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Welcome to the week in review for July 2nd to July 8th: “Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty.”  —Norman Douglas

Saturday, July 2nd This week of feloniously fast car flipping, mean-spirited junk food fights, admirably anonymous heroism, and brutal murder got off to a hyperbolically patriotic start today, with news of a U.S. Army sharpshooter using firepower to rescue a trapped bald eagle. For details on the star-spangled story, we turn to the Daily Mail, which reports that after spotting our national symbol tangled in a rope and hanging from branch some 70 feet above the ground, Minnesota Army veteran Jason Galvin used a .22 caliber rifle to sever the strand and free the young raptor, which was then taken to a wildlife rescue for evaluation. We wish the bird, now predictably named Freedom, a speedy and full recovery.

Sunday, July 3rd Whether permitted or not, setting off fireworks is a spectacular way to celebrate the birth of a country which has spent the majority of its life at war. Unfortunately, those seeking to honor the anniversary of America’s liberation from the tyranny of King George III by transforming their neighborhoods into an aural simulation of a combat zone were likely unaware that today, iconic firework maker Black Cat issued a recall on its popular Glitter Fountain Cones. As Indiana’s Fox59 reported, the novelty has the potential to discharge out as well as up, which could shower observers with white-hot sparks, and presents what the company unironically calls a “fire hazard.”

Monday, July 4th Today, millions across the United States gathered with family and friends to celebrate the Fourth of July, and while there was no shortage of folks getting carted off to the slammer for getting carried away during the festivities, one North Carolina couple’s unusual choice of weaponry hilariously ensured their spat would make the news. Because according to local station Fox 8, authorities had to be called after Brad Scott Beard and Samantha Brooke Canipe began pelting each other with pizza rolls, and while that might sound relatively harmless, the tasty snacks are rocks in frozen form, and when cooked, they’re pockets of skin-searing napalm. As a result of the food fight, each faces a month in jail.

Tuesday, July 5th All to often, tragic events can force us to focus on the darkest parts of human nature, but it’s important to remember that the world is also full of wonderful, humble people. As evidence, we submit today’s story from NBC Chicago, which reports that a mysterious stranger is being credited with saving a paralyzed person from a burning home. According to witnesses, the brave Samaritan—who apparently saw the house engulfed in flames while passing by—fearlessly entered the tinderbox after learning of the imperiled resident, and vanished immediately after carrying the 175-pound man to safety. Thank you, unnamed hero. You’re exactly the kind of individual this planet needs more of.

Wednesday, July 6th Generally, we greatly prefer crimes to be victimless, though regular readers will recognize we often find amusement in the capers of cunning criminals. So today, we got an unapologetic kick out of the case of Delhi man Mintoo Kumar, who plotted to prop up his failing massage business by renting cars, selling them to unsuspecting strangers, and then using duplicate keys to steal them back shortly afterwards. As the Hindustan Times describes, the “almost-perfect plan” had been underway for at least two months, and while it’s unclear exactly how many prospective buyers Kumar suckered, his seven-hour turnaround time could have made the ruse extremely profitable.

Thursday, July 7th In Dallas, Texas today, an Army veteran launched a sniper attack on a group of police officers patrolling a Black Lives Matter protest. Five officers were killed. Details come from Everywhere, which will later stress the shooter was not affiliated with Black Lives Matter. The demonstration was in response to the senseless killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, two African American men who recently died at the hands of police. We remain furious that in much of our country, the penalty for being black is death, and are steeling ourselves for the impending right wing spin, which will seize upon this tragic, isolated incident to justify its perpetual support of deadly, racist tactics.

Friday, July 8th Nothing happened today. But on this date in 1994, Kim Jong-il assumed leadership of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. And though he was a brutal dictator who indulged his every excess—$1 million a year was spent on Hennessy cognac—while his people starved, we have a soft spot for the despicable despot, due largely to the bizarre “facts” the North Korean state media circulated about its “Dear Leader.” Personal favorites include revelations that he didn’t defecate, that his initial attempt at golf resulted in 18 hole-in-ones, that he invented the hamburger, and that a new star appeared in the sky upon his birth. No similar information has been released about his successor, Kim Jong-un.

John Coyle
About the Author

Some of John's first memories are of identifying makes and models while driving with his dad. He thinks cars should smell like gasoline, shoot fire, and sound like buildings falling down. While living in Seattle, he reports to have owned a 1978 Jaguar XJ6 with a fully functional electrical system. John is currently Automotive Managing Editor for Internet Brands. He lives in Los Angeles.

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