The Weird Week in Review

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The Town that Loves Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin has a fan club in Adipur, Gujarat, India called the Charlie Circle. A couple hundred local people are members, and have a celebration every year on April 16th, Chaplin's birthday. For this year's party, more than 100 people attended dressed as Chaplin's character the Little Tramp. The man behind the town's fascination with the actor is film buff Ashok Aswani, who became a Chaplin fan in 1966 when he watch The Gold Rush four times in one day. He started the Charlie Circle in 1973. The annual celebration includes a street party and procession and the showing of a Chaplin film.

Bear's Head Stuck in Can

It was a scene reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh and the honey pot. A young bear was spotted in Reading, Vermont wandering about, bumping into things, with his head stuck in an old-fashioned milk can. State biologist Forrest Hammond freed the bear with help from police and firefighters.

Hammond had to tranquilize the bear and first tried to soap up his head and pull the milk jug off, but that didn't work and he eventually had to use metal shears to get it loose. "He just did an excellent job of getting out there," Hall said. "It's important, too, that nobody got hurt," he said, adding that the bear was released into the wild.

Officials think the can had been used as a bird feeder because there was birdseed in the bottom, which may have attracted the young bear.

Fugitive Hides in Manure Pool

The Noble County Special Operations Group, the local SWAT team in Noble County, Indiana came to the farm where 52-year old Thomas Hovis Jr. was living to serve warrants from Steuben County. Hovis fled to the barn, where he pulled up the grate covering a manure pit and jumped in. Officers did not find him for about an hour, when they saw his head sticking out of the frigid feces. Deputies from the two counties immediately began discussing who would have the dubious honor of transporting Hovis in their vehicle. As Hovis showed signs of hypothermia, he was instead taken to a local hospital by ambulance.

Shark Bits Surfboard; Surfer Rides Shark

Jim Rawlinson was riding the waves at Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii on Monday when a tiger shark attacked his surfboard. The 68-year-old surfer slid backwards and found himself riding on the back of the shark! He estimates that he was on the shark for ten to 15 seconds, then took the surf leash off his leg and slid off the rear of the fish. From the bite marks left on the surfboard, Rawlinson and marine biologist Terry Lilley, who was shooting video underwater nearby, estimate the shark was around 14 feet long.

Burglars Break Into Prison

A minimum security prison in Hoorn, the Netherlands was the site of a break-in, not once but twice in the last six weeks. The facility is for inmates about to finish their sentences, and many have weekend passes. While the inmates were gone, thieves came in and stole their TV sets. Authorities have not yet determined how the thieves got inside the prison, and there have been no arrests.

New Mexico Cat Gets Ride Home from Chicago

Robin Alex, of Albuquerque, New Mexico went to New Orleans to built a Habitat for Humanity house. When she returned, her cat Charles was gone. That was eight months ago.

Then earlier this week, Alex received a call telling her Chicago Animal Care and Control had picked up her wandering cat as a stray. Staffers reached out to Alex after finding that Charles had a tracking microchip embedded between his shoulder blades, said the agency's executive director, Cherie Travis.

But Alex said she could not afford the round-trip ticket to Chicago to bring Charles home, so she was afraid he might be euthanized.

Enter fellow Albuquerque resident Lucien Sims. Sims said he has a tabby cat who strongly resembles Charles, and was moved when his mother sent him an online story about Alex and her pet.

Sims volunteered to pick Charles up and bring him back to New Mexico, as he was traveling to a wedding in Chicago. American Airlines did not charge a travel fee for the cat, and another company donated a pet carrier. Alex is happy to have her cat back. Still, no one knows how Charles came to be 1300 miles away in Chicago.

Stranded Couple Take Vows Via Skype

Sean Murtagh of London, England was scheduled to marry Natalie Mead of Brisbane, Australia surrounded by family and friends in England. They had a civil ceremony in Australia already, and were on the way to the big British ceremony when they were stranded at an airport in Dubai due to the volcanic ash cloud that canceled many European flights. Instead of canceling the wedding, they were married via Skype! Assembled wedding attendees in Ealing, west London, watched the couple take their vows aided by a laptop and a webcam at the airport. The airport donated flowers and a wedding cake for the celebration.

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April 23, 2010 - 4:42am
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