Elon Musk is Selling $500 Flamethrowers Now

Over the course of his career, Elon Musk has helped revolutionize online currency with Paypal, freaked out half the greater Los Angeles area with ongoing plans to colonize Mars, and casually added a flamethrower to the list of items his companies sell. Saturday, Musk posted a series of images and videos on his Instagram feed featuring the new product.


Say hello to my little friend …

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on Jan 27, 2018 at 4:42pm PST



Pre-orders for the flamethrower are being taken via boringcompany.com, which bills the product as the “world’s safest flamethrower” and claims it is “guaranteed to liven up any party.”

It’s unclear how a $500 flamethrower fits alongside a Boring Company product line that also includes dad hats and proposed tunnels. And that may at least partially explain why Musk started tweeting jokes about the usefulness of his new product in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

According to a 2015 CNN report on consumer-level flamethrowers, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms doesn’t regulate the devices because they aren’t technically considered guns. The prospect of not needing an FBI background check to own a flamethrower might not be good news for a country where millions of people voted for a reality show personality to be the President and mass shootings regularly make headlines. That didn’t stop Musk from trying to get at least one joke in.

You can view all of the details on The Boring Company’s $500 flamethrower via their website.

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U Bum: The Best and Most Savage Celebrity Clapbacks at Trump

From LeBron James to CNN, the clapbacks during the Donald’s first year were fast, furious and ruthless.

Thirty Children Have Died of the Flu This Season in the U.S., According to CDC

The Center for Disease Control estimates that at least 30 children died from the flu in the past few months.

In new data, the CDC shared that over 74,000 people have contracted the flu this season. Of course, this number is likely higher, since not everyone who gets the flu checks in with a doctor.

But Lynnette Brammer, the head of CDC's Domestic Flu Surveillance team, is anticipating a drop in numbers.

“Hopefully we're at the peak now, but until we see it go down for a couple of weeks we won't know that we have reached peak yet,” said Brammer to CNN. “Some areas of the country may have, but I think some areas are probably still going up.”

However, with the federal shutdown happening, the epidemic could still get worse since the CDC is a government organization. In the meantime, Brammer shared some ways to combat the spreading disease.

“We want to continue to emphasize that there's still a lot of flu activity to come, people that haven't been vaccinated should still get the vaccine,” she said. “Given that we're seeing so much flu activity, particularly people who are high risk, the elderly, children under 2, pregnant women, and people with chronic health problems should talk to their doctors about antiviral medications to treat the Illness.”

The CDC notes that flu season usually starts off in October with the peak of the season usually happening between December and February. However, the hostile season can sometimes last until May.

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Simone Biles Comes Forward With Allegations Against Olympic Doctor Larry Nassar

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles has come forward with her own allegations against former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. According to TMZ, the 20-year-old issued a statement stating “I too am one of the many survivors that was sexually abused by Larry Nassar.”

Biles supported her fellow gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Gabby Douglas when they came forward with their own allegations last year. In total, Nassar is alleged to have abused over 120 young girls while he worked as medical professional, according to CNN. Nassar’s sentencing hearing begins this week, after he pled guilty to seven counts of sexual misconduct back in November. Accusations against Nassar go back as far as 1998, but were put under a new spotlight thanks to the #MeToo movement.

The gold medalist's statement comes out before several days of victim's testimonies during Nassar's hearing. “Please believe me when I was say it was a lot harder to first speak those words out loud than it is now to put them on paper,” Biles shared in her statement. “There are many reasons that I have been reluctant to share my story, but I know it's not my fault.”

Nassar has already been sentenced to 60 years on child pornography charges.

“This behavior is completely unacceptable, disgusting, and abusive, especially coming from someone whom I was TOLD to trust,” Biles wrote. “As I continue to work through the pain, I kindly ask everyone to respect my privacy. This is a process, and one that I need more time to work through.”

Read the full statement below. 

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50 Cent Can’t Believe People Still Clown Him Over His Awful 2014 First Pitch

When 50 Cent agreed to throw out the first pitch before a Mets game back in 2014, he probably thought it would put his name into the news for, like, a day or two tops. Even after the pitch went terribly awry and earned him the scorn of the internet (and eventually an award!), he still probably didn’t think it would have much staying power. But here we are, nearly four years later, and people still talk about how bad that first pitch was. I mean, just look at it!

So, so, so bad!

50 himself still can’t really explain what went wrong. But while promoting his new movie Den of Thieves this week, he spoke with Newsday about it and admitted he now regrets agreeing do it in the first place. “Listen, no one warned me,” 50 said. “No one said: 'Risk versus reward!' I would have kept my [expletive] in the stands. This is never going away.”

50 then talked about how big the moment got after it happened. He referenced the baseball trading card that was created to commemorate the pitch and looked back on what happened to him in the aftermath of it.

