Monthly Archives: April 2019

The week that was (04-26-19)

An Easter Bunny broke up a brawl in Orlando.

The Ukrainian comedian mentioned in the April 5th TWTW not only won the runoff election, he is now President. After getting more than 70% of the votes, Volodymyr Zelensky, the man who plays president on a popular tv show, has defeated the incumbent President.

Researchers at the UC San Francisco have developed a set of sensors that can read a patient’s mind and synthesize the words they are thinking.

A group of people in Las Vegas celebrated Earth Day by getting married to the Earth.

Residents in England took to the streets and painted penis graffiti on all the potholes around town to force the city to fill the holes and cover them up. Resident Brad Nicholson said the potholes had been there for more than a year, adding: “The power of the willy.”

For some reason, scientists in China decided it would be interesting to inject human brain genes into monkey embryos.

Brazilian police have taken a parrot into custody after it nearly foiled a raid on its drug dealer owners. “He must have been trained for this,” one officer involved in the operation said of the two-winged wrongdoer. “As soon as the police got close he started shouting.”

A man wearing a Be a Good Human t-shirt broke into a shop and stole $100k worth of jewelry.

Photo credit: Nidhal Selmi’s impossible triangle, via Kottke

The week that was (04-19-19)

An Indiana man is suing his parents for getting rid of his vast pornography collection, which he estimates is worth $29,000.

Game developer Ubisoft carefully documented Notre Dame in order to reproduce it for their video game, Assassin’s Creed. Ubisoft has not only handed over their files to the architects on the cathedral restoration project and donated €500,000 to the effort, they also and are offering a free download of the game so everyone can experience the cathedral for themselves.

A team of Tel Aviv University researchers have “printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers” using 3-D printing technology.

The US Navy is getting serious about commissioning pilotless drone submarines.

Workers misspelled the word, “School” on a road outside a school in Florida.

Scientists say that it’s only a matter of time before the rapidly shifting magnetic North Pole moves from Canadian to Russian territory.

Proprietors of the mobile app Car2Go were shocked to discover that more than 100 vehicles have. . . gone missing.

Photo credit: Mueller Report – Axios has a searchable version

The week that was (04-12-19)

A California store is looking for the man who stole a chainsaw by stuffing it down his pants and walking calmly (and gingerly) out the door.

It took less than five minutes for a group of men in balaclavas to operate an excavator to scoop up a gas station ATM and drop it into a waiting getaway car.

“We breached the bathroom door and encountered a very thorough vacuuming job being done by a Roomba,” said a sheriff’s deputy after responding to a 911 call from an Oregon woman reporting that someone was in her bathroom with the door locked and that she could see shadows moving under the door.

Election hacking was uncovered at Berkeley High School when the student commissioner discovered irregularities in the leading candidates’ electronic ballots.

The BT Tower in London was lit up last weekend not with its usual bands of color but the Microsoft Windows start up message.

A skull and a pair of pants were all that was left of a suspected rhino poacher who was attacked and killed by an elephant and then devoured by lions.

A Dutch F-16 somehow managed to hit itself when the jet accelerated into a dive and caught up with and passed the 20mm rounds it fired and was shot by said rounds as the plane pulled out of its firing run.

The Swiss have determined that coffee is no longer vital for survival and therefore will be removed from the nation’s emergency stockpile.

Legalization of marijuana in Oregon and federal restrictions against transportation across state lines has resulted in a surplus of weed (1 million pounds), enough to last for the next seven years.

Photo credit: xkcd

The week that was (04-05-19)

Monday was April Fool’s Day which is always busy day at SmartNews because even the most sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms have a hard time detecting satire. Now, onto the news that was, unbelievably, real.

Scientists published a paper that concluded that music by dubstep star Skrillex can keep mosquitoes from biting.

“By coincidence, and rather amusingly, they recognised each other in the sauna,” said the Swedish police officer after his colleague apprehended a fugitive while they were both naked.

In the Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, who plays the Ukrainian president on TV, got twice as many votes as the current leader Petro Poroshenko, and will face him in a runoff vote on April 21st.

A 64 year-old civilian man was injured last month when, during his ride with a French Air Force military jet, his ejection seat fired, sending him soaring into the sky.

Residents of a Seattle suburb are dealing with a unique problem. Majestic Bald Eagles are swooping down, picking up trash at the local dump, and raining it down on houses in the area (perhaps in protest?).

A man who just left jail was re-booked into the same prison he just left. He was booked for burglary, grand theft, and possession of stolen property. He was caught trying to steal a car from the prison parking lot.

As far as the British Passport Authority is concerned, Brexit has already happened and the UK has already left the EU. New passports issued on March 30th did not have the “European Union” label on the cover.

Elon Musk shared future plans that will help offset the costs of owning a Tesla. The auto-piloted cars will drive themselves around, picking up passengers, competing with Lyft and Uber and earning money for their owners while they sleep.

Photo credit: Reddit user O1oll

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Algorithms don’t get humor

April Fool’s Day is always a busy day at SmartNews as our news discovery algorithm get overly excited with all the cool, interesting and unique news released that day. Here’s a running log of what we’ve had to gently remind the algorithm is actually just a joke.

Hope you had a good April Fools.