Archive for the ‘Weird news’ Category

I have a mole on my face that—if left untended—sprouts enough hairs to resemble a small tarantula. I also have downy cheek fuzz that makes me look a bit like an Ewok. And to add insult to injury, my furriness seems to be increasing with age. All of this to explain why I was searching […]

It would be hard to estimate how much money I’ve wasted on eBay. Most of my mistakes have been minor, thank goodness. Others—a Coach purse, some Timberland boots, and a handful of cameras—I’ve been able to resell. But a couple of my eBay purchases have been so hideous that the only appropriate response was to […]

When I (grudgingly) joined Facebook last year, one of the things that most surprised me was how much news my friends posted. Actual news news! But—as interesting as the articles have been—they’ve consistently paled in comparison to my friends’ witty commentaries. “I wonder how he’ll stay hydrated,” wrote one journalist buddy of the headline Harry […]

My first byline was an obituary. It was 1997 and I was working on the City Desk at the local paper. “We’re short an obit writer today,” the editor said. “Want to fill in?” I no longer remember the name of the deceased. But I do remember having to write a correction for the following […]

I feel terrible. If only I’d seen Thessa’s Facebook invitation—and if only I’d been in Hamburg—I’d gladly have stopped by to help her celebrate her birthday. Sing with me, everyone: Hoch soll sie leben! Oh, well … she probably didn’t miss me. Because 15,000 other people said they were coming, and 1,500 actually showed up. […]

To my faithful subscribers: I’ve been pretty disciplined about starting a post every day, but I haven’t always finished my drafts. Please forgive a few extra entries as I go back in time to wrap up some loose ends. I know only a couple of men who sport facial hair. And of these, my favorite […]

My friend Tom (aka., “The Blogfodder”) sent me a wonderful post from Deadspin last night: The New York Times Pushes Up Its Glasses, Issues Nerdiest Correction Ever “An item in the Extra Bases baseball notebook last Sunday misidentified, in some editions, the origin of the name Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver, which Mets pitcher R. A. Dickey […]

I’ve been waiting for years to use Schadenfreude in print, and finally I’ve found the perfect occasion: the Found Footage Festival. (In a nutshell … Two guys scour garage sales and second-hand stores for discarded VHS tapes, and then edit their finds together into an annual feature-length film.) My friend Laurice discovered the FFF last […]

It’s been a long day and I have nothing left, so I hope my three readers will forgive a bit of news aggregation instead of my usual rambling examination of life. There’s a ton going on in the news, of course: New Zealand is dealing with the aftermath of a devastating earthquake and a Dutch […]

Yesterday I heard about a woman who fell into a shopping mall fountain because she was text-messaging (“texting”) while walking. Today I heard that she has hired a lawyer, and plans to sue. Among her allegations: She feels humiliated. Hmmm. The video didn’t identify her by name. But now she’s (very publicly) taking legal action. […]

Last week, an email from my friend Tom (aka., “The Blogfodder”) made me laugh out loud: Engaging. Formerly associated with starry-eyed postpubescent couples or the mechanism used to deliver power to the drive apparatus of a machine such as a corn-picker, “engaging” has found new relevance as the adjective of choice for one of the […]

I got an unexpected email today from the “stats helper monkeys at” I was relieved to hear that they think my blog is in good health. But I was especially intrigued to read some of the statistics the monkeys compiled: Crunchy numbers A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was […]

OK, so maybe not “besieged.” Not exactly “attacked,” either. “Visited” seems a little clunky. But there were definitely some lights in the sky last night. To hear my über-excitable colleague describe it, something extraordinary happened over Minnesota’s capital city. But after watching the video, the only word that comes to my mind is “huh?” Yep, […]

It’s not uncommon for police officers, SWAT teams, firefighters, hospitals, and even corporations to do disaster-preparedness drills. Today Zimbabwe took it one step further. This morning, its Aviation Ministry officials deliberately misinformed news organizations that a Boeing 767 arriving from London had been involved in an accident at the Harare airport. They then set a […]

Sometimes it’s humbling to realize how much we humans don’t understand. Other times it’s downright frightening. I stumbled across and article today in the Christian Science Monitor titled Earth’s upper atmosphere collapses. Nobody knows why. Granted, the article’s title is a little alarmist. The atmosphere has actually contracted, not collapsed. But still … it really […]

Mullet madness


Is it just me, or has the world gone mad? Earlier this week, Iran officially banned the mullet. You know, the mullet—that international symbol of western hedonism and vice. Meanwhile, they’re still stoning people to death. Wow. This morning, I read that the U.S. and Russia swapped spies in Vienna. When asked on The Tonight […]

Today a colleague forwarded a blog post about a dog in Athens who purportedly hasn’t missed a riot since 2008. “That’s gotta be Photoshopped,” I said. “Naw, look at the shadows,” he replied. But I wasn’t convinced. With a little time and a bit of skill, anyone can fake a shadow. The story smelled of […]

Two great reads


It’s been a hectic week. In trying to keep up with the world around me, I’ve had little time for thinking my own thoughts. That’s one of the tough things about writing for a living: It pretty much occupies your life. But in the midst of all the din, two items brightened my day. The […]

You’ve no doubt noticed the apparent rash of earthquakes over the past few months. Some people are hypothesizing that this could be a sign of the coming Apocalypse, or of Christ’s impending return. Others contend that strong earthquakes aren’t really all that anomalous. Fortunately, there’s a voice of reason emerging from all this seismic chaos: […]

Every so often I spot a brilliant marketing idea and think, “Wow. I wish I’d thought of that.” Such was the case today when I happened upon a story about a woman in New Zealand who recently made almost $2,000 by auctioning off two “spirits” (an old man and a young girl) she had allegedly […]