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The Weird Week in Review

Squirrel Terrorizes Neighborhood

A small but vicious gray squirrel has attacked at least three residents of Bennington, Vermont in the past couple of weeks. Kevin McDonald was shoveling snow when the squirrel attacked, jumping on his shoulder and holding on. When McDonald shook him off, the squirrel returned for more. Two other people were attacked in a separate incident, and one person was bitten. There are fears that the squirrel may have rabies, but wildlife authorities say that odds are low. They speculate the squirrel may have been reared as a pet and then turned loose. Wildlife control experts have been trying to catch the squirrel for over a week.

Balls All Over

A shopping center in Perth, Scotland was flooded with small red balls when a contest went awry. An Alfa Romeo car was filled with balls for a "guess how many" contest at St. John’s Shopping Centre, to benefit Comic Relief. However, the contest organizers failed to ensure that all the car doors were locked. A child, thought to be about three years old, opened the passenger door and released hundreds of balls.

Crowds gathered and cheered the farcical scene as several of the centre’s security team battled to gather up the balls, while many young children were seen making off with a few.

Siobhan McConnell, the shopping centre manager, said: “This was a bit more comic relief than we had originally planned.

Most of the balls were eventually retrieved, and the contest resumes today.

World's Most Expensive Dog

An 11-month-old Tibetan mastiff named Hong Dong (Big Splash) broke the record for dog prices, going to a new home in China for 10 million RMB, which is £945,000 or about $1.5 million US. Tibetan mastiffs are a very old breed, but lately have become a status symbol among China's new wealthy class. A few years ago, puppies sold for 5,000 RMB, but prices have skyrocketed because of the demand. Hong Dong's new owner will likely receive high stud fees for the dog's breeding services, as much as 100,000 RMB and may earn his money back soon.

30-hour Standoff Over Car Clamp

Jessica Davey, of Salisbury, England found her car clamped on Monday morning, despite the fact that she had purchased a valid parking permit, which was visibly displayed on the car's dashboard. However, since she didn't have it on the window, Anthony Brindley clamped her car wheel and demanded £110 to remove it. Unwilling to pay the fine, and unable to pay £250 to redeem her car if it were to be towed, Davey got in the car and stayed there -for 30 hours! Meanwhile, the police declined to get involved, saying it was civil matter. They intervened, however, when Davey's boyfriend tried to remove the clamp himself. He was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. Davey eventually removed the car clamp herself the next day, when the car clamper Brindley was gone.

Commemorative Royal Wedding Cup with Wrong Prince

Guangdong Enterprises is selling a souvenir porcelain cup to commemorate the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The £9.99 cup features an inscription reading “The fairytale romantic union of all the centuries. 29th April 2011” and a picture of the prince and Ms. Middleton -except the prince pictured is William's younger brother Harry. Even if the offer is an elaborate spoof, it may prove to be profitable, as there are people who more likely to buy a limited-edition mistake than proper official wedding souvenirs.

Tsunami Victim Rescued 10 Miles Out at Sea

Sixty-year-old Hiromitsu Shinkawa was found floating on the roof of his house ten miles from the coast of Japan, two days after the tsunami hit his town of Minami Soma.

Incredibly, he was spotted by a maritime self-defence force destroyer taking part in the rescue effort as he clung to the wreckage with one hand and waved a self-made red flag with the other. He had been at sea for two days.

Reports said that on being handed a drink aboard the rescue boat, Shinkawa gulped it down and immediately burst into tears. His wife, with whom he had returned home as the tsunami approached, is still missing.

He was quoted as saying: "No helicopters or boats that came nearby noticed me. I thought that day was going to be the last day of my life."

Officials said Shinkawa was in good condition after being taken to hospital by helicopter.

Proposal On Stage with Robots

Chicago actress Nina O'Keefe is currently starring in the play Heddatron, which is about a woman who is kidnapped by robots. Her boyfriend, Erik Schroeder, works for a different theater company, but was called on stage for the Heddatron curtain call because it was his 30th birthday. However, that was just a ruse. After a prompting by the on-stage robots, Shroeder dropped to one knee and asked O'Keefe to marry him! The very-surprised O'Keefe said yes, after which the robots serenaded the happy couple. The proposal was captured on video.

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22 Emojis That Look Completely Different on Different Phones
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iStock

Emojis are a great addition to our communication toolbox. Without saying a word, we can talk about people, places, things, and emotions. But different platforms sometimes display the same emoji specification in different ways. An eye roll might come across as petulant or cheerful. A snake might look threatening or adorable. To help you navigate some potentially confusing cross-platform interactions, here are 22 emojis (referred to by their programming code names) that come out with important differences on Apple (iOS 11.1), Google (Android 8), and Samsung (Galaxy S8).

1. FACE WITH ROLLING EYES

3 different face with rolling eyes emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Way to miss the point.
Google: Ugh. Oh boy. Nice one. NOT!
Samsung: Heh, heh. Neato.

