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The Weird Week in Review

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Ping Pong Balls Save Toddler's Life

2-year-old Mackenzie Argaet of Australia was born with biliary artresia. Her liver developed cirrhosis and she received a liver transplant. During surgery, doctors found the liver was too large and pressed on her arteries. So they held the liver back with ping pong balls! Mackenzie has made a remarkable recovery, and the doctor says that her liver will grow around the balls.

Airbag for Elderly Pedestrians

A new product unveiled at the International Home Care and Rehabilitation Exhibition in Tokyo resembles nothing more than a walking airbag. One bag inflates behind the head, the other behind the hips. Sensors in the gadget detect when the wearer is off-balance. The device weighs only 2.5 pounds. It is specifically designed for older people with epilepsy. There is a huge market for products for the elderly in Japan, which has 30 million residents over the age of 65.

Skydivers Over Everest

On October 2nd, around three dozen skydivers will attempt to parachute over Mount Everest. Participants from 14 countries will use larger-than-normal parachutes and will wear oxygen masks.

Hurtling past the 8,850-meter (29,035 feet) peak, the skydivers plan, weather permitting, to freefall for 1 minute before deploying their parachutes and cruising for 8-10 minutes to land in a flat drop zone at 12,350 feet.

A Case of Law and Odor

150cruz.jpgJose Cruz was arrested after he failed a roadside sobriety test in Charleston, West Virginia. During fingerprinting, he passed gas and was hit with an additional charge of battery on an officer! The battery charge was dropped after a request by the Kanawha County prosecutor's office. Cruz still faces charges for DUI and obstruction. See a video report here.

PETA Urges Ice Cream Be Made From Breast Milk

The founders of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream received a letter from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) asking them to stop using cow's milk in their ice cream, and use human breast milk instead.

"The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben & Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk."

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield responded by saying they believe a woman's breast milk is "best used for her child."

Fighting Sheep Get the Blues

150bluesheep.jpgA flock of blue sheep was spotted in North Tyneside in England. The farmer had sprayed blue dye on certain parts of the rams before letting his sheep out for mating. The idea was that the dye would transfer to the ewes, indicating which could possibly be pregnant. Instead, or in addition, the rams began fighting with each other, covering themselves completely with blue dye.

Man Sues Over Penis Amputation

61-year-old Philip Seaton of Louisville, Kentucky planned to have a circumcision last October. Instead, he woke up from general anesthesia to find his penis had been amputated! He filed a lawsuit last week against the surgeon, the anesthetist, and the clinic. The explanation he received was that the surgeon found cancer and made an emergency decision. Seaton's attorney Kevin George says the surgeon should have closed the patient up and informed him of the options.

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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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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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