by Free Britney at . Comments

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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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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by Steve Marsi at . Comments

Nominees for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's 2014 class have been revealed, and one group stands head and shoulders above all.

Nirvana, the influential grunge rock trio whose first album release came a quarter century ago, is eligible for consideration for the first time in 2014.

Nirvana Picture

The band joins the ranks of other first-time nominees such as Linda Ronstadt, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates and Yes in vying for music immortality.

Also on the ballot are favorites from last year such as Kiss, Chic, Deep Purple and The Meters, along with hip-hop luminaries N.W.A. and LL Cool J.

It's a diverse field, one that will likely see fan support behind beloved acts and spark plenty of debate over what even constitutes a rock and roll artist.

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Instead of boarding the school bus as usual September 10, Rebecca Sedwick changed the name on her cell phone to "That Dead Girl" and sent a text to a friend.

"I'm jumping and I can't take it anymore," the 12-year-old wrote, then proceeded to climb a tower at an abandoned cement plant and leap to her death.

Police believe Rebecca had been bullied for more than a year, and two girls, ages 12 and 14, have been charged with aggravated stalking as a result.

Deputies arrested the girls and released them to their parents' custody.

The 14-year-old girl, whose name is being withheld, allegedly began taunting Rebecca Sedwck in the halls of Crystal Lake Middle School in Lakeland, Fla.

The 14-year-old also started dating Rebecca's former boyfriend.

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by Steve Marsi at . Comments

The Washington association that lobbies for lobbyists feels the group needs some rebranding and wants to change its name to nix the word “lobbyists.”

The leaders of the American League of Lobbyists say their work has evolved, and members do lots more than troll Congress to try to shape legislation.

They’re into grassroots organizing and public affairs, they say and other sorts of politics and advocacy. In short, they’re not simply lobbyists anymore!

Lobbyists

But as professionals, they know that reputation matters, and theirs stinks (see above). They poll only slightly better than U.S. Congress these days.

“Everybody has a misconception that lobbyists are walking around with a pocketful of cash and that’s it,” said Monte Ward, the group’s president.

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Anonymous has turned its attention to Maryville, Mo., where a small-town rape scandal isn't resulting in the justice they feel a teenage girl deserves.

"There's a multitude of anons and angry people planning a course of action as we speak for Maryville," said Deric Lostutter, aka RealKYAnonymous.

If the Maryville authorities won't "do their jobs," the hacktivist's boldly declares on behalf of one young victim, "we will have to stand for them."

"We demand an immediate investigation into the handling by local authorities of Daisy's case," his statement reads, referring to Daisy Coleman.

Just 14 at the time, she was drunk when high school football player Matthew Barnett, then 17, allegedly sexually assaulted her last year at a house party.

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