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The Weird Week ending December 28th

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Christmas Cards Arrive from Dead Man

Chet Fitch was known for his sense of humor. He died in October at age 88, but 34 of his friends received Christmas cards from him with the return address "Heaven." It came out that Fitch had planned the after-death Christmas cards beginning twenty years ago by arranging for his barber to do the mailing.

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Squirrels Use "Snake Perfume" to Fool Predators

California ground squirrels and rock squirrels chew on discarded rattlesnake skin, then smear it on their fur. The result is that they smell like rattlesnake instead of squirrels, which may protect them from snake attack. The study was published in the journal Animal Behavior.

Woman Stays in Wal*Mart for Three Days

Police said a 70-year-old woman spent three days inside the Wal*Mart store in Lilburn, Georgia sleeping, shopping and eating at a fast-food outlet. When asked what she was doing, she replied, "Shopping." The unidentified woman was escorted home after making her purchases.

We Interrupt This Program....

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Anchor Ravi Baichwal was on-air live during the 10PM newscast Sunday at channel 7 in Chicago, when a minivan crashed through the studio wall! The interruption became the news as it happened. The driver, 25-year-old Gerald Richardson, said he "wanted to be on the news."

Man Spent Christmas Eve Trapped Upside Down in Septic Tank

77-year-old Robert Schoff was just trying to clear a clog in his septic tank when he took a tumble and fell in head first. He became stuck with his feet in the air for an hour before his wife came to look for him. She couldn't get him out and called emergency personnel, who succeeded in pulling him out.

"I thought it was the end of my life," he reflects. "Thank God my wife saw me. I don't think I could have stood staying in there much more."

"It was the worst Christmas Eve I've ever had."

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Spiderman Joins the UN

Spiderman has a new mission: to improve the image of the United Nations. The UN will team with Marvel Comics to produce a comic book in which superheroes such as Spidey help peacekeepers battle evildoers in a fictional war-torn country.

UFO Debate Invades Japanese Politicians' Space

A debate over flying saucers has kept Japanese politicians occupied for much of this week. An opposition leader demanded the government confirm the existence of unidentified flying objects. Several government officials gave differing answers, which tied up legislative business and kept the news outlets busy.

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Watch Plastic Skeletons Being Made in a 1960s Factory
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The making of human teaching skeletons used to be a grisly affair, involving the manipulation of fresh—or not-so-fresh—corpses. But as this video from British Pathé shows, by the 1960s it was a relatively benign craft involving molded plastic and high temperatures, not meat cleavers and maggots.

The video, accented by groan-worthy puns and jaunty music, goes inside a factory in Surrey that produces plastic skeletons, brains, and other organs for use in hospitals and medical schools. The sterile surroundings marked a shift in skeleton production; as the video notes, teaching skeletons had long come from the Middle East, until countries started clamping down on exporting human remains. Before that, human skeletons in Britain and the United States were often produced with a little help from grave-robbers, known as the Resurrection Men. After being dissected in anatomical classes at medical schools, the stolen corpses were often de-fleshed and transformed into objects for study. The theft of these purloined bodies, by the way, started several of America's first riots. Far better they be made out of plastic.

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The Origins of 25 Monsters, Ghosts, and Spooky Things
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Though dressing up as an angel is acceptable, it’s ghouls and goblins that truly capture our imaginations during the Halloween season. As lit jack-o’-lanterns beckon and monsters lurk in the shadows, we explore the origins of 25 frightful things that go bump—or boo—in the night.

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