The week that was (05-25-2018)

Last week we learned of a 69-year old double amputee that climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest. This week it’s a veteran Sherpa guide who just finished his record 222th time up the mountain.

For the first time in its 226-year history, a woman will lead the New York Stock Exchange. Also, the Fearless Girl statue will be moved from her spot staring down Wall Street’s bronze Charging Bull to a new home facing the New York Stock Exchange.

An estimated 177.7 million U.S. adults, 70.3% of the total population, regularly use another digital device while watching TV.

Last quarter, cinema box office sales were greater in China than in the United States.

A sinkhole opened up on the White House lawn, in front of the press briefing room.

At least 445 billion dollars were lost last year due to cybercrime. Up 30% from just three years ago.

China’s second largest, state-owned bank, offered wealthy clients the opportunity to have dinner with the Donald Trump for $150,000 a ticket.

Two Toronto police officers have been formally charged with eating edibles on duty. The officers were busted back in January when they called for emergency assistance at about 1 a.m. because one of them got stuck in a tree.

A hotel in England finally put an end to a man’s 5-day drug binge when they stopped him while he was carrying a large bag of potatoes up to his room while wearing a bra over his shirt. When asked what he was doing, he responded that he was filling his bathtub with the spuds because, “it felt like the right thing to do at the time.”

Chinese facial-recognition cameras have been working overtime picking out fugitives in the crowds. At a concert one man was picked up when he was leaving a concert. His crime? “Not paying for about $17,000 worth of potatoes he had bought in 2015.”

The DEA has confessed that it raided the wrong house in Tennessee. A father of four says a team busted through the front door, threw flash bangs, knocked pictures off walls, damaged the ceiling and burned holes through clothes and carpet. “I am okay and could have easily been killed just thankful to be alive and my family okay,” he wrote.

Scientists at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have discovered trace elements of the opioid oxycodone present in mussels and other shellfish in the waters off Seattle.

The Journal of Neurosurgery published a paper that finally explained how Michael Jackson was able to lean 45° forward in the Smooth Criminal video.

Photo credit: The Shark from the 1975 Spielberg film ‘Jaws’ (via Reddit)

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Robin Williams – little spark of madness

How did I make it this far without ever hearing this Robin Williams bit? I really miss him. The world is a darker place without him.

You got to be crazy,
It’s too late to be sane, too late
You got to go full-tilt bozo
Cause, you’re only given a little spark of madness
If you lose that, you’re nothing
Don’t ever lose that cause it keeps you alive.

The week that was, Royal Wedding edition

The United Kingdom will shut down this weekend for the Royal Wedding. Punters are betting on everything with 2:1 odds that the queen will be wearing a blue hat while the appearance of a white hat is a long 33:1.

While doing research for the wedding, a staff writer for The New Yorker discovered that Her Majesty The Queen, “owns all porpoises, whales, sturgeon, and dolphins that pass within three miles of Britain’s shores.”

Sweden is well on its way to becoming a cashless society. Fewer than half of Swedish banks keep any cash on hand. In other news, thousands of Swedes are implanting microchips under their skin to save having to carry around ID cards.

The city of Chicago is selling more than 3,200 vacant lots on the city’s South and West sides for just $1 each.

A robotic dragon burst into flames during a parade at Disney World. On-lookers, unaware of the calamity, thought the pyrotechnics were all part of the act.

West Japan Railways issued a statement after one of its trains mistakenly departed a station 25 seconds early. The company spokesman said the incident was, “truly inexcusable.”

A family in China was dismayed to discover that their adopted pet dog with a ravenous appetite was, in fact, a bear.

Watching Westworld? UCLA neuroscientists reported Monday that they have transferred a memory from one animal to another via injections of RNA.

A member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology skeptical about climate change suggested that perhaps the sea level was rising because of “rocks” in the ocean.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is using doughnuts and bacon to lure black bears into an enclosure where they can get a sample of their fur.

