The Weird Week in Review
Woman Falls, Rips Picasso Painting
A large painting by Pablo Picasso called "The Actor" hung in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. A woman who was attending an art class on Friday fell into the painting and caused a six-inch tear. The museum did not name the woman, and said that the damage occurred in the lower right corner of the painting. The tear will be repaired in time for a major Picasso retrospective opening at the museum on April 27th.
A Movie Made by Chimpanzees
Betsy Herrelko is working on a PhD in primate behavior. She gave specially-designed video cameras to a group of chimpanzees at the Edinburgh Zoo. The chimps were given lessons in how to use the equipment. The experiment took place over an 18-month period, and selected video clips were used to create a show called "Chimpcam" which was aired Wednesday on the BBC program Natural World.
The apes are unlikely to have actively tried to film any particular subject, or understand that by carrying Chimpcam around, they were making a film.
However, the result, as well as providing new information on how chimps like to see the world, may yet go down in television history.
US Planning to Relax Haggis Ban
Haggis fans in the United States may soon have their favorite dish available directly from Scotland. The US banned the import of certain British meats in 1989 amid fears of BSE, also known as Mad Cow Disease. The Department of Agriculture is now ready to relax those rules. Haggis was banned because it contains "offal ingredients such as sheep lungs." Haggis manufacturers in Scotland are encouraged by the news, as they will be able to sell the dish for US tourists to take home and ship haggis to Scottish expatriates in America.
Man Superglues Phone to his Ear
It was an accident. Gye Gardner of the Northern Territory of Australia keeps his phone headset in his ear all day. Recently the truck driver hit his head against the boom of his truck and broke the earpiece. Gardner repaired it with superglue. Then his boss called him. Without thinking, Gardener put the piece in his ear to answer the call and drove about five minutes before he realized what he had done. The glue had dried, and the headset was firmly glued to his ear. Gardner considered using his knife to remove the phone, but for safety reasons, used a spoon. Some skin still came off along with the earpiece.
Dog Rescued 18 Miles from Land
A dog that came to be known as Baltic floated for 70 miles on a raft of ice before he was rescued by the crew of a Polish research vessel. He first became trapped in the Vistula river near the town of Torun, Poland on Friday. He was later seen 40 miles away in Grudziadz, where a rescue attempt was thwarted due to ice. Another 22 miles downriver, another rescue attempt failed. After that, he was thought to be dead. Baltic was finally hauled aboard the science vessel Baltica 18 miles out in the Baltic Sea on Monday. The crew first thought they spied a seal, but were surprised to see legs. Captain Jan Jachim says if no one claims the dog, Baltic will become the ship's mascot.
Fired Over a Slice of Cheese
An employee of McDonalds in the Netherlands was fired last year for adding a slice of cheese to a hamburger. A co-worker had purchased a hamburger, then asked for cheese. The woman added the cheese without re-ringing the order and charging him the higher price for a cheeseburger. The company fired the unnamed woman in the town of Lemmer for breaking the rule against giving free food to family, friends, or co-workers. Last week, a Leeuwarden district court awarded the woman thousands of euros, saying her dismissal was too severe, and that a written warning would have been more appropriate.
Animal Menagerie Seized
Barbara Hoffman and Fred Lulling of Jefferson, Texas were arrested on charges of animal cruelty when the Marion County's Sheriff's Office seized over 50 animals from their home. Taken from the home were six tigers, one cougar, two panthers, one leopard, six goats, a sugar glider, six doves, three guinea pigs, parrots, pigeons, a wallaby, turtles, tarantulas, a coatimundi, iguanas, four boa constrictors, mice, one raccoon, one monkey, chickens, geese, one turkey, miniature horses and ponies, and dozens of dogs and cats. The animals had been kept in cages in several trailers on the property.