The pepper shaker on your restaurant table is really gross

Gwen Ihnat, The Takeout

Sure, nearly everything is a gross, germy wasteland. Like when you go to the corner diner, you can pray that the laminated menus have been wiped off recently, but who really knows? As Reader’s Digest points out, your troubles don’t end there. Many of those attractive adds on your table—sugar, ketchup, butter packets—may also be swarming with germs. Especially… the pepper shaker.

 According to a 2010 study by ABC News, the pepper shaker came in second as the most disgusting thing on your table, with a bacterial count of 11,800 organisms—which I guess sounds like a lot? (It doesn’t beat menus, which according to this study is 10 times germier.) Jonas Sickler, director of operations at, explains to Reader’s Digest: “Most salt and pepper shakers are only wiped down if they appear dirty, and even then, only with a damp cloth that bussers keep in their pockets… While some restaurants collect, refill, and wipe down shakers, they are rarely properly emptied and sanitized.”

Lot18 Debuts New ‘Elvis’ Wine in Celebration of the Icon’s 50th Anniversary Comeback TV Special

Wine Industry Advisor

LOS ANGELES, California (December 3, 2018) – Winemaker Lot18 has teamed up with Elvis Presley Enterprises LLC, to produce a limited-edition Cabernet Sauvignon to celebrate the iconic singer and the 50th anniversary of his legendary ‘68 Comeback Special. After not performing for over seven years, Elvis took the nation by storm on the night of December 3, 1968, thrilling audiences and reclaiming his throne as the “King of Rock n Roll” in a single night.

This limited-edition wine launches just in time for the holidays and makes a great gift for fans of the famed cultural icon, memorabilia collectors and

anyone who simply enjoys a good bottle of wine.


Woman Uses Neti Pot, Ends Up With Brain-Eating Amoeba

She used filtered tap water
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2018 6:55 PM CST

(NEWSER) – Dr. Charles Cobbs, a neurosurgeon in Seattle, thought the woman had a brain tumor. A CT scan had revealed a 1.5-centimeter lesion and the 69-year-old had a history of cancer. But when Cobbs operated, he discovered something much more disturbing. “It was just dead brain tissue,” he tells Live Science. He took a sample and sent it for analysis. What did they find? “There were these amoebas all over the place just eating brain cells,” Cobbs tells the Seattle Times. “We didn’t have any clue what was going on, but when we got the actual tissue, we could see it was the amoeba.” The CDC rushed a brand-new drug to doctors in an effort to save the woman, but she died from the infection. Later, the CDC determined that the infection was cause by the “brain-eating” amoeba B. mandrillaris.


After Ultimatum, Kevin Hart Is Out as Oscar Host

He apologizes for homophobic tweets
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

(NEWSER) – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ended up looking for a new host for the 91st Academy Awards less than 36 hours after naming Kevin Hart for the slot. The comedian, who had faced a major backlash over homophobic tweets from 2011 and earlier, announced Thursday night that he would no longer be doing the job he had described as the “opportunity of a lifetime,” TMZ reports. “I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists,” he said

Good News – Dads host ‘Little Wheels Big Hearts’ toy drive

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) – A Memphis father joined a national group of dads hosting a Hot Wheels toy drive.

Using Twitter, the fathers created an online parenting community.

Calling themselves #PatFrat, the guys organized a charitable initiative with family, friends, schools and local businesses to collect Hot Wheels for their “Little Wheels, Big Hearts” campaign.

“This is what #LittleWheelsBigHearts is all about,” said Dale Grant, a dad known by his Twitter handle @TwinzerDad. “People coming together to spread love and kindness.”


Good News -South Jersey Man Perfectly Recreates ‘Christmas Vacation’ Light Display To Benefit Toys For Tots

MICKLETON, N.J. (CBS) — One South Jersey man has a Christmas light display that would give Clark Griswold a run for his money — and it’s all for a terrific cause. Steve Harbuagh normally goes all out for Christmas, but this year, he decided to take things a step further.

This holiday season, Harbaugh flawlessly recreated the iconic “Christmas Vacation” light display. Nearly every inch of his Mickleton house is covered in lights. Clark is dangling from the gutter and Eddie is draining his RV’s septic tank — his arm even moves up and down.

Despite the 7,500 bulbs and 300 strands of lights, it’s that RV that Harbaugh wants to be the focus.

He plans on filling the entire thing with toy donations, which will all be given to Toys For Tots.

So far, so good. Harbaugh says he had over 200 donations Thursday night alone as passerby appreciated his hard work.


South Jersey Man Perfectly Recreates ‘Christmas Vacation’ Light Display To Benefit Toys For Tots

Good News – Edgewater firefighter donates kidney to save stranger

By Casmira Harrison

NEW SMYRNA BEACH — When Edgewater firefighter Lt. David Blair hopped a flight to Durham, North Carolina, to literally give a piece of himself — his kidney — it was to save someone he’d never met.

The morning of Nov. 15, surgeons at Duke University Hospital removed one of the 41-year-old’s kidneys while another surgical team prepped 33-year-old Heidi Hughes to receive it.

The surgery went well and now Blair, who is now back home and moving a bit slower, but recovering well in Florida, said he hears the question, “Why?” a lot lately.

“Why would I donate a kidney to someone, especially a stranger? Honestly, it’s my faith,” said Blair, standing in front of Atlantic Coast Church in New Smyrna Beach. “It’s always been taught to me, you love one another, no matter if they’re a stranger, friend, family or not. It’s an act of helping somebody else out.”

Blair said he feels fine, albeit a little sore, but he expects to get back to normal soon. He said his co-workers at the fire department have been extremely supportive of his decision. His family has, too.


Candidate Misses Vote, Vote Ends Up Tied

If only he’d voted early
By Newser Editors and Wire Services

(NEWSER) – A first-time political candidate in northeast Arkansas has learned a valuable civics lesson: vote early. Cliff Farmer didn’t make it to the polls in time to vote Tuesday, and his race for a Hoxie City Council seat ended up as a tie, the AP reports. The Jonesboro Sun reports Farmer and his wife were returning from a Florida vacation on Tuesday when their plane landed only an hour before polls closed. The plane landed in Memphis, Tennessee, which is 80 miles from Hoxie.


Powerful storm to crawl across southern U.S., bringing snow, rain

USA Today –

After dumping heavy rain on Southern California, causing floods and mudslides, a potent, slow-moving storm will move east and intensify on Friday. The National Weather Service said that accumulating snow and ice is likely from eastern New Mexico to western Oklahoma on Friday with snow totals of 4 to 8 inches. The Weather Channel warned that these ice accumulations could cause extensive power outages and tree damage. The storm could also cause flight delays and cancellations at several major airports. Further to the south, very heavy rainfall and flooding will be a big threat with this storm, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Ryan Adamson. The heaviest rain and flood threat Friday will be across southern Texas, where up to 10 inches of rain could swamp the flood-prone Houston area. A few tornadoes could also spin up in southern Texas.


Mind reading BREAKTHROUGH: Scientists can now ‘see thoughts of RATS using brain map’

MIND reading could be one step closer to reality as scientists have worked out they can see the thoughts of rats and predict their actions.

By Henry Holliday, The Daily Star

Researchers have revealed they can tell exactly what rats are thinking by observing the activity in their brains.

Scientists observed the hippocampus – the heart of the organ – and were able to determine the rat’s thoughts and actions.

Jozsef Csicsvari, co-author of the study published in the journal Neuron, revealed they have created a “brain map” for the rats.

And this allows them to match up neural activity to the actions of the rat – and therefore predict the rodent’s actions.