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.


The week that was

While a shocking number of Americans can’t be bothered to wear a mask, this Indian businessman threw down $4000 his own custom gold mask.

A Japanese robotics company turned its attention to the mask problem and made one that does more than just save lives. The charmingly named Donut Robotics invented an internet-enabled mask that can can transcribe and translate speech into text, make calls, or amplify the mask wearer’s voice.

As sports leagues around the world stumble thru working out protocols that will keep everyone safe, the Women’s Roller Derby League surprised everyone with their sensible & straightforward plan.

Of course the Parisians have figured out how to keep everyone socially distanced and look cool doing it.

Coronavirus fashion is now a thing.

Covid-19 has reached the remote jungles of the Peruvian Amazon where there are now six cases among the Nahua tribe who have been living in voluntary isolation since first contact in the 1980s.

Melbourne police were tipped off when someone came into a KFC at 1:30 am and placed a “suspiciously huge order.” Following the car home, they broke up a party in violation of group gatherings and handed out $26k in fines.

Refrigerators stocked with free food are popping up all over Oakland. “Take what you want, leave what you don’t.” The fridges are part of the Town Fridge volunteer network to feed those in need.

A Japanese Inn bought some grapes for $12,200.

The Secret Service dropped $25k on two jet skis to keep the Trump family safe while they swim. Mavericks anyone?

Florida’s command center for statewide emergencies (such as Covid) shut down on Thursday after 12 staffers tested positive for . . . Covid.

Just when you think it can’t get any worse we learn that a squirrel in Colorado tested positive for the bubonic plague.

Trump supporters are getting fed up with the candidate’s pushy text messages. “Pres. Trump texted & YOU didn’t respond. Don’t let him down AGAIN.” Unsubscribe.

Scientists looking up determined that an Andean condor can fly 100 miles without flapping its wings.

Scientists looking down figured out how to make a camera small enough to put on the back of a beetle so they can see things from their perspective.

Scientists looking way up found the oldest star so they could confirm the age of the universe. Happy 13.8 billion years!

Nissan re-designed its logo so it looks better on its electric cars. As far as branding videos go, this one is pretty epic (headphones recommended).

Want a room with a view? Try WindowSwap.

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

Nearly $5.5M worth of counterfeit pajamas were confiscated at Port of Los Angeles.

Nudists are debating if wearing a face mask makes you no longer a true nudist.

Billionaire Kanye West’s company was awarded a multimillion-dollar coronavirus stimulus grant so they can continue to make shoes like this.

Ringo Starr celebrated his 80th birthday and Judas Priest announced their 50th anniversary tour.

Olympian sprinter Usain Bolt has a daughter named Olympia. Her middle name is Lightning.

All types of retailers have been hit hard by the lack of shoppers during the pandemic. Both the 202-year old Brooks Brothers and the North American branch of the Japanese brand retailer Muji filed for bankruptcy.

The great scrubbing continued as the North American Scrabble Players Association took a hard look at its dictionary of acceptable words and removed 236 words that it found potentially offensive.

Elon Musk, who surpassed Warren Buffet in wealth this week, sold out of his limited edition red satin Tesla gym shorts that were going for $69.420.

Due to the pandemic, fashion catwalks have gone virtual at this year’s Haute Couture Week. Each fashion house posted videos online to show off this year’s collection. Here’s Chanel.

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

The president will be spending the Forth of July at Mount Rushmore watching a half-million dollar “fireworks extravaganza.” Meanwhile, the Covid situation in Arizona has gotten to the point where Mexico is seriously thinking maybe they should finish that wall themselves, to keep out the Americans.

Xiaojie Zheng of San Francisco was assaulted while out walking her dog. When the police asked for a description, she did one better. Xiao has a photographic memory and is a renown portrait artist.

Protestors traveled out to Michael Bloomberg’s estate in the Hamptons to protest income inequality and brought pitchforks* with them.

