Videos: What Are Zen Magnets and Why Is the Federal Government Banning Them?

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Anthony Camera
Zen Magnets can be used to make complex shapes.
This week's cover story, "Magnetic Attraction," tells the tale of Zen Magnets, a Denver company founded in 2009 by University of Colorado grad Shihan Qu. The company sells -- you guessed it -- magnets. But these aren't just any magnets. They're tiny, high-powered spherical magnets that can be used to build everything from complex geometric shapes (octahedron cuboctahedron honeycomb, anyone?) to replicas of Super Mario Bros. characters. And last month, they were banned by the federal government.

Below, we've compiled several videos that help tell the story of Zen Magnets.

See also: Denver's Zen Magnets Is Fighting the Federal Government Over Its Ban of Tiny Magnet Balls

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Ray J. Roberts, R.I.P.: Remembering Scooter Crash Victim With Rock-and-Roll Heart

Categories: News

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A Facebook photo of Ray J. Roberts. More images below.
As you can see in this Facebook photo, shot during the Offspring's set at Fiddler's Green in August, Ray J. Roberts had a rock-and-roll heart. Those he left behind are celebrating this quality in their remembrances of Roberts, who died on Sunday in a scooter crash initially thought to have been a hit-and-run. Photos and details below.

See also: Dan Peterson, R.I.P.: Remembering Hit-and-Run Victim Who Elevated Bike-Safety Concerns

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Clayton Lockett Botched Execution: Denver's David Lane Files Suit Over "Disgrace to USA"

Categories: News

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A booking photo of Clayton Lockett. Additional images, a video and more below.
Attorney David Lane has long been among the most prominent opponents of capital punishment in Colorado. You'll recall that he represented Edward Montour, who was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole earlier this year after questions about the death that led to his initial imprisonment prompted prosecutors to drop a long-running death-penalty bid over a prison murder.

Now, Lane is taking on a case with a huge national profile: a lawsuit against assorted Oklahoma officials and co-defendants (including a doctor who previously had not been publicly identified) over the botched execution of convicted killer Clayton Lockett earlier this year. Here's more about the complaint, including Lane's comments and the complete document.

See also: Edward Montour Death Penalty Bid Dropped in Favor of Life Without Possibility of Parole

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Sir Mario Owens: False Evidence in Death-Penalty Case a "New Low," Defense Claims

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Sir Mario Owens.
Determined to demonstrate just how far he believed Arapahoe County prosecutors had strayed over the line in the effort to obtain the death penalty against his client, defense attorney Jim Castle resorted to a visual aid. During a hearing late Friday, he presented District Judge Gerald Rafferty with a wheeled cart piled with documents that he said prosecutors were obligated to turn over to the defense before trial but failed to do so -- a transgression of due-process rights known as a Brady violation.

"There are so many violations in this case, I can't cover them all," Castle said. "How did this happen? This shouldn't happen. If it's allowed, we will accept a new low for justice in Colorado."

See also: Defense Claims Government Misconduct in Death-Penalty Case

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Ricardo Damian, Denver Cop, Suspended for Calling Colleague "Dyke Bitch" and More

Categories: News

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Ricardo Damian. More photos below.
In the wake of well-publicized troubles involving multiple Denver police officers, the city's Department of Safety has been making a very public display of disciplining cops for behavior deemed over-the-line. Latest example: Ricardo Damian, an officer who's served more than two decades with the DPD, has been suspended for using homophobic and otherwise offensive language against female colleagues, including one he allegedly referred to as a "dyke bitch." Photos and details below.

See also: See Seven Denver Cops to Get in Trouble in 2014, Including Daniel Diaz de Leon

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Jesus Holguin Accused of Taking Kidnapped Denver Teen to Phoenix, Raping Her

Categories: News

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Jesus Holguin. More photos and a video below.
What the hell's going on with teen kidnappings that cross state lines and have Colorado connections? Last month, there was the case of Jillian Burgos, a fourteen-year-old from Maryland who was found in Colorado with alleged kidnapper Timothy Wind. Now, a sixteen-year-old has been rescued in Phoenix after police say Jesus Holguin kidnapped her from Colorado and then sexually assaulted her multiple times. Photos, a video and details below.

See also: Jillian Burgos Safe, Timothy Wind Busted for Kidnapping 14-Year-Old He Met on Internet

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Denver's Zen Magnets Is Fighting the Federal Government Over Its Ban of Tiny Magnet Balls

Categories: Business, News

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Anthony Camera
Shihan Qu, the founder of Zen Magnets, is fighting the federal government.
Smart and self-assured, with jet-black hair and the faintest of goatees, Shihan Qu is the reigning king of magnet balls. His ascension to the throne wasn't so much the result of hard-won battles against other magnet magnates as it was the outcome of a process of elimination. While other companies that sold powerful BB-sized magnets, most often marketed as adult desk toys, folded under pressure from the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, the 27-year-old Qu has stood firm, willing to take on the feds all by himself.

Last month, he sat in his rented Denver office to watch the CPSC make a decision that would have big consequences for Zen Magnets, the company he founded five years ago. The meeting was taking place 1,600 miles away in a staid boardroom in Bethesda, Maryland, and being live-streamed online for anyone who wanted to watch it. Qu did.

See also: Barrel Man: After Plenty of Blood, Sweat and Beers, Skyler Weekes Is on a Roll

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A Flamingo Named T-Boz? Denver Zoo Holds Contest to Name New Chicks

Categories: News

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Denver Zoo
The Denver Zoo has a strange tradition when it comes to naming its flamingos: It calls them after rock guitarists like Hendrix and Page. In August, the zoo welcomed three new fuzzy grey chicks, and it's holding a contest to name them. The zoo is soliciting monikers for these lovable living lawn ornaments on its Facebook page, and anyone who makes a suggestion can also enter to win a $500 flight voucher from Frontier Airlines. Thus far, the contest has attracted hundreds of suggestions.

We combed through them and picked our favorites.

See also: Zoo Matchmakers Help Animals Do What Should Come Naturally

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Same-Sex Couples Can Now Obtain Marriage Licenses in Denver, Other Counties

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Fran and Anna Simon were the first same-sex couple to get married in Denver this summer.
Same-sex couples can once again obtain marriage licenses in Denver, thanks to a ruling issued today by the Colorado Supreme Court and on view below.

The high court lifted stays against Denver County Clerk Debra Johnson and the clerks in Boulder and Adams counties, allowing all three to begin issuing licenses. Johnson sent out a pair of celebratory tweets this morning: "Equality at last wins!" she wrote.

See also: The Fight Over Same-Sex Marriage Made This a Long, Hot Summer for Colorado AG John Suthers

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Update: Same-Sex Marriage OK'd By Attorney General After Supreme Court Punted

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More photos below.
Update: Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has just announced that he will not attempt to block the state from beginning to issue same-sex marriage licenses, as had been feared by some observers after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear multiple cases on the topic.

Continue for Suthers's statement, followed by our previous coverage.

See also: A Same Sex-Marriage Plaintiff's Open Letter to Attorney General John Suthers

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