CLOSE

The Weird Week in Review

Eagle Drops Poodle Into a Better Life

A female poodle fell out of the sky onto the grounds of Shorncliffe Nursing Home in Sechelt, British Columbia. Talon marks in her back indicate that she was probably dropped by an eagle who became tired of the dog's 18-pound weight. The nursing home staff sent the poodle, later named Miracle May, to the Sunshine Coast SPCA. The eagle likely saved her life in the long run. May showed signs of longtime neglect, including rotted teeth and claws that were growing into her paw pads. She is recovering after medical intervention by the SPCA, but the Society needs donations to pay for her care.

Man Eats 25,000 Big Macs In 39 Years

Don Gorske of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, celebrated the purchase of a new car in 1972 by buying three Big Macs -and liked them so much that he bought six more that same day. Gorske began to eat Big Macs every day, usually two a day, for the next 39 years. Tuesday, the local McDonalds marked the occasion of Gorske's 25,000th Big Mac. It was not the first milestone. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized him three years ago, and he appeared in the 2004 film Supersize Me.

"I plan on eating Big Macs until I die," he said. "I have no intentions of changing. It's still my favorite food. Nothing has changed in 39 years. I look forward to it every day."

Gorske admits that he is probably obsessive-compulsive. He eats every Big Mac in exactly 16 bites, and keeps each box the sandwiches come in.

Fugitive Found Shopping for Bolt Cutters

Pensacola, Florida, police arrested 19-year-old Michael Jay Scott over a fight and took him to a hospital to treat his injuries. He sneaked out of the hospital, still in handcuffs. Later, police received a call from Home Depot employees about a suspicious customer. Scott had attempted to use bolt cutters at the store to remove the handcuffs, but was unsuccessful. He ran out the back of the store and climbed over a fence, but police caught up with him soon after. Scott was in possession of other items taken from Home Depot. He was taken back to the hospital, under closer watch.

The Pink Panther

A litter of kittens was dumped at a concrete factory in Redruth, Cornwall, England. The three girls and a boy were taken to an animal shelter named Cats Protection. The staff fed the kittens and washed them, but the reddish tint of the concrete dust won't come off! Three of the kittens are dark, but one is still stained pink -and will be until her fur grows out. So they named her Pink Panther! The other kittens were named Clouseau, Dusty, and Cerise.

Exploding Watermelons

The watermelon crops around Danyang in eastern China tend to explode this year. Watermelons from 20 farmers covering 45 hectares have been affected. The culprit is believed to be forchlorfenuron, a chemical growth accelerator that stimulates cell separation. Agricultural experts say the chemical was applied too late to the watermelon plants, which caused them to swell and suddenly burst. The use of fertilizers and other chemicals for agriculture is encouraged in China, and farmers receive discounts and subsidies for the chemicals. Many farmers now grow separate crops for their own consumption, and only use chemicals on their commercial crops. Experts say the use of forchlorfenuron is safe for the consumer, but can leave watermelons misshapen and unfit for sale.

Cow Coincidences Cause Cowshed Conflagration

A traffic accident in New Zealand started an almost-unbelievable chain reaction. A motorist was traveling near the town of Kaponga Friday night when he hit a cow, killing it.

The animal was thrown over the top of the car, peeling back the bonnet and shattering the windscreen. The car smashed into a pole which caused a power surge to race along the wires into the farmer's house.

The same surge blew up the cowshed meter board and set it on fire. However, it melted a water line directly above which extinguished the blaze.

The driver was not seriously injured.

Man Says Hospital Tattooed His Butt

Sheng Xianhui of Kunming, China went into a hospital to have gall stones removed. A week after surgery, his wife noticed a tattoo on his rear end. Sheng claims that the staff at Yunnan Stone Disease Hospital tattooed his backside with characters meaning "stone disease" while he was in surgery. Now he refuses to leave the hospital, saying that if he does, the hospital will say he had the tattoo done elsewhere. Police were called to evict the patient. Sheng welcomed the police involvement, but says he is staying. Hospital staff blames the marks on a possible allergic reaction.

