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The Weird Week in Review

Star Rugby Player Quits Team Over Photo

Joel Monaghan of the Canberra Raiders rugby team is no longer with the Canberra Raiders. Monaghan asked that his $250,000 per year contract be canceled after a photograph of Monaghan in a compromising position with a friend's dog was leaked to the internet. The picture was snapped at a post-season party with about 30 teammates. Monaghan's resignation saved the team's management from having to decide whether to fire him or not. Monaghan said he takes full responsibility for the incident. Alcohol was involved.

New Species of Lizard Found -on the Menu

Vietnamese herpetologist Ngo Van Tri noticed something strange about the tanks of lizards at the small diners in the village of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. They were all female, which is odd for the species Leiolepis ngovantrii, which is what they were thought to be. So he called a friend, herpetologist Dr. Lee Grismer at La Sierra University in California, who traveled to Vietnam with his son, a doctoral candidate. By the time they arrived, the batch of lizards a restaurant owner said he would save were gone.

"Unfortunately, the owner wound up getting drunk, and grilled them all up for his patrons... so when we got there, there was nothing left."

Faced with an empty tank and nearly dashed hopes, the men asked around at other cafes in the area for the local delicacy, and hired children to track down as many of the lizards as they could find.

What Gismer received were 60 specimens -all females -of a previously unknown lizard species that reproduces without males.

Blasted Tower Falls the Wrong Way

A demolition crew planned for the 275-foot smokestack to fall one way, but it fell the other way Wednesday at the Mad River Power Plant in Springfield, Ohio. The tower brought down power lines and crushed equipment. There were no injuries, but 4,000 houses were left without power. Nine traffic lights were out of order, and there was one traffic accident. The demolition was captured on video.

Man Forced to Eat Beard in Fight Over Lawnmower

Harvey Westmoreland of Lawrenceburg, Kentucky and his brother Joseph got into an altercation with Troy Holt and James Hill over the price of a lawnmower Holt tried to buy from Westmoreland. Westmoreland said that in addition to throwing punches and pulling a knife, the two men also cut off Westmoreland's beard and stuffed it in his mouth, forcing him to eat it. Alcohol was involved. Despite threats, the Westmoreland brothers called police. Holt and Hill later pled guilty to unspecified charges. The comments below the news story are equally entertaining.

Campaign Signs May Become Collectible

You must admit it's a name to remember: Young Boozer III. Boozer won the race for Alabama state treasurer, despite a rash of campaign sign theft early in the campaign. It seemed that college students wanted the signs for their dorms and frat houses. Boozer's campaign manager Glenda Allred also got requests from out of state for the signs, which some believe may become valuable in time. However, she said there were still signs left to be picked up after the election. The future value of the signs is uncertain.

Something Borrowed

In order to make Jillian Sherlock and Nikhil Pereira's wedding day as perfect as possible, the five bridesmaids kept quiet about the carjacking incident until after the ceremony was complete. A man who had broken into a house near the church in Boston was looking for a getaway, and the limousine carrying the bridesmaids looked like a possibility.

“He started fighting with the driver, and the girls got out and ran,” said Karl Kammann, a Buckingham Bus driver who had just dropped off 48 guests at the church. “It was chaos. Right out from under the wedding party! What a way to get married.”

The driver got out, the limousine disappeared, and was found abandoned a short while later. The ceremony went on as scheduled while police cordoned off the area as a crime scene. Another limousine was summoned to carry the wedding party.

Tasmanian Tiger Pelt Found at Garage Sale

What do you do with the pelt of an extinct animal? Get it appraised, of course! Bill Warren of Fallbrook, California picked up an unidentified animal skin at a garage sale for $5, and found that it belongs to a Tasmanian tiger, or Thylacine, which was declared extinct in 1936. Andrew Snooks from Armitage Auctions in Australia said the pelts are extremely rare. The last one sold at his auction house went for $68,000. But Warren is barred from selling the pelt, as the Thylacine is still on the US Endangered Species List. Warren plans to apply for an exemption and is hoping for the best.

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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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travel
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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