• Mayor Jim Ardis (Peoria City website)A police warrant shows that Peoria (Ill.) Mayor Jim Ardis asked authorities to investigate the home of a man who created a parody Twitter account in the mayor’s name.

    However, the Journal Star says that Twitter had already suspended the @Peoriamayor parody account before the raid took place and that the only thing police found on site was some marijuana.

    The alleged creator of the Twitter account, Jacob Elliott, 36, was charged with one count of marijuana possession but was not charged with any crimes related to the parody account.

    The official request for a search warrant filed with the Peoria police reads in part:

    “In addition to the creation of the @peoriamayor twitter account, Mayor Ardis discovered that the individual had created ‘tweets’ impersonating Mayor Ardis. These ‘tweets’ implied Mayor Ardis utilizes illegal drugs, associates with prostitutes, and utilized offensive inappropriate language.”

    In their investigation of Elliot’s home, police seized his laptop, iPhone, computer

    Read More »from Illinois mayor sends cops after man who created parody Twitter account
  • Johnny Di Francesco's award-winning margherita pizza (ABC News)

    Pizza may have been invented in Italy but the country’s annual competition for the world’s best slice went to an Australian chef.

    The Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza, aka Pizza World Championship, singled out chef Johnny Di Francesco for his margherita pizza. Di Francesco, owner of the 400 Gradi restaurant in Melbourne said he now plans to open a second restaurant location after his victory.

    And while his restaurant has seen a spike in business in the days following his victory, Di Francesco says he won’t raise the current prices on his signature pizza ($19.30).

    However, he also won’t be heading back to Italy next year to defend his title.

    “I’m not allowed to compete in Australia anymore, and once you win at Parma it’s not encouraged to compete again,” Di Francesco, 36, told Hospitality Magazine after his win. “They like to have winners on the panel so I think I might pursue that.”

    His victory wasn’t just over Italians. CNN reported that Di Francesco topped more than 600 chefs

    Read More »from Italy awards world’s best pizza maker title to Australian chef
  • A New York City taxi cab (New York Daily News)

    Rodolfo Sanchez, a 69-year-old cab driver, is facing multiple criminal charges after allegedly passing through New York City tollbooths more than 3,000 times without paying in a two-year period.

    NBC New York reports that if true, Sanchez may have skipped out on some $28,000 in toll penalties.

    "This type of behavior is egregiously unfair to the millions of honest motorists who pay tolls every day, and we will continue efforts to root out toll evaders and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law," MTA Bridges and Tunnels Chief of Security Donald Look said in a statement.

    So, how did the taxi driver manage to get through the Robert F. Kennedy Triborough Bridge tollgate barricades so many times before the MTA caught on? Apparently, he did so by tailgating the cars in front of him.

    The New York Daily News says Sanchez told investigators he jumped the tollbooths because he needed money for his family. Nonetheless, prosecutors have charged him with third-degree larceny, fifth-degree

    Read More »from How a NYC taxi driver allegedly dodged $28,000 in tolls
  • Lance Armstrong explains how to change a flat tire

    Bizarrely straightforward video from Outside magazine features disgraced cyclist demonstrating in a bike shop

    Not all online videos featuring unexpected celebrities are the same.

    This video from Outside magazine starring Lance Armstrong doesn't go for laughs. Instead, it's strangely practical. So much so that you might wonder if you've missed the joke.

    The disgraced cyclist, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories in 2012 and admitted to doping in 2013, appears in a tongue-in-cheek instructional clip in which he educates viewers on how to change a flat tire on a bike.

    His instructions are straightforward and pretty useful for amateur cyclists. And that's what makes the video, which went up earlier this week, so odd. It's just so... normal.

    There's one humorous allusion to rougher times, but for the most part, it's just Lance changing a tire, offering tips and getting his hands dirty, just as if he's a regular bike store employee and not one of the most infamous athletes of all time.

    How did Outside convince Armstrong to make the video?

    “We asked, he said yes — much to our

    Read More »from Lance Armstrong explains how to change a flat tire
  • Opera star entertains Paris Metro commuters

    Christophe Menager gives a comedic performance in a subway station under the City of Light

    Surprises during commutes are rarely pleasant. More often than not, they involve traffic jams, delayed trains or horrible weather that makes getting home a type of Greek odyssey.

    So, we imagine it must have been a nice treat for the Paris commuters who were lucky enough to come across opera star Christophe Menager giving a performance in a bustling Metro station.

    We don't know what Menager is singing about, but we do know that he's giving it his all. According to the person who recorded the two minutes of video, Menager "sometimes goes to the Metro to sing for the people that can't afford to go or wouldn't otherwise be interested in going to opera."

    Of course, the opera, especially as performed in subway stations, isn't for everybody. Some commuters stop to listen and interact, while others hurry past, eager to get to wherever it is they're going. Maybe the opera?

    Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

     

    Read More »from Opera star entertains Paris Metro commuters
  • FBI produces short film to warn students about spying on U.S.

