What a Weird Week Show: Cocaine in the Cheese and Rocks in the cookies. Fri July 28, 2023.

Hi Friends, I'm Scott. This is What a Weird Week, a show where we count down the top ten Weird News stories of the Week. Like and subscribe to the podcast, see the shownotes blog and check us out on YouTube. Find everything at Shownotes.page.
This is Season 4, Episode 44 first published on Friday July 28, 2023:

... btw, here's the latest video episode...
Here's the Top Ten:
Cocaine cheese in the news
- US Border Security officers were in the news this week after a cocaine seizure in Texas where the cocaine was hidden inside wheels of cheese.
- it was almost 18 pounds of cocaine that was being cheese-smuggled.
- You don't hear of that so much... cocaine being smuggled via dairy products... the CNN article mentions some other smuggling attempts like the ol' drugs in the wheelchair trick, and drugs in the ice cream machine (I guess that one is almost a dairy-smuggling connection).
See https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2023/07/23/us/cocaine-cheese-seized-texas-border/index.html
That's the way the cookie crumbles... rocks in the cookies recall story...
- Trader Joe's (US grocery store) is recalling some cookies because of rocks risk.
- not something you see every day.
- did somebody drop them on the ground? no. no they did not.
- if you have Almond Windmill Cookies and/or Dark Chocolate Chunk and Almond Cookies in your pantry, do not eat.
- a lot of the news sources don't get into what happened... often times  something like this occurs during the harvest process... maybe the almond harvest was rocky this year...
See https://www.google.com/amp/s/nypost.com/2023/07/24/trader-joes-recalls-cookies-because-they-may-contain-rocks/amp/
Bonus: Here's a link about weird stuff that gets into food sometimes... https://www.percipio-training.co.uk/weird-things-found-in-food/
- most common thing that gets into food is hair... other complaints on-record include batteries, a live frog, a baked mouse found in a loaf of bread and a person's fingertip. That one was found in ice cream. That write-up also gets into complaints that were just an attempt to get money from a company... like the 2005 case where someone put a finger in their bowl of chilli to try and get compensation. The coroner was able to prove that the finger hadn't been cooked in the chilli. They found out that the husband of the chilli bowl lady had purchased the severed finger from somebody for a hundred bucks. In that one, the husband and the wife both went to jail and they estimate the fraud cost the restaurant chain 20 something million in damages to reputation and legal fees, etc. 
Should you let your pooch sleep in your bed? From a recent Study Finds piece... no. No you should not. 
- pooch owners, I don't have a dog in this race... but according to Dr. Faith Coleman in the article, it is less healthy to let your pooch sleep in your bed with you...  Dr. Faith says she 'could not find a single veterinarian who was in favor of letting dogs on the bed.'
Paraphrasing here, but it seems like there aren't any health benefits that can be backed up by studies looking into the effects of dogs sleeping in your bed... but there are studies that seem to indicate negative effects .. 
-  Sleeping with you can make behavior problems worse for your pooch... 
- dogs have potential to bring parasites or bacteria into your bed...
- there are more things Dr. Faith mentions...  
If you love having Dennis the Dog in your bed with you, don't even read the article, you'll probably just get mad at Dr. Faith. 
16 Psyche is back in the news. It's happening you guys! icymi, we talked about this mission on the WAWW Show before... now it's official, NASA has a launch window (Oct 5th) to send a probe/ space ship to 16 Psyche, the asteroid that may destroy the global economy! They think the asteroid contains precious metals worth ten thousand quadrillion dollars! *some people think it's not worth anything... NASA wants to go to there to find out for sure.
It's exciting, but it'll take 4 years for the NASA ship to reach the asteroid, so... wait and see.
A computer chip with built-in human brain cells made the news this week... partly because they are combining computer chips with brain cells, and partly because the project has received military funding... (opinion)
- Monash University (Australia) developed this little brains and chips project... which I think should've been called Brains n Chips... their name is Dish Brain. Idk, I think my name is better (opinion). Here's a quick rundown of how to get sweet military funding dollars via brains and chips research.
- step one... grow some human and mouse brain cells in a lab...
- step two... combine brains and  electrodes into a semi biological chip...
- step three... teach it to play a very basic computer game in five minutes (it learned to play pong in five minutes!)
- kick back and wait for that sweet sweet military grant action...
- instead of silicon-based computer chips, brain cell-based chips might be the wave of the future for AI... they have the potential to learn faster and hasten the robot uprising. *citation needed re uprising.
Some day there might be robots with brain cells you guys...
a good news story here to counterbalance the thought of robots with brain cells becoming our overlords... it was World Emoji Day earlier this month and Emojipedia has  shared the most-used emojis of the year so far... some of the top ones are the heart at number three, then the sideways laughing with tears of joy face... then number one is 'you're so funny that tears come pouring down my face' face... 
- this becomes a good news story because for the most part, we are using positive-emotion emojis... so that seems to indicate that we are feeling positive these days... 
BTW, in September, the new batch of emojis will include a lovely lime. So start thinking of limemoji uses now!
Update to the Taco Wars story... it's Taco Peace! Taco Peace in Our Time!
- icymi, a restaurant named Taco John's had the rights to the term 'Taco Tuesday and Taco Bell has been leading the charge to have 'Taco Tuesday' declared a universal phrase that no one should own (or everybody should own)...
- when we last checked in, it seemed as though Taco John's and Taco Bell were gonna let the court decide... then...
- Taco John's has decided to let the world have Taco Tuesday. Taco Bell has issued a statement of thanks.
They close by saying, 'when tacos win, we all win.'
- Taco John's has also issued a challenge to other taco restaurants to turn this into an opportunity to donate to charity.
What a great ending! 
Red Hot Flaming Passion World Record! Headline from GWR 'Habanero pepper eating couple lock lips to break record for hottest kiss'.
- it was a man and woman from Ontario (Canada)... they were in the news this week after they each ate a hot pepper and then kissed for 15 minutes... that's a world record.
- official record is 'longest habanero pepper kiss.'
- it looks like a pretty passionate kiss.
- they're already planning on a different pepper and a longer kiss.
If you get caught public smoking in Hong Kong, you're gonna face a weird punishment... 
- the Health Minister in Hong Kong suggests that if you see someone smoking against the rules, you should stare at them disapprovingly.
- quote from article "When someone takes out a cigarette at a restaurant, everyone on the premises can stare at that person. I do not believe that person would dare to hit back at everyone at the restaurant as they are simply staring."
- do you think that would work where you're at? Staring to curb certain crimes? I want to live in a world where staring makes us all want to be law-abiding... but idk.
🏆 HM Cap'n Crunch is getting his uniform fixed.
- Cap'n Crunch makes a delicious cereal, but the Cap'n himself, the official spokescap'n for the cereal which features his name, had a wardrobe malfunction going on and it is getting fixed...
- from Food & Wine: "The gold stripes on his sleeves are below his rank. Despite his decades of distinguished service fighting off the dreaded Soggies or sailing into your bowl as part of a balanced breakfast, Cap'n Crunch has been wearing a coat sporting three bars - reserved for the lower rank of commander instead of the four bars befitting of a captain."
- They're fixing the stripes and it got some press so, honorable mention to the Crunch Publicity Team.
- btw, Cap'n Crunch cereal is 60 years old this year!
❶ Mustard candy is in the news...
- in advance of National Mustard Day (Aug 5th) French's Mustard has announced a colab with Skittles... it's not candy-flavored mustard (might've been pleasant) ... it's mustard-flavored Skittles.
- to reiterate: Skittles that taste like mustard.
- free snack size packs of mustard Skittles are available for limited time... you can enter to win some at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/frenchs-announces-limited-edition-mustard-skittles-301884525.html *usually these are USA only contests but I put in my Canadian address and it seemed to work. Fingers crossed you guys!!
If you scrolled this far, you're my favorite. Here's the Stream...

