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The Weird Week in Review

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Nail in Skull Removed with Claw Hammer

George Chandler of Shawnee, Kansas accidentally shot a nail into the top of his head when the hose to his nail gun became tangled. He didn't immediately know that he had a 2.5 inch nail in his head. He was rushed to the hospital, where a doctor used a common claw hammer to remove the nail. Chandler says he feels very lucky the injury wasn't more serious.

21-Leaf Clover Sets Record

Shigeo Obara, a farmer in Japan's Iwate prefecture discovered a clover last week with an amazing 21 leaves! The current world record is an 18-leaf clover, which Obara himself grew in 2002. Obara, a former food crop researcher, has been cultivating clover for over 50 years, crossbreeding and studying its genetic makeup.

Antarctic Base Gets 16,500 Condoms for Winter

There are no supply shipments to Antarctica in the dead of winter during total darkness. In the final shipment of the season last month, McMurdo Station received 16,500 condoms, which will be available free to the 125 staff members who "winter over". Supply planes will resume in September. You do the math.

Kitten Saved by Vacuum Cleaner

150trappedkitten.jpgFirefighters in Dunbar, Scotland used a vacuum cleaner covered with a sock to extract a newborn kitten from a drain! The mother cat climbed behind a sink to give birth to her litter. One of the kittens fell down the drain hole. Rescuers used a vibrascope camera to find the kitten, before using the vacuum cleaner to pull it to safety.

Chief Judge in Obscenity Case Caught Posting Porn

Judge Alex Kozinski is the chief of the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He is currently presiding over a case of obscenity involving a filmmaker. Kozinski's website was found to have explicit photos of naked women and farm animals on his personal website.

The images were posted to a subdomain of the judge's web site that could only be accessed by directly typing in the correct URL. The domain, however, was not password-protected. In addition to the pornographic images, the subdomain contained legal writings, music files and the judge's personal photos.

Kozinski said he didn't know that anyone could access that part of his site.

Unicorn Deer Born in Italy

150unicorn.jpgA one-horned deer nicknamed Unicorn has been spotted at the Center of Natural Sciences, a wildlife preserve in Prato, Italy. The horn is growing out of the center of the young deer's head. Experts believe it is the result of a genetic abnormality, but the central position of the horn is extremely rare. The deer's twin has two horns.

Mugger Admires His Haul in CCTV Lens

Police got a really good look at a mugger after he took a necklace and bracelet from a teenager in Bromley, England. The thief used the lens of a closed-circuit television camera as a mirror to admire himself wearing the goods. His image has been printed in papers and shown on TV in case someone recognizes him.

"The general consensus is that he is not the brightest spark. He was there for a long time and either didn't care or wasn't aware he was being filmed."

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Shhh...super secret special for blog readers.

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Kevin Burkett, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
Restaurant Seeks Donations to Big Mouth Billy Bass Adoption Center
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Kevin Burkett, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’ve ever wondered where all those Big Mouth Billy Bass singing fish that flew off shelves in the early 2000s have gone, take a look inside a Flying Fish restaurant. Each location of the southern seafood chain is home to its own Big Mouth Billy Bass Adoption Center, and they’re always accepting new additions to the collection.

According to Atlas Obscura, the gimmick was the idea of Dallas-based restaurateur Shannon Wynne. He opened his flagship Flying Fish in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2002 when the Big Mouth Billy Bass craze was just starting to wind down. As people grew tired of hearing the first 30 seconds of “Don’t Worry Be Happy” for the thousandth time, he offered them a place to bring their wall ornaments once the novelty wore off. The Flying Fish promises to “house, shelter, love, and protect” each Billy Bass they adopt. On top of that, donors get a free basket of catfish in exchange for the contribution and get their name on the wall. The Little Rock location now displays hundreds of the retired fish.

Today there are nine Flying Fish restaurants in Arkansas, Texas, and Tennessee, each with its own Adoption Center. There’s still space for new members of the family, so now may be the time to break out any Billy Basses that have been collecting dust in your attic since 2004.

