The week that was

Tanzania threatened to deploy the army to harvest the cashew nut crop from farmers who refuse to sell.

A Wisconsin company decided to give all its employees a gun for Christmas.

A New Jersey man, pulled over for driving under the influence told officers he did it because, the “Jets suck.”

A robotic bricklaying machine in Australia completed an entire house in just three days.

The Japanese government’s recently appointed head of cybersecurity admits that he’s never used a computer.

Oxford Dictionary announced that the word of the year is, toxic.

The week that was

An uninhabited island off the coast of Japan vanished. No one noticed until a photographer went looking to update his book of Japan’s “hidden” islands.

A former pro boxer was taken down by a croissant. Mario Melo died while choking on his third croissant in a croissant-eating contest.

Harley Davidson unveiled an electric motorcycle.

A Chinese pork-producer, facing a bit of a cashflow problem, is paying off its bondholders in ham. “Payment in kind becomes PIH (Pay In Ham).”

The Japan Post has begun unmanned drone document delivery in Fukushima.

Researchers in Sweden have figured out how to store solar energy in liquid form, essentially “bottling sunlight.”

A dead man was elected in Nevada. Dennis Hof, who ran the Bunny Ranch brothel in Nevada recently died while celebrating his 73rd birthday.

Two Marine Corps pilots were grounded after it was revealed that the “irregular flight pattern” they were flying drew the shape of a huge phallus.

Photo credit: Twitter user @muumi5x15

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The week that was

The world’s first, all-robot restaurant opened in Beijing. “Robots will take orders, prepare and deliver raw meat and fresh vegetables to customers to plop into soups prepared at their tables.” The mechanized helpers will, “lower labor costs and boost efficiency” and allow the Haidilao, the $10 billion eatery chain, to open a planned 5,000 new branches worldwide.

Multiple counties in Texas issued instructions to voters to check their ballots prior to submitting them because some machines were changing or de-selecting votes.

Nebraska congressman Jeff Fortenberry made a lot of noise about a University of Nebraska professor liking a Facebook post showing a doctored campaign sign that changed his name to Fartenberry. This of course delighted the media which was desperate for an alternative to 24-hour Trump news.

A Russian scientist working in Antarctica is facing attempted murder charges after allegedly stabbing a colleague for telling him the endings of books he wanted to read.

Miners unearthed a 1.1 kg emerald in Zambia. The 5,655 karat-stone with  “remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green hue,” was found in Kagem, the world’s largest emerald mine.

Salesforce Tower, the tallest building in San Francisco, has a large programmable display covering the top floors. It was designed to be an art installation for the citizens to celebrate the the pride and beauty of their city. Cheeky residents promptly petitioned and were granted a wish to display a giant flaming Eye of Sauron during Halloween.

It was discovered that for the past two and half years an elderly Japanese employee of Shinjuku Gardens in Tokyo was too afraid to ask foreigners to pay the $2 admission fee and was letting them in for free. It’s been calculated that he has cost the gardens almost a quarter million dollars in lost revenue.

October Books, a small independent community bookshop in England, put out a call to their neighborhood to form a human bucket brigade which helped it move it’s stock, book-by-book, to its new location down the street.

A drunk baggage worker at the Kansas City airport decided to take a nap inside the hold of an airline and woke up in Chicago.

The week that was

Political rivals, running against each other for a House seat in Vermont, asked for extra time after their debate, to make music together.

A car thief in England was caught when his DNA was found on lip balm left in the car he had stolen and abandoned.

Due to an influx of Asian immigrants into Sydney, piano sales are booming.

The Museum of the Bible in Washington DC confessed that five of the Dead Sea Scrolls on display were, in fact, forgeries.

NASA scientists fixed the gyroscope in the Hubble telescope using the oldest trick in the IT toolkit, turning it off and back on again.

Volocopter, an air taxi company, announced that Singapore will begin trials next year of a new “driverless hover-taxi” that fly through the air to avoid traffic.

A man in India was killed by a group of monkeys that organized and threw bricks at him.

A work of art generated by artificial intelligence sold at Christie’s for over $400,000.

Photo credit: Reddit user KTKhujo

The week that was

A Belgian Air Force mechanic accidentally opened fire on and destroyed a fully-fueled F-16 fighter jet while servicing another warplane on the tarmac.  Two mechanics are being treated for hearing loss caused by the blast. 

Police in Savannah, GA are looking for the vandal who put “googly eyes” on statue of Nathaniel Greene, a general in the Revolutionary War . 