    'Game of Pawns' dramatizes story of Glenn Duffie Shriver, who is serving four years in prison

    Move over, Warner Bros. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is getting into the movie business.

    OK, not exactly. But the feds did produce a short film , titled "Game of Pawns," detailing the story of Glenn Duffie Shriver, a recent American college graduate who was sentenced to four years in federal prison after he pled guilty to conspiring to give classified information to authorities in the People's Republic of China.

    After college, Shriver traveled to Shanghai in the mid-2000s. In need of money, he responded to a classified ad to write essays on American-Chinese relations.

    Things escalated. He was given more assignments (and money) and was eventually asked by Chinese officials to infiltrate the U.S. on their behalf by pursuing a career in the Central Intelligence Agency.

    Warning bells must have been going off, but Shriver continued down the road, scoring an interview at CIA headquarters. However, his nerves quickly got the better of him. After choking during a routine polygraph

    Read More »from FBI produces short film to warn students about spying on U.S.
  • We know, we know. You're sick of selfies. We're sick of selfies. Everybody's sick of selfies. We hear you loud and clear.

    But humor us, because this isn't your average, everyday, phone-held-out-at-arm's-length smiling portrait of some goober in front of the Eiffel Tower.

    Far from it. Amit Gupta used a drone to take a 15-second video selfie of two friends, himself, and their dogs from atop Bernal Hill in San Francisco.

    The footage starts with the camera-equipped drone floating a dozen or so feet away from the three men. Then, whoosh! The drone takes off, flying higher and farther from the city until the men and their mutts are mere dots on the horizon.

    All in all, it's a stunning bit of videography and evidence that the selfie isn't dead yet.

    Of course, this isn't the first time somebody has shot a selfie with a drone. The Verge offers a nice roundup of some other drone selfies (dronies?), each of them worth a look.

    Below, an explainer on how the uber-popular "Superman With a GoPro"

    Read More »from Man uses drone to take spectacular selfie atop hill in San Francisco
  • So much for getting a little R and R down south.

    A group of New Yorkers traveled to what many would consider the far less hectic Savannah, Ga., for vacation only to find themselves careening through the streets in a runaway horse-drawn carriage.

    The scene, which was captured on video, shows the horse running rampant, bumping into cars, and generally causing mayhem. The driver was thrown from her perch and broke both her ankles in the fall, according to a report from Fox News.

    The five passengers, which included three children, all escaped from the incident with relatively minor injuries, WSAV reports, despite having to jump from the carriage while it was still in motion.

    Witnesses described the surreal scene to WSAV. Nicole Miller, who was eating a cafe with her husband, saw the horse gallop by. "All of a sudden the horse and carriage trucking by us. It takes a turn and we hear a crash."

    Another witness, Aaron Senne, told WSAV, "I heard the horse coming down and said it sounds like its

    Read More »from Tourists forced to jump from runaway horse carriage in Savannah, Ga.
  • Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum welcomed Iran's foreign minister at his palace, state media agency WAM reported.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed bilateral relations and regional developments with the Sheikh, in a sign of warming ties between the nations.

    Sheikh Mohammed also received an official invitation  to visit Tehran from Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani which "he accepted and appreciated," WAM said.

    United Arab Emirates' Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (2nd R) meets with Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd L) in Dubai April 15, 2014 in this handout provided by WAM. REUTERS/WAM/Handout via Reuters (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Tags: ROYALS POLITICS) NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE


    In an interview with BBC earlier this year, Sheikh Mohammed called for easing of sanctions against Iran.

    Asked if the time is now ripe to lift sanctions against the Islamic Republic, Sheikh Mohammed said: "Iran is our neighbour and we don't want any problem."

    Zarif also met with UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.


    Iran and the UAE have longstanding trade ties but differ over several issues, including Tehran's control over three Persian Gulf islands claimed by both countries.

    With input from AP

    Read More »from Sheikh Mohammed accepts invitation to Iran
  • Montana congressional candidate Matt Rosendale swears he doesn’t have a problem with drones.

    “I actually consider myself to be very supportive of technology,” Rosendale told Yahoo News in an interview on Tuesday.

    Still, the question had to be asked after Rosendale on Monday released a new campaign ad in which he used a hunting rifle to shoot down a drone.

    The ad opens with an overhead camera angle, with the drone menacingly hovering over the state senator.

    “I’m Matt Rosendale and this is how I'd look from a government drone,” the candidate says as he’s framed dead to rights in a digital set of crosshairs.

    “And this is what I think about it,” Rosendale says as the camera cuts to him cocking and firing a rifle. The camera switches back to the drone pilot’s point of view, with text reading “SIGNAL LOST,” after the simulated gunshot impact shatters the drone’s lens.

    Rosendale, a rancher by trade, is currently running against four other Republicans in a primary contest to replace outgoing

    Read More »from Congressional candidate shoots down drone with hunting rifle in new ad

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