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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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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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