• Comprehensive Pentagon studies of America's nuclear missile infrastructure released in November (following disturbing reports of readiness failures) included the revelation that nuclear warheads had to be attached with a particular wrench, even though the Air Force owned only one with which to service 450 missiles housed at three bases.
Consequently, one official told The New York Times, "They started FedExing the one tool" back and forth. No one had checked in years, he said, "to see if new tools were being made" -- typical of maintenance problems that had "been around so long that no one reported them anymore." [New York Times, 11-13-2014]
• Autumn Canceled: London's Daily Telegraph reported in November that a gardener hired by the House of Commons had spent a day pulling color-changing leaves from trees on the Westminster Palace grounds -- because it would be more cost-effective than to rake them up after they fell.
The gardener (whose name sounds right out of a James Bond adventure -- "Annabel Honeybun") said she had 145 trees to service. (A local environmentalist lamented denying autumn visitors "one of the few pleasures at this time of year." [Daily Telegraph, 11-14-2014]