I’m glad this year is over

smilebybrucestambaugh

By Bruce Stambaugh

It’s funny how we humans are driven by our own artificial boundaries. Calendars are a prime example. It’s simply how civilization keeps track of life. We record daily events, and then summarize them at year’s end.

Given the happenings of 2012, I’m glad this year is over. A sampling of some of this year’s escapades might explain why.

Jan. 12 A judge in Millersburg, Ohio declared a mistrial when juror number nine wore the juror button upside down, making it a six.

lookingupbybrucestambaughFeb. 14 – The Newtown Wastewater Treatment Plant, Brooklyn, N.Y. offered tours for lovers on Valentine’s Day, and 100 people showed up.

Feb. 28 – Greenwood, a town of 700 in British Columbia, Canada, received the award for having the best tap water in the world.

March 8 – Wild Birds Unlimited reported that Americans spend $5.4 billion annually on seed, materials and accessories to feed and watch wildlife.

March 11 – Four Amish youths were charged with underage drinking when their horse and buggy crashed into a sheriff’s cruiser near Sherman, N.Y.

bugbookbybrucestambaughApril 19 – Starbucks announced that it would quit using crushed bugs to dye some of its colored drinks.

May 18 – Delta Airlines offered hockey fans a free flight across the Hudson River to attend the play-off game between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils.

May 19 – A report showed that China had more students enrolled in U.S. colleges than any other foreign country.

June 14 – The youngest player to ever qualify, Andy Zhang, 14, teed off in the U.S. Open.

June 25 – A technology research group announced that for the first time ever in the U.S. e-books had outsold printed books.

July 16 – A 36-year old Bellville, Ill. woman was arrested after calling 911 six times because her boyfriend wouldn’t give her another beer.

August 2 – Two teams of badminton players were kicked out of the London Olympics for intentionally trying to lose in order to play easier teams in the next round.

August 26 – Besse Cooper, the world’s oldest person, turned 116, and credited her longevity to minding her own business and avoiding junk food.

Sept. 6 – A Canton, Ohio man was arrested for attacking his son’s mother by pouring a bottle of hot sauce on her.

Sept. 17 – In Dordogne, France, a dog shot his master in the hand when it jumped onto the man’s gun and accidentally stepped on the trigger, firing the shotgun.

Oct. 5 – After feeding on wastes at an M&M candy factory in northern France, bees were found to be producing blue and green honey.

christmastreebybrucestambaughOct. 10 – Radio station KYXE in Yakima, Washington began playing its all Christmas music format.

Nov. 10 – A 28-year-old pregnant Arizona woman was arrested when she allegedly drove over her husband with their SUV when she learned that he had failed to vote in the Nov. 6 election.

Nov. 14 – By first breathing pure oxygen, Stig Severinsen, a diving and breathing expert, held his breath under water for a record 22 minutes.

Dec. 4 – NASA announced that its Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched in 1977, had reached the end of the solar system.

Dec. 12 – Kiam Moriya of Birmingham, Ala. turned 12 at exactly 12:12 p.m.

These newsy tidbits demonstrate that 2012 was another crazy year, mostly thanks to the zaniness of the inhabitants of our incredible earth. Let’s hope that 2013 will ring in a better, saner, happier life for all of us.

threecrazykidsbybrucestambaugh

© Bruce Stambaugh 2012

The craziness continued in 2011

Funny faces by Bruce Stambaugh
By Bruce Stambaugh

This year proved just as crazy as any other. Nose for news person that I am, I kept track of some of the zanier happenings of 2011 that for whatever reasons didn’t quite make the headlines.

Some of the stories involved weather. Others were human driven. Here is just a sampling of the year’s mayhem.

January
1 – By early morning, more than 4,000 red-winged blackbirds fell dead out of the sky over the Beebe, Arkansas.
12 – Florida was the only one of the 50 states without measurable snow on the ground.
28 – A woman in Kent, England returned a dog she had adopted from the local rescue kennel because it clashed with her curtains.

