| Filed under Regular Post

Brits keep flushing underwear, clogging sewers

Citizens of one town in the U.K. are being politely asked not to flush their underwear down the toilet, or “loo,” after a large pair of granny panties caused a clog in the sewer system.

Here in the U.S., we discard our underwear in the trash, but the Europeans do everything weirder than us. According to authorities, the sewer system in Cheltenham, U.K., suffered from a massive clog, thanks to one woman’s flushed undies. This isn’t an isolated incident. Flushed “knickers” 50,000 blockages in the area’s sewer systems every year.

We understand that with any sizable human population, there are going to be a few cases of soiled undies every year, but tens of thousands? Do the Brits not believe in throwing the evidence in the rubbish bin? Are U.K. toilets just more powerful than their American counterparts?

| Filed under Facepalm

Cocaine traffickers blow it

Unsurprisingly, nobody is claiming either the drugs or bags from Lost and Found.

Sometimes, when an airline loses your luggage, you don’t put up a big fuss to find it, whether that’s because it’s filled with strange sex toys you’d rather not fess to or, oh, say … $60 million dollars’ worth of cocaine.

We don’t know what went through the minds of the “organized crime” syndicate that police suspect packed 360 kg of coke in neon-colored duffel bags and then lost somewhere in the ocean. We don’t know what happened to the traffickers and if they’ll be easy to find in matching Body Glove swimsuits. All we do know is that it was all very easy to find once it started washing ashore at Great Yarmouth in the U.K., some 140 miles (200 km) northeast of London.

Between the bright colors and the amount of cocaine, this should serve as a dire warning to anyone who tries this hard to ever bring back the ’80s again.

| Filed under War on Animals

Orange alligator signals apocalypse in South Carolina

Joining Vermont, South Carolina is a state reeling from reports of a new danger. People there are used to seeing alligators, but they are used to seeing them come in one color. Now there’s an orange gator on the loose.

Locals reported seeing an orange gator in a retention pond recently, and authorities are stumped. They know it’s not an albino, because it’s an adult gator and this is the first time anyone has reported it. After that, it’s just guesswork. The real problem is that the gator blends in with the color of the South Carolina clay, which means it’s even hard to see it before it strikes.

They’re calling it the Trumpagator. Be afraid.

| Filed under Regular Post

The government is tracking your heart

If you have a pacemaker, you probably need to back away from your computer. You also are probably glad that you have a machine that’s keeping your ticker ticking. But did you know that the government is tracking you?

In Ohio, authorities say they charged a man with arson and insurance fraud after examining the data from his pacemaker. Last fall, the 59-year-old man’s house burned down. He told police that as the house was burning, he was able to pack some bags and get them out of the house. Police obtained a warrant for the data on the man’s pacemaker, and a doctor said his heart rate did not match that of a man rushing to pack and carry heavy suitcases.

With that, police said they had enough evidence to say the man packed his suitcases ahead of time, because the fire was no accident.

| Filed under It Must Be Science!

Scientists, Imogen Heap design baby mind control

Babies are sociopaths. They are concerned with nothing but their own needs and desires, and they will emotionally manipulate adults any way they can to get what they want. But what if we could manipulate them right back? Science finally has the answer.

Researchers teamed up with Grammy winner Imogen Heap to create a song that would absolutely make babies smile or laugh. From previous work, the scientists knew that babies preferred uptempo music, and a female singer, because babies are sexist. Heap recorded a few different melodies and a test group of babies clearly preferred one of them. The next step was adding the right words. This meant including words with plosive sounds (made by B’s, P’s, etc.) because that’s what the kids are into these days.

The end result got an overwhelmingly positive response from the test babies. We have now created a song that will make them laugh — or did they trick us into making music they like?

Listen if you don’t mind songs stuck in your head.

| Filed under Regular Post

Vermont in chaos after maple syrup spill

Our hearts go out to those affected by last night’s horrible tragedy in Vermont last night. We offer our thoughts and prayers as recovery efforts begin.

The northbound lanes of Interstate 91 had to be shut down last night after a barrel of maple syrup fell off a truck and coated the roadway. Authorities say the incident happened just a few miles away from the Canadian border. We don’t know the origin or destination of the cargo, but it seems reasonable to guess that Vermont’s famous maple syrup was being shipped up to Canada.

