires toy guns to have a colored cap to show they’re not firearms. But BB guns, a type of air pellet gun, don’t have that requirement.

In Baltimore City it’s illegal for a minor to possess a BB gun. Still, state lawmakers are trying ban the sale of so-called “imitation firearms” altogether.

T.J. Smith of the city’s police department says you have to consider the environment: In high crime neighborhoods, officers often need to make decisions in seconds.

“When you have a realistic looking gun that is down to the T and the only thing and the only way you know that it’s different is by staring down the barrel of it, that sometimes is going to be too late,” Smith says.

He points to several arrests where police have recovered a mix of actual firearms and replica guns, and to a case where a suspect was carrying a real rifle that was pink.

“We’re not talking about young people or adults that are going out to shoot a barrel of hay on several acres of land,” he says. “We’re talking about in environments where we see crime, and where we see crime involving handguns.”

Joe Murfin, a spokesperson for Daisy — the manufacturer that made the BB gun carried by Colvin — says they come with warnings that adult supervision is required and that misuse of BB guns could cause serious injury or death.

“We also warn people not to brandish an air gun in public, that people may misunderstand what this is and it could be a crime,” Murfin says.

Still, those warnings can feel disconnected from inner city realities.

Ericka Alston, who directs youth services at the Penn North Kids Safe Zone, even bans water guns.

“In West Baltimore: absolutely not. Not here,” Alston says. “Not under my watch, because regardless if pink bubbles are coming out or green slime, kids will shoot to kill. It’s still a gun.”

She says it’s also another way to teach kids that guns — whether they’re real or not — and gun violence don’t have to be part of their communities.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)