The Weird Week in Review

Man Suffers Heart Attack at Heart Attack Grill

The Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas is a themed restaurant that serves large-serving high-calorie cuisine. It even offers free food for those who weigh over 350 pounds. The staff dress up as nurses and emergency workers, but they had to call the real paramedics last Saturday night. A customer was eating a "Triple Bypass Burger" when he suffered an apparent heart attack. The unnamed man was taken to a hospital, and was later heard to be alive and recuperating.

Calcutta is Going Blue

Calcutta, India, will join the list of cities that are painted predominantly blue. The rulers of the city government have adopted the motto "the sky is the limit," and want buildings to match. Any government buildings, flyovers, roadside railings, and taxis to be repainted will be given a new sky blue color. Ministers are also asking private property owners to go along with the scheme and paint their buildings blue, but will not provide funds for the paint. Calcutta is home to 14 million people.

Fugitive Calls Cops for Assistance

Richard Vincent of Prineville, Oregon was wanted in Georgia for parole violation. The 59-year-old fugitive was driving through Wyoming when his car ran out of gas. He called the Uinta County Sheriff's Office to request assistance. Officers responded, all right, and took Vincent into custody. He is being held in Wyoming awaiting extradition to Georgia.

Cashing a $100 Check Leads to $3.3 Million in Damages

Rodolfo Valladares went into a Florida Bank of America branch in 2008 to cash a $100 check. Instead, he was arrested for bank robbery. The teller thought Valladares was a bank robber that they were told to look out for because he was wearing a Miami Heat hat. However, that was the only way Valladares resembled the robber, who was described as much older and skinnier. Valladares did not act suspiciously and did not have a weapon. The police handcuffed and kicked him in the head before bank employees told the officers it was a false alarm. Valladares sued, and was recently awarded $3.3 million after a jury found the bank negligent.

The Most Famous Sack Lunch of the Week

A preschooler in Raeford, North Carolina, was given a school cafeteria lunch when her sack lunch was deemed inadequate by school nutritional standards. The 4-year-old girl ate three chicken nuggets from the cafeteria meal. Her mother, who had packed a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice, received a note about the incident which implied she may be charged for the school lunch. She then complained to a state legislator and a local TV station. The story was picked up nationally, leading to condemnation of overly-intrusive government regulations. Jani Kozlowski of the state's Division of Child Development said there was nothing wrong with the bagged lunch, and the parent should not have been charged for the cafeteria meal. She hinted that the school may need more "technical assistance," meaning training in the regulations. The school later explained that the incident was a mistake by a teacher, and that the child should have just been given a carton of milk instead of being sent through the cafeteria line.

Woman Sues for All Titanic Profits

Princess Samantha Kennedy of Imperial Beach, California, has filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures, claiming the script for the movie Titanic was lifted from her writing. She is demanding that all copies of the film be destroyed, and all profits from the movie be awarded to her. That would run to billions of dollars! Kennedy says the story came from her unpublished autobiography and family history. Kennedy left several comments disputing some of the facts in the news story, and became part of the discussion.

2-hour Standoff with an Empty Car

Police in San Diego thought they'd identified a suspect in a home invasion -an unnamed man who is on parole. The man in question called his parole officer to report his car had broken down on the interstate, and that he would be late for a meeting. Officers found the car on the side of the highway and demanded the suspect give himself up. After a two-hour standoff, during which time a police dog was dispatched and the trunk of the car was smashed, police moved in to find that there was no one in the car. The suspect is still at large, and is considered dangerous.

Bizarre New Species of Crabs and a Giant Sea Cockroach Discovered in Waters Off Indonesia
One known species of isopod, or "giant sea cockroach"
One known species of isopod, or "giant sea cockroach"

A crab with green googly eyes, another with "ears" resembling peanuts, and a species of giant sea cockroach are among the dozen new kinds of crustaceans discovered by scientists in the waters off Indonesia, Channel News Asia reports.

These finds are the result of a two-week expedition by Indonesian and Singaporean scientists with the South Java Deep Sea Biodiversity Expedition (SJADES 2018), which involved exploring deep waters in the Sunda Strait (the waterway separating the islands of Sumatra and Java in Southeast Asia) and the Indian Ocean. Using trawls, dredges, and other tools, researchers brought a huge variety of deep-sea life to the surface—some species for the very first time.

