The week that was (1-26-2108)

To keep jubilant Philadelphia Eagles fans from climbing lamp posts after the NFC Championship game, city workers lathered them down with Crisco grease. Despite their efforts, Eagles fans drove up the Rocky Steps with their dune buggy and animated traffic cones instead.

Minnesota Viking fans, bitter at their loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia and having to host Philly fans in Minnesota, are apparently plotting to sign up as temporary Uber drivers so they can drop them off “in the boonies.”

New Orleans recently cleared out its clogged drainage system of 46 tons of Mardi Gras beads.

A Florida man was arrested for driving under the influence after pulling up to a drive-thru bank window at and trying to order a burrito.

A flying drone dropped a flotation device to two teens caught in a riptide in heavy seas off the Australian coast in what officials describe as a world-first rescue-by-drone.

Japanese engineers have been testing a new device for trains that has reduced the number of “deer-train collisions” by 40%. The contraption makes the trains bark like a dog.

New York City placed a $4 billion order with Japanese company Kawasaki for over 1,000 new subway cars. The deal was a blow to Canadian Bombardier which was hired to build the city’s last fleet of new cars, but delivered them two years behind schedule.

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai have successfully cloned a monkey.

A driver of a Tesla stopped in the middle of rush hour traffic on the San Francisco Bay Bridge was sternly reminded by California Highway Patrol that a self-driving is not the same as autopilot. Later in the week, another Tesla reportedly on “Autopilot” slammed into the back of a fire truck in the breakdown lane.

A German politician from an anti-Islam party resigned and converted to Islam.

Ralph Lauren unveiled the US Winter Olympic uniforms. They are embedded with electric heating elements in the shape of an American flag.

China announced that Hip-Hop culture and tattoos are now banned from television.

Residents in Alabama held a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of a Taco Bell.

Japanese food scientists figured out how to make soft-serve ice cream that can be set on fire.

French supermarket chain Intermarché discounted the hazelnut spread Nutella 70% – riots broke out.

A dozen camels were disqualified from this year’s Saudi “camel beauty contest” because their handlers used Botox to make them more handsome.

The White House inquired with the Guggenheim about borrowing a Van Gogh for President and Melania Trump’s private living quarters. The Guggenheim’s chief curator was apologetic. The painting was “prohibited from travel except for the rarest of occasions” and suggested Maurizio Cattelan’s Golden Toilet which was available.

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The week that was (1-19-2018)

A “drunk gentleman in Russia” stole an armored personnel carrier and rammed it into a liquor shop to steal a bottle of wine.

A White House conference call with 60+ reporters devolved into chaos while the operator tried to figure out how to put everyone into listen-only mode. “I think if everyone had half a brain and common sense and muted their phones, this wouldn’t be a problem,” yelled one White House official. h/t to @toddbarnard for a link to a recording.

Saudi Arabia lifted a 35-year ban on movie theaters. Citizens were most likely unimpressed with the initial offerings, The Emoji Movie followed by Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

Miners in southern African country of Lesotho unearthed one of the largest diamonds ever found. The 910-carat is a D color, Type IIa diamond and expected to fetch tens of millions.

Japan’s national TV station, NHK, mistakenly sent an alert informing alarmed users of its app that North Korea had launched a missile.

Further South, in city of Gamagori, panicked officials pleaded over the city-wide emergency alert loudspeaker (normally reserved for tsunami alerts) not to eat fugu. It was discovered that a local supermarket sold five packets of the deadly blowfish with the toxic liver still intact. “Three packages will be retrieved today, but we still don’t know where the remaining two are.”

For the first time an artificial intelligence outscored humans in a reading comprehension test.

A Russian businessman purchased two electrical power plants that he plans to use exclusively to power his bitcoin mining operation.

The United Kingdom appointed a minister for loneliness.

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The week that was (1-12-2018)

The world’s longest glass-bottom bridge opened in Hongyagu, China.

Following up on the 911 story from Florida last week we have another Florida incident where a drunk man called 911 to report a drunk driver – himself.

Auto burglaries are up dramatically in San Francisco. This week, Marissa Castelli, a figure skater headed to next month’s 2018 Winter Olympics, had her car broken into during a visit here for the US Championships and lost two custom made costumes and her skates.

Thieves in France made off with 700 blocks of Saint-Nectaire cheese.

In Washington DC, a man broke into a Chipotle and ate $60 worth of barbacoa.

A California man tried to kill a large spider with his lighter. The flaming spider ran under his bedroom mattress which caught fire and set ablaze his drapes and the rest of the apartment.

