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The Weird Week in Review

Five Stabbed at Get-out-of-jail Party

A welcome home party for an unnamed teenager released from juvenile detention in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, turned ugly Saturday night. Police responded to reports of gunshots and found a street brawl had erupted. Officers took two people with stab wounds to the hospital, and later found that three others had suffered stab wounds and went to the hospital on their own. In all, four adults and one 17-year-old were wounded. The guest of honor was not among them. No charges have been filed so far, the the investigation is continuing.

Brother-in-law Agrees to Serve Life Sentence

Raj Kumar was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. But 18 months later, Kumar's partner-in-crime notified prison authorities that Kumar was not serving his sentence. Instead, Kumar's brother-in-law Kiran Singh was doing the time in his place! Singh had reported to prison wearing Kumar's name tattooed on his arm to prove identity to prison officials. Singh said that Kumar had convinced him to serve the sentence so Kumar could take care of his five unmarried sisters. Singh's family was unaware of the ruse and thought he had gone missing. After the scheme was uncovered, Kumar was taken into custody and Singh is now charged with fraud.

Alchemy Experiment Leads to Arrest

Paul Moran of Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, has been sentenced to three months in jail for a bizarre incident in July. A fire brigade responded to a blaze at Moran's apartment building that caused £3,000 worth of damage. The fire began when Moran tried to turn his own feces into gold by putting it on an electric heater. The judge in the case said,

“It was an interesting experiment to fulfil the alchemist’s dream, but wasn’t going to succeed.”

The court noted that Moran is now on anti-psychotic drugs and is not considered to be dangerous.

Sesame Street YouTube Channel Hacked with Porn

Hackers took control of the Sesame Street YouTube channel for a time last weekend. For about 20 minutes, graphic pornography replaced the kid-friendly videos. YouTube took the entire channel down when the incident was discovered, and officials from Sesame Street issued an apology to any children who were accidentally exposed to the raunchy videos. The channel remained down for a day until the original content could be restored.

100-pound Scrotum

Wesley Warren Jr. began suffering from a swelled scrotum three years ago. Now it has ballooned to over 100 pounds, leaving him unable to work and restricting his movements. Doctors are at a loss to explain why it happened, and the local hospital in Las Vegas is pessimistic about surgery. Physicians at UCLA think they can reduce his growth while saving his genitals, but Warren's state medical insurance will not pay for surgery in California. That's why Warren recently decided to go public, hoping that donations from the public, or from a wealthy sponsor, can pay for the surgery.

$201,000 Cell Phone Bill

Celina Aarons of Miami, Florida, received a bill from T-Mobile for her monthly phone service and got a shock: it was $201,000! Her phone service usually runs at $175 a month. It wasn't a mistake or a computer glitch; all the charges were legitimate. Aarons has two deaf brothers included in her family phone service plan. They use text messaging and data that is included as part of the monthly deal.

But her brothers spent two weeks in Canada and Aarons never changed to an international plan. Her brothers sent over 2,000 texts and also downloaded videos, sometimes racking up $2,000 in data charges.

When Aarons read the bill -- all 43 pages of it -- she realized she owed $201,005.44.

After the initial shock, Aaarons spoke with T-Mobile, and they agreed to lower her bill to $2,500 and gave her six months to pay.

First Image of a Planet Being Born

Astronomers have revealed an image thought to be the first ever picture of a planet in the process of forming. The planet is now called LkCa 15b. The image was taken by the huge Keck telescope in Hawaii in infrared wavelengths so as to block out the interference from the planet's nearby star. The star itself is only 2 million years old, practically a newborn in astronomical terms. The new planet and its star are about 450 light years away from us.

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

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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The Long, Strange Story of Buffalo Bill's Corpse
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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

You probably know William Frederick Cody, a.k.a. Buffalo Bill, as the long-haired Wild West icon who turned the frontier experience into rip-roarin’ entertainment. But the story of Buffalo Bill’s body and its many burials is almost as outrageous as the man himself.

When Cody died of kidney failure in January 1917, his body ended up on a mountain outside of Denver, Colorado—a counterintuitive choice given his close ties to the town in Wyoming that bore his last name. Cody, Wyoming was founded in the 1890s with help from Buffalo Bill, who employed many of its residents and was responsible for its tourism business. It might seem natural that he’d be buried in the place he’d invested so much in, but he wasn’t. And that’s where the controversy began.

Though Cody spent much of his time in the town named after him, he also loved Colorado. After leaving his family in Kansas when he was just 11 to work with wagon trains throughout the West, he headed to Colorado for the first time as a 13-year-old wannabe gold prospector. During his short time in the area, he chased the glittery fortunes promised by Colorado’s 1859 gold rush. Even after leaving the territory, his traveling vaudeville show, which brought a glamorous taste of Wild West life to people all over the United States, took him back often. Later in life, he frequently visited Denver, where his sister lived. He died there, too—after telling his wife he wanted to be buried on Lookout Mountain.

The mountain, located in Golden, Colorado, has a commanding view of the Great Plains, where Buffalo Bill experienced many of his Wild West adventures. It was also a place to contemplate the giant herds of buffalo that once roamed the West, and from whom Cody took his nickname. (Denver still maintains a small herd of buffalo—direct descendants of original American bison—near the mountain.)

But weather almost thwarted Cody’s burial plans. Since he died in January, the road to Lookout Mountain was impassable and his preferred burial site frozen solid. For a while, his body lay in state in the Colorado Capitol building. Governors and famous friends eulogized Cody in an elaborate funeral service. Then his body was placed in a carriage that moved solemnly through the streets of Denver, where thousands showed up to say goodbye. Afterwards, his body was kept in cold storage at a Denver mortuary while his family waited for the weather to change.

Meanwhile, Colorado and Wyoming started a heated feud over one of America’s most famous men. Wyoming claimed that Cody should be buried there, citing an early draft of his will that said he intended to be buried near Cody. Colorado cried foul, since Cody’s last will left the burial location up to his widow, who chose Lookout Mountain. Rumors even began to circulate that a delegation from Wyoming had stolen Cody’s body from the mortuary and replaced it with that of a local vagrant.

In part to stop the rumor mill, Cody was finally buried in an open casket on Lookout Mountain in June 1917. Twenty-five thousand people went to the mountaintop to bid him farewell before he was interred. To prevent theft, the bronze casket was sealed in another, tamper-proof case, then enclosed in concrete and iron.

Pennies on Buffalo Bill's grave
V.T. Polywoda, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Yet his rocky grave was anything but safe. In the 1920s, Cody’s niece, Mary Jester Allen, began to claim that Denver had conspired to tamper with Cody’s will. In response, Cody’s foster son, Johnny Baker, disinterred the body and had it reburied at the same site under tons of concrete to prevent potential theft [PDF]. (Allen also founded a museum in Wyoming to compete with a Colorado-based museum founded by Baker.)

The saga wasn’t over yet. In 1948, the Cody, Wyoming American Legion offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who could disinter the body and return it to Wyoming. In response, the Colorado National Guard stationed officers to keep watch over the grave.

Since then, the tussle over the remains has calmed down. Despite a few ripples—like a jokey debate in the Wyoming legislature about stealing the body in 2006—Buffalo Bill still remains in the grave. If you believe the official story, that is. In Cody, Wyoming, rumor has it that he never made it into that cement-covered tomb after all—proponents claim he was buried on Cedar Mountain, where he originally asked to be interred.

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