Boeing predicts that over the next two decades China will need 110,000 new pilots. To this end, China is buying up flight-instruction schools in the US, Europe, Australia and Canada.

Xia Boyu, a Chinese climber who lost both legs climbing Everest over 40 years ago, successfully summited the mountain at the age of 69.

Photo: Special marmite packaging ready for the royal wedding this weekend

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Tony Hawk at 50

Tony Hawk turned 50 last Saturday. To celebrate, he did 50 of his original tricks, in succession.

“Maybe I can raise some awareness about being active and old,” Hawk said with a laugh (interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The week that was (05-11-2018)

California passed the UK to become the 5th largest economy in the world.

An Israeli settlement camp in the West Bank was the first to deploy miniature drones to secure its borders.

Feliks Zemdegs from Australia has broken the world record for solving a Rubik’s cube. He did it in just 4.22 seconds.

It took three months for the Postal Service and UPS to catch on that a man in Chicago had submitted a change of address form to redirect all of UPS’ corporate mail to Apartment L2, 6750 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago where the resident intercepted, sorted, and cashed $60k in checks meant for UPS.

A man in China accidentally paid over $29,000 for two steamed buns when he entered his PIN instead of approximately 30 cents he owed into Alipay, the mobile payment app he was using.

Detailed radar surveys of Mt. Mantap, the site of North Korea’s underground nuclear test site, revealed that the most recent explosion vaporized granite rock causing a cavity about, “the size of a football stadium” and caused the mountain to collapse into itself.

It was revealed that the iconic cascading green characters shown at the beginning of all Matrix films are just recipes for sushi.

“I was imagining about 100 or 200 people might want to come, not 30,000,” said Laurent Luft, the president of the Paris Naturist Association which organized an art exhibit where you are required to leave your clothes at the door.

Google announced that it has taught a computer to say, “um-hmm” which was heralded as a major leap forward in Artificial Intelligence.

A pitcher for the Red Sox got in trouble after some speculated that his three-hour Fortnite sessions caused carpal tunnel injury endangering his pitching.

China is building high rise buildings to house industrial pig farms.

Photo: Truck carrying chocolate overturned on a Polish highway (NYT)

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The week that was, May-the-Forth be with you edition

The world’s oldest spider died. She was 43.

Gibson Guitar, makers of BB King’s Lucille and Jimmy Page’s double-neck, declared bankruptcy.

Soni Wolf, the founding member of the San Francisco-based group, Dykes on Bikes, died of natural causes. She was 69.

A group of Iranian women disguised themselves with beards and wigs in order to sneak in and watch a soccer game.

Italians are bringing in Chinese labor to work in Tuscany to make expensive handbags that carry the coveted, “Made in Italy” label. Many of these handbags are probably exported back to China.

More than 500 students and teachers were evacuated from a university in Australia because of rotting durian that had been left in a cupboard.

The photography world erupted in controversy after an award-winning wildlife photo was accused of photo-shopping in a stuffed anteater. But doubts remain.

Ford announced new technology they are developing for car windows that allows for blind people to “feel” the view.

Engineers in NYC are volunteering time and hardware to build NYC Mesh, a guerrilla alternative network to the expensive, centralized ISPs.

A museum in the South of France had an existential crisis when it discovered that over half of its collection are forgeries.

UC Berkeley announced plans to build housing on People’s Park.

Goldman Sachs President David Solomon said that artificial intelligence has made many of the jobs on Wall Street unnecessary. On the equity desk, “where 15-20 years ago we had 500 people making markets in stocks. Today we have three.”

Taylorism is alive and well in China as it was revealed that workers in high-stress environments, “wear caps to monitor their brainwaves, data that management then uses to adjust the pace of production and redesign workflows”

Facebook published research that demonstrates how they can send messages directly to your skin.

The first person charged under Malaysia’s new Anti-Fake News law was sentenced to one month in prison for exaggerating local police response times in a video he uploaded to YouTube.

