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Research group finds 2-headed turtle 

The University of Central Florida’s Marine Turtle Research Group found a two-headed turtle in Brevard County during its research Thursday.

>> Read more trending news 

The group excavates nests three days after the turtles hatch to determine how many eggs were laid and how many hatchlings emerged. 

Any straggler turtles are safely released into the ocean.

Read: Rare shark has even rarer two-headed offspring

During its latest research, the group found a two-headed loggerhead turtle.

Researchers said the turtle appeared to be healthy and energetic, and was released into the ocean, but not before a member of the group snapped a few photos.

Kate Mansfield, an assistant professor and lab director with the group, said her crew found a two-headed turtle on the same beach a year or two ago. She said the finding is rare, but not unheard of. 

Read: Rare two-headed python hatches, survives

Boy and cow snuggle at fair in viral photo that the internet is loving

A father captured a picture of his son snuggled up with their cow, and, of course, internet users found it prize-worthy. 

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: LOOK: Child creates a superhero you didn’t know you needed

Mitchell Miner, 15, of Iowa, and his cow, Audri, had a long day at the Iowa State Fair after competing in the youth cattle show Sunday. So, the best friends decided to take a nap. 

>> See the photo here

“I was asleep. I think she was, too,” Miner told the Des Moines Register on Monday. 

While the duo didn’t win the cattle show, they did win the internet’s heart. 

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: WATCH: Man builds cat-tastic maze for his furry friends

The picture on Facebook had over 26,000 likes and 3,096 shares as of Wednesday morning; it’s since been taken down or its privacy settings have been changed.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

While the bond between the teen and heifer is evident, unfortunately, they are just hanging out for the summer

>> Read more trending news

The cow will be sent back to a dairy farm in Blairstown later this fall, according to the Des Moines Register

Read more at the Des Moines Register

Need relief from chronic pain? Marijuana may not help after all, studies say

When it comes to treating chronic pain or post-traumatic stress disorder, an increasing number of people are turning to marijuana for relief. However, those efforts may be in vain, because new research has found little evidence to support its effectiveness.

>> Read more trending news

A group of scientists from the Veterans Health Administration recently completed two meta studies, which were both published in Annals of Internal Medicine, to determine the usefulness of the drug. To do so, they reviewed data that linked the use of cannabis with chronic pain and PTSD alleviation. 

First, they reviewed 27 pain trials that examined the use of the plant as a remedy. They concluded that there was “insufficient evidence” to prove its effectiveness for symptoms related to illnesses, including cancer and multiple sclerosis. They did, however, see some improvement for those with neuropathic pain. 

“We found low-strength evidence that cannabis preparations with precisely defined THC–cannabidiol content may alleviate neuropathic pain, but insufficient evidence in populations with other types of pain. Most studies are small, many have methodological flaws, and the long-term effects are unclear given the brief follow-up of most studies,” the report said. 

In fact, they had sufficient evidence linking marijuana use with an increased risk of car accidents, psychotic symptoms and short-term cognitive impairment. 

The researchers next took a look at five studies and reviews that assessed cannabis use for treating PTSD. They found that the evidence here was also lacking. One portion of a study even showed that symptoms worsened for veterans who used the drug during the assessment. 

»RELATED: Veteran allowed to keep ducks that help with PTSD

“Overall, we found insufficient evidence regarding the benefits and harms of plant-based cannabis preparations for patients with PTSD. The body of literature currently available is limited by small sample sizes, lack of adjustment for important potential confounders, cross-sectional study designs, and a paucity of studies with non–cannabis-using control groups,” the study said. 

Currently, medical marijuana is legal in 28 states and Washington D.C., and up to 80 percent of people who request it say they use it for pain management. However, the latest research suggests there isn’t enough proof that it works. 

“The current studies highlight the real and urgent need for high-quality clinical trials in both of these areas,” Dr. Sachin Patel, a psychiatry researcher at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told Reuters

“If cannabis is being considered for medical use,” she continued, "it should certainly be after all well-established treatments have failed.” 

»RELATED: Here’s what happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep 

DJ charged with stealing cash from wedding cards

A Pennsylvania DJ is facing charges after a bride accused him of stealing cards containing cash during her wedding. 

>> Read more trending news

Edward McCarty, 38, of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, is charged with theft and related charges, according to TribLive.

Ashley Karasek said she only had 12 wedding cards in a collection box the morning after her July 29 wedding, which was attended by 120 people. She said McCarty was in possession of the collection box most of the evening.

In an affidavit, police said McCarty confessed to stealing a total of $600 because of “financial struggles.”

