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The week that was

Hundreds of migrating birds had to be freed from a chimney of a home in Santa Barbara. Not having learned their lesson, the next day they apparently flew down another chimney in Los Angeles.

A man’s bathroom break was extended longer than he bargained for when high winds knocked a tree over on to the porta potty he occupied, pinning him inside. The local fire department had to free him with chainsaws and a Sawzall.

Record-sized hailstones fell on Texas.

The booster stage of a Chinese rocket is due to plummet from the heavens sometime tonight. The size of this randomly falling space junk is 20 tons, breaking last year’s record of 18 tons.

The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opened in Portugal.

The government of the Maldives, tired of asking the rest of the world to help reverse climate change, announced that they will build a floating city.

A Japanese town blew its Covid relief funds on a giant statue of a squid.

A Canadian town erupted in a sign war as local businesses competed to outwit each other.

Verizon sold off Yahoo and Aol and we learned that there are 1.5 million people still paying their Aol monthly subscription fees.

A man decided to throw “good luck coins” into the jet engine of a plane he was boarding and grounded the flight for all passengers and had to pay a steep fine for the trouble he caused.

A Belgian farmer, annoyed with a stone marker that was blocking his tractor, moved it out of the way and unwittingly re-drew the border between France and Belgium.

Remember those bottles of wine that spent a year in space? One will be auctioned off to raise money for research. Wine connoisseurs have tasted one of the other bottles sent up and said the taste was, “hard to describe.”

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.

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Judges in the UK reversed a decades-old decision by an errant (and some would say malicious) computer accounting system that convicted 39 former UK postmasters of theft, fraud and false accounting.

In India someone stole a bag that they found contained thousands of doses of the Covid vaccine. The bag was returned anonymously with an apologetic note.

Thieves of a Big Bird costume in Australia were not so lucky. Despite returning it after a night of mischief, charges will be pressed.

The internet went out for 900 customers in a small town in Canada. Beavers were to blame.

An eagle-eyed Argentinian renewed google.com.ar for a couple of bucks and briefly owned all of Google’s traffic in that country.

The subject of the Disaster Girl meme has taken back control of her image by selling the photo as an NFT.

Sean Culkin of the Kansas City Chief’s is the first NFL player to get paid in Bitcoin.

Citizen Kane was knocked off its 100% perch on top of the Rotten Tomatoes leaderboard, replaced by . . . Paddington 2. In celebration or perhaps an homage, a Reddit user is photoshopping Paddington into a movie still “every day until I forget.”

The headline of the week award goes to CTV with Boulders block Boulder Canyon road near Boulder, Colorado, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office says

A pair of Yeezy sneakers worn by Kanye West at the Grammys were sold for $1.8 million.

There is a good chance that the former Flint, Michigan Police Academy building will be used to grow marijuana.

An Australian farmer had to destroy his entire crop of hemp because cooler than expected temperatures raised the levels of THC beyond the legal limit. He should just ship the crop to Flint.

Oh, and Prancer found a home.

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.

Hat-tips to Devon, Jane and Roberto.

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Covid-19 was discovered at Everest base camp when a member of an expedition tested positive for the disease.

Vaccines are available in New York City for anyone that wants them, no appointment necessary. On 4/20, marijuana activists with Joints for Jabs gave out free joints to anyone that showed them their vaccination card.

In Maine, where recreational marijuana is ok but delivery is not, an enterprising startup is offering to help “find” your lost stash for a “finders fee.”

There is a boba tea shortage in San Francisco.

People are using $5 ladders to go up and over Trump’s $27 million/mile border wall.

Japanese police have hauled in a 39-year-old Osaka man who is suspected of lying about his birthday to more than 30 different girlfriends in order to receive their gifts.

A man dressed in a cute bear suit with an over-sized head is walking from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The trip has taking longer than anticipated but he said he is not in a huge rush.

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.

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Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the highest level in 3.6 million years and Scientific American editors made the decision to call it what it is, a climate emergency. Some scientists recommend leaning in the trend with something called “stratospheric aerosol intervention” to block the sun to cool down the planet.

Eleven Madison Park, a three-star Michelin restaurant where New Yorkers normally pay $300+ for a meal, will serve high-quality, basic meals to those in need out of the back of a subtly-marked truck that will visit the “culinary-deprived neighborhoods.”

“Everything Trump has done since he’s been in office has been really shady and all backwards and messed up,” said one of the co-plaintiffs in a $1 trillion class action lawsuit brought by a self-educated ex-convict against the former president for the deaths of 570,000 Americans from Covid.

On the bright side, you can now watch an animated counter that totals the number of vaccinations given over on covidvax.live.

