The week that was

America’s deadly love-affair with guns was in the news again as a 15-year old took a pistol gifted by his parents to school and shot up his classmates. I normally avoid curating violence but the river of avoidable tragedy was just too much to bear:

Clearly we need to change the culture around gun ownership. For a contrast, here’s what it takes to own a gun in Japan.

In other news:

Officers in Beaverton, Oregon corralled a hamster and took the animal into “protective custody” after pulling over a driver, the hamster’s owner, and arresting her for driving under the influence.

Scotty Thomas, a dump truck driver in Fayetteville, NC, bought a lottery ticket online. Later, forgetting he already bought a ticket, he bought another, with the same numbers. Confused at first when he received two emails saying he had won $25,000/year for life he then realized he bought two tickets that both won.

Twenty years ago Gladys from Florida called Mike in Rhode Island looking for her daughter who lives in Maryland. She was dialing area code 401, instead of 410 and, over the years, as she kept making the mistake, Mike and Gladys struck up a friendship. This year, Mike paid Gladys a visit.

Merriam-Webster selected vaccine as the most popular word of the year. Last year’s most popular word? Pandemic.

A Hong Kong metal band that broke up five years ago has found new popularity. The band’s name is Omicron.

On Friday, a group of 60+ fans gathered at the Tan Hill Inn in Yorkshire, England to hear their favorite Oasis tribute band. During the evening, a blizzard dumped over three feet of snow and kept the whole lot at the Tan Hill Inn overnight and through the weekend.

In Denmark, 25 employees and six customers at an IKEA were forced to spend the night at the store after a snowstorm. The local TV station covering the story shared photos of the “stranded Danes drinking beer and coffee and noshing on cinnamon rolls as they watched soccer together.” No mention of Swedish Meatballs.

IKEA in Tokyo is renting out a “Tiny Home” apartment for the equivalent of $1 USD/month. The 107-square-foot apartment, completely kitted out with IKEA furniture, makes “good use of vertical space.”

Car thieves are using Apple AirTags to track cars they wish to steal. Scoping out desirable cars in a mall parking lot, they slap the AirTag on the car and track them late at night when they can break in under cover of darkness. The article about this trend helpfully advertises a deal on AirTags from Best Buy.

Lawyers representing a company that goes by the name of Bong LLC are suing their NoHo building tenant, a host of underground, semi-commercial parties, because of complaints of “marijuana smoke.”

“Nobody was hurt in the blaze and the status of the snakes remains a mystery” says a report about someone who burned down their house while trying to smoke out a snake infestation.

Making lemonade out lemons, Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is minting NFTs out of his federal prison badge and putting them up for sale at Miami’s Art Basel.

The week that was

A working Apple-1 computer in a rare wooden case was sold at an auction for half a million dollars. The 44-year old computer was purchased for $650.

Angelo Fregolent parked his Lancia Fulvia 1962 in 1974 and left the car there for 47 years. It has since become a local landmark.

Glen de Vries, who recently blasted off into space with William Shatner died in a small plane accident in Sussex County, New Jersey.

105-year-old Julia ‘Hurricane’ Hawkins set a new track-and-field record for the 100-meter and is set to go against her rival, Diane “Flash” Friedman. Heather Hann ran a 10k in 40:04 to break the Guinness World Record for running while pushing a stroller. Alyssa Clark broke a Guinness World Record by running 95 marathons in 95 consecutive days.

A woman visiting the Bronx Zoo climbed over the barrier near the lion exhibit, threw money in the air and exclaimed, “King, I love you, I came back for you.”

Arby’s is coming out with a curly fries-flavored vodka.

The week that was

“Those celebrating Pakistan’s victory will face sedition,” warned the chief minister of India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh after Pakistan defeated India at the Twenty20 World Cup.

A group of crypto investors are buying 40 acres of land in Wyoming to establish a blockchain-based city.

Scientists discovered water in a galaxy 12.8 billion light years away.

While other nations were discussing climate change in Glasgow, Ireland calculated that it would need to cull up to 1.3 million cattle to meet greenhouse gas limitations.

What’s a nuclear reactor’s worst enemy? Jellyfish.

A team from the University of Utah has found a way to restore sight to the blind by combining a brain implant with a pair of camera glasses.

New Jersey’s Democratic state senate president for the past 11 years lost his seat to a Republican furniture store truck driver who spent less than $10,000 on his campaign.

A publisher of scientific research was forced to retract 40 recently published papers after admitting they were “nothing more than garbled jargon.”

The Mayor Elect of New York City committed to get his first three paychecks in crypto-currency to encourage an industry founded on de-centralization to centralize in NYC.

