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GQ magazine calls Bible 'foolish,' lists it among books 'you don't have to read'

The Bible’s been around for centuries, but GQ magazine is like, eh? What’s so great about it? 

>> Rev. Billy Graham chose John 14:6 to be placed on his grave marker

The Good Book makes the mag’s list of “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.” While allowing “there are some good parts,” the post calls the Bible “repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish and even at times ill-intentioned.”

Instead, GQ suggests, how about “The Notebook" by Agota Kristof? It’s billed as “a marvelous tale of two brothers who have to get along when things get rough.”

>> Read more trending news 

The Bible finds itself in the company of works by J.D. Salinger, Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway on the list of books that GQ is just not that into. “Catcher in the Rye” is dinged as being “without any literary merit whatsoever.” “Huckleberry Finn” is tedious, meandering and hamfisted, GQ says. Hemingway’s sentences? Too short. Even Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” makes the roster of books to skip.

Here’s the entire list, which includes contributions by various writers.

Lemon-glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts available for one week only

Krispy Kreme is offering its signature doughnuts with lemon glaze, but only for a week.

Participating shops of the doughnut chain are offering the flavor from April 23 to April 29. The glaze was one of four options customers could vote for. The others, Food and Wine reported, were caramel, maple and blueberry.

>> Read more trending news 

According to a news release, the #VoteForGlaze campaign pulled in nearly 2 million votes. Maple had 18 percent of the vote, while blueberry had 20 percent and caramel was second with had 26 percent.

Depending on the success of the limited run, Krispy Kreme could sell the lemon-glazed doughnuts seasonally, Food and Wine reported.

“Experimenting with the many flavor profiles lemon presents to create an all-new lemon glaze was a fun, but serious culinary challenge,” Jackie Woodward, Krispy Kreme’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “There has been so much anticipation and zest for the new Lemon Glaze Doughnut, we can’t wait to share the joy with our fans!”

Customers can find out if the Lemon Glaze Doughnut is available at a Krispy Kreme near them at KrispyKreme.com.

‘Safety alert’ Facebook post an example of good intentions gone awry

In the age of social media alerts, viral Facebook posts and public shaming, something occurred in our own backyards last week that can serve as an example to everyone: What you see on social media rarely tells the entire story. Take it with a grain of salt.

I first saw this Facebook post Thursday afternoon in a group for Wellington moms.

“SAFETY ALERT!!!” it began. “Ladies, my husband just had a panicked woman with a small child walk into his RPB (Royal Palm Beach) restaurant to tell him the man who walked in behind her followed her from the Buy Buy Baby parking lot. He was watching her and didn’t order anything for a while until he noticed people watching him. He continued to order a (to-go order) and then sat one table away from the woman. The police were called and asked the man to leave. They told my husband that there have been several attempted child abductions in the area of Wellington and Lake Worth lately. They are targeting women who are by themselves with their kids and then kidnapping their children! Please, please be vigilant especially when you are by yourself! If you feel uneasy, it’s probably for a reason! Make a scene and ask for forgiveness later bc it’s better to be safe than sorry!! Stay safe everyone!!”

I’m not a mom yet but I am a mom-to-be, and this had me shaken. Not just as a woman but as a woman who has been assaulted, I felt for this mother concerned for her child in a place where we should be safe: a local restaurant.

My first instinct as a reporter was to reach out to the woman who made the post. She replied politely and said her husband would be in touch with me soon. She also confirmed the restaurant: Bolay.

Then I contacted the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office to ask about the post’s claim of an increase in kidnapping attempts in our area. The response surprised me.

>> Read more trending news 

The PBSO districts that include Royal Palm Beach and unincorporated Wellington and Lake Worth did not report increased kidnapping attempts or reports of suspicious people, a spokeswoman said.

I paused. Should I continue pursuing the story? I decided to wait until I heard from the restaurant’s manager.

Meanwhile, the post had been shared thousands of times. Hundreds of people reacted. And in that time, Brian Pollack saw the post.

Pollack, 33, grew up in Wellington and recently moved to Loxahatchee. He has been married for 10 years and has two sons aged 8 and 6. He has coached baseball at the Willows in Royal Palm Beach for six years, and he’s a captain with Delray Beach Fire Rescue.

He also happens to be the man referred to in the post.

“When I read the post I thought, let me just head this off,” Pollack said. “I mean, what are the odds that this is the same situation?”

So he took to Facebook himself, typing out his side of what happened last Thursday at the Royal Palm Beach Bolay.

