The week that was

Finland started screening incoming travelers for Covid-19 at Helsinki Airport with specially trained dogs that can sniff it out.

A Florida man called 911 when he heard his neighbors yelling “Shoot! Shoot!” The police arrived to find an animated trio of mates watching their Tampa Bay Lightnings in hot pursuit of the Stanley Cup.

Three Metro-North employees have been suspended without pay when a makeshift “man cave” was discovered under track 114, deep within the bowels of Grand Central Station. The hideout was equipped with a futon, microwave, refrigerator, and flat screen TV. In a statement, the MTA Inspector General accused the three of chutzpah.

Aviation company ZeroAvia ran its first successful test flight of its new zero-emission, hydrogen-powered Piper M-class passenger plane.

Japan announced plans to fuel shuttle rockets powered by water found on the moon.

Back on earth, scientists have perfected an enzyme that can “eat” plastic six times faster than their previous concoction.

The New York Times got their hands on some coveted Trump tax documents and shared various business expenses. The Donald was not shy with his use of write-offs which included $70,000 for haircuts, $750,000 paid to his daughter for consulting services, and $2.2 million in property tax paid on his upstate New York mansion, all for business.

Staff at the White House’s guest facilities for visiting state leaders demurely confessed that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu kind of overdoes the complimentary laundry service, bringing with him “bags and suitcases full of dirty laundry” on his trips to D.C.

The Governor of Florida said he felt it “incredibly draconian” to suspend a college student for attending a party because “That’s what college kids do” and proposed a student Bill of Rights to protect a student’s right to p-a-r-t-y.

The Irish Supreme Court rejected Subway’s appeal to qualify for a lower tax rate when they ruled that the high sugar content in their sandwich bread makes it not actually bread but “confectionery.”

The LA Kings mascot Bailey was fired after sexual harassment claims were filed by a female employee. Faithful TWTW readers will recall that Gritty was cleared of assault back in February and Phanatic beaned a fan with the t-shirt gun.

NASA will test a $23 million titanium space commode at the international space station. The updated design is smaller than the existing Russian toilets and better suited for women. The planned October 1st launch was scrubbed (sorry, dad joke) due to bad weather.

Former coal CEO Robert Murray, who fought federal regulations over regulations to cut the amount of coal dust in his mines, has filed an application for benefits from the U.S. Department of Labor for black lung benefits.

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email or forward to a friend.


The week that was

Ann Arbor, Michigan became the latest US city (after Denver, Oakland, and Santa Cruz) to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms.

UC Berkeley announced the opening of the Center for the Science of Psychedelics.

A California man was sentenced to six years in prison for sending almost two pounds of meth inside a piñata.

You can now buy face masks from a vending machine thanks to Portland-based footwear maker Keen. Several designs are stocked including designs from the late-Jerry Garcia.

Japanese light manufacturer Ushio has developed a coronavirus-killing UV light that does not harm humans.

Australians are so desperate to go somewhere that Qantas is selling out “Flights to Nowhere” to take citizens on a 7-hour loop around the country. So popular are these flights they are selling out in just 10 minutes.

After record wildfires set his state on fire, California governor Gavin Newsom announced the state will phase out sales of new, gasoline-powered cars by 2035. He signed the order on the hood of a cherry red, electric Ford Mustang.

The NFL Media audio engineer turned up the fake booing during their recent 37-19 loss at a recent Philadelphia Eagles home game. Fans agreed this made the game, played to an empty Lincoln Field, sound even more true-to-life.

After 18 months of a painstaking process of elimination, villagers in a remote town in Wales know why the entire town’s internet connection goes offline like clockwork. Every day at 7am one of the villagers would switch on their old TV which would in-turn knock out broadband for the entire village. (Update: It was Mr. & Mrs. Rees who were innocently tuning into Piers Morgan.)

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email, follow on Facebook, or forward to a friend.


The week that was

no filter photo by @jachristian

A farmer just 10 miles outside of Kenosha, Wisconsin (yes, that Kenosha) decided enough already with 2020 and turned his entire crop over to sunflowers.

My childhood nightmare just became product reality.

In Australia’s Queensland, COVID-19 restrictions put the kibosh on dancing at weddings but, strangely, allowed for “group sex at approved swinger clubs and adult parties.”