An alleged Capitol Insurrection rioter who put his house on Zillow was hauled in for further questions after FBI agents zoomed in on his whiteboard which listed “numerous firearms listed and explosive devices.”

The week that was

Astronomers have detected mysterious radio waves from the center of the galaxy that vary dramatically and “seem to shut off at random.” Let’s hope it’s not another microwave.

Tesla stock had a good week and is now more valuable than all other car manufacturers combined. Elon Musk, a majority shareholder, is now the richest man in the world. 

A French sailor is gearing up to take a run at breaking the speed record for a sailboat. The last record was 65 knots using foiling boards. Alex Caizergues, is hoping to break 80 knots with a kite pulling a surface-skimming trimaran.

A man spent over $57k on a single Pokémon card. The Justice Department news release was stingy on details. The man was getting hauled in because that money was most of his Covid business loan.

The Taiwan Army is building mechanical exoskeletons for their soldiers so they can “run faster and carry heavy objects with ease.” The gear should also come in handy if they have to fight with the People’s Liberation Army who apparently also is giving exoskeletons to its troops too.

Buzzfeed deleted all images on its site from before 2015 to ward off claims of copyright infringement. They even purged the images on the post, 23 images that need to be deleted from the internet.

Walmart recalled bottles of the Better Homes and Gardens Essential Oil Infused Aromatherapy Room Spray with Gemstones because it contains a “rare and dangerous” bacteria that causes “a condition that is difficult to diagnose and can be fatal” and also killed two people.

City officials in Austin attempted to mow a man’s lawn and were met with aggression and firearms. SWAT was called in, the man’s home caught on fire, he was shot and later died.

University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of business is now offering an Economics of Blockchain and Digital Assets program and, yes, you can pay tuition in crypto.

Scientists are using artificial intelligence to suggest unique chemical combinations for new types of batteries.

After formally recognizing animals as sentient beings under UK law back in May, the United States is now recommending similar legal protection, specifically for Pablo Escobar’s pet hippos.

The week that was

A small town in Tennessee put itself up for sale for $725,000.

The NYC Board of Health declared racism a public health crisis.

Propagandists in China are blaming Covid on imported lobsters from Maine.

Apple unveiled a $19 polishing cloth.

Nokia launched a new phone that you can buy for $80.

Some defendants charged with storming the U.S. Capitol are representing themselves in court. One said the law didn’t apply to her and another presented the court with a schedule of fees for his services.

A yoga teacher and four students had to be rescued after they drifted out to sea while meditating on their paddle boards.

New Zealand laid off a wizard who had been on the public payroll for the past two decades.

Kellogg’s is being sued because the fruit filling in Kellogg’s Whole Grain Frosted Strawberry Toaster Pastries does not have enough strawberry.

A fake startup in the UK hired influencers to promote it, created t-shirts and swag, held a party, “launched,” then vanished with $500k from its swindled investors. The company was called, CryptoEats.

The price of gasoline hit $7.59/gallon at one town in California.

Chevron announced it will reduce emissions by using solar and wind to power its pumps and drills.

A steel mill in Colorado will get most of its power from an array of 750,000 solar panels.

Scholars finally know why John Steinbeck scrawled the word “Slut” in big letters at the end of his manuscript for The Grapes of Wrath.

The week that was

The Santa Barbara fire department rushed out to rescue what turned out to be a mannequin dangling from a cliff.

Like the eddy of a stream clogged with leaves, one dead end street in San Francisco became a gathering spot for lost self-driving Waymo taxis.

On National Coming Out Day, DC Comics announced that Superman’s son is bi-sexual.

Details of Jonathan and Diana Toebbe’s spycraft spilled into the news including details of how they passed secrets on an SD card hidden in a peanut butter sandwich. The criminal complaint is worth a read.

A man travelled to Germany to pick up his brand new Lamborghini Huracan and excitedly drove it back to his home in Norway. He was clocked by Danish police doing almost 150 MPH. His car was confiscated.

Another court document revealed that criminals used machine learning technology to deepfake the voice of a company executive and trick a bank into transferring $35 million to fraudulent accounts.

Jony Ive launched a website.

The week that was

Spectators of a flying drone light show in China ran in panic as the drones “went awry” hitting buildings and bystanders on the ground.

The Trump 2024 presidential campaign rebranded itself with a refreshed, albeit uncreative name, Make America Great Again, Again.

For the first time in 20 years, Donald Trump fell off the list of Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America.

Two men who fired off flares off Block Island to celebrate a friend’s wedding have been fined $10,000 because of the resulting multi-hour rescue mission involving a surface vessel and two Coast Guard helicopters.

The shine is off as scientists who measure the glow of the Earth by looking at the light reflected off of the moon. Our planet has dimmed as climate change has “essentially scuffed up our planet.”

