Pizza Shop Owner Thwarts Robbery By Tossing Pie At Suspect

GREENWOOD, Del. (AP) — The owner of a pizza shop used his available resources to fend off a robbery attempt by a man with a machete outside his store in Delaware, police said.

It happened Friday as the owner of Stargate Pizza in Greenwood was closing down his shop for the night, Delaware State Police said in a news release. The owner told troopers that a man with a machete approached him demanding money. He said he told him he didn’t have any, and threw a pizza at him, causing the machete-wielding man to flee in a car.

Troopers say the shop owner was not injured. They’re asking anyone with information to contact state police. The news release doesn’t say how the pizza was disposed of.

Better listener than reader? This app turns any text into an audiobook.

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Turn any text into an audiobook with Speechify Audio Reader.
Turn any text into an audiobook with Speechify Audio Reader.

Image: Speechify

TL;DR: Create your own audiobooks with a one-year subscription to Speechify Audio Reader for $39.99, an 89% savings as of Aug 3. 

Whether it’s because of our your lifestyle or an inability to focus, more people are listening and fewer people are reading. In 2020, 73 million Americans listen to at least one podcast every month, with 48 million listening once a week. Heck, 19% of listeners even increase the speed when listening, so they can get more information in less time. Crazy, right?

But there’s no lack of text out there. We’ve just decided we’d rather listen instead. But what if you could turn any text you wanted into an audiobook? That way, you could retain more information and save tons of time while actually reading all the books, articles, reports, and other text you’ve been meaning to. That’s what the Speechify Audio Reader app sets out to do, and for a limited time, you can get a one-year subscription at a big discount.

This app reads practically anything to you by generating human-like voices using AI technology. It can read books, documents, and articles out loud while you cook, work out, commute, or wait in line at the grocery store, ultimately saving you time, boosting your productivity, and enhancing your retention. You can upload documents, scan books, import PDFs, download from Google Drive or iCloud, and more to add your text to Speechify. Then just go about your day as you listen.

Here’s a sneak peek from the creator himself:

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Speechify is great for employees working through a stack of boring memos or reports, parents looking to keep up with their child’s reading, students forced to read the world’s most boring books, or anyone hoping to finally make it through the stack of books on their nightstand. 

Sign up for one full year of Speechify Audio Reader for just $39.99, which is 89% off its usual cost.

John Oliver takes an eye-opening look at the way U.S. history is taught in schools

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With the memory of Trump’s rescheduled June rally — originally planned on Juneteenth, an annual holiday commemorating the end of slavery — still fresh in memory, John Oliver decided to take a deeper look at the way U.S. history is taught, and specifically, the “embarrassing gaps in many people’s knowledge.”

In the monologue above, the Last Week Tonight host takes us through some troubling examples of actual school textbooks, explaining that the “impulse to downplay the horrors of slavery has marked how school children have learned about it ever since.”

In general, Oliver cites three key errors that are made in the teaching of history: not fully acknowledging white supremacy, viewing history’s progress as if it was constant and inevitable, and not connecting the dots to the present.

“Ignoring the history that you don’t like is not a victimless act,” he concludes. “And a history of America that ignores white supremacy is a white supremacist history of America.”

David Attenborough’s ‘Planet Earth’ is getting rebooted with rapper Dave and Hans Zimmer

It’s the collaboration we never knew we needed: Sir David Attenborough, British rapper Dave, and composer Hans Zimmer, all joining forces for a nature documentary special.

Planet Earth: A Celebration will use some of the many memorable moments from Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II and combine them with new narration from Attenborough and some new compositions from Zimmer. Dave will feature on the piano, playing alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra’s string section.

There’ll be no new footage, exactly, but we will be getting more rumbling goodness from Attenborough and plenty of fairly intense, dramatic music to go along with such classic scenes as the great iguana snake chase of 2016.

Following the announcement, Zimmer shared a clip from the special on Twitter.

“Working with David on so many of his magnificent programs celebrating nature and our planet has been a joy for me,” Zimmer, who composed music for the likes of Planet Earth II, Blue Planet II, and Seven Worlds, One Planet, said in a press statement. “I am constantly inspired by what he is able to capture, and the collection of sequences featured in Planet Earth: A Celebration is truly special.”

Dave, meanwhile, said he’s always been a fan of powerful natural history documentaries.

“This is a programme where nature and music come together, so it was only right that I lent my talent, my time, and my attention to this project,” he said. “It was a pleasure to work alongside Sir David Attenborough and Hans Zimmer.”

