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The Weird Week in Review

Farmer Bites Cobra

Mohammed Salmodin was working in his rice paddy in his village in Nepal when a snake bit him. He returned home to get a light so he could determine what kind of snake it was, and found a cobra in his crop. Salmodin had once heard advice from a snake charmer that you should bite a cobra to death if he bites you, so that's what he did: he bit the snake repeatedly until it was dead. Salmodin then went about his work until family members convinced him to seek medical help. He was successfully treated for snakebite at a hospital. Officials say Salmodin won't face any charges for killing the snake, because a common cobra is not an endangered species.

Why the Tortoise Wouldn't Eat

Margaret Parker of Carlisle, England, found a five-inch-long tortoise in her garden. The miniature tortoise was cute, so she brought it inside and tried to feed it. Parker's daughter brought some lettuce for it, but it still wouldn't eat. So the women called Knoxwood Wildlife Rescue Centre for advice, and a volunteer was sent out. Pauline Adams picked up the tortoise and figured out the problem.

She said: “At first when I arrived I didn’t have my glasses on and I thought it was a baby tortoise. It was sitting there in the shoe box, on a bed of lettuce and tomato.

“Then I put my specs on, and thought: ‘Oops - what’s this?’

“When I picked it up I saw the CE mark and the words Made in China, and I just cracked up.

“I laughed even more when she told me her daughter had been to the Co-op to buy tomato and lettuce for it. She was very apologetic. Judging by the moss on it, it had been in the garden a long time.

Adams and Knoxwood founder George Scott both said Mrs. Parker did the right thing by calling them.

Surgeon Commandeers Child's Bike to Get to Work

Dr. Catherine Baucom was on her way to work Wednesday morning at the Elliot Mastology Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a patient was waiting for her to perform surgery. But an accident on I-10 created a huge traffic jam in which hundreds of cars were stopped. That's when Baucom took matters into her own hands, creating a scene right out of a Hollywood movie. She called a colleague who lived near where her car was trapped, and borrowed his seven-year-old daughter's pink princess bicycle. Baucom rode the bike back to the interstate and was confronted by police. After hearing her story, the cops gave Baucom an escort as she drove the little bike to the clinic. That's dedication.

Amateur Art Restoration Goes All Wrong

A fresco of Christ by artist Elias Garcia Martinez was painted over a hundred years ago in the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza, Spain. A recent donation from the artist's granddaughter was intended for the painting's restoration. However, cultural officials found that an elderly parishioner had already done her own restoration! The woman, who is in her 80s, did an "alarming and unauthorized" touch-up of the original work that completely covered Martinez's painting, although she claims the priest gave his permission. The woman had eventually realized she was having trouble with the job, and contacted the cultural ministry for guidance -but it may be too late to save any of Martinez's work. If the painting cannot be recovered, a photograph of the original may be mounted over what now adorns the wall. Which you must see to believe.

Shoplifter Betrayed by Hot Peppers

Marcus Banwell learned the hard way that if you steal hot peppers, you should wait until you are away from the store before you eat them. Banwell had apparently ingested at least one Scotch Bonnet pepper from the Singh Store in Bristol, England. The store owner heard a commotion as Banwell doubled over and became sick from the fiery food.

Prosecutor May Li said when officers searched Banwell they found another four chilli peppers in his pocket, a stolen milkshake and fruit juice, and a clarinet stashed in his waistband, which was missing from a music shop.

The heat of a chilli pepper is measured using the Scoville scale.

The Scotch Bonnet, also known as Boabs Bonnet or Caribbean red pepper, is named for its resemblance to a Tam O'Shanter hat. Most Scotch Bonnets have a heat rating of 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units. This compares to the rating of most jalapeño peppers, which is 2,500 to 8,000.

A small amount of drugs was also found. Banwell was sentenced to 14 weeks incarceration.