A transgender anarchist who recently won an un-contested GOP nomination for Sheriff on the platform slogan of “F— the Police” is turning to Go Fund Me to raise funds to fix her recently vandalized car.

Jimmy Carter not only confirmed long suspected rumors that he allowed Willie Nelson to spark one on the roof of the White House but that the president’s son Chip was getting baked with him.

Just in case you were wondering, yes, the Pentagon has a plan just in case there is a zombie apocalypse.

The Tiger King rivalry has moved over to e-commerce. Joe Exotic launched his Revenge line back in May and now Carol Baskin’s “Hey all you cool cats & kittens” facemasks are here.

40-year-old Lia Ditton pulled into Waikiki harbor after 86 days rowing solo from San Francisco. She was put up in a suite with a beautiful ocean view but demurely requested a room with a view of the mountains.

Stay safe y’all and see ya later California! By this time next week, I’ll be posting from NYC!

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email or forward to a friend.


The week that was

Hundreds of people assembled at a German church to hear an organ change chords for the first time in nearly seven years. The church is 19 years into performing John Cage’s Organ/ASLSP (As Slow As Possible) and is due to finish the piece in the year 2640.

Looking to differentiate itself from other sushi outfits, one Nagoya proprietor has hit gold by offering macho sushi delivered by body builder trainers temporarily out of work because of gym shutdowns.

While we may not be able to attend a football game in person you’ll be glad to know that you can light some scented candles so you can experience the game in smell-o-rama. Choose from the no description need Jock Strap or $18 Nachos, or Hashtag Field Goals which smells like fresh cut grass.

A man blew the roof off his house while attempting to swat a fly. The BBC wryly notes, “the fate of the fly is not known.”

Another man saw to it that he could stand in a tub filled with ice cubes up to his shoulder for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Afterward he said the sun felt “really great” on his back.

The Ukrainian priest who called COVID19 “God’s punishment” for gay marriage has contracted said punishment.

In upstate New York, a drowning ex-drug addict kayaker was rescued by a passing Tiki Bar boat full of priests and seminarians from a local Catholic retreat.

It happened in 2018, now it’s happened in 2020. This time, the folks that sparked a massive wildfire may be on the hook for millions in damages.

Because it’s 2020 police are asking residents in Eastern Tennessee to be on the lookout for a missing tiger.

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email or forward to a friend.


The week that was

Using more than 150,000 single-use plastic bottles, CalTrans and sustainable landscaping company TechniSoil repaved the first mile of recycled plastic highway on a state road anywhere in the U.S.

Apparently a “guy in a jetpack” was flying around buzzing landing airlines at LAX.

Last week a 3-year old girl was plucked out of the ocean floating on an inflatable winged unicorn. This week another 3-year old girl, this one in Taiwan, was swooped high up into the air when her legs became tangled in the tail end of a kite.

A 53-year old Long Island woman joined a team of gymnasts ranging in ages from 9 to 15 is now winning championships.

Short collection this week – busy on a new project and will share more later! Stay safe everyone!

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email, follow on Facebook, or forward to a friend.


The week that was

Researchers at University College London redesigned optical cables so they can transmit data at 178 terabits per second. This speed is double the capacity of any system currently used in the world and is able to download the entire Netflix library in just one second.

The Greenland glaciers have melted to “the point of no return” and has gone beyond a tipping point that will bring them back.

A man who lives on his farm in the middle of Narita Airport popped back in the news to report that he, “finds farming easier now with less air traffic disruptions due to Covid-19.”

Hobbies have kicked into overdrive during the pandemic driving up prices of collectibles everywhere, including houseplants. One person bid over $5000 for a single plant, approximately $1300 per leaf.

KFC marketers decided that during a time where we are supposed to avoid touching our faces it might be best to pause the finger lickin’ good slogan. McDonald’s doubled-down and will release a spicy Chicken McNugget.

One particularly dedicated prankster managed to completely mess up the entirety of the Scottish version of Wikipedia. “The sheer size and scope is something to behold: look at virtually any of the 57,000-plus pages and you’ll find a nonsensical mishmash of English and Scots.”