What a Weird Week Show Fri July 21, 2023: how to do thousands of push-ups and what is an Earthquake Fish?

Hi Friends, I'm Scott. This is What a Weird Week, a show where we count down the top ten Weird News stories of the Week. Like and subscribe to the podcast, see the shownotes blog and check us out on YouTube. Find everything at Shownotes.page.

This is Season 4, Episode 43 first published on Friday July 21, 2023:
Latest video episode...
❿ update to our pushup story... the world record has changed hands again!
From Guinness World Records: "Australian fitness fanatic Daniel Scali, 30, has reclaimed the record for the most push ups in one hour."
- icymi, Australians have dominated the push-ups world record space for a long time...
- in April we covered the new world record when Lucas Helmke did 3,206 push-ups in one hour... now Australian Danial Scali has done more push-ups... 3,249 is the record to beat now.
- btw "one complete push up consists of the body being lowered until at least a 90-degree angle is attained at the elbow, then raised until the arms are straight"
- this is legit hard-core fitness...
- btw btw "Only three of Daniel’s push ups were disallowed due to improper form."
- he has a chronic pain condition also... 
- how did he do it? One of his tricks to deal with the pain is this visualization trick... he got six-second breaks between sets... and for those six seconds he says he would visualize his body... paint it red then change it to yellow... so try that next time you need to do push-ups for an hour.
see https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/2023/7/daniel-scali-does-3-249-push-ups-in-one-hour-to-reclaim-record-755213

