News Around the World

Wacky But True: Cat Edition

Police in the UK were sent to a home where someone had dialed the emergency number four times over a few minutes. After each call was answered the phone would go dead. When police got to the home they looked through a window and saw a broken lamp. Fearing the worst they smashed the door down to investigate. Once inside they found no sign of a burglary or injured person — just a cat playing with the phone.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

One in Five…

One in five U.S. workers say they are late to work at least once a week. The most common excuse is traffic, followed by a lack of sleep and getting children ready for school or daycare. Other frequent excuses are problems with public transportation, wardrobe issues or dealing with pets.

#nascar, Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Outlaws Heading to Shawano

For the eleventh time in Series history, the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Models are heading back to Shawano Speedway to compete in the Sundrop Shootout on Tuesday, July 30 – the fourth of six races in The Badger State on the 2019 schedule.

The Shawano Speedway has almost always been a staple of the tour’s Northern/Midwestern swing. Next Tuesday will be the 10th consecutive year for the Outlaws at the Shawano County Fairgrounds; the first visit came over 30 years ago on June 5, 1989, when Rick Egersdorf took the checkered flag.

Last year, Chris Madden put a big hurt on the field, leading all 50 laps en route to his sixth victory of the year. Despite those 2018 successes, Madden has since switched to a new team and made it home for the first half of the 2019 season, behind the wheel of the Skyline Motorsports #44. Madden departed Skyline just over one month ago and is not expected to be amongst those in the pit area to defend his Sundrop Shootout crown next week.

One driver to keep an eye on instead will be Madden’s replacement in the second Skyline Motorsports entry, 2015 World of Outlaws Champion Shane Clanton. After taking over the reins in June at the Firecracker 100 at Lernerville Speedway, Clanton has given Skyline team owner Greg Bruening his first World of Outlaws victory with a statement win at Ogilvie Raceway just two weekends ago. “The Georgia Bulldog” is also the most recent full-time Outlaw to win at the half-mile, back on August 2, 2016.

Standing tall in the win column so far this season is 2017 Series Champion Brandon Sheppard. The New Berlin, Illinois-native has stacked an incredible 13 wins in 24 races and totaled 20 podium finishes in World of Outlaws competition. “The Rocket Shepp” has only finished outside of the top five once; that came in the very first race of the season at Screven Motor Speedway in February. As of July 24, the Rocket1 Racing pilot is out front in the points standings by 216 markers over tour veteran Darrell Lanigan.

Lanigan, now back behind the wheel of his own Club 29 Chassis after a three-year World of Outlaws absence, is still searching for his first Series win of the year. The three-time champion has come close several times, and his second-best 13 top-fives in 2019 are a testament to his team’s resilience on the track.

Leading Rookie of the Year contender Ricky Weiss, of Headingley, Manitoba, is right on Lanigan’s heels in the points standings, just 16 points out of second. A strong North/Midwest stretch has recently displayed the team’s improvement over the year, having finished inside the top 10 in every race since the swing began back in late June. Four podium finishes in the last six races all the more help his bid for the 2019 Rookie title.

Clanton maintains control of the fourth spot in points, while Kansan Chase Junghans holds onto fifth. Dennis Erb Jr., Cade Dillard and Brent Larson occupy spots six, seven and eight while Boom Briggs and Blake Spencer round out the top ten.

New to the World of Outlaws visit to Shawano this year will be the appearance of several Dirt Kings Late Model Tour drivers. The Outlaws will take on the battle-tested Wisconsin heroes of the Dirt Kings series for Badger State supremacy. Brandon Sheppard has five wins on Wisconsin tracks in the past two years, but the Dirt Kings’ knowledge and laps around Shawano could prove challenging.

Joining the Outlaws at the track in Tuesday’s race program will be the IMCA Stock Cars and Modifieds, slated for a 6:30 p.m. central start time.

Tickets for the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series event at Shawano Speedway can be purchased at the track on race day. For pricing and other track information, visit www.shawanospeedway.net, or call (715) 526-7069.

