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A Missing Teenager Finally Returns Home… Sort Of

The mysterious case of Nicholas Barclay, who has been missing since 1994.

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Every year, children go missing all around the world. It’s a terrible and heartbreaking occurrence that happens all too often. Thankfully, sometimes the children are returned safely to their family. Other times, sadly, they are never found. This bizarre story strangely fits somewhere in the middle.

Nicholas Barclay grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He was a nice kid growing up, but as he reached his teenage years he started to act out. He would get in fights with his family, with his schoolmates, and with his teachers. In fact, in 1994 he had gotten in big enough trouble that he was due in court to address his behavior.

The night before his day in court, he went out with a few friends to play some basketball. His parents weren’t sure if they should let him go out, but they eventually allowed it. It ended up being a decision they would regret for the rest of their lives. Why? Because it was the last time they ever saw Nicholas. Kind of.

After he never came home, his parents started to worry that maybe he had run away because he didn’t want to go to court the next day. But as the days passed, they feared it was much worse. They filed a report and he was officially a missing child. They passed out fliers and did as much as they could, but neither they nor the authorities were having any luck finding even the slightest clue as to what might have happened.

It’s an impossible tragedy to deal with, but eventually, you do have to move on with your life. The sadness and despair could literally kill you if you let it. So that’s what Nicholas’ parents did. But then, in 1997, a full three years since his disappearance, they got a phone call that truly shocked them. Nicholas had been found!

They couldn’t believe it. Where was he?! Where had he been?! It turns out he was found in Spain of all places! He was found by local authorities there who had heard of Nicholas’ disappearance and recognized him. He was quickly put on a plane and sent back to America. 

When they were finally reunited with their son, they were yet again heartbroken when they heard what had happened. Nicholas claimed he was kidnapped and sold into a child sex-trafficking ring. They felt terrible for what he had been through. But they were so happy to have him back.

There was only one problem… he looked different. Specifically, his hair and eyes were a different color. Nicholas said that the men who took him had dyed his hair and actually changed his eye colors through a dangerous medical procedure. His family was happy to believe him. A private investigator by the name of Charlie Parker, however, did not.

 

He started to investigate and look at pictures of Nicholas then and now. Finally, he spotted something. The ears were all wrong. They were completely different! Parker was convinced this was not Nicholas and this man was lying. But if that was true, then who on Earth was this man?

 

It turns out he was a 23-year-old man (Nicholas would have been 16 at the time) named Frederic Bourdin. A man known by Interpol as “the Chameleon.” He was an international criminal famous for impersonating missing children! Nicholas’ family couldn’t believe it. They were yet again heartbroken. But at least Bourdin was finally caught.

 

To this day, no one knows exactly what happened to Nicholas. What a terribly sad and terribly fascinating story. I hope they find him soon!

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A UK Bar Pretends To Be A Church To Get Around Pandemic Rules

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The pandemic has made it difficult for some businesses to run, which is why this bar is getting creative by registering as a church to their customers

With everyone being in lockdown and not being able to go out, not a lot people have been able to offer up prayers to the 400 rabbit gods, and with 2020 being the hot mess that it is, a tequila joint in Nottingham, England is planning to change that and keep their business afloat, as well. 

England just got out of its second nation-wide lockdown as of December 2, and now implements a system where they have tiered restrictions. Nottingham currently sits on the highest risk, the tier 3 category, which states that businesses targeted towards hospitality will stay closed with the exception of delivery or takeout.

Church of 400 Rabbits is an Aztec-themed bar that has an extensive choice of tequila and an application to become a worship center that is currently waiting for approval from Nottingham’s registrar general.

This bar decided to mix spirits with spirituality in hopes that it can implement a loophole in the COVID-19 rules of England, which says that if you’re a church or a place of worship, groups from the same bubble or household can enter your business. 

After posting their application that will certify their bar to operate as a place of worship, Church of 400 Rabbits is now looking for devotees through their website.

People who are interested in becoming a Bunny Believer can do this for free, and with a small fee of $13, (£10), you can be ordained as a Reverend, with a t-shirt that you use as your official robes. 

James Aspell, owner of Church of 400 Rabbits isn’t too hopeful that Nottingham will consider the application, but says that it’s an attempt to show how ridiculous the tier system is and how some of the rules are contradictory.

He says that it’s difficult because the government insists on these strict rules but that there is little to no financial support. Aspell believes that even if they moved down to a tier 2, they wouldn’t be able to open without dishing out substantial meals, and adding that it’s another Scotch Egg debacle. 

For those of you that don’t know what a Scotch egg is, it’s a hard-boiled egg that is wrapped with sausage meat and breadcrumbs. After a lot of debate, it has been considered a substantial meal by Michael Gove, who came under fire when he described it as an appetizer. 

Church of 400 Rabbits isn’t the first business that tried to apply as a place of worship, as Atlantic Squash and Fitness Club also rebranded to Church of the Healthy Body to keep their gym open.

Aspell notes that the number of devotees for 400 Rabbits is multiplying rapidly, as rabbits would and has decided to donate all proceeds to a Nottingham homeless charity group. 

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Rapper Fat Joe Delivering Supplies To Puerto Rico

The response time to Puerto Rico’s disaster wasn’t exactly prompt so someone had to do something and that is exactly when Fat Joe stepped in.

