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The Weird Week in Review

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Perry Mason Not a Lawyer

A man named Perry Mason was arrested in Houston Tuesday. The offense? Practicing law without a license. The 43-year-old man was charged with barratry, which is a third-degree felony. No one named Perry Mason is licensed to practice law in Texas, according to bar records. The TV character Perry Mason was an excellent lawyer, winning almost all his cases when the show aired from 1957 to 1965.

Laundry Retrieved from Retriever

When Bailey the retriever went to the veterinary clinic in Corfe Mullen, Dorset, England, the doctor thought he had a tumor. What veterinarian Keith Moore found inside the dog was five golf gloves, ten socks, one stocking, and part of a towel! Moore believes Bailey must have been eating laundry for years to accumulate such a mass. The dog has fully recovered from surgery and acts like a puppy again.

Man Bites Python

Ben Nyaumbe of the Malindi area of Kenya was working on a farm when he was attacked by a python. The huge snake wrapped around Nyaumbe and dragged him up a tree! During the struggle that lasted for several hours, Nyaumbe bit the python on the tail. When the snake relaxed its grip for a moment, he was able to reach his cell phone and call for help. Rescuers helped to free Nyaumbe and battled the python into three bags, from which it later escaped. Nyaumbe suffered bruises and a cut lip.

Fir Tree Removed from Patient's Lung

150fir.jpg28-year-old Artyom Sidorkin of Izhevsk, Russia complained of chest pains and was coughing blood. Doctors suspected cancer, and took a biopsy. Surgeon Vladimir Kamashev was astonished to find green needles in the tissue! A five centimeter fir seedling was removed from Sidorkin's lung at the Udmurtian Cancer Center. Doctors believe that Sidorkin inhaled a fir seed or bud which grew in his tissue, since a branch that size could not have been inhaled. Botanists are skeptical, because a plant needs light to begin growing. If you wish, you can see a very graphic video of the procedure.

Speeding While Engaged in Sex

A 28-year-old man was pulled over on a highway in Norway when police observed the car speeding and swerving. The driver was distracted because he was having sex with his girlfriend!

"[The vehicle] was veering from one side to the other because the woman was sitting on the man's lap while he was driving and doing the act, shall we say," he added.

"He couldn't see much because her back was in the way."

The unnamed driver will face a fine of several thousand kroner and a driving ban for reckless driving.

Passenger Lands Plane After Pilot Dies

150dougwhite.jpgDoug White of Archibald, Louisiana and his family boarded a flight from Florida to Mississippi last Sunday after a funeral. Pilot Joe Cabuk had the Super King Air two-engine turboprop at 5,000 feet and climbing when he collapsed and died. White, who was licensed to fly single engine planes, had to take the controls. The only thing he knew how to do in a Super King was to use the radio, which he did. Air-traffic controllers in Miami and Fort Myers guided him in, with help from Kari Sorenson, a Super King pilot in Danbury, Connecticut who was consulted by cell phone. White landed the plane at Fort Myers' Southwest Florida International Airport. Audio tape of the emergency landing is available.

Snakes On A Plane

A Qantas flight from Alice Springs to Melbourne had to be diverted when four baby pythons escaped from their shipping container. The 6-inch Stimson's pythons were not found, but passengers were transferred to another plane. Airline officials don't know how they escaped, but ascertained that they were not eaten by the other snakes by weighing the remaining pythons.

"They're not endangered so a decision was made to fumigate...if these snakes turn up they will be very much dead snakes," David Epstein of Qantas said.

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science
2017 Ig Nobel Prizes Celebrate Research on How Crocodiles Affect Gambling and Other Odd Studies
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iStock

The Ig Nobel Prizes are back, and this year's winning selection of odd scientific research topics is as weird as ever. As The Guardian reports, the 27th annual awards of highly improbable studies "that first make people laugh, then make them think" were handed out on September 14 at a theater at Harvard University. The awards, sponsored by the Annals of Improbable Research, honor research you never would have thought someone would take the time (or the funding) to study, much less would be published.

The 2017 highlights include a study on whether cats can be both a liquid and a solid at the same time and one on whether the presence of a live crocodile can impact the behavior of gamblers. Below, we present the winners from each of the 10 categories, each weirder and more delightful than the last.

PHYSICS

"For using fluid dynamics to probe the question 'Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?'"

Winner: Marc-Antoine Fardin

Study: "On the Rheology of Cats," published in Rheology Bulletin [PDF]

ECONOMICS

"For their experiments to see how contact with a live crocodile affects a person's willingness to gamble."