Northern Australian scientists have confirmed that birds are spreading wildfires by, “deliberately carrying burning sticks and embers to set alight other bits of grassland” to flush out their prey.

Scientists have confirmed that the ozone hole is getting smaller.

A woman expecting to fly back with her family from Italy to San Jose, California was dismayed to learn from the person sitting next to her that her separately booked flight was instead headed to San Jose, Costa Rica.

As legalized marijuana grows in popularity, instances of pets stoned on edibles left on the ground are on the rise. In other news, dogs that sniff out pot for the police are now out of work.

Remember that elderly California couple busted in Nebraska on their way to Vermont with 60 Lbs of weed in the back of their truck? They got busted again, in Nebraska.

Sales of another Fire & Fury book are up. “I haven’t seen this level of interest since the book first came out,” said Randall Hansen, author Fire and Fury, the allied bombing of Germany.

There was not much to see at the Consumer Electronics Show when the power went out for two hours.

Artist Daniel Jacob created a $6500 pair of Air Jordan 1s encrusted with thousands of gold crystals.

Police looking for a bank theft suspect arrested said suspect when he applied for a job, with the police.

In Key Biscayne, the local iguanas were falling out of trees, groggy from the unusually cold temperatures. One man gathered them up and loaded them in the back of his car (BBQ iguana being a delicacy in his home country). When the iguanas thawed out during the ride they caused a commotion in the back seat and caused an accident.

A musician who uploaded a 10-hour long video of white noise to YouTube has been served 5 separate copyright violations.

The company that makes the frozen snack Dippin Dots is sharing their expertise and expanding into the cryogenics industry.

A Russian base in Syria was the victim of the first ever drone swarm attack.

The US military announced that it’s making laser-powered bat drones.

The China space program announced that it will attempt to grow potatoes on the dark side of the moon.

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The Week that Was (1-5-2018)

In San Francisco, people are paying $36.99 for something called “raw water”

Philip Morris announced that it’s getting out of the cigarette business.

A Delta flight out of Detroit was forced to turn around after a bird tried to hitch a ride to Atlanta and refused to leave the cockpit. An Alaska Airlines flight out of Oakland was cancelled because of a loose rat. Finally, a Delta flight from Atlanta to London had to turn around after taking off, twice.

A man’s car brakes failed and would not shift gears because it was stuffed chock full of acorns.

A mosque in Arkansas  raised money to pay off fines to keep the man who vandalized them out of jail. If the story sounds familiar, both the mosque and vandal were featured in a powerful podcast segment by The Daily.

While searching for a cure for diabetes, researches accidentally found a potential cure for Alzheimer’s.

A Jeopardy player was docked $3200 because he pronounced gangsta as gangster.

Theunis Botha, a professional big game hunter was killed when the female elephant he wounded was killed by another hunter and fell onto Mr. Botha, crushing him.

A Florida woman arrested for misuse of the 911 system called 911 again, from the back of a police car.

Two people died in Japan after choking on mochi rice cakes, a traditional snack during the New Year holiday. This is the same death toll as last year but down from nine who expired in 2015.

In other news, Steve Bannon called the president’s son “treasonous.” President Trump said his former top adviser has “lost his mind.” Paul Manafort is suing Bob Mueller and Bill and Hillary Clinton’s home in Chappaqua caught fire.

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The Week that Was (12-30-2017)

A man wearing a “Trust Me” t-shirt was arrested after stealing a car that was left unlocked on the street idling to warm up.

Mary Horomanski in Erie, Pennsylvania received her December electric bill and her, “eyes just about popped out of my head” when she saw that the total due was more than the entire GDP of Chile.

A hotel in Dallas put up 500 homeless for Christmas and welcomed them with a red carpet and lunch banquet.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch from Jesse Watson on Vimeo.

Someone trained a neural network to write Christmas Carols and the results were. . . interesting.

A Japanese chemist accidentally invented a type of glass that glues itself back together after cracking.

Far-right performance artist Milo Yiannopoulos’s autobiography was in the news as his publisher released editorial commentary on the manuscript in their defense. “stronger argument against feminism than saying that they are ugly and sexless and have cats” reads one comment, “The use of phrases like ‘two-faced backstabbing bitches’ diminishes your overall point,” was another.

A Florida patron of Crabby’s Seafood Shack called 911 to complain about the size of his portions. Twice.

Two friends who have known each other since grade school in Hawaii found out after 60 years that they are brothers.

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The Week that Was (12-22-2017)

A man in London spontaneously burst into flames.

So much rain fell on Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi during Hurricane Harvey that the earth’s crust flexed.

