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The Weird Week in Review

Marijuana Truck Spill

A traffic accident in San Jose, California, led to a free-for-all. A truck crashed near Oakridge Mall around 1AM on Wednesday. The truck was left on its side, and bags of cargo spilled out the back. That cargo was pot, and passers-by, both drivers and pedestrians, rushed to grab their share. By the time police arrived, the truck driver and most of the marijuana was gone, and no one could give a description of the driver or of those taking the marijuana. There were other vehicles involved in the wreck, which left the truck blocking the intersection.

Girls Caught with Stolen Goat

Two girls, ages 6 and 7, were approached by police in Mankato, Minnesota when they were seen in their pajamas walking a goat at 11:30 PM. They told the officers that the goat lived in their bedroom closet and they walked it every night. The said the goat was hidden from their father, who didn't know their mother bought it two weeks earlier! The police didn't buy that story, and took the girls, who are stepsisters, home to talk to their parents. The mother explained that the girls had been to a birthday party that featured a petting zoo earlier that day. They had apparently liberated the goat and took it home with them.

Gardener's Face Impaled by Pruning Shears

Leroy Luetscher of Green Valley, Arizona, fell face-first while trying to pick up a pair of pruning shears in his garden a month ago. The handle of the garden tool went into his eye socket and down through his neck. He was rushed to the University Medical Center in Tucson, where doctors removed the shears and rebuilt the bottom of Luetscher's eye socket with metal mesh. The good news is that they were able to save his eye -and that the only picture with the story is an x-ray image. Luetscher has recovered, except for a slight swelling and mild double vision.

Busted by the Glove Box

Police in Hingham, Massachusetts, pulled over a car driven by 22-year-old Kaitlin Rymaszewski last Friday night. The officer suspected she had been drinking; even more so when he saw beer spilling out of the car's glove compartment! Rymaszewski said the beer was a gift from a friend to congratulate her on completing an alcohol treatment program. She had been ordered into the program after her arrest on drunk driving charges in March. Rymaszewski said she hid the beer in the glove box when she saw the blue lights behind her. She was arrested on second-offense drunk driving and other charges.

No Cutting in Line for Bank Robber

A man entered Eastern Bank in South Boston with the intention to rob it Thursday, but left empty-handed. He went to a teller and presented a note demanding money, but she said her window was closed. He went to the next window and received a scolding about cutting in line! Both the the teller and a customer berated the man about line cutting and told him to remove his hood. Instead, the man left the bank. Police said no one was injured and no weapon was shown. The robbery attempt is under investigation and no arrests have been made, police said.

FEMA Looks to Waffle House for Data

Craig Fugate, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), knows a few things about how to assess damage in a disaster area. There's hard data, and then there's Waffle House.

First, there is the well-known Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. Then there is what he calls the "Waffle House Index."

Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an area is limited and the lights are on. Yellow means a limited menu, indicating power from a generator, at best, and low food supplies. Red means the restaurant is closed, a sign of severe damage in the area or unsafe conditions.

"If you get there and the Waffle House is closed?" FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate has said. "That's really bad. That's where you go to work."

There are 1,600 Waffle House outlets across the USA, and all try their best to feed customers even when conditions are difficult.

Man Catches Burglars from Overhead

Steven Lynn had never ridden in a small plane before, and his first time was a real adventure. He asked pilot David Hudson to fly over Lynn's home so he could photograph it from the air. When they got there, they saw two men taking items from the home! Hudson contacted the police by radio, and the small plane followed the burglars. The pilot kept the fleeing perpetrators in sight and gave directions until police could apprehend them. Two men were arrested and charged with burglary.

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Animals
Bizarre New Species of Crabs and a Giant Sea Cockroach Discovered in Waters Off Indonesia
One known species of isopod, or "giant sea cockroach"
One known species of isopod, or "giant sea cockroach"
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A crab with green googly eyes, another with "ears" resembling peanuts, and a species of giant sea cockroach are among the dozen new kinds of crustaceans discovered by scientists in the waters off Indonesia, Channel News Asia reports.