Original image
iStock
arrow
gross
London's Sewer-Blocking 'Fatbergs' Are Going to Be Turned Into Biodiesel
Original image
iStock

UK officials can't exactly transform the Whitechapel fatberg—a 143-ton trash mass lurking in London's sewer system—into treasure, but they can turn it into fuel. As The Guardian reports, Scottish biodiesel producer Argent Energy plans to convert parts of the noxious blockage into an environmentally friendly energy source.

For the uninitiated, fatbergs (which get their names from a portmanteau of "fat" and "icebergs") are giant, solid blobs of congealed fat, oil, grease, wet wipes, and sanitary products. They form in sewers when people dump cooking byproducts down drains, or in oceans when ships release waste products like palm oil. These sticky substances combine with floating litter to form what could be described as garbage heaps on steroids.

Fatbergs wash up on beaches, muck up city infrastructures, and are sometimes even removed with cranes from sewer pipes as a last resort. Few—if any—fatbergs, however, appear to be as potentially lethal as the one workers recently discovered under London's Whitechapel neighborhood. In a news release, private utility company Thames Water described the toxic mass as "one of the largest ever found, with the extreme rock-solid mass of wet wipes, nappies, fat and oil weighing the same as 11 double-decker buses."

Ick factor aside, the Whitechapel fatberg currently blocks a stretch of Victorian sewer more than twice the length of two fields from London's Wembley Stadium. Engineers with jet hoses are working seven days a week to break up the fatberg before sucking it out with tankers. But even with high-pressure streams, the job is still akin to "trying to break up concrete," says Matt Rimmer, Thames Water's head of waste networks.

The project is slated to end in October. But instead of simply disposing of the Whitechapel fatberg, officials want to make use of it. Argent Energy—which has in the past relied on sources like rancid mayonnaise and old soup stock—plans to process fatberg sludge into more than 2600 gallons of biodiesel, creating "enough environmentally friendly energy to power 350 double-decker Routemaster buses for a day," according to Thames Water.

"Even though they are our worst enemy, and we want them dead completely, bringing fatbergs back to life when we do find them in the form of biodiesel is a far better solution for everyone," said company official Alex Saunders.

In addition to powering buses, the Whitechapel fatberg may also become an unlikely cultural touchstone: The Museum of London is working with Thames Water to acquire a chunk of the fatberg, according to BBC News. The waste exhibit will represent just one of the many challenges facing cities, and remind visitors that they are ultimately responsible for the fatberg phenomenon.

"When it comes to preventing fatbergs, everyone has a role to play," Rimmer says. "Yes, a lot of the fat comes from food outlets, but the wipes and sanitary items are far more likely to be from domestic properties. The sewers are not an abyss for household rubbish."

[h/t The Guardian]

Original image
Kevin Burkett, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
arrow
Weird
Restaurant Seeks Donations to Big Mouth Billy Bass Adoption Center
Original image
Kevin Burkett, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’ve ever wondered where all those Big Mouth Billy Bass singing fish that flew off shelves in the early 2000s have gone, take a look inside a Flying Fish restaurant. Each location of the southern seafood chain is home to its own Big Mouth Billy Bass Adoption Center, and they’re always accepting new additions to the collection.

According to Atlas Obscura, the gimmick was the idea of Dallas-based restaurateur Shannon Wynne. He opened his flagship Flying Fish in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2002 when the Big Mouth Billy Bass craze was just starting to wind down. As people grew tired of hearing the first 30 seconds of “Don’t Worry Be Happy” for the thousandth time, he offered them a place to bring their wall ornaments once the novelty wore off. The Flying Fish promises to “house, shelter, love, and protect” each Billy Bass they adopt. On top of that, donors get a free basket of catfish in exchange for the contribution and get their name on the wall. The Little Rock location now displays hundreds of the retired fish.

Today there are nine Flying Fish restaurants in Arkansas, Texas, and Tennessee, each with its own Adoption Center. There’s still space for new members of the family, so now may be the time to break out any Billy Basses that have been collecting dust in your attic since 2004.

And if you’re interested in stopping into Flying Fish for a bite to eat, don’t let the wall of rubber nostalgia scare you off: The batteries from all the fish have been removed, so you can enjoy your meal in peace.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios