Should we worry about weird news getting weirder?

Daniel Engber on the changing genre of offbeat news, and why the "man bites dog" story no longer cuts it.
The Orvillecopter by Dutch artist Bart Jansen, right, flies in central Amsterdam as part of the KunstRAI art festival on June 3. Jansen said the radio control helicopter pays tribute to his cat Orville, by making the cat fly after it was killed by a car. (Cris Toala Olivares/Reuters)

Weird news has become a regular part of the online news cycle, generating headlines like: Dead cat turned into helicopter by Dutch artistProfessor grows ear on his arm to connect to the internet and Florida Man Chews Off Fingerprints In Hopes Of Not Being ID'd

These days, a "man bites dog" headline would barely count as clickbait, considering the competition.

Writer Daniel Engber joins guest host Candy Palmater to discuss why stories that used to shock us are now a bore, and whether news consumers should worry about the weird getting weirder. 

q: What's the strangest headline you've seen on a mainstream news site? Be honest: how much of your news diet ranges from quirky to questionable? 

WEB EXTRA | As mentioned in the interview, longtime curator of the curious Chuck Shepherd has created a list of offbeat stories that are "no longer weird" or worth writing about. Do you agree with him on the following highlights? 


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