NOTW: Selfie Fever, Unfortunate Ice Cream Names and Race in America

NOTW_web

SELFIE FEVER! “Selfie fever" has begun to sully the sacred Islamic pilgrimages to Mecca, according to scholars who complained to Arab News in September. What for centuries has been a hallowed journey intended to renew the spirit of Islam (that all Muslims are called upon to experience at least once) has come, for some in the so-called "Facebook era," to resemble a trip to Disneyland, with visitors to the Sacred Mosque texting friends the … [Read more...]

NOTW: Bionic Shoes, Recycled Dog Hair and Naughty Plastic Surgeons

NOTW_web

BIONIC SHOES Police in Japan’s Kyoto Prefecture raided a shoe manufacturer in July and commandeered a list of about 1,500 purchasers of the company’s signature “tosatsu shoes”–shoes with built-in cameras. Investigators have begun visiting the purchasers at home to ask that they hand in the shoes (but, out of fairness, said they would not cause trouble for customers who could produce a legitimate reason for needing to take photographs and video … [Read more...]

NOTW: This Week In Whale Snot, Incompetent Terrorists and The Miracle Of Meth

NOTW_web

THIS WEEK IN WHALE SNOT The job of determining stress levels in whales is itself apparently stressful. The most reliable information about tension lies in hormones most accurately measured by researchers' boarding a boat, sidling up to a whale and waiting until it blasts snot out of its blowhole. By catching enough of it (or wiping it off of their raincoats), scientists can run the gunk through chemical tests. However, a team of engineering … [Read more...]

Dead Pet Drones, Boob Aid and Drivers Who Run Over Themselves

NOTW_web

FRONTIERS OF FLIGHT Dutch inventors Bart Jansen and Arjen Beltman struck again recently when Pepeijn Bruins, 13, called on them to help him grieve over his pet rat, Ratjetoe, who had to be put down because of cancer. Having heard of the inventors’ work, Pepeijn asked if they could please have Ratjetoe stuffed and turned into a radio-controlled drone. Jansen and Beltman, who had previously created an “ostrichcopter” and are now working on a … [Read more...]

Sex Box, Visible Rest Rooms and the Famous Texas School Gun Depository

NOTW_web

NEW FRONTIERS IN AMERICAN VACUOUSNESS The WE cable network disclosed in August that it had ordered a nine-episode adaptation of a British series, Sex Box, in which a couple enters a large opaque chamber on stage and has intercourse. The pair, pre- and post-coitally, are clothed and seated before a panel of probably D-List celebrities, and will respond to questions and comment on their feelings and techniques (likely enduring praise and … [Read more...]

Ideal Navels, Ludicrous Signs and The Great Fatberg Crisis of 2013

NOTW_web

A NERD’S RHAPSODY Nicholas Felton’s latest annual recap of his personal communications data is now available, for just $30. Key findings, graphically presented, of Nicholas’ busy 2013 (according to a report by FiveThirtyEight.com): He received 44,041 texts and 31,769 emails, had 12,464 face-to-face conversations and 320 phone calls (all detailed by communicatee, from where, at what time, in what language). He reported 385 conversations, for … [Read more...]

News of the Weird: Forehead Horns, Austrian Porn and TV Pundit Violence

NOTW_web

HORNY NEWS German Rolf Buchholz, who owns the Guinness Book world record for most body piercings (453), said he was upset to be denied entrance into United Arab Emirates in August to fulfill a performance of sorts at Dubai's Fairmont Hotel. Buchholz said officials gave no explanation, although in addition to the piercings (example: at least 50 beads stuck to his lips), he has also implanted horns in his forehead. And Caius Veiovis, 33, is … [Read more...]

ISIS Absurdity, Voyeurism Defenses and People Who Sign Opera To Mountain Lions

NOTW_web

ALL WAR IS WEIRD As summed up by a Vox.com writer: "The absurdity runs deep." America uses American military equipment to bomb American military equipment that ISIS captured (from inept Iraqi soldiers, inept in part since America disbanded Iraq's professional military in 2003). America's Kurdish allies, fighting ISIS, use inferior Russian weapons they captured in the 1980s. ISIS has a so-far-safer haven in Syria because America declined to arm … [Read more...]

Sexting During Surgery, Inquisitive Tortoises and Epically Inept Crime Sprees

NOTW_web

IT’S FACEBOOK’S WORLD NOW Up-and-coming Sicilian mobster Domenico Palazzotto, 28, was outed in August by Italy's L'Espresso magazine as the owner of an ineffectively pseudonymous Facebook page showing off his muscled, bare-chested body and perhaps recruiting members. One fan asked, "Do I need to send a [resume]?" "Yes, brother," came the reply. "We need to consider your criminal record. We do not take people with clean records." Palazzotto … [Read more...]

Crappy Flights, Pheromone Parties and Elephant Dung Beer

NOTW_web

CRAPPY FLIGHTS The May 28 US Airways flight from Los Angeles to Philadelphia had to be diverted to Kansas City after a passenger's service dog did what dogs do, in the aisle, twice (an hour apart). One passenger used the terms "lingering smell," "dry heaving" and "throwing up" in describing the situation. And on a recent (perhaps July) Delta flight from Beijing to Detroit, a Chinese couple apparently nonchalantly laid down paper on their … [Read more...]