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The Weird Week in Review

Swedish Chef Told to Stop Making Good Food

Annika Eriksson is the head cook at a school in Falun, Sweden. Her students have enjoyed extraordinarily good meals, including fresh-baked bread and a vegetable buffet with over a dozen different offerings. School officials told her the food she was serving to the students was too good -and that she will have to scale it back because it's not fair to students at other schools in the district. Her vegetable buffet will be limited to half as many choices, and she must serve store-bought bread. Students at Eriksson's school have started a petition to protest the ruling.

Teenager Hit by Falling Chicken Parts

Cassie Bernard was in the middle of a horseback riding lesson last week in Assawoman, Virginia, when she was hit in the head by a chicken part falling from the sky. Bernard was not injured, as she was wearing a helmet. Several chicken parts fell from the sky, but no other students were hit. Officials from a nearby Tyson chicken processing plant denied the parts came from them. State Land Protection Manager Milton Johnston said the parts most likely came from improperly discarded chickens who died on a farm.

"We can't have pieces of chicken falling out of the sky," Johnston said.

Everybody at the farm looked up to see where the strange objects came from, but the clear blue sky didn't hold any clues.

"It was kind of odd; it made me think about the movie back in the 1980s, The Gods Must be Crazy," said Bruce Penland, who was at the farm. The comedy recounts the strange chain of events that occurs after a soda bottle falls from the sky and lands among a primitive tribe in the Kalahari Desert.

The parts may have been dropped by flying gulls.

Blue Honey Traced to M&Ms

Beekeepers in northeastern France were puzzled to find their hives were full of honey in strange blue and green tints. Although flowers bloom in colors, the nectar from them is usually colorless. The culprit turned out to be candy-coated M&Ms! A biogas plant near Ribeauville in Alsace had contracted with a Mars candy manufacturer to process the plant's waste products, which included the colored candy and food dye. The biogas company was red-faced when confronted with blue honey, and promised to rectify the situation by immediately covering the waste to prevent bees from eating it, and to process the materials as soon as possible. The blue and green honey will not be sold.

Caring for Pandas Dressed as Pandas

China's panda research program includes a plan for releasing pandas into the forest on their own. Tao Tao is the first panda born in captivity to be released into the wild. The cub has been housed at a semi-wild panda facility -and has never seen a human. Workers who cared for Tao Tao and his mother Cao Cao always dressed in Panda costumes, which are smeared with panda urine and feces to disguise the smell of humans. The two pandas were gradually moved to denser forest with less human intervention over the course of two years to prepare them for the final release in the mountains in Wolong, in southwest China’s Sichuan Province. The release is not a true goodbye: Tao Tao will wear a GPS collar and has an implanted ID chip so he can be tracked.

Substantial Penalty for Terminating Cell Phone Contract

Solenne San Jose of Pessac, France, terminated her cell phone contract before it expired. Telecom Bouygues warned her there would be a penalty fee on her next bill. There certainly was -the woman was billed €11,721,000,000,000,000. That is more money than is in circulation in Europe altogether! San Jose called the company to complain, and they offered to help her work out a payment plan -twice. Then they charged her another €12.50 each time she called about the bill. The company finally admitted the bill was an error, but the story does not say whether that was before or after the story hit the news media.

Occubaby Arrives

Last year, Kaylee Dedrick was pepper-sprayed by police at the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City. Robert Grodt stepped up to treat her face and …they fell in love. A year later, the two welcomed 7-pound Tegan Kathleen Grodt into the world.

"Nothing strengthens a relationship like a chemical agent," Grodt told The Daily News earlier this week.

As a memento for their hard days fighting for the 99 percent, OWS Screen Guild sent the newly-minted parents a white onesie with “Occupy Wall Street” printed in fat orange letters.

The media couldn't resist dubbing Tegan "Occubaby." She was born on September 28th.

Goat Rescue Ends Unexpectedly

A goat in West Yorkshire, England, is locally known as Black Rock Billie. Last week, Billie stepped onto a ledge of a cliff and stayed there -for four days. Assuming the goat was stuck, and wanting to forestall amateur rescuers, the Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team strung up a rope system to lower a rescuer to the goat. The three-hour operation came to a head when a man reached the ledge, and that's when Billie decided she'd stood there long enough, and simply leaped away, trotted down the hill, and appeared perfectly fine. The operation was captured on video.

