Lest you focus just on the more serious stories in the financial press, such as iPhones at Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) or eBay's (NASDAQ:EBAY) sagging results, or on how you might buy stocks on layaway, here's a brief recap of some of the more unusual financial news out there:

  • You might think newspaper companies such as New York Times (NYSE:NYT), Gannett (NYSE:GCI), and Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) have enough troubles, what with declining circulations and competition from the Internet. But here's a new one: lawsuits from disgruntled readers. A reader of North Carolina's News & Observer, complaining that reduced staffing has reduced the quality of the product, has sued the company. He may have a point -- layoffs sometimes seem unavoidable to businesses, but cuts that go too deep can compromise quality and send customers away.
  • Airports might want to add extra signs and directions for travelers, to prevent their own possible lawsuits. At a Stockholm airport, a 78-year-old woman, apparently misunderstanding what to do with a baggage conveyor belt, placed herself on the belt and was carried to a chute. Fortunately, she wasn't terribly hurt and still made her flight.
  • Bored with football? Visit your local Kroger (NYSE:KR) or Safeway (NYSE:SWY) and you might see a brand-new sport: competitive shoplifting. In Cincinnati, people have been arrested on charges of trying to smuggle T-bone steaks out of grocery stores. One was accused of stuffing eight steaks in his pants.
  • If companies that sell salt and ice-melting formulas are looking for ideas for new ads, they might want to point out how much more effective their wares are at melting ice than, say ... a blowtorch is. Yes, in Massachusetts, a man set his house on fire trying to melt ice with a blowtorch, and he ended up causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage.

Enough silliness, though. We at the Fool aim "to educate, amuse, and enrich." I invite you to read any other article in Fooldom for a little education and some enrichment. Consider starting with this timely piece: "The Market's 10 Best Stocks."

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Wal-Mart and eBay, which are both Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. eBay is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Try our investing newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.