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The Weird Week in Review

Police and Zookeepers Chase Papier Mâché Rhino

The Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, Japan, holds annual escaped animal drills for zookeepers and emergency responders. However, there is no way to hold these drills using rare and possibly dangerous zoo animals. This week, the drill was held to train workers in how to deal with a rhinoceros on the loose, using a rhino made of papier mâché with two men underneath to provide the action. The rhino even attacked a zookeeper and had to be pushed away with sticks. Zoo visitors enjoyed the spectacle, which was recorded on video.

Man Adopts Girlfriend, Other Children Sue

John Goodman of Palm Beach, Florida, is facing a wrongful death lawsuit that could ruin him financially. As his assets are facing possible seizure, he legally adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend, Heather Ann Hutchins. She therefore is entitled to a share of a $300 million trust fund set aside for Goodman's children. The trust would be untouchable if Goodman loses the lawsuit. The millionaire did not tell the judge in the adoption case about the lawsuit, nor did he tell his ex-wife or two biological children about the adoption. The two teenagers were surprised to hear the news, and are now suing their father to have the adoption of Hutchins set aside.

Police Officer Chased Himself

In a story that was shared with a monthly police magazine, a police officer in Sussex, England, ended up chasing himself around for twenty minutes. A CCTV (closed circuit TV) operator saw a suspicious man on the streets, and called a plainclothes officer for help. The operator gave directions to the areas where the suspicious man was caught on camera, and the officer always seemed to be close, but could not see any evidence of the man. That is, until they realized that the "suspicious character" was actually the plainclothes officer! The date of the misadventure has been lost in the retelling, as all police officers involved were too busy laughing.

Bomb Squad Finds Schrodinger's Cat Alive

A mysterious box appeared in a parking lot at Erie Community College campus in Amherst, New York, last Friday afternoon. The state police bomb squad responded and took an x-ray of the sealed box, which showed a cat inside! Police turned the cat over to the local SPCA. Gina Browning of the Tonawanda SPCA says the cat is okay.

"The cat was not malnourished, not dehydrated, didn't need any kind of veterinary care. So, it had a happy ending. What concerns me is the people capable of doing this might be capable of doing something worse," Browning said.

Just who would put a cat in a taped up box and leave it in a parking lot remains a mystery at this point.

Capt. Camilleri said, "Right now it doesn't appear there's really much to follow up on. It didn't have any identification on the box or anything like that."

The upside to this is that the cat, named "Truffle," is fine, healthy and back with her owner. Tracking down the person responsible is unlikely, if not impossible.

If found, the persons responsible could be charged with animal cruelty. Even Schrodinger never wanted to try his famous thought experiment on a real cat.

Toddler in Vending Machine Hands Out Toys

Three-year-old Noah Jeffrey wanted a toy so badly that he climbed into a claw machine at a restaurant in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. You've read stories of children in vending machines before, but Noah took the adventure to a new level when he started handing toys out to other children who gathered around the machine! Then his mother saw him. She tried to get Noah to climb back out, but he didn't want to. She finally told him he would have to come down the chute to get a toy, and she helped him get past a barrier on the way. Noah managed to get out of the machine before the fire brigade arrived to rescue him.

Pennsylvania's Purple Squirrel

Percy and Connie Emert of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, trap squirrels in their yard to protect their bird feeders from raids. They normally release the squirrels elsewhere, but one squirrel stood out from the rest. Connie Emert saw a purple squirrel several times, but her husband did not believe her. Then it was caught in their squirrel trap Sunday and photographed. They relocated the purple squirrel on Tuesday, but those who saw the pictures are trying to figure out where the color came from. One theory is that it fell into a portable toilet and was covered in chemicals. Another is that it ingested too much bromide from molluscs or some other source. Or it could have been dyed. (Thanks, Brendan!)

