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The Weird Week in Review

Man Shoots TV Over Palin's Dance Routine

Steven N. Cowan of Vermont, Wisconsin was watching the TV show Dancing with the Stars and became upset that Bristol Palin had not yet been eliminated from the competition. So he got his shotgun out and shot the television set. He then pointed the gun at his wife, who fled and called authorities. Cowan, who is under medical care for a mental health problem, was arrested and charged with second-degree reckless endangerment. Bristol Palin advanced to the final round of competition.

Man Threatened After Saving Woman

Suffering from a sleepless night, Chris Sullivan of Ocean City, Maryland saw a car drive into a canal at about 2AM Monday. As the car began to sink, he rushed from his upstairs apartment to help the driver escape. He dove into the water three times as the car filled up, but could not open the doors or windows. Sullivan finally found a wooden plank and used it to break the car's rear windshield. As 23-year-old Taylor Cole Vanderhook exited the sinking car, she had words for Sullivan.

"She said, 'Dude, I'm gonna kill you -- you broke my car.' I said, 'Darling, you gotta get out, or you're going to die,' " Sullivan said.

Sullivan offered to give Vanderhook a ride home, but police soon arrived, finding her at a nearby bus stop, and arrested her.

Vanderhook was held on drunk driving and other charges. The Ocean City police department plans to honor Sullivan with an award for outstanding service.

Severed Hand Reattached -Three Months Later

Ming Li was on her way to school when a tractor ran over her and severed her left hand. Doctors in China thought the hand could be saved, but the arm was too damaged for reattachment. So they grafted the hand to Ming's leg in to keep it alive! After three months of repair and healing, the 9-year-old's arm was judged to be ready for the hand, so it was removed from her leg and reattached to her arm. With therapy and additional surgery, doctors believe she will be able to use the hand for most normal activities.

3-year-old Finds Gold with Metal Detector

James Hyatt of Billericay, Essex, England had never used a metal detector before. After all, he's only 3 years old. He was on an expedition with his father and grandfather in Hockley for just a few minutes when his detector started beeping. The trio dug up what turned out to be a 500-year-old gold reliquary, possibly worth millions of pounds! The sale price of the find will be split between Hyatt and the landowner.

March of the Santa Penguins

African penguins dressed as Santa Claus and his reindeer helped to open the annual holiday festival at Everland Amusement Park in Yongin, South Korea. The penguins marched in somewhat of a parade formation, accompanied by several human Santas who tossed artificial snow in the air. Other animals at the theme park were dressed for the event, but none were able to march as well as the penguins. The story contains video and a photo gallery.

A Koala Walks into a Bar...

A tavern in Australia got a visit from what turned out to be a celebrity last weekend. Patrons took pictures and called friends to come over to see the koala who came in Saturday evening, presumably to get out of the rain. Kevin Martin of the Marlin Bar on Magnetic Island described the incident.

"He sauntered up to the bar ... I asked him for ID and he got all disgruntled ... walked around the bar and then climbed up a pole and sulked," Mr Martin said today.

"We have a big stuffed marlin on the roof and he just sat under the marlin in front of the speaker, listening to the music.

"He fell asleep."

Rangers were called to take the koala back to his natural habitat. Magnetic Island is known for its large population of koalas.

Fake Doctor Performed Breast Exams at Bars

It sounds like a joke, but this time it worked -for a while. Police in Boise, Idaho arrested Kristina B. Ross on charges of practicing medicine without a license. Ross allegedly told women in local bars that she was a plastic surgeon named Dr. Berlyn Aussieahshowna and conducted breast exams on at least two women who have been identified. A plastic surgery center contacted police when women began calling the office looking for the nonexistent Dr. Aussieahshowna. Police suspect there may be more victims.

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science
2017 Ig Nobel Prizes Celebrate Research on How Crocodiles Affect Gambling and Other Odd Studies
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iStock

The Ig Nobel Prizes are back, and this year's winning selection of odd scientific research topics is as weird as ever. As The Guardian reports, the 27th annual awards of highly improbable studies "that first make people laugh, then make them think" were handed out on September 14 at a theater at Harvard University. The awards, sponsored by the Annals of Improbable Research, honor research you never would have thought someone would take the time (or the funding) to study, much less would be published.

The 2017 highlights include a study on whether cats can be both a liquid and a solid at the same time and one on whether the presence of a live crocodile can impact the behavior of gamblers. Below, we present the winners from each of the 10 categories, each weirder and more delightful than the last.

PHYSICS

"For using fluid dynamics to probe the question 'Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?'"

