The woman arrested for laughing at the hilarious statement that Jeff Sessions has a “clear and well-documented” record of “treating all Americans equally under the law” at Sessions confirmation hearing (Sessions in fact was rejected as a federal judge in the 1980s over concerns about his past comments on race) is now free to laugh again. The charges against activist Desiree Fairooz, who was attending the hearing as a member of women’s activist group Code Pink, were dropped. To be clear, those are charges brought against Fairooz by the Sessions Justice Department. Over the summer, a judge overturned a jury conviction against Fairooz on the laughable charges when it came to light that a prosecutor had improperly argued that “laughter was enough” to convict.
Paddles, the “First Cat” of New Zealand, passed away last week after a car accident. Time and exact cause of death were undisclosed. Paddles belongs to the newly elected Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern. Paddles was a ginger-white cat who developed a cult following on Twitter due to her unique polydactyl abnormality that makes it look like she has thumbs. Her Twitter profile featured a bio that read, “Have thumbs, will tweet,” and many pictures of Paddles, including one of her holding glasses. Social media has been filled with support for Paddles and her family after her untimely death.
Light it Up
Japanese designer Nendo designed a futuristic sheet of paper that transforms into a usable flashlight. The electronic paper is made by printing electronic circuits onto paper using silver particle ink. Once rolled into a tube, the piece of paper can be used as a flashlight, a lamp or a minimalist hanging light. The circuits are printed on both sides of the paper in a checkerboard pattern and features seven LED lights. The tighter you roll the paper, the brighter the light is. If that’s not advanced enough for you, when it’s rolled one way it is a warm, yellow light, and the other way it is a white light. Coming to an IKEA near you.
I Left my Heart in Warsaw
When Frederic Chopin died, his heart was pickled in a jar of cognac and encased in stone in a church in Poland. Researchers recently examined the heart, while it was still in the jar, to get a closer look at how the famous composer died. After examining the heart, researchers concluded that the composer died from complications of tuberculosis, because the heart was surrounded by inflamed tissue and looked generally “enlarged and floppy.” Apparently, Chopin was so terrified of being buried alive that he requested his heart be cut out and sent to Poland after he died. The rest of his body is buried in Paris.
Usually, when someone says the alcohol went straight to their head, they’re talking about being drunk. Not so in Purcell, Oklahoma, where a would-be robber of a liquor store faced a stiff defense instead of a stiff drink. KFOR reports that when a man entered Butch’s Cork and Bottle and demanded the contents of the register, one of the employees grabbed a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream smacked the assailant in the head. Bet he felt that the next morning.
But What’s the Stereo Like?
How much have you paid for a solid used car? Probably less than whoever ends up buying Max Lanman’s used Honda Accord. Good Morning America reports that the filmmaker listed the car, valued at $1,432 in Kelley Blue Book, on eBay, along with a sweet promotional video (youtube.com/ watch?v=4KlNeiY4Rf4 ). The auction site cancelled the listing after bidding reached $150,000, fearing fraud bids. It’s since been relisted and cancelled again. Lanman says to stay tuned.
The Annual Miso Soup Parade
Every year in late September two dozen people haul a giant bowl of miso soup through the Japanese mountain town of Yamanaka-Osen, shouting and stepping in unison as they carry the giant bowl of soup on four long support poles. This soup celebration is all part of the town’s annual rice harvest festival. The manpowered parade floats are also portable shrines used for carrying a deity through the festivities. In Shintoism there’s a spirit for everything, even an oversized bowl of miso.
En Plein Air, Grasshopper
A team of curators and conservators from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City were examining Vincent van Gogh’s Olive Trees, one of 18 artistic works on the theme by the Dutch impressionist painter, when they discovered something unexpected under the microscope — pieces of a small grasshopper. Van Gogh, like many artists, worked outside (en plein air), and used to complain about the wind and flying insects in famous letters to his brother Theo.
Fungus Among Us
The powdercap mushroom could be found in areas such as the woods of Nottinghamshire, England, pleasant and content to live its mushroom life without causing a bother to any other fungi. But that was before disaster struck! A rare fungus with a modus operandi right out of a sci-fi horror film has been bodysnatching fungus by bursting out of the mushroom’s head. Nicknamed “the Powdercap Strangler” this invasive species even retains the powder cap’s orange stem to hold up it’s own grey head once it emerges from its host.
Terrence, Come Home!
Forget Lassie or Garfield; think about Terrence the lost little cactus. A 19-year-old in Little Rock, Arkansas, posted missing signs after his beloved cactus was allegedly stolen. The sign reads, “Terrence (answers to Terry). Last seen on my front porch on Center Street. The lost cactus photo also features a phone number for the owner, who told the Huffington Post that Terrence has been missing since Sept. 5, 2017. “The very next day I made missing posters and posted them around my neighborhood,” he said.
Pardon my English
In this week’s news that your grandma won’t like, the Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council (CBSC) ruled that saying “fuck” in French-language broadcasts is now totally allowed. The famous four-letter word used to be classified as only suitable for adults, meaning it was banned from daytime television and radio. After airing two clips featuring the word, a French-language radio station in Montreal argued that “fuck” is such a regular part of French spoken language that it does not have the same vulgar connotations that it used to. The CBSC agreed, and now you can say “fuck” in regular French-language programs, as long as it’s not as an insult to a particular person. Thank #%$@!
Not Done with Civic Duty Yet
Former President Barack Obama took a break from water skiing and wearing cool sunglasses last week to be a regular citizen and show up for jury duty in Chicago. Obama was not selected to serve on a jury, but he did get the full prospective-juror experience by watching a 20-minute video made by Lester Holt about 20 years ago, explaining the ins and outs of jury duty. A few other people who reported that day to perform their civic duty brought copies of Obama’s books with the hope that he would sign them, which he did. Suddenly missing work to sit around and watch a boring movie sounds like the best thing ever, fingers-crossed that Obama also shows up in RMV lines.
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