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A bomb threat shut down San Francisco's Union Square yesterday for approximately two hours.

The incident took place around 11:45 a.m. when an unattended backpack was discovered along Stockton Street.

San Francisco's Union Square

In response, authorities ordered a multi-block area in the city to be closed, as workers in the vicinity were asked to remain inside their businesses and tourists were ordered to avoid the area. Cable car service was also stopped during the investigation.

Fortunately, bomb-sniffing dogs and their human colleagues did not find anything dangerous inside the suspicious device, which was sitting near a text that had been set for this weekend's women's marathon.

"It's better to be safe than sorry," Police spokesman Albie Esparza told The San Francisco Chronicle of why a shutdown was ordered. "We take these incidents really seriously."

Union Square is a major tourist draw in San Francisco. It is visited by millions every year and is comprised of many high-end retail stores.

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The year isn't over yet, but the most popular baby names of 2013 thus far have been revealed, with some notable results that may surprise parents.

Kim Kardashian Baby Photo

George, which didn’t rank in the Top 100 names for 2012, has vaulted up to #52 in the past three months, thanks to royal baby Prince George.

Still, he's got a long way to go to catch Asher, a surprising #1 on the boys' side. For girls, Imogen's lead over longtime favorite Charlotte is growing.

Among unisex names, Rowan is the new leader, growing in popularity among children of both genders and claiming the unisex crown from Quinn.

Celebrities have a big influence on the new popularity lists. Thanks to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, North ranks seventh among unisex names.

Follow the jump for the Top 10 baby names in all three categories:

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As Sisqo once sang, let me see that thong! Thong, thong, thong, thong, thong. Well, easy there. Not only is that a bad song, the item may be bad for you.

Sometimes they're too tight, sometimes they rub the wrong way and sometimes they just don't feel all that clean. Experts suggest that they are not.

Thongs aren't necessarily bad, says Jill M. Rabin, Professor or Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

"If somebody's healthy, there aren't really any dangers," she says, however, "The issue is if you have a predisposition to getting infections, either urinary or vaginal."

In that case, "it may be harder to get rid of it if you're wearing a thong."

What are the features of thongs that put you at risk for health issues?

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Cristy Nicole Deweese, the teacher at a Dallas-area magnet school who became a magnet for controversy thanks to her nude modeling past, has been fired.

According to the Dallas Observer, she was dismissed last week.

Cristy Nicole Deweese Playboy

The site cites tweets from the 21-year-old Spanish teacher, a Facebook page calling for her reinstatement, and her updated modeling profile.

Deweese, 21, reportedly texted Inside Edition, "They fired me!"

She also referred to her firing in tweets, saying that she would miss her students. The Dallas Independent School District has not commented.

Cristy Nicole Deweese posed for Playboy when she was 18, before she was ever a teacher. She did it to earn money to earn her teaching certificate.

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A Boston-area man picked up a restaurant tab for a stranger he overheard tearfully discussing a medical diagnosis, and the waiter documented it on Reddit.

"While waiting tables tonight, a mother and daughter started crying mid-meal," wrote the server on the site, describing the heartwarming experience.

"I had no idea what happened until a single guy at the table next to them handed me this note [seen below] with his bill. Faith in humanity, restored."

The waiter told the Huffington Post he couldn't confirm the relationship between the two women, but he was fairly certain they were mother and daughter.

After they ordered, the woman whom the waiter believes was the daughter took a phone call. Both women then started crying. Recounts the server:

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We all know Oreos are addictive, but a new study suggests that the cookies are as addicting as actual drugs ... at least in the way the brain responds to them.

The “pleasure center” of the brain, the nucleus accumbens, apparently gets just as activated in response to Oreos as it does to cocaine and morphine.

That could certainly have some pretty major public health implications if Oreos were as damaging to one's system as the aforementioned narcotics.

They're not, of course, and the study was only done in rats. However, the Connecticut College authors say it’s likely relevant to humans as well.

It could explain, they say why people have such a hard time resisting eating an entire sleeve of the cookies after they've set out just to eat one.

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by Free Britney at . Comments

Maria Kang, a very fit mom of three, is accused of "fit-shaming" women in a Facebook photo she shared, and now refuses to apologize for.

The 32-year-old fitness enthusiast and former beauty queen shared this image of herself in a workout bra and short shorts, flaunting her toned body:

Maria Kang (Fit Mom) Photo

Alongside her? Kang's three sons, ages 3 years, 2 years, and 8 months, with the caption: "What's Your Excuse?" Just motivating others, right?

Depends who you ask. The picture sparked a comment war, with many of 12,000 (!) responses accusing her of fat-shaming, a charge Kang denies.

After she responded with what she calls a "non-apology," the debate escalated. How did she address some of the criticism she received? Read on ...

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by Steve Marsi at . Comments

U.S. Senate leaders said Wednesday that they reached a bipartisan agreement to end a 16-day government shutdown and avert default on the national debt.

Congress will now attempt to quickly advance the legislation in hopes of avoiding default on the national debt and reopening the government tomorrow.

Crucially, conservatives in the Senate, particularly Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, said they would not use procedural tactics to slow a vote on the legislation.

That brightens the odds of a quick solution on the bipartisan deal to reopen the government through mid-January and raise the debt ceiling until February.

Its exact path through both chambers and prospects for passage are still uncertain, however, and nothing has been officially signed as of now.

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by Steve Marsi at . Comments

What began as a simple snorkel off the coast of Southern California last weekend ended with the discovery of an 18-foot oarfish by a marine science instructor.

If you haven't heard of the oarfish, you're not alone. The giant deep-sea creature remains little known to the science world as well as people outside it.

So imagine the shock of Jasmine Santana, who found the 18-foot-long, silvery fish with reddish fins and eyes the size of a half-dollar staring at her ...

Realizing it was dead, she snatched the fish's tail from the ocean floor (in 15 feet of water), and using low tide and buoyancy to her advantage, powered up to shore.

After a 15-minute swim hauling its 400-pound carcass, she needed help from 14 people to get the fish out of the water at Toyon Bay, California.

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by Steve Marsi at . Comments

Harry Belafonte wants to sell the original, penned speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr., and the late civil rights icon's estate is none too thrilled about it.

Belafonte has the notes that were in Dr. King's suit pocket when he was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968, among other items he says MLK gave him.

The 86-year-old Belafonte also has a condolence letter written to King's widow, Coretta Scott King (1927-2006), by then-President Lyndon Johnson.

He also has various MLK speeches, including an outline of the famous "The Casualties of the War in Vietnam" speech delivered by the acclaimed orator.

Belafonte tried to sell the documents at a Sotheby's auction in 2008, but the Estate objected and the auction was nixed. How he is suing to try again.

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