Pollack drove to the restaurant down State Road 7 from his unit at CubeSmart Self Storage on Belvedere Road, around the corner from the Buy Buy Baby plaza. He went to Bolay to get lunch for himself and dinner for his wife and sons. It was his first time ordering there. When he arrived, he said he sat inside for awhile before placing his to-go order because his wife had not yet replied with her order. After the food was ready, he ate his meal before leaving to pick up his sons from school.

As he left the restaurant, Pollack said he was stopped by two PBSO deputies who pulled him aside and asked him what was going on. The deputies did not ask Pollack for identification and did not take down his name, Pollack said. He explained he was picking up dinner.

“They did it properly,” he told me. “They pulled me to the side and said, ‘What happened?’ They raised no concern of me doing anything.”

The deputies did not file a report on the incident. According to dispatch logs, a woman in a gray tank top with a child told the Bolay manager that a man with a green T-shirt and black shorts was following her. When deputies arrived, they talked with the man — Pollack, whose name is not mentioned in the log. The “event comment” says the subject come to Bolay to eat and never made contact with the woman at any time.

Pollack said in writing his responses to the many Facebook posts, he thought about one thing: What would happen if someone had taken a photo of him and sent it to his chief at Delray Fire Rescue?

“I told some of my friends about it and they said, ‘That was you? Oh my God, we were talking about that for a few days,’” Pollack said.

He’s not upset with the woman who was concerned and reported him to Bolay employees. As a first responder, Pollack said he understands what she did in reaching out for help, and he’s glad she did so.

“I can’t fault the woman who feels scared,” he said. “I’m a father of two. But I can fault the person who’s spreading erroneous information.”

I once again contacted the woman who originally posted on Facebook. She and her husband declined to comment for this article. I have not been able to find the woman who thought Pollack was following her.

Pollack said he plans to reach out to Bolay to hopefully clear up any confusion. The original post since has been deleted, but copies remain on Facebook.

“This is where these groups are great, because you share this information immediately,” Pollack said. “But what are we sharing, and at what expense?”

'Tick explosion' coming this summer, expert warns

Now that summer is just around the corner, experts are warning that ticks will be coming back in full force.

>> Watch the news report here

One tick expert in New England told Boston's WFXT that the warmer weather will cause what he called a "tick explosion."

The tiny, pesky and possibly harmful arachnids are about to spring into action, and everyone should be extra vigilant.

>> Tick spreading in the US gives people meat allergies

"They're up and looking for a host hoping something will walk by that they can latch on," said Dr. Thomas Mather, aka "The Tick Guy."

Mather said this season is prime for ticks, and his website, tickencounter.org, shows the type to watch out for in New England this season is the deer tick because it spreads Lyme disease.

"It's very important because around here it's the worst for Lyme disease more than anywhere else in the nation," Mather said.

The website also lists high tick activity in most of the eastern United States, as well as the Midwest, Plains states and West Coast. Deer ticks are the most prevalent species in the Northeast and Midwest, while Lone Star ticks dominate in the Southeast and much of the Central U.S. Wood ticks are more common in the Mountain region, and Pacific Coast ticks are prevalent on the West Coast, the site said. Learn more here.

>> Rare tick-borne illness worries some medical professionals

Stephen Novick of Boston-based FlyFoe said his business is extremely busy since the ticks never really went away.

"We had a mild winter, didn’t freeze too much, and because of that, the animal populations were active longer, and that enabled the tick populations to be active," he said.

Deer, chipmunks and rodents all carry ticks. Spraying is one way to keep ticks out of your yard.

You may even opt for a garlic-based, organic repellent or a store-bought pesticide.

"The pesticide is the lowest rated by the EPA, so it’s also super safe," Novick said.

The pesticide is used for flea and tick collars for pets. 

>> Read more trending news 

Spraying has to be done once a month to keep ticks at bay, but for many it's the best alternative as it provides peace of mind.

Ticks usually hide in tall grass, so if you go hiking or walking in the woods, make sure to wear long-sleeve shirts and pants or get tick repellent clothing, use bug spray and always check yourself for ticks after being outdoors.

Checking for ticks is always important because if you happen to have been bitten, the quicker you remove the tick, the less likely it is that it will transmit any diseases.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Study: Even mild head injuries increase risk of Parkinson's disease

Even mild head injuries dramatically increase an individual's risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a new large-scale study on veterans.

>> Read more trending news

The new research, published this month in the academic journal Neurology, looked at data collected from 325,870 former members of the U.S. military ranging from 31 to 65 years of age. Researchers discovered that individuals who experienced a concussion at some point during their lives were 56 percent more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those who had never been knocked out, had not experienced an altered state of consciousness or had not had amnesia for up to 24 hours.

More severe brain trauma made the risk of contracting the disease later in life even more likely. Veterans with a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury saw an 83 percent increased risk.

