When you spin the news roulette wheel the little marble can land anywhere. Its resting place is totally random. That's why roulette is a game of chance and it can be both exciting and excruciating at the same time. In news roulette every spin produces different results and that's the fun of the game. 


For example, from Washington state comes a story about a lost cellphone. A woman was hiking in a remote area and dropped her phone into the waste in a vault toilet. “After she disassembled the toilet seat, she used dog leashes to try to retrieve the phone and eventually used the leashes to tie herself off as she reached for it. That effort failed and she fell, horrifyingly, into the vault, headfirst.” 


This tale has a semi-happy ending. “Reunited with her phone, she was able to get a cell signal to call 911 and draw first responders to the scene.” (


If this saga makes you a bit queasy, there is good news on the Pepto-Bismol front. For one hundred and twenty years this pink medicine has been used, but no one knew why it worked. Scientists in Sweden note: “The structure of bismuth subsalicylate – the active ingredient of the stomach relief drug Pepto-Bismol and one of the most commercially important bismuth compounds – has finally been uncovered. Although the substance has been used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, its chemical structure remained a mystery.” (


Depending on your breakfast preferences, you may want to keep a bottle of Pepto handy. The producer says: “It may not be for everyone (but it could be for you!).” The product is Tropicana Crunch cereal and instead of pouring milk on it you cover it with orange juice. 


Tropicana observes: “Some call it weird. But turns out, there are totally normal people amongst us juicing up their cereal bowls. You might be one of them!” You won't know you like it until you try it. Get more details at:


If OJ and cereal are not up your alley, what about tacos? You can now apply for a job to eat tacos and get paid $10,000 to do so. The Favor company is looking for a “Chief Taco Officer.” The only catch is the job is in Texas.


“You’ll drive city-to-city across Texas, enjoy the sights and eat tacos. As part of your search for the very best tacos you’ll get tacos delivered by Favor from a variety of restaurants. You taste-test, review, and document your findings. Favor will provide all of your accommodations, including your hotel or Airbnb, your car, and wellness activities galore.” Apply by May 12 at:


There is always news from the animal kingdom and a situation in Canada has put a hockey stick in peril. “ Officials in North Cowichan, British Columbia said they are looking into options for protecting the world's largest hockey stick from a pair of destructive woodpeckers. The birds have been perching on the 61,000-pound hockey stick outside the Cowichan Community Center since early April.” Officials don't want to harm the birds and hope to “urge them to consider a new location.” A trip to the penalty box may be an option. (


When it comes to animals, you'll be relieved to know that most Americans don't want a real-life Jurassic Park, according to a YouGov poll. It's not that Americans don't want to preserve animal species, as seventy-four percent say scientists should be trying to make such efforts. “However, in terms of bringing back extinct creatures using genetic wizardry, only thirty-two percent of Americans are strongly or somewhat into that idea.”


Leading the list of creatures most of us don't want to see stomping around is the Tyrannosaurus rex with only ten percent of us hoping they return. Men are about twice as likely as women to want to bring back the Ty rex (thirteen percent to seven percent).” (


By the way, among animals now living with us, Guinness just confirmed the world's tallest dog lives in Texas. “A two-year-old Great Dane was dubbed the tallest dog in the world after being officially measured at 3 feet, 5.18 inches tall.” Named Zeus, his owner said she had an inkling he'd wind up being a big dog. “Even for a puppy, he had huge paws.” (


Maybe the world's tallest dog would be interested in moving to New York so he could live in “a supertall skyscraper that is both the world's skinniest and the second tallest in the Western Hemisphere.” This just opened last month. It's 1,428-feet-tall and “has a height-to-width ratio of 24:1, making it the world's skinniest skyscraper.” 


You may not be afraid of heights, but I'll bet you'd admit this thing is a bit of an  unnerving sight. See it at:


If going to the top of this skyscraper would require a tad of liquid courage, you may be interested in knowing which states drank the most beer, and what was their preferred brand. “The annual consumption stats come from the Beer Institute’s Brewer’s Almanac report, while the preferred beer of choice was compiled by Data Agency’s 2021 Beer Rankings report.” All the stats are at:


Just so you know, Michigan has six hundred and eleven breweries. Michigan imbibers consume 23.6 gallons per year, which puts us about in the middle in the per capita rankings. 


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at and