The special was confirmed by the BBC on Monday. A release date was not announced, but Deadline is reporting that the special will air on Aug. 31 on BBC America.

Try out virtual hypnotherapy for a fraction of the price with this deal

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Mark Bowden's hypnotherapy sessions are on sale.
Mark Bowden’s hypnotherapy sessions are on sale.

Image: pexels

TL;DR: As of Aug 2, you can get a lifetime subscription to clinical hypnotherapist sessions for the price of one session ($49.99) via this deal from Mark Bowden’s Hypnotherapy.

Many have been recommended hypnotherapy at one time or another. Maybe it was for your fear of public speaking or giving up sugar or quitting smoking, but likely you forgot all about it. Before you forget the idea once again, consider trying out a virtual session.

Clinical hypnotherapist Mark Bowden is offering lifetime access to audio sessions on 70 different topics for the first time ever. And you’ll get it all for the price of a single session. He produces new sessions every month, which are all based on the latest and most effective techniques designed to help people condition themselves.

In his clinical sessions, Bowden provides insight into positive thinking, productivity mastery, and plenty more. Beyond acquiring a newfound understanding, Bowden also leaves you with tips on increasing your happiness and energy, while improving your concentration alongside other personal development approaches. 

These sessions are typically worth a hefty $825, but thanks to the latest markdown, you can get access for only $49.99.

News Anchor Keeps Cool When Tooth Falls Out During Live Broadcast

A Ukrainian news anchor showed grace under pressure when she lost part of her tooth during a live broadcast.

Marichka Padalko was reading the news live on Ukraine’s TSN channel when a piece of her front tooth fell out.

Ever the pro, Padalko didn’t interrupt her broadcast or even call attention to it.

Instead, she casually put her hand in front of her mouth, grabbed the piece of tooth and continued as normal. Padalko later posted the clip on Instagram, writing in Ukrainian that the incident was “probably my most curious experience in 20 years as a presenter.”

According to a translation of her post, Padalko said she first broke the tooth 10 years ago when her daughter accidentally hit her in the mouth with a heavy metal alarm clock.

Although Padalko recently had a “radical repair” on the tooth, she said she’d forgotten to avoid hard foods until it was completely fixed.

In her Instagram post, the anchor said she appreciated the support she had received from viewers and the compliment from a co-worker who said, “You reacted as if you lost your teeth every day.”

Padalko said she was surprised by the attention her broken tooth received, but added that she “underestimated the attentiveness of our viewers.”  

Learn how to optimize your business processes from a pro for just $35

Products featured here are selected by our partners at StackCommerce.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

This bundle is taught by a veteran business analyst and includes over 600 valuable lessons.
This bundle is taught by a veteran business analyst and includes over 600 valuable lessons.

Image: pexels

TL;DR: Take a step towards becoming a business analyst with The Exclusive Business Analysis Certification Bundle for $34.99, a 97% savings as of Aug 1. 

One of the reasons it’s so difficult to explain what a business analyst does is because they do so much. These professionals wear many hats and their everyday tasks and daily activities are constantly changing. On any given day, their responsibilities range from analyzing business needs and defining business cases to project management and budgeting. These workers help boost business efficiency and improve processes, products, services, and software. It’s no wonder why they earn an average base salary that’s pretty sweet.

Whether you’re struggling to navigate your own business in this difficult timeline or looking to get an edge in the job market while businesses are seeking help, you’ll definitely benefit from this Exclusive Business Analysis Certification Bundle.

Led by Jeremy Aschenbrenner, a veteran Business Analyst with over 1,000 completed projects and an instructor rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, this bundle of courses includes 38 hours of content on everything from flowcharts and user stories to Agile frameworks and project proposals. There are eight courses total and each features video lessons with quizzes and activities for you to complete, so you can learn by doing.

Here’s a glimpse at what’s included:

The Beginner’s Guide to Process Flowcharts ($199 value): Designed for business analysis beginners, this three-hour course will teach you how to efficiently and effectively find problem areas in an organization’s processes and solve them by creating process flowcharts. You’ll learn how to utilize the free process flowchart tool Draw IO and confidently ace process flowchart interview questions as well.

Business Analysis Fundamentals ($199 value): Set yourself up for success by working through all almost nine hours of content in this foundational course. You’ll learn what a business analyst is, what they do, and how they do it, the six project management methodologies (including Waterfall and Agile frameworks), how to create a business case that aligns with business objectives, and how to use various modeling diagrams.

