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The Weird Week in Review

Armed WWII Grenades Used As Bookends

The bomb squad blew up two World War II hand grenades in Deland, Florida last Tuesday morning. A man told police he had been given a hand grenade by a neighbor. The man had pulled the pin on the grenade, then replaced the pin, set the grenade outside, and called police. The neighbor said her late husband, a World War II veteran, had used the grenades as bookends. Police detonated both grenades in a field, which left a two-foot crater in the ground.

Woman Finds Drugs Inside Vacuum Cleaner

An unidentified woman in Green Bay, Wisconsin, received a vacuum cleaner as a Christmas gift. When she opened the box, she found other packages: two pounds each of crystal methamphetamine and cocaine!

"This was an 'are you kidding me' incident," said Lt. David Poteat, who heads the Brown County Drug Task Force.

It's likely that a smuggler inserted the drugs into the vacuum cleaner box before the unit was shipped from the Juarez, Mexico, area, where it had been reconditioned, Poteat said. No one, including the Green Bay retailer who sold the vacuum, noticed anything amiss, he said, until the woman opened the package and called police.

Police believe the woman who received the package had no connection to the drug-smuggling scheme.

Texting Shopper Suing Mall

Cathy Marrero walked through the mall in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, while texting on her mobile phone and plunged headfirst into a fountain. Her mishap was captured on security cameras from at least two different angles. A video recording of the security staff watching the incident over and over and laughing was posted on YouTube where it received over two millions views. Marrero didn't think the video was all that funny, and said she is suing the mall because security guards should have been helping her instead of laughing. It is not clear how long after the incident the recording in question was made.

Update: And there's even more to the story.

Police Catch Drug-smuggling Pigeon

Police in Bucaramanga, Colombia found a pigeon a block away from the local jail trying to fly, but couldn't because of the weight of its baggage. A pack strapped to the bird's back contained 1.6 ounces of marijuana and 0.2 ounces of crack cocaine. Police believe the pigeon was supposed to deliver the package to jail inmates, but weren't sure whether it had been trained by inmates or accomplices on the outside. Pigeons have been used to sneak cell phone SIM cards into prisons before, but they weigh much less than the drug pack this pigeon was wearing.

Twin Sisters Give Birth Minutes Apart

Identical twin sisters Amy Gilbert and Allison Oliverio of Clinton, Michigan, grew up together, both married their high school sweethearts, went into the same profession, and then became mothers -on the same day! The sisters were put in rooms next to each other in the maternity ward of the local hospital, so Dr. Timothy Kim could attend to both births. Amy delivered a little girl and Allison had a son 14 minutes later. Only time will tell how alike the cousins who share a January 12th birthday will be.

Police Detain Drunken Owl

Police officers in Pforzheim, Germany, were called Tuesday to investigate an owl that appeared to be sick.

"A woman walking her dog alerted the police after seeing the bird sitting by the side of the road oblivious to passing traffic," Frank Otruba, spokesman for the police in the southwestern city of Pforzheim, told SPIEGEL ONLINE.

The Brown Owl didn't appear to be injured and officers quickly concluded that it had had one too many. One of its eyelids was drooping, adding to the general impression of inebriation.

"It wasn't staggering around and we didn't breathalyze it but there were two little bottles of Schapps in the immediate vicinity," said Otruba. "We took it to a local bird expert who has treated alcoholized birds before and she has been giving it lots of water."

The owl will be released when sober.

It Didn't Stay in Vegas

New York City college student Hubert Blackman filed a lawsuit against Las Vegas Exclusive Personals over an incident that occured while he was on vacation in December. Blackman says he arranged for a stripper to come to his room. He says the stripper also performed a sex act, for which he paid, but she didn't stay for the contracted hour. He demanded a refund from the company the next day. When the business refused, Blackman called police to complain. The police advised him that he could be arrested, as prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas. In the lawsuit filed in January, Blackman is asking for his $275 back plus $1.8 million "for the tragic event that happened." The Vegas company denies dealing in prostitution, saying the adult dancers it uses are subcontractors.

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Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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Food
Cheese Wheel Wedding Cakes Are a Funky Twist on an Old Tradition
Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If there’s ever a time you have permission to be cheesy, it’s on your wedding day. What better way to do so than with a pungent wedding cake made of actual wheels of cheese? According to Elite Daily, cheese wedding cakes are a real option for couples who share an affinity for dairy products.

One of the trailblazers behind the sharp trend is Bath, England-based cheese supplier The Fine Cheese Co. The company offers clients a choice of one of dozens of wedding cake designs. There are bold show-stoppers like the Beatrice cake, which features five tiers of cheese and is priced at $400. For customers looking for something more delicate, there’s the Clara centerpiece, which replaces miniature wedding cakes with mounds of goat cheese. Whether your loved one likes funky Stilton or mellow brie, there’s a cheese cake to satisfy every palate. Flowers are incorporated into each display to make them just as pretty as conventional wedding cakes.

Since The Fine Cheese Co. arranged their first wedding cake in 2002, other cheese suppliers have entered the game. The Cheese Shed in Newton Abbot, England; I.J. Ellis Cheesemongers in Scotland; and Murray’s Cheese in New York will provide cheese wheel towers for weddings or any other special occasion. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from clearing out the local fromagerie and assembling a cheese cake at home.

[h/t Elite Daily]

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Screenshot via Mount Vernon/Vimeo
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History
The Funky History of George Washington's Fake Teeth
Screenshot via Mount Vernon/Vimeo
Screenshot via Mount Vernon/Vimeo

George Washington may have the most famous teeth—or lack thereof—in American history. But counter to what you may have heard about the Founding Father's ill-fitting dentures, they weren't made of wood. In fact, he had several sets of dentures throughout his life, none of which were originally trees. And some of them are still around. The historic Mount Vernon estate holds the only complete set of dentures that has survived the centuries, and the museum features a video that walks through old George's dental history.

Likely due to genetics, poor diet, and dental disease, Washington began losing his original teeth when he was still a young man. By the time he became president in 1789, he only had one left in his mouth. The dentures he purchased to replace his teeth were the most scientifically advanced of the time, but in the late 18th century, that didn't mean much.

They didn't fit well, which caused him pain, and made it difficult to eat and talk. The dentures also changed the way Washington looked. They disfigured his face, causing his lips to noticeably stick out. But that doesn't mean Washington wasn't grateful for them. When he finally lost his last surviving tooth, he sent it to his dentist, John Greenwood, who had made him dentures of hippo ivory, gold, and brass that accommodated the remaining tooth while it still lived. (The lower denture of that particular pair is now held at the New York Academy of Medicine.)

A set of historic dentures
George Washington's Mount Vernon

These days, no one would want to wear dentures like the ones currently held at Mount Vernon (above). They're made of materials that would definitely leave a bad taste in your mouth. The base that fit the fake teeth into the jaw was made of lead. The top teeth were sourced from horses or donkeys, and the bottom were from cows and—wait for it—people.

These teeth actually deteriorated themselves, revealing the wire that held them together. The dentures open and shut thanks to metal springs, but because they were controlled by springs, if he wanted to keep his mouth shut, Washington had to permanently clench his jaw. You can get a better idea of how the contraption worked in the video from Mount Vernon below.

Washington's Dentures from Mount Vernon on Vimeo.

There are plenty of lessons we can learn from the life of George Washington, but perhaps the most salient is this: You should definitely, definitely floss.

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