Karasek is now in the process of contacting guests who attended her wedding to ask how much they gifted her and the groom in the cards.

Read more at TribLive.

 

Dad walks son to first day of kindergarten, college in heartwarming viral photos

Two touching photos of a father and son are tugging at heartstrings across the internet.

>> See the photos here

One photo shared by 17-year-old Charles Brockman III shows him and his father walking side-by-side on the first day of kindergarten. The next photo shows the pair walking side-by-side as his dad moves him into his college dorm room.

>> On HotTopics.TV: Father and son graduate together, plan to continue their educations 

“From the first day of kindergarten to college move in. Thank you dad,” Brockman wrote when sharing the photo on Twitter.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

According to the Dallas Morning News, Brockman graduated from Plano Senior High School in Texas in June. He’s now running track for Mississippi State University.

>> Read more trending news

“It hasn’t hit me yet because they’re still here, but I know it will hit me soon,” Brockman told the newspaper. “I’m happy they raised me to be who I am. But I know I got growing up to do.”

Mom shares heartbreaking photo after daughter dies from heroin overdose

The American opioid epidemic claimed another victim Monday

>> Watch the news report here

The mother of 22-year-old Elaina Towery shared a gut-wrenching photograph of her clutching her daughter just moments before she was taken off life support at a Detroit hospital.

>> See the photo here

Elaina reportedly died due to an overdose of heroin laced with fentanyl. She fell into a coma on Thursday.

Cheryl Towery, 49, told WJBK that her daughter had been battling addiction for seven years.

“She’s my only daughter, my best friend,” Cheryl said. “She was supposed to start her new job today; now she’s on life support.”

>> Doctor saves woman overdosing on flight

She told WJBK that her daughter and a friend had stopped at a Detroit Burger King last week. Elaina went inside to use the restroom. After about 20 to 25 minutes, her friend thought it was odd that she had not returned. Shortly afterward, a Burger King employee found Elaina unconscious on the bathroom floor.

Only moments earlier, Cheryl said, she had received a text message saying her daughter would be home soon.

“By 6 p.m., 6:30, 7, I finally got a message on Facebook,” Cheryl said.

>> How heroin changes our brains and more things to know about the drug

She said her daughter had gone into cardiac arrest.

Elaina had survived five previous overdoses and visits to five different treatment centers, Cheryl said.

“I wasn’t prepared for what I saw in the emergency room,” Cheryl said. “Because that’s the worst I’ve ever seen her.”

She said her daughter’s addiction began in 2010, when she started to abuse prescription drugs to deal with an abusive boyfriend. That boyfriend, who was convicted of domestic abuse and other crimes, is also the father of Elaina’s 5-year-old son, Christopher. She gave up her son due to her addiction, Cheryl said.

Cheryl believes Elaina giving up her baby contributed to her addiction problems. She was also working as a prostitute, Cheryl told WJBK.

“[She was] beat up, being pimped out, being kept in a hotel room on heroin,” Cheryl said.

>> Read more trending news

Cheryl said she made the decision remove Elaina from life support on Monday after it became clear that her daughter's vital organs were failing and that there was no brain activity.

“I’m going to fight for the rest of my life to make sure the people down here on the street selling this to people need to be locked up,” she said.

Read more here.

Report: Aetna in talks with Apple to provide Apple watches to millions of customers

A partnership between Apple and Aetna could bring Apple watches to the insurance company’s more than 20 million customers, according to a report. 

>> Read more trending news 

The two companies held private meetings Thursday and Friday in southern California to discuss options for such a move, CNBC reported, citing unnamed sources.Aetna already offers an Apple Watch to its 50,000 employees as part of its corporate wellness program and to individuals with Aetna plans under “select large employers.”

According to CNBC, Aetna is negotiating with Apple to try to provide a plan in which its 23 million members could receive an Apple watch for free or at a discounted price.

The perk would benefit both Aetna, which has increased efforts to get its members more health-conscious, and Apple, which has begun to promote health and fitness-tracking as a primary use for the Apple watch.

Apple, which reportedly surpassed Fitbit as the top-selling wearable fitness tracker, may have plans to develop its watch to better cater to wearers with chronic diseases, making the gadget even more desirable and multifunctioning, CNBC reported.

An unnamed source told CNBC that Aetna is pushing to have the plan developed by early next year.

Read more at CNBC.

More than 900 active hate groups in the U.S., report says

There are hundreds of hate groups across the country, according to a new report that monitors hate groups and extremists in the U.S. 

>> Read more trending news

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are nearly 1,000 active hate groups in the country. 

The SPLC's report features a map detailing more than 900 hate groups actively operating in the U.S. 