Our diets have all gone to hell so the folks at Lucky Charms have decided to cut to the chase and now sell just the marshmallows. What does, “magically. delicious” mean anyway?

As part of a deal to resume the playoffs, which the NBA suspended in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake, all league arenas will be opened as polling places in the upcoming election.

The law finally caught up with a Southern California man who has been posing as a Homeland Security Agent for years. Federal agents grew suspicious when Donovan Nguyen, 34, showed up at a raid wearing full tactical gear and no one knew him.

Can someone get into the Exclusive Website and report back what it’s about? I can only listen to the hold music for so long.

Cover Image: “The New American Gothic” by Criselda Vasquez, Oil on canvas, 2017

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email or forward to a friend.


The week that was

The 71-year old president of Portugal swam out to rescue two women in trouble when their kayak capsized off a beach in the Algarve.

Local authorities in the Florida Keys approved a plan to release 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes to prevent the spread of dengue fever and other diseases.

Fans of a 2004 video game have taken it upon themselves to work on a modern upgrade to the game based on the latest technology and techniques. Battle for Middle-earth: Reforged uses Unreal Engine, runs on modern computers, and looks amazing.

Record-breaking fires continue to rage, barely contained, in Northern California, almost completely surrounding the San Francisco Bay Area. With state and federal resources spread thin, people are resorting to their own fire prevention methods, including cans of Bud Light.

While sheltering-in-place, Lydia Cambron meticulously recreated 2001: Space Odyssey’s ending scene in her apartment, not only shot-by-shot but nearly look-by-look. (h/t kottke)

Because it’s 2020 the Gulf Coast is going to get an unprecedented double-punch of two successive hurricanes next week.

Goldman Sachs released a corporate font designed to make it easier to read financial reports. Fontheads sneered and accused the font of being “derivative.”

The Japanese city of Tokorozawa spruced up its manhole covers with anime characters and installed LED lights so they glow in the dark.

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email, follow on Facebook, or forward to a friend.


The week that was

Three men stranded at a remote island in the Pacific were rescued by the oldest form of communication, an SOS message drawn in the sand.

A cat was taken into custody at a high-security Sri Lankan prison for smuggling drugs to inmates (two grams of heroin, SIM cards and a memory chip in a plastic bag tied to its collar). Now the cat has escaped.

People in a Berlin park were treated to the spectacle of a nudist bather chasing after a wild boar who made off with his laptop in a bag.

Things are not going well for the Trump campaign. First the governor of Ohio tested positive for COVID-19 and could not host him. Then a tone deaf staffer picked Live and Let Die as the walk-on music, not the best theme song for the pandemic. Finally, the sinking campaign chose to schedule a talk at a Whirlpool factory resulting ironically less-than-ideal background graphics.

Sensing opportunity in thousands of college students stuck at home with another semester of remote learning, two Princeton grads have reserved space in a hotel off Waikiki Beach and are accepting applications for 150 students to join them in their remote learning bubble in paradise. What could possibly go wrong?

Giuseppe Paternò, 96, graduated with a degree in philosophy from the University of Palermo. He was first in his class with top honors and is now considering a graduate degree.

The scientific body in charge of standardizing the names for genes has decided to rename several genes which have run into problems because of Microsoft Excel’s overly helpful auto-formatting feature. Turns out a gene such as Membrane Associated Ring-CH-Type Finger 1 or MARCH1 for short is cheerfully transformed by Excel to 1-Mar which can be disastrous, if not fatal for the recipient.

Apparently there is a huge community of witches on TikTok that are lending their services to cast protection spells on BLM protestors via livestream. They call it WitchTok. Do Microsoft or Twitter know what they are buying?

I leave you this week with a video of popcorn popping in extreme slow motion.

Stay well.

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email, follow on Facebook, or forward to a friend.


The week that was

A man’s Roomba was a bit too helpful when it cheerfully tried to clean up after the dog while he was out and spread dog shit all over his house.

Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, famous for his refusal to wear a mask, tested positive for the ‘rona during a pre-flight screening for a campaign visit to his home state with the president on Air Force One.

The let’s-just-leave-this-headline-as-it-is award goes to AFP. Trump retweets viral video of doctor saying US government is run by ‘reptilians’

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita became Greek citizens.

Scientists poking around at the the bottom of the ocean discovered they can revive bacteria from 100 million years ago. Don’t we have enough to worry about?

Up top in Siberia, a massive “thaw slump” of permafrost is melting away and exposing what locals call a “gateway to the underworld.” Global warming has made the slump to almost 900 meters wide.

A considerably more chill group of scientists have figured out how to modify a strain of cannabis to be an effective against certain strains of cancer.

Play the games, fake the crowds. Instead of having empty stadiums for the baseball games on TV, Fox Sports is using video game software to fill in the seats with virtual attendees.

The NBA has a different approach. For each game played in “the bubble” 320 fans are invited to watch via videoconference. They are not only seen but also heard on the court. In order to keep it clean, each team assigns several crowd monitors who have to be ready to eject anyone who gets too spicy for family TV. Watching the crowd instead of the game, worst job ever.

Two Taiwanese octogenarians made the New York Times when their Instagram profile went viral. They run a laundromat and model the clothes that people leave behind. It was their son’s idea, “I had no idea so many foreigners would take interest in my grandparents.”

If you’re looking for something feel-good, check out Alanis Morissette singing her new song, Ablaze, with her daughter on Jimmy Fallon.


The week that was

“The film … is a good one. And you don’t have to be so screwed up and cause such a horror for the whole country – you can watch it without that,” said the Ukrainian interior minister after President Zelenskiy (the former comedian) agreed to recommend a niche Joaquin Phoenix film on Facebook in return for the release of hostages.

The San Francisco Giants made history this week when one of their coaches was the first in the league to take a knee during the national anthem and another took the field as the first female coach in a Major League game. Later in the week the entire NY Yankees and Washington Nationals teams all took a knee. before the national anthem.

The Oakland A’s piped crowd noise into their opening day broadcast to make it sound more realistic. But to make it better, Tom Hanks volunteered to be a virtual hot dog vendor.

Not Worthy bleacher fans (pre-pandemic photo)

We now know why Dr. Fauci prefers basketball.

Punters, tired of waiting to bet on their favorite sport to start up again, can now bet on global warming.

Rosie the Riveter, is normally depicted with a red bandana to tie back her hair. Today Mae Krier (94), one of the original Riveters, is back serving her country, sewing red bandana masks to cover faces.

Not content with testing national boundaries on terra firma, Britain and the US accused Russia of testing weapons in space.

China took off for Mars.

Japan is content to tinker with its giant land robot.

And the hackers got hacked.

The name game continued as a Robert E. Lee high school in Virginia is now John R. Lewis High. The Washington Redskins, still trying to secure a decent name that hasn’t already been copyrighted by squatters has settled on the straightforward Washington Football Team for now.

A Satanic Temple is offering college scholarships. Interested high school graduates can apply under the Devil’s Advocate Scholarship program.

A guy wearing a “Pugs not Drugs” shirt got arrested for . . . drugs.

Qantas retired their 747 fleet with the final flight by the Australian airline’s first female pilot who took the plane on a flight path that traced a ‘roo in the sky.

In a contemporary version of, “the dog ate my homework” a University of Georgia student begged, pleaded, and was granted a do-over when a meatball from her sandwich rolled out, plopped on her keyboard and logged her out of her Econ final.

Get them while they’re hot? For some reason, Crocs and KFC have a collaboration on a new line of footwear. If greasy chicken and bare feet doesn’t give you the heebie-jeebies, you can order a pair (or just marvel at the weirdness) here.

Oh! KFC has finally admitted that their chicken nuggets are just reconstituted chicken mush after all. They are now going to print the stuff. Crocs made out of printed chicken mush now kinda makes sense.

Then there’s the popcorn-flavored M&Ms. Yeah, I think we’re seeing the impact of legal weed and work-from-home spitballing impacting new product development.

If you didn’t get around to it last week, you can still upload your view to WindowSwap. If you’re feeling stressed out and just want to scream into the void, may I suggest Looks Like You Need Iceland.

Oh, and if you want to see the video photo up top of Lady Liberty casually ignoring lightning bolts, here’s the video.

Stay Strong.

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email, follow on Facebook, or forward to a friend.