Don't Bring a Crack Pipe to Drug Court

Stanley Ramos was arrested in Manatee County, Florida, on New Year's Eve for possession of a crack pipe, which a sheriff's deputy said was in plain view in Ramos' backpack. Ramos had a hearing Tuesday in connection with the case at the Manatee County Courthouse. As he was passing through the building's security checkpoint, he was found to be in possession of another crack pipe. Ramos completed his court appearance and was then arrested on a second charge of possessing drug paraphernalia.

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Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
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Food
Cheese Wheel Wedding Cakes Are a Funky Twist on an Old Tradition
Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Nom & Malc, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If there’s ever a time you have permission to be cheesy, it’s on your wedding day. What better way to do so than with a pungent wedding cake made of actual wheels of cheese? According to Elite Daily, cheese wedding cakes are a real option for couples who share an affinity for dairy products.

One of the trailblazers behind the sharp trend is Bath, England-based cheese supplier The Fine Cheese Co. The company offers clients a choice of one of dozens of wedding cake designs. There are bold show-stoppers like the Beatrice cake, which features five tiers of cheese and is priced at $400. For customers looking for something more delicate, there’s the Clara centerpiece, which replaces miniature wedding cakes with mounds of goat cheese. Whether your loved one likes funky Stilton or mellow brie, there’s a cheese cake to satisfy every palate. Flowers are incorporated into each display to make them just as pretty as conventional wedding cakes.

Since The Fine Cheese Co. arranged their first wedding cake in 2002, other cheese suppliers have entered the game. The Cheese Shed in Newton Abbot, England; I.J. Ellis Cheesemongers in Scotland; and Murray’s Cheese in New York will provide cheese wheel towers for weddings or any other special occasion. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from clearing out the local fromagerie and assembling a cheese cake at home.

[h/t Elite Daily]

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Screenshot via Mount Vernon/Vimeo
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History
The Funky History of George Washington's Fake Teeth
Screenshot via Mount Vernon/Vimeo
Screenshot via Mount Vernon/Vimeo

George Washington may have the most famous teeth—or lack thereof—in American history. But counter to what you may have heard about the Founding Father's ill-fitting dentures, they weren't made of wood. In fact, he had several sets of dentures throughout his life, none of which were originally trees. And some of them are still around. The historic Mount Vernon estate holds the only complete set of dentures that has survived the centuries, and the museum features a video that walks through old George's dental history.

Likely due to genetics, poor diet, and dental disease, Washington began losing his original teeth when he was still a young man. By the time he became president in 1789, he only had one left in his mouth. The dentures he purchased to replace his teeth were the most scientifically advanced of the time, but in the late 18th century, that didn't mean much.

They didn't fit well, which caused him pain, and made it difficult to eat and talk. The dentures also changed the way Washington looked. They disfigured his face, causing his lips to noticeably stick out. But that doesn't mean Washington wasn't grateful for them. When he finally lost his last surviving tooth, he sent it to his dentist, John Greenwood, who had made him dentures of hippo ivory, gold, and brass that accommodated the remaining tooth while it still lived. (The lower denture of that particular pair is now held at the New York Academy of Medicine.)

A set of historic dentures
George Washington's Mount Vernon

These days, no one would want to wear dentures like the ones currently held at Mount Vernon (above). They're made of materials that would definitely leave a bad taste in your mouth. The base that fit the fake teeth into the jaw was made of lead. The top teeth were sourced from horses or donkeys, and the bottom were from cows and—wait for it—people.

These teeth actually deteriorated themselves, revealing the wire that held them together. The dentures open and shut thanks to metal springs, but because they were controlled by springs, if he wanted to keep his mouth shut, Washington had to permanently clench his jaw. You can get a better idea of how the contraption worked in the video from Mount Vernon below.

Washington's Dentures from Mount Vernon on Vimeo.

There are plenty of lessons we can learn from the life of George Washington, but perhaps the most salient is this: You should definitely, definitely floss.

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