The Weird Week in Review

Schools Perform UFO Crash Drills

Some schools in the United Kingdom are teaming up with law enforcement agencies to practice what to do if a UFO crashes nearby. In the drills held over the past two years, an "incident" is created, and police talk to 8- to 10-year-old students about what they should do. The students are not told about the drill in advance. Afterward, the students write about the experience. The drills are designed to improve the student's reading and writing skills and to encourage them to use their imagination.

Never Anger Your Tattoo Artist

An unnamed 25-year-old man in Bundamba, Queensland, Australia asked for a yin-yang symbol to be tattooed on his back. The 21-year-old tattoo artist instead inked his own ideas on the man's back.

It depicts a 40cm-long image of a penis and a misspelled slogan implying the man is gay.

Police said the pair had a disagreement before the tattooing.

Ipswich Detective Constable Paul Malcolm said the victim was mortified by what happened to him.

The man who inked the tattoo has been charged with two counts of assault and a violation of the public safety act. It will cost about $2,000 to have to tattoo removed.

Beaver Arsonist

A house and outbuilding in Perth Road Village, Ontario was destroyed by a fire on October 20th. The cause of the fire was not apparent until investigators noticed a tree had pulled down a power line, which shorted out and started a grass fire, which spread to the nearby cottage. Other fallen trees were found, all bearing the distinctive marks of beaver teeth. The fire caused about $150,000 in damage, but firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading to other buildings.

Foreign Couple Mocked in Maldivian Ceremony

The Vilu Reef Beach and Spa resort in the Maldives advertises packages in which couples can renew their wedding vows. However, the ceremony is in the Dhivehi language. An employee uploaded a video of a ceremony in which the celebrant mocked the couple, calling them "pigs", "infidels", and worse. The European couple was oblivious to the meaning of the words spoken. The foreign minister of the Maldives was "horrified" by the video (contains NSFW subtitles). A local newspaper was outraged -at the news outlet that reported the incident, accusing the site of wanting to destroy tourism in the Maldives.

New Monkey Species Discovered, Eaten

Early this year, scientist heard of a new and different monkey in the Kachin state of Myanmar. When they arrived at the site, they found the monkey had been "discovered" by the hunters who killed it. It was eaten soon after. The UK organization Flora & Fauna International (FFI) investigated the species named R. strykeri, which they nicknamed "Snubby". The monkeys' noses are so short and exposed that rainfall makes them sneeze. They spend time during rain showers with their heads tucked, which make them vulnerable to hunters. The hunters told the FFI team that the rainy season was a good time to look for the monkeys because they made more noise during rain. Eventually, the research team saw more of the snub-nosed monkeys, but they moved so fast that no photographs were taken.

RIP Paul the Oracle Octopus

Paul, the octopus who predicted the outcome of World Cup soccer matches, has died at his home at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre in Germany. He was two years old.

After Germany's semi-final defeat, Paul tipped Spain to beat the Netherlands in the final, which prompted one news agency to report he had spurred a jump in demand for Spanish government bonds. Paul's prediction duly came to pass: Spain won.

Staff at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre in western Germany said in a statement they were "devastated" to learn of Paul's death when they returned to work on Tuesday.

"He appears to have passed away peacefully during the night, of natural causes, and we are consoled by the knowledge that he enjoyed a good life," said the centre's manager Stefan Porwoll.

There was no indication that Paul had predicted his passing.

Snake Trapped in Woman's Bracelet

Samantha Brooks of Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England was showing off her pet snake Prince when the snake became entangled in her bracelet. The bracelet became so tight that her hand began to turn blue, so a friend drove her to the local fire station. The firemen were startled, but then crew manager Kieron Hall used a ring cutter to break the bracelet and free Brooks' hand. The snake, who was trapped for about 40 minutes, was unharmed.

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Little Baby's Ice Cream
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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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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