An Ohio church has apologized after an incident in which a pastor asked students to spit on him and cut him with a steak knife. According to CNN, Impact City Church part-time associate pastor Jaddeus Dempsey went on Facebook to publicly apologize after numerous students posted videos of the incident on different social media platforms. The church posted a video of Dempsey seated with lead pastor Justin Ross, in which Ross told viewers that the part-time pastor “had the opportunity to share a message about Easter and he chose to use an illustration to explain a very important topic—about the crucifixion—but the illustration went too far, and it was inappropriate.” According to Ross, Dempsey was leading a group of students as part of the church's weekly “After School Student Hangouts” program when he allegedly told them they could spit in his face “without repercussions.” Some students did. He then said they could slap him, which some also did. He then produced a steak knife and said students were allowed to cut him before removing his shirt. One student took the knife and cut Dempsey's back while others filmed. “After Jaddeus allowed them to spit on him, and slap him and cut him,” Ross said in the video, “he sat them down and explained to them about this guy named Jesus … Now although the intent was honorable, it wasn't appropriate for our student gathering today.” Dempsey spoke near the end of the video. “This was completely my idea, and again, I let the students know there was no repercussions whatsoever. And in fact several students felt bad afterwards, and I told them that that was what I'd asked them to do … Not even my own wife knew the illustration that I was about to perform, but again I crossed the line … My only intention was to show them how much Jesus loved them.” Ross concluded the video by saying Dempsey's lesson in no way reflects the teachings of Impact City Church. He said church leaders do not condone spitting on others, slapping others or using weapons for violence.
Brazilian police have taken a parrot into custody after it attempted to warn its owners of a drug raid. The Guardian reports that police in Vila Irmã Dulce were raiding the home of suspected crack dealers when they heard the parrot crying, “Mom! The police!” in Portuguese. The parrot's plan to warn his owners reportedly failed, and authorities were able to apprehend the suspects. Officers allegedly found crack cocaine and marijuana in the home. According to Oliberal, the parrot, which authorities have yet to name, was taken into custody by officials with the nation's Environmental Police and sent to Teresina's Zoobotânico. The bird will be released after it spends three months incarcerated and learning to fly. According to police and journalists who have visited the avian drug trafficker, the parrot remains silent and refuses to speak to anyone. Despite the presence of multiple police officers, the bird has not repeated the warning that was heard during the raid, leading police to believe it was trained to recognize law enforcement vehicles.
Fans of both aggressive music and textile arts have been invited to participate in Finland's first Heavy Metal Word Knitting Championships. According to the official website, organizers of the event say Finland has a deep history with both art forms. “There are 50 heavy metal bands per 100,000 Finnish citizens,” the site reads, “which is astonishingly many and actually more than anywhere else in the whole world. The number of needlework enthusiasts is equally high, as according to even the most modest estimates, there are hundreds of thousands of people in Finland who are immersed [in] various kinds of needlework crafts, knitting included.” Participants are asked to download “Fight or Die” by Maniac Abductor, the official song of the event, and record a one-minute video of themselves knitting to the song's rhythm. The 15 “most engaging” performers will be invited to the World Championships in Joensuu, Finland on July 11, where organizers will judge their videos. The grand prize for the top heavy metal knitter is a hotel weekend “in authentic Finnish scenery.” Dressing up or showing off “special moves” will be “considered an advantage” by judges and will likely be rewarded. The competition is open to everyone, but the cutoff date for entries is May 31.
A man is making history by sending his cat's remains into space. Space.com reports that Steve Munt, former owner of an orange tabby named Pikachu, decided to start a GoFundMe campaign after his beloved pet died of complications from diabetes last January. The goal of the campaign was to launch a portion of Pikachu's remains into orbit around the earth using a service offered by Celestis Pets. Although the campaign's goal of $5,000—the cost of the service—has yet to be reached, Munt is going ahead with his plans and has reportedly purchased the cat's ticket using his own savings. He reportedly said he'd continue accepting donations, but that it's not a primary goal. “My dream is coming true, regardless of any additional donations, and I am currently awaiting an assigned slot on a future launch,” he said. According to Celestis Pets, Pikachu will be launched into Earth orbit, where it will remain until it harmlessly vaporizes on reentry to the planet's atmosphere.