The week that was (10-12-2018)

Birds are getting drunk after eating too many fermented berries.

A Grand Rapids man thought the rock that he has been using for years as a doorstop didn’t look like a normal rock. He was right.

A  man who used a stolen credit card to pay his court fines was subsequently booked for stealing credit cards.

Seconds after the gavel came down on the sale of a Banksy piece at Sotheby’s for $1.3M, a hidden motor in the frame shredded the piece. The destruction of the painting increased the value of the painting which art brokers are now saying may have doubled in value. Some speculate Sotheby’s was in on the prank.

The prestigious Rooney Prize for Irish Literature awarded annually by Trinity Dublin College was awarded to one of its janitors.

Over 300 suspected Russian spies were uncovered in Europe when reporters uncovered that they had registered their cars to the address of their military dormitory in Russia.

“Your radical socialist kickboxing lesbian Indian” was how a Michael Kalny, Kansas GOP precinct committeeman, described the Democratic congressional candidate in a Facebook post. He resigned.

Researchers at MIT have simplified the Turing test to a single word that distinguishes higher level human intelligence from a computer’s artificial intelligence. That word is poop.

Researchers at a university in Melbourne have invented a new font named that has been demonstrated to increase retention. They dubbed the new font, Sans Forgetica.

Another flight was delayed (2 hours) over a disagreement on what the airline would consider an emotional support animal (squirrel).

Hunters in India tracking down a tigress suspected to have killed up to 13 people deployed an men’s cologne to flush out the man-eating big cat from the jungle. Calvin Klein Obsession for Men worked best.

Photo credit: Reddit user xsited

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The week that was (2018-10-05)

A woman in Columbia was caught having an affair she and her lover were picked up in an Uber that was driven by her husband.

China will begin construction of a replica of Shakespeare’s hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon. The real town is one of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists visiting England.

The media really piled it on Donald Trump. Even Scientific American couldn’t help themselves.

Animal scientists were busy. We now know how giraffes get their spots and why elephants have wrinkles.

In Arkansas, a hole opened up in the ground and shot flames 12 feet into the sky and burned for 40 minutes. No one knows why but officials have “ruled out” Satan. The flames erupted in front of a billboard advertising the Baxter Regional Medical Center’s Bone & Joint Clinic who were pleased with the free publicity.

A 1926 bottle of the Macallan 60-Year-Old whisky sold at auction for $1,100,000.

Thieves in Southern Germany harvested and made off with an entire vineyard of Riesling grapes. Police suspect a rival vintner.

An elderly couple lost their way home from a short trip to the hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee. The ordeal turned into a five day trip through three states ending in Atlanta, Georgia where they were discovered by police. They are recovering at home but their relieved daughter has decided to take the car keys away.

It is now against the law for mapmakers in the United Kingdom to put the Shetland Islands “in a box.”

A global study determined that between 2011 and 2017, over 250 people have perished in “selfie-related deaths.” The study noted a sharp increase in the death rate in 2016 concurrent with the release of the “selfie stick.”

Photo credit: Reddit user Oweat10

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The week that was (2018-09-28)

An amateur botanist in search of rare flowers in remote West Papua, Indonesia took a snapshot of a tree kangaroo so rare and elusive that it disappeared for nearly a century and was assumed to be extinct. “Only an intrepid Pom in pursuit of rhododendrons would have persevered.”

Scientists determined that sonar signals picked up by the Canadian Coast Guard were from sei whales, previously believed to be extinct.

NASA picked up a faint white dot on the surface of Mars that they believe to be the Opportunity. The 14-year old surface rover has been silent for an agonizing 107 days since going into hibernation to conserve energy from a planet-wide dust storm.

The loss of ice mass due to human-driven climate change, particularly in Greenland, is contributing to a change in how the earth “wobbles” on its axis.

It was observed that praying mantises have learned how to catch fish.