Birds are using those anti bird spikes to build their nests now. (Just when we think we're top of the food chain, a bunch of magpies say 'Hold my beer'.)
The New York Times article says: "They’re Outsmarting Us’: Birds Build Nests From Anti-Bird Spikes"
- article quotes a bird researchers in Belgium who thought they had seen it all including nests built with windshield wipers, sunglasses, even envelopes used to package cocaine... but now, researchers have found magpie nests made with anti bird spikes. 
- this isn't a case of the birds nesting among the spikes on a building, these birds have torn apart the anti bird spikes and used them to build a nest in a sugar maple tree.
- that first case happened a couple years ago and the trend has continued... now researchers have published a paper on how these birds will become our overlords any day now (*citation: might not be actual theme of paper).

Scientists invent a sucker/ lollipop to help doctors diagnose stuff...
From Study Finds: "scientists have invented a lollipop-like device called Candy Collect that acts as a throat swab to collect saliva samples...." they can use the lollipop-collected samples to diagnose things like strep throat...
- traditional throat swabs have been around a long time and they work pretty good for diagnosing stuff, but they make some people gag...
- the Candy Collect cherry flavor lollipop saliva collecting device seems like a delicious sweet treat but it is designed to collect your lollipop drool...
- the article seems to indicate that the lollipop diagnostic tool may work better than traditional throat swabs and volunteers found the lollipop method way less disgusting *paraphrase.
- editor's note: more candy breakthroughs please.
see https://studyfinds.org/lollipop-diagnose-infections/

When you find gold coins buried in your yard, that's a good day...
- they calling it "The Great Kentucky Hoard” ... hundreds of Civil War time gold coins from between 1840 and 1863...
- the article quotes Coin World as saying the treasure is worth millions of dollars... also they include an Eff Bomb in the article, I think to indicate the incredulousness* (spelling?) of this treasure find situation...
- article also quotes an expert who suggested the coins might have been buried to keep them hidden in advance of a Confederate raid...
see https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.businessinsider.com/kentucky-man-finds-700-civil-war-coins-buried-farm-2023-7%3famp

Burger King Brazil launches limited time Barbie Burger... which contains a lot more pink than we are used to in a hamburger...
like usually if someone says their hamburger is pink, that's bad... don't eat that burger... but in this case that's what they're going for... 
a Burger King burger with a slathering of pink sauce... 
- whole Barbie meal includes "a Pink Burger with a smoky pink sauce, cheddar cheese, crispy diced bacon and a brioche bun" also “Ken’s Potatoes” (which are BK fries) and a “Barbie Donut Shake,” which includes pink liquid accompanied by a pink donut. 
- the Barbie PR machine is firing on all cylinders. 
- the world reacted to the Barbie Burger in a civilized and even measured way. jk. They freaked out.

If at first you don't succeed in getting approval to have a dog DNA database which will enable you to identify which dog pooped in front of city hall... try, try again!
- the mayor of a town in France is finally getting his wish (it looks like)... all the dogs are gonna be entered into the dog DNA database so that their poop can be traced if need be...
- if somebody doesn't clean up after their dog, they'll run the poop through CODIS (or whatever it's called... thank you CSI)... the owner will be tracked down and made to pay a fine...
- fines will be around 120 Euros (130-something US dollars)
- the mayor of the town suggested this idea before and didn't get approval... but this time around it seems like more people like the idea of cleaning up the town, the plan got an all-clear from local administration...
- mayor says that there are more than 1000 doggy doo cleanups per month in town square... that is pretty gross... 

Headline from CTV: "Mystery object washes up on Australian beach, investigation underway"
- at time of recording the mystery continues...
- a cylinder approx 2 meters tall (so around 6 feet) washed up on a beach in Western Australia...
- they thought it might be a part of a missing airplane but an Australian news site (https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/natural-wonders/investigation-commences-mysterious-cylinder-object-washes-ashore-in-wa/news-story/f9344c0cca87181299a62f6d92547023) says that the theory has been ruled out and it's NOT from an airplane...
- authorities issued a statement that the thing "poses no risk to the community" and anyone who came in contact with the giant mystery cylinder isn't in danger...
- at time of recording the experts are saying it's probably part of a rocket... 
- in case you can't click the photo, the thing is described as a metal cylinder, at least two metres high, with cables or wires hanging from the top.
- To be continued
see https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/mystery-object-washes-up-on-australian-beach-investigation-underway-1.6482603