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The rapper Fat Joe is a legend in the rap game. He has delivered us countless songs that are truly unforgettable and we’ve listened to his music for many years. Fat Joe is definitely beloved in the rap game and now he’s beloved for his actions for Puerto Rico as well. Fat Joe is Puerto Rican and helped out the island in a major way after it was dealt a devastating blow by Hurricane Maria. The response time to Puerto Rico’s disaster wasn’t exactly prompt so someone had to do something and that is exactly when Fat Joe stepped in.

 

The Puerto Rican rapper had to enlist the help of his friend Jay-Z and the company Tidal to try and help fundraise 200,000 pounds of supplies so that they could send a plane to Puerto Rico. He was nervous and didn’t know if he would be able to come through with the supplies that were needed in a fast enough time.

 

They decided to use Tidal to collect donations from New York and even the Governor Andrew Cuomo jumped in and began to help. Pitbull eventually jumped on board as did Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. By the end of the day what Fat Joe accomplished was truly amazing. He didn’t get 200,000 pounds for one plane, he got a million pounds on five planes. Also, he is now expected to be able to load up five more planes and send a million more. In total Fat Joe will send two million pounds of supplies to the desperate Puerto Rico.
The desperate Puerto Ricans will now get water, canned food, women’s hygienes and toothpaste all thanks to the Terror Squad rapper who decided to step to the plate and really do something.

When most people think of rappers they think of them as bad guys but Fat Joe has proved otherwise thanks to his charitable actions and helping out a desperate island in this time of need. Puerto Rico still is in need of donations so if you could take after this great man and donate some supplies to the island of Puerto Rico it would be very much appreciated by everyone, especially Fat Joe.

 

What Fat Joe was able to accomplish is truly inspiring. It really goes to show you what happens when you put your mind to something. Nothing feels better than truly helping people who are in need and no one knows that better than the amazing Fat Joe. Jay-Z is fantastic as well for agreeing to use Tidal to help collect donations and without a doubt, their actions have had a huge impact on the island and they will continue to make an impact with their charitable donations and not with their music. They’re not just legends in the industry, now they’re legends in the face of adversity.

 

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3 Ways to Help Prevent Travel Rage

Travel can be stressful, exasperating, and yes, downright enraging. Just in a one week period last year, three planes have been diverted thanks to passenger scuffles—one caused by a woman who demanded her Delta flight land after a passengers reclining seat struck her head, and another the result of the Knee Defender, a plastic bracket one man used to prevent the seat in front of him from reclining. Yes, “recliner rage” is now a thing.

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Travel can be stressful, exasperating, and yes, downright enraging. Just in a one week period last year, three planes have been diverted thanks to passenger scuffles—one caused by a woman who demanded her Delta flight land after a passengers reclining seat struck her head, and another the result of the Knee Defender, a plastic bracket one man used to prevent the seat in front of him from reclining. Yes, “recliner rage” is now a thing.

The Knee Defender is an actual product that I just had to research.  Its hilariously advertised as a way to stop “aggressive recliners.”  I’ve never heard them called that before but as a frequent traveler I’ve been a victim of these bad people before.  These little pieces of plastic has caused quite a few mix-ups in the sky.  Let’s all remember that on airplanes the consequences of your stupidity are always elevated, so let’s all try and not be so dumb.  Avoid travel rage all together and just remember to Namaste.

 

A conflict with a fellow passenger doesn’t have to lead to a total travel meltdown. To keep your calm while getting out of town for work or play, try these top tips from Gail Saltz, MD, Health‘s contributing psychology editor and author of Anatomy of a Secret Life.

Control the Rage – Don’t be a control freak

Don’t let your rage boil over and let things lay where they fall.  When you’re on the road, you’re often at the mercy of external factors—the weather, that guy who stole the last parking space. “When something goes wrong, people tend to look for solutions, thinking if they do X, they will solve Y. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case during vacations, when much less is under your control,” says Saltz. Her suggestion? Acknowledge that you can’t control everything. “You can’t do anything about the airline losing your luggage or you missing your plane, but you can channel your thoughts into the enjoyable aspects of your trip,” she says. Yes, snafus suck, but accepting that you’ve done all you can do (and thinking about your planned kayak adventure) can be a therapeutic fix.

 

 

Be a mindful traveler 

Traveling sucks, we all know it, but it doesn’t have to send you into a rage, just be prepared for the madness.  Even the most meticulously planned trip can cause some apprehension, discomfort, and stress. “The more stress you feel, the more your adrenal glands produce cortisol, and once you’re down the cascade of fight-or-flight reactions, it’s hard to turn back,” says Saltz, who recently led a Health Twitter chat on stress. If you feel flushed, angry, and irritated—some of the common signs of anxiety—stop what you’re doing, take a moment to acknowledge the stressful trigger, and focus on something calm in the present, like your child’s green eyes or a passing cloud. Being mindful of the here-and-now will help slow your spiraling anxiety about “what ifs?”.

 

 

Let it go

When things don’t go our way, we often cope with the stress by playing the blame game. “People tend to direct their anger at the pilot, the driver, the guy reclining in his seat and smashing your knees, but pointing to one person won’t fix your problems,” notes Saltz. Instead, she says, acknowledge that the system isn’t working and accept that things go wrong. Your luggage got lost? Pick up a t-shirt and focus on the vacation you’re having, rather than the dress you could have been wearing. In other words, don’t let one incident ruin the great memories you’ll have for years to come.

 

 

Photos Courtesy of Getty Images and NBC Chicago 

 

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