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The Weird Week in Review

Restaurant Serves Breast Milk Ice Cream

A ice cream parlor in London, England has a new flavor on the menu. “Baby Gaga” is made from 75% human breast milk and 25% cow milk (plus vanilla and other flavoring). The Icecreamists will begin selling the ice cream Friday. The breast milk comes from 15 women who are receiving the equivalent of $1.61 an ounce for their milk, making lactation quite lucrative for the mothers. The ice cream will sell for $22 a serving.

Dog Rescued by Dolphins

A doberman pincher named Turbo went missing from his home in Marco Island, Florida last weekend. He was gone for 15 hours before being pulled out of a canal by a neighbor Monday morning. Owner Cindy Burnett said the splashing of dolphins alerted the neighbor to the dog in distress.

“The lady here who had gotten him out of the canal said, ‘No, the dolphins were with him,’” Burnett explained.

Dolphins got a neighbor’s attention – alerting them to a stranded pooch in shallow water.

“If he had to tread water all night long, I know he wouldn’t have been able to,” Burnett said.

Beer to be Classified as Alcohol in Russia

For the first time in history, beer, currently classified as food, is set to be reclassified as an alcoholic drink in Russia. The move is a part of the Kremlin’s war on alcoholism, as beer consumption has tripled over the last 15 years in the country. The new classification means that officials can limit when beer is sold and regulate the size of the containers. Many Russians consider beer to be a soft drink.

Museum Finds Vandalism Funny

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts rented a billboard sign for their exhibition “Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting.” It featured a portion of the nude painting Venus Rising from the Sea. It didn’t stay nude. Someone painted a red bra on the artwork and the letters “Brrr”. The museum’s head of public relations, Anne-Marie Wagener, found the paint job funny, especially with the hint that Venus was cold in the Minnesota weather. Without that, Wagener said, it would look like censorship. The museum will leave the billboard as it is for now.

Nun Tossed Out Over Facebook

Sister Maria Jesus Galan was asked to leave the Santo Domingo el Real convent in Toledo, Spain, where she had lived for 35 years -over her Facebook activities. The Dominican convent, which normally discourages nuns from dealing with the outside world, first allowed a computer in ten years ago, and Sister Maria put it to work. She digitized the convent’s archives and even won awards for her computer work. But fellow nuns complained that Sister Maria’s Facebook habit interfered with cloistered life and “made life impossible.” At the time, Sister Maria had 600 Facebook friends. She was asked to leave, and now lives with her mother in Toledo. Her Facebook profile shows 1900 friends now, and her fan page has over 11,000 supporters.

America’s Most-injured Soldier Going Back to War

Captain D.J. Skelton was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in Fallujah in 2004. The explosive tore through his face. Six years and 60 surgical operations later, Skelton is left with a missing eye, no palate, and limited use of his left arm and ankle. The captain used his years of recovery to graduate from West Point, learn Chinese, and prepare to return to active duty.

Retired Army officer Lieutenant General John Nagl, a friend of Capt Skelton, said what he had accomplished should have been ‘physically incapable for him’.

‘Certain things are tough for him to do. The rifle is tough. He’s good with a pistol. In some cases, it’s good to have a company commander behind a rifle, but he makes up for it in other ways.

‘I have no doubt that he will succeed’.

Skelton is scheduled to take command of the 192 men from his previous unit in southern Afghanistan.

Cat Purrs at 90 Decibels

The loudest purr in the world? Let’s hope so! Smokey the cat, of Pitsford, Northampton, England, purrs so loudly that her owners Ruth and Mark Adams can’t hear themselves think. They have trouble watching the TV or holding phone conversations when Smokey is in the room. The cat’s purr averages around 80 decibels and at least once measured 90 decibels. That’s as loud as a lawnmower or a plane landing!

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Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
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Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

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What Are the 12 Days of Christmas?
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Everyone knows to expect a partridge in a pear tree from your true love on the first day of Christmas ... But when is the first day of Christmas?

You'd think that the 12 days of Christmas would lead up to the big day—that's how countdowns work, as any year-end list would illustrate—but in Western Christianity, "Christmas" actually begins on December 25th and ends on January 5th. According to liturgy, the 12 days signify the time in between the birth of Christ and the night before Epiphany, which is the day the Magi visited bearing gifts. This is also called "Twelfth Night." (Epiphany is marked in most Western Christian traditions as happening on January 6th, and in some countries, the 12 days begin on December 26th.)

As for the ubiquitous song, it is said to be French in origin and was first printed in England in 1780. Rumors spread that it was a coded guide for Catholics who had to study their faith in secret in 16th-century England when Catholicism was against the law. According to the Christian Resource Institute, the legend is that "The 'true love' mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The 'me' who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the 'days' represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn."

In debunking that story, Snopes excerpted a 1998 email that lists what each object in the song supposedly symbolizes:

2 Turtle Doves = the Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

There is pretty much no historical evidence pointing to the song's secret history, although the arguments for the legend are compelling. In all likelihood, the song's "code" was invented retroactively.

Hidden meaning or not, one thing is definitely certain: You have "The Twelve Days of Christmas" stuck in your head right now.

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