Here are the states with the highest and lowest numbers of hate groups, according to the SPLC: 

Highest

  • California - 79
  • Florida - 63
  • Texas - 55
  • New York - 47
  • Virginia - 42

Lowest

  • Wyoming - 2
  • New Mexico - 2
  • Vermont - 1
  • North Dakota - 1
  • Rhode Island - 1

The report says in 2016, there were 130 Ku Klux Klan groups and 193 black separatist groups active nationwide.

In 2011, the groups peaked at more than 1,000 active hate groups before decreasing to 784 in 2014. Last year's 917 was part of an increase.

The SPLC says the list was compiled using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports. Groups that appear in the center of states represent statewide groups.

Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.

This report comes after Heather Heyer, 32, was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia, while counter-protesting during a “Unite the Right” rally organized by white supremacist groups.

James Alex Fields Jr., 20, is charged with second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and one count related to leaving the scene of where he is accused of plowing into the counterprotesters

Here's why you might want to stop using smiley faces in emails

Think you’re being nice when you add a smiley face to the end of your email? According to one study, you could be conveying something else. 

>> Read more trending news 

The new study, titled the “The Dark Side of a Smiley,” examines the “effects of smiling emoticons on virtual first impressions.”

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel found that, contrary to popular belief, virtual smiley faces are not a suitable replacement for an in-person smile.

In fact, “smileys do not increase perceptions of warmth and actually decrease perceptions of competence,” the researchers found. 

The study, which involved 549 participants from 29 countries, tested three experiments to gather findings. 

One experiment revealed that when the gender of the email sender was unknown, recipients assumed it was a woman if the sender used a smiley face. This finding did not correlate with participants’ conclusions with friendliness or competence.

Another experiment found that not only do recipients of professional emails with smiley faces generally view senders as less competent, they’re also less willing to share important information with the sender. When considering two emails that are exactly the same with the only difference being that one includes a smiley face, the one without the emoticon is more commonly effective.

“The study ... found that when the participants were asked to respond to emails on formal matters, their answers were more detailed and they included more content-related information when the email did not include a smiley,” said Dr. Ella Glikson, a post-doctorate fellow at the BGU Department of Management, Guilford Glazer Faculty of Business and Management. “We found that the perceptions of low competence if a smiley is included in turn undermined information sharing.”

Although using smiley faces in professional emails could hinder communication in the workplace with new or unknown contacts and coworkers, the practice is more acceptable and less harmful when used with workplace buddies.

“People tend to assume that a smiley is a virtual smile, but the findings of this study show that in the case of the workplace, at least as far as initial ‘encounters’ are concerned, this is incorrect,” Glikson said.  “For now, at least, a smiley can only replace a smile when you already know the other person. In initial interactions, it is better to avoid using smileys, regardless of age or gender.”

The concise conclusion? 

“In formal business emails, a smiley is not a smile,” Glikson said.

WATCH: Church holds service themed after 2 Chainz’s Pink Trap House

Atlanta’s most talked-about temporary landmark just made its way back into the spotlight — on the sanctuary stage of the dReam Center Church of Atlanta, that is.

>> 2 Chainz creates Atlanta's latest landmark

In an effort to “Make the Church Relevant Again,” church leaders took a marketing tip from Atlanta-based hip-hop star 2 Chainz himself and decorated their sanctuary with a miniature Pink Trap House, a pink stove and a pink toy car.

>> 2 Chainz forced to postpone tour after injury

The church shared its one-of-a-kind service led by Bishop William Murphy on Facebook Live and as of Monday morning, the post has garnered nearly 30,000 views.

>> Watch the clip here

Viewers and attendees alike lauded Bishop’s and the dReam Center Church’s unique way of attracting the youth for its Sunday service.

And 2 Chainz himself took to Instagram to praise the service, writing, “I think it’s dope to be used by God in different ways.”

>> See the post here

2 Chainz’ Pink Trap House, a flipped home at 1530 Howell Mill painted pink to mimic his album’s cover art, was a hot Instagram spot last month.

>> 2 Chainz Pink Trap House offers free HIV testing

The artist, currently performing in a pink wheelchair after breaking his leg on tour, initially used the venue to host a listening party to promote his project with actress and writer Issa Rae, “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music.” 

>> On AJC.com: Atlanta's newest landmark takes social media by storm thanks to 2 Chainz

But the house was also used as a site for free HIV testing and for a “Trap Church” event hosted by Street Groomers, a neighborhood watch group and local faith leaders such as Michael Wortham, minister of young adults at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

>> Read more trending news

While the Pink Trap House lease was up July 7, it seems marketing genius 2 Chainz is still making an impact around town.

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