Category: What-everrr!


Yesterday was a very rare day in the Washington, D.C., area.  We had an earthquake!  It wasn’t a big, destructive one. Instead, it was more of a, “Did you feel the earthquake?” kind of one, making everyone ask each other if anyone had felt it happen.

I didn’t. At the time it took place, I was in my gastrointestinal doctor’s center, being put under so I could enjoy both an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. The lower levels turned out great, but there’s some slight problem in the upper area that is being biopsied. I’ll get the results in two weeks, which tells me it isn’t something dreadful that needs attention “stat,” as they like the say in the medical profession.

Anyway, here’s a story about the quake that appeared on the website for the local news station, WTOP:

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One of my favorite kinds of stories to read has to do with stupid criminals, folks who seem to have lost all common sense in their attempt to commit crimes. So, this will be the first in this occasional series. (Some day, I’ll go back and review previous Darwin Awards, which are just impossible to make up on our own.)

>>Man posts bail with counterfeit bills

By Peter Mucha, Inquirer Staff Writer

Most people post bail to stay out of jail, not to risk a lot more time there.

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Since I lived in Florida for several years, I’m always fascinated by sharks and manatee, the “sea cows.” I happened across a recent news story that, sadly, can be a common occurrence in the Sunshine State:

>>NAPLES, Fla. (AP) – Florida wildlife officials say a 10-foot alligator bit off a man’s hand while he was swimming in a canal with friends.

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A prototype of the Air Force Research Laboratory's bird-like micro air vehicle is shown. Researchers say the so-called spy pigeon will flap its wings like a real bird, and even be able to land on power lines.

I’m always impressed by the amazing advances in technology we see from day to day.  Computers and robots can do so much more than even those of us who are science-fiction fans ever conceived of years ago.

Take, for example, the “spy pigeon” aerial drone. This amazing little aircraft could save lives, or it could mean the end of privacy.  Here’s the story from AOL News:

>>In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, U.S. officials often had to rely on grainy satellite photos to decide whether facilities on the ground were intended for producing weapons of mass destruction. Now imagine that instead of overhead satellite imagery–or even high-flying unmanned aircraft–they could send in a flock of microdrones that could actually fly right over, or even inside, such facilities.

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Is this a good idea?

I never knew how many people drive their mowers for fun. I always thought lawn mowers equaled work, and lots of it. But some folks enjoy their mowers more than others.

For instance, here’s a story from the Des Moines Register:

>>It may have been how Robert Grimstad was driving that caught people’s attention. He was all over the road.

Or the fact it was after midnight and the 38-year-old didn’t have headlights on.

Most likely, though, it was the fact he was riding a lawn mower down the highway.

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Six-time hot dog eating contest champion Takeru Kobayashi, center, of Japan, is taken into custody by New York police officers after he jumped on stage at the end of the hot dog eating contest in New York's Coney Island. (AP Photo)

Over the holiday weekend, the annual New York City Hot Dog Eating Contest took place, and it ended up with the same guy who has won the last four  years again taking the big prize. but that’s just the start of this story.  Here’s how the AP reported it:

>>A Japanese eating champion who sat out this year’s Coney Island Fourth of July hot dog contest apparently couldn’t resist the temptation to hotdog afterward.

Competitive eater Joey “Jaws” Chestnut gobbled his way to a fourth consecutive championship Sunday. But he was suddenly upstaged by the surprise appearance of his biggest rival–six-time champion Takeru Kobayashi, who did not compete but crashed the stage after Chestnut’s win and wrestled with police.

“Let him eat! Let him eat!” the crowd chanted as police handcuffed the world’s No. 3 professional eater, dubbed “The Tsunami.”

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Happy Fourth of July!  Today is the big day, so be sure to have an extra hot dog or pretzel for me when you gather your friends and family together!

I thought I’d share some interesting facts about the Independence Day holiday from Wikipedia that intrigued me.  Here goes:

Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue and take advantage of the day off and, in some years, long weekend to gather with relatives. Decorations (e.g., streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the American flag. Parades often are in the morning, while fireworks displays occur in the evening at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares.

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Happy Independence Day!  Here’s the second in a series of articles by Beverly Hernandez on About.com regarding the holiday:

>>The Fireworks Family

New Castle, Pennsylvania, is home to the Vitale Fireworks Display Company, responsible for more than one thousand fireworks shows every year. In 1922 Constantino Vitale brought his expertise at making fireworks from Italy to the United States. He passed his secrets on to his four sons, and since then the company has been making Americans exclaim “ooohhh” and “aaahhhh” at the lighted colors in the sky on July 4 and other occasions. “It’s like putting on a ballet show except that the dancers were above, painting the sky,” says Vitale’s granddaughter. “Seeing that spectacular display in the sky made me really love the country.”

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For this holiday weekend, I thought I’d share a series of great articles from About.com on the Fourth of July by Beverly Hernandez.  Here’s the first, which focuses on general history of the holiday:

>>The History And Origin Of Independence Day

By the middle of the 1700s, the 13 colonies that made up part of England’s empire in the New World were finding it difficult to be ruled by a king 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. They were tired of the taxes imposed upon them. But independence was a gradual and painful process. The colonists could not forget that they were British citizens and that they owed allegiance to King George III.

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PORT FOURCHON, LA – JUNE 28:A workre uses a vacuum hose to capture some of the oil washing on to Fourchon Beach from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on June 28, 2010 in Port Fourchon, Louisiana. According to reports on June 28, analysts are saying the economic damage from the oil may not impact the U.S. economy beyond the Gulf region. Millions of gallons of oil have spilled into the Gulf since the April 20 explosion on the drilling platform. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Source: Getty Images

Seems like some folks can make money in just about every situation, even the recent serious oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Here’s the story from the NBCMiami website:

>>Jeffrey and David Shiffman have turned their bathroom into a pseudo chemistry lab. The two brothers from Ft. Lauderdale are trying to support relief efforts in the Gulf, by bottling and selling “Oil Spill Water.”

“Some people are like, ‘who really wants that?’” said Jeffrey Shiffman. “Well, we don’t really know who wants it.”

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