Rare fish sighting, every news org shared the photos...
- maybe it's because the fish is referred to as a doomsday fish or earthquake fish... in Japan some people think this fish beaches itself before an earthquake or tsunami, so seeing one if these is bad news... there's no science or studies behind that so try not to panic...
- this rare fish is also called the oar fish... it is shaped like an oar...
- they can get quite big but they live really deep in the ocean, maybe 3000 feet deep, so hardy ever seen by divers...
- this one was filmed by divers off the coast of Taiwan...
- maybe 7 feet long (some articles say a bit smaller)... some of these fish get to 56 feet long...
- it had weird holes in it... experts say the injuries are probably from a shark attack...
see https://nypost.com/2023/07/14/divers-encounter-enormous-doomsday-fish-riddled-with-shark-bites/

Dinosaur fossil is a game changer... headline from NPR was "This fossil of a mammal biting a dinosaur captures a death battle's final moments"...
- it's a 125 million year old fossil of a dinosaur (herbivore) being bitten by a smaller mammal... 
- fossil found in China...
- what the hey? the experts think the mammal was attacking the dino... and that whole dynamic is a bit of a surprise to experts... probably not an everyday occurrence, but sometimes mammals flipped the script...  
- but this fossil that has them frozen in time... what's the deal? A volcano erupted and then there was a mudslide, that's what happened. 

ICMYI: Last Week's Show https://www.scottyandtony.com/2023/07/what-weird-week-show-friday-july-14.html

David Rush, the World Record Breaking Phenom does it again!
- David has like 250-something Guinness World Records got in the news this week for balancing an umbrella on his finger for 3 hours, 46 minutes and 16 seconds.
- that's a world record time but has to be confirmed by the folks at Guinness to be official.
- do you have an umbrella? try to beat that time this weekend maybe!?
- imagine the umbrella sponsorship dollars you could haul in for being the umbrella champion!
- David won't care if you beat his record, he has plenty* (*citation needed, may not be OK with it)

If you scrolled this far, you're my favorite. Here's the Stream...



Crossroads for Women Helps Women and Children in Crisis: Please Consider Donating Non-Perishable Food

Crossroads for Women Asking for your Help...
- Their mission is about "Helping women and children transition from crisis to empowerment by providing safe housing, education, and one-on-one support."
- In a press release Crossroads shared that NB leads the country with a 39% increase in intimate partner violence.
- Crisis calls to Crossroads have increased to more than 3000 per year.
- They've been at full capacity for more than a year.
- They've set a goal of raising $200,000.
- Please consider a donation to Crossroads for Women!
Links: donate at (https://crossroadsforwomen.ca/en/how-you-can-help/donate) and more ways to give at (https://crossroadsforwomen.ca/en/how-you-can-help/more-ways-to-give)
There is an immediate need for non-perishable food donations! Please call 506-853-0811 to donate.
Check the Crossroads social media for the latest in how you can help them to help others


Shakespeare in the Park at Centennial Park's lower bowl on July 21, 22, 23 and July 27, 28, 29, 2023

- What: Hub City Theatre's production of Romeo and Juliet (by Bill Shakespeare, famous playwright)
- When: July 21,22,23 and 27,28,29, 7pm
- Where: Centennial Park's lower bowl
- More: Admission is a donation at the door (recommended $20) or... buy a ticket online for a guaranteed space in the front and a chair so you don't have to bring one yourself!
- Links: 
* Buy online through Eventbrite HERE
* See Hub City Theatre's FACEBOOK HERE in case of thunder or ... other?
* show will run about 2 hours and have a 15 minute intermission. 
* Concessions will be available.
* protip: bring sunglasses, bring bug spray.
* if the weather is bad they have a plan and they'll update their Facebook

Here's the blurb: "In a land of fantasy and magic named Verona, two star-crossed lovers meet one fateful night, contrary to the wishes of their family of bitter rivals. But their love may not be enough to outpace the steady march of destiny giving chase. They may be able to defy their families, but none can defy fate.
Hubcity Theatre is pleased to present William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet in Centennial Park, the classic tale of love, hate, family, friendship, and fate. Our largest cast ever will bring to life a fantasy version of the beloved story replete with magic spells, sword fights, and beautiful poetry."


Tim Hortons Camp Day 2023 Wednesday July 19th: buy a coffee, help kids

Today (Wednesday July 19th) if you support Camp Day at any Tim Hortons you'll be helping kids.
- young people get a chance to go to a Tim's Camp for an unforgettable experience that they'll carried forward.
- your coffee or iced coffee purchase is all it takes!
- many locations have other ways that you can help by making a donation,  getting a camp day decal, buying a raffle ticket, getting a camp day bracelet, and things like that.

