Lest you focus just on the more serious stories in the financial press, such as a new nanotechnology-based window treatment film from 3M (NYSE:MMM) or Geron's (NASDAQ:GERN) therapies to improve heart function, here's a brief recap of some of the more unusual financial news out there:

  • For starters, tobacco companies such as Altria (NYSE:MO) and British American Tobacco (NYSE:BTI) have some reason to rejoice -- they may have just found a spokesperson. Winnie Langley, a 100-year-old English retiree, is still happily smoking and claiming to have suffered no health problems from her habit -- a habit that soothed her nerves through both world wars. She started lighting up when she was just seven years old.
  • In some credit card hijinks, Christina Goodenow of Oregon allegedly used a credit card stolen from a boyfriend's dead mother to buy a scratch-it lottery ticket -- and won $1 million. She reportedly used some of the first annual payment of $33,500 to pay off some of her credit card debt, which is generally a good thing to do, although not with ill-gotten funds, usually. A judge has ruled that she must forfeit the money. Let this be a lesson to all of us to use legitimate money when we buy lottery tickets. Imagine how it would feel to win such a big sum and then have to give it back!
  • For many of us, thoughts of investing and stocks permeate various parts of our lives. We think about what to invest in for retirement. We teach our children about money management. We try to save money when shopping. Well, here's a new connection: A bar in London has introduced five new drinks named after companies that trade on the London Stock Exchange. As the stocks' prices rise and fall, so too will the alcohol level in the drinks (while the price remains fixed). It's a wacky idea, but it should succeed in introducing people to the companies. Maybe companies such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) might do well to tie the prices of some products to various fluctuating levels. Tide detergent could be priced according to the level of the tide at the ocean, for instance.
  • Here's an ambition that probably won't travel well. In the United Arab Emirates, 60-year-old Daad Mohammed Murad Abdul Rahman has fathered 78 children by 15 wives (only remaining married to four at a time, as the law requires). He's aiming for 100 children within the decade. If he lived in America and spent just $50,000 putting each kid through college, that would cost $5 million alone. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that it costs about $200,000 to raise a child in America to age 18. That would amount to $20,000,000 for Mr. Abdul Rahman. Some American businesses might welcome these procreative ambitions, though. Chuck E. Cheese (whose parent is CEC Entertainment (NYSE:CEC)), for example, might welcome the additional customers.

Enough silliness, though. We at the Fool aim "to educate, amuse, and enrich." I invite you to read any other article in Fooldom for at least a little education and perhaps some enrichment, as well. For more enrichment, test-drive, for free, our Motley Fool Hidden Gems newsletter, which delivers promising investment ideas monthly.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of 3M. She was surprised to learn recently that lions have oily fur. 3M is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try any of our investing services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.