Part of my job is to look for the offbeat, unusual or downright weird story or photograph. You’ve seen it. It’s one that you just have to pay attention to because it’s … well … different.
These are the kind of things that we search for to add to “know it: Unusual Oklahoma.” When you go to that site, you find that it’s http://knowit.newsok.com/unusual-weird-oklahoma by full name. There’s a reason. You’ll see.
The postings include out-of-the-ordinary people, places, things and events. Sometimes, they are WAY out. But they make interesting reads.
We also have experts who know all about the strange-but-true and how it relates to our lives.
There’s Tonya Hacker, who takes readers through paranormal investigations in Oklahoma and elsewhere in her Paranormal Eyes. There’s professor Bryan Farha, well known for explaining “extraordinary claims — often in the ‘paranormal’ arena’ — sometimes revealing deception, fakery and faulty beliefs” in his Smoke & Mirrors.
We also have our own Carrie Coppernoll, who likes to give you a little flavor of the unusual variety in her Red Dirt Ruckus.
But not everything you find under “know it: Unusual Oklahoma” is about or from Oklahoma. There are subdivisions for Unusual America and Unusual World. No reason Oklahoma should have the corner on weirdness, right?
So what might you find in “Unusual Oklahoma … America … or World?” Here are a few headlines. You can visit the site to see what the entries are about:
* Dog’s life changes after rising from ‘dead’
* Strange humanoid creature caught on deercam?
* Aliens: the scientific approach
* Drunken burglar gets stuck inside house
* Unusual Oklahoma
* After 4 years, Chinese doctors remove knife from man’s head
* Romania’s witches forced to pay income tax
Some are fun to read. Some are fascinating. All are interesting.
Take a trip to the site and see for yourself.
Another former University of Oklahoma star athlete has a place in our “know it” lineup: Blake Griffin.
The former OU basketball standout is a rising star with the Los Angeles Clippers. You can find information on Griffin and his team by going to “know it: Blake Griffin.”
Griffin joins former Heisman Trophy winner and OU quarterback Sam Bradford (“know it: Sam Bradford”), now with the St. Louis Rams in the NFL, on the topics list. Also featured, of course, is former Texas Longhorn and current Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant (“know it: Kevin Durant.”).
In addition to Griffin’s information, there have been several other topics getting attention recently.
Check out Bryan Painter’s package on surviving Oklahoma’s violent storms in “know it: Severe weather.”
Get the latest on people, events and services in our five “know it” communities — Edmond, Midwest City, Norman, Oklahoma City and Yukon, and their surrounding areas.
Find out what is being done and by whom in helping those less fortunate in “know it: Charity” and “know it: Homeless.”
There are new recommendations on how to eat better and exercise in “know it: Fitness & nutrition.”
Learn about a new local golf program in “know it: Golf.”
There are other additions to “know it: Military,” “know it: Buying a car,” “know it: Careers” and “know it: Money.”
These are just some of the areas that have significant additions from the past few days. In all, there are 34 topics to choose from and all have stories, photos, videos and links to useful resources.
If you’re looking for an example of the danger of texting while driving, try this one.
A passenger in a car which crashed while traveling at high speed recently in Oklahoma City told police he repeatedly had asked the driver to stop texting and slow down before the accident.
His requests were ignored and investigators estimated his car was traveling about 95 mph when it collided with a sport utility vehicle.
The car was split nearly in half. The driver was hospitalized and occupants of the SUV also were injured.
Now, the driver faces complaints of reckless driving, speeding too fast for conditions and failure to keep right of center.
It was bad, but it could have been worse.
Battles continue in many states on whether to ban texting while driving. They will continue.
Debates rage on whether it really is that much of a problem. THEY will continue.
But the statistics and the number of examples of serious — often fatal — accidents related to texting are growing as well.
Whether it’s law or not, is it worth the risk to send that text message?
The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the military action in Libya, Oklahoma’s drought and financial issues have resulted in several new items being added to our “know it” topics.
From Japanese students in the U.S. wondering about how things are at home, to organizations gathering donations for those left homeless or in need of food, there have been several recent stories and photos in “know it: Charity.” There also are recommendations or resource lists for those who wish to help.
In “know it: Military,” you can find stories on how Libya is suffering through internal war as rebels battle Moammar Gadhafi’s forces for control of the country. Meanwhile, coalition forces continue to take out strategic sites. This topic also has featured material recently on the death and burial of America’s last World War I veteran, and the freedom flights of American veterans.
Another prolonged drought has a grip on much of Oklahoma, leading to the threat of more wildfires. In “know it: Severe weather,” you can find more information on these conditions, as well as what to do to prepare for thunderstorms, heat and wind, and rain.
A major Oklahoma business is relocating its headquarters from Enid to Oklahoma City, major economic decisions are being made in Washington, and the local economy has shown signs of improvement. These are just some of the money matters appearing in “know it: Money.”
These and 30 other topics are readily accessible at the http://knowit.newsok.com library.
Fuel is a big concern these days, with prices reaching for the heavens and emptying pocketbooks.
Interestingly, a study released today found, however, that fuel consumption is up a bit. Maybe drivers aren’t as concerned about the high prices as reported? More than likely, it’s a practice of keeping tanks filled while anticipating another hike.
Many motorists are concerned enough to look for ways to make the most of their tanks of gas, those ways that will stretch the mileage.
Everyone has heard ways of doing so. Many of them are worthwhile suggestions.
But some are simply urban legend or pure myth.
AAA Oklahoma today issued a news release debunking some of the most prominent gas-saving ideas, and gives the reasoning for each.
Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/4ql9bf6 and see some interesting points.
Are you familiar with our “know it” topics? A little introduction.
In an effort to make a positive impact on the lives of Oklahomans, a “know it” pools our information-gathering resources to help Oklahomans through expanded coverage. At this time, there are 34 “know it” topics in our library (which can be found at http://knowit.newsok.com/), ranging from addiction to unusual Oklahoma.
Each topic provides a wealth of information, including resource listings, personal stories, updates, news stories, photos, videos and much more.
There are five geographic “know its,” for the north, east, south, west and central areas in and around the metro. These “communities” — labeled Edmond, Midwest City, Norman, Yukon and Oklahoma City — also include the towns nearby. They provide information about the areas, from reporters, photographers, videographers and graphic artists of The Oklahoman and NewsOK, as well as items submitted by readers.
There also are six health-related “know its,” five related to personal finance or business and career issues, six featuring sports topics, four on social issues, and eight related to other interests.
So here’s an invitation for you to visit our “know it” topics and become involved.
The “know it” communities regularly receive contributions from local agencies and organizations. But there’s room for more.
These communities actually are for more than just the five faceplate cities of Edmond, Midwest City, Norman, Oklahoma City and Yukon. They include those towns nearby, north, south, east and west.
So, if you live in those areas and have news and information to share, we can help you do so.
All you have to do is follow the directions available at each location. To see the page for the community and its surrounding area, go to http://knowit.newsok.com/edmond for the north side, http://knowit.newsok.com/midwest city for the east, http://knowit.newsok.com/norman for the south, http://knowit.newsok.com/yukon for the west and/or http://knowit.newsok.com/oklahoma-city for the central area.
On the right side, there is an area for news submitted by you. That area tells you how and where to send in the information.
Not only does that information hit a larger audience if you submit items with our communities on your email list, but it is considered by our editors for publication.
The cost to you? Your time and effort to send it in.
Be an active part of you community and spread the word.