The US embassy in Australia apologized after mistakenly sending out an email, titled “Meeting” with a photo of a tabby cat wearing a blue Cookie Monster outfit and holding a plate of choc-chip biscuits, beneath the title “cat pajama-jam.”

For the first time since at least 1993 New York City went an entire weekend without anyone getting shot.

Designer Benjamin Edgar is selling a hanger cut from a single, solid plate of thick, hand-brushed stainless steel for $700.

A man in Georgia robbed a Subway sandwich shop after ordering a sandwich and then ran back in to grab his sandwich.

A city in China plans to launch a satellite that will act as an “artificial moon” to help light the streets of the city.

The Ecuadorian Embassy in London is getting a little tired of their guest, Julian Assange. They have taken away his wifi access until he does a better job of cleaning up the bathroom and taking care of his cat. Julian Assange has threatened legal action.

Lia Ditton finished rowing from San Francisco to Los Angeles in three weeks in preparation for a trip next year across the Pacific.

Marijuana was legalized in Canada this week and an entrepreneurial girl scout saw her chance. 9-year old Elina Childs set up her cookie stand in front of Nova Cannabis and completely sold out in less than an hour. 
“Everybody was respectful, everybody was happy, and she walked away from it as this incredibly positive experience as well as selling out all her Brownie cookies,” said her proud father.

Photo credit: Reddit user seanbrockest

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The week that was

Birds are getting drunk after eating too many fermented berries.

A Grand Rapids man thought the rock that he has been using for years as a doorstop didn’t look like a normal rock. He was right.

A  man who used a stolen credit card to pay his court fines was subsequently booked for stealing credit cards.

Seconds after the gavel came down on the sale of a Banksy piece at Sotheby’s for $1.3M, a hidden motor in the frame shredded the piece. The destruction of the painting increased the value of the painting which art brokers are now saying may have doubled in value. Some speculate Sotheby’s was in on the prank.

The prestigious Rooney Prize for Irish Literature awarded annually by Trinity Dublin College was awarded to one of its janitors.

Over 300 suspected Russian spies were uncovered in Europe when reporters uncovered that they had registered their cars to the address of their military dormitory in Russia.

“Your radical socialist kickboxing lesbian Indian” was how a Michael Kalny, Kansas GOP precinct committeeman, described the Democratic congressional candidate in a Facebook post. He resigned.

Researchers at MIT have simplified the Turing test to a single word that distinguishes higher level human intelligence from a computer’s artificial intelligence. That word is poop.

Researchers at a university in Melbourne have invented a new font named that has been demonstrated to increase retention. They dubbed the new font, Sans Forgetica.

Another flight was delayed (2 hours) over a disagreement on what the airline would consider an emotional support animal (squirrel).

Hunters in India tracking down a tigress suspected to have killed up to 13 people deployed an men’s cologne to flush out the man-eating big cat from the jungle. Calvin Klein Obsession for Men worked best.

Photo credit: Reddit user xsited

The week that was (2018-10-05)

A woman in Columbia was caught having an affair she and her lover were picked up in an Uber that was driven by her husband.

China will begin construction of a replica of Shakespeare’s hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon. The real town is one of the most popular destinations for Chinese tourists visiting England.

The media really piled it on Donald Trump. Even Scientific American couldn’t help themselves.

Animal scientists were busy. We now know how giraffes get their spots and why elephants have wrinkles.

In Arkansas, a hole opened up in the ground and shot flames 12 feet into the sky and burned for 40 minutes. No one knows why but officials have “ruled out” Satan. The flames erupted in front of a billboard advertising the Baxter Regional Medical Center’s Bone & Joint Clinic who were pleased with the free publicity.

A 1926 bottle of the Macallan 60-Year-Old whisky sold at auction for $1,100,000.

Thieves in Southern Germany harvested and made off with an entire vineyard of Riesling grapes. Police suspect a rival vintner.

An elderly couple lost their way home from a short trip to the hospital in Knoxville, Tennessee. The ordeal turned into a five day trip through three states ending in Atlanta, Georgia where they were discovered by police. They are recovering at home but their relieved daughter has decided to take the car keys away.

It is now against the law for mapmakers in the United Kingdom to put the Shetland Islands “in a box.”

A global study determined that between 2011 and 2017, over 250 people have perished in “selfie-related deaths.” The study noted a sharp increase in the death rate in 2016 concurrent with the release of the “selfie stick.”