People stealing packages left on front porches is such a big problem that one man has gone into business selling booby trap devices that set off a small explosive to deter would be thieves. Others have resorted to more creative solutions.

A California couple were pulled over in Nebraska on their way to Vermont. Patrick Jiron, 80, and Barbara Jiron, 83 were subsequently arrested when 60 pounds of high grade marijuana were found in the back of their Toyota Tacoma.  The couple claimed they were bringing Christmas gifts.

In January, recreational pot will be legal in California. Fast food chain Jack in the Box is already prepping for the influx of stoners with a new Merry Munchie Meal which they will test market at the price of $4.20.

You can now buy a bicycle that can pedal across water.

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The week that was (12-15-2017)

A mummy of a “senior official” from 3,500 years ago was uncovered in Egypt. Wonder if they buried him with his paperwork.

Scientists at the Arctic University of Norway found a shark swimming in the North Atlantic estimated to be over 512-years old. What happened in 1505? Martin Luther had yet to present his 95 thesis that kicked off the Reformation.

Every material scientist’s favorite wonder compound, graphene, will be used to make the first running and fitness shoe. 200 times stronger than steel, the one-atom thick material will, “deliver a combination of traction, stretch and durability never seen before in sports footwear. 2018 will be the year of the world’s toughest grip.”

inov-8 graphene shoes due out in 2018

When tone-deaf Silicon Valley faced a shortage of women at their year-end parties, they hired models to stand in and balance the mix. Los Angeles, facing a shortage of hardcore football fans for the LA Rams, put out a casting call for  stand-in fans.

“One whiff and you’re stiff” says a local who lives in Ireland, near the factory that makes the drug Viagra and claims the fumes from the plant give him a unique contract high.

In Tokyo, the police are tracking down a monkey who has eluded capture since mid-October and has now made its way North from Yokohama into Tokyo.

In Hamden, Connecticut police are asking for the public’s help in solving an armed robbery of a bag of cheeseburgers.

To prevent injury, Marks and Spencer in the UK has developed an avocado with softer skin and no pit.

A UN official who tours the globe investigating extreme poverty said that areas of Alabama are suffering the most dire sewage disposal crisis of any place he has visited in a developed country. This week they at least got rid of some of it.

An anonymous person dropped a single gold Krugerrand worth about $1,200 in a Salvation Army kettle in South Carolina.

A Japanese company has developed a drone that will hover over worker’s desks when it’s time to go home to prevent them from overworking. The drone will play Auld Lang Syne but I think the annoying buzz is what will really do the trick.

Meanwhile, the SF branch of the SPCA had second thoughts about it’s use of autonomous security robots to suffle away homeless from its downtown campus and parking lot.

France’s education minister has announced that cell phone will be banned from school describing the government’s decision as a matter of “public health.”

A longtime SoMa communal gathering spot, San Francisco’s cafe-laundry institution Brainwash has closed permanently. Meanwhile, another SF institution, the Elbo Room in the Mission is testing new waters with an East Bay branch in Oakland.

A 54-year old man in Ireland came up with the best reason for skipping jury duty, and it was granted, “Then you GO and you GO with my blessing.”

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The week that was (12-8-2017)

A 77-year old man in Japan has taken up a new hobby, painting . . . with Microsoft Excel.

A researcher at Yale has figured out the secret to turn conservatives into liberals.

A 5-pound avocado grown in Hawaii has broken the world record, “We just cut giant slices out of it like avocado steaks and served them around” says Pamela Wang, the proud owner.

For the first time ever, the Olympic torch will be passed to a South Korean robot.

The last Blockbusters in the world is about to close.

It’s called a “tube scarf” in the fashion world but to me it looks like they just made off with the sleeve of the Jolly Green Giant’s sweater.

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The week that was (12-1-2017)

Trying something new. A weekly wrap-up of sorts.


The Austin headquarters for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission was overrun by “several hundred” rats.

A Russian rocket launch went awry when the wrong directions were loaded into it’s flight plan and sent it to the bottom of the ocean.

Meanwhile, the Voyager team dusted off the thruster controls to spacecraft now 21 billion kilometers away. After waiting 20 hours for the instructions to get there and waiting another 20 hours for the response, the damn thing worked!

Finally, Mike Hughes’ rocket launch into the “atmosflat” where he planned to take photographs to prove the earth is flat and “expose the conspiracy” has been delayed until next week.

Los Angeles’ free street paper, the LA Weekly, has a post asking if anyone can tell them who owns them. The next day, the paper answered it’s own question.

And for another year, Kate Dries has still not made it into Hendrik Pöhler’s Erotic Carp Fishing Calendar. The Amazon reviewers are not pleased.

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