Justin Bieber’s Mom Prays Her Son Will Encounter God

Justin Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette, tweeted on her son’s birthday that she prays he encounters God. Her tweet read: “22 years ago I was 18 years old, pregnant and scared. But God. Lord encounter @justinbieber for his birthday. Give him all I couldn’t in Jesus name.”

The relationship between the mother and son became strained when the singer plummeted into a life of heavy drinking, partying, and drugs. In 2014, 19-year-old Justin Bieber was charged with drunk driving and resisting arrest in Miami Beach.

A police officer caught Bieber street racing in a residential area at 4 a.m., going approximately 60 mph in a 30 mph zone.

After failing a sobriety test, Bieber was booked into a Miami jail. Police Chief Raymond Martinez told CNN reporters that Bieber had “made some statements that he had consumed some alcohol, and that he had been smoking marijuana and consumed some prescription medication.”

Bieber’s DUI marked the first time the singer was arrested, though he was under investigation at the time for vandalizing his neighbor’s house. More than 1.4 million people are arrested each year for DUI first offenses, and celebrities are certainly not exempt.

Bieber revealed that his behavior had affected his relationship with his mother, who had instilled in him Christian values at a young age. He recalled his mother only allowing him to listen to “Pastor Judah’s tapes” at bedtime.

“I was distant because I was ashamed,” he said in an interview with Billboard last year. The singer is reaching out and trying to reconnect with his Christian faith. He admitted that he had tried to resist his mother’s Christian influence for a long time, but he has finally come to embrace it.

Pink is the New Blonde for Cate Blanchett

Actress Cate Blanchett has been spotted walking about in London with a brand new hair-do. The 46-year-old British Oscar-winner dyed her hair bright pink!

In a survey, 25% of people said that they changed their hair style in order to “reinvent” themselves. So, what’s going on with Cate? Is this a transformation in progress, or just a passing fad?

“We’ve been talking about doing it for a while but wanted to get all the award seasons out of the way to have a play and a bit of fun,” her colorist, Nicola Clarke, told The Telegraph. Clarke explained that the dye is semi-permanent. “It will last a couple of weeks, depending on how many washes it has.”

Blanchett is generally known for her sophisticated look on the red carpet, often wearing a chic bob in Old Hollywood waves, so this change was a shock to her fans, who barely recognized her.

Blanchett is not the only celebrity looking pretty in pink lately. Katy Perry, Rihanna, and even Helen Mirren have all sported pink hair in recent years.

Blanchett’s hair has been through a lot during her career as an actress. She’s a natural blonde but has had to make some drastic (and not so pretty) changes to her look. To play Queen Elizabeth I in the movie “Elizabeth,” she had actually had to shave her hairline.

“The front portion was bleached white,” Blanchett told Allure. “I had these really short tufts that used to stick out, so I had to pin them back. It wasn’t a good look.”

In 2002, Blanchett had to have her entire head shaved onscreen for her role in the movie “Heaven.”

Her hair will only remain pink for a short amount of time, so the question is: What next?

Young Couple Seriously Injured after Being Struck by Lightning While Camping in the Catskills

Most people know their odds of getting struck by lightning, but few understood just how serious such an incident can be. Last week, a young couple was severely injured when lightning struck their remote campsite.

According to the Watershed Post, an unidentified married couple from Princeton, NJ, nearly lost their lives on March 16 when they were struck by lightning while camping in the Green County Catskills.

The couple, a man and woman in their twenties, set up camp in a secluded part of the Catskills forest with their dog last Wednesday night. The makeshift campsite was located in a grove surrounded by towering hemlock trees.

As the couple began preparing dinner, dark clouds and heavy rain began to engulf the campsite. Eventually, lightning struck two hemlock trees that were directly adjacent to where the couple had pitched their tent.

Tent camping is preferred by about 86% of people because it allows campers to experience the outdoors without the luxury of an RV or cabin. However, sleeping in a tent also leaves campers vulnerable to dangerous situations, such as bears or lightning strikes.

When lightning struck the couple’s campsite, the surrounding trees were immediately destroyed. New York State Forest Ranger Rob Dawson claims that the tree closest to the couple “basically had its bark blown off.”

Dawson believes the lightning that struck the trees then traveled several feet through the “ground effect” to strike the couple. While the dog was uninjured, the woman was immediately knocked unconscious, and the man barely managed to call 911 from a cell phone before he also lost consciousness.

Within minutes, about 30 first responders were en route to the scene of the incident. Medical personnel hiked about one quarter of a mile into the woods through heavy rain to track down the injured couple.

According to Wild Backpacker, more than 50 people are killed in the U.S. each year by lightning strikes. Though 90% of strike victims survive, approximately 80% sustain serious injuries that can linger for the rest of their lives.

While the long-term effects of this incident will not be known for quite some time, the injured man had lost sensation in his legs by the time medical assistance arrived. His wife was able to walk to a nearby ambulance with some assistance despite sustaining a concussion.