Photo credit: Reddit user Oweat10

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The week that was (2018-09-28)

An amateur botanist in search of rare flowers in remote West Papua, Indonesia took a snapshot of a tree kangaroo so rare and elusive that it disappeared for nearly a century and was assumed to be extinct. “Only an intrepid Pom in pursuit of rhododendrons would have persevered.”

Scientists determined that sonar signals picked up by the Canadian Coast Guard were from sei whales, previously believed to be extinct.

NASA picked up a faint white dot on the surface of Mars that they believe to be the Opportunity. The 14-year old surface rover has been silent for an agonizing 107 days since going into hibernation to conserve energy from a planet-wide dust storm.

The loss of ice mass due to human-driven climate change, particularly in Greenland, is contributing to a change in how the earth “wobbles” on its axis.

It was observed that praying mantises have learned how to catch fish.

A cafe staffed by robot waiters remotely-controlled by staff with disabilities will open in Tokyo this November. The restaurant is an experiment to see if technology can be used to allow people that, due to their physical handicaps, could otherwise not be employable.

Researchers at the University of Tokyo accidentally created the strongest controllable magnetic field in history and blew the doors of their lab.

German handgun manufacturer Walther is manufacturing a Limited Edition Colt Government 1911 A1 Semi-Automatic pistol that features Donald Trump on the grip and the phrases Make America Great Again, Drain the Swamp, and End Fake News on the barrel.

92-year-old Jean Briggs Watters was buried in Omaha, Nebraska with full British military honors, the Union Jack draping her casket, to the surprise of her unsuspecting neighbors.

Photo credit: Astronaut Alexander Gerst

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The week that was

Parents in South Korea are hiring intimidating ‘uncles’ to protect their child from bullies. With the ‘Uncle Package’ a big, intimidating man pretends to be a student’s uncle and gives a stern warning to the bullies, and accompanies the student on their way to school. The service costs about $450/day.

A TV station abruptly went off the air during their weather update on on Hurricane Florence because the newsroom was flooded by Hurricane Florence.

Fed up with the unwinding of proven science, Governor Jerry Brown announced that California will be launching “our own damn satellite” to track climate change.

Police in Alabama are testing an electric lasso that can ensnare a suspect up to 25 feet away and has been likened to a Spider-Man technology.

Golfers at the King’s Walk Golf Course in North Dakota can order food from the clubhouse and have it delivered to them by drone.

The 2nd oldest lightbulb in the world celebrated its 110th birthday.

The airline Cathy Pacific misspelled it’s name on one of its new Boeing 777s.

Coca-Cola is jumping on the CBD train and thinking about making a cannabis-infused drink.

That container ship that set off to attempt passage through the Arctic, over Russia, made it through and is due in St. Petersburg next week.

It was decided that if you’re going to have your kidney stones dislodged by a roller coaster at Disneyland, Big Thunder Mountain was the best one for the task.

After “months of torment” the Ipswich Borough Council finally tracked down why the children’s nursery rhyme  It’s Raining, It’s Pouring was eerily playing from the industrial park in the middle of the night. Spiders.

Photo credit: Reddit user logangrey123

The week that was

A Mississippi high schooler was chosen first as the homecoming queen, then later kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime at the homecoming game as the football place kicker. Kaylee Foster later posed for a photo in her tiara and football uniform.

You know stressed jeans right? A company in Venice is selling sneakers that simulate the old sneaker look. Price? $560.

A man in Florida ran from his car after getting pulled over for speeding. Jumping into a canal to escape pursuit, he later can be heard calling for help. The canal was full of brackish water, overrun by toxic algae. The police rescued him, hosed him off and rinsed his mouth out before taking him in.

A 75-year old Cleveland man spent 14 hours locked in his Cadillac when the electrical system failed and prevented him from opening the doors. Screaming for help from inside his garage and without his cellphone, his neighbors went blissfully about their day until they discovered him later that evening. He was without the car manual that would have guided him to the manual override tucked below his seat.

Two visiting Australian firefighters, volunteering to fight forest fires near the California/Oregon border, reported they were shot at by “men with scoped rifles.” When asked, the people with the rifles said they were hunting bears.

In Portland, the author of How to Murder Your Husband was charged with murdering her husband.

An “enthusiastic parishioner” thought a 500-year old wooden sculpture of Mary, Joseph and Jesus needed a little color and painted them in day-glo jumpers to disastrous effect.

The company that owns Cadbury chocolate, Mondelez International, is stockpiling chocolate and biscuits in case of a hard Brexit.

Photo credit:  “There is a separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.” – Albert Einstein