Oddities for the Month of January of 2022

This is a list of weird, wacky, and other unusual stories that we found around the web. It is for January, 2022.

It’s cold outside and you are reading Freezenet. Hey, since you’re here, might as well read some weird news stories, right?

Never Ask Alexa for a Challenge

Have you ever been so bored that you asked the Alexa personal assistant to give you a challenge? It turns out, someone did and, well, it apparently is a bad idea:

Amazon has updated its Alexa voice assistant after it “challenged” a 10-year-old girl to touch a coin to the prongs of a half-inserted plug.

The suggestion came after the girl asked Alexa for a “challenge to do”.

“Plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs,” the smart speaker said.

Amazon said it fixed the error as soon as the company became aware of it.

The girl’s mother, Kristin Livdahl, described the incident on Twitter.

She said: “We were doing some physical challenges, like laying down and rolling over holding a shoe on your foot, from a [physical education] teacher on YouTube earlier. Bad weather outside. She just wanted another one.”

That’s when the Echo speaker suggested partaking in the challenge that it had “found on the web”.

Great, now those voice activated personal assistance devices are out to kill you.

How Not to Get Someone Tested for COVID

It turns out, it is possible to screw up getting someone tested for COVID-19. A Texas high school teacher decided to get her son tested for COVID-19. Of course, she didn’t want to get infected herself. So, she came up with a solution: put her son in the trunk of the car:

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A Cy-Fair ISD teacher is accused of locking her 13-year-old son in the trunk of her moving vehicle this week at a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site because she didn’t want to be exposed to him, charging documents state.

The school district confirmed Friday that the teacher, 41-year-old Sarah Beam, had a warrant issued for her arrest. She has been an employee with Cy-Fair ISD since 2011, most recently teaching at Cypress Falls High School.

Deputies with the Precinct One Constable’s Office attempted to arrest Beam at her home in Jersey Village Friday night. The constable’s office declined to say why deputies left Beam’s house without taking anyone into custody.

Beam’s court documents state her charge as felony endangering a child.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t see that method of transport in any health guidelines.

Trump Accuses Clippy/Office Assistant of Spying and Being Part of a Liberal Conspiracy to Push “Woke” Culture

It’s no secret that right wing politics is filled with some of the craziest theories that would, in almost any other scenario, get laughed out of the room. This latest incident is no real exception. Fox host Lara Trump is saying that Microsoft Office Assistant, formerly Clippy, is part of some sort of Liberal conspiracy to push “woke” culture that is ultimately spying on her. Yeah, I know. Naturally, this isn’t just alcohol fuelled rant on some random Twitter account, but rather, on Fox News:

Hosting the 5 p.m. EST hour, Trump was ranting about Microsoft Word’s Clippy and the suggested changes to words like “postman” into “letter carrier” and “mankind” into “humankind.” It’s part of the right’s latest attack on “wokism,” which they define as anything done in polite society that makes them uncomfortable.

“Someone is reading this?! And assessing what I’m writing?” Trump said, assuming that a person was actually watching and reading what she was typing in Word instead of an AI programed into what they call “office assistant.” It was once named Clippy, and it was never a real person.

Can’t wait to see what happens when they discover that their own shadow follows them around all day long.

People Still Think It’s a great Idea to Go On a Cruise During a Pandemic

Stop us if you heard this one before: a bunch of people are stranded out at sea after a COVID-19 outbreak. On second thought, don’t because we still need you to have the link:

Norwegian Cruise Line canceled its Caribbean trip mid voyage due to Covid-19, leaving travelers stuck at sea until the ship returns to New York.

The Norwegian Gem was on a 10-day sail but it was canceled and the ship docked in Philipsburg, St. Martin.

“As we continue to navigate the fluid public health environment, while focusing on delivering a safe experience for all on board, we made the difficult decision to cancel Norwegian Gem’s current Caribbean sailing, due to Covid-related circumstances,” a spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise said.

It’s not clear what exactly led to the cancellation. The spokesperson said the ship would return to New York “shortly” but did not provide a date.

Aimee Focaraccio told USA Today that she boarded the ship on Sunday for her birthday cruise. But what was supposed to be a fun celebration has now turned into a “nightmare,” she said.

You’d think people would’ve learned by now that cruises are giant floating petri dishes.

Alert: Joker on the Loose in Gotham City

Missouri police admitted they accidentally sent out an alert to residents with a description of the Joker’s car within Gotham city:

If only the Batmobile hadn’t lost its wheel.

You Can’t Buy That At a Walmart

There’s a lot of things you can buy at a Walmart. Apparently, a child isn’t one of them. Even fore half a million dollars:

CROCKETT, Texas – A Texas woman is now out on bond after sheriff’s deputies said she tried to purchase another woman’s child while waiting in a checkout line at Walmart.

According to a report from KSAT’s sister station KPRC, Rebecca Taylor, 49, came up to the woman’s shopping cart in the checkout line. The woman’s cart had two children inside at the time.

Taylor started to make comments about one of the woman’s two children before allegedly asking if she could buy him for $250,000, KPRC reports.

The mother refused her offer and Taylor pressed further. She increased the offer to $500,000 and allegedly threatened to take the infant, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Texas might not be able to out-weird Florida, but you gotta give them credit for trying.

Ever Needed to Turn Around Like That?

Normally, a 25 point turn is a really big sign that you are turning around wrong. In this case, however, that’s just really freaking impressive:

Just to show off your driving skills? Are you for real?

Fire Breaks Out At Fire Safety building

It’s the classic form of irony that never seems to get old. It’s worth pointing out that no one was hurt:

Three people were left homeless and one police officer suffered a minor injury Monday after a large fire broke out in a two-story commercial and residential building in Garfield that a houses a fire safety business , authorities said.

The fire broke out on the second floor around 4:40 a.m. at Firematic on the 400 block of River Road, Garfield police said in a statement. Garfield police evacuated tenants from the second floor as firefighters arrived to put out the fire.

Videos from the scene show large flames and smoke pouring from the two-story building, which has apartments on the second floor. Later photos from NorthJersey.com show the fire extinguished and the building heavily damaged.

The Red Cross assisted the three residents, police said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Firematic website said the company specializes in the sale and service of fire extinguishers as well as providing other industrial safety equipment.

I wonder what crossed the minds of the owners when they learned that their fire safety business burned to the ground.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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