Principals from 40 schools in the Bay Area gathered for a in-person meeting to coordinate the complicated procedures required for schools to open in Fall. Public confidence in those protocols were shattered when they learned everyone was exposed to the coronavirus at the meeting.

A film with a $70 million budget about the dangers of trying to perfect human DNA will have a robot as the lead actor.

Perhaps taking inspiration from the Barcelona Opera, a local bluegrass band played to the animals at the Oakland Zoo (which have become quite lonely lately). We later read that the zoo is in deep financial trouble.

After 50 years, Boeing will stop production of the 747 Jumbo Jet.

The Finger on the App thing announced last week finished last night with the final four contestants winning $20k each for keeping their finger on the app for a 3 whole days. If you haven’t seen it, check out the compilation video of people getting booted after Siri tried to “help.”

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.

*article updated later to say they were plastic


The week that was

Milton Glaser, the designer of the I ♥  NY logo and founder of New York Magazine died this week.

We all know now that alt-TikTok duped the Trump campaign into thinking they were going to need an overflow stage in Tulsa. What’s even cooler is that the TikTok army took their inspiration from a 51-year old grandma from Iowa.

About that rally, apparently one of the highlights was when Donald Trump demonstrated that he could successfully drink a glass of water, after which, the crowd broke out into chants of U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Temperatures were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the arctic last week. That is not a typo.

Eskimo Pie is rebranding to drop its derogatory name and the Dixie Chicks are dropping the Dixie and will be just the Chicks.

Botched art restoration has put Spanish curators on the front pages again. Remember the last time?

The Barcelona Opera played its first concert since the shutdown to an audience of plants.

Apparently 30% of the 860 commercial pilots in Pakistan do not have a valid pilot’s license.

The highly anticipated (in some circles) Dior – Air Jordan collab dropped. If you an find a pair, they go for $2,200. If you can’t, be prepared to shell out $10k on the secondary market.

A truck traveling through the intersection of Portage Avenue and Race Track Road collided with another truck and scattered french fries all over the road. The story did not say which had right of way, the Race Track or the Portage.

Looking for something to do next week? Put your finger down and don’t move it to win $25k.

This week’s cute pet video comes to you from Georgia (the country) where a stray dog shows up every day to escort kids across a busy intersection.

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.

@yarri requested the audiobook version of TWTW so I indulged him. It’s not quite Walter Cronkite but it’s got hints of the late-newscaster’s flourishes.

created with the voices from LOVO @

The week that was

The jokers at MSCHF are at it again with some kicks that will allow you to walk on holy water. While it’s still up, here’s a link to their crazy promo page.

Ford is bringing the Bronco back and will debut the new model on the July 9th, the birthday of one of its more infamous drivers. (update: Ford thought it best to postpone).

The soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful is going back to production. But how do you maintain distance during those steamy love scenes? Dolls.

Tear gas was used on civilians in over 100 US cities last week.

I used to subscribe to Popular Mechanics magazine. Each issue had helpful tips on how to fix something around the schematics of how something works. This week they had some helpful tips on how to topple a confederate statue.

Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s and Cream of Wheat are all taking a hard look at updating their branding.

We learned one thing this week. The Swiss take money really fucking seriously.

When you use Reddit as a source, you really need to be careful because someone’s always joking around. Fox News wasn’t careful.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race was held. Virtually. And 63 million watched.

Professional football started up again in Europe but to empty stadiums. Even then, a fan managed to, true to form, to break in and run onto the pitch.

Those scary Boston Dynamics nightmare machines? You can now buy one and take it home with you.

Scientists ran the numbers and came up with the answer. It’s not 42. It is 36.

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

A COVID-19 testing swab factory said that they had to trash all swabs created during President Trump’s visit last week. The president flew to the factory in Maine to celebrate the factory’s increased production and insisted on touring the factory without a mask.