With incidents like these, it’s a wonder that Canada doesn’t build a wall to keep this kind of danger out.

| Filed under It Must Be Science!

Museum displays body of animal that tried to kill us all

Just before Thanksgiving last year, the animals tried to end the world. Perhaps you hadn’t heard about that.

On Nov. 20, 2016, the Large Hadron Collider was under attack. Authorities say that a weasel-like animal called a marten climbed over a fence protecting the enormous particle accelerator. It was a suicide mission, an attempt to sabotage the LHC and hopefully blow up the Earth. The marten touched a transformer and was instantly killed as 18,000 volts coursed through its body. Luckily, the LHC didn’t blow up.

Why is this news now? Because the marten’s charred remains are now on display in the Netherlands at the Museum of Natural History Rotterdam. Make sure to stop by if you’re in town.

| Filed under You Missed It

You Missed It: Canberra calling edition

A diplomatic incident with Australia? ‘Simpsons’ did it!

I’m not a Trump supporter, but I think I know what it’s like to be one. After all, I’m a New England Patriots fan. I know what it’s like to be part of a group that has clearly had the rules systematically bent in their favor, only to develop a persecution complex when things don’t go our way once or twice. Also, I’ve talked myself into believing that the leader of my team doesn’t really mean it when he supports questionable political ideas. Most of the country hates us, but we win anyway. No wonder Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are friends with this Trump guy. If you were busy this week taking weird photos to announce that you are pregnant with twins, odds are you missed it.

Trump vs. Australia
This week, President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had a phone conversation, and it did not go well. At one point, Trump criticized a refugee agreement between the U.S. and Australia, and eventually he hung up on Malcolm. Sen. John McCain called Australia Ambassador Joe Hockey (who should really be the Canadian ambassador) to smooth things over between the two countries. I don’t know if the good-cop-bad-cop routine has ever been used in international diplomacy, this should be interesting.

Attention whore gets attention in attention-grabbing move
In the most predictable news story of the week, alt-right white nationalist darling Milo Yiannopoulos was forced to cancel his speaking engagement at Berkeley due to student protests. Yiannopoulos and his supporters criticized the violence conducted by some demonstrators, including a big fire, but really, they were just upset they couldn’t throw books into it.

Don’t eat fast food packaging
And finally, scientists revealed this week that chemicals used to block grease in fast food containers are leeching into our burgers, fries and burritos. Great plan, guys, telling Americans that fast food is bad for them hasn’t worked so far, but why not try it again?

| Filed under War on Animals

Pig burns down cop’s home

The danger posed by animals is real, folks. It’s very, very real. We cannot caution you enough against trusting animals that you call pets, because no matter how much you love them, they want to destroy your life, including burning down your house.

In South Carolina, a sheriff’s deputy is now homeless because one of her animals torched her home when she was gone. The theory is that the deputy’s pig knocked over a heat lamp in an animal pen, setting a fire that spread to the house.

The pig survived the incident and has not been charged, but we believe it should go towards replenishing the nation’s pork belly supplies.

| Filed under War on Robots

Computer wins the Tapout off pro poker players’ backs

The human players lost $1.7 million dollars in chips to the computer. But we don’t know if they kept their $200 hoodies, sunglasses with holographic snake-eye lenses or dignity.

Humanity was counting on two factors to help us win the War on Robots — 1) psychic computer-programming powers and 2) the ability to lie about the giant electromagnet behind our back. And, thanks to artificial intelligence programmers who really wanted to a machine to win at poker, we just lost the edge on number two.

Libratus, an AI built by Carnegie Mellon University, just beat four of our species’ greatest poker players by finally perfecting the ability to out-bluff human opponents. Computers can now strategically lie about the cards they’re virtually holding with just enough truth to raise uncertainty.

But …! We still have one more advantage over Libratus and its heirs: its new poker skillset is essentially meaningless in the modern world. C’mon, Libratus — Hold’em? What is this, 2006? In technology years, that’s like the Hamster Dance winning the 2008 election.