"This is not the first study to show that even mild traumatic brain injury increases the risk for Parkinson's disease. But we were able to study every single veteran across the U.S. who had been diagnosed at a Veterans Affairs hospital, so this is the highest level of evidence we have so far that this association is real," Dr. Raquel Gardner, the study's lead author, who works for the San Francisco Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, told Reuters.

Kristine Yaffe, another author of the study from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the VA, said that most of the former soldiers who were diagnosed with Parkinson's actually got their head injuries during civilian life.

"While the participants had all served in the active military, many if not most of the traumatic brain injuries had been acquired during civilian life," she explained. 

But overall, the number of veterans who were diagnosed with Parkinson's was quite small. Only one in 212 veterans who had experienced a concussion developed the disease. The rate was slightly higher, at one in 134 among those who reported a more serious moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Michael Silver, an assistant professor at Emory University's Department of Neurology who was not involved in the research, called the data "robust."

"This has been a controversial issue but most studies that have looked at this have found a correlation between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the subsequent development of Parkinson's disease. This is of course a difficult topic to study since if you would like to start with a cohort of patients that have suffered TBI, you have to wait and track a subject for years," Silver said.

"With this robust VA data, specifically the fact that the system reliably codes for TBIs, we are able to put the pieces together years later," he said.

Although Silver said the study was well done and controlled for many factors, he suggested a longer follow-up on patients would have made the research more helpful.

"I would have liked a longer follow-up on the subjects since the average age was only 48, and the usual age of onset for Parkinson's disease is in the sixties," he said. "This is an intriguing study and as we gather more data going forward, can make more conclusive links between TBI and Parkinson's disease."

Parkinson's is the most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer's. Risk of the disease increases with age, from about 1 percent at age 60 to around 4 percent at 80.

Silver said that as of now, doctors don't have a way of intervening to prevent Parkinson's. He said that he recommends a "healthy diet and exercise" to patients who have experienced head trauma, as previous studies suggest this could reduce the risk of dementia (which Parkinson's can lead to).

The authors of the study have similar advice for individuals concerned about developing Parkinson's later in life. Gardner told CNN that a healthy diet, regular exercise and keeping medical conditions under control are the best ways to avoid any neurodegenerative disease.

"If anyone is worried, do a little bit better to live more healthily," she said.

Read the new study at n.neurology.org.

Photos: Royal baby born: Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, welcomes third child

The newest royal baby is here! Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, has given birth to a baby boy, Kensington Palace tweeted Monday.

Family finds their dog poisoned by methamphetamine and cocaine

A Washington family is warning others, after their boxer somehow got poisoned by meth. 

They noticed something was off with their two-year-old pup “Allie” and rushed her to the pet ER Friday

The Veterinary Specialty Center in Lynwood – where they brought Allie - says cases where pets get poisoned by pot or illicit drugs is going up. Now about 25 percent of its cases are from pets eating drugs.

>> Related: Seattle mom concerned after dog bites son on school grounds

Saturday morning, Allie was able to come home, but the Bothell family is still trying to figure out where the meth came from and how their dog got ahold of it. 

“She’s a typical boxer. Out of control all the time, happy, a clown,” said Jen O’Brien, her owner. 

Her and her fiancé’s two boxer dogs have access to a fenced-in backyard and the house during the day, but on Friday, they found Allie behaving strangely. 

“She just wasn't right,” O’Brien said. “Neurotic, moving around very weird, wouldn't eat a cookie. Very abnormal for her.” 

>> Related: Dog deemed 'unadoptable' to become first-ever deaf K-9 in Washington 

O’Brien showed KIRO7 a video of a very different Allie, tapping her foot, looking confused.

Their vet recommended they take Allie straight to the ER.

A urine analysis showed she tested positive for meth, cocaine, and amphetamines.

>> Related: Hero dog takes bullet for teenager in Des Moines home invasion

“I was very startled. I’ve never heard of a dog even ingesting that before. It made sense with the symptoms she was showing, but it was pretty scary. Very scary,” O’Brien said.

The Veterinary Specialty Center’s medical director, Karen Kline said over the phone that stimulants cause heart failure in pets, and if Allie didn’t get to the hospital she could have died. 

“They said based on her urine and color, it was a substantial amount,” O’Brien said. 

What has her scared - her dogs didn't leave the house or yard. O’Brien wonders if someone, somehow left or planted the drugs on her property. 

“I think it's very strange,” O’Brien said. “I think it needs to be out there just so people are aware.” 

“I don't want any more dogs hurt. I’m worried about having my own dogs in my own yard and that shouldn’t happen,” she said. 

Kline says she has not heard of any recent cases of people intentionally dosing dogs with drugs, though again - accidental poisonings are on the rise. 

