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The Weird Week in Review

Pepsi's Scary Defense

Ronald Ball of Illinois filed a lawsuit against PepsiCo in 2009, claiming he found a mouse in a can of Mountain Dew after taking a drink. Ball claims that he sent the mouse to the soft drink company and that they destroyed it. In their defense, Pepsi says that a mouse carcass would not exist in that form after being sealed in a can of Mountain Dew. An expert claims that the acid in the drink would cause a mouse to transform into a 'jelly-like' substance. One has to wonder if a defense against the lawsuit is worth planting that picture in customers' minds.

...But the Cat Came Back

Plucky Andrea the stray cat used up a couple of her nine lives, but would not succumb to the animal shelter's two attempts to euthanize her. The cat was picked up and taken to West Valley City's animal shelter in Utah. When she was not adopted within a month, the shelter sent her to a gas chamber, but she survived. A second gassing left her appearing to be dead, so the staff put her body in a plastic bag in a cooler. Later, she was discovered to have vomited and was checked for signs of life. When Andrea woke up, they decided not to try again. The cat was transferred to the Community Animal Welfare Society. Andrea has since been adopted, and is settling well into her new home.

Car Lands on Roof

In a scene you would expect from an action movie (or a comedy), a stolen car landed on the roof of a house in Fresno, California. Police say the car was going too fast and hit a rock and a tree stump, which launched it into the air and onto the roof. The driver of the car fled the scene and was arrested soon after at his girlfriend's home. There were people in the house when the car landed on it, but no one was seriously injured. A towing company had to use a crane to remove the vehicle.

Rare Coin Collection Stolen for Change

Police in Multnomah County, Oregon, are looking for Dan Johnson, Jr. in connection with a burglary at his father's home. The burglar took silver, jewelry, and a valuable rare coin collection from a safe. The rare coins were recovered from a change machine, where the perpetrators had dumped them to get about $450.

"The obvious answer that the crooks were idiots, just simply an idiot," said Dan Johnson, Sr. "To not know the value of what they had taken, just to get pocket change for it. Just really a stupid person. Makes me feel good he was a stupid person and didn't realize what he had."

The coin machine rejected the 500 silver quarters, which were redeemed at a bank. The bank is returning the coins to the elder Johnson. Two other suspects have already been arrested in the case.

iPad Accepted in Lieu of Passport

Martin Reisch was able to enter the U.S. from Canada without his passport by presenting a scanned image of it on his iPad. And no one even bothered to yell "Photoshop!" Reisch reached the border crossing before realizing he forgot his passport, but he had scanned it into his computer. Instead of making the two-hour trip back home, Reisch showed the scan to the border officer along with his driver's license. The "mildly annoyed" border guard took the iPad into the border hut for about five minutes, then handed it back to Reisch and wished him a Merry Christmas. Reisch traveled to the U.S. to deliver some Christmas gifts, and was able to cross back into Canada using the same scan of his passport.

15-pound Babies Not That Rare in Minnesota

Michael Robert Calistro-Gomulak was born on September 28th in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. He weighed 15 pounds, 7 ounces, when he was delivered by caesarian section one week early. But the large boy did not break a state record: at least three babies born in the state during the 1990s weighed more. The largest was 16 pounds, 7 ounces! Little Michael has another legacy, though -he was named after his grandfather, who saved his wife's life while mortally injured after their car was hit by a drunk driver.

Flying Shark Startles Pilot

An airline pilot preparing to descend to Christchurch International Airport in New Zealand reported a sighting of a shark at several thousand feet! The fish was later identified as an Air Swimmer, an inflatable remote-control shark that is designed to be used indoors only.

A spokeswoman for air traffic control company Airways, Monica Davis, said a pilot had reported the shark and its location about nine kilometres from the airport at 2pm on December 26.

"We advised subsequent traffic of its location, but no-one else reported seeing it."

It was not yet known whether the sighting would be formally logged as an air-safety incident, she said.

The shark's altitude and how close it came to the plane were unclear, Davis said.

Robber Hands Gun to Cashier by Mistake

A man tried to rob the Halifax bank in London, England, but was undone by his own confusion. He entered the bank and demanded £700,000 from a teller. He then apparently intended to hand over a bag to put the money in, but instead handed the cashier his gun. Suddenly realizing what he had done, the robber panicked, grabbed his gun back, and fled the scene on a bank employee's bicycle. CCTV cameras recorded the escape. Police have released pictures and are asking the public to help identify the perpetrator.

