The Weird Week in Review

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It's not a tumor, it's a towel!

In 1983, surgeons at the Asahi General Hospital in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo performed ulcer surgery and unknowingly left a surgical towel inside the patient. Twenty-five years later, the unnamed 49-year-old man sought help at a different hospital for abdominal pain. Doctors found what they believed to be a 3-inch tumor. Surgeons only realized the mass was a towel when they removed it! The towel is blue-green, but they are not certain of its original color.

Goat Boarded Bus, Didn't Pay

An unaccompanied pygmy goat walked onto a bus in Portland, Oregon Monday. The driver called dispatch, who sent a police officer, who took the tiny goat to the animal shelter. By then, the goat sported a note that said "Didn't have correct fare." Police checked the classified ads, and found a notice on Craigslist for a missing goat. Poppy, as the goat is named, was reunited with her owner Wendy Dean on Tuesday.

Man Jailed for Faking Death

When Gandaruban Subramaniam fled Singapore 20 years ago to avoid creditors, he faked his death in a most dramatic way -by claiming he had been killed in a shootout between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels. However, he returned to Singapore and married his widow under his new fake Sri Lankan identity, and even fathered their fourth child! A lawyer uncovered the scheme and 60-year-old Subramaniam was arrested last October. He now faces 3 years in prison for fraud.

Olympic Pinhead

150chinaneedle.jpgDr. Wei Sheng of Nanning, in southern China, has Olympic fever, and he's showing his support by sticking 2008 needles into his head, face, hands, and chest. The needles are supposed to be in the five colors of the Olympic rings. It's not the first publicity stunt for Dr. Sheng, who set a world record in 2004 for sticking 1790 needles  into his head.

Fake Bus Stop for Alzheimer's Patients

Nursing homes in Germany are trying a novel approach to corralling patients who have wandered off. They construct bus stops near the facilities, in places where the bus does not stop. There, hospital staff can find confused patients easily. Franz-Josef Goebel says the idea may sound funny, but it works.

"Our members are 84 years old on average. Their short-term memory hardly works, but the long-term memory is still active.

"They know the green and yellow bus sign and remember that waiting there means they will go home." 

Giant Beetle Can't Find a Mate

150_beetle.jpgAn elephant beetle nearly five inches long made its way from Costa Rica to London in a shipment of bananas. Pest control officers took the beetle, an endangered species, to the Linton Zoo. Now the beetle is ready to mate, and zoo officials are having trouble finding a female elephant beetle in England. Linton Zoo director Kim Simmons says,
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"We haven't been able to find Billy a Betty from zoos. Now we're pinning our hopes on private collectors."

Time is running out, as elephant beetles only live about four months.

Fake Call Enabled Museum Heist

Gold artworks worth $2 million were stolen from the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia near Vancouver. Before the heist, cameras mysteriously ceased to function, and a caller identifying himself as a representative of the security company told campus security that there was a problem, and that they should not respond to any alarms! Authorities believe the theft is the work of an expert jewel thief who was out of jail at the time.

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June 6, 2008 - 3:50am
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