If this case warrants it, O’Brien is offering a $1,000 reward that leads to an arrest. 

O’Brien says she is filing a police report with Bothell Police. 

Lyrid meteor shower 2018: 8 stunning photos of the celestial display

This year's Lyrid meteor shower reached its peak this weekend, and photographers flocked to social media to share some stunning snapshots of the celestial display.

See the images below:

>> MORE: Lyrid meteor shower 2018: When, where and how to watch | More trending news 

What is Earth Day? 5 things to know

Sunday is Earth Day 2018, and more than one billion people across the globe are expected to celebrate with environmentally friendly events.

But what exactly is Earth Day? Here's what you need to know:

>> Read more trending news 

1. When did Earth Day start?

The first Earth Day celebration took place 48 years ago, in 1970, after a devastating oil spill in America brought environmental issues to the forefront of public consciousness. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 22 million people across the country came out in support of environmental reform.

"That day left a permanent impact on the politics of America," Gaylord Nelson wrote in the April 1980 edition of the EPA Journal. "It forcibly thrust the issue of environmental quality and resources conservation into the political dialogue of the nation.

"It showed political and opinion leadership of the country that the people cared, that they were ready for political action, that the politicians had better get ready, too. In short, Earth Day launched the environmental decade with a bang."

Since then, celebrations have only grown. This year, organizers estimate more than one billion people in 192 countries will participate in events the world over. The day is celebrated each year on April 22.

>> Target’s Earth Day car seat recycling program offers 20 percent off new car seat, stroller

2. Is there a theme for Earth Day 2018?

This year, organizers are focusing on curbing plastic pollution.

"Our goals include ending single-use plastics, promoting alternatives to fossil fuel-based materials, promoting 100 percent recycling of plastics, corporate and government accountability and changing human behavior concerning plastics," the Earth Day Network, which partners with tens of thousands of organizations in 192 countries to organize Earth Day events, said on its website.

The organization also said it "will educate millions of people about the health and other risks associated with the use and disposal of plastics, including pollution of our oceans, water, and wildlife, and about the growing body of evidence that decomposing plastics are creating serious global problems."

Read more here.

>> Antarctica's ice retreating 5 times faster than normal, study reveals

3. How are people celebrating?

In Tokyo, thousands of people will attend beach cleanups, concerts, art exhibits, classes and other events coordinated by the Green Room Festival, according to the Earth Day Network. In India's Karnataka state, a "no plastic" event will feature workshops led by "organizations that are champions of environmental sustainability in fields including electric vehicles, solar power and zero-waste living," the network said. Cleanups also were scheduled in Palm Beach, Florida; New York; New Jersey and other locations across the United States and worldwide.

Read more here.

4. What are businesses doing?

Google marked Earth Day with a "video doodle" featuring primatologist Jane Goodall. 

>> Click here to watch

“It is so important in the world today that we feel hopeful and do our part to protect life on Earth," Goodall said. "I am hopeful that this Earth Day Google Doodle will live as a reminder for people across the globe that there is still so much in the world worth fighting for. So much that is beautiful, so many wonderful people working to reverse the harm, to help protect species and their environments. And there are so, so many young people, like those in JGI’s Roots & Shoots program, dedicated to making this a better world. With all of us working together, I am hopeful that it is not too late to turn things around, if we all do our part for this beautiful planet.”

Read more about the doodle here.

Apple also joined in on the celebrations, announcing on April 19 that "for every device received at Apple stores and apple.com through the Apple GiveBack program from now through April 30, the company will make a donation to the nonprofit Conservation International."

In addition, Apple "debuted Daisy, a robot that can more efficiently disassemble iPhone to recover valuable materials," according to a company press release.

“At Apple, we’re constantly working toward smart solutions to address climate change and conserve our planet’s precious resources,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social Initiatives, said in a statement. “In recognition of Earth Day, we are making it as simple as possible for our customers to recycle devices and do something good for the planet through Apple GiveBack. We’re also thrilled to introduce Daisy to the world, as she represents what’s possible when innovation and conservation meet.”

Read more here.

>> Tips for celebrating the 20th anniversary of Disney's Animal Kingdom

5. How can I get involved?

There are multiple ways to get into the Earth Day spirit, from participating in a local event to changing your bills from paper to paperless. Here are some suggestions from the Earth Day Network:

  • Urge your local elected officials or businesses to make a substantial tree planting commitment by starting a letter-writing campaign or online petition.

  • Lead a recycling drive to collect as much plastic, metal, and glass as possible.

  • Pick up trash at a local park or beach.

  • Set up a screening of an environmentally themed movie. Consider supplementing the screening with a speaker who can lead a Q&A following the film.

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