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The Weird Week in Review

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Exploding Refrigerator Wrecks Home

Kathy Cullingworth of Normanton, England was awakened by an early morning explosion downstairs in her home. She and her husband found their refrigerator had exploded, leaving appliances wrecked, the kitchen walls cracked, and windows broken. Firefighters came to the home to turn off the electricity and inspect the damage. Cullingworth said there was no carbonated drinks or alcohol in the refrigerator that could have caused the blast. Investigators don't know what sparked the explosion. The eight-year-old refrigerator is still under warranty and will be examined by the manufacturer.

8-year-old Wing Walker

Tiger Brewer of London, England has become the world's youngest person to walk on the wing of an airborne plane at the age of eight. Brewer's grandfather Vic Norman operates a formation wing walking team and offered the boy a chance to try the stunt this week on a flight over Gloucestershire. Tiger stood on the wing of the biplane as it cruised at 100 miles per hour. The previous youngest wing walker was 11-year-old Guy Mason, son of Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, who performed the stunt in 2001.

Catfish Clean Foreclosed Pools

Nine percent of the homes in Wellington, Florida are under or in danger of foreclosure, and many of them have pools that are no longer maintained, which leads to a problem with mosquitoes. City authorities are trying an alternative method for controlling the insects. They are stocking the pools with catfish from the Amazon in hopes they will clean the pools and consume mosquito larvae.

"Everybody is looking to see how they work out, but starting the program this time of year is like us mowing grass with a push mower when it's already knee-high," said Dave Hoy, a fish farm owner who has used plecos for years to clean fish tanks.

3,000-year-old Butter Found

150butterbarrelAn oak barrel of butter has been found in a bog near Gilltown, Ireland. Two workers, John Fitzharris and Martin Lane, noticed a white streak in the peat and uncovered the barrel, later estimated to be 3,000 years old. The butter is now white adipocere, resembling animal fat, that is the final product of many organic substances preserved in bogs. Curators at the National Museum of Ireland consider the barrel to be from the Iron Age.

"Putpockets" Give Out Money

A broadband provider in London, England is giving away money with the help of twenty reformed pickpockets. The participants are putting five to twenty pound notes in unguarded pockets and purses in public squares around London. At the end of this month, the company plans to take the program to other towns. A total of 100,000 pounds will be given away.

"It feels good to give something back for a change -- and Britons certainly need it in the current economic climate," said Chris Fitch, a former pickpocket who now heads TalkTalk's putpocketing initiative.

"Every time I put money back in someone's pocket, I feel less guilty about the fact I spent many years taking it out."

Watch Returned 128 Years Later

150pocketwatchIn 2000, Rich Hughes was diving near a shipwreck off the coast of Pembrokeshire, Wales when he spotted a shiny object under the sea. He retrieved a pocket watch with "Richard Prichard 1866 Abersoch North Wales" engraved on the casing. After nearly ten years of detective work, Hughes reconstructed the story of the pocket watch and its owner. Ship captain Richard Prichard died during a voyage of the Barbara and was buried at sea. A man named Jones took over both the ship and the captain's effects, but did not have the necessary navigational skills. The ship sailed into the wrong channel and sank during a storm in 1881. The crewmen were rescued, but captain Jones went down with the ship, and presumably had the watch on his person. Hughes enlisted the help of an amateur historian to track down Prichard's family. He finally found a grandson of Prichard's cousin, and will present the watch to the delighted descendent next month.

Cow-damaged Breast Saved by Pink

Kimberley Koy works at a cattle station in Australia and was slightly gored in the chest by a cow's horn in the line of duty. The horn didn't break the skin, so she thought there was no damage done. A week later she boarded a flight to Sydney to see a Pink concert, and her left breast swelled to twice its size! Her implant had been damaged by the cattle incident, and the air pressure caused silicone to leak out. Koy said,

"When I woke up the day after the plane trip it was double the size of my right one "¦ I thought I had breast cancer.

"If I hadn't have gone to the Pink concert I wouldn't have known my breast was leaking."

The implant was replaced yesterday.

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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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