News of the Weird: Maybe do some research into that car before stealing it

News of the Weird: Maybe do some research into that car before stealing it

Pedestrian Calming Officials in charge of a Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal heritage site recently installed “speed bumps,” similar to those familiar to Americans driving residential streets — but on a pedestrian walkway, with row upon row of risers to resemble a washboard. A Western travel writer, along with editors of People’s Daily China, suggested that officials […]

News of the Weird: Checking in on actual person Isis Harambe Spjut

News of the Weird: Checking in on actual person Isis Harambe Spjut

Sweet, Sweet Revenge It is legal in China to sell electric “building shakers,” whose primary purpose apparently is to wreak aural havoc on apartment-dwellers’ unreasonably noisy neighbors. Models sell for the equivalent of $11 to $58 — each with a long pole to rest on the floor, extending ceiling height to an electric motor braced […]

News of the Weird: Your juicer, socks and water bottle all need Wi-Fi

News of the Weird: Your juicer, socks and water bottle all need Wi-Fi

Entrepreneurial Spirit A San Francisco startup recently introduced a countertop gadget to squeeze fruit and vegetables for you so that your hands don’t get sore. However, the Juicero (a) requires that the fruit and veggies be pre-sliced in precise sections conveniently available for purchase from the Juicero company, (b) has, for some reason, a Wi-Fi […]

News of the Weird: Digging holes for good reasons and chatty criminals

News of the Weird: Digging holes for good reasons and chatty criminals

Mother of Invention Robotic models of living organisms are useful to scientists, who can study the effects of stimuli without risk to actual people. Northwestern University researchers announced in March that its laboratory model of the “female reproductive system” has reached a milestone: its first menstrual period. The “ovary,” using mouse tissue, had produced hormones […]

News of the Weird: Digging holes for good reasons and chatty criminals

News of the Weird: Digging holes for good reasons and chatty criminals

Training Day A June 2016 police raid on David Jessen’s Fresno County (California) farmhouse caused a $150,000 mess when sheriff’s deputies and Clovis Police Department officers “rescued” it from a trespassing homeless man — with the massive destruction leading to Jessen’s lawsuit announced in March. The misdemeanant helped himself to an ice cream bar, some […]

News of the Weird: Beef jerky bouquets and hungry, hungry arachnids

News of the Weird: Beef jerky bouquets and hungry, hungry arachnids

Try, Try Again Samuel West announced in April that his Museum of Failure will open in Helsingborg, Sweden, in June, to commemorate innovation missteps that might serve as inspiration for future successes. Among the initial exhibits: coffee-infused Coca-Cola; the Bic “For Her” pen (because women’s handwriting needs are surely unique); the Twitter Peek (a 2009 […]

News of the Weird: Fighting fires with jetpacks and reducing speed limits

News of the Weird: Fighting fires with jetpacks and reducing speed limits

World’s Coolest City Recently, in Dubai (the largest city in the United Arab Emirates), Dubai Civil Defense started using water jetpacks that lift firefighters off the ground to hover in advantageous positions as they work the hoses. Also, using jet skis, rescuers can avoid traffic altogether by using the city’s rivers to arrive at fires […]

News of the Weird: High tech toilet paper and Peeps Oreos leaving a mark

News of the Weird: High tech toilet paper and Peeps Oreos leaving a mark

TP Goes High Tech China’s public-park restrooms have for years suffered toilet paper theft by local residents who raid dispensers for their own homes (a cultural habit, wrote Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, expressing taxpayer feelings of “owning” public facilities), but the government recently fought back with technology. At Beijing’s popular Temple of Heaven […]

News of the Weird: Part-time chip tasters and DNA data storage

News of the Weird: Part-time chip tasters and DNA data storage

Location, Location, Location A highlight of the recent upmarket surge in Brooklyn, N.Y., as a residential and retail favorite, was the asking price for an ordinary parking space in the garage at 845 Union Street in the Park Slope neighborhood: $300,000 (also carrying a $240-a-month condominium fee and $50 monthly taxes). That’s similar to the […]

News of the Weird: Jungle gyms in movie theaters and pretentious food items

News of the Weird: Jungle gyms in movie theaters and pretentious food items

Entrepreneurial Spirit Perhaps there are parents who (according to the Cinepolis movie chain) long to watch movies in theaters while their children (aged 3 and up) frolic in front in a “jungle-gym” playground inside the same auditorium. If so, the company’s two “junior” movie houses (opening this very week in San Diego and Los Angeles) […]