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The Weird Week in Review

Wedding Goes On as Lodge Burns Down

Mike and Nancy Rogers were to be married in the main lodge at White Point Beach Resort in Nova Scotia last Saturday. However, that building was on fire, so they and their guests were evacuated and they held the ceremony in another resort building. Firefighters from ten different departments battled the blaze, but the 83-year-old wooden lodge was a total loss. No one was injured. But the newlyweds took the opportunity to pose for a wedding portrait in front of the conflagration. That’s one photo composition you don’t see at every wedding!

Battle Over World's Largest Bra

Who made the world's largest brassiere? One bra was recently commissioned by the British Varnish company, and is said to be a size 1222 B-cup. It was hung on a building in London to raise awareness of the fight against breast cancer. When the Guinness Book people proclaimed it the world's largest, New York artist and prankster Joey Skaggs begged to differ. In 1969, he built a bra that was 120 feet long, which he hung on the U.S. Treasury building on Wall Street. His mission was to point out America's fixation on breasts. There is no word yet from Guinness about the challenge.

Husband Searches Through Dump for Ring

Brian McGuinn of Miami, Florida, accidentally tossed his wife's 1.5-carat diamond engagement ring into the bathroom trash when he threw away his disposable razor. By the time it was noticed, the trash has already been taken to a dump in Pompano Beach. McGuinn confronted a nine-ton pile of trash -which contained the ring somewhere. The waste disposal crew gave him protective gear and helped him locate where his trash would most likely be, but they didn't hold out much hope. McGuinn threw up at the sights and smells of the city's garbage, and ended up wading through several inches of watery sludge. But against all odds, after less than an hour of searching, he found the ring! Anna McGuinn says she will never take the ring off again.

Man Charged with DWI Wearing "I'm A Drunk" Shirt

Police in Long Island, New York, arrested 22-year-old Kevin Daly Thursday morning after he crashed his car into a police cruiser. And not just any police cruiser, either -it was a patrol from the Suffolk County Police Department’s SAFE-T (Selective Alcohol Fatality Enforcement Team), which looks for impaired drivers. Daly was taken into custody and charged with driving while intoxicated. At the time, he was wearing a shirt that said, "I'M NOT AN ALCOHOLIC. I'M A DRUNK. ALCOHOLICS GO TO MEETINGS." The entire slogan is visible in his mug shot.

Robber Thwarted by Children

A would-be robber forced his way into a house in Schwanewede, Germany on Monday evening. Only two children and their terrified babysitter were at the home when the robber came in, wearing a balaclava and carrying a gun.

“The children had heard what was going on from upstairs and came down with their money, all their savings,” a police spokesman told The Local on Wednesday.

He said he was not releasing the ages of the children in order to protect them from being identified, but that they were both younger than seven.

“The robber must have realised what he was doing was awful, and simply put his gun away and left,” said the spokesman.

Local police have a description, and are on the lookout for the perpetrator.

Half a Million in Gold Found in Storage Locker

Dan and Laura Dotson run an auction business in which they sell off contents of abandoned storage lockers. They also are the hosts of the TV show Storage Wars. They sold the contents of a couple of lockers belonging to a deceased women to a man from San Jose, California. When the unnamed man looked through his purchase, he found a chest filled with gold doubloons with an estimated value of $500,000! Neither the buyer nor the owner of the storage facility want to be publicly identified. And unfortunately for the TV show, this particular auction was not caught on videotape.

In Line for Black Friday Sale 9 days Early

Christine Orta is one member of three families who are staking their piece of turf outside a Best Buy store in Tyrone Square Mall in St. Petersburg, Florida, for the Black Friday sale. They set up a tent Wednesday, nine days before the sale, ostensibly to be first in line to take advantage of the Christmas shopping deals. Not mentioned was the possibility that Orta and her partners might avoid cooking Thanksgiving dinner while waiting for the sale next week.

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Billions of Cockroaches Are Bred in China to Create a ‘Healing Potion’
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Insectophobes would probably agree that any place that breeds billions of cockroaches a year is akin to hell on Earth.

