• Highway signs are losing their sense of humor. Or rather, the US Federal Highway Administration is. The DoT organization’s updated Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways is replacing road signs that display cheeky messages — like “Seatbelts always pass a vibe check” — with signs that are “simple, direct, brief, legible, and clear.” Lame.
  • Forget the Bean — Chicago’s “rat hole” is the city’s newest tourist attraction. Visitors are flocking to see the viral sensation — a sidewalk imprint resembling a rat-like silhouette — leaving food, coins, and other offerings. Despite its recent popularity, residents say it’s been around since at least the ‘90s and was most likely created by a squirrel. It’s not surprising why Chicagoans assumed it was a rat, though: The city is America’s “rattiest” city, followed by Los Angeles and New York.
  • Weird flex but OK: an Australian woman’s yard won the first-ever title of World’s Ugliest Lawn. Aside from a few sparse patches of yellowed grass, the winning lawn, which its owner described as a “real-life Hungry Hungry Hippo game,” is littered with holes made by local bandicoots. The now-global competition began in Gotland, Sweden, in 2022 as a way to promote water conservation, and has helped the Scandinavian town reduce its water consumption by 5%.
  • Kentucky’s latest tourism campaign is targeting aliens. The Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau beamed a message into space using a laser in hopes of contacting extraterrestrial life. Linguistics specialist Dr. Andrew Byrd said the message, which could take 40 years to transmit, contains a coded bitmap image that depicts elements of life, including the molecular structure of water, bourbon, and dopamine — “because Lexington is fun.” Maybe they’ll have better luck convincing aliens.