Winners: Matthew J. Rockloff and Nancy Greer

Study: "Never Smile at a Crocodile: Betting on Electronic Gaming Machines is Intensified by Reptile-Induced Arousal," published in the Journal of Gambling Studies

ANATOMY

"For his medical research study 'Why Do Old Men Have Big Ears?'"

Winner: James A. Heathcote

Study: "Why Do Old Men Have Big Ears?" published in the BMJ

BIOLOGY

"For their discovery of a female penis, and a male vagina, in a cave insect."

Winners: Kazunori Yoshizawa, Rodrigo L. Ferreira, Yoshitaka Kamimura, and Charles Lienhard (who delivered their acceptance speech via video from inside a cave)

Study: "Female Penis, Male Vagina and Their Correlated Evolution in a Cave Insect," published in Current Biology

FLUID DYNAMICS

"For studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks backwards while carrying a cup of coffee."

Winner: Jiwon Han

Study: "A Study on the Coffee Spilling Phenomena in the Low Impulse Regime," published in Achievements in the Life Sciences

NUTRITION

"For the first scientific report of human blood in the diet of the hairy-legged vampire bat."

Winners: Fernanda Ito, Enrico Bernard, and Rodrigo A. Torres

Study: "What is for Dinner? First Report of Human Blood in the Diet of the Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat Diphylla ecaudata," published in Acta Chiropterologica

MEDICINE

"For using advanced brain-scanning technology to measure the extent to which some people are disgusted by cheese."

Winners: Jean-Pierre Royet, David Meunier, Nicolas Torquet, Anne-Marie Mouly, and Tao Jiang

Study: "The Neural Bases of Disgust for Cheese: An fMRI Study," published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

COGNITION

"For demonstrating that many identical twins cannot tell themselves apart visually."

Winners: Matteo Martini, Ilaria Bufalari, Maria Antonietta Stazi, and Salvatore Maria Aglioti

Study: "Is That Me or My Twin? Lack of Self-Face Recognition Advantage in Identical Twins," published in PLOS One

OBSTETRICS

"For showing that a developing human fetus responds more strongly to music that is played electromechanically inside the mother's vagina than to music that is played electromechanically on the mother's belly."

Winners: Marisa López-Teijón, Álex García-Faura, Alberto Prats-Galino, and Luis Pallarés Aniorte

Study: "Fetal Facial Expression in Response to Intravaginal Music Emission,” published in Ultrasound

PEACE PRIZE

"For demonstrating that regular playing of a didgeridoo is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring."

Winners: Milo A. Puhan, Alex Suarez, Christian Lo Cascio, Alfred Zahn, Markus Heitz, and Otto Braendli

Study: "Didgeridoo Playing as Alternative Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome: Randomised Controlled Trial," published by the BMJ

Congratulations, all.

[h/t The Guardian]

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Courtesy of Julia Donovan
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Art
Meet the 12-Year-Old Boy Who Makes Surreal-Looking Dolls Using Found Materials
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Courtesy of Julia Donovan

Some dolls are cutesy, but not Callum Donovan-Grujicich's fantastical creations. As Bored Panda reports, the 12-year-old artist from Whitby, Ontario crafts tiny, surreal-looking figures, some of which have won art show prizes and been featured in national magazines and on TV.

Donovan-Grujicich first began making art dolls around two years ago, when he was 10. The bodies and faces of the dolls are made from clay, and the limbs from stuffed cloth, but the young artist often uses found objects—like bits of old metal—to create facial features or accessories like hats and jewelry.

"Found objects are a big part of his process and often, he says, the inspiration for the whole sculpture comes from some rusted piece of metal," Donovan-Grujicich's mother, Julia Donovan, tells Mental Floss. "He loves to collect old-looking scrap metal and anything else that he finds interesting."

Aside from art classes at a local gallery, Donovan-Grujicich is entirely self-trained. Someday, he hopes to earn a master of fine arts degree to teach and make art, but for now, the preteen continues to hone his unique aesthetic by making dolls and creating stop-motion animation and live-action films with his brother.

Some people might view Donovan-Grujicich's figures as grim—especially for a kid—but his mother thinks they simply provide a different perspective on beauty.

"A lot has been made of the darkness in Callum's work, which I think has been completely overblown and misunderstood," Donovan says. "Callum is sometimes serious, but not a dark person at all."

You can check out some of Donovan-Grujicich's work below, or visit his website for more information.

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

 A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

 A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

 A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

 A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

[h/t Bored Panda]

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