1. A creepy upright bear terrorizes New Jersey.
Well, terrorizes might be a strong word. But it sure isn’t fun to look at. Welcome to Oak Ridge, New Jersey, where a black bear has been spotted wandering around the suburbs walking on its hind legs like some kind of animatronic nightmare. Turns out that “Pedals,” as locals have dubbed him, has injured his front paws and has course corrected by learning to walk like a biped. A GoFund Me campaign has been launched to raise money to treat his injuries—and curb the incidence of a bear walking down the sidewalk like Mr. Burns.
2. Jake Gyllenhaal‘s height mystery was solved on Conan.
Podcast fans may be familiar with Mystery Show, a series in which This American Life alum Starlee Kine attempts to crack low-stakes “cases” in entertaining fashion. One of her more bizarre assignments was divining the height of Jake Gyllenhaal, which for some reason has become a source of great Internet debate. When Kine appeared on Conan earlier this week and said that people were still arguing the question, Gyllenhaal appeared in person and submitted to O’Brien and Kine’s highly technical measuring tape. Good sportsmanship, Jake.
3. Falling marijuana destroyed a doghouse.
Beware the cannabis rain! In Arizona this week, a woman stepped outside to find that her German Shepherd’s doghouse had been mysteriously crushed. (Fortunately, the dog wasn’t inside it at the time). The culprit? A 26-pound packet of high-grade weed that had literally fallen from the sky, presumably from a drug-trafficking aircraft flying over the Mexico border. Authorities in the know estimated that the load is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000. That could buy you a lot of doghouses.
4. Oakland A’s hire MLB’s first female coach.
Took you long enough, Major League Baseball. The Oakland Athletics have hired the league’s first lady coach, Justine Siegal, to coach its Instructional League team this fall. It’s a baby step, but it’s a big deal for professional sports: Siegal is the first to break through baseball’s glass ceiling. The NBA and the NFL already beat the MLB to the punch in 2014.
5. Plastic-eating worms could fix the garbage problem.
Two doctorate students have published a study claiming that mealworms, some of the more gross crawlers on the planet, might be able to help out with the enormous amounts of inorganic waste human beings produce. Jun Yang and Yu Yang have found that the squirmers can subsist on a diet of Styrofoam and other plastics, thanks to guy flora that can break down polyethylene. This is probably the first time in history that mealworms have the potential to make a situation less gross than it already is.