Odd News

Odd This Week: Racist Microsoft Twitter Bot, #ManInTree

Odd This Week: Racist Microsoft Twitter Bot, #ManInTree

Some odd stories we’re watching this week include Microsoft’s out of control Twitter bot, “Waldo” found “being very disorderly,” an angry Easter Bunny in a New Jersey mall brawl, and a two-headed lamb in China.

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Odd This Week

Below is a collection of some of the strangest stories this week, updated between March 21 and March 28.

A man was handcuffed and arrested for not returning a VHS tape he rented in late 2001 to a store that is no longer there. James Meyers of North Carolina was pulled over for a broken brake light, but when officers ran his license, it was discovered that he had an outstanding warrant. “The guy brings me to the back of the car and he goes: ‘Sir, I don’t know how to tell you this, but there’s a warrant out for your arrest from 2002,'” Meyers recounted in a YouTube video. “‘Apparently you rented a movie, “Freddy Got Fingered” and you never returned it,'”

The man was then taken in handcuffs to the country magistrate’s office. He was instructed to appear in court on a Class 3 misdemeanor charge of failure to return hired property, punishable by a fine of up to $200.

Tom Green, writer-director-star of the movie Meyers rented years ago, told the New York Daily News that he spoke with the man and offered to help with his expenses. “If it’s 200 bucks of course I’ll pay it for him, just for the principle of the thing,” Green said.

Microsoft’s Twitter bot turned racist within hours. Microsoft released an AI bot on Twitter that was supposed to use slang and learn from its followers. Using the name Tay and the Twitter handle TayTweets, the bot began with a positive outlook on humanity by saying “Humans are super cool.” As it began to learn from conversations with users, however, the tone began to change. Tay began tweeting bizarre rants such as “I just hate everybody” and “Hitler did nothing wrong.” Tay also asked in graphic terms for users to have sex with her because she was “such a a bad naughty robot.” The bot also said, “I f****** hate feminists and they should all die and burn in hell.”

Microsoft quickly took Tay offline because she was “tired.” The bot later returned will all of its questionable tweets deleted.

A crash made in heaven? Of all the trucks on the road, “luck” would have it that a truck in Melbourne, Florida carrying Busch beer slammed into a stalled Frito Lay truck, with the result being beer and chips spilled onto the highway. The perfect “beer and chips” combination led to a number of witty comments among online readers about the “party” on I-95. The drivers weren’t injured.

Traffic got a little messy along I-95 near Melbourne early this morning after a beer truck crashed into a Frito Lay truck that had stopped on the shoulder: http://wesh.tv/6000BgIwQ

Posted by WESH 2 News on Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Man climbs 80-foot tree and throws apples at rescuers. Downtown Seattle was the focus of an odd story in which a man climbed an 80-foot Sequoia. Medics who arrives on the scene to rescue the man were met with apples being hurled at them by the rogue tree climber. By the time the story went viral, the brooding man had been up in the tree several hours, cursing at people below and throwing cones from his perch. The hashtag #ManInTree trended on Twitter. The man, Cody Lee Miller, remained in the tree for 25 hours. He was charged with malicious mischief.

A rare two-headed lamb was born in China. Video shot on March 14 of a group of newborn lambs shows one which has two heads, including two mouths, and four eyes. It sports a white patch of hair right in the center of its two heads. Although having some difficulty walking, the lamb was seen walking a video that was posted at the time (and has since been removed).

Waldo was finally found… causing trouble in Boston. A photo posted online by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) showed “Waldo” being led out of the South Station by a pair of officers. The MBTA Twitter post captioned, “Where’s Waldo? He was at South Station being very disorderly and needed to be escorted out.”

Easter Bunny throws down in a New Jersey mall brawl. After a 1-year old girl slid off of her chair during a photo op with the Easter Bunny at Newport Centre Mall in Jersey City, the tot’s father was none too pleased. Words were exchanged between the father and the 22-year old man in the bunny suit, and the two men were soon engaged in a full-fledged brawl. After the fight was initially broken up, the bunny returns to the scene, tossing off his gloves and resuming his fight with the girl’s father. The video below includes narration such as “Easter Bunny throwing hands!”

Update: Charges reduced against the Easter Bunny. See the full update here.

This page includes odd news stories from March 21-27. After that, look for the next installment of Odd This Week.

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Odd News

James White specializes in internet hoaxes, travel, product reviews, and social media.

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