Google translate1

Growing excitement surrounds the mysterious appearance of religiously-themed comments appearing on Google Translate (provided you enter obscure strings of letters and ask them to be translated into a particular language - what? unlikely, you say?). Enter "dog" 19 times and ask for it to be translated from Samoan to English, for example, and the translation which appears reads: "Doomsday Clock is three minutes at twelve. We are experiencing characters and a dramatic developments in the world, which indicate that we are increasingly approaching the end times and Jesus’ return". And so on. There's all sorts of theories as to why it's happening but the most plausible we've come across is that either it's programmers looking for a bit of fun or the AI is doing the best it can to make sense of the gibberish being entered. Of course, we can't rule out other possibilities. Not definitively anyway.

The mystery of in which US state Springfield, the home of The Simpsons, is located appears to be solved. And the answer is none. Mike Reiss, one of the show's original writers and author of the book Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for The Simpsons, has told MSNBC's Morning Joe that the writers chose Springfield as the location simply because there are more than 40 of them in the US. "It's nowhere...We chose the name because there are 48 Springfields in America in 43 states which means five states have two Springfields". Solved.

It's been a good month for dancers wanting to "kick off their Sunday shoes" in the US town of Fort Smith, Akansas. In 1953, the town's authorities banned dancing on the grounds that it endangered "public health, safety and welfare". The ordinance became known as the "Footloose law" after the film starring Kevin Bacon about a town where dancing was forbidden. Having apparently been forgotten, a resident recently alerted the city authorities to the law's existence and they promptly had it set aside. Cue: "Everybody cut, everybody cut, everybody cut footloose".