The woman was released from the hospital later that day, but her husband was still being closely monitored in a hospital as of March 17. Dawson added that the odds of this couple being struck by lightning were astronomical, considering the fact that they were the only ones camping in that particular forest at the time.

While this incident was certainly unlucky, it’s safe to say the man and woman both feel fortunate to have escaped with their lives.

Drunk Driving Issues Still Plaguing United States

The fight to deter drunk driving seems to have no end in sight. However, officials around the U.S. are implementing different strategies to curb the number of drunk driving incidents, especially around certain holidays.

St. Patrick’s Day was just the other day. Although more and more people die each year from drunk driving and drunk driving on St. Patrick’s Day, people still tried by the masses.

In New York City alone, the NYPD arrested more than 50 people on Thursday, with checkpoints in each of the five boroughs. The NYPD even posted a warning on social media to try and deter drunk drivers, according to ABC News.

In the United States, someone is injured in a drunk driving accident every two minutes. On average, two out of three people will be involved in a drunk driving accident in their lifetime, and as reported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAAD), in 2013, more than 28 million people, which is more than the entire population of Texas, admitted to driving under the influence.

Yet despite how many times the message “don’t drink and drive” has been preached, people still are going to do it — and the problem has only been getting worse. The FBI estimates that around 300,000 people drive drunk every day in the United States.

Beyond the sheer number of people guilty of the offense, perhaps the most shocking thing of all is that, according to the National Department of Transportation, approximately one-third of drunk drivers are repeat offenders. Furthermore, the consequences of such acts are devastating: one life is lost in a drunk driving accident every 53 minutes in the United States.

There are new developments regarding interlock device technology that could help prevent future drunk driving accidents. This new technology would act like a DNA strand that would match the device to the driver’s breath. This way, other people will not be able to blow into the device to start the car.

Crude Oil Prices Are Crushing Alternative Energy, But Not Propane…

Consumers have benefitted greatly from lower costs at the gas pump, but the continuing drop in crude oil prices has been an unmitigated disaster for much of the energy industry. A global oversupply problem has led to plummeting crude oil prices, a trend that’s expected to continue until at least 2017.

Yet while crude oil prices have left much of the oil and gas industry in full-on panic mode, a boom in propane exports has gone largely unnoticed. That is, until a Bloomberg report in February highlighted the record-high propane shipments buoying a troubled oil and gas market.

Based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. propane exports rose 46% in 2015. The natural gas liquid, which is mostly used to heat homes and produce plastics, topped both monthly and annual export records, when it topped 750,000 barrels a day in December 2015 (14% of all hydrocarbon exports).

And now that the U.S. government has turned the tap on for crude oil exports, the propane boom is welcome news for an otherwise troubled industry. According to Bloomberg, “For all of 2015, propane exports averaged 616,000 barrels a day, up 46 percent from the record set in 2014 and more than five times the 2010 level.” Moreover, experts predict the boom will continue through 2016 and possibly into the 2020s.

Plus, propane fuel is also becoming a popular new choice for domestic trucking fleets.

“We have been using propane as a motor fuel on our trucks for many years. Over half of our fleet is powered by clean burning propane and our replacement vehicles will be propane powered,” said Thomas Link, President, Lin-gas, Inc. “Propane is economical, clean and reduces our maintenance costs. Most petroleum products have fluctuated wildly in the last several years, but propane motor fuel has continued to make business sense for us throughout these volatile price swings.”

This March at the NTEA Work Truck Show, Nestlé Waters North America and Bimbo Bakeries USA (known for brands like Entenmann’s and Sara Lee) announced that they were expanding their propane fueled trucking fleets this year.

For trucking fleets, propane has three benefits. It lowers emissions, has a more stable price (currently about $1.00 per gallon), and allows companies to save money on fuel costs. Bill Ardis, National Fleet Manager for Nestlé, said propane fuel is the company’s long-term solution for replacing diesel.

French Tourism Still Isn’t 100%, But It’s Getting There

It’s taking a long time for France to rebound after the grisly terrorist attacks, first on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and then, last November, in a coordinated attack in Paris that hit several spots but focused on a packed concert hall.

To clarify: It didn’t take long for the spirit of France to rebound after the attacks. Even as officials warned locals and tourists alike to seek shelter inside, piles of flowers and candles were laid out before vigils that attracted hundreds.

Many tourists chose to stay in France following the attacks or to continue their plans to visit the country as a way of showing support. Sure, most of the popular tourist traps were closed by the government, but independent business owners still had to make a living and re-open.

But many French tourism officials have been worried, especially following the November attacks.

As the Financial Times reported that immediately following the attacks, many businesses in Paris saw sales drop by anywhere from 40-60%. Visitors didn’t have to wait for seats at world-famous restaurants and it was possible to see the Mona Lisa up close without being hustled along by other tourists — but it just didn’t feel the same.