Winner: Marc-Antoine Fardin

Study: "On the Rheology of Cats," published in Rheology Bulletin [PDF]

ECONOMICS

"For their experiments to see how contact with a live crocodile affects a person's willingness to gamble."

Winners: Matthew J. Rockloff and Nancy Greer

Study: "Never Smile at a Crocodile: Betting on Electronic Gaming Machines is Intensified by Reptile-Induced Arousal," published in the Journal of Gambling Studies

ANATOMY

"For his medical research study 'Why Do Old Men Have Big Ears?'"

Winner: James A. Heathcote

Study: "Why Do Old Men Have Big Ears?" published in the BMJ

BIOLOGY

"For their discovery of a female penis, and a male vagina, in a cave insect."

Winners: Kazunori Yoshizawa, Rodrigo L. Ferreira, Yoshitaka Kamimura, and Charles Lienhard (who delivered their acceptance speech via video from inside a cave)

Study: "Female Penis, Male Vagina and Their Correlated Evolution in a Cave Insect," published in Current Biology

FLUID DYNAMICS

"For studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks backwards while carrying a cup of coffee."

Winner: Jiwon Han

Study: "A Study on the Coffee Spilling Phenomena in the Low Impulse Regime," published in Achievements in the Life Sciences

NUTRITION

"For the first scientific report of human blood in the diet of the hairy-legged vampire bat."

Winners: Fernanda Ito, Enrico Bernard, and Rodrigo A. Torres

Study: "What is for Dinner? First Report of Human Blood in the Diet of the Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat Diphylla ecaudata," published in Acta Chiropterologica

MEDICINE

"For using advanced brain-scanning technology to measure the extent to which some people are disgusted by cheese."

Winners: Jean-Pierre Royet, David Meunier, Nicolas Torquet, Anne-Marie Mouly, and Tao Jiang

Study: "The Neural Bases of Disgust for Cheese: An fMRI Study," published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

COGNITION

"For demonstrating that many identical twins cannot tell themselves apart visually."

Winners: Matteo Martini, Ilaria Bufalari, Maria Antonietta Stazi, and Salvatore Maria Aglioti

Study: "Is That Me or My Twin? Lack of Self-Face Recognition Advantage in Identical Twins," published in PLOS One

OBSTETRICS

"For showing that a developing human fetus responds more strongly to music that is played electromechanically inside the mother's vagina than to music that is played electromechanically on the mother's belly."

Winners: Marisa López-Teijón, Álex García-Faura, Alberto Prats-Galino, and Luis Pallarés Aniorte

Study: "Fetal Facial Expression in Response to Intravaginal Music Emission,” published in Ultrasound

PEACE PRIZE

"For demonstrating that regular playing of a didgeridoo is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring."

Winners: Milo A. Puhan, Alex Suarez, Christian Lo Cascio, Alfred Zahn, Markus Heitz, and Otto Braendli

Study: "Didgeridoo Playing as Alternative Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome: Randomised Controlled Trial," published by the BMJ

Congratulations, all.

[h/t The Guardian]

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Courtesy of Julia Donovan
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Art
Meet the 12-Year-Old Boy Who Makes Surreal-Looking Dolls Using Found Materials
Original image
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

Some dolls are cutesy, but not Callum Donovan-Grujicich's fantastical creations. As Bored Panda reports, the 12-year-old artist from Whitby, Ontario crafts tiny, surreal-looking figures, some of which have won art show prizes and been featured in national magazines and on TV.

Donovan-Grujicich first began making art dolls around two years ago, when he was 10. The bodies and faces of the dolls are made from clay, and the limbs from stuffed cloth, but the young artist often uses found objects—like bits of old metal—to create facial features or accessories like hats and jewelry.

"Found objects are a big part of his process and often, he says, the inspiration for the whole sculpture comes from some rusted piece of metal," Donovan-Grujicich's mother, Julia Donovan, tells Mental Floss. "He loves to collect old-looking scrap metal and anything else that he finds interesting."

Aside from art classes at a local gallery, Donovan-Grujicich is entirely self-trained. Someday, he hopes to earn a master of fine arts degree to teach and make art, but for now, the preteen continues to hone his unique aesthetic by making dolls and creating stop-motion animation and live-action films with his brother.

Some people might view Donovan-Grujicich's figures as grim—especially for a kid—but his mother thinks they simply provide a different perspective on beauty.

"A lot has been made of the darkness in Callum's work, which I think has been completely overblown and misunderstood," Donovan says. "Callum is sometimes serious, but not a dark person at all."

You can check out some of Donovan-Grujicich's work below, or visit his website for more information.

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

 A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

 A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

 A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

 A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

[h/t Bored Panda]

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