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The Weird Week in Review

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Man's Hand Reattached Twice

Surgeons at Waikato Hospital in New Zealand worked for 13 hours to reattach Bryan Speers' hand on Monday. The 26-year-old had nearly severed the hand working with a band saw in a meat processing plant. The process was more complicated than expected, since Speers left arm was riddled with scar tissue. That was from the previous time he nearly severed his left hand! No word yet on whether Speers will return to his job as a meat cutter.

Put Me In The Zoo

Keepers at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens inadvertently left one otter out in the public exhibit area Sunday when they closed up for the night. On Monday, they returned to find two otters! A wild North American river otter had joined the zoo's resident. Despite the fact that both otters were male, zookeepers speculate that the wild otter may have been looking for a mate and followed the scent of the two female otters, which had been taken to their nighttime  quarters. The wild otter was examined, then later released near the Trout river.

Pink Underwear Protest

The Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women is a Facebook group formed to protest the actions of an Indian group called Sri Ram Sena (Army of Lord Ram). Members of the group were arrested for attacking women in a bar in Mangalore last month. The attack was caught on video.

Pramod Mutalik, who heads the little known Ram Sena and is now on bail after he was held following the attack, has said it is "not acceptable" for women to go to bars in India.

He has also said his men will protest against Valentine's Day on Saturday.

The Facebook group urges its over 28,000 members to send pink chaddis (underpants) to Mutalik's office on Valentines Day in protest.

Saved from a Car Wash

150carwashrescue.jpgStephanie Carpluk of Easthampton, Massachusetts was at work at the Golden Nozzle car wash Sunday when her scarf became entangled in the spinning machinery. She lost consciousness as the scarf tightened around her neck. John O'Leary, whose car was moving through the wash, jumped out and cut the scarf with his pocket knife. He administered CPR until Carpluk began breathing again. She is now recovering from severe bruising.

The Great Atlantic Swimming Hoax

Early last week, news outlets reported that American swimmer Jennifer Figge completed a swim across the Atlantic Ocean from the Cape Verde Islands to Trinidad in 25 days, while sleeping on a boat at night. After the numbers were examined, a correction from the Assiciated Press said that she swam only about 250 miles of the 2,400 mile trip. Figge later said she never intended to swim across the Atlantic.

Koala Gets a Drink

150sam.jpgKoalas in the wild will normally have nothing to do with humans. The devastating fires in Australia drove a little female koala named Sam to seek help from a firefighter. A picture taken of the event has made Sam an international star. Firefighter David Tree tells the story.
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"I could see she had sore feet and was in trouble, so I pulled over the fire truck. She just plonked herself down, as if to say 'I'm beat'," he said.
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"I offered her a drink and she drank three bottles.
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"The most amazing part was when she grabbed my hand. I will never forget that."
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Sam now lives at the Mountain Ash Wildlife Shelter, where she was treated for burned paws. She is expected to recover and could be released back into the wild in about five months.

Police Investigate Screams, Find Singer

Police in Umea, Sweden raided a hostel after hearing a woman's high-pitched screams. They broke down a door only to find members of a South African choir going about their business, preparing food in the hostel's kitchen. The screams that had alarmed police were from a singer practicing for a performance at the Norrlandsoperan opera house!

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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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iStock
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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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