Agile Fundamentals 2020 ($199 value): This 4.5-hour course will not only teach you the fundamentals of Agile to help you get in an adaptive mindset, but it also will help you understand the most popular Agile frameworks: Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban.

The Advanced Guide to Process Flowcharts ($199 value) Building on the basics you learned in the beginner’s flowchart course, this 2.5-hour course will dive into advanced symbols, concepts, and best practices to diagram the most difficult business processes in flowcharts.

Identify and Define the Problem with Business Analysis ($199 value): This 3.5-hour course will help you identify business pain points, find their root causes, and create project proposals that detail the value to be gained from solving them. In other words, you’ll learn to turn problems and value propositions into approved projects.

Conduct a Strategy Analysis Using Business Analysis ($199 value): In this course, Aschenbrenner leads you through his five-step strategy analysis process. You’ll learn the techniques, tools, and skills — from defining the project to conducting a cost-benefit analysis – through the use of practical, real-world examples. 

Plan the Project as a Business Analyst ($199 value): This course will teach you how to use project management techniques to build a step-by-step project plan to save organizations time and money, as well as ensure success.

User Story Masterclass ($199 value): In this two-hour course, you’ll increase your Agile project success by effectively writing, splitting, and mapping user stories and acceptance criteria.

Regularly, this course bundle would cost you an arm and a leg (seriously, over $1,500), but you can sign up for just $34.99.

New York Man Fakes Death To Avoid Jail But Typo Gives Him Away

NEW YORK (AP) — A Long Island criminal defendant tried faking his death to avoid a jail sentence, but the phony death certificate his lawyer submitted had a glaring spelling error that made it a dead giveaway for a fraud, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Robert Berger, 25, of Huntington, New York, now faces up to four years in prison if convicted in the alleged scheme. That’s in addition to pending sentences for earlier guilty pleas to charges of possession of a stolen Lexus and attempted grand larceny of a truck — punishment prosecutors say he was looking to avoid.

“It will never cease to amaze me the lengths some people will go to to avoid being held accountable on criminal charges,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a telephone interview.

Arraigned by video Tuesday because of the coronavirus pandemic, Berger pleaded not guilty to a single count of offering a false instrument for filing. A judge set bail at $1 but ordered Berger back to jail because of his underlying cases. His next court date is scheduled for July 29.

A message seeking comment was left with a public defender who took over Berger’s case after the lawyer who submitted the suspicious death certificate claimed he’d been used as a pawn and had nothing to do with the alleged shenanigans.

Scheduled to be sentenced to a year in jail last October on the theft-related charges, Berger fled the state, while taking steps to convince his then-lawyer, prosecutors and the judge that he had killed himself — including allegedly using his fiance to pass along a bogus death certificate, prosecutors said.

At first glance, Berger’s purported death certificate looked like an official document issued by the New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry, but there was one big problem: Registry was spelled “Regsitry,” prosecutors said. There were also inconsistencies in the font type and size that raised suspicions, they said.

The real New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry confirmed that Berger’s death certificate was a fake, prosecutors said.

Berger was alive, but not entirely well. While supposedly dead, he’d been arrested in suburban Philadelphia on charges including allegations he provided a false identity to law enforcement and stole from a Catholic college. He was sentenced in January to up to a year in jail, according to Pennsylvania court records.

Berger’s case was reminiscent of one six years ago in which a former Coast Guard petty officer-turned-shoe salesman posed as a former military lawyer, soliciting clients and appearing in court. That man, Kenneth Goldstein, was outed as a fraud when he started rambling in an un-lawyerlike fashion in a Long Island courtroom.

“You’re gonna get caught,” Singas said. “We say it all the time. Crime doesn’t pay. We’ll catch up with you eventually. In this case, it’s never a good idea to submit phony documents to the district attorney. We were able to make sure that he wasn’t able to get away with it.”

Follow Michael Sisak on Twitter at

Video shows the horrendous amount of droplets we spew out when we don’t wear masks

Researchers filmed the droplets produced when people talk, sneeze, and cough. Masks blocked a significant amount of droplets from escaping into the air.

The results, recently published in the medical journal Thorax, underscore the critical importance of wearing masks amid a newly emerged pathogenic virus that spreads mostly by airborne transmission between people.

‘Serial’ team’s new podcast spotlights the anti-racist work that needs to be done

If the title of Serial Productions’ new podcast makes you uncomfortable, good. That’s the point. 