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Little Baby's Ice Cream
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Food
Pizza and Cricket Cake Are Just Some of the Odd Flavors You'll Find at This Philadelphia Ice Cream Shop
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Little Baby's Ice Cream

Ice cream flavors can get pretty out-there, thanks to the growing number of creative scoop shops willing to take risks and broaden their customers’ horizons beyond chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Intrepid foodies can cool off with frozen treats that taste like horseradish, foie gras, and avocado, while Philadelphia's Little Baby’s Ice Cream is pushing the boundaries of taste with chilly offerings like everything bagel, Maryland BBQ, ranch, and cricket cake.

Cricket-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Everything Bagel-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

As Lonely Planet News reports, Little Baby’s Ice Cream launched its first signature “oddball” ice cream—Earl Grey sriracha—in 2011. Since then, its rotating menu has only gotten quirkier. In addition to the aforementioned flavors, customers who swing by Little Baby’s this summer can even try pizza ice cream.

The store created the savory flavor in 2011, to celebrate neighborhood eatery Pizza Brain’s inclusion into Guinness World Records for its vast collection of pizza memorabilia. The savory, Italian-esque snack is made from ingredients like tomato, basil, oregano, salt, and garlic—and yes, it actually tastes like pizza, Little Baby’s co-owner Pete Angevine told Lonely Planet News.

Pizza-flavored ice cream, made by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

“Frequently, folks will see it on the menu and be incredulous, then be convinced to taste it, giggle, talk about how surprised they are that it really tastes just like pizza … and then order something else,” Angevine said. “That’s just fine. Just as often though, they’ll end up getting a pizza milkshake!”

Little Baby’s flagship location is in Philadelphia's East Kensington neighborhood, but customers can also sample their unconventional goods at additional outposts in West Philadelphia, Baltimore, and a pop-up stand in Washington, D.C.’s Union Market. Just make sure to bring along a sense of adventure, and to leave your preconceived notions of what ice cream should taste like at home.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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Nalcrest, Florida: Where Postal Workers Go to Retire
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iStock

You could say that the Nalcrest community in central Florida delivers affordable retirement housing for seniors. And with amenities like a pool and tennis courts, you might even say it has the whole package [PDF]. Or you could just go with the pun that the community itself has landed on: “Nalcrest: A First Class Community.”

Nalcrest, you see, is a retirement community exclusive to members of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC); the village has 500 ground-level apartments available for postal workers to enjoy after they’ve delivered their final Oriental Trading catalog. Garden-style units start at just $374 a month, including water, sewage, trash removal, basic cable, maintenance, and use of all of the recreational facilities.

The idea for an affordable, profession-specific retirement community came to NALC president William Doherty in the 1950s, when he toured Europe and saw similar setups organized by labor unions, religious groups, and fraternal organizations [PDF]. He proposed the idea for U.S. mail carriers as early as 1954, then pounced when Congress passed a law in 1959 that provided loans to build housing for seniors. Doherty was there to break ground on July 1, 1962; Nalcrest officially opened for business less than two years later on January 20, 1964. The dedication ceremony included a band of mail carrier musicians and a separate group called “The Singing Mailmen,” a group made up of—you guessed it—singing mailmen, as well as a female water skiing team that proudly flew pennants spelling out “Nalcrest.” After a stint as the ambassador to Jamaica, Doherty himself retired to Nalcrest, living there until his death in 1987.

Though residents may not be traipsing a daily mail route anymore, they still have plenty of options to stay active. Nalcrest has shuffleboard, horseshoes, bocce, miniature golf, tennis courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool, walking trails, and a softball diamond (home to the Nalcrest Eagles). It also boasts a travel club, a women’s association, and free art classes, among other activities. There’s one thing, however, it doesn’t have—dogs. With the exception of therapy dogs, Nalcrest has a no-canine rule in deference to retirees who were bitten in the line of duty and have an aversion to the animals.

If a dog-free community seems like paradise for postal workers, the other thing Nalcrest lacks cements its status as letter carrier nirvana: There are no mailboxes, because there is no home mail delivery. Each resident has to visit the Nalcrest post office to pick up any correspondence.

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