Band-Aid announced it will launch a new line of bandages in a range of different skin tone colors — from beige to dark brown — to  “embrace the beauty of diverse skin.”

Engineers did not take into consideration the wind when designing new pedestrian railings on the Golden Gate Bridge. The barrier emits a high-pitch howl that is carries well across the water and can be heard all across the Bay.

Motortrend magazine is celebrating a rare, mint-condition Honda Civic Si that sold for $50,000.

350,000 people searched for it. Five people died trying. The search is over. The $2 million Forrest Fenn treasure has been found.

James Micioni, a 96-year old New Jersey man, passed away and left to his family a collection of baseball cards that is now known as The Uncle Jimmy Collection. A signed Babe Ruth card is a rare find, Uncle Jimmy had six. This treasure trove of vintage, baseball cards that is the single most incredible find in the history of the hobby. 

After three months of Shelter in Place people are sharing how they’ve been keeping busy. One built the ultimate Rube Goldberg machine and another calculated the distance he walked since putting a treadmill in his home office.

What do you do when your country is overrun by locusts? Ask China to send in their ducks.

Mad Magazine’s Al Jaffee, the inventor of the iconic fold-in and the longest working cartoonist in history, retired at 99. His last issue will be one of the last issues of the print magazine.

Photo via @banksy

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

Protestors in Oakland were joined by Brianna Noble, 25, who rode atop her massive gelding, Dapper Dan, fist held high, like a living Valkyrie.

In Portland, protesters were joined by Caesar, the No Drama Llama.

The hacktivist group Anonymous hacked Chicago Police radio frequencies to play NWA’s Fuck tha Police. Apple Music turned off browse on their radio streams and left a single playlist of black music in honor of #blackouttuesday ending with the same NWA song.

The police in Dallas were thwarted from crowdsourcing videos of illegal protest activity when their iWatch service was flooded with fancam videos of K-Pop bands.

Columbus and Cleveland declared racism a public health crisis.

Even the Amish joined in the protests in Minneapolis.

The headline of the week award goes to the AFP which ran with Spain porn star held after man dies in toad venom ritual

Necco Wafers are back after a two-year hiatus. The 174-year old confectionery that got its start with Union troops in the Civil War re-started production with a minor adjustment to the less-popular chocolate flavor to appeal to the modern palate.

In Canada, the re-introduction of Cool-Ranch Doritos made headlines as deprived residents breathed a sigh of relief.

Alfa Romeo is planning on launching an electric SUV in 2022.

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

Big stories sucked up much of the oxygen this week. Cities are on fire and two guys left earth in a rocket (some say they’re lucky). Other than that, here’s a few stories you may have missed.

In a tragic twist, we learned that George Floyd and Officer Derek Chauvin worked at the same night club in Minneapolis. If only they knew each other, maybe there might have been more empathy.

When the order to shelter in place came down, couples who were dating had to make a quick choice, stay apart or stay together. One couple in NYC has been together in an apartment after just one date, another has been stuck in Costa Rica after just three.

One silver lining resulting from the pandemic? Have you noticed that the volume of robocalls are down?

David Rush from Idaho drank a liter of lemon juice in under 17 seconds setting a new world record (they keep records for this?).

Microsoft decided to downsize the humans doing news curation in their newsroom and give the algorithm more work. Let’s hope it turns out better than it did with Tay, the racist chatbot.

A rare bottle of French Cognac from 1762 sold for almost $150k.

A Canadian man received an expedited delivery of a tube of Brylcreem that he ordered in 2012.

Two men were hired to sneak into a house to fulfill someone’s sexual fantasy, but got the address wrong.

A Texas high school principal drove over 1,500 miles to personally deliver diplomas to each of his graduating students. Closer to home, my daughter’s math teacher from Alameda High made the rounds to personally visit with each of her 100+ students and deliver a gift bag of hand-crafted goods.

Stay safe and take care of your neighbors everyone – see you next week.