Tag Archives: odd news

WiGWag: News with a twist

New research from the American Museum of Natural History suggests the dodo — an extinct bird whose name became synonymous with stupidity — was fairly smart. — PHOTO: Pixabay
New research from the American Museum of Natural History suggests the dodo — an extinct bird whose name became synonymous with stupidity — was fairly smart. — PHOTO: Pixabay

SMART AS A DODO

New research from the American Museum of Natural History suggests the dodo — an extinct bird whose name became synonymous with stupidity — was fairly smart. The science suggests the overall size of the dodo’s brain in relation to its body size is on par with its closest living relative, the moderately intelligent pigeon. The researchers said the dodo came to be considered dumb because it was driven to extinction by humans. Now, of course, the record shows humans to be the dummies.

WALKER’S HANDJOB

Give Gov. Scott Walker a hand. He still knows how to get people fired up. Walker posted a picture on Twitter of his right hand along with a message that said, “Photo of my hand before signing 58 bills into law today.” Instead of applause, the tweet drew photo responses showing a variety of other hand gestures, some of them predictably profane. It only took minutes for a Hands of Walker parody account to pop up. Its description? “I sign bills.”

NO HANKY PANKY

Despite social media-fueled rumors to the contrary, the Brewers’ furry, four-legged mascot, officially known as Hank the Ballpark Pup, has not been replaced by a prettier impostor. Dramatic changes in the pup’s appearance got cynical people talking, but the Brewers confirmed that the naysayers were barking up the wrong pooch. “This is definitely the original Hank, and this a notarized document from Hank’s veterinarian,” chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger said at a news conference, holding the document up in his hand as if making a closing argument. The document confirmed the healthier, well-groomed Hank is the same matted bichon frise mix that walked on to the team’s spring training complex in Phoenix two years ago.

HOMELESS GNOMES

Management of the Little Buffalo State Park in Pennsylvania recently ordered the removal of about 40 gnome homes made in tree roots, hollow logs and on stumps. Crafter Steve Hoke created the humble abodes to attract visitors but park officials were concerned about an impact on wildlife habitat.

ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU PUKE

To compensate for their shamelessly low wages, some Uber drivers have begun fining riders up to $200 for allegedly vomiting in their cars. In Tampa, Florida, Uber fired a driver after multiple passengers complained about being charged for puke that was documented with faked photos. In West Hollywood, California, a woman was charged $100 for a bodily fluid cleanup after getting into an Uber car while wet from a rainstorm, CBS reported.

BAD HAIR DAYS

Four people in the Memphis, Tennessee, area have been killed in the pursuit of luxurious hair extensions. Bundles of high-quality hair are worth hundreds of dollars, making hair theft a lucrative crime. According to a popular theory, demonic spirits are behind it all. “Whose-ever hair I was wearing on my head, that heifer had a bad omen and that bad omen followed her from India and came on top of my head, and I took on her spirit,” one woman said on YouTube. Another woman warned, “Do you know the history of the hair’s original owner? What type of spirit did that person have? You may be buying a person’s hair and their demonic spirit.”

DOCTOR FEELGOOD

George C. Nichopoulos died in late February at the age of 88. “Dr. Nick” was Elvis Presley’s doctor for 11 years before The King died of heart disease on Aug. 16, 1977. Years later, the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners revoked Nichopoulos’ medical license, finding he had over-prescribed addictive drugs to at least 13 patients, including Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.

WORKING THE MUNCHIES

Two Albuquerque Girls Scouts picked a cleverly strategic place to sell Girl Scout cookies — outside a marijuana dispensary. KRQE-TV in Albuquerque reported that a Junior Girl Scout and a Brownie set up shop outside Ultra Health and sold more than 60 boxes. Acknowledging pots’ association with the munchies, Ultra Health manager James Gambling said he invited the scouts and offered to donate $1 for every box the girls sold. But a Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails spokeswoman said selling cookies outside medical marijuana dispensaries is against scout rules.

BOLO FOR BALD GUY

Law enforcement in Mount Healthy, Ohio, issued an alert for a “serial thief” who stole $847 worth of Rogaine and Prevagen from a Walgreens store. The suspect was believed to be bald and driving a white Jeep. Police are “scratching our heads at this, no pun intended,” detective Chris Jones told WCPO-TV. But WiGWag thinks the pun was intended.

EXCUSE US

A bartender in Vienna, Austria, was hit with a fine — about $77 — for a loud burp. The man’s ticket, which he displayed on Facebook, said he violated “public decency with a loud belch next to a police officer.” The citation prompted hundreds of people to commit to joining a “Loud Belch flash mob” at the scene of the crime.

WiGWAG: Willie Nelson, gay Republicans, bearded drag queen, PETA and more

Bearded drag queen wins Eurovision

Austrian bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst won the 59th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with a James Bond-inspired entry that had unleashed a wave of protests in Eastern Europe before the competition. The power ballad, “Rise Like a Phoenix,” helped Wurst — the alter ego of 25-year-old Thomas Neuwirth — secure Austria’s second victory in the competition with 290 points. The contest’s most famous winners include ABBA and Celine Dion. “This is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom,” Wurst said in accepting the trophy. “We are unity.”