That's Not How a Breathalyzer is Done

Ryan Scott Thompson of Christchurch was arrested in Woodend, New Zealand after he crashed his car into an elderly woman's home. It was determined by a breath-alcohol test that the 26-year-old was intoxicated at three times the legal limit for driving. When he was taken to the police station and told to wait while the paperwork on his case was completed, Thompson heard the sound of running water, and immediately had to urinate. He peed onto a supply of breath screening tubes, and continued when ordered to stop. The 301 contaminated tests were discarded. He eventually pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $1500 reparation to the homeowner and $109 for the damaged tests, in addition to a court fine.

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Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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Food
Cheese Wheel Wedding Cakes Are a Funky Twist on an Old Tradition
Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If there’s ever a time you have permission to be cheesy, it’s on your wedding day. What better way to do so than with a pungent wedding cake made of actual wheels of cheese? According to Elite Daily, cheese wedding cakes are a real option for couples who share an affinity for dairy products.

One of the trailblazers behind the sharp trend is Bath, England-based cheese supplier The Fine Cheese Co. The company offers clients a choice of one of dozens of wedding cake designs. There are bold show-stoppers like the Beatrice cake, which features five tiers of cheese and is priced at $400. For customers looking for something more delicate, there’s the Clara centerpiece, which replaces miniature wedding cakes with mounds of goat cheese. Whether your loved one likes funky Stilton or mellow brie, there’s a cheese cake to satisfy every palate. Flowers are incorporated into each display to make them just as pretty as conventional wedding cakes.

Since The Fine Cheese Co. arranged their first wedding cake in 2002, other cheese suppliers have entered the game. The Cheese Shed in Newton Abbot, England; I.J. Ellis Cheesemongers in Scotland; and Murray’s Cheese in New York will provide cheese wheel towers for weddings or any other special occasion. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from clearing out the local fromagerie and assembling a cheese cake at home.

[h/t Elite Daily]

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Screenshot via Mount Vernon/Vimeo
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History
The Funky History of George Washington's Fake Teeth
Screenshot via Mount Vernon/Vimeo
Screenshot via Mount Vernon/Vimeo

George Washington may have the most famous teeth—or lack thereof—in American history. But counter to what you may have heard about the Founding Father's ill-fitting dentures, they weren't made of wood. In fact, he had several sets of dentures throughout his life, none of which were originally trees. And some of them are still around. The historic Mount Vernon estate holds the only complete set of dentures that has survived the centuries, and the museum features a video that walks through old George's dental history.

Likely due to genetics, poor diet, and dental disease, Washington began losing his original teeth when he was still a young man. By the time he became president in 1789, he only had one left in his mouth. The dentures he purchased to replace his teeth were the most scientifically advanced of the time, but in the late 18th century, that didn't mean much.

They didn't fit well, which caused him pain, and made it difficult to eat and talk. The dentures also changed the way Washington looked. They disfigured his face, causing his lips to noticeably stick out. But that doesn't mean Washington wasn't grateful for them. When he finally lost his last surviving tooth, he sent it to his dentist, John Greenwood, who had made him dentures of hippo ivory, gold, and brass that accommodated the remaining tooth while it still lived. (The lower denture of that particular pair is now held at the New York Academy of Medicine.)

A set of historic dentures
George Washington's Mount Vernon

These days, no one would want to wear dentures like the ones currently held at Mount Vernon (above). They're made of materials that would definitely leave a bad taste in your mouth. The base that fit the fake teeth into the jaw was made of lead. The top teeth were sourced from horses or donkeys, and the bottom were from cows and—wait for it—people.

These teeth actually deteriorated themselves, revealing the wire that held them together. The dentures open and shut thanks to metal springs, but because they were controlled by springs, if he wanted to keep his mouth shut, Washington had to permanently clench his jaw. You can get a better idea of how the contraption worked in the video from Mount Vernon below.

Washington's Dentures from Mount Vernon on Vimeo.

There are plenty of lessons we can learn from the life of George Washington, but perhaps the most salient is this: You should definitely, definitely floss.

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