February
21 – Justine Siegal threw batting practice for the Cleveland Indians in Spring Training, becoming the first woman to do so for a Major League baseball team.
23 – Mother Jones magazine reported that since 1979 most income groups in America have barely grown richer, while the income of the top 1 percent has nearly quadrupled.
27 – Frank Buckles, the sole remaining U.S. World War I veteran, died at age 110 at his home in Charles Town, West Virginia.

Amish buggy by Bruce Stambaugh
March
13 – Police in Ashland, Ohio ticketed the driver of an Amish buggy for drag racing another buggy on the way to church.
13 – The massive 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan was so powerful it moved the country’s northern most islands up to 13 feet east.
25 – A report on global health reported that worldwide 4.6 billion people had cell phones while 4.3 billion people had access to a toilet.

April
9 – Rick Baird of Charlotte, North Carolina mad a perfect score in the second round of the Virginia State Putt-Putt tournament by acing all 18 holes in Richmond, Virginia.
11 – Scientists in England determined that April 11, 1954 was the most boring day in the 20th century.
24 – MensHealth magazine reported that the average American consumes 125 pounds of sugar annually.
Peach pie by Bruce Stambaugh
May
17 – Watermelons in China were exploding in the field because farmers there apparently added growth chemicals too late in the seasons.
21 – U.S. Census figures showed that the Hispanic population had surpassed the Amish population in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
26 – The Police Executive Research Forum listed Flint, Michigan as the most dangerous city in the United States.

June
4 – Bobby Bradley, nine, became the youngest trained pilot to fly a hot air balloon solo when he launched at Albuquerque, New Mexico and landed a half hour later.
17 – A deer fawn apparently dropped by an eagle onto a high voltage line caused a power outage in East Missoula, Montana.
20 – Maria Gomes Valentim, purported to the world’s oldest person, died in Sao Paulo, Brazil just two weeks shy of her 115th birthday.

July
26 – Sue Fondrie of Oshkosh, Wisconsin won the 2011 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction contest for bad writing with a 26-word opening sentence.
26 – A 200-year-old bottle of French wine sold for $120,000, setting a new Guinness World Record for the most valuable bottle of white wine ever sold.
28 – The U.S. Census showed that rural population totaled just 16 percent of the national population, the lowest rate in history.
Young soccer players by Bruce Stambaugh
August
2 – In trying to get to the Mercury Insurance Open in Carlsbad, California, pro tennis player Bojana Jovanovski flew from Washington, D.C. to Carlsbad, New Mexico.
13 – Real Madrid, a pro soccer team, signed a seven-year old boy from Argentina, to play soccer.
18 – The small Pacific resort island of Aitutaki, part of the Cook Islands, had its first bank robbery, with the thieves making off with $166,000.

September
9 – The Highway Loss Data Institute reported that the number one stolen car in the U.S. was the Cadillac Escalade, while the least stolen was the Mini Cooper Clubman.
24 – A total of 18,000 people attended the annual RoadKill Cook-off and Autumn Harvest Festival held in Marlinton, West Virginia.
30 – Brianna Amat, a senior at Pinckney Community High School in Michigan, was crowned homecoming queen at half time of the football game, and awhile later kicked the winning field goal as a member of the football team.

October
16 – Fauja Singh, 100, completed the Toronto Marathon, becoming the oldest person on record to finish a run of 23.6 miles.
23 – In the first ever-democratic election in Tunisia, where the Arab Spring began, voter turnout was 90 percent.
28 – A 60-year old New Mexico woman went straight to jail after allegedly stabbing her boyfriend over a game of Monopoly.

Buck by Bruce Stambaugh
November
1 – Inside Insurance Magazine rated West Virginia as the state were drivers are most likely to hit a deer.
30 – An 80-year old Chicago man donated an old wool suite to Goodwill, only to remember too late that he had hid his life savings of $13,000 in one of the pockets.

December
4 – A chain-reaction crash on an expressway in Japan resulted in 14 luxury automobiles, including eight Ferraris, three Mercedes-Benzes and a Lamborghini, being destroyed or heavily damaged.
7 – Pantone Inc. announced that Tangerine Tango would be the 2012 color of the year.

Let’s hope 2012 is a better year for you, me, and for all who grace God’s good earth, even if we have to wear some shade of orange.
Tangerines by Bruce Stambaugh