A cafe staffed by robot waiters remotely-controlled by staff with disabilities will open in Tokyo this November. The restaurant is an experiment to see if technology can be used to allow people that, due to their physical handicaps, could otherwise not be employable.

Researchers at the University of Tokyo accidentally created the strongest controllable magnetic field in history and blew the doors of their lab.

German handgun manufacturer Walther is manufacturing a Limited Edition Colt Government 1911 A1 Semi-Automatic pistol that features Donald Trump on the grip and the phrases Make America Great Again, Drain the Swamp, and End Fake News on the barrel.

92-year-old Jean Briggs Watters was buried in Omaha, Nebraska with full British military honors, the Union Jack draping her casket, to the surprise of her unsuspecting neighbors.

Photo credit: Astronaut Alexander Gerst

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The week that was (09-21-2018)

Parents in South Korea are hiring intimidating ‘uncles’ to protect their child from bullies. With the ‘Uncle Package’ a big, intimidating man pretends to be a student’s uncle and gives a stern warning to the bullies, and accompanies the student on their way to school. The service costs about $450/day.

A TV station abruptly went off the air during their weather update on on Hurricane Florence because the newsroom was flooded by Hurricane Florence.

Fed up with the unwinding of proven science, Governor Jerry Brown announced that California will be launching “our own damn satellite” to track climate change.

Police in Alabama are testing an electric lasso that can ensnare a suspect up to 25 feet away and has been likened to a Spider-Man technology.

Golfers at the King’s Walk Golf Course in North Dakota can order food from the clubhouse and have it delivered to them by drone.

The 2nd oldest lightbulb in the world celebrated its 110th birthday.

The airline Cathy Pacific misspelled it’s name on one of its new Boeing 777s.

Coca-Cola is jumping on the CBD train and thinking about making a cannabis-infused drink.

That container ship that set off to attempt passage through the Arctic, over Russia, made it through and is due in St. Petersburg next week.

It was decided that if you’re going to have your kidney stones dislodged by a roller coaster at Disneyland, Big Thunder Mountain was the best one for the task.

After “months of torment” the Ipswich Borough Council finally tracked down why the children’s nursery rhyme  It’s Raining, It’s Pouring was eerily playing from the industrial park in the middle of the night. Spiders.

Photo credit: Reddit user logangrey123

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The week that was (09-13-2018)

A Mississippi high schooler was chosen first as the homecoming queen, then later kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime at the homecoming game as the football place kicker. Kaylee Foster later posed for a photo in her tiara and football uniform.

You know stressed jeans right? A company in Venice is selling sneakers that simulate the old sneaker look. Price? $560.

A man in Florida ran from his car after getting pulled over for speeding. Jumping into a canal to escape pursuit, he later can be heard calling for help. The canal was full of brackish water, overrun by toxic algae. The police rescued him, hosed him off and rinsed his mouth out before taking him in.

A 75-year old Cleveland man spent 14 hours locked in his Cadillac when the electrical system failed and prevented him from opening the doors. Screaming for help from inside his garage and without his cellphone, his neighbors went blissfully about their day until they discovered him later that evening. He was without the car manual that would have guided him to the manual override tucked below his seat.

Two visiting Australian firefighters, volunteering to fight forest fires near the California/Oregon border, reported they were shot at by “men with scoped rifles.” When asked, the people with the rifles said they were hunting bears.

In Portland, the author of How to Murder Your Husband was charged with murdering her husband.

An “enthusiastic parishioner” thought a 500-year old wooden sculpture of Mary, Joseph and Jesus needed a little color and painted them in day-glo jumpers to disastrous effect.

The company that owns Cadbury chocolate, Mondelez International, is stockpiling chocolate and biscuits in case of a hard Brexit.

Photo credit:  “There is a separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.” – Albert Einstein

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The week that was (09-07-2018)

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station were forced to temporarily plug a small hole with someone’s finger and later with some duct tape and epoxy.  As the week progressed, blame shifted from nature (a micrometeoroid) to internal (sabotage) before finally settling on institutional (shoddy workmanship).