More info on Camp Day click here

What a Weird Week Show Friday, July 14, 2023: Ice Swords and Barbenheimer

Hi Friends, I'm Scott. This is What a Weird Week, a show where we count down the Weird News of the Week from 10 to 1. Like and subscribe to the podcast, see the shownotes blog and check us out on YouTube. Find everything at Shownotes.page.
Latest video episode...
This is Season 4, Episode 42 first published on Friday July 14, 2023:
❿ Let's just eat all of the invasive species!
Headline from CBC "Invasive crabs are thriving in BC waters... can we eat our way out of the problem?"
This is referring to European Green Crabs. They are an invasive species, but apparently they don't taste too bad. So problem solved? Not everyone is on board with this idea but it is in the news and gaining momentum in a lot of places where these crabs have invaded. I'm no scientist/ nutritionist/ medical doctor, marine biologist. I'm just hungry. I enjoy eating things... so, I love this movement towards eating seafood to save the planet. Maybe we could start eating other things that are problematic also? The mortgage? If the interest rate has got you down, maybe eat your mortgage documents. *may not be legally-binding.
See https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/crab-food-environment-1.6900845
❾ What is Barbenheimer/ Barbieheimer? In case you missed it, Barbenheimer has its own Wikipedia entry. It is this social media trend that is taking off... from Wikipedia, "Barbenheimer is an internet phenomenon that began circulating ahead of the theatrical release of two films diametrically opposed in genre, Barbie and Oppenheimer."
People have jumped on it and they're sharing memes and mashups and it's generally been fantastic. It was mentioned by Tom Cruise in a tweet. He held up tickets to Barbie and Oppenheimer and referred to the two films as a double feature. He is saving the movie theater industry, Tom Cruise. With his films, and through buying tickets to OTHER MOVIES!
Now some cinemas are planning special double features featuring Barbie and Oppenheimer... they're already selling tickets! More of this, internet. You too, world... more of this fun stuff please!

❽ Quick Question: Is the Ice Sword the perfect weapon? ... This amazing ice cream from Japan that looks like a sword. It got some attention this week as the longest ice cream in Japan... headline on the Japan Today website said it best: "Ninja Sword Ice Cream." Now, what they call ice cream, I think here we'd call it a Popsicle, maybe, or if that's a brand name, then some sort of cicle, some sort of flavored icicle, sword-shaped flavored icicle. Anyway, it's like a sword, but it's delicious and cools you off on a hot day. And it's not too sharp, which is good because it comes in contact with your tongue and mouth. You wouldn't want it to be sharp like a sword... I have this thing where I will eat a Popsicle and for some reason, maybe it's the heat signature of my mouth, the Popsicle will become sharply pointed. Like an ice dagger. Maybe you could do that with a delicious ice sword also. Sharpen it with your tongue. Give it a tongue-sharpening.
BTW,  it's 45 centimeters long... It's a foot and a half of dangerously delicious icy swordy goodness.

❼ Never Send a Thumbs Up Emoji to Anyone Ever!
That's the takeaway lesson. Ever. Never. Just don't use emojis anymore, you guys. Here's the CBC headline: "Texting thumbs up emoji in response to a question costs Saskatchewan farmer $82,000 in contract case."
This is a case in Western Canada where somebody wanted to buy some grain.
Note: the buyer has texted inquiries before, and done deals over text... buyer was doing that in this case also...  essentially they offer to buy however much grain at a certain price point.
So a text message was sent to a grain farmer... it said something like "Contract attached, please confirm contract"...  The contract WAS attached... and the farmer texted back a thumbs-up. Well, the buyer never got his grain... and ended up in court against the farmer who had sent the thumbs-up. The judge ruled that a thumbs up emoji is just like saying yes, affirmative... so the thumbs-up emoji meant that the buyer and the farmer had a contract... and the farmer then didn't fulfill his end of the deal... so the farmer had to pay $80-something thousand bucks!
You guys, we're sending these emojis and sometimes we're not talking the same language! Let's be careful with those emojis. 
see https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/thumbs-up-emoji-costs-sask-farmer-82-thousand-1.6898686

❻ McDonald's Wedding Package is getting some attention... official wedding package offered by McDonald's in Indonesia... a McDonald's wedding package with 100 chicken burgers, and 100 four piece nuggs... that deal will cost you around $230 US. When I put that in the app... if I wanted a hundred chicken nuggets Happy Meals (which is an amazing idea for your next wedding... everybody gets a Happy Meal...) if you tried to cater your own wedding with Happy Meals it would be like 600 dollars! So this wedding package from McDonald's (even if you only get the nuggs and burgs and a booth to sit down in) ...  it's still a great value at these price points. People are gonna get married some weekend just because they're hungry... that's how low these prices are.  And what memories you'll have throughout your marriage.! The nuggs, the booth, maybe a souvenir tray.... good memories. 
See https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mcdonalds-wedding-catering-package-indonesia/

❺ The Twenty Slices of Cheese Burger from Burger King Thailand...
It has twenty slices of cheese!? like a Whole Package of cheese slices? Mama!
Also noteworthy, it has no beef. it's a no-beef cheeseburger with just bun and cheese. One person quoted in the story said it was good but maybe a bit too much cheese... that person could only finish half a burger... like ten slices of cheese, not the full twenty slices. Burger King posted on social media that it wasn't a joke... because people must've thought it was a joke, right?