As always, fans can also watch every lap of World of Outlaws action live on DIRTVision.com with a Late Model Fast Pass subscription, only $39 per month.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Outlaws Coming to Plymouth

The World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series is set to return to the Plymouth Dirt Track for the second visit in Series history on Monday, July 29. This is the third race out of five total in the state of Wisconsin this year – a record number of scheduled races for the Outlaws in the Badger State.

Last year, the Outlaws made their debut at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in thrilling fashion, where a battle between 2017 Series Champion Brandon Sheppard and 2017 Rookie of the Year Devin Moran came down to the wire. Sheppard, of New Berlin, Illinois, grabbed the lead from polesitter Tyler Erb early and held it all the way through the final circuits, fending off track record-holder Moran in heavy lapped traffic to win his ninth Feature of the season and 33rd all-time.

Sheppard went on to finish runner-up in the 2018 World of Outlaws points chase, despite earning an additional four victories after Plymouth. This year, things have changed drastically for the Rocket1 Racing team. Put simply, they have dominated. Winning an unprecedented 13 races in 23 starts, Sheppard and car owner Mark Richards are ahead of pace to break the single-season wins record of 18, currently held by Sheppard and his predecessor in the Rocket Chassis house car, Josh Richards.

A great turnaround storyline has evolved out of the team from Decorah, Iowa – Skyline Motorsports. After replacing former pilot Chris Madden with 2015 Series Champion Shane Clanton last month, the team picked up their very first career World of Outlaws victory just two weekends ago at Ogilvie Raceway. Driving away from Sheppard after the final restart, Clanton, of Zebulon, Georgia, picked up his second victory of the year and 44th of his World of Outlaws career, placing him in a tie with three-time Series Champion Billy Moyer for fourth on the all-time Feature wins list.

Sheppard currently sits atop the World of Outlaws points standings with 13 victories, 22 top-fives and 23 top-10s. His worst finish was a sixth in the season opener at Screven Motor Speedway back in early February. Three-time Series Champion Darrell Lanigan sits 206 points back from Sheppard with 13 top-fives and 19 top-10s. Since his return to the World of Outlaws circuit this season, after a three-year absence to drive for Clint Bowyer Racing, the Union, Kentucky-native is still winless on the tour through the first six months. But with two top-fives in the last three races, “The Bluegrass Bandit” is certainly knocking on the door.

2019 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year frontrunner Ricky Weiss, of Headingley, Manitoba, sits third in points with two podium finishes in the last three races, still chasing his first career World of Outlaws triumph. Clanton is fourth, 232 markers back from Sheppard and most recent Morton Buildings Feature winner, Chase Junghans, rounds out the top five.

DIRTcar Summer Nationals veteran Dennis Erb Jr. is sixth, Brent Larson is 546 points back in seventh, Rookie contender Cade Dillard and Boom Briggs are eighth and ninth, and final Rookie contender Blake Spencer caps off the top 10.

Joining the Outlaws at the track on Monday evening will be Grand Nationals and B-Mods; hot laps are scheduled for a 6:15 p.m. start.

Tickets for the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series event at Plymouth Dirt Track can be purchased at the track on race day. For more information, visit them on the web at plmouthdtr.com.

News Around the World

Most Popular Emoji’s Per City

It’s World Emoji Day, that one day of the year where we celebrate those little symbols that let us communicate on our high-tech devices…the same way the ancient Egyptians did.

In celebration, the analytics company TalkWalker took a look at which symbols were the most popular in 14 major cities for 2019: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Miami, New Orleans, Nashville, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.

While most of the cities seemed to like the “fire” emoji, others reflect memorable aspects of those locations, like party hats for New Orleans, and slot machines for Vegas.

Atlanta is just one of the cities that prefers the fire emoji — fitting for “Hotlanta” — and also the “100” symbol, representing “keeping it 100.” No surprise considering the booming film community there, the “movie camera” symbol also ranks high.

Austin is hot, and so the “fire” emoji ranks high — as do the “police siren” and the “hand making devil horns,” which could represent both the city’s concert life, or Texas Longhorns football.

