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News of the Weird
 

Bright Ideas


October 14th, 2010

The older the religion, the seemingly more likely its practitioners are to adopt clever workarounds to theological obligations that modern society has rendered inconvenient.

The older the religion, the seemingly more likely its practitioners are to adopt clever workarounds to theological obligations that modern society has rendered inconvenient. Orthodox Jews are among the most creative, as News of the Weird has demonstrated, reporting their imaginative treatments of divorce rituals and expanding the concept of the "home" in which practitioners must remain during the Sabbath. In September, in preparation for the Yom Kippur holy day, caffeine addicts " traditionally hard-hit by the day's fasting requirement that prohibits ingesting anything "by mouth" " reportedly made a run on drug stores in Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn, N.Y., to buy caffeine suppositories.

A Breakthrough in Political Campaign Technology: New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, waging a particularly contentious battle, mailed out a flier in September suggesting that Democratic state politicians are corrupt, with photos of seven of that party's current and recent office-holders and accompanied by a special odor-triggering paper that releases a "garbage-scented" smell when exposed to air (and which supposedly grows even more foul over time).

Sherin Brown, 23, happened to be walking through a Brooklyn, N.Y., neighborhood in August at the exact moment that a tractor-trailer accidentally clipped a light pole, sending it crashing to the sidewalk. First responders found Brown pinned under the pole, screaming for help, and had her taken to a hospital. Afterward, investigators discovered a nearby surveillance camera, which revealed that Brown had stepped out of the way of the falling pole but then, with no one else around, had crawled underneath and began wailing in "pain," perhaps in anticipation of a future lawsuit.

Steven Black, one of five suspects in a federal credit card and check-cashing fraud ring, was arrested on Aug. 30 in Maryland Heights, Mo., following a car chase. In a search, police discovered that Black was carrying $1,540 in cash, in a roll tied with a shoelace to his scrotum.

" Outsmarted Himself: Gene Cranick, who lives outside the city of South Fulton, Tenn., was offered firefighter service by the city for an annual $75 fee but declined to pay. In September, firefighters stood by watching as Cranick's home burned to the ground. (They had been called to the scene by Cranick's neighbor, who had paid the fee and feared Cranick's fire might spread to his property.)
 
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