Oddly Enough Blog

News, but not the serious kind

Flying cars not a total success…

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ranch-180.jpgMany of you have heard of the German highway where there is practically no speed limit and you can drive as fast as you want, called the autobahn – not to be mistaken for John James Audubon, that bird artist whose name sounds kind of similar.

Anyway, what you may not know, is that once a year they remove a 20-foot section of the autobahn with no warning, just to see how many cars can make it over the gap. As you can see from the photo below, not everyone succeeds. This annual experiment may have inspired the famous sculpture “Cadillac Ranch,” in Texas (see thumbnail photo by Rik Gruwez).

Wait, maybe this isn’t what is happening here at all. Alternative suggestions are welcome, via Post a Comment.

More Oddly Enough Blog

cars-360.jpgA promotional installation of Mini cars that were stuck into a pile of sand is seen outside the fairgrounds of the Frankfurt International Auto Show IAA in Frankfurt September 12, 2007. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Sorry Mona, you’re not smiling enough…

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From the “Now they’ve gone too far” department comes news of “smile-checker” software that can tell if people are smiling. By analyzing facial features such as wrinkles and the space between the lips, this program can spot a smile in less than a tenth of a second.

They imagine using it in digital cameras so photos can be snapped when everyone is grinning, but I see trouble ahead. “Sorry, Grandma, we tried taking some pictures for you at Grandpa’s funeral, but the camera just wouldn’t work.”

Quick, Robin! To the gyrocopter!

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The real caption on this news photo tells us this gizmo is “less expensive than a conventional helicopter,” and by conventional helicopter I believe they mean real helicopter.

Look, if I’m going to be riding in something thousands of feet up, the last thing I’m interested in hearing is that it was a bargain. Excuse me, I believe I’ll just go ahead and take the expensive kind, please. While we’re at it, don’t be asking me to get in something called a gyrocopter, which sounds like it came out of Inspector Gadget’s workshop.

Watch out for that rex, Becks!

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Remember when you were a kid, arguing about who would win in a fight between Wonder Woman and Batman, and stuff like that? Well, hold on to your hat, because scientists have just revealed that the Tyrannosaurus rex could outrun today’s athletes. I’m not making this up.

…this carnivore was certainly capable of running and would have little difficulty in chasing down footballer David Beckham, for instance, said one paleontologist in our news story.

Give me that Uzi, Susie, it’s my turn!

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It’s time again for another installment of our very popular feature, “Truth, or Spoof?” in which readers have to guess whether a story is real news, or very clever satire.

It seems a planned Republican fundraising event in New Hampshire is inviting party members and their families to a Machine Gun Shoot, where they can spend a day trying out automatic weapons such as Uzi submachine guns and M-16 rifles. 

Cover girl for “Modern Wheelbarrow” magazine?

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Did you hear the one about the Bavarian farmer’s daughter who posed for a calendar? No, really, she did. Every year a bunch of farm chicks pose for a Young Farmers’ calendar, which is an immediate sell-out.

Katharina, one of the models, explains that the purpose is to show how modern the industry is. “The calendar shows today’s farming – not what it was like in the old days,” she says.

My date with the Rockefeller Center Xmas Tree

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It is dramatic, I’ll give it that. Models in Tokyo today showed off dresses equipped with light-emitting diodes, for women who enjoy that chic lightning bug look. These will be available commercially in the fall, but… Here is what we’ve already reported about electrified fashions, and here are some additional risks:

    Notice the electrical cord. Do you want to spend your evenings six feet from a wall plug? And is there a cigarette lighter adapter for when you’re driving to the party? Speaking of that cord, dancing in this dress gives a whole new meaning to “tripping the light fantastic.” Not recommended for chicks with a stalker, who can now keep track of them from space.led3001.jpg

A model poses in an LED dress at its demonstration in Tokyo June 7, 2007. The dress, with light-emitting diode devices installed inside, was designed by Swarovski and Hussein Chalayan and will be available in Japanese market from fall and winter season in this year. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

If the Three Stooges made toilets…

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It’s one thing if a car company produces autos with gas tanks that explode, or a pharmaceutical firm sells medication with grotesque side effects, but this time, big business has gone too far. 

In Japan, two prominent makers of fancy toilets that have seat-warming and blow-drying functions for, you know, your butt, have admitted they are aware of a number of cases in which their toilets began smoking, or even caught fire.  

Comrade, come visit a U.S. supermarket…

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Now and then it’s good to be reminded that technology isn’t advancing at the same speed everywhere in the world.

Residents of a Russian village have refused to switch to new passports because they believe the documents’ bar codes contain satanic symbols. Yes. Some of them have also stopped collecting their pension checks, because there are bar codes on the pay slips.

You can forget an evening by the fireplace

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I just can’t wait to unwrap my birthday present! Oh. That wrapping paper is my present?

A fashion exhibit in Athens reminds us that there were times we wore clothes made from paper, and sometimes it was even considered stylish.