It’s emblematic of what makes Nice White Parents such a powerful, vital example of the anti-racist work white Americans need to be doing right now if we have any hope of even beginning to make good on our recent promises to support the equality of Black lives.

Nice White Parents, released on July 30, is a five-part limited series from the team that redefined podcasting back in 2014. Instead of complex true-crime cases, however, Nice White Parents puts a different criminal on trial: the white liberalism that has helped perpetuate the segregation of public schools in America for decades under the guise of progressive ideals.

The path to upholding white supremacy can be paved with good intentions, especially when it comes to unwitting white parents.

This American Life alum Chana Joffe-Walt tells the story through an on-the-ground investigation into the School for International Studies (SIS), a New York City public school that was predominantly serving students of color. That is, until a flood of white parents who couldn’t get their kids into preferred white schools instead decided to enroll them there,  causing it to become a battleground of racial tensions and inequalities. It’s a story that comes from a personal place for Joffe-Walt. She began reporting on it after shopping around for schools as a new parent herself, only to discover she was part of a larger history of white parents who have shaped our public school education system into what it is today — which is to say, a system that overwhelmingly and repeatedly fails students of color. 

On its face, the integration of white kids into an underfunded school of mostly Black and brown kids might sound like progress. In reality, the podcast reveals, the path to upholding white supremacy can be paved with good intentions, especially when it comes to unwitting white parents just trying to do what’s best for their kids.

Quickly, Nice White Parents shows that, rather than making schools better for the Black and brown families they integrate with, influxes of white families basically do the public school equivalent of gentrification. They come into underserved communities of color and capitalize on the opportunities those underprivileged communities can’t, all while promising that the wealth and resources they bring will improve life for everyone. Instead, the wealth and resources white folks bring into these public schools only displaces the underserved communities that were there before them, replacing what they built with whatever serves the needs and desires of the white families. 

For example, in the case of SIS, a white father new to the school offered to use his skills as a non-profit fundraiser to bring more donations into the school than the PTA could’ve ever dreamed of before. But what was sold as a golden opportunity for all soon leads to racial disparity and divides. He creates a fundraising group separate from the PTA, which was predominantly led by Black and brown parents. That new group of white parents then gets sole control over where those funds get allocated, putting a lot of it toward a bilingual program for French. It’s a decision that flies in the face of the needs and preferences of the PTA parents and their students of color, many of whom come from households that would benefit much more from an Arabic or Spanish language program.

Like all of Serial Production’s podcasts, from its flagship season on Adnan Syed to S-Town, Nice White Parents zooms in on the specificity of a single case only to reveal how it’s part of a larger pattern of national (if not universal) importance. It doesn’t matter if you don’t live in New York, don’t have kids, don’t attend public schools. If you’re a white American, the problems raised by Nice White Parents are your problems. Like so many other issues of race in this country, they won’t get fixed until white people do the uncomfortable work of recognizing our role in creating the problem, and consequently taking responsibility as the only people who can fix said problems.

The two episodes of Nice White Parents we received early access to expose facts I can’t believe I hadn’t known before. New York City, for example — both the symbol of America as a diverse melting pot and as a bastion of white coastal elitism — has one of the most segregated public education systems in the country. If you’re an underprivileged person of color living there, you probably already knew that. If you’re white, you probably had the privilege of not knowing or reckoning with the enormous consequences of this racial disparity. 

Joffe-Walt has been reporting on the failures of the American public school system for years. But the cutting poignancy of Nice White Parents lies in how she owns her personal role — along those of with other well-intentioned, often liberal white parents — who have perpetuated the segregation of schools for so long after the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. 

What’s happening at SIS now isn’t new, but rather history repeating itself. Back when Brown v Board of Education outlawed school segregation, a rash of white parents sent letters demanding the new integrated school of SIS be built closer to their white neighborhoods so they could send their kids there. So it was. The problem was that none of those progressive white parents supportive of racial integration actually ended up sending their kids to SIS. Their performative allyship instead only succeeded in moving the school further away from the predominantly Black and brown communities that did attend the school.

Nice White Parents reveals the uncomfortable truth that, both then and now, white supremacy is very often not cloaked in a white hood. It can be cloaked in virtue signaling and white saviorism that’s harder to identify, particularly when it comes to the desegregation of public schools.

