Top Offbeat Stories of 2012
Man Hires Someone To Slap Him For Checking Facebook...12/14/12
Website manager Maneesh Sethi has employed someone to slap him in the face every time he checks Facebook or procrastinates instead of doing work on his computer. He says it has improved his productivity by 95%. (Morning Edition, NPR, 10/29/12)
Where Have All The Tubas Gone?
A string of tuba (yep, tuba) thefts at schools across Los Angeles this year had officials scratching their heads. (California Report, KQED, 2/15/2012)
Transporting Horses To The London Olympics
Ever wondered how horses were transported to international races? Turns out that they fly in a specially designed aircraft, and can choose between first class and coach. (Morning Edition, NPR, 07/03/2012)
German Forest Boy Confuses Authorities
German police were confused earlier this year when a mysterious "Forest Boy" turned up in the German capital claiming to have lived in woods for several years. After much investigation, it turned out he was a 20 year old Dutchman - missing since last...
The Sandwich Turns 250 Years Old
You've probably eaten more sandwiches than you can count, but most people don't know the origins of the common snack. On it's 250th birthday, the ABC explored the history of the sandwich. (PM, ABC, 5/14/2012)
Ask A Grown Man
This year, teenage girls sought the advice of some of Hollywood's top male stars as part of 16 year old Tavi Gevinson's online magazine, Rookie, and its recurring video segment called "Ask A Grown Man." (All Things Considered, NPR, 5/10/2012)
Gangnam Style Lifeguards Fired
"Gangnam Style" by Korean pop star Psy has been viewed more than any other video on YouTube, and has inspired countless parodies. One of those parodies included a group of L.A. lifeguards - their video went viral too, but with unfortunate results. The...
Lesbian Truck Driver Tweets for Sweden
Each week this year, the Swedish government handed its Twitter account over to a different Swedish citizen. The tweeters included a female priest, an organic sheep farmer, and a lesbian truck driver. (The World, PRI/BBC, 01/20/2012)
Symphony Orcherstra to Fake it At The Games
Olympic watchers around the world were outraged when news broke that the London Symphony Orchestra would mime its performance at the Opening Ceremony. Performers in the orchestra pretended to play their instruments while a pre-recorded track played...
Man Visits Every Country - Without Flying
An Englishman made history this year when he became the most travelled person on the planet. World traveler Graham Hughes says he's the first person to do it without flying too. (The World Today, ABC, 11/27/12)
Scientists Discover Talking Whale
New scientific research uncovered the first documented case of a whale mimicking human speech. Researchers say they suspect the whale was trying to communicate with its human handlers. (Take Two, KPCC, 10/23/12)
Scandal Rocks The Scrabble World
One of the Scrabble world’s top young players was thrown out of the 2012 National Scrabble Championship after he was caught collecting blank tiles before a game. (All Things Considered, NPR, 8/15/2012)
- Palo Alto, CA