Some stories are just too weird, too funny or too sad to ignore. They may not be "serious news," but are so fascinating you must read them. NPR correspondents are on the watch for such tales. We pass along the best, from NPR and other news outlets.
Also: Queer theorist José Esteban Muñoz has died; Norway is digitizing books written in Norwegian; Gary Shteyngart spices up 19th century British literature.
Also: Joyce Carol Oates on Mike Tyson; remembering the Egyptian poet Ahmed Fouad Negm; NPR launches a "Book Concierge."
During Seattle's 34-7 win over New Orleans, the home team's fans went wild. They stomped so hard that a nearby seismometer's needle moved. Meanwhile, the noise at CenturyLink Field was louder than a jet engine.
Brown tree snakes came to Guam aboard ships and planes decades ago. Since then, they've devastated the local bird population. Federal researchers continue to experiment with a unique way to kill the invaders: Drop mice laced with poison into the trees where the snakes hang out.
Also: Marina Warner considers sea monsters; Apple gripes about its court-appointed monitor; Ian Rankin on being paid to write.
At a restaurant in Indiana, three men added $10,000 to their bar bills. In other places, hundreds and thousands have been added to checks. In recent months, the anonymous benefactors have given away about $54,000. They say they're doing the Lord's work, "one tip at a time."
The online giant says it someday may fly small packages right to customers' homes. That's got many worrying about the potential dangers. So, does this sound like a good or a bad idea?
There were hopes over the weekend that ISON might have survived its close encounter with the sun. But "with more than a little sadness," the space agency says, "we have to declare the comet lost."
Watch what happens as a bird in western Australia lifts off with a camera and then pecks away at the lens after carrying the device about 70 miles. It's the latest in a series of fascinating scenes from eagle cams.
Also: Amazon is testing delivery by drone; Soviet dissident poet Natalya Gorbanevskaya has died; the best books of the week.
Thanks to the shape of their heads, the inch-long creatures can creep up on their prey. Then they strike with lightning speed. Researchers have captured the way they attack on video.
Denver news anchor Kyle Clark has made a funny plea to viewers that they stop sending his station pictures of their decks every time it snows. "Is that really the best we can do?" he asks.
In Irwindale, Calif., city officials were peppered with complaints about smells coming from the hot sauce factory. Now a judge has said the plant must partially shut down while the company and authorities try to address the problem.
Also: the finalists for the Costa Awards are announced; authors will volunteer as booksellers on "Small Business Saturday;" Oren Teicher is named Publisher's Weekly "Person of the Year."
When the World Health Organization made a big mistake about how many Greeks are getting HIV, the misinformation spread. Now, WHO is trying to correct the record. But the mistake is still out there.
Pope Francis also says in a new treatise that he begs God "to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor!"
For those who absolutely must cook their birds in hot oil, there are plenty of safety videos showing how to do it. Among the most entertaining is Shatner's rap.
Also: a new short story from Romesh Gunesekera; Patricia Cornwell on why she might have been an archaeologist.
The little flier mimics the movements of a sea creature — and that makes it even more stable in the air that some robots based on the way insects and birds move, researchers say. Their work may lead to tiny drones that are used for studying pollution.