It’s the restaurants and local shops, like the quaint La Belle Equipe, that provided shelter without hesitation in the midst of the attacks but now struggle to make ends meet. Located just a few blocks away from the Bataclan concert hall, La Belle Equipe is big enough to seat about 30 customers. As The Guardian reported, owner Robin Greiner squeezed in 80 people that night when the terrorists opened fire. The metal shutters were pulled down in the front windows, everyone was given some wine on the house, and Greiner “refused to let anyone leave until 4am.”

La Belle Equipe is back on its feet now but just as other local shops, far fewer customers are stopping by. A handful of missing customers here, a couple fewer sales there — it all adds up, and it’s becoming more obvious now that the French tourism industry is struggling.

As Tourism-Review.com noted, the lack of economic activity from tourists isn’t consistent across the country; rural, mountainous, and coastline vacation spots have hardly been affected by the attacks at all. Within Paris, however, virtually every industry is seeing lower revenue compared to a year ago.

“Paris tourism is seasonal. Historically, the winter months spanning from December through February have always been a slower period for the tourism industry,” said Alley Bradley, Managing Director, Paris Copia. “Hotels and vacation apartment rentals offer discounted rates and the availability for restaurant tables are more abundant and the attractions less crowded.

“Sure, these numbers were exacerbated by the events that transpired in November but just this month, we are seeing numbers on the rebound. The best indicator will come this summer, specifically June and July, which is the high season for tourism. But, in my opinion, Paris will rebound just like NYC after 2001. It just takes a little time.”

Experts say that it will take months before Paris begins rebounding economically. So one thing is pretty clear now: If you’ve ever thought about visiting Paris or if you want to show your support to the French people, now is the perfect time to plan a trip.

Shy Dogs Are Acclimated By Children Volunteering At Missouri Humane Society

Dog owners are responsible for making sure their dogs go for a walk at least once a day, are properly fed, and receive medical attention. Unfortunately, many people who assume the responsibility associated with owning a pet aren’t able to live up to the challenge, and their animals end up in shelters for adoption.

But the spirits of the dogs at the Humane Society of Missouri will be significantly lifted when children practice reading to timid shelter dogs, in an attempt to socialize them, through a new program called Shelter Buddies Reading Program.

The chance is beneficial to both parties: kids get to read to a totally non-judgmental audience, while the dogs are acclimatized to the presence of humans.

JoEllyn Klepacki, the assistant director of education at the Society, told ABC News that there were two reasons for starting the program.

“Dogs in a shelter environment exhibit a lot of signs of anxiety and show stress signals,” Klepacki explained, “so we wanted to do something to comfort them, and we have a lot of children in our area who are really engaged and they ask, ‘How can I help? How can I make a difference?”

The children, ranging in ages from six to 15, go through a 10-hour training program about how to interact with dogs. The children sit in front of the dog’s kennels so as not to overwhelm them, and the dogs get a treat every time they approach the children.

The reading program is offered once a month, at the state’s humane society’s headquarters in St. Louis.

“These dogs, if you had seen them before the kids sat down, these were the dogs who would stay at the back of their kennel, scared,” said Klepacki. “The goal is to get the dog to come to the front of the kennel by the time they finish their book, or a few books.”

The New ‘Kendall & Kylie’ Mobile Game Has Reached Unprecedented Success Already

Kendall and Kylie Jenner, the youngest members of the notorious Kardashian-Jenner clan, recently released a new mobile game that has already skyrocketed to the top of the mobile app charts.

The game, aptly titled “Kendall and Kylie,” takes players on a “windy path to fame,” according to App Trigger. The ultimate goal is to reach a Kardashian-Jenner level of super-stardom, and Kendall and Kylie make several appearances throughout the game to give advice on fashion, social media, and high-profile parties.

The game was created by Glu Mobile, which has already created the wildly-popular “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” game and “Katy Perry Pop” game.

Although most would agree that Kim Kardashian is the most famous member of the family these days, it seems that her youngest sisters were able to grab the mobile app spotlight with their game even faster than Kim could. “Kendall and Kylie” was released on Feb. 17 and, according to Social Times, it netted more than 1.3 million downloads in the first five days; “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” on the other hand, was only downloaded a measly 612,000 times in its first five days.

The app is available to download on the App Store and on Google Play. It’s free to download, but there are several in-app purchases ranging from $1.99 “Get It Started” kits to a $100 premium pack of “K-Gems,” according to Fortune.

For the record, we aren’t entirely sure what either of those purchases really mean… but all in all, the two sisters earned over $680,000 through in-app purchases within five days.

Having lived in the media spotlight their whole lives, Kendall and Kylie Jenner are pros when it comes to promoting everything from couture fashion lines to lip balm. Promoting a new app is as simple as sending out a few Tweets, posting a screenshot on Instagram, and then letting the media do the rest.

“The app landscape is extremely competitive. There needs to be a clear launch strategy in place two months prior to the anticipated launch of a new app,” said Ola Danilina, CEO and Founder of PMBC Group, a Los Angeles-based tech firm specializing in PR for apps.

“This launch strategy should include beta testing, clear messaging, target demographics and exclusive coverage needs to be confirmed with top media outlets upon launch. Momentum gained in the first three months after launch is crucial to the overall success of the app.”