That place actually exists—in the Sichuan Province city of Xichang—but China's government says it's all for a good cause. The indoor farm is tasked with breeding 6 billion creepy-crawlies a year to meet the country's demand for a special "healing potion" whose main ingredient is ground-up roaches.

While there are other cockroach breeding facilities in China that serve the same purpose, the one in Xichang is the world's largest, with a building "the size of two sports fields," according to the South China Morning Post.

The facility is reportedly dark, humid, and fully sealed, with cockroaches given the freedom to roam and reproduce as they please. If, for any odd reason, someone should want to visit the facility, they'd have to swap out their day clothes for a sanitized suit to avoid bringing pollutants or pathogens into the environment, according to Guangming Daily,a government newspaper.

The newspaper article contains a strangely poetic description of the cockroach farm:

"There were very few human beings in the facility. Hold your breath and (you) only hear a rustling sound. Whenever flashlights swept, the cockroaches fled. Wherever the beam landed, there was a sound like wind blowing through leaves. It was just like standing in the depths of a bamboo forest in late autumn."

Less poetic, though, is the description of how the "miracle" potion is made. Once the bugs reach maturity, they are fed into machines and ground up into a cockroach paste. The potion claims to work wonders for stomach pain and gastric ailments, and according to its packaging, it has a "slightly sweet" taste and a "slightly fishy smell."

The provincial government claims that the potion has healed more than 40 million patients, and that the Xichang farm is selling its product to more than 4000 hospitals throughout China. While this may seem slightly off-putting, cockroaches have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Some studies seem to support the potential nutritional benefit of cockroaches. The BBC reported on the discovery that cockroaches produce their own antibiotics, prompting scientists to question whether they could be used in drugs to help eliminate bacterial infections such as E. coli and MRSA.

In 2016, scientists in Bangalore, India, discovered that the guts of one particular species of cockroach contain milk protein crystals that appear to be nutritious, TIME reports. They said the milk crystal could potentially be used as a protein supplement for human consumption, as it packs more than three times the energy of dairy milk.

"I could see them in protein drinks," Subramanian Ramaswamy, a biochemist who led the study, told The Washington Post.

However, as research has been limited, it's unlikely that Americans will start to see cockroach smoothies at their local juice bar anytime soon.

[h/t South China Morning Post]

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Massive Tumbleweeds Invaded a California Town, Trapping Residents in Their Homes
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For Americans who don’t live out west, any mention of tumbleweeds tends to conjure up images of a lone bush blowing lazily across the desert. The reality is not so romantic, as Californians would tell you.

The town of Victorville, California—an 85-mile drive from Los Angeles—was overtaken by massive tumbleweeds earlier this week when wind speeds reached nearly 50 mph. The tumbleweeds blew across the Mojave Desert and into town, where they piled up on residents’ doorsteps. Some stacks towered as high as the second story, trapping residents in their homes, according to the Los Angeles Times.

City employees and firefighters were dispatched to tackle the thorny problem, which reportedly affected about 150 households. Pitchforks were used to remove the tumbleweeds, some of which were as large as 4 feet tall by 4 feet wide.

"The crazy thing about tumbleweeds is that they are extremely thorny, they connect together like LEGOs," Victorville spokeswoman Sue Jones told the Los Angeles Times. "You can't reach out and grab them and move them. You need special tools. They really hurt."

Due to the town’s proximity to the open desert, residents are used to dealing with the occasional tumbleweed invasion. Similar cases have been reported in Texas, New Mexico, and other states in the West and Southwest. In 1989, the South Dakota town of Mobridge had to use machinery to remove 30 tons of tumbleweeds, which had buried homes, according to Metro UK.

Several plant species are considered a tumbleweed. The plant only becomes a nuisance when it reaches maturity, at which time it dries out, breaks from its root, and gets carried off into the wind, spreading seeds as it goes. They’re not just unsightly, either. They can cause soil dryness, leading to erosion and sometimes even killing crops.

[h/t Los Angeles Times]

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