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The Weird Week in Review

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Rare Tiger has No Stripes

A six-month-old tiger cub at Cango Wildlife Ranch, near Cape Town, South Africa is the rarest of the rare -a white tiger with no stripes. Zookeepers weren't sure that the female cub named Fareeda was really stripeless until she reached six months of age, since young cubs sometimes grow into their stripes. Fareeda is the first white Bengal tiger to be born in captivity in South Africa. White Bengals are not albinos, but the result of a rare mutation that is passed genetically.

Burglar Bear Prefers Chocolates

A couple in San Bernardino County, California arrived at their home last week to find a bear rummaging through their refrigerator! The homeowners called authorities, but the bear left before sheriff's deputies arrived. The bear had bypassed nutritious vegetables in the refrigerator, but had eaten a two-pound box of chocolates. It had also tried in vain to open a bottle of champagne.

Excuse for Arson: Michael Jackson's Death

Amanda Jarvis of Lorain, Connecticut was arrested Sunday morning in connection with a fire started in ladies room of a local bar. After Jarvis reported the fire, the bartender checked surveillance video that pointed to Jarvis as the cause of the fire. She was found soon afterward at another bar.

When asked why she set the items on fire, she replied, "I felt stressed because my apartment had recently caught on fire, and because of the death of Michael Jackson".

Hippo Stuck in Water Tower

150hipponostrilsA hippopotamus in Alkmaar, South Africa was desperate for a dip to escape the heat, and climbed over ten foot walls to bathe in a water tower! Once in, he couldn't get out on his own. A farm worker spotted him -or rather, spotted two big nostrils poking out of the water. In a four-hour operation, a crew led by hippo hunter Chris Hobkirk drained the tank and enticed the hippo into a strong cage. The cage was then hauled out of the tank with a winch.

Drunk Carpentry Leads to Severed Penis

54-year-old Stuart Keen was performing a do-it-yourself project while intoxicated at his home in Wantage, England when he accidentally severed his penis with a saw. Doctors were able to reattach the organ. Mr. Stuart declined to make a statement, but his 84-year-old mother Edna said,

"I have spoken to him and he is quite embarrassed about the whole incident. I was in Somerset when it happened and got a call from the hospital.

"Stuart is a carpenter and uses sharp and sometimes dangerous tools.

"This was an unfortunate accident but these things happen all the time to people in his profession."

Students Go to Prom in Barbie Boxes

150_barbieboxesGoing to the prom in a limousine, a tank, or a helicopter is old hat, so two girls in England made a grand entrance of another kind -by having themselves wheeled into the event in 6-foot Barbie boxes. Sammy Burns and Megan Barton made the boxes from cardboard painted pink and completed the details with Barbie logos and bar codes. Relatives dressed as delivery men to wheel the two 16-year-olds into the Wyvern Technology College prom in Fair Oak, Hampshire, England. The boxes were equipped with fans to prevent overheating.

Build-A-Bear Toys Stuffed with Heroin

DEA agents raided a Build-A-Bear toy store in the Riverdale area of the Bronx Friday and found a heroin operation that moved the drug by hiding it inside the bears. Twelve people were arrested. Agents seized 33 pound of heroin, $150,000 in cash, and weapons.

"It's a huge shock," said Mario Amesqui, 54, who lives in the same building as one of the Riverdale apartments raided on Friday.

"My daughter has one of those toys. I'm very surprised something like that was going on right here and I'm especially surprised it was a Build-A-Bear."

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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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