Black-belted Nelson

Willie Nelson, who recently turned 81, received his fifth-degree black belt in the martial art of Gong Kwon Yu Sul. Nelson trains in Austin, Texas. The redheaded stranger said that keeping physical — with martial arts, running and biking — is the key to his good health. Not smoking pot?

‘Oh Mary’ gets to Log Cabin

Log Cabin Republicans demanded an apology from Democratic Congressman Scott Peters after his campaign reposted a blog by liberal political activist John Aravosis referring to Peters’ opponent as a “Mary,” dishy gay slang for a gay man. Openly gay Republican Carl DeMaio had complained that social conservatives were more tolerant of him being a gay Republican than were gay people. Aravosis wrote in his blog, “Oh Mary, it’s so hard to be you.” On social media, reactions to Log Cabin’s demand for an apology and to DeMaio’s being a gay Republican were way harsher than “Oh Mary.”

What a drag

Steve Wiles, a Republican state Senate candidate who supported North Carolina’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, performed in drag at a gay nightclub a little over a decade ago as Miss Mona Sinclair. Wiles is now a real-estate agent and Republican activist. He placed third in a May 6 GOP primary against two other candidates in the solidly red state Senate district. 

In memorium

The Utah Department of Transportation has rejected an animal rights advocate’s request to erect a roadside memorial to 720 turkeys killed in a traffic accident near Provo in late April. The DOT said the proposed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals memorial — which included a suggestion to “try vegan” — didn’t meet state standards, namely that relatives erect memorials to loved ones killed in crashes. But activist Amy Meyer argued the standard shouldn’t apply to factory-farmed turkeys, because they all get slaughtered and thus have no living relatives.

‘True Outfitter’

Celebrity interior designer Nate Berkus, host of American Dream Builders, tied the knot with his fiance Jeremiah Brent on May 3 in the New York Public Library, becoming the first same-sex couple to wed in the iconic building. Sheri Salata, president of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network & Harpo Studios, officiated the ceremony. Berkus and Brent are part of Banana Republic’s “True Outfitters” campaign, which features real-life couples. Milwaukee-area residents can see the couple’s picture in the window of the BR store at Bayshore Town Center in Glendale. 

Wisconsin gobbles up Girl Scout cookies

Despite a boycott by Pro-Life Wisconsin, members of the 24-county Badgerland Council of Girl Scouts of the USA sold 1,427,412 boxes of cookies during the recently concluded six-week sales period. That’s up about 1 percent from the fall of 2012. This year’s total is the highest so far for the Badgerland Council, which was formed in 2009. Pro-Life Wisconsin contends that Girl Scouts of the USA is too palsy with  Planned Parenthood and other supporters of reproductive freedom.

NYPD blue

An NYPD baseball team had to cancel a tournament championship game after a thief broke into the team’s minivan and stole $15,000 in jerseys, gloves and bats. New York’s Finest Baseball Club had been scheduled to play the Dallas Fire Department in a Texas tourney. And CrimeStoppers tip No. 1? Do not leave valuables unattended in vehicles.

Bright lights, steel city

Steel city, Big screen: Pittsburgh is celebrating its cinematic heritage with bus tours to settings in Flashdance, The Deer Hunter, Night of the Living Dead, The Dark Knight Rises, The Silence of the Lambs, Jack Reacher and more. The Lights, Camera, Pittsburgh! tour is being made ready for action later this month — in time for a visit from 75 Canadian journalists who might think all Hollywood films are shot in Toronto or Vancouver. WigWag tip: IMDB.com is a great resource for film locations.

More WiGWAG at www.wisconsingazette.com.

Summer fun: Roller coaster screams exceed decibel limit

A Northern California roller coaster appears to have been a little too much fun.

The Gold Striker at Great America in Santa Clara, Calif., had to be taken offline this week because riders were screaming too loudly.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that the shrieks were exceeding the decibel limit agreed upon in a settlement with Prudential Real Estate, which owns adjacent properties.

So Great America had to cover a portion of the track in a sound-dampening tunnel. The wooden roller coaster – the fasted in northern california – reopened on July 3 after the work was completed.

Wisconsin court: speeding ticket doesn’t violate religious freedom

A Wisconsin appeals court says a speeding ticket didn’t violate an Oshkosh man’s right to religious freedom.

A sheriff’s deputy cited Jeffrey L. Manke for speeding in Fond du Lac County in October 2011. According to court documents, he was traveling at 71 mph in a 55-mph zone.

Manke argued on appeal Wisconsin’s speeding statutes violate his right to religious freedom because they prohibit a person from speeding. He contended his Bible studies show he is a man, not a person.

District Attorney Dan Kaminsky called Manke’s argument nonsensical in a reply brief.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals agreed Manke is a man, which also makes him a person.

Court records did not list an attorney for Manke. No residential listing for him could be found.