Tag Archives: weekthatwas

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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The week that was (08-03-2018)

Tesla dipped, every so briefly, into the surfboard business before completely selling out of their limited-edition, carbon-fiber, surfboards.

Thieves kidnapped a shark from the San Antonio Aquarium by wrapping it in a blanket and disguising it as a baby in a stroller. The three-foot horn shark known as “Ms Helen” was found and is now recovering.

Someone had second thoughts about a ring-tailed lemur that they stole from the Santa Ana Zoo and left it in a crate on the doorstep of a Newport Beach hotel with a note asking that it be returned.

A company called We Rent Goats lost track of about 100 goats that wrecked havoc in West Boise, Idaho as they ate their way through a suburban neighborhood.

A sunflower farm in Canada is “closed for good” after Instagrammers overwhelmed their fields in search of the perfect selfie.

Lagunitas, a Northern California brewery purchased last year by Heineken, launched a new line of THC-infused sparkling hop-water drinks, Hi-Fi Hops. “This isn’t some fly-by-night, amateur’s jungle juice. This is contemporary consumer beverage tech mixed into every 12-ounce can, which retails for $8,” says Leafly magazine.

The company behind Canada Dry Ginger Ale is being sued because the soft drink apparently doesn’t contain any ginger.

A young boy’s lemonade stand was shut down by the New York state health department for operating without a permit. The New York Governor offered to pay any fees to re-open Brendan Mulvaney’s front yard stand.

NASA’s TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) began operations and will head out into deep space in search of life on other planets.

France announced that all students under the age of 15 must leave their cellphones at home or turned off while at school. Meanwhile, the French culture ministry launched an app called Pass Culture which gives each 18-year-old EUR€500 to spend on museums and film.

The New York Mets lost to the Washington Nationals by a staggering 25-4 margin. It was not the worst loss in the franchise’s history.

Photo credit: Reddit user ggfergu

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The week that was (07-27-2018)

A man who vandalized Trump’s Walk of Fame star was bailed out by James Otis, the man who vandalized Trump’s star the last time.

Facing declining profits from cigarette sales, Imperial Brands made its first investment in the marijuana industry. The company behind the Kool and Winston brands, has joined with rap musician Snoop Dogg and actor Patrick Stewart to invest in a British medical marijuana research firm.

A Japanese startup is developing a “shooting stars on demand” service and expects to be ready to deliver the world’s first artificial meteor shower at the 2020 Japan Olympic Games.

The ACLU uploaded 25,000 criminal mugshots into Amazon’s facial recognition software, Rekognition, and ran it against the official photos of all 535 members of Congress, asking for any matches. The software ended up matching 28. Nearly 40 percent of Rekognition’s false matches in the test were of people of color, even though they make up only 20 percent of Congress.

Burberry decided the best way to preserve its brand value was by burning over $38 million of its unsold inventory.

A tortilla chip factory in San Antonio discovered that, if precautions are not taken, their unsold inventory can spontaneously catch fire.

A New Hampshire man was arrested for indecent exposure when he misunderstood his gym’s “judgement free zone” tagline. In Nashville, a man was arrested for doing jumping jacks, naked, in the women’s restroom at McDonald’s.

A University of Iowa football player was arrested for public intoxication after police say he tried to get into a police cruiser, thinking it was his Uber ride.

The California DMV is deciding on the appropriate corrective action after discovering a data operator has been sleeping at her desk for extended periods of time during work hours for the past four years.

Some universities in China have fitness requirements, asking students to log their steps each day with a fitness app. This has spawned a revolution in clever engineering hacks to fool the fitness apps to log steps while they sleep.

A zoo in Egypt is under fire after their zebra’s “stripes” began to run. People are pretty sure it’s a donkey someone painted to look like a zebra.

An Arizona man, who had recently been released from the hospital where he was recovering from a heat-related malady, stole an ambulance because it was too hot to walk. He said he intended to return the ambulance when he was done.

42,000-year old earthworms have revived from their deep freeze in the Siberian permafrost and are now “happily going about their business.”

Photo credit: Reddit user goatious

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