The World Wide Weird

Paul Ford's bookWhile spending way too much time browsing the internet yesterday, I found this nice little weekly review of the events of the world, posted by Paul Ford on Harpers.org. Among the interesting facts this week:

“A new Swedish passenger train was being praised because it runs on the entrails of dead cows.”

“George Takei, who played Mr. Sulu on Star Trek, announced that he is gay.”

“An Oregon woman won $1 million in the lottery, but was discovered to have purchased the winning ticket with a stolen credit card. If convicted, she will not be able to collect any prize money.”

“In Los Angeles a man dressed as Sesame Street’s Elmo was arrested for panhandling.”

“In Turkey 20 people were each fined $75.53 for using the letters ‘Q’ and ‘W’ during a Kurdish new year celebration.”

“Hugo Chavez called on the people of Venezuela to stop celebrating Halloween, and said the holiday was the United States’ way of ‘putting fear into other nations.'”

“In Delaware the body of a woman who hanged herself from a tree was pulled down after people realized she was not a decoration.”

“Neither the local police and fire departments nor the Coast Guard nor the City Department of Environmental Protection were able to identify the source of a pleasant, maple-syrup-like smell that wafted over much of New York City.” (I’ve smelled this before – it’s not maple syrup at all)

“In China eight elementary school children were killed and 45 injured in the stampede that started after someone yelled ‘ghosts are coming.'”

All these interesting (and horrifying) facts were compiled by Paul Ford, who runs a very excellent blog called Ftrain. For years he fictionalized a character named Gary Benchley, a wanna-be rockstar, on his blog, only to reveal recently that it was all a sham. His entries have been expanded and made into a book.

Now back to my own writing.

One Reply to “The World Wide Weird”

  1. That maple syrup thing! I smelled that! I thought it was just me. Have to say, though, it was much better than most smells that come across Manhattan during rush hour. -Devin

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