Here’s how it happens: Parents from a racial majority understandably always want their kids to benefit from every possible privilege they can afford. But those privileges are also the benefits inherited from white supremacist structures. So even the nicest white parents, the ones most vocally opposed to racism, keep taking advantage of those systems that give their kids a leg up, all while robbing Black and brown kids of those opportunities.

White supremacy today is not always communicated through the explicit terms of white power, either. Rather, it’s left implied through far more subtle language, like a wealthy French donor explaining that he wants to invest in SIS’s French-language program because he believes French culture will be spread across the world to those who’ve never encountered it before via “soft power” initiatives like this.

Today, segregation gets to hide behind white liberal evasion.

Ironically, though, none of the white parents or liberal donors at SIS who are repeating the same mistakes of the past are at all educated or even aware of the racist history they’re perpetuating.

In some ways, the segregation caused by nice, progressive white parents is more insidious than the racial segregation of public schools that came from outright bigotry and racism. At least before, the phenomenon of white parents protecting their children’s privileges at the cost of everyone else in American society was called by its proper name. 

Today, segregation gets to hide behind white liberal evasion. Mayor Bill de Blasio, for one, blames  housing issues for the racial inequalities of New York’s public schools, placating concerns over it with a “diversity task force.” But how could his task force fix a problem he refuses to call by name (segregation), caused by something he’s even less willing to recognize (white supremacy)? When pressed about his refusal to say the word “segregation” by a reporter during a press conference excerpted on the podcast, de Blasio dismisses the criticism as him not wanting to “get lost in the terminology.” 

But whatever terms we use, the same harm is being done to underprivileged families of color. Only now they have to deal with the racial gaslighting of folks refusing to recognize that racism is, in fact, what’s happening.

When the issues of segregation in public schools are pointed out to white people — particularly white parents — they blame forces larger than themselves, pointing to inherited issues that aren’t their individual fault or aren’t within their power to fix. It’s a sneaky way to pass the buck to Black and brown people instead, asking them to fix issues of race-based poverty, housing inequity, and lack of school funding, despite all of them being directly inherited from that same history of slavery, immigration, and white supremacy they also certainly did not create nor have the power to dismantle.

Recent Black Lives Matter uprisings seem to have finally gotten allies to understand that the work of dismantling white supremacy needs to start at home, where we must confront embedded racism not only within ourselves but also the families that raised us. 

The necessary tension Nice White Parents forces you to sit with is the fact that the fight for equality isn’t just about personal sacrifice or labor. It requires an even more fundamental evolution away from the tribalism of individual family legacy, and toward a worldview that values our larger human family as much as our immediate flesh and blood.

The first couple episodes focus on identifying the pattern and history of public school segregation rather than offering any solutions. But in a meta way, the uneasy labor of this podcast is precisely the first step that needs to happen, not only to fix school segregation but for so many of the issues caused by systemic racism in America.

People like to say that racism is taught, learned behavior rather than instinctual. Well, this is how it’s taught. It’s not just openly racist white parents teaching their kids that whiteness is better. It’s the far more subtle and wordless behaviors of an education system that values whiteness over all else, and encourages white kids to take up all the resources and space previously given to Black and brown kids. Meanwhile, those Black and brown children are taught that their cultures and communities are inferior and expendable, forcing them to take up less space if they want to continue to participate in our public education system.

When it comes to kids, we’re not only talking about the next generation who will make up the future of our society. Because when we look ahead at our children’s imagined futures, we’re also in conversation with our own past: what we wish we’d grown up with, what we promised we’d do better when we became parents ourselves. Kids are our legacy and, as such, kids are where we lay down the groundwork that continues the deep-seated racism that has always defined America’s past, present, and future — until white people actually start doing something about it, that is.

When white parents look at their kids, they get to see all the opportunities that lie ahead of them in a world systemically built for their success. But the futures of Black and brown kids are marred by the visible and invisible forces of racism that try to rob them of opportunity, hope, and sometimes their very lives.

Surprisingly, perhaps no one has highlighted the power and importance of Nice White Parents more than Fox News, which reported on the conservative backlash triggered by a mere three-minute preview clip of the podcast.

“Everything has to be a race war,” said Fox News pundit Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, coming to the defense of those nice white parents being “blamed” for racism. “But this really upsets me.”

Good, Karen. It should upset you. The realization that you are the driving force behind white supremacy should terrify and upset us all. So sit with those feelings of being unsettled, upset. Then go do something about it or shut the hell up.

Nice White Parents is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google.