Dominos will start delivering pizza in Houston by autonomous robots. Driverless buses are shuttling people around Tennessee.

Darius, the world’s longest rabbit, is missing from his home in Worcestershire. Twitter erupted with suggestions to ask Alice.

A flight from the UK to Majorca was dangerously under-fueled when a programming error allocated everyone with the title “Miss” the average child’s weight instead of that of an adult.

More NFT shenanigans as the market cap for Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency founded as a joke, soared to $51 billion. The New York Stock Exchange started selling their own NFTs and an artist sold a single, grey pixel for $1.36 million dollars.

If you’re looking for fungible assets, there is a deli in New Jersey worth $100 million.

Citizens in the Polish city of Krakow were trapped, afraid to go outside because of an unknown animal that lurked in a tree. Animal welfare was called and discovered . . . a croissant.

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.

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Dozens of people in Cuba have complained that croquetas made by a state company are exploding when cooked and causing burns. The company, Prodal, admitted its croquetas are prone to “violence” and warned customers to prepare them more carefully.

A couple in South Korea mistook cans of paint and brushes strewn about in front of an untitled painting on display at a mall as an invitation to participate and ended up defacing a $500,000 work.

Hyundai announced the arrival of their Genesis brand in China by breaking the world record using 3,281 drones to display its logo over the nighttime skies of Shanghai.

The United States Postal Service, tired of getting its copyright ripped off without compensation, put its foot down and threw serious shade towards Nike.

“We can’t see you” said the control tower to Ethiopian Airlines flight ET3891 that was scheduled to land at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport. The pilot landed at the Copperbelt International Airport, still under construction, 15 miles away.

A South London man was stabbed to death at a vigil for a man who was stabbed to death.

100 tourists were kicked out of their Florida hotel rooms when they got a call in their rooms saying that the hotel had been sold and they had to get out of their rooms by 4 p.m.

About the photo: taken at the 2013 Outside Lands festival, Land’s End stage in San Francisco during the Young the Giant set

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.

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The FBI is still hauling in those that were part of the January 6th invasion of the capitol. Suspects identified from social media posts are brought in for questioning to dispel any doubt. That was not necessary for the guy who answered the door wearing his, “I Was There, Washington D.C., January 6, 2021” t-shirt.

Leave your computer open while you go off to do something and sometimes your kid gets in there and fiddles with things. All fun and games and a teachable moment, unless you’re working for U.S. Strategic Command.

A 53-year old fugitive ex-mafioso, who has been on the run from the Italian police for 7 years, was finally tracked down to his home in the Dominican Republic because of his YouTube cooking videos.

The Nerf company will pay someone $10,000 a month to be their Chief TikTok Officer.

In a brilliant, jiu jitsu move, Zoe Scaman has created a service that turns unsolicited dick pics into one of a kind NFTs available for sale on the blockchain where they need to be purchased to be taken down.

Someone hooked up an old Game Boy and hacked it so it can mine Bitcoin. He figures it would take “several quadrillion years to mine one bitcoin (worth $52k in USD).

An unopened copy of Super Mario Brothers for the original Nintendo sold for $660,000.

An April Fool’s joke went horribly wrong when mayhem ensued after thousands showed up for a fake Daft Punk concert.

A family of Scottish rabbits unwittingly made an important archeological discovery when they uncovered relics from the Bronze age while burrowing a hole for their new shelter.

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.

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Lots of shipping stories this week including stories about the ever stuck Ever Given. The World Shipping Council reports that at least 2,980 containers fell off cargo ships in the Pacific since November including one hapless crew that lost 1,800 in one storm.

In Toronto, one wandering beaver brought the rush hour subways to a standstill.

Everyone is cashing in on the NFT craze. A guy in Brooklyn is selling a year’s worth of fart audio clips recorded during quarantine. He must be incredulous of his good fortune to take the time to document his flatulence.

A Los Angeles man was arrested for using a drone to deliver heroin to his customers. Makes sense, the traffic is terrible.

In second grade, Kim Janey was bused across Boston as part of a contentious desegregation initiative. Now she’s the mayor.

Walt Disney World will start testing facial recognition (“with the future in mind”) to track all its guests.

A local Brazilian politician, fed up with lack of federal response to the pandemic, has offered his own solution. He would like to use planes and helicopters to spray his entire town with hand sanitizer.

The pentagon wanted to post a meme “on the cyber domain” to get into the halloween spirit last October. The 20-page paper trail of requisitions and approvals takes absolutely all the fun out it.

The Bank of England announced that famed cryptographer, Alan Turing, will be featured on the new £50 note. In celebration, GCHQ posted a challenge.