"The world down there is an alien world," Peter Ng, chief scientist of the expedition, told Channel News Asia. "You have waters that go down more than 2000 to 3000 meters [9800 feet], and we do not know … the animal life that's at the bottom."

The giant sea cockroach—technically a giant isopod, also nicknamed a Darth Vader isopod—is a new species in the genus Bathynomus, measuring almost a foot long and found more than 4000 feet deep. The isopods are occasionally seen on the ocean floor, where they scuttle around scavenging for dead fish and other animals. This marked the first time the genus has ever been recorded in Indonesia.

Another find is a spider crab nicknamed Big Ears, though it doesn't actually have ears—its peanut-shaped plates are used to protect the crab's eyes.

More than 800 species were collected during the expedition, accounting for 12,000 individual animals. Researchers say it will take up to two years to study all of them. In addition to the 12 species that are completely new to science, 40 were seen for the first time in Indonesia. Creatures that the scientists dubbed a chain-saw lobster, an ice cream cone worm, and a cock-eyed squid were among some of the rarer finds.

A "Chain-Saw Lobster"
Nicknamed the "Chain-Saw Lobster," this creature is a rare blind lobster, found only in the deep seas.

Researchers took to the giant sea cockroach quickly, with some of the crew members reportedly calling it “cute” and cradling it like a baby. Check out Channel News Asia Insider's video below for more insight into their creepy finds.

[h/t Channel News Asia]

The Mysterious Case of the Severed Feet in British Columbia

While walking on the beach, many people look out for a number of things: Shells, buried treasure, crabs, and dolphins among them. But if you’re on a beach in British Columbia, you might want to keep an eye out for something a little more sinister—about 15 severed feet have washed up on the shores there in the past few years. The latest was found on May 6, wedged in a mass of logs on Gabriola Island, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The feet have been surprising unlucky British Columbians for over a decade. The first appeared back in 2007 on Jedediah Island; it was eventually matched to a deceased man whose family declined to provide additional information. Bizarre, but not particularly alarming—until another one showed up on Gabriola Island less than a month later. More feet followed, and though some were matched to missing persons, most remained anonymous (feet, unfortunately, don’t contain much identifying information). Instead, police focused on the fact that each foot was encased in a running shoe—though sizes, genders, and brands differed.

This seems like a real-life episode of The X-Files, but it turns out there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the severed feet: They’re not really “severed,” which would indicate cutting or slicing, at all. According to scientists who tested the theory, the feet likely belong to suicide, drowning, or plane crash victims. It’s common for decomposing bodies to come apart at the joint, making it natural for the foot to come apart from the leg. But if that’s the case, wouldn’t hands be similarly susceptible to washing up on beaches? Nope, that’s where the shoes come in.

While the rest of the body naturally decomposes in water, feet are surprisingly well protected inside the rubber and fabric of a shoe. The soles can be pretty buoyant, and sometimes air pockets get trapped inside the shoe, making it float to the surface. Most of the “severed” feet have been clad in jogging shoes such as Nikes and Pumas, but at least one case involves a hiking boot. In that instance, the boot (and foot) was matched to a man who went missing while fishing more than 25 years ago. The most recent case also involves a hiking boot.

That leaves the question: Why British Columbia? According to Richard Thompson, an oceanographer with the federal Institute of Ocean Sciences, it’s connected to ocean current. “There’s a lot of recirculation in the region; we’re working here with a semi-enclosed basin. Fraser River, False Creek, Burrard Inlet—all those regions around there are somewhat semi-enclosed. The tidal currents and the winds can keep things that are floating recirculating in the system." Several feet have also been found further south, in Washington state, which shares a network of coastal waterways with British Columbia.

Others aren’t so quick to accept this scientific analysis, however. Criminal lawyer and crime author Michael Slade still wonders if a serial killer is afoot. "We also have to consider that this could be a serial killer," he said. "Somebody who right now is underneath the radar. That has to be on the table."


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