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Your Rundown Of This Week's Craziest Stories

Calum Hayes |
January 28, 2013 | 1:01 p.m. PST


A minor league baseball player is sending old gloves and baseballs to the military overseas. (Mike Rastiello, Creative Commons)
A minor league baseball player is sending old gloves and baseballs to the military overseas. (Mike Rastiello, Creative Commons)
I had so much fun writing this piece last week that even my computer being hacked this morning couldn’t stop me from bringing it back (seriously, if you got an email from me this morning, DO NOT open it.). We’re running through the five news stories you definitely need to see this week. As always (can I say "as always" after one week?), we’re counting down backward, and if you’re not entertained, I’m offering a full refund for this column.

5. Rundown: There was a great response to the Lance Armstrong controversy. Ok, I’m kidding. I wrote that one. Nothing like a little shameless self-promotion. Give it a read, I’ll wait.

5. Rundown: House Republicans sponsored the No Budget, No Pay act that was passed earlier this week. The bill is part of the agreement by the House of Representatives and our Senators to raise the debt ceiling until May 18. The debt ceiling has been raised with the understanding that if the two groups don’t each come up with a budget by that date (the law requires a federal budget by April 15), none of our elected congressmen or senators will be paid.

Analysis: How was this not already a law? Did I miss something? Have we really been paying our elected officials to not do their jobs since 2009 (when we last had a budget)? Better late than never, but goodness. Next time I turn an assignment in late I’m just going to reference this fact and ask for an A while I work on it for the next four years. (I’m kidding, dad, I swear I always turn things in on time.)

4. Rundown: This week, North Korea announced that they would be launching a nuclear test. While this isn’t the first nuclear test fire by North Korea, it is the first one that they have advertised as “aimed at the United States!” Like an advertisement for your neighbor’s garage sale, the news was met with little-to-no enthusiasm this side of the pacific, if you can believe it.

Analysis: It turns out that all we need to close the partisan gap in this country is have North Korea confirm our suspicions that their leadership is insane. For once, both parties agreed on something more than thinking Ben Affleck got snubbed at the Oscar Nominations. Oh, and a new meme exists now.

3. Rundown: Manholes all across Rio de Janeiro have been exploding at random. This has recently become a bigger story, as more and more manholes go from peaceful metal disks to projectiles launched by a fireball Michael Bay could be proud of. Gas and electrical cables are often encased in the same areas under ground, and if one of those cables frays you end up in your worst “Superman plays ultimate frisbee” nightmare.

Analysis: Brazil’s second most populous city is likely facing a lawsuit from Mr. Bay after stealing his favorite movie trick and making it a real-life issue. One recommendation, Brazil: don’t hire this guy to be your lawyer.

2. Rundown: If you didn’t watch that ten-second video of a boy discovering an elephant seal at least a dozen times before coming to this page, then we’re less similar than I thought. Plus, lets be honest, now this article includes the tags "Elephant Seal" and "Slurping." +1 Calum.

Analysis: Just go straight to the video. I can’t get enough of this.

1. Rundown: One of the best ideas I’ve heard in a long time: a minor league baseball player has been sending old gloves and baseballs to troops deployed overseas. In a world where everything is different, the soldiers find some semblance of peace playing catch. The young man said he might not even have room in his garage for all the gloves and donations he has received since the article ran.

Analysis: My father already sent in all of our old gloves and baseballs. I would hope after reading the piece that you too do your best to make his garage explode from being too full and send anything you can spare, or at the very least write a note to let these men and women know how much we appreciate what they do for us.

BONUS: Rundown:  Five vicars showed off their new ecclesiastical fashions in a catwalk. Clergy! Fashion!

Analysis: As a churchgoer, I get a great kick out of this. I can only hope my Pastor reads this article and acts accordingly.


Reach Contributor Calum Hayes here; follow him here.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

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