A Georgia man received his last paycheck of $915, in pennies.

Like a dinner party you are no longer excited about hosting, Japan is finding it hard to get into the mood for the upcoming Olympics. Due to the pandemic, no visitors will be allowed into the country to see the games (which is kind of the whole point of hosting). Also because of health concerns, no boisterous cheering is allowed the torch relay (polite golf claps perhaps?). This week, on the first day of the relay, the torch flame went out. . . twice.

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.

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After reviewing whaling logs from the 19th century, a study suggests that sperm whales taught each other how to avoid sail-powered whaling ships by swimming upwind

To celebrate the arrival of a Van Gogh at their museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art shared the story of how a grasshopper carcass came to be embedded in one painting.

During the 15-minute observation period following his 2nd Covid vaccination shot, the famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma played an impromptu concert for all in attendance.

Police in Green Bay chased after a car that ran thru several stop lights and took them five miles across the county at speeds between 25 – 35 miles per hour.

Pennsylvania State Police will be paying $475k to the estate of a man they were chasing for growing ten marijuana plants. He was run over by a commandeered bulldozer.

Four never before seen bacterial strains were discovered, on the International Space Station.

Scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have figured out a way to turn leftover food into jet fuel.

Tussaud’s Waxworks Museum in San Antonio had to remove the wax likeness of President Trump because too many people were punching it. Trump’s statue was taken out of its display where it stood between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un.

Mar-A-Lago, Trump’s residence since he left the White House, has been partially shutdown due to a Covid outbreak.

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.

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In yet another sign that we’re in a crypto-currency bubble, a jpg file (also known as a non-fungible token) by the artist Beeple was sold to a crypto-investor for $69 million in a crypto-currency called Ether.

Susan Rice, the incoming director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, moved into her office in the West Wing and promptly burned sage to clear out the bad juju from the office’s previous occupant, Stephan Miller.

Much to the disappointment of British motoring fans everywhere, the electric version of the 3-wheeled Morgan announced at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show was cancelled.

The World Pork Expo will return to Des Moines but with a few changes to account for the pandemic. “Organizers said no animals will be allowed at this year’s show, and they will not hold a cookout or barbeque contest.” One wonders what there will be to do. Powerpoint presentations perhaps?

One sign that things are getting back to normal, the Plumbers Union Local 130 dyed the Chicago River green for Saint Patrick’s Day.

Lou Ottens, the Dutch inventor of the cassette tape passed away. For someone that one could say is the father of mixtape culture, he is strangely unsentimental. Watch the documentary and see for yourself.

A much younger Dutch serial entrepreneur has come up with a new Covid test that doesn’t involve sticking cotton swabs up your nose. All you need to do is scream.

A Texas man robbed a bank using a car he borrowed from a BMW dealer and attempted to use $3000 of the money he stole as down-payment on a new car.

And then there was this.

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The week that was

TEPCO, operators of the flawed Fukushima nuclear power plant, announced that they finished removing all fuel rods from a second reactor. They hope to clean up the remaining two by 20231.

Sakae Kato stayed behind in the Fukushima contaminated quarantine zone and spends $7,000 a month feeding the abandoned cats and wild boar.

The publisher of the Dr. Seuss books took several of the books off the market because of their insensitive depictions from another era. The books in question immediately shot up in value with a copy of McElligot’s Pool going for $620 earlier in the week on eBay. The company later announced the listings were removed as the books violated the company’s offensive material policy.

Mass confusion in Canada as the temps get warmer but the butter isn’t getting any softer. Sleuths are thinking that increased palm oil has gotten into the cow’s feed supply.

A Sudanese airliner was forced to make an emergency landing after a cat emerged in the cockpit and attacked the pilot. The plane was bound for Khartoum airport that (coincidentally) has the airport code of HSSS.

It’s what every New Yorker dreams of, more space. Samantha Hartsoe went in through the bathroom mirror and found an unoccupied three bedroom apartment.

An intern working at a German prison thought it’d be cool to share a photo of him at his new job and share it with his mates on social media. Wrong. In the photo was a clear shot of the single key that unlocks all cells and passage doors in the prison. The prison was forced to replace all 600 locks.

One lucky flea market shopper picked up a porcelain bowl at a yard sale in Connecticut for $35 only to discover that the item was a rare 15th-century Chinese artifact worth up to $500,000. “There are only six (other) such bowls known in the world,” said the head of Chinese artworks at Sotheby’s in New York.

My criticism of many of the films that are up for awards this year is that they feel like sketches with no core message. That is not the case with 15-minute documentary about nurses in the Covid ward. It’s about as real as it gets.

Photo credit: James Crombie of The Irish Times

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.