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News » News of the Weird


A weekly roundup of international news oddities.



David Paul Wipperman, 61, of Largo, Fla., was taken into custody Nov. 21 in response to a road rage altercation a few weeks before, the Tampa Bay Times reported. According to arrest reports, during the incident, Wipperman left his truck and approached a woman driving a Kia sedan. She rolled down the window and apologized to Wipperman, who then spit the food he was chewing into her face, and some of it went into her mouth, the report said. Next, he allegedly opened her driver's side door and began screaming at her, pointing his finger in her face. He was charged in Pinellas County with felony battery and burglary of an occupied vehicle and held on $12,500 bail.

Picky, Picky
In Boca Raton, Fla., a robber approached a Wells Fargo bank branch teller with a very specific request on Nov. 18, reported WPLG. Sandy Hawkins, 73, entered the bank that morning and told the teller, "This is a robbery. I have a weapon," and put his hand in his waistband to indicate a gun, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office arrest report. The teller started counting out $100 bills, eventually totaling $2,000, the affidavit said, but Hawkins explained that was too much money, and he only wanted $1,100. Authorities said the teller made the adjustment, then slid the bills through the window to Hawkins, who left the bank. When detectives caught up with him the next day, he told them, "I will make this easy" and showed them a note he had written, which read, "Give me $1,100. Now. No Alarms, Hope to get caught." He was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on robbery charges.

Bright Ideas
Elementary and middle school students in Bandung, Indonesia, have been spending too much time with their smartphones, according to Mayor Oded Muhammad Danial, who has come up with a clever distraction. In mid-November, authorities began distributing 2,000 baby chicks in cages with signs that read: "Please take good care of me." AFP reports the students will be required to feed their pets before and after school and can keep them on school premises if they don't have space in their backyard. Danial said the chick project, dubbed "chickenisation," is part of a larger endeavor by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to broaden students' education. "There is an aspect of discipline here," Danial said.

• Eighth-graders in the Payatas district north of Manila in the Philippines have come up with a way to help rid city streets of dog feces and maybe even lower local construction costs. The "bio-bricks" they've developed are made of 10 grams of poop, which the students collect and air-dry, and 10 grams of cement powder, Reuters reported on Nov. 20. The students say their bricks can be used for sidewalk pavement or small structures, such as backyard walls. They admit the bio-bricks have a faint odor, but assert that it will fade with time.

Compelling Explanation
In Bainbridge Township, Ohio, a 60-year-old man called police on Oct. 22 after firing two warning shots into his backyard, WOIO reported. The unnamed man told officers he was trying to scare an animal away, but when asked if it might have been a bear, he said, "It ain't no ... bear because it was jiggling my doorknob." The homeowner went on to tell police the animal had to be Bigfoot because it was 7 feet tall, and it comes to his home every night because neighbors feed it bananas. He also speculated that a woman who was missing from the area was taken by the "creature." However, officers found no large animal tracks in his yard and suggested he call again if he witnesses anything suspicious.

As college student Morgan Taylor got her nails done in a High Point, N.C., salon on Nov. 20, she was shocked when one of the nail technicians spread out a tarp on the shop floor and began butchering meat with what appeared to be a kitchen knife. "I asked them what it was, because just seeing them unload flesh and bones was a little bit shocking," Taylor told WFMY. "They said it was deer meat, and they were splitting it up between the workers to take home. It had already been skinned; they were sectioning it." Taylor reported the shop to the North Carolina Board of Cosmetic Art Examiners, which told WFMY its "inspectors have not received a complaint within memory of butchering in a cosmetic shop." It declined to comment further on the open investigation.

Wait, What?
Zhang Binsheng, 30, of Harbin, China, finally sought a doctor's attention after three months of struggling to breathe through his nose, Metro News reported in early November. Zhang told doctors at the Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University that he couldn't sleep and also had a constant smell of decay in his nostrils. X-rays revealed Zhang had a tooth stuck in his nostril. The tooth, which Zhang had lost when he was 10 years old after a fall from the third floor of a mall, had somehow rerooted and continued to grow in his nasal cavity. It was removed in a brief surgery, and Zhang is said to be recovering.

Weird "Science"
Beware medical advice derived from Instagram, we always say. "Metaphysicalmeagan," who boasts nearly 10,000 followers on the social media site, is advocating a new "ancient Taoist practice that has been around for a while": perineum sunning. "Many of you have been asking about the benefits of this practice," she writes, "30 seconds of sunlight on your butthole is the equivalent of a full day of sunlight with your clothes on!" She goes on to say she has experienced energy surges, better sleep and more creativity, reports iflscience.com, along with myriad other improvements. Scientists point out that while sunlight and taking some time to relax are healthful, "there is no evidence that (sunlight) has to be taken as a suppository."

Great Art!
A Japanese man who goes by the name Kiwami Japan on YouTube has chronicled his novel approach to fashioning a very personal engagement ring, the Mirror reported on Oct. 25. For 365 days, the man collected his fingernail clippings, which he then ground into a fine powder and mixed with water in a pan. After compressing the mixture, he baked it in an oven for 90 minutes, which resulted in what looked like a lump of dark clay. The substance was packed into a diamond-shaped mold and then mounted into a four-prong silver ring (which he also made himself). The finished ring features a dull black "stone." Social media followers were unimpressed, but you can't say he didn't put a little bit of himself into the ring.

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