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The Weird Week in Review

New Species is Really Faux Hawk

A farmer in New Zealand is in trouble for painting hawks. Grant Michael Teahan was found guilty of animal cruelty after a YouTube video showed him capturing a bird in a paint-laden trap. Teahan had apparently been coloring hawks pinkish-red since at least 2009 as a prank. The prank worked, as bird watchers thought they had discovered a new species. Their excitement was crushed when one of the birds was later found dead, hit by a car, and an examination found that it was a common hawk that had been painted. Teahan faces a stiff fine and possible incarceration.

Attachment About Attachments

The Islington Council made a sign warning people not to attach anything to park furniture or trees -and then attached it to a tree at Highbury Fields in north London, England. A neighboring architect, who was annoyed at the many signs posted recently, went to remove the sign and was surprised to see who had posted it on the tree. Soon, others gathered around to laugh at the nonsensical notice. The council soon relocated the notice to a nearby message board. They blamed the mistake on a junior member with good intentions.

Burglars Leave Photographic Evidence

A Frenchman and an Irishman went into a bar in New Zealand, but they weren't supposed to. And they might have gotten away with the crime if they hadn't left their camera with shots of their escapade in it. David Farrell and Nicholas Moinet, traveling vineyard workers, broke into a boat docked on the Opawa River in Blenheim along with some other men and helped themselves to alcohol on December 9th. They took photographs of each other on the boat before they left. However, they neglected to take the camera with them, and investigators found it simple to locate the perpetrators from the images. The two men were ordered to pay a $300 fine to the court and to pay $240 in reparations to the boat's owner.

Drunk Driver Now Suing Victim's Family

David Belniak pleaded guilty and was sentenced to twelve years on three counts of DUI manslaughter after a Christmas Day 2007 traffic accident in Hudson, Florida. Now he's suing the family of the victims, saying the wreck was the fault of the deceased driver. Belniak is asking for $15,000 in damages, despite the fact that he was found to have alcohol, Xanax, and cocaine in his system when the crash occurred. Belniak was charged for driving under the influence in two previous incidences, including one in which a woman died.

Pecan Farmers on Alert for Nut Rustlers

Harvest time in New Mexico means that pecans are tempting for thieves. Farmers are posting guards, and at least one farmer has armed guards on alert around the clock. Sheriff's departments across the region are stepping up patrols near orchards. Pecans are selling for almost $3 a pound in shells, and up to $10 a pound shelled, and some farms have been victims of theft during harvest time in the past, even when pecan prices were lower.

Victim Concerned About Thief's Fitness

Peter Stevens of Cambridge, England, was in his car Friday when a thief opened up the back door and grabbed his laptop.

The 34-year-old runner and IT expert chased him and was surprised when he caught up with the thief after just 225 metres.

Realising the game was up, the puffed-out criminal dropped the laptop, allowing Mr Stevens to pick it up.

Mr Stevens said: “I was appalled by how unfit this guy was. I thought it would take a lot longer to catch up with him. If you are going to go into the snatch-and-run business at least try and get fit or at least play to your strengths and go for something less energetic.”

The thief, who Stevens believes is much younger than himself, has not been caught, but Stevens put his money where his mouth is. He made a donation to a local park to encourage fitness in young people.

Titanic Theme Played as Ship Sank

As the Costa Concordia cruise ship's hull was being ripped open on rocks off the coast of Italy, the Celine Dion song "My Heart Will Go On" was playing in one of the ship's restaurants. Yannick Sgaga, a tourist from Switzerland, told a Geneva newspaper that he and his brother heard the song as the evacuation began. The song became a hit in 1997 as the theme from the movie Titanic. In other strange shipwreck news, some TV reports called the Costa Concordia incident a "real-life Titanic," which gives the impression that they don't understand the Titanic was a real ship that sank nearly 100 years ago.

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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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