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The Weird Week in Review

Email from Beyond the Grave

Jack Froese of Dunmore, Pennsylvania, died suddenly last year at age 32. Six months later, his friends and family began to receive mysterious email messages from Froese's account. Childhood friend Tim Hart got a message warning him to clean his attic, a subject Froese had teased him about before his death. Cousin Jimmy McGraw got an email from Froese referring to an ankle injury McGraw sustained after Froese's death. No one knows who the messages came from, but Froese's mother told the recipients to accept it as a gift, even if it is someone playing a prank.

Exploding Milk Causes Havoc on Highway

A truck transporting milk and cream on the A75 in Galloway, Scotland, caused chaos Tuesday morning when the cargo began to explode. Other drivers saw that the truck was on fire! It took some time for motorists to alert the driver, Phil Sykes, because he couldn't see the fire in his mirrors. Firefighters responded, and had the flames out in abut two hours. They were hampered in their efforts by exploding cream containers and milk cartons. A firefighter said there was milk everywhere.

Mr Sykes said: “I phoned my boss to let him know but he said it was no use crying over spilled milk.The main thing was that no-one was injured.

World Record Guinea Pig Jump

A guinea pig in Rosyth, Fife, Scotland, named Truffles took a leap into the record books in front of Guinness-appointed witnesses, his 13-year-old owner Chloe Macari, and her scout troop. Truffles jumped for neither fame nor fortune, but for his favorite snack, cucumber. The jump was measured at 30 centimeters, which was 10 centimeters more than the previous record set in 2009. When Macari learned of the 2009 record, she knew her guinea pig could jump further, and petitioned Guinness officials for a chance to prove it. Truffles now goes into the record book, and Macari earned credit toward a community events scout badge. The jump was captured on video.

The Battle of the Barber Poles

Growing tensions have a couple of states considering legislation to spell out who can display the iconic spiral-striped barber pole. Licensed barbers say their profession has the exclusive right to the symbol, while beauticians, cosmetologists, and salon owners say that since they cut men's hair, they should be able to use a barber pole, too. The professions that serve men and women have been at odds with each other for centuries. At least ten states have already reserved the pole for barbers only by law, and Minnesota and Michigan have such bills in the legislative process.

Sex-deprived Fruit Flies Turn to Alcohol

Studies in human addictive behavior have found that alcoholism is only partially genetic, so scientists turned to fruit flies to see if social triggers could cause excessive drinking. It turns out that fruit flies are not so different from humans after all. They separated groups of flies and arranged for one group to be rejected as mating partners. That group tended to seek out alcohol-laced fly food more than the group that mated successfully. The drunk flies bumped into walls and each other, fell down, and eventually passed out. The researchers found a correlation in the level of a particular neuropeptide molecule that determined which group would prefer the alcohol-laced food.

Bigamy Exposed via Facebook

You know that feature of Facebook in which it suggests new friends for you among your friend's other friends? In the case of a Seattle man, the social network suggested that his first wife "friend" his second wife. See, he is still married to the first wife.

According to charging documents filed Thursday, Alan L. O'Neill married a woman in 2001, moved out in 2009, changed his name and remarried without divorcing her. The first wife first noticed O'Neill had moved on to another woman when Facebook suggested the friendship connection to wife No. 2 under the "People You May Know" feature.

"Wife No. 1 went to wife No. 2's page and saw a picture of her and her husband with a wedding cake," Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist told The Associated Press.

Wife No. 1 then called the defendant's mother.

She also called authorities, and O'Neill was arrested for bigamy. He was freed until his court appearance, as he is not considered a threat.

BASE Jumpers Skip Out on Bar Bill

Four men in business suits carrying a suitcase enjoyed drinks at the Vue de Monde restaurant atop the Rialto Towers in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday evening. They visited the restroom and then threw themselves off the balcony! The four parachuted down the 243-meter skyscraper to a waiting car below. The parachutes were hidden under their suit jackets, and the helmets were in the suitcase. Police are on the lookout for the BASE jumpers, not only because jumping from the towers is illegal, but also because they didn't pay their bar tab.

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Lists
8 Bizarre Places People Have Gotten Stuck
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Some days it just doesn’t pay to venture outside, particularly when you wind up the subject of a police and fire department rescue because you’ve somehow trapped yourself inside an ATM machine. Check out eight other strange environments that have ensnared bystanders and prompted emergency responses.