❹ Headline from BBC... police search for screaming woman, find pet parrot. We've had stories like this before on this podcast, a parrot sounds so convincingly like someone in trouble that the police show up. Well the person who owned the parrot is a retired police officer himself, he has 22 parrots, but someone called the cops because it sounded like there was a woman in distress. Here's the thing though, no arrests were made, everything was fine, the police had a chuckle about it, and then you read through the story and you're like wait this fellow has 22 parrots? I say arrest him, arrest that man, he has 22 parrots, that seems like there ought to be a law is all I'm saying... seems like there should be more regulations. I'm a little bit scared of birds you guys, so maybe that's where this is coming from... from a place where I'm scared of birds.
❸ Giant Space Tubes in the News!
From the TLDR newsletter which is pretty great, an article about $10 space travel which seems pretty weird...
- Longshot Space is a company working on cheap space travel... maybe as cheap as $10 per kilogram (so about $5 per pound) to launch a payload into space via their giant space tube. (other systems will launch a payload for thousands and thousands of dollars per pound.)
The newsletter describes the system (which is not really called a giant space tube but whatever,) as a "multiple-kilometer-long horizontal concrete tunnel that is basically a vacuum chamber."
So it's like an airgun that shoots stuff into space...
Right now they're testing how fast they can get stuff going... to be continued...
See https://techcrunch.com/2023/07/10/longshot-space-wants-to-make-space-launch-dumb-and-really-cheap-too/
❷ Survey out of England says Small Talk is really important, so don't screw it up??
- From the Study Finds website: research from University of Warwick seems to indicate that those first impressions we make during small talk has a big impact later on...
- small talk is important even when it seems like we're just saying unimportant/ dumb stuff because our brain is filing away information about the other person's personality... leading to better interactions (or dealings?) in the future.
- so even if you hate small talk, it's better to do that than just jump into work talk...
Note: to me this doesn't seem earth-shattering, but it's a good reminder for me not to roll my eyes when someone at work starts talking about the shoes they bought on the weekend... I hate small talk so much... this is terrible news, social scientists!
See https://studyfinds.org/first-impressions-small-talk/

❶ Would you take $10,000 to be a toilet paper spokesmodel/ influencer? It's been awhile since we featured one of these publicity stunts... I always say it aint easy being on the toilet paper marketing team trying to come up with a way to get some toilet paper publicity to stand out from the rest... but I don't think I'll be taking part in this contest...
From Marketing Dive:
"Cottonelle is getting to the bottom of how consumers talk about their “down there” situations with a comical effort that seeks not ambassadors or influencers, but assvertisers." Can I say that?
The article quotes the North American VP of Cottenelle as saying “Many consumers don’t understand that they can find solutions to their down there situation in the toilet paper aisle... Cottonelle has a full suite of products that speak to the various situations all of our down theres have, whether we are steamy, sensitive, hard to clean, or swampy, and we hope our first-ever Assvertisers can help us normalize the conversation around down there care and shine light on the solutions.”
My sweet Lord, what?!
BTW, This contest has already started and goes until late July... maybe it's showed up in your feeds... it started showing up for me this week...
If you want a crack at that $10,000 prize, you send them a video message about what you got going on 'down there' and if it's not vulgar, you could win $10,000 and a pair of Cottonelle joggers... you'll have to wear these joggers in public and in your social media posts, because it's not exactly a contest, it's more like you could win a job promoting TP. Then everyone will know you from your 'down there' situation and you will be famous for toilet paper! Good luck!!!! 
and to enter (US only) https://www.cottonelle.com/en-us/assvertiser
and here's celebrity spokesperson Ken Jeong https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtqGbTuI6pk

If you scrolled this far, you're my favorite. Here's the Stream...


The Northern Lights: Will We Be Able to See Them Tonight? #Aurora

The Northern Lights are sometimes visible around here. Not too often but SOMETIMES.
Because of some recent geomagnetic storm action, there's a chance that tonight (July 13th)  we might be able to see the Aurora Borealis/ Northern Lights. Although NPR is now saying the Northern Lights forecast has changed.
- best time to look for the Northern Lights is 10p to 2a.
- This site gives the NLI (Northern Light Index... that's not what they call it but...)
- Thanks to Wanita who suggested that we try these apps... 