And if you’re interested in stopping into Flying Fish for a bite to eat, don’t let the wall of rubber nostalgia scare you off: The batteries from all the fish have been removed, so you can enjoy your meal in peace.

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The Long, Strange Story of Buffalo Bill's Corpse
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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

You probably know William Frederick Cody, a.k.a. Buffalo Bill, as the long-haired Wild West icon who turned the frontier experience into rip-roarin’ entertainment. But the story of Buffalo Bill’s body and its many burials is almost as outrageous as the man himself.

When Cody died of kidney failure in January 1917, his body ended up on a mountain outside of Denver, Colorado—a counterintuitive choice given his close ties to the town in Wyoming that bore his last name. Cody, Wyoming was founded in the 1890s with help from Buffalo Bill, who employed many of its residents and was responsible for its tourism business. It might seem natural that he’d be buried in the place he’d invested so much in, but he wasn’t. And that’s where the controversy began.

Though Cody spent much of his time in the town named after him, he also loved Colorado. After leaving his family in Kansas when he was just 11 to work with wagon trains throughout the West, he headed to Colorado for the first time as a 13-year-old wannabe gold prospector. During his short time in the area, he chased the glittery fortunes promised by Colorado’s 1859 gold rush. Even after leaving the territory, his traveling vaudeville show, which brought a glamorous taste of Wild West life to people all over the United States, took him back often. Later in life, he frequently visited Denver, where his sister lived. He died there, too—after telling his wife he wanted to be buried on Lookout Mountain.

The mountain, located in Golden, Colorado, has a commanding view of the Great Plains, where Buffalo Bill experienced many of his Wild West adventures. It was also a place to contemplate the giant herds of buffalo that once roamed the West, and from whom Cody took his nickname. (Denver still maintains a small herd of buffalo—direct descendants of original American bison—near the mountain.)

But weather almost thwarted Cody’s burial plans. Since he died in January, the road to Lookout Mountain was impassable and his preferred burial site frozen solid. For a while, his body lay in state in the Colorado Capitol building. Governors and famous friends eulogized Cody in an elaborate funeral service. Then his body was placed in a carriage that moved solemnly through the streets of Denver, where thousands showed up to say goodbye. Afterwards, his body was kept in cold storage at a Denver mortuary while his family waited for the weather to change.

Meanwhile, Colorado and Wyoming started a heated feud over one of America’s most famous men. Wyoming claimed that Cody should be buried there, citing an early draft of his will that said he intended to be buried near Cody. Colorado cried foul, since Cody’s last will left the burial location up to his widow, who chose Lookout Mountain. Rumors even began to circulate that a delegation from Wyoming had stolen Cody’s body from the mortuary and replaced it with that of a local vagrant.

In part to stop the rumor mill, Cody was finally buried in an open casket on Lookout Mountain in June 1917. Twenty-five thousand people went to the mountaintop to bid him farewell before he was interred. To prevent theft, the bronze casket was sealed in another, tamper-proof case, then enclosed in concrete and iron.

Pennies on Buffalo Bill's grave
V.T. Polywoda, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Yet his rocky grave was anything but safe. In the 1920s, Cody’s niece, Mary Jester Allen, began to claim that Denver had conspired to tamper with Cody’s will. In response, Cody’s foster son, Johnny Baker, disinterred the body and had it reburied at the same site under tons of concrete to prevent potential theft [PDF]. (Allen also founded a museum in Wyoming to compete with a Colorado-based museum founded by Baker.)

The saga wasn’t over yet. In 1948, the Cody, Wyoming American Legion offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who could disinter the body and return it to Wyoming. In response, the Colorado National Guard stationed officers to keep watch over the grave.

Since then, the tussle over the remains has calmed down. Despite a few ripples—like a jokey debate in the Wyoming legislature about stealing the body in 2006—Buffalo Bill still remains in the grave. If you believe the official story, that is. In Cody, Wyoming, rumor has it that he never made it into that cement-covered tomb after all—proponents claim he was buried on Cedar Mountain, where he originally asked to be interred.


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