2. SNAKE

3 different snake emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Beware!
Google: Beware?
Samsung: Aww. Snakey-poo.

3. NERD FACE

Three different nerd face emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Nerdy cuteness.
Google: Nerdy excitement!
Samsung: Nerdy astonishment!

4. COOKIE

Three different cookie emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Mmm. Delicious chocolate chips…
Google: Raisins? Nuts?
Samsung: Uh, thanks for the cookie?

5. LOUDLY CRYING FACE

Three different loudly crying face emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: River of tears.
Google: Waterfall of tears.
Samsung: Cast adrift on a lake of tears.

6. GHOST

Three different ghost emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Ready for a goofy good scare?!
Google: Me scary! (*wink*)
Samsung: (*clears throat*) Um, boo.

7. COUCH AND LAMP

Three different couch and lamp emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Midcentury modern pad.
Google: Office waiting room.
Samsung: Haunted Victorian hotel.

8. CHIPMUNK

Three different chipmunk emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Cute? No. Please allow me my dignity.
Google: Tee hee. Cute!
Samsung: Where did I put those nuts…

9. OCTOPUS

Three different octopus emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Oh. You surprised me there.
Google: Boo! I surprise YOU!
Samsung: Hellooooooo, over there.

10. CAT FACE

Three different cat emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Always identified more with the mice, actually.
Google: On the internet, everyone loves a cat!
Samsung: Your texts are tedious.

11. PIZZA

Three different pizza emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Pepperoni.
Google: Pepperoni and olives.
Samsung: Pepperoni, olives, and extra cheese.

12. MAN DANCING

Three different man dancing emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung
Apple/Google/Samsung

Apple: Disco in the '70s.
Google: Miami Vice in the '80s.
Samsung: Dabbing, whipping, and nae-naeing at the middle school.

13. OLD MAN

Three different old man emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: More like middle-aged.
Google: Old and yet somehow babyish.
Samsung: Very prematurely grey kid.

14. RUNNING SHOE

Three different running shoe emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Ready for the 5K.
Google: Ready for some stickball.
Samsung: Ready for the playground.

15. DETECTIVE

Three different detective emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Experienced and ready to assist.
Google: No experience yet, but can’t wait to start!
Samsung: Seen too much.

16. PERSON SURFING

Three different person surfing emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Awesome!
Google: Pretty fun.
Samsung: Whoa. Help.

17. FRAMED PICTURE

Three different framed picture emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: For the nursery.
Google: For the den.
Samsung: For the great hall.

18. DROOLING FACE

Three different drooling face emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Sooo delicious…
Google: Sooo incomprehensible…
Samsung: Sooo disturbing…

19. CLAPPING HANDS

Three different clapping emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Pay attention!
Google: Polite applause.
Samsung: Hushed appreciation.

20. T-SHIRT

Three different t-shirt emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Casual Friday at the office.
Google: Saturday at the gym.
Samsung: Sunday on the couch.

21. PERSON FROWNING

Three different person frowning emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Hurt and disappointed.
Google: Crushed and disappointed.
Samsung: Not gonna stand for it anymore.

22. FEARFUL FACE

Three different fearful face emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Yikes! Aaack! No way!
Google: Oh dear! Why! I feel sick!
Samsung: Bzzzt! Yoinks!

Check the platform differences for all the emojis at Emojipedia.

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This Just In
Australians Vote to Name New Sydney Harbor Boat 'Ferry McFerryface'
NSW Transport
NSW Transport

Proving that some jokes never die (or at least take a little longer to reach the Land Down Under), Sydney has a new ferry named Ferry McFerryface, according to BBC News.

For the uninitiated, the name Ferry McFerryface pays homage to an English practical joke from 2016. It all started when the UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) made global headlines after launching an online poll to name a nearly $300 million polar research ship. Leading the vote by a significant margin was the moniker “Boaty McBoatface.”

For a short period, it seemed as though jokesters would pull off their naming coup. But once the competition reached its end, government officials ultimately decided to override the poll. They named the research ship RSS Sir David Attenborough instead, although they did agree to give the name Boaty McBoatface to one of its submarines.

Sydney recently held a similar competition to name a fleet of six new harbor ferries, and the results were announced in mid-November. Locals submitted more than 15,000 names, and winning submissions included the names of esteemed Australian doctors, prominent Aboriginal Australians, and—yes—Ferry McFerryface, according to the Associated Press. Boaty McBoatface also came out on top, but it was struck down.

“Given ‘Boaty’ was already taken by another vessel, we’ve gone with the next most popular name nominated by Sydneysiders,” said Andrew Constance, the New South Wales minister for transport and infrastructure, in a statement. “Ferry McFerryface will be the harbor’s newest icon and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of visitors and locals alike.”

[h/t BBC News]

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