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The Weird Week in Review

Counterfeiter Used Wrong President

Dana Leland of Central Falls, Rhode Island, was arrested in Massachusetts for trying to pass counterfeit $100 bills at a Target store. The bills were discovered to be fake because they bore the portrait of president Abraham Lincoln. Benjamin Frankllin is normally found on a $100 bill. Leland's lawyer says he suffers from mental illness and drug and alcohol abuse.

History Transformed in Exam

If you are in charge of finding graphics for any serious purpose, you might want to slow down and pay attention when you grab something from an internet search. In Australia's year 12 student history exam, a question involved the artwork Storming the Winter palace on 25th October 1917 by Nikolai Kochergin, which depicts the Russian Revolution. What actually ended up in the test was the illustration with a BattleTech Marauder inserted on the horizon. Looks like the revolutionaries had a bit of futuristic help!

A spokesman for the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) said the image was "sourced and acknowledged by the VCAA as coming from the Internet".

"The image has been altered but the alteration of the image won’t impact on the students’ capacity to answer the examination question," he said.

Having an image sourced as "coming from the internet" doesn't quite make it genuine -or original.

Camera Taken from Bird

Karen Gwillim of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, saw a cormorant near the town of Craven that was struggling with something. She was surprised to find the bird with a camera strap hanging on its neck! The camera was still attached, weighing the bird down. The bird allowed her to approach and remove the camera, then flew off. After drying out the camera and its memory card, Gwillim found about 200 photos. That was two months ago. Gwillim posted the pictures on Facebook, hoping to find the owner of the camera. Nothing happened until she told her story on television, then a man stepped forward who says he knows who the owner is, and arranged for the owner to claim it.

Boy Steals Parents’ Savings to Buy Candy

A family in Konotop, Ukraine, had a stash of $3,300 and €500 hidden under the sofa. It was their life savings. When the money was discovered missing, the family's unnamed 9-year-old son admitted he took the money -and spent it on candy. The child had converted the cash into Ukrainian hryvnas with the help of an adult, who is said to have a mental disorder. The boy found that he couldn't eat that much candy, so he shared it with his friends.

Sewage Dropped on Fire -and Firefighters

Firefighters were battling a 30 hectare brush fire in Kew, near Port Macquarie, Australia on Tuesday. A helicopter sucked up water from a pond, flew over the fire, and dumped the water on the blaze. But the pond, at a wastewater treatment plant, was the wrong one to draw water from - it was full of "secondary treatment" water, also known as sewage.

An RFS spokeswoman said 12 firefighters had been directly exposed to the "secondary treatment" water, while a further seven were in the general area.

"All 29 firefighters on the fireground and their equipment were immediately withdrawn and decontaminated by Fire and Rescue NSW," the spokeswoman said. "As a precaution, each firefighter has since been provided with further medical follow-up. At this time, no firefighters have complained of any ill-effects. They will continue to be monitored by the Rural Fire Service."

The fire was fully under control by Thursday.

The Carrot Rebellion

Spain recently raised the value-added-tax (VAT) on cultural activities to 21%, which didn't sit well with theater owners. One theater in Bescanó staged a revolt. Theater owner Quim Marcé decided they would sell carrots instead of tickets. Theater patrons love the idea, and bought plenty of carrots at €13. The theater then gave free theater admission away to patrons who bought carrots, which are taxed at 4%. Marcé also has the support of the local mayor, but other officials say the scheme is plainly tax evasion.

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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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iStock
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travel
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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