Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008 -- When the World Gets Weird, The 'Weird' Go World Class

Shhhhhh, do you hear it? That sound in the background, do you hear it? It's the subtle, distant, and yet pervasive sound of the year '2008' NOT wanting to be over and locked away in the history books. 2008 is the year that does not want to end and leaves a legacy that will take years to fully comprehend its impact.

I'll leave it for the gloom merchants to highlight the "Top ____ (Insert number here) News Stories of 2008" (these stories are almost always, inevitably, 'Bad News' for someone). They'll be everywhere over the next few weeks in print, online, and on television. You can read and view THEM there, you won't find them in today's post.

As for me, I'm happy to leave 2008 in the rear-view of the Chrysler. 2008 was the year that was, I'm looking forward to the year that will be. But as anxiously look ahead to the future, I do feel a small obligation to give a nod back to 2008 and a few of the weird items which surfaced in 2008. Mostly, no one got hurt (although there are several 'self-inflicted' wounds following) and you may have heard of some of these Moos Stories. If not, well here goes:

And if thy hand offendeth thee, cut it off. And cook it: An Idaho man who believes he bears the biblical "mark of the beast" cuts off his hand with a circular saw and microwaves it before calling 911. Read more -> Saw

"A very souped-up Sony PlayStation 3": Scientists at the Los Alamos federal laboratory announce they have built the world's fastest computer. All this for ONLY $100Million! Operators are standing by, NOW! Order in time for NEXT Christmas! Read more -> The $100 Million RoadRunner

"Achmed, Achmed? Hello, are you there?": Phone-company wiretaps have been canceled because of the FBI's repeated failure to pay phone bills on time, a Justice Department report says. Read more -> FBI Call Home

"Owie, owie, owie!": Two fourth-grade boys in Chesterton, Ind., try to prove that a scene in the movie "A Christmas Story" in which a boy's tongue sticks to a frozen flagpole couldn't happen in real life. They wind up with tongues stuck to a frozen flagpole. Read more -> I TOLD You It Could Happen!

Really Mad (P/O'd) Money: Days before investment bank Bear Stearns loses 90 percent of its market value, CNBC host Jim Cramer tells viewers, "No! No! No! Bear Stearns is fine! Do not take your money out." See clip -> Oops!

Better Late Than Never: 220 years after the Constitution is adopted, the Supreme Court rules for the first time that individuals do, indeed, have the right to bear arms. Read more-> Happiness is a Warm Gun

I've Got It, I've Got It, I've... Ahhhhhhh!: A photographer covering a high school track and field meet in Provo, Utah, is wounded in the leg by a thrown javelin. The throw -- 170 feet, 6 inches -- wins the competitor a state championship. Read more-> Ouch!

Bailout? Bailout? We Don't Need No Stinking Bailout: For leading their mortgage company into trouble so deep that Bank of America bought it out, Countrywide Financial Corp.'s president and CEO will receive a combined $19 million. Read more -> Countrywide is On Their Side

Second prize in our sales contest is, 'steak knives'. Third prize is, 'you're drowned': A former sales associate for a motivational coaching business in Utah has sued the company, claiming he was waterboarded as a "motivational technique". Read more -> I'll Bet You Feel 'Pumped Now' Don't Cha'?

The 'Really Bad Timing' National Champion for 2008: As Bear Stearns worked with the Federal Reserve and investment bank J.P. Morgan Chase to arrive at a deal to keep from going under, its chairman, Jimmy Cayne, was competing in a card tournament. Read more -> Playing While the Bear Burned

So there you have it, a few of my favorite Weird News posts from 2008. There may be more, but I need to get back to the family (I'm typing this on Sunday). They're looking kind of 'funny' at me since I've been at this for a while.

Here's wishing everyone a 'Kindler and Gentler' 2009.

Happy Moo Year!

Mike
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