CLOSE
Original image

The Weird Week in Review

Original image

Anti-litter Leaflets Dumped in Street

Matt Taylor of Walthamstow Village, England found boxes containing was he assumed was rubbish on the street near his home. Leaving boxes of litter on the road could lead to a fine of  £50,000 fine or five years in prison. The boxes contained leaflets issued by the local council to educate the public about illegal dumping and littering! Cabinet member Bob Belam said the boxes were left as part of the planned distribution program, which meant leaflets against litter would eventually be left at each household. In other areas of the world, government leaflets would be considered litter whether they were left in torn boxes or at homes.

770-pound Ray Caught

Ian Welch of Hampshire, England caught the biggest freshwater fish ever caught with a rod. The 770-pound ray was pulled out of the Maeklong River in Thailand. The fish was seven feet wide and had a ten foot tail. It took 13 men to lift the ray out of the water. The catch was weighted, photographed, tagged, and released. A DNA sample was taken also. Welch is a biologist, and was in Thailand working with a project to tag stingrays.

Man Saves Lives, Gets Ticket

58-year-old Jim Moffett and another man were helping two elderly women cross the street in Denver last Friday night after they get off the bus he was driving. As a pickup truck slid on the snowy road, Moffett pushed the three other people out of the way. The pickup hit Moffett, who was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in serious condition on Wednesday. Colorado State Police issued citations to Moffet and the other man for jaywalking! Police said that despite Moffett's good intentions, jaywalking contributed to the incident.

Giant White Rabbit Leads Police Chase

120whiterabbit.pngPolice in Canterbury, England chased a 20-pound white rabbit through the streets for 20 minutes Sunday. Officers Matt Jackson and Yasmin Mossadegh of Kent Police had to enlist the help of eight bystanders. In a scene reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, the ten people finally corralled the albino bunny. The rabbit is in the care of Barton Veterinary Hospital, and has been nicknamed Tiny. Officials don't know where the rabbit came from, but he is presumed to be someone's pet.

Bungee Cord Breaks

49-year-old Mark Afforde couldn't resist a second bungee jump from the 200-foot high Canyon Creek Bridge near Yacolt, Washington. At the bottom of the drop, the bungee cord snapped, and he fell the last 25 feet into shallow water.

"I heard and saw the snap. I definitely felt the impact, and I was underwater. Once I checked and made certain I could still move and everything was working I felt I needed to get out of the water.

He was able to walk to shore, and paramedics took him to Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver.

Afforde, who was not seriously injured, says he would bungee jump again. His wife feels differently.

Komodo Dragon Attacks Ranger

150_kimodo.jpgPark Ranger Main was sitting in his office on the island of Rinca in Indonesia when a komodo dragon came in and attacked him! He wrestled with the dragon, then climbed out a window. Office workers beat the animal with sticks to get it out of the building. Main required 30 stitches to repair lacerations on his hand and foot.

Nothing like this has ever happened to me... in 25 years on the job. I've never been attacked.

Death Ruled Suspicious When Bullet Holes Found

When 49-year-old Anthony Crockett was found dead in his Kansas City home, paramedics also found medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol. They thought he died of his ailments and no investigation was initiated. The embalmer, however, discovered the man had bullet holes in his head! The medical examiner then changed the  cause of death to homicide. Neither medical examiners nor police had inspected Crockett's body before it was removed from his home.

Original image
iStock
arrow
gross
London's Sewer-Blocking 'Fatbergs' Are Going to Be Turned Into Biodiesel
Original image
iStock

UK officials can't exactly transform the Whitechapel fatberg—a 143-ton trash mass lurking in London's sewer system—into treasure, but they can turn it into fuel. As The Guardian reports, Scottish biodiesel producer Argent Energy plans to convert parts of the noxious blockage into an environmentally friendly energy source.

For the uninitiated, fatbergs (which get their names from a portmanteau of "fat" and "icebergs") are giant, solid blobs of congealed fat, oil, grease, wet wipes, and sanitary products. They form in sewers when people dump cooking byproducts down drains, or in oceans when ships release waste products like palm oil. These sticky substances combine with floating litter to form what could be described as garbage heaps on steroids.

Fatbergs wash up on beaches, muck up city infrastructures, and are sometimes even removed with cranes from sewer pipes as a last resort. Few—if any—fatbergs, however, appear to be as potentially lethal as the one workers recently discovered under London's Whitechapel neighborhood. In a news release, private utility company Thames Water described the toxic mass as "one of the largest ever found, with the extreme rock-solid mass of wet wipes, nappies, fat and oil weighing the same as 11 double-decker buses."

Ick factor aside, the Whitechapel fatberg currently blocks a stretch of Victorian sewer more than twice the length of two fields from London's Wembley Stadium. Engineers with jet hoses are working seven days a week to break up the fatberg before sucking it out with tankers. But even with high-pressure streams, the job is still akin to "trying to break up concrete," says Matt Rimmer, Thames Water's head of waste networks.

The project is slated to end in October. But instead of simply disposing of the Whitechapel fatberg, officials want to make use of it. Argent Energy—which has in the past relied on sources like rancid mayonnaise and old soup stock—plans to process fatberg sludge into more than 2600 gallons of biodiesel, creating "enough environmentally friendly energy to power 350 double-decker Routemaster buses for a day," according to Thames Water.

"Even though they are our worst enemy, and we want them dead completely, bringing fatbergs back to life when we do find them in the form of biodiesel is a far better solution for everyone," said company official Alex Saunders.

In addition to powering buses, the Whitechapel fatberg may also become an unlikely cultural touchstone: The Museum of London is working with Thames Water to acquire a chunk of the fatberg, according to BBC News. The waste exhibit will represent just one of the many challenges facing cities, and remind visitors that they are ultimately responsible for the fatberg phenomenon.

"When it comes to preventing fatbergs, everyone has a role to play," Rimmer says. "Yes, a lot of the fat comes from food outlets, but the wipes and sanitary items are far more likely to be from domestic properties. The sewers are not an abyss for household rubbish."

[h/t The Guardian]

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

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios