The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 5.1-magnitude earthquake in Alleghany County, N.C., on Sunday, Aug. 9, at 8:07 a.m., about the same time parishioners at St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Charlotte, 100 miles to the south, gathered at mass and heard this among the morning's Bible readings: "After the wind there was an earthquake — but the Lord was not in the earthquake." The Rev. Richard Sutter, pastor at St. Gabriel, later told the Charlotte Observer he didn't feel the rumble himself, but several worshipers approached him after the outdoor service to share the "God-incidence." The Rev. Cory Catron, closer to the epicenter near Sparta, also felt the quake and said it made for "good homily material." As his services ended later that morning, an aftershock rattled his church.

Cheers to creativity

As wildfires tore through parts of California on Aug. 19, Chad Little of Vacaville and his family prepared to evacuate, but Little changed his mind and decided to stay, he told KCRA. The family is in the process of rebuilding the home they lost five years ago in an attic fire, and "I can't let it go," he said. Little had hoses ready, but when the electricity went out, the water was cut off, so he grabbed a rake to clear away dry grass. As his cars and shop began to catch fire, he reached for the only liquid he had — cans of Bud Light — shaking and spraying them at the fire, dousing the flames before firefighters arrived. "My buddies all tease me about drinking water-beer," he said. "I say, 'Hey, it saved my shop.' "

Emojis have a time and a place

Sonja Lee has been struggling to make rent on her Houston apartment since losing her job in March, and has talked with her landlord about payment arrangements. But on Aug. 17, she received an eviction notice in the form of a piece of paper taped to her door that read, "Guess who's moving? You!!!" accompanied by a smiley face emoji and a demand to turn in her keys by 6 p.m. that night. "So y'all think it's funny," Lee told ABC 13 News. "There was nothing funny about that." The apartment complex owner said the manager has been disciplined and has apologized.

Beefing up didn't pay off

Crooner James Blunt recently revealed that early in his college years at the University of Bristol, he adopted a completely carnivorous diet in order to prove his manliness, according to Men's Health. "I just lived on mince, some chicken, maybe with some mayonnaise, and it took me about six to eight weeks to get very, very unhealthy and see a doctor, who said, 'I think you've got the symptoms of scurvy.' " Blunt tried to reverse the vitamin C deficiency that causes scurvy by drinking a liter of orange juice every night, which caused him to develop acid reflux. "So as you can see, yeah, food is not necessarily my forte."

A bird's-eye view

Police in Brockville, Ontario, say a homeowner ignored a warning from his pet parrot on Aug. 17 because the bird "isn't always a reliable source of information," CTV reported. As a thief entered the home through an unlocked door, authorities said, the parrot issued a friendly "hello," which didn't alert the homeowner or deter the man from taking a credit card. A neighbor photographed the suspect leaving the scene and security cameras later caught a 33-year-old man using the stolen card at a store, said police, who arrested him.

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