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The Weird Week in Review

Eternal Flame Extinguished Due to Unpaid Gas Bill

The former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan has a memorial to fallen soldiers of World War II in the capital city of Bishkek, which features an "eternal flame." However, the government is three years in arrears to the gas company, Kyrgyzgas, that supplies the fuel for the flame. The bill is now over $9,000, and Kyrgyzgas turned off the supply line, putting the eternal flame out. The government said there is some confusion as to who is responsible for the bill, but they hope to work things out before the annual May 9 memorial commemorations.

Dull and Boring

Many cities adopt a "sister city" across the pond. These matchups between the New World and the Old World serve as a sort of cultural exchange. People in the village of Dull, in Perthshire, Scotland, have shown their sense of humor by seeking out a partnership with the Oregon logging town of Boring. It may be the most exciting thing that's happened in the two towns in a while.

Community councillor Marjorie Keddie said: "It might seem like a joke, but this could have real benefits for Dull. Everyone has been smiling at the prospect of the very eye-catching road sign this will inevitably require."

The two towns are not exactly equivalent, as Boring has a population of 12,000 while Dull could scramble up maybe 80 people.

Stabbing Victim Used Kebab as Pressure Bandage

James Hobbs of Highbridge, England, got into an altercation in Somerset with Jamie Edney, who slashed Hobbs' throat. To stem the bleeding, Hobbs grabbed a kebab from a takeout order and pressed it against his neck. He still lost over six pints of blood before being stitched up at the hospital. Edney was later sentenced to five and a half years for the stabbing, the lowest possible sentence, because he didn't start the fight.

Where Do You Work? "Roof"

Richard Haughton builds and repairs thatched roofs in Scottow, Norfolk, England. But when he works, all eyes are on his dog Axel, who's right there on the roof with Haughton and his crew. The Newfoundland mix has been climbing the ladder to be with his master since he was a puppy, and now has quite a reputation among customers, who love the rooftop dog. Axel climbs up well, and doesn't mind spending all day on the roof, but still cannot climb down on his own. He'll wag his tail to let the work crew know he needs to be brought down.

Felony Charges for $1 Soda

Mark Abaire of Naples, Florida, requested a cup for water at the local McDonalds, but instead filled it with soda from the fountain. When confronted by the manager, Abaire declined to pay for the soda, and was arrested shortly after. Although the crime would normally be misdemeanor theft, Abaire's record of petty theft raised it to a felony charge. He was also charged with trespassing and disorderly intoxication, both misdemeanors.

Cher's Key to the City Sold on eBay

Officials in Adelaide, Australia, were not happy to see the honor they bestowed upon singer Cher for sale at eBay. The Key to the City was sold early Thursday on the auction site. Mayor Stephen Yarwood said he was "exceptionally disappointed." Former mayor Steve Condous, who presented the key to Cher in 1990, said,

"I'm disappointed. I would have thought that getting the key to a city like Adelaide would have had some value to her, but obviously it doesn't because she wouldn't have got rid of it," said Condous.

"If she didn't want to keep it she should have returned it back to the city."

The bidding is is now closed; the key sold for over $95,000.

Targeting Customers: You're Doing It Wrong

Cedric Barnes of Florence, South Carolina was apparently looking to drum up some business by calling names from his list of phone contacts. He must have not recognized the name of one man he called trying to sell some marijuana. It was his former probation officer. The officer set up an appointment for the transaction and contacted Florence police, who were the ones who actually met with Barnes, bought the pot, and then arrested him. Police seized a half-pound of marijuana and some cocaine during the bust.

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Weird
The Origins of 25 Monsters, Ghosts, and Spooky Things
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Though dressing up as an angel is acceptable, it’s ghouls and goblins that truly capture our imaginations during the Halloween season. As lit jack-o’-lanterns beckon and monsters lurk in the shadows, we explore the origins of 25 frightful things that go bump—or boo—in the night.

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Thanks to a Wet Winter, New Zealand Faces a Potential Potato Chip Shortage
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New Zealand has plenty of unique and tasty snacks, but kiwis also love potato chips. The universal comfort food is in danger Down Under, however, as an unusually wet winter has devastated the island country’s tuber crops, according to BBC News.

Twenty percent of New Zealand’s annual potato crop was wiped out from a series of major storms and floods that ravaged the nation’s North and South Islands, The Guardian reports. In some regions, up to 30 percent of potato crops were affected, with the varieties used to make chips bearing the brunt of the damage.

Potato prices spiked as farmers struggled, but the crisis—now dubbed “chipocalypse” by media outlets—didn't really make the mainstream news until supermarket chain Pak’nSave posted announcements in potato chip aisles that warned customers of a salty snack shortage until the New Year.

Pak’nSave has since rescinded this explanation, claiming instead that they made an ordering error. However, other supermarket chains say they’re working directly with potato chip suppliers to avoid any potential shortfalls, and are aware that supplies might be limited for the foreseeable future.

New Zealand’s potato farming crisis extends far beyond the snack bars at rugby matches and vending machines. Last year’s potato crops either rotted or remained un-harvested, and the ground is still too wet to plant new ones. This hurts New Zealand’s economy: The nation is the world’s ninth-largest exporter of potatoes.

Plus, potatoes “are a food staple, and this is becoming a food security issue as the effects of climate change take their toll on our potato crop,” says Chris Claridge, the chief executive of industry group Potatoes New Zealand, according to The Guardian.

In the meantime, New Zealanders are preparing to hunker down for a few long months of potential potato peril—and according to some social media users, kale chips are not a suitable alternative. “Chipocalypse” indeed.

[h/t BBC News]

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