What a Weird Week Friday, July 7, 2023: Giant Pie and Flying Cars

Friends, I'm Scott. This is What a Weird Week. Every Friday we do a Weird-News-of-the-Week Top 10 Countdown podcast, a blog with all the stories/ show notes, and a YouTube video. Find everything at Shownotes.page.
Latest video episode...
This is Season 4, Episode 41 for Friday July 7, 2023:
❿ Bicentennial Celebration with Giant Pie!
On Monday, the Florida Keys celebrated their 200th birthday, their bicentennial, with a giant pie... a 13-foot diameter Key Lime pie which they are now trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records.
KLP Facts:
- originally from Key West, Florida (in the 1800s.)
- Florida's official pie.
Congratulations, Florida Keys. Happy birthday!
What about birthday pie, you guys? I mean, Big Cake has had its run. Let's get some more birthday pie action going!
*btw If you're wondering how the largest Key Lime Pie stacks up amongst pie world records, the biggest pumpkin pie in the world was a 20 foot diameter pie. So pumpkin pie, bigger than the world record Key Lime Pie...
A few other noteworthy pies:
- British Columbia is known for the largest cherry pie weighing 17 tons.
- a whopper of a pecan pie from El Paso tipped the scales at 18 tons.
There's quite a range in world record pies. It's not one particular pie that really dominates.
❾ Stolen Velociraptor!
Dinosaur story you guys!
- Headline from HuffPost: "Police hunt down dinosaur following South Dakota heist."
The Velociraptor had escaped from Jurassic Park. JK. This was a Velociraptor statue stolen from an arts and science center in South Dakota. It happened late at night... the security guard saw people carrying out a Velociraptor and checked the surveillance footage... clues were pieced together,  and the authorities were able to locate the dinosaur at a nearby apartment... seems like it was some teenagers involved in the dinosaur heist. 
❽ On July 4th, Joey Chestnut won the hot dog eating deal for a 16th time.
Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest was almost canceled because of thunder storms but out of the ashes arises a champion for the ages... Joey "Jaws" ate 62 hot dogs in ten minutes... the next closest competitor got 49.
BTW, the world record (held by Joey "Jaws" Chestnutt) is 76 hot dogs.
see internet for more. you know, the internet?
❼ The Florida man who set the world record for living a long time underwater has revealed that he shrunk. The fellow, named Joe, spent a hundred days in an underwater habitat to set the record. Now he's telling interviewers that he's a half inch shorter than before the underwater adventure. Lousy, stinkin' shrinkage!
He thinks he'll grow back to normal size, but, to be continued.
❻ The Teacher who skipped school for 20 years has been fired??!!!
Quote from Business Insider "The court heard that during the scarce periods when she was teaching, she was distracted by her phone, borrowed textbooks from students (who seemingly received grades at random), and her lessons generally seemed improvised and 'confused'"
Without going too deep into his one, it's about a lady in Italy who seems to be incredibly talented at finding ways to avoid going to work at her job as a teacher... and equally talented at still getting to keep her job. She skipped work for 20 years. One time she got let go, but then was reinstated! Anyway, it looks like now she has finally been fired more permanently. 
❺ The Red Stuff Leaking from the Truck was hot Sauce...
This is from the CDL life website, which is a website for truckers...  headline: "Semi truck hot sauce spill leads to hazmat  response on El Paso interstate."
This happened last Friday. Somebody driving on the highway noticed the semi truck was leaking red liquid... Can you imagine? We've all seen this movie... what is that red liquid coming out of the truck??? Do not open that truck! That truck is evil!!
Turns out it was Tabasco sauce. The truck was hauling 4400 gallons of Tabasco sauce. The El Paso fire department responded to the call and they had to bring in the hazmat team as well... At first I thought that seemed unusual but I mean, Tabasco sauce... what if you're driving on that highway in a convertible and some of the Tabasco got sprayed up into your eyes!? Yes, hazardous material!
see https://cdllife.com/2023/semi-truck-hot-sauce-spill-leads-to-hazmat-response-on-el-paso-interstate/
❹ Pickle war is gaining momentum...
Number four is the Pickle War, Pickle War at number four.
This is from Daily Beast, "Rival pickle companies duke it out in court over secret recipe." This is about a pickle company named Grillo's who is suing Patriot Pickle in what the Daily Beast calls a salty new lawsuit. (hold for laughter).
This is a civil suit... Grillo's says Patriot has stolen their secret recipe for a line of pickles which they prepare for Whole Foods (which we don't have in Canada, but you know, major grocer.) So Grillo's is accusing Patriot of making pickles that look and taste incredibly similar to Grillo's products, and the accused also has virtually identical nutritional information and ingredients, according to the court filing by Grillo's.