1. A CLAW MACHINE

A giant see-through container full of plush toys is any child’s idea of paradise, and they will attempt any means possible to inhabit it. For three-year-old Jamie Bracken-Murphy of Nenagh, Tipperary, Ireland, that meant crawling through the small flap from which the toys can be retrieved and finding himself lodged in a claw machine. Murphy was on display for about 10 minutes before an off-duty fireman was able to coax him back out the way he came in. Jamie’s father, Damien, expressed little surprise at his son’s predicament, saying that, "He's a very mischievous, sharp kid who's always pushing boundaries."

2. A TRAFFIC CONE

A man has a traffic cone over his head
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In 2013, a man in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England thought he’d have a bit of fun by sticking a traffic cone—otherwise known as a bollard—on his head. To his dismay, the large cone slid down over and past his shoulders, entombing him in plastic. John Waterman, a witness to the incident, captured it all on his cell phone. "It was very random," Waterman told The Telegraph. "It's not the usual thing you see in the middle of Hemel Hempstead on a Sunday lunchtime." The man stumbled around for more than two hours before anyone bothered to call police.

3. A CEMENT HOPPER

Aurora, Illinois was the site of a recent cement mix-up, when an unidentified man became trapped in a cement hopper. The worker had climbed into the machine to clean it, but found he was unable to move when residual cement on the machine's floor began hardening around his legs. It took firefighters more than two hours to extricate him from the hopper. He was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for minor injuries, but released the same day, according to the local fire department.

4. A TOILET

A stock shot of a person stuck in a toilet
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In 2016, a Norwegian man named Cato Berntsen Larsen found himself in deep trouble after he tried lowering himself into a public toilet to retrieve a friend’s cell phone. The toilet’s tank was located underneath the seat, allowing enough room for Larsen to become trapped. To his dismay, the tank—which is not connected to a sewage system and is only emptied sporadically—was full of human waste. Adding to the putrid nature of his enclave, Larsen vomited and was bitten by an unknown animal: His situation did not improve until authorities were able to come and pull him out. "It was damn disgusting," Larsen said, "the worst I have experienced. There were animals down there, too."

5. A GIANT STONE VAGINA

Tourists and residents of Tübingen, Germany are quite familiar with Chacán-Pi, a giant stone sculpture of a vagina created by Peruvian artist Fernando de la Jara. The towering display sits just outside Tübingen University’s Institute for Microbiology and Virology and has attracted curious onlookers since 2001. In 2014, an unnamed American student decided to go spelunking in the 32-ton carving for a photo opportunity and became trapped, necessitating rescue by 22 firefighters. The Guardian called them “midwives” and reported that the student was “delivered by hand.”

6. A WASHING MACHINE

A man appears to be stuck inside a washing machine
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Sometimes, games of hide-and-seek can go very wrong. That was the case for a man near Melbourne, Australia in 2014, who climbed into his top-loading washing machine fully nude to surprise his partner. Unfortunately, he was unable to climb back out. Responders were able to grease him with a liberal application of olive oil and pull him out. First Constable Luke Ingram told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that, as a rule, “My advice would be for people not to climb into appliances.” The warning went unheeded by another Australian man in 2015, who found himself lodged in a front-loading machine and had to wait while rescuers disassembled the entire unit in order to free him.

7. A BABY SWING

If you’re ever challenged by your adult friends to fit into a baby swing at a public park, you can confidently say that it won’t work. That’s because a man from Vallejo, California tried it in 2011. While he managed to slide into the seat using liquid laundry detergent, he couldn’t slide back out. As his legs began to swell, his friends abandoned him overnight. He wasn’t rescued until nine hours later, when a groundskeeper heard his screams for help at 6 o'clock the following morning. "The man sustained non-life threatening injuries to his body," the San Francisco Chronicle reported, "but there’s no word yet on the condition of his ego."

8. A CHIMNEY

A chimney sits on a rooftop
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There are many Santa jokes to be made, but when you’re the man trapped in your own home’s chimney for four hours, there probably isn’t a huge urge to start laughing. In late 2016, a Tucson, Arizona homeowner who had locked his keys in his home opted to retrieve them by re-entering his abode via the chimney. While it was a spectacularly bad idea, he actually almost made it: His feet were touching the floor of his fireplace before the space grew too narrow to allow for any further passage and he got stuck. Firefighters were able to pull him out from the roof, covered in soot but otherwise unharmed.

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Animals
This Octopus Species in Northern Australia Can Hunt on Dry Land
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Most octopuses live in the ocean—but in northern Australia, a small, shallow-water species takes to land in search of food. Abdopus aculeatus is the only octopus that’s specially adapted to walk on dry ground. Using its long, sucker-lined arms, the slimy sea creature pulls itself along the shoreline as it searches tide pools for crabs.

Witness Abdopus aculeatus in action by watching BBC Earth’s video below.

[h/t BBC Earth]

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