wigWAG

We might be inspired by the stories of the day, the tabloid at the checkout counter, gossip in our ears or a reader's tip in our email. If it strikes us as a little bit off, a lot of silly, positively preposterous or reveals the absurdity of our present situation with the president, it’s WiGWAG. News with a twist.

Coffee culture

A study from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and School of Arts and Sciences says liberals drink more lattes because they’re more open to globalization. Conservatives, then, drink fewer lattes because they’re more nationalistic and opposed to what are seen as foreign products. “Rather than being a symbol of elitism or hypocrisy, drinking lattes … can be seen as an indicator of openness to globalization and willingness to embrace open markets,” the researchers concluded.

That’s comforting

We’re often amused by news releases from companies seeking media attention for their unusual products. But the pitch we received recently from Gladiator Solutions was sad rather than amusing. The company is promoting lightweight body armor to protect kids from school shootings. Called Pak Protect, the armor is sized for children’s bodies and backpacks, but it’s just as strong as products “used by special forces, military contractors, law enforcement and first responders.” 

Walk this way … into the woods

The hosts of the History Channel’s American Pickers — Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz — recently paid $25,000 for a dilapidated van found in the woods in Chesterfield, Massachusetts. The vehicle, a 1964 International Harvester Metro, was Aerosmith’s touring vehicle in the 1970s — a little van from before the band became big. The former owner said the vehicle had been abandoned on the property when he bought the land.

Superstar secretary of education?

LeBron James, the basketball superstar, has fans. And LeBron James, the educator, has fans. Earlier this month, thousands signed a petition for James to replace Betsy DeVos — who seems only to have fans in Donald Trump and Scott Walker — as the nation’s education secretary. “LeBron James is an inspiration to kids all over the country,” the petition states.

Atmospheric pressure

A package that fell from the sky over New Jersey caused an alarm, as President Donald Trump was at his golf club in Bedminster. The package was attached to a parachute and a note that read, “NASA Atmospheric Research Instrument NOT A BOMB! If this lands near the President, we at NASA wish him a great round of golf.” The package was part of a NASA test measuring ozone and a summer intern wrote the note.

Are there tapes?

Vice.com reported recently that during a briefing ahead of a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Donald Trump referred to Nepal as “Nipple” and Bhutan as “Button.” Politico calls these diplomatic faux pas. Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that Trump took on an Indian accent to imitate the PM.

Sinking

A 9-year-old boy operating a lemonade stand in Monroe, North Carolina, was robbed at gunpoint, and the thief made off with the metal tin holding his $17 in earnings. 

Unsafe interaction

Los Angeles police are looking for a man seen in a viral video sneaking up on two hippos at the Los Angeles Zoo and slapping one of the animals on the rump. The hippo, known as Rosie, was not injured. But police are investigating the incident as a trespassing case. “Any unauthorized interaction with an animal is unsafe for the animal and potentially unsafe for the patron,” the zoo’s spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times. 

Smart as a fox?

Fox News issued an awkward apology after displaying an image of Patti LaBelle during a segment honoring Aretha Franklin, who died Aug. 16. The mix-up wasn’t as bad as when the network listed Justin Bieber as one of the most popular women on the web — or as the time it announced, “Obama bin Laden Dead.” And then there were the times Fox ran the headline, “Fire destroyed by home” and “White House promotes Obama cock to senior position.” And on and on. 

Super Bowl commercial in the making

Two beer deliverymen tried coaxing to safety a man poised to jump to his death from an I-94 bridge in St. Paul, Minnesota. For more than an hour, they engaged him in conversation while police waited nearby. But it was their offer of a 12-pack of Coors Light that finally lured the troubled fellow from the edge, allowing police to bundle him off to safety. 

Fouling the marital bed

Actor Johnny Depp, who’s no stranger to strangeness, has accused ex-wife Amber Heard of leaving a turd in their marital bed shortly before they split. Heard denies it, and her friends say she resents having to defend herself publicly against the charge that she poo’ed in bed. And who wouldn’t? 

 

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