Grillo's says the Patriot Pickle Company got its hands on the Grillo's recipe when both these pickle companies were shared a co-packing agreement. I have zero knowledge of the pickle industry and co-packing, but I'm guessing that both companies were using a shared facility to bottle pickles for Whole Foods store brand or something similar. When that happens, there has to be non-disclosure agreements and all that. One company might have access to recipes or the secret pickle process... What if one rival pickle company gets their hands on another recipe? Grillo's is saying that's what happened... the courts will have to decide... if you love pickles, this sounds like the best jury duty ever!
see https://www.thedailybeast.com/rival-pickle-companies-grillos-and-patriot-feud-in-court-over-secret-recipe
❸ a knockoff Louis Vuitton bag is in the news because... 
It's too small to be of much use, but still really expensive.
From CBS News: "Microscopic Louis Vuitton knock-off bag. Narrow enough to pass through the eye of a needle. Sells for more than $63,000."
It's a tiny handbag, a little purse. It has a Louis Vuitton signature monogram on it, but it's a knock-off, you guys. Gotta watch out for those. Sometimes you just can't tell the difference. You need somebody who's really versed in all of that to have a look at your Louis Vuitton and see if it really is legit. One of the ways you can tell is that it's small enough to pass through the eye of a needle. This handbag is just teeny, tiny art, basically.
See link for the deep dive but really, the takeaway here is that's it's a very tiny, tiny piece of art that you have to look at through a microscope. And when you buy it for $63,750, it also does come with a microscope. So you can admire your artwork that you bought for $63,000.
❷ Runner makes wrong turn, loses thousands in prize money...
From Huffpost: "Elite runner makes costly mistake moments before the finish line."
This happened earlier this week. A runner at the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta is running, winning, nearly done. It's a 10k and just before the finish line... you know how in road races they have police motorcycles along the route... well, a police officer in front of the runners on a motorcycle turned down a side street. The lead runner, nearly to the finish line, followed that police motorcycle. She took the same turn up the side street... instead of continuing on, straight to the finish line. The lady would've won $10,000! She manged to get back on track and took third place in the race, winning three thousand dollars... so it was a good recovery, she still made some money. Just one of those things, so unfortunate. It's one of those things where I feel like you can't look back. You can't do a 'what if'. Oh my gosh, what if though?! Sorry, can't do that, darn it. Shouldn't do that. What if though! $10,000 could have been!!
see https://www.huffpost.com/entry/wrong-turn-costs-thousands_n_64a50a8ae4b065a315bbb485
🏆 via Science Alert: "NASA Seals Volunteers Into Isolated Habitat For Year-Long Experiment"
I think I already saw this movie... or was it an episode of Black Mirror? Whichever. Spoiler: it didn't end well then. According to Science Alert the four volunteers got sealed into the Martian habitat simulation on June 25 and they're supposed to stay in there a year to help researchers gain some insight in advance of getting a real Life on Mars situation going.  
Q: what if you hate your roommates? I'm sure they endured all kinds of psychological screening but you never know how you're gonna react until you're locked in the fake Martian bio dome, right? BTW, habitat name is Mars Dune Alpha, and the place was 3D-printed.  Good luck and Godspeed to Kelly Haston (biologist), Ross Brockwell (engineer), Nathan Jones (physician), and Anca Selariu (microbiologist). See you next July. *Even that crew seems vaguely like the characters from an episode of Black Mirror, doesn't it?
see https://www.sciencealert.com/nasa-seals-volunteers-into-isolated-habitat-for-year-long-experiment 
❶ Finally the flying cars we were promised in literature!
via CNN, "the Federal Aviation Administration says that a California company's flying car is approved for testing."
BTW, it can also drive on roads like the rest of us chumps when needed. That's where it's different from other flying vehicles that are being developed (according to the company) ... you'll be able to drive on public roads and park it like anybody else's car. It'll also be able to takeoff and land vertically (no runway required.)
- it'll be a one or two passenger situation and have a range of 200 miles driving, or around half of that if flying. 
- the plan is to be selling these for $300,000 by 2025.  
Neat: the developers were inspired by the flying cars of Back to the Future. That's what got them working on this. If you don't have time to click for photos... it looks more like an actual car than a lot if the big drone type vehicles I've seen... almost like something from Tomorrowland... shiny and rounded edges... kind of future-retro.
see CNN https://www.cnn.com/2023/07/03/tech/flying-car-faa/index.html and https://alef.aero/preorder.html
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