Spot on the Couch


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- Amazon has eclipsed Walmart to become the world’s largest retail seller outside China. Propelled in part by surging demand during the pandemic, people spent more than $610 billion on Amazon over the 12 months ending in June. Walmart on Tuesday posted sales of $566 billion for the 12 months ending in July. Alibaba, the giant online Chinese retailer, is the world’s top seller. Neither Amazon nor Walmart is a dominant player in China.

- Two-thirds of Americans are obsessive about one thing in particular in their homes — their spot on the sofa. A new survey finds that 66 percent admit to having unofficial assigned seating throughout their homes. Americans are so loyal to their favorite spots, that they’ll argue with another family member about sitting in their “spot” twice a month. Whether it’s at the kitchen table, dad’s recliner, or the family couch — 68 percent of respondents say they’re very passionate about their “spot.”

Did you know your brain boots up in the morning just like a computer? As we yawn and open our eyes the brain stem sends little puffs of nitric oxide to another part of the brain, the thalamus, which then directs it elsewhere. Like a computer booting up its operating system before running more complicated programs, the nitric oxide triggers certain functions that set the stage for more complex brain operations.

… A study says these first moments of the day, sensory information floods the system — the bright sunlight coming through the curtains, the time on the screeching alarm clock — and all of it needs to be processed and organized, so the brain can understand its surroundings and begin to perform more complex tasks.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: NEW IOWA SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT SORRY FOR PLAGIARIZING LETTER _ A new Iowa schools superintendent is apologizing for plagiarizing parts of a welcome letter she sent to district families. Dr. Christine Trujillo, who recently started as superintendent of public schools in Gilbert, Iowa, admitted that her August 10 back-to-school letter was copied from a 2017 letter by the superintendent of a school district in New York.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN TOSSES BEER BOTTLE OUT WINDOW, LIES ABOUT IT, ADMITS IT _ Nashville police say a 33-year-old man was driving 83 in a 55 Friday evening when he suddenly crossed four lanes of traffic while merging from one interstate to another. As an officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop, the man reportedly tossed a beer bottle out the window. He denied it, then eventually admitted it. He asked for a lawyer but then continued telling the officer about his impairment and intoxication.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WOMAN WHO WON’T STOP FEEDING COYOTES BY HAND _ San Francisco authorities are looking a woman caught on camera feeding raw meat to coyotes — by hand. Animal Control officials turned to social media for help identifying her.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: COP HOPS ON KID’S BIKE TO PURSUE SUSPECT _ In Germany, cops got their car got stuck on a narrow path while pursuing a moped-riding suspect. Rather than give up, one of the officers jumped on a child’s bike and successfully chased down and arrested the man.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: FIRE DEPARTMENT RESCUES DOG FROM COUCH _ You’ve heard of firefighters helping cats stuck up a tree, but what about a dog stuck in a couch? The fire department in Essex Junction, Vermont, responded to that situation last week. According to a Facebook post, a medium-sized dog got trapped under a couch and its leg was being wedged by a metal part. The couch could not be moved without further hurting the pup, so firefighters got to work. For about 30 minutes, they used many tools to disassemble the metal parts of the couch. Finally, they were able to get the dog’s leg free. It was taken to the vet for a cut. The whole thing took about 45 minutes.

✓ 100 people a year choke to death on Pens.

✓ As many as 720,000 bottles of Tabasco sauce are produced daily on Avery Island, Louisiana.


• “Maybe it’s just me, but asking if I live alone. Now if there was an already established friendship, I suppose it’s okay. But if you’re a stranger or an acquaintance, that freaks me out.”

• “Saying things like, ‘If I was X years younger…'”

• “Telling me to smile. It used to make me really uncomfortable, but now I just grin manically at them.”

• “Blocking an exit while trying to start a conversation. Just don’t do it. EVER.”

• “I have a large tattoo on my shoulder, and I’ve had several men come up from behind and move both my tank top strap and bra strap to see it better.”

• “Picking me up. I’ve always been really skinny, so guys think it’s okay to just… lift me.


Someone asked on Reddit: When did you realize you were getting old?

• The first time I saw a police officer and thought, ‘What is that kid doing in a uniform?’

• Hung out with a friend from high school and we excitedly discussed what kind of vacuum cleaner we’d like to have.

• When I worked at a university and realized I was checking out students’ moms more often than the students.

• When I pulled up my pants incorrectly and ruptured a vertebrae in my lower back leaving me nearly immobile for a week.

• When I was unable to figure out how to use Snapchat.

Water cooler question

Michigan has more of these than any other state. Hint: They’re outdoors. (Lighthouses. At last count Michigan had 129.)


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