“They have baseball cards with me throwing the pitch—real baseball cards that they made! I go, 'Wait a minute: Who cleared this?' Whenever baseball comes up, there is no one worse than me as far as throwing a first pitch,” 50 said. “I had no idea that throwing a bad pitch would be so big. It was coming across CNN! ESPN, CNN, I was like, whoa, not the way I wanted things out here at the moment when I’m getting ready to run music and I’m on CNN and it looks like my arm’s broken. I’m like, 'What the [expletive] happened to me?'”

50 also spoke about how, despite what people might think, he had practiced for the first pitch leading up to it. It just didn’t go as planned. “I had pitched before,” he said. “I rehearsed. I practiced. I threw the ball a little bit. I was throwing like, 'Oh man, I’m about to throw a strike, 100 miles an hour.' But that [expletive] damn near killed a cameraman!”

50’s may have been the worst first pitch ever, but he suggested there may be a redemption story in his future. He said several baseball teams have reached out and asked him to throw out a first pitch for them, and while he obviously hasn’t agreed to do it just yet, he wants to do it again at some point, possibly before a World Series game or another big event.

“I have to redeem myself at some point,” he said. “Maybe if I get out there and throw a really good pitch, they’ll let me go a little bit.”

Unlikely. 50’s original toss was that bad. But if he’s looking to generate publicity around another project at some point in the near future, throwing another first pitch is probably going to be just about the best way for him to do it. So don’t be surprised if he ends up on the mound again sometime soon.

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At Least 18 People Injured After Man Deliberately Drives Car Into Crowd in Melbourne

A 32-year-old man drove his white Suzuki into a crowd of shoppers in Melbourne, Australia on Thursday at approximately 4:40 p.m. local time. At least 18 people were injured, and several—including one pre-school age child—are in serious condition.

The crash is believed to have been deliberate, but there is no evidence of a link to terrorism, according to chief commissioner of Victoria Police Shane Patton, who spoke with reporters on the scene.

The driver is an Australian citizen of Afghan descent. He had a history of drug use and mental health issues, and he had a previous record with the police, though it was for minor incidents, according to CNN.

The driver was taken into custody by an off-duty officer after resisting arrest. Both men—the driver and officer—sustained injuries in the scuffle.

The crash occurred outside of Flinders Street station, a popular train station and one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. The area was flooded with shoppers. Witnesses say people were flung into the air after being hit by the car, which was traveling at approximately 60 miles per hour.

A second man, who is 24 years old, was also arrested on the scene. He was filming the incident on his phone, and police found three knives in his bag. He is reportedly not suspected to be connected to the incident.

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LaVar Ball Keeps Feud Going by Posting GIF of Himself Dunking on Donald Trump

LaVar Ball isn't going to let go of a great marketing opportunity his feud with Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Ball appeared on CNN's New Day where he used Trump's words against him, complaining that he “didn’t get a thank you” from the President of the United States for the three pairs of red, white, and blue Big Baller Brand sneakers he sent to the White House. 

Back in November, Ball was adamant that he would not be saying thank you to Trump, even after he claimed to be the one who spoke to Chinese president Xi Jinping​, and helped bring LaVar's son LiAngelo, as well as former UCLA freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, back home. “I don't have to go around saying thank you to everybody,” he told Chris Cuomo during their interview last month. 

Earlier today, LaVar added more fuel to the fire by posting a GIF which shows him dunking on Trump. 

When the GIF zooms in on the Twitter app on the phone, you can see a tweet from Ball's account, saying, “Stay in yo lane @realDonaldTrump! The Big Baller will put you on a poster.” It will probably only be a matter of time before Trump responds and gives LaVar exactly what he wants—more free yet valuable publicity. 

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A Timeline of Donald Trump’s Beef with LaVar Ball

At some point, you just knew that Donald Trump and LaVar Ball were going to cross paths in 2017. After all of the completely off-the-wall shit that has taken place this year, it wouldn’t be right if we went into 2018 without their names being linked for one reason or another. But we really have to give it up to them: In our wildest dreams, we couldn’t imagine them being connected as a result of a story involving Louis Vuitton sunglasses, shoplifting, and international politics.

And yet, here we are! With still about a month to go in 2017, the inevitable Donald Trump vs. LaVar Ball feud that we all knew was going to happen has happened. The two engaged in a war of words over the weekend, and thanks to their beef, LaVar made an appearance on CNN on Monday night that will more than likely receive a response from Trump.

Let’s take a look at how we got here. Here’s a timeline of Donald Trump’s beef with the head of the Ball family.

Nov. 7, 2017: LiAngelo Ball and two UCLA teammates are arrested in China for shoplifting

During a trip to China to take part in a game against Georgia Tech, LiAngelo and his two teammates, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, were arrested after they were caught stealing from a Louis Vuitton store near their team hotel. They were released from police custody but were ordered to give up their passports and stay at the hotel until an investigation into the shoplifting allegations took place. Initial reports indicated they could face 3 to 10 years in prison.