That 70s Show is getting a re-boot. The new show will be called That 90s Show.

Researchers at Bangor University in Wales have discovered high levels of cocaine and MDMA in a stream that runs near the site of the Glastonbury Festival. They concluded the seasonal spike is from festival goers urinating in and around the stream and that it is affecting the local fish population.

Last week it was Cup Noodle soda, this week it is Cracker Jack Pepsi. At least this one comes with a prize.

Netflix has been forced to edit out a few frames from the hugely popular Squid Game series. The scene includes a shot of business card with a Korean phone number. The hapless owner on the other end of that number has been getting upwards of 4,000 calls a day with his cellphone’s battery draining before he can use it.

The week that was

Inflation became reality as the Dollar Store started testing out items priced at over $1.00.

The markets were down sharply this week but a hamster trading crypto is outperforming the S&P 500.

I don’t know why you would but you could if you wanted to, buy and consume, a can of Cup Noodle-flavored soda.

A “naturopath” was ordered by a Canadian court to literally stop selling shit.

The South Australian government is using drones with facial recognition software to do a census of the koala population.

Amazon’s new domestic robot Astro looks like a cute version of the Echo on wheels but some are saying it’s a Roomba designed to hoover up loads of personal data about you and your house.

A Dutch artist was given $84,000 and commissioned to make a statement about people’s relationship with work. He delivered an empty frame and called the work, “Take the Money and Run.”

A team of music historians, musicologists, and composers teamed up with computer scientists and used artificial intelligence to finish Beethoven’s Tenth Symphony.

An outfit called TinyCircuits made a tiny Gameboy from a Raspberry Pi Pico. It’s called Thumby and can fit on your keychain.

Rolls-Royce is going electric in a big way. They announced their first EV, the Spectre, and an electric airplane.

Just one final approval is all that remains to allow driverless taxis on the streets of San Francisco.

“I felt a chill go down my spine when I heard that the monkey is back in the village,” said Jagadish who is being stalked by one disturbingly-focused Bonnet Macaque.

A Turkish man believed to be lost in the forest stumbled into his own search party and helped them for awhile until he heard them calling his name. “I am here” he said to the startled rescue party.

The week that was

The population of Alabama is shrinking. Due to the deadly combination of the pandemic and vaccination hesitancy, the state recorded more deaths than births.

Not to be outdone by AT&T’s Flying COWS announced a couple of weeks ago, the Verizon PR team trotted out their own emergency response solution, THOR.

Taking another step towards our Skynet future, quantum computers are now being deployed to design better quantum computers.

A large crowd gathered in Tokyo to say goodbye to the Sega Ikebukuro Gigo arcade. The nine floor video game parlor was closing its doors after 28 years.

A US military base on the outskirts of Tokyo is in a heightened state of alert because of a potential invasion from wild monkeys.

The CEO of Apple Computer, Tim Cook, said employees who leak memos do not belong at Apple, according to leaked memo.

Children in New Zealand who uncovered a unique set of fossils while on a field trip have now been credited with discovering a completely new species of prehistoric penguin.

Samuel Adams’ latest batch of its specialty Utopias line of beer (aged over 30 years in aquavit barrels with a touch of Vermont Maple Syrup) is so potent it’s banned in 15 states.

Following recent news the El Salvador government recognized Bitcoin as legal tender, the Chinese central bank officially declared all cryptocurrency transactions as illegal.

The week that was

As cooler temps set in and songbirds started their migration south, the annual crashing of birds into the Manhattan skyscrapers season began.

In-person schooling started but the bus driver shortage was so severe in Massachusetts that they had to call in the national guard.

Japan announced that they have successfully tested a new kind of rocket engine that uses shock waves instead of thrust sending a 30 meter rocket over 230 kms into space during a 4 minute flight.

A UK firm announced that it is working on a blimp. The Airlander 10 is the world’s largest aircraft and can fly 100 passengers, 4,000 kms over 5 days with nearly zero emissions. It also has a nickname, The Flying Bum.

Who says you can’t reinvent the wheel. Michelin announced its airless tires are ready for mass production.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully delivered four civilian astronauts into three days of orbit and a successful splashdown landing in a self-driving rocket ship. Elon Musk also sent the obscure cryptocurrency Floki Inu up 1000% when he named his dog Floki.

A prankster put out a fake press release announcing Walmart’s adoption of Litecoin, a cryptocurrency, in a classic pump-and-dump scheme.

Kanye [Ye] West made news by unfollowing his ex-wife Kim Kardashian on Instagram. He made news again by re-following her. The last time there was this much excitement on the IG Follow beat was back when Drake followed Kim when K & K were married.