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August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26

News Quirks

Roland Sweet
Published Thursday July 24, 05:27 pm
Have America’s politicians been replaced by doppelgängers?

Photo Credit: Illustration by Myron Campbell

After losing to Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Oklahoma, two years ago, Democrat Tim Murray switched parties and ran against Lucas in this year’s Republican primary. He received only 5.2 per cent of the votes to 82 per cent for Lucas, but told election board officials that he is entitled to Lucas’s votes because “it is widely known Rep. Frank D. Lucas is no longer alive and has been displaced by a look-alike.” Murray’s website explained that Lucas was “executed by the world court” in Ukraine in January 2011. “I have never been to Ukraine,” said Lucas, who has represented Oklahoma’s 3rd District for the past 20 years, adding, “This is the first time I’ve ever been accused of being a body double or a robot.” (Oklahoma City’s KFOR-TV)

No Snooze, You Lose

Dutch researchers discovered a new behavioural condition: “bedtime procrastination,” defined as “failing to go to bed at the intended time, while no external circumstances prevent a person from doing so.” “We speculate that it is not so much a matter of not wanting to sleep, but rather of not wanting to quit other activities,” researcher Floor Kroese explained. Instead of going to sleep, it’s “one more episode” on Netflix or “one more quest” on that video game. Besides the resulting tiredness, the researchers concluded that putting off sleep “may also lead to harmful outcomes in the area of health behaviour … and individual well-being.” (Frontiers in Psychology)

Swatting The Wrong Pest

Someone bitter at losing to his 17-year-old video-game opponent is believed to be behind a 911 call that led to a SWAT team storming the opponent’s home in Long Beach, New York. The caller claimed that the opponent had killed his brother and mother. The 70 emergency responders found only the opponent playing Call of Duty. Investigators were unable to trace the 911 call, according to Long Beach police commissioner Michael Tagney, who identified “swatting” as a new game where “you get points for the helicopter, for the police cars, for the SWAT team, for the type of entry. It’s very sophisticated. Unfortunately, it’s very dangerous.” (New York Daily News)

Quack Quack

Beijing has a new museum devoted exclusively to roast duck. Located in a 10,700-square-foot facility adjacent to the city’s most famous roast duck restaurant, 150-year-old Quanjude, the museum boasts more than 500 items, including a golden duck sculpture out front and other sculptures inside showing the different steps in duck-cooking, a coupon from a duck sale dating back to 1901, and photographs of former Chinese leaders Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai eating duck. (The Wall Street Journal)

Forecast: Terrifying, Possibility Of Firing Squads

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un chastised the country’s meteorologists for “too many incorrect” weather forecasts and ordered them to improve their accuracy. While reporting on Kim’s tour of meteorological facilities, the state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun included photos of a red-faced Kim lecturing cowering forecasters that accurate forecasts are needed to protect life and property from “abnormal climatic phenomenon [sic].” (CNN)

All-Caps Pop

A British judge in a custody case called a father “insensitive” and ordered him to stop sending e-mails to his children using capital letters and large fonts because they are “equivalent to him shouting” at them. Mrs. Justice Pauffley told the father, who is banned from seeing his children, aged 13 and nine, and communicates with them by e-mail, that he needs to learn “to make his messages appropriate and child-friendly.” (The Telegraph)

Hum This Tune

Pennsylvania State Police charged Richard Edgar Hill of attacking a man with a glass hummingbird feeder in Fulton Township because the victim was “refusing to party with him.” (Harrisburg’s The Patriot-News)

Theft-Proof Transmission

Three Seattle teenagers tried to steal a woman’s car at gunpoint, but failed, because none of them could operate a manual transmission. “I got a five-speed in there,” victim Nancy Frederickson said, “and they couldn’t figure out how to get it going.” Surveillance cameras showed the suspects running away. (Seattle’s KOMO-TV)

Abuse By Juice

A 17-year-old girl faces weapons charges after police in Cornwall, Ontario, said she threw a juice box at her grandmother. (Cornwall’s Seaway News)

The Coriolis Clock

Bolivia reversed the clock on the front of the congressional building in La Paz so it runs counter-clockwise. Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca explained that the change was made to inspire Bolivians to treasure their heritage as people who “live in the south, not in the north,” and to show them they can question established norms. “Who says that the clock always has to turn one way?” Choquehuanca said, while reassuring those who “want to continue using a clock of the north, you can continue doing so.” (BBC)

Imaginary Black Dudes

After a 17-year-old babysitter reported a home invasion and robbery, police in Ferndale, Washington, wound up arresting the sitter, her 16-year-old boyfriend and another male suspect because the child being watched contradicted the sitter’s story. The sitter said two armed black men broke in, but four-year-old Abby Dean declared the robbers were white and added, “They told us to get out of the house ’cause they wanted to steal stuff.” The sitter confessed. (Fox News)

Freudian Slip

Firefighters in Tuebingen, Germany, were called to free an American exchange student who got stuck in a sculpture of a giant vagina. Fire official Markus Mozer said the man was posing for a photo when he slipped. (Associated Press)

Freddie Got Fingered

Authorities accused Freddie Alexander Smoke III of deliberately starting a wildfire that burned six square miles of forest in Northern California. (Associated Press)

Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet

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