Headline of the week award goes to:  Left behind: Thieves raid Virginia store of right foot shoes  h/t to Jane Costello for this one.

A fishmonger in Kuwait was shut down by authorities after it was discovered that they were sticking googly eyes on fish to make them appear fresher.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota have built a bionic eye prototype that could restore sight to the blind.

Africa will, for the first time ever, be host to genetically modified mosquitoes in the wild that produce mostly male offspring as a method of population control.

A motorcycle broke a speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats, topping out at 113 mph, powered by vodka.

Scientists are developing a new type of metal alloy that changes shape and composition at higher temperatures. Such shape-shifting technology holds promise to make more efficient jet engines for quieter airplanes.

A 53-foot trailer loaded with nearly $100,000 worth of ramen noodles was stolen from behind a gas station in Georgia. h/t to Rick Kennedy for this one.

A farmer on the island of Crete who was struggling to free his truck from a mud patch accidentally uncovered an ancient tomb from a civilization that vanished thousands of years ago.

A congressional candidate in Georgia will be running his campaign for office from behind bars after being thrown in jail for drunk driving.

After they were stolen over 13 years ago, Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from the Wizard of Oz were recovered by the FBI and returned to their owner.

Photo credit: reddit user qweratos

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The week that was (08-31-2018)

Scientists found evidence for universes beyond our own. Other scientists discovered a giant deep-sea coral reef deep off the coast of South Carolina.

Senators Jeff Flake and the late John McCain (in one of his last acts before his passing) requested the Pentagon “prohibit the use of funds for the development of beerbots or other robot bartenders.” 

A 69-year-old man was pulled over on suspicion of theft of agricultural products. Inside the trunk of his car, police discovered 800 lbs of stolen lemons.

A sexually frustrated bottle nose dolphin has prompted a French coastal town to issue a swimming ban. At first the dolphin delighted visitors because of its eagerness to interact but the last straw appeared to come last week when the dolphin tossed a young woman bather in the air with its nose.

Animal rights group PETA asked the Maine Department of Transportation for permission to erect a 5-foot tombstone to mark the site of a truck crash that poured over 7,000 lbs of lobsters onto a road. The site will memorialize the “countless sensitive crustaceans” killed in the crash with a gravestone that will read “In memory of the lobsters who suffered and died at this spot August 2018, Try Vegan.”

Thieves in Paraguay replaced working police rifles with toy replicas.

Anthony Scaramucci, the gone-before-you-knew-him White House Communications Director,  is promoting a new, off-Broadway, cabaret-themed show featuring singing performers lampooning Trump’s children, wife, and ex-wives.

A large mural, commissioned by Chicago’s Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, was destroyed just days after the it was completed because it was mistaken as graffiti by the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation.

Coffee is now banned in South Korean schools, even for teachers.

Photo credit: MrRogersGhost on Reddit

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The week that was (08-24-2018)

It costs 2.6 billion bolivars to buy one roll of toilet paper in Venezuela where inflation is 82,700%.

Researchers, faced with a large collection of uncategorized medical images, worked with the developers of the online game, EVE Online, to reward gamers for helping them classify images. “The players are very fast,” they noted.

The Russian maker of the AK-47 announced it’s getting into the electric car business.

Two runaway goats delayed subway service in NYC. The transit authority tweeted out a photo, calling them “very baaaaad boys.”

Chanel announced that it is launching its first line of makeup products for men. The “Boy” line will be available in South Korea starting September 1st.

Michelle Terry, the new head of the historic Globe Theater in London, has said she wants a fifty-fifty male-female ratio in casting from now on. The theater’s new production of Hamlet casts her as Hamlet.

A Pittsburgh production of Romeo and Juliet has been adopted for an all-female cast.

1st Lt. Misa Matsushima became Japan’s first female fighter pilot. She was inspired after watching the movie, Top Gun.

