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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The week that was (03-29-19)

A truck spilled several bags of marijuana across a San Francisco area freeway (880 in Emeryville if you must know). CHP posted on twitter, “Roses are red, violets are blue, your spilled weed is green and we have a citation just for you!”

A Florida man decided he wanted to get all his neighbors high and set fire to a bunch of pot in his backyard. Meanwhile, in Houston, the DEA is looking for someone that can burn 1,000 pounds of marijuana an hour.

A Verizon worker was suspended for three weeks without pay for using a company bucket truck to rescue a cat that was stuck on top of a utility pole. The neighborhood rallied and raised over $3,000 to tide him over.

Organizers of the annual Philly Naked Bike Ride moved their event one month earlier to mid-August because September is too chilly.

“Welcome to Edinburgh!” announced the sflight attendant cheerfully as a British Airways flight touched down. The only trouble was the flight was supposed to be landing in Düsseldorf.

As England stumbled towards the EU door like an unwanted guest, a new study says that one in three polled in the UK look forward to a day when Artificial Intelligence can replace politicians.

People in Northern France finally figured out why vintage Garfield phones keep washing up on their beaches.

Photo credit: Reddit user ectofooler

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The week that was (03-22-19)

Jelly Belly, the California-based jelly bean company that was a favorite treat of Ronald “just say no” Reagan, debuted a cannabis-infused jelly bean. The national pharmacy chain CVS announced that it began selling CDB products in 8 states.

Worlds collided over at Porsche where they announced they will be releasing an all-electric 911 car bringing into question what makes for a “genuine Porsche.”

Louis Vuitton is making basketball shoes.

An Italian politician who vocally opposed a new law making some childhood vaccinations mandatory was recently hospitalized after contracting chickenpox.

A driver in rural Massachusetts followed his GPS a little too closely and ended up driving his jeep deep into the forest where it got stuck.

A truck carrying a load of salami and bacon caught fire in Northern California, it must have smelled delicious.

Students at Switzerland’s Bern University of the Arts discovered that the type of music you play to cheese will effect its taste. Apparently “cheeses that were played hip-hop music were described as slightly sweet.”

Photo credit: just read the thread

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The week that was (Ides of March)

Fed chairman Jerome Powell used a piece of fine art to illustrate how too much focus on the details can sometimes obscure the bigger picture.

“We have artificially created a state that evolves in a direction opposite to that of the thermodynamic arrow of time,” said Gordey Lesovik, a quantum physicist from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. In other words, his team has figured out how to reverse time.

A crematorium in Germany caught fire.

A suspected burglar broke into a garage in Indiana and was crushed to death by the 900-pound safe he was trying to steal.

Police in a small town outside of Denver posted a selfie of a suspected shoplifter discovered on a phone he left behind. “Please contact the Lakeside Police Department for your cellphone and your Shoplifting Charge. Hope to see you soon,” said the caption.

A Florida man dressed as Spiderman robbed a Winn-Dixie Wine and Spirits Store.

A trio of scientists realized the planets are not consistently on the same side of the sun so if you calculate average absolute distance from each other, it turns out Mercury, not Venus, is closer to Earth.

New research suggests changes in diet from agriculture lead to an evolution of the human jawbone and allowed for new sounds that require the lower lip to touch the upper teeth such as v and f.

Photo credit: Reddit user AhsanXD

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The week that was (03-08-19)

I’m in Austin at SXSW for the next few days so hit me up if you want to meet.

The Israeli Ministry of Health approved the use of MDMA to treat symptoms of PTSD.

North Korean chefs visiting Vietnam for the Trump – Kim summit were intrigued by several dishes being prepared by chefs of the Metropole Hotel. Shrimp Cocktail and Thousand Island dressing was something they had never seen before.

A snowbound Oregon man survived for five days by eating taco sauce packets. “Taco Bell Fire Sauce saves lives!” said Jeremy Taylor, 36, of Sunriver. “We know our sauce packets are amazing, but this takes it to a whole new level.” said a Taco Bell representative, “We’re in touch with Jeremy and getting him some well-deserved tacos and a care package.”

Jeep announced its first plug-in hybrid car.

Jetpack Aviation is taking orders for its flying jet motorcycle. At $380k they stress that this is not a toy. Only 20 will be made available for for recreation. “Future production will be dedicated to military and government.”

Former American pro-wrestler The Destroyer “slipped peacefully away” at his home in Buffalo, NY.

A psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital finally got his wish when CVS changed their staticky, scratchy piano hold music which had been driving him crazy.

Photo credit: Reddit user lysolmax

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The week that was (03-01-19)

Scientists are trying to figure out how an 8-foot humpback whale ended up in the Amazon jungle.

Harvard University wearily denied published rumors that Rapper Lil Pump was replacing German Chancellor Angela Merkel as this year’s commencement speaker.