Nov. 8, 2017: LaVar Ball says LiAngelo’s arrest “ain’t a big deal”

Despite the possibility of the serious prison sentence that was first reported, LiAngelo’s dad LaVar downplayed the situation. “He’ll be fine,” LaVar told ESPN’s Arash Markazi. “Everyone’s making it a big deal. It ain’t that big a deal.”

Nov. 9, 2017: LaVar is told not to comment on LiAngelo’s arrest again

Just one day after LaVar said LiAngelo’s shoplifting arrest wasn’t “that big a deal,” LaVar refused to comment further on the situation. ESPN’s Arash Markazi reported that someone had told LaVar not to speak about LiAngelo any further until he was allowed to return to the U.S.

Nov. 13, 2017: Trump asks China’s President Xi Jinping to help settle LiAngelo’s case

Several days after LiAngelo was arrested, The Washington Post reported that Trump reached out to President Xi Jinping of China to try and resolve the case. When asked about it, Trump said that President Xi had been “terrific” with regards to his request. But he said that the shoplifting case was “not something that should have happened” in the first place. He also reportedly referred to LiAngelo and his teammates as “knuckleheads” while speaking with President Xi.

Nov. 14, 2017: LiAngelo and his teammates are allowed to leave China

One week after being arrested, LiAngelo and his teammates were finally allowed to leave their hotel and board a flight for Los Angeles. The shoplifting charges that were originally filed against them were reportedly dropped, clearing the way for them to make their way home.

Nov. 15, 2017: Trump calls for LiAngelo and his teammates to thank him for his help

Almost as soon as LiAngelo and his teammates arrived back in the U.S., Trump sent out a tweet that seemed to suggest he was expecting them to say thank you to him at some point. “Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump?” he wrote. “They were headed for 10 years in jail!”

Nov. 15, 2017: LiAngelo and his teammates thank Trump

During a press conference in which all three UCLA players apologized for their actions in China, they also offered up their thanks to Trump.

Nov. 18, 2017: LaVar says he doesn’t think Trump helped LiAngelo and his teammates

While speaking with ESPN a few days after LiAngelo’s safe arrival back in the U.S., LaVar said he didn’t believe Trump played a big part in bringing the UCLA players home. “Who?” LaVar said. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”

LaVar continued: “As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine. I’m happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, 'They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.' I’m from L.A. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. My son has built up enough character that one bad decision doesn’t define him.”

Nov. 19, 2017: Trump says he should have left LiAngelo and his teammates in jail

In response to LaVar’s “Who?” comment, Trump responded by saying that he should have left LiAngelo and his teammates in jail in China. “Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal,” he wrote. “I should have left them in jail!”

Trump added: “Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!”

Nov. 20, 2017: LaVar refuses to thank Trump during CNN appearance

During one of LaVar’s most memorable media appearances yet, he refused to thank Trump for whatever role he played in bringing LiAngelo back to the U.S. “Did he help the boys get out?” he asked. “I don’t know. If I was going to thank someone, I would probably thank President Xi.”

Towards the end of the interview, LaVar also said the only way he would have thanked Trump is if he would have personally put LiAngelo on Air Force One to bring him home. “I would have said, 'Thank you,' if he put him on his plane and took him home,” he said. “Then I would have said, 'Thank you, Mr. Trump, for taking my boys out of China and bringing them back to the U.S.' There’s a lot of room on that plane. I would have said, 'Thank you kindly for that.'”

And at one point, LaVar also made a Trump-esque statement by saying that he played a bigger part in freeing LiAngelo than Trump did. “I had some people that had boots on the ground that knew the situation when we first jumped on there,” he said. “I keep those people in mind.”

Trump and Ball both seem like the kind of guys who want to have the last word. So we wouldn’t expect this to end anytime soon.

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Gun Stocks Rise After Deadliest Mass Shooting in U.S. History

Several leading gun manufacturers saw their stocks go up in the aftermath of one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

As of Monday morning, shares of Sturm Ruger were up about 6 percent, according to CNN, while shares of American Outdoor Brands, which is the company that used to be called Smith & Wesson, were up about 7 percent. Dick’s Sporting Goods' shares went up about 1 percent as well, with analysts citing the Las Vegas tragedy as part of the reason for the subtle spike.

So why in the world do some people feel better about investing in guns after what took place on Sunday night? Well, it seems gun stocks going up following mass shootings isn’t a new concept. The same thing has happened in the past in the immediate aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting in addition to other mass shootings. Stocks seem to go up because people believe these shootings could lead to stricter laws and regulations with regards to gun control, which would, in theory, lead more people to buy guns now while they still can.

But it’s worth noting that, while there is definitely a trend that has developed when it comes to gun stocks going up following mass shootings, the gun control laws that are on the books haven’t gotten any stricter in recent years. They've more or less stayed the same, which has led to an overall reduction in the number of guns sold recently with both Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brands reporting significant stock and revenue losses during their latest quarters. But that could, unfortunately, change in the coming months, as history has shown that people tend to lean towards buying guns rather than moving away from them in light of mass shootings.

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