The Danish shipping company, Maersk, announced that Arctic ice has opened up enough to send a container ship over the northern coast of Russia. They join China’s COSCO that has been plying this route for the past three years.

After 110 years, Nabisco’s Animal Crackers have been freed from their cage and now roam free, no longer behind bars.

Photo credit: Carlos Garcia Rawlins for Reuters


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The week that was (08-17-2018)

The massive Carr Fire in Northern California was traced to sparks from a wheel rim of a trailer with a flat tire. When one individual in Redding reached out to forgive the elderly owners of that trailer for what was clearly a tragic mistake, many other followed suit. “I would think, no matter what race, what color, people are kind. . . deep down I think that compassion and community are at the core of human beings.” said Rachel Pilli, the catalyst of good.

Reebok launched a line of shoes made from corn.

Japan launched, in Hiroshima, the nation’s first pizza vending machine.

The Who’s Roger Daltrey said in an interview that hip-hop music has not really evolved and Kanye West’s music is “kind of meaningless.”

A nun from the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in Missouri was caught at Sydney Airport smuggling over a kilogram of cocaine inside a pair of high-heeled shoes. It appears she was an innocent victim and was duped into thinking she was doing someone a favor.

Ikea opened in India with local modifications such as solar-powered delivery rickshaws and samosas and biriyani in the cafeteria instead of the traditional Swedish meatballs.

The “tinny sounds of a cellphone ringtone” cut into the hushed silence of the gallery just as Tiger Woods drew back his club at the PGA Championship causing him to flub an important drive on the 5th hole. “I thought I might see a riot,” wrote one fan.

Mathematicians finally solved the age-old problem of how to break a spaghetti stick into two. (thx Dav)

Berry-growers in the Pacific Northwest have discovered a new way to keep birds from feasting on their crop. Lasers.

6-year-old Caitlin was left alone with her mom’s computer to order herself a new Barbie. She got a little carried away with the one-click Amazon Prime purchase account and racked up $350 in additional toys. She’s lost her internet privileges for a month.

Photo credit: Reddit user ConyCony

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The week that was (08-10-2018)

Two elderly men escaped a nursing home in Germany to go to a heavy metal festival. They were discovered at 3am and were “reluctant to leave” the four-day festival which included bands such as Judas Priest, Hatebreed, In Flames, Running Wild, Arch Enemy, and Eskimo Callboy.

A teenager who really wanted to go to a concert in the next state was arrested for trying to steal a twin-engine jet plane. When asked, the 18-year old said, “he didn’t believe there was much more to the task than pushing buttons and pulling levers.”

A New Zealand man is recovering from injuries sustained while defending a jogger from a herd of hostile cows.

A 9-year-old’s lemonade stand was held up by another boy brandishing a BB gun pistol. He made his getaway on a bicycle. The suspect was later arrested and the local Lowe’s gave the victim a lawn mower for which he had been saving up to buy.

A McDonald’s in the UK refused to serve a woman because she went to its drive-thru window on horseback.  “I can’t serve you, you are not a car” said the worker, citing their drive-thru lane policy.

15-year old Kevin Dimaculangan was crowned the new Microsoft Excel champion. He has his sights set on Word or Powerpoint next.

City government workers in Alaska had to resort to using typewriters and hand-written receipts when dormant ransomware kicked into gear and encrypted nearly all the workstations and most of their servers.

Employees at the National Weather Service were confused when a message in Chinese that translated roughly as, “You have a package from Amazon at the Chinese Embassy, press 1 for more details” boomed over the entire building’s intercom system.

Hackers descended on Las Vegas for the annual DEF CON conference and within hours had already hacked the hotel room thermostats, elevators, and slot machines.

Airbus announced that it has successfully flown an unmanned, solar-powered drone for a record 25 days straight.

A new law in Tennessee will require the national motto, “In God We Trust,” be prominently displayed in all public schools.

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