Lest you focus solely on searching for the biggest investment opportunity, or on stocks that Warren Buffett might wish he could buy, here's a brief recap of recent unusual financial news from around the globe.

Grimace goes on a diet
Investors in McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) and Weight Watchers (NYSE: WTW) might want to cheer the two companies' unlikely alliance. In New Zealand, the companies have joined forces; McDonald's brands healthier menu items with the Weight Watchers logo, while Weight Watchers promotes those lower-calorie choices to dieters. If this alliance makes it to our shores without being laughed out of existence, it could boost revenue for both companies.

Mooving forward
If you like innovative and environmentally responsible investments, look no further than Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ). The tech giant is looking into situating some of its data centers near dairy farms, so that it can use energy from methane-rich cow manure. (No word on whether they'll also get free milk, cheese, or butter for the office kitchens.)

Sweat equity
Crowne Plaza hotels, a unit of Intercontinental Hotels Group (NYSE: IHG), is also eyeing an alternative energy source: its guests! In the gym of the Copenhagen Crowne Plaza, a guest who produces at least 10 watt-hours of electricity on an exercise bicycle connected to a generator -- typically around 15 minutes' worth -- will receive a meal voucher worth about $36. The arrangement sounds silly, but it could be a win-win proposition; the hotel will save on its energy costs, while guests get a reward for exercise they likely would have done anyway.

Even laughable corporate innovations aren't always bad ideas. Remember that companies that think outside the box can create new products and industries, however silly they might initially seem.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of McDonald's. Weight Watchers International is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Try any of our investing newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.