A brewer decided the world needed a Lucky Charms-flavored beer. Morning Marshmallow IPA goes on sale on March 2nd.

DC bars opened early Wednesday morning for “watch parties” of Michael Cohen’s testimony to the House Oversight Committee. Missed opportunity for the afore-mentioned Lucky Charms IPA.

I learned earlier this week about Andy Warhol-branded skateboard decks you can buy at the MoMA store for $1650. Not to be outdone, Chanel announced a $7,700 skateboard.

We learned that Stevie Nicks has a “temperature-controlled” vault for her thousands of shawls.

Kalashnikov, makers of the AK-47, machine gun of choice of terrorists and jungle guerrilla fighters, announced a low cost drone that can deliver, “three kilograms of explosives and detonate on impact.”

Boeing announced an unmanned fighter jet that has a range of 2,000 nautical miles and, “designed to fly alongside crewed aircraft in combat for a fraction of the cost.”

A Florida man was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend with a cookie.

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The week that was (02-22-19)

Chimpanzees from the Belfast Zoo in Northern Ireland used downed branches from a recent storm to fashion a ladder to get them up and over their enclosure wall and take a bit of a walk-about.

What started out as a prank snowballed into a full-fledged movement. Someone created an online petition to sell Montana to Canada for $1. “We have too much debt and Montana is useless. Just tell them it has beavers or something,” says the preamble.

Nike’s new self-lacing sneakers were all the rage and the shoe to get. Until a software update bricked them.

Someone discovered an old Saturn V rocket engine, sitting in a junkyard in Missouri.

Starting next week advertisements for junk food will no longer be allowed anywhere on London’s public transit system. The ban on foods that are, “too high in fat, salt and sugar” extends to all subways, buses and bus shelters and is to combat child obesity.

Breakdancing is now a sport and is expected to be included in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Photo credit: Reddit user topcatthomas

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The week that was (02-15-19)

A library in Maryland received a book in the mail (ironically titled The Postman) that was checked out back in 1946.

A member of the Slovenian parliament stepped down after admitting to stealing a sandwich.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating the heist of melted iceberg water from a vodka distillery in Newfoundland. They are unaware of black market for iceberg melt are asking people to be on the lookout for anyone trying to unload 30,000 liters in a tanker.

A phone lottery scammer picked the wrong 94-year old to try and shake down. William Webster was director of the FBI and then the CIA under Presidents Carter and Reagan. Webster worked with his old colleagues to collect evidence, record conversations, and finally arrest 29 year-old Keniel Thomas from Jamaica to 71 months in prison.

Denmark began construction of a 43-mile barrier with Germany, to keep out wild boar.

The White House put out a statement declaring the imminent declaration of a national emergency, using the iPhone Notes app.

The classic game of Tetris got an update with a feature that gives a nod to the battle royale format made popular by Fortnite. You can now play against 99 other players at the same time which apparently changes the game completely.

A couple in Houston broke into an abandoned house to find a quiet place to smoke some pot and found a caged tiger instead. At first the police had a hard time believing the story and dismissed the couple as over-imaginative stoners.

Photo credit: Reddit user MrPinky79

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The week that was (02-08-19)

Sacks of ink powder ruptured in a fire and were blown around by the wind, covering a town in England and turning all the cats and dogs temporarily blue.

A Hawaiian Airlines jet bound for Maui never quite got there. After leaving Los Angeles, Flight 33 circled over the Pacific before returning back to LAX. They tried three times before finally giving up. Aloha kind of loses its shine the sixth time around.

People in an Albuquerque neighborhood are getting tired of the unwanted bologna sandwiches being dropped off at their doorstep. Some are getting so creeped out they are moving away.

A Canadian cryptocurrency tycoon took $137 million of his customers’ deposits to his grave when his associates were unable to login and retrieve the tokens stored on his laptop. Conspiracy theories are swirling so much that the hospital in India where he died is having to defend itself and state he didn’t fake his own death.

A 27-year old man is taking his parents to court for giving birth to him without his consent. Ever supportive, his mother said, “I must admire my son’s temerity to want to take his parents to court knowing both of us are lawyers. . .if [he] could come up with a rational explanation as to how we could have sought his consent to be born, I will accept my fault.”

NASA is teaming up with the European Space Agency on testing out a missile that can be used to knock an incoming asteroid off-course should we ever need such a thing.

What makes the Warriors different from other basketball teams? They have a DJ at their practices for one.

Samsung thinks it can spice up your life with a tinder-like dating app that shares a photo of the inside of your fridge with other members of a weird dating network. I think it was developed as a way to get all the lonely refrigerators talking with each other. Imagine the conversation.

I did this little write-up on the Super Bowl ads if you’re interested.

Photo credit: Reddit User: JackSokool

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