Boston also digs the fire emoji; the Red Sox’s cold streak might be responsible for the lack of the usual “baseball” symbol.

New York has the advantage of being the only major city with one of its landmarks preserved in emoji — the Statue of Liberty. The symbol for Lady Liberty is used the most in the city that never sleeps, as is the apple — which, while regular-sized, represents the Big Apple. A purple heart also popped up popularly during the week of May 22 — Fleet Week.

Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly love, and is also a fan of the “fire” and “100” emoji. Not surprisingly, the “eagle” emoji is also used, standing in here for Philly’s Eagles.

Miami’s climate and nightlife figures strongly into its emoji use, with the “palm tree” and “sun” symbols used the most — along with the “fire” symbol. Let’s face it: it’s HOT there, in more ways than one — with the “champagne bottle” subbing for the city’s steamy nightlife.

Nashville is known as Music City, and not surprisingly, a cowboy hat-wearing smiling face and a “singing microphone” top the list. Another of the city’s main exports, hot chicken, is repped by the “fire” emoji and the “chicken head” one — not a chicken drumstick.

New Orleans Saints fans are lucky in that their team’s logo, the fleur-de-lis, is already in the growing bank of regular emoji. Also popular are the “party hat” emoji, and the “fire” symbol.

Chicago uses the “pizza” emoji most popularly, to celebrate its signature deep dish pies — perhaps NYC’s dominance is so natural that New Yawkers don’t need to boast. The Windy City is apparently also the rainy city, given its residents’ use of not just the “umbrella” emoji but he “rainy umbrella” one.

Denver, interestingly, is reflecting its booming economy with both the “bags of money” and “stacks of cash” symbols, along with the “police siren” one. With restrictions on weed sales and use loose, it’s likely all of these are related.

Las Vegas is known as Sin City — and so it’s no surprise the “Devil” face ranks high here. “Fire” is also big, as is the “slot machine” symbol.

Los Angeles also boasts palm trees, and so its cellphone-carrying residents and visitors, do, too. However, “sun” is strong here, literally, and “stars” reps celeb sightings. The American flag also scores high, here — but this one is thanks to the famed city’s international visitors.

San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge, but no official emoji to represent it, so the emoji for “bridge at night” and “foggy” — which also shows a bridge — do double-duty. The rainbow also ranks high here, representing the city’s Gay Pride, as does the “heart” — to represent that organ which people presumably have left in the city.

Seattle is rainy, though the umbrella emoji is nowhere to be found. Instead, they rep the “sun” symbol, and the “snowflake,” though whether the latter is a political comment is unknown. Also popular there is the “joystick,” “party hat,” and “music notes,” reflecting the Emerald City’s rock roots.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Good Boy!

While too many people have taken advantage of the notion of “emotional support animals” — we’re looking at you, Delta Airlines Peacock Lady — a new study scientifically proves that spending just 10 minutes petting a dog or cat can lower your stress.

Researchers from Washington State University said that showing a dog or cat some love — and vice versa — can drop your levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

“Just 10 minutes can have a significant impact,” explains author Patricia Pendry in a press release about the experiment, which for the first time ever brought pets and people out of the lab and into the real world.

The scientists broke 249 students into four groups: one that was allowed to pet dogs and cats; another that was only allowed to watch those students interact with the cuddly creatures; a third group that just looked at pictures of animals; and a final group that was “waitlisted” and not allowed to participate.

The reduction of stress in those who got to pet the animals compared to the other groups was quantifiable.

“We already knew that students enjoy interacting with animals, and that it helps them experience more positive emotions, Pendry says. “What we wanted to learn was whether this exposure would help students reduce their stress in a less subjective way. And it did, which is exciting because the reduction of stress hormones may, over time, have significant benefits for physical and mental health.”

Spiked levels of cortisol can lead to weight gain and other negative health effects.

Many colleges and university across the country have begun pet therapy sessions to help their students chill out.

The study was published in the scientific journal AERA Open.