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Little Baby's Ice Cream
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Food
Pizza and Cricket Cake Are Just Some of the Odd Flavors You'll Find at This Philadelphia Ice Cream Shop
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Little Baby's Ice Cream

Ice cream flavors can get pretty out-there, thanks to the growing number of creative scoop shops willing to take risks and broaden their customers’ horizons beyond chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Intrepid foodies can cool off with frozen treats that taste like horseradish, foie gras, and avocado, while Philadelphia's Little Baby’s Ice Cream is pushing the boundaries of taste with chilly offerings like everything bagel, Maryland BBQ, ranch, and cricket cake.

Cricket-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Everything Bagel-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

As Lonely Planet News reports, Little Baby’s Ice Cream launched its first signature “oddball” ice cream—Earl Grey sriracha—in 2011. Since then, its rotating menu has only gotten quirkier. In addition to the aforementioned flavors, customers who swing by Little Baby’s this summer can even try pizza ice cream.

The store created the savory flavor in 2011, to celebrate neighborhood eatery Pizza Brain’s inclusion into Guinness World Records for its vast collection of pizza memorabilia. The savory, Italian-esque snack is made from ingredients like tomato, basil, oregano, salt, and garlic—and yes, it actually tastes like pizza, Little Baby’s co-owner Pete Angevine told Lonely Planet News.

Pizza-flavored ice cream, made by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

“Frequently, folks will see it on the menu and be incredulous, then be convinced to taste it, giggle, talk about how surprised they are that it really tastes just like pizza … and then order something else,” Angevine said. “That’s just fine. Just as often though, they’ll end up getting a pizza milkshake!”

Little Baby’s flagship location is in Philadelphia's East Kensington neighborhood, but customers can also sample their unconventional goods at additional outposts in West Philadelphia, Baltimore, and a pop-up stand in Washington, D.C.’s Union Market. Just make sure to bring along a sense of adventure, and to leave your preconceived notions of what ice cream should taste like at home.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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travel
Nalcrest, Florida: Where Postal Workers Go to Retire
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iStock

You could say that the Nalcrest community in central Florida delivers affordable retirement housing for seniors. And with amenities like a pool and tennis courts, you might even say it has the whole package [PDF]. Or you could just go with the pun that the community itself has landed on: “Nalcrest: A First Class Community.”

Nalcrest, you see, is a retirement community exclusive to members of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC); the village has 500 ground-level apartments available for postal workers to enjoy after they’ve delivered their final Oriental Trading catalog. Garden-style units start at just $374 a month, including water, sewage, trash removal, basic cable, maintenance, and use of all of the recreational facilities.

The idea for an affordable, profession-specific retirement community came to NALC president William Doherty in the 1950s, when he toured Europe and saw similar setups organized by labor unions, religious groups, and fraternal organizations [PDF]. He proposed the idea for U.S. mail carriers as early as 1954, then pounced when Congress passed a law in 1959 that provided loans to build housing for seniors. Doherty was there to break ground on July 1, 1962; Nalcrest officially opened for business less than two years later on January 20, 1964. The dedication ceremony included a band of mail carrier musicians and a separate group called “The Singing Mailmen,” a group made up of—you guessed it—singing mailmen, as well as a female water skiing team that proudly flew pennants spelling out “Nalcrest.” After a stint as the ambassador to Jamaica, Doherty himself retired to Nalcrest, living there until his death in 1987.

Though residents may not be traipsing a daily mail route anymore, they still have plenty of options to stay active. Nalcrest has shuffleboard, horseshoes, bocce, miniature golf, tennis courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool, walking trails, and a softball diamond (home to the Nalcrest Eagles). It also boasts a travel club, a women’s association, and free art classes, among other activities. There’s one thing, however, it doesn’t have—dogs. With the exception of therapy dogs, Nalcrest has a no-canine rule in deference to retirees who were bitten in the line of duty and have an aversion to the animals.

If a dog-free community seems like paradise for postal workers, the other thing Nalcrest lacks cements its status as letter carrier nirvana: There are no mailboxes, because there is no home mail delivery. Each resident has to visit the Nalcrest post office to pick up any correspondence.

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