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“You firebug little bastard, you’re not going to keep us down,” said a Fox News host after the media company’s New York Christmas tree was set ablaze.

A cluster of tornadoes touched down in six states across the Midwest, flattening, among other buildings, a candle factory and a nursing home, killing dozens of people and prompting the governor of Kentucky to declare that local morgues were too small to handle the number of dead.1 2 After two Amazon workers were killed by the tornadoes in Illinois, the company’s CEO—who is nicknamed “The Sniper” because of his early-career practice of standing in warehouses in order to identify and fire workers who were slacking—tweeted his condolences.3 4 The head of Better.com, who once emailed employees, “HELLO—WAKE UP BETTER TEAM. You are TOO DAMN SLOW. You are a bunch of DUMB DOLPHINS and … DUMB DOLPHINS get caught in nets and eaten by sharks. SO STOP IT. STOP IT. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME,” announced he was stepping back from the role after firing 900 employees en masse on a three-minute Zoom call.5 6 A fire chief in Plano, Texas, was put on leave for a second time after he went through a drive-through pantless and wearing a penis ring, which he explained was because he had peed in a bottle and then spilled the urine on himself, making him the second Plano fire captain to be suspended in the past four months.7 At a hockey game in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 10 area teachers competed against each other to grab as many dollar bills from a pile of $5,000 that was lying in the middle of the rink so that they could get additional funding for their classrooms.8 “The teachers in this area, and any teacher, they deserve whatever the heck they get,” said the director of business development and marketing for CU Mortgage Direct, the company that donated the money. In Thailand, a woman set fire to the warehouse where she worked, torching about $1.2 million worth of oil, because she was angry at her boss.9

“You firebug little bastard, you’re not going to keep us down,” said a Fox News host after the media company’s New York Christmas tree was set ablaze.10 “It’s about Jesus. It’s about Hanukkah. It’s about everything we stand for as a country,” another Fox host explained. An Italian church apologized after its pastor delivered a homily telling children that Santa Claus is not real, and a Spanish priest was defrocked for marrying an author of erotic fiction.11 12 “I’ve fallen in love with a woman, for the first time in my life, and I want to do things right,” said the former clergy member, who now works for a company that extracts and sells pig semen. A U.S. court of appeals rejected an effort by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban devices that administer electrical shocks to people with developmental disabilities, a tool that has been used to electrocute people for actions like flapping their hands, standing up, and screaming in pain while being shocked.13 14 15 Iran, citing human rights abuses, threatened unspecified sanctions against the United States for racist policing of black Americans, and the Department of Justice closed an investigation into the torture and murder of Emmett Till 66 years ago, stating that, despite a historian’s claim that a central figure had recanted her version of events, there wasn’t enough evidence to continue the investigation.16 17 “What we want to make sure is that we have election integrity,” said Butch Miller, a Republican state senator in Georgia, after all black Democrats were purged from county election boards.18

Researchers at the Higher School of Economics, in Russia, said that Lego toys were a better financial investment than stocks, art, or wine, and the Metropolitan Museum announced it will remove the Sackler name from seven exhibition spaces because of the family’s ties to an extended campaign to addict people to opioids.19 20 21 22 After being in contact with a foreign minister who later tested positive for COVID-19, Finland’s prime minister apologized for leaving her work phone at home when she went dancing until 4 am at Butchers, a nightlife venue, thus missing a message from staff saying that she had to quarantine until she got tested.23 Dozens of camels at the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Saudi Arabia were barred from the beauty section of the competition because they had received injections of Botox, and Medina Spirit, who had been stripped of his 2021 Kentucky Derby victory after performance-enhancing drugs were found in his system, died during a workout.24 25 In response to a feared demographic shift, many Chinese hospitals now refuse to perform vasectomies.26 After public criticism, a U.K. department store chain removed from its stores a party dress targeted at girls ages 3 to 11 that was named Lollita.27 As part of a move toward competency-based learning, school districts across California began phasing out giving D’s and F’s to students.28 Americans’ blood pressure rose last year.29Cameron French

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