Nazi art not a winner

A self-portrait by Adolf Hitler from Wikimedia Commons. Not one of the pieces auctioned.

Adolf Hitler can’t seem to catch a break. First, his quest for world domination hit a snag in the 1940s when the Allies defeated him in World War II, and now, no one wants watercolor paintings attributed to him. None of the five paintings believed to be painted by him received a bid at a German auction this week. Some believe that this is because the paintings are suspected fakes. But others just don’t think they are very good. Hitler apparently failed the entrance exam to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts twice in 1907 and 1908.

The missing kiwi

The Swedish furniture giant IKEA known for selling build-your-own kits for dressers, bookshelves, desks, and more was missing a piece with a recently released world map – the country of New Zealand. The world map offers a colorful display of the world, with spattered style paint, but the space where New Zealand should be (just east of Australia, in case anyone who works for IKEA is reading this) is blank. After a post on the website Reddit pointed out that “Ikea’s map game is not on point,” the company apologized. That’s probably wise, because they are reportedly just about to build a megastore in Auckland – New Zealand’s largest city. Good luck finding it!

Sayonara to ‘obligation chocolates’

Valentine’s Day, the holiday that somehow manages to make you feel bad for being single and places undue stress on your relationship if you’re not. And yet, the women of Japan have it worse. In that country, women are expected to participate in a tradition of buying chocolates for their male coworkers called “giri choco,” which literally translates into “obligation chocolates.” It’s men’s turn a month later, on a holiday called “White Day” that was invented by a Japanese chocolate company in 1978. Thankfully, the tradition is falling out of favor, with a recent survey finding that 60 percent of women will instead buy chocolates for themselves on that day. It’s a solution even the chocolate makers are happy with.

Thanks a lot, science …

Last month, we all got a well-deserved pick-me-up in the form of New Horizons satellite images of a “space snowman” found beyond Pluto. The object, known as Ultima Thule, looked like it had a spherical body and a head, looking like a snowman floating in space – a perfect object of whimsy. But science has once again melted our hopes and dreams, literally squashing them flat. New images have led scientists to believe the space snowman is actually flat like a pancake rather than spherical. Oh well, Ultima Thule was a crappy name for a snowman anyway. Still, we can hold out hope that as the New Horizons satellite continues to capture images of it that they will reveal a carrot nose and stovepipe hat, thereby reviving our space snowman dreams.

The joy of … dressing up like Bob Ross

If watching famed, frizzy-haired television personality Bob Ross on “The Joy of Painting” brought joy to your painting life, imagine the elation you would have felt seeing about 50 Texas middle schoolers don big auburn wigs, blue collared shirts, and jeans as they participated in a “happy little” art class. Their art teacher, Brady Sloane, said she gave out the wigs as a way to reward her students and have them watch one of Ross’s videos and take a lesson from a legend. We suggest that the school’s dance instructor pass out single, white gloves next week and watch Billie Jean.

Chimps out on a limb

OK, we get it. It’s hard to keep track of a lot of animals. But the zoo in Belfast in Northern Ireland has some issues. Last month a red panda managed to escape its enclosure and make its way to a garden about a mile away from the zoo. This week, chimpanzees used a branch as a ladder to get out and fraternize with some of the visitors. In a video one of the visitors posted documenting the chimps’ escape, a child can be heard saying, “Don’t escape you bad little gorilla.” In fact, the chimps were fairly well behaved, making their way back into their enclosures by themselves and, more importantly, not mauling any of the zoo’s guests.

Master of disguise

An accused Spanish drug trafficker apparently managed to avoid being captured for 15 years by cutting and burning the skin off of his fingertips and getting micro implants. In addition to this spy novel-esque technique, he also had a hair transplant. Spain’s anti-drug police force eventually caught up with him late last month. Experts in the unit said the man’s implants were sophisticated and took years to perfect.

A rabbi digs Ted Cruz’s beard

Last month, Texas senator and arch super villain Ted Cruz took to Twitter to claim he got a compliment from a Jewish religious leader. “Pretty cool,” the smarmy politician wrote. “A good friend is studying in Yeshiva in Israel. His rabbi told him he liked my beard, elaborating ‘It gives Cruz a Talmudic & Rabbinic look & presence that will put the fear of the Lord into Israel’s enemies & promote Middle East peace.’” Count us as skeptical that anything coming from Ted Cruz’s face will contribute to peace in the Middle East, or that a real rabbi actually said this.

The ultimate revenge

And for those who really dislike Valentine’s Day, there’s the El Paso Zoo, which is asking its Facebook followers for the names of their ex-lovers. Message the zoo with the name and they will name a cockroach after that person and feed the unlucky bug to a meerkat on February 14. You don’t have to take their word for it; the zoo is livestreaming the event, which it is calling “Quit Bugging Me!!!” Are you someone who might enjoy watching an ex’s namesake get devoured by a ravenous animal? We thought so.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes

A Boston police officer who allegedly had his gun stolen by two women who work at strip clubs is having his name withheld by the Boston authorities, citing that he is a “victim.” The officer claimed he broke up a fight between the strippers and another man (and that’s why they were in his hotel room). He also said he had locked his gun in his car, but then asked one of the strippers to get his charger out of his car while they were all in the hotel together. Of course, Boston’s finest had no problem releasing the names of the two women. The officer is on administrative leave while the police department investigates. Paid.