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The Weird Week in Review

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School Drops the Word "School"

Watercliffe Meadow in Sheffield, England opened in September to replace three schools, but don't call it a school. The institution is referred to as "a place for learning" instead. Headmistress Linda Kingdon has banned the word "school" because it has negative connotations for the parents of many of the students. The decision has drawn some ridicule from parents, and from those who read the story around the world.

German Lovers Try to Elope to Africa

Six-year-old Mika and five-year-old Anna-Bell hatched a plot to run away to Africa and get married. They even took along a witness, Mika's seven-year-old sister, Anna-Lena. The children packed their bags on New Year's Eve and took off from Hanover, Germany on foot. They caught a tram to the train station. They were at the station waiting for a train to take them to the airport when a station guard noticed them and called police. The children were reunited with their shocked parents, after a tour of the police station. The children said they didn't inform their parents because they did not think they would be gone for long. See a video here.

Babysitter Shot by Angry 4-year-old

18-year-old Nathan Beavers was babysitting several children in Jackson, Ohio when he accidentally stepped on the foot of a four-year-old boy. The child became angry, retrieved a shotgun, and shot the babysitter. Beavers was hospitalized with minor injuries. Another teenager was also injured in the attack, which took place on Sunday. The child has not been charged, but police are still investigating.

Skier Suffers Exposure

120exposure.jpgA ski lift mishap at Blue Sky Basin resort in Vail, Colorado left a 48-year-old man hanging upside down with his pants pulled down (or up, in this case) on New Years Day. The seat on the chairlift was apparently in the wrong position, allowing the man to slip through the gap. His boot stayed in its binding, so he dangled upside-down instead of falling out. The Skyline Express lift was stopped and the unnamed man hung for about 15 minutes before workers could dislodge him.

Man Wins Fight To Prove He is Alive

A Romanian man had a year-long court fight to prove he is alive. Gheroghe Stirbu was officially listed as dead when civil servants mistook him for another man, then refused to admit they made a mistake. A judge granted his request for reinstatement as alive, but then ordered Stirbu to pay court costs.

"I will of course appeal the imposition of the costs but I am already beginning to wonder whether or not I would have been better off staying dead," Stirbu says.

Man Wants Donated Kidney Back

150kidney.jpgAs part of their divorce settlement, surgeon Richard Batista of Massapequa, New York is requesting the return of a kidney he donated to his wife Dawn in 2001. She filed for divorce after 15 years of marriage. He alleges that she was unfaithful.
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"As part of the litigation, we are asking for the value of the kidney that he gave his wife," attorney Dominic Barbara said. "In theory we actually asked for the return of the kidney."
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He will, however, settle for $1.5 million instead.

Mobile Meth Lab on a Mo-ped

An unnamed man in Warsaw, Indiana was arrested Tuesday when he drove up to a house on his mo-ped, a motorized bicycle, while police were issuing a search warrant. The Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department found he had a working meth lab attached to his mo-ped! The Indiana state police were called in to secure the volatile contents. Gasses produced by small methamphetamine cookers can explode without warning.

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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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