These finds are the result of a two-week expedition by Indonesian and Singaporean scientists with the South Java Deep Sea Biodiversity Expedition (SJADES 2018), which involved exploring deep waters in the Sunda Strait (the waterway separating the islands of Sumatra and Java in Southeast Asia) and the Indian Ocean. Using trawls, dredges, and other tools, researchers brought a huge variety of deep-sea life to the surface—some species for the very first time.

"The world down there is an alien world," Peter Ng, chief scientist of the expedition, told Channel News Asia. "You have waters that go down more than 2000 to 3000 meters [9800 feet], and we do not know … the animal life that's at the bottom."

The giant sea cockroach—technically a giant isopod, also nicknamed a Darth Vader isopod—is a new species in the genus Bathynomus, measuring almost a foot long and found more than 4000 feet deep. The isopods are occasionally seen on the ocean floor, where they scuttle around scavenging for dead fish and other animals. This marked the first time the genus has ever been recorded in Indonesia.

Another find is a spider crab nicknamed Big Ears, though it doesn't actually have ears—its peanut-shaped plates are used to protect the crab's eyes.

More than 800 species were collected during the expedition, accounting for 12,000 individual animals. Researchers say it will take up to two years to study all of them. In addition to the 12 species that are completely new to science, 40 were seen for the first time in Indonesia. Creatures that the scientists dubbed a chain-saw lobster, an ice cream cone worm, and a cock-eyed squid were among some of the rarer finds.

A "Chain-Saw Lobster"
Nicknamed the "Chain-Saw Lobster," this creature is a rare blind lobster, found only in the deep seas.

Researchers took to the giant sea cockroach quickly, with some of the crew members reportedly calling it “cute” and cradling it like a baby. Check out Channel News Asia Insider's video below for more insight into their creepy finds.

[h/t Channel News Asia]

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Weird
The Mysterious Case of the Severed Feet in British Columbia
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While walking on the beach, many people look out for a number of things: Shells, buried treasure, crabs, and dolphins among them. But if you’re on a beach in British Columbia, you might want to keep an eye out for something a little more sinister—about 15 severed feet have washed up on the shores there in the past few years. The latest was found on May 6, wedged in a mass of logs on Gabriola Island, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The feet have been surprising unlucky British Columbians for over a decade. The first appeared back in 2007 on Jedediah Island; it was eventually matched to a deceased man whose family declined to provide additional information. Bizarre, but not particularly alarming—until another one showed up on Gabriola Island less than a month later. More feet followed, and though some were matched to missing persons, most remained anonymous (feet, unfortunately, don’t contain much identifying information). Instead, police focused on the fact that each foot was encased in a running shoe—though sizes, genders, and brands differed.

This seems like a real-life episode of The X-Files, but it turns out there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the severed feet: They’re not really “severed,” which would indicate cutting or slicing, at all. According to scientists who tested the theory, the feet likely belong to suicide, drowning, or plane crash victims. It’s common for decomposing bodies to come apart at the joint, making it natural for the foot to come apart from the leg. But if that’s the case, wouldn’t hands be similarly susceptible to washing up on beaches? Nope, that’s where the shoes come in.

While the rest of the body naturally decomposes in water, feet are surprisingly well protected inside the rubber and fabric of a shoe. The soles can be pretty buoyant, and sometimes air pockets get trapped inside the shoe, making it float to the surface. Most of the “severed” feet have been clad in jogging shoes such as Nikes and Pumas, but at least one case involves a hiking boot. In that instance, the boot (and foot) was matched to a man who went missing while fishing more than 25 years ago. The most recent case also involves a hiking boot.

That leaves the question: Why British Columbia? According to Richard Thompson, an oceanographer with the federal Institute of Ocean Sciences, it’s connected to ocean current. “There’s a lot of recirculation in the region; we’re working here with a semi-enclosed basin. Fraser River, False Creek, Burrard Inlet—all those regions around there are somewhat semi-enclosed. The tidal currents and the winds can keep things that are floating recirculating in the system." Several feet have also been found further south, in Washington state, which shares a network of coastal waterways with British Columbia.

Others aren’t so quick to accept this scientific analysis, however. Criminal lawyer and crime author Michael Slade still wonders if a serial killer is afoot. "We also have to consider that this could be a serial killer," he said. "Somebody who right now is underneath the radar. That has to be on the table."

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