Photo credit: Thanks to Isaac Hepworth for the chyron generator and Julia for the text.

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The week that was (04-27-2018)

MedMen, a high-end marijuana dispensary, opened its doors on Fifth Avenue.

“It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and out of control,” said Gilberto Escamilla, a South Texas man pleading guilty to stealing $1.2M in fajitas.

Because of quadruple-digit inflation in Venezuela, computers at the country’s stock exchange are no longer able to efficiently calculate share prices.

Students at the UC Berkeley elected a squirrel to its student senate.

Avery Island, the home of Tabasco, is in danger due to rising sea levels.

Kim Jong Un  brought his own toilet to the historic Korea summit.

Scientists can now successfully keep a pig’s brain alive, without the body.

Donald Trump’s scheduled visit to the UK in July will fall on Friday the 13th when there will also be a partial eclipse of the sun.

After an argument with his mother, a 12-year old boy grabbed his mom’s credit card and took a 4-day holiday in Bali.

California has several initiatives to break off from the United States. In Memphis, leaders are discussing leaving the State of Tennessee.

It was reported that only three wild caribou are left in the contiguous United States.

Scientists grew vegetables in Antarctica without soil or sunlight to determine if it might be possible to grow crops on a potential mission to Mars.

A mail carrier in Brooklyn stashed about 17,000 pieces of undelivered mail for more than a decade because he was “overwhelmed”

A road that recharges electric vehicles as they drive on it opened in Sweden.

An engineer in Japan who grew up watching The Transformers, built one.

Photo credit “What the Verdun battlefield looks like now”  jeroentje22

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The week that was (04-20-2018)

The CEO of MGA Entertainment bid $890 million in a last-minute effort to save Toys R Us from going bankrupt. Five people were arrested after they turned an abandoned Toys R Us into a massive rave.

The Walmart yodeling boy sang at Coachella.

In a leaked memo, Apple warns employees to stop leaking information

Samsung stock plummeted 10% after an employee of Samsung Securities pressed the wrong key and mistakenly unleashed 2 billion shares (worth about $105 billion USD) to members of its stock option program instead of 2 billion won (about $2 billion USD). The mistake was compounded during the 37 minutes it took to realize and correct the error when several eagle-eyed employees sold their windfall, flooding the market and depressing share prices.

The IRS’ “modernized eFile tax system,” built to handle bulk tax form submissions from online services such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s Tax Cut, crashed on the last day to file taxes.

In preparation for the eventual colonization of space, NASA shot human sperm into space.

Bitcoin prices spiked with some attributing the renewed interest to the cryptocurrency satisfying conditions that would make it halal.

Scientists accidentally created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drink bottles.

Four recent MIT graduates unveiled their new “Spyce Kitchen,” a robotic cooking machine about the size of a refrigerator which, at the press of a button, can turn out in less than three minutes any of the seven chef-approved bowls of stew on its menu. The first prototype, built in the basement of their fraternity house, “was conceived as an engineering solution to every hungry college student’s gripe — where to get good, cheap food fast.”

If you think your coffee has a bit too much of a jolt in it, beware. It might contain used battery dust.

A trader named Morgan Stanley was fired from Morgan Stanley.

Police in Louisiana say a woman came home to discover a naked stranger in her tub, eating her Cheetos while taking a bath.

In what is being hailed as a “Moon-landing equivalent for robots,” two engineers in Singapore have built an AI-powered robot that can build an IKEA chair in less than 21-minutes without instructions.

The FDA approved contact lenses that darken in sunlight.

Remember that burned out home in San Jose listed for $800,000? A condemed home in Fremont, just a few miles away, sold for $1.2 million, all cash.

A small town in Georgia prepared for a large Neo-Nazi march scheduled in their town by inviting families to draw rainbows and unicorns along the parade route.

Five men that attended San Rafael High School in 1971 came forward with the origin story of 420 code with published evidence.

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