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The Weird Week in Review

Space Station Toilet Out of Order

There is only one toilet aboard the International Space Station, and it's not working. The one toilet for the three-person crew is on the Russian-built Zvezda module. They have been using the toilet aboard the docked Soyuz space capsule. NASA flew a new pump from Russia to Florida, and will send it via the space shuttle Discovery when it launches on Saturday.

Girl Swallows Magnetic Toy Pieces

The parents of eight-year-old Haley Lents couldn't figure out what was causing the girl so much pain -until they saw the x-ray. She had been swallowing pieces of her favorite Magnetix toys. The tiny magnets are attracted to each other, and when ingested, can rip through intestines. Haley had eight tears in her intestines.
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"She's only been in America three years, and while she was in Russia, which is where she is from, in the orphanage ... they told us she ate everything she could get her hands on," Jason Lents said.

Tobacco Store Dilemma

Old Morris Tobacconists is a heritage building in Victoria, British Columbia that has been open since 1892. As such, it cannot be altered or shop owner Rick Arora will be fined by the city. However, the Vancouver Island Health Authority says he must cover the signs to comply with a law that states tobacco advertising cannot be seen by minors.

"Absolutely ridiculous," is how Arora describes the impasse, and he's right. Two arms of government are ready to strangle a business owner caught between their conflicting agendas.

Shark Attack in Bedroom

150sharkattack.jpg14-year-old Sam Hawthorne was bitten by a shark in his bedroom, hundreds of miles from the ocean! He was sleepwalking one night and walked right into a trophy shark's head that was hanging on his bedroom wall. His mother found him bleeding from a wound on the cheek, and the shark still imbedded in his face.

How Not to Cook Sausages

Two men cooking sausages on a balcony in Germany were unhappy with the performance of the lighter fluid, so they dumped a glass of gasoline on the barbecue. The resulting flame caused the man to drop the glass, which also ignited. Then the other man dropped the gas container, which spilled onto three cars below them and ignited as well.

"The fire was put out by the fire brigade. The total damage amounted to around €30,000 ($46,000). Whether the people involved will ever barbecue again in their lives is unclear," police said in the statement.

Man Backs Over Squad Car After Ticketing

150_squadcar.jpg70-year-old Henry Raskin was pulled over and given a ticket for speeding in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. When the incident was over, Raskin backed his car up over the police vehicle! It is thought that he intended to leave in a hurry, but didn't realize the car was still in reverse gear. Raskin was not injured, but was taken to a hospital afterward as a precaution. Police are investigating to see if he can be charged with another offense.

Childhood Toy is Ancient Gold Relic

John Webber's grandfather, a scrap dealer in London, gave him a cup to play with back in 1945. He always assumed it was brass or bronze. Last year, he decided to have it appraised. The cup turns out to be made of solid gold! It was also identified as a Persian relic from the third or fourth century BC. It goes to auction on June 5th, with an estimated price of 500,000 pounds, or almost a million US dollars.

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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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