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The Weird Week in Review

Mountain Lion Attacks Dog, Man Responds with Frying Pan

Brandon Arnold of Chino Valley, Arizona, was camping with a group of friends in Tonto National Forest when a mountain lion attacked his dog. Arnold tried to pull the animals apart before he realized the attacker wasn't another dog. The campers grabbed whatever was nearby, which for Arnold was a hot cast-iron skillet. He bopped the cat in the head twice, killing it. Another camper shot the mountain lion, just to make sure. Officials from the Arizona Game and Fish Department took the big cat for testing and found it had rabies. None of the campers were scratched or bitten except for the dog, Apollo, and he'd been vaccinated for rabies already.

Kentucky Man Arrested for Leaving Son in Car

A man was arrested in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, on misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a minor. He had gone into a bar to drink and left his son behind in the car.

According to an arrest report, 59-year-old James L. Osborne was seen walking into The Electric Cowboy, a bar on Dixie Highway, near Oak Park Drive, early Saturday morning, shortly before 2:30 a.m.

Witnesses say he left a young boy inside his vehicle.

When police arrived, they approached the boy and asked him his age. It was determined that the boy was 17.

It's likely that the son was his designated driver.

Internet Cafe Robbers Caught via Facebook

In this particular case, the criminals weren't caught by bragging about their exploits on Facebook, but one of them logged onto the social network at the shop they then robbed! The two initially unidentified thieves went to an internet cafe in Calima, Colombia, and took an undisclosed amount of money at gunpoint. They fled on a motorcycle, but it became clear that one of them had logged onto his Facebook page before the robbery -and did not log out. The police took information off his profile and drove to his home address, where he was arrested.

Rushin' Russian Rescued from Trash Chute

An unnamed man desperate to get away from his girlfriend squeezed himself into a garbage chute on the eighth floor of an apartment building in Tyumen, Siberia. He slid down three floors and then became firmly wedged in the chute. Emergency services found him stuck on the fifth floor and extracted him. There are no details on why he was fleeing from his girlfriend.

Rocks in Pocket Set Woman on Fire

An unidentified woman in San Clemente, California, collected rocks from a beach last Saturday. The rocks in her pocket spontaneously ignited, which burned her thigh and knee. Her husband also suffered burns on his hand from trying to extinguish the flame. Authorities don't yet know why the rocks ignited, but think phosphorus may be involved. The rocks were sent off for testing.

Zookeepers Drank Elephants' Alcohol

The elephant keepers at the Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, ordered a supply of alcohol each of the past twenty years -for the elephants. They said the alcohol was necessary to calm the elephants down during mating season. The orders were filled each year, and listed under the elephants' food expense budget. But the elephants never drank the liquor.

The bills amounted Rs80,000 at maximum and minimum at Rs40,000.

Locally manufactured liquor would be supplied to the zoo and the cost would be added to the food expense.

Veterinary doctors while speaking to Express News said that alcohol cannot be consumed by elephants.

Once that fact came to light, an investigation was opened. Two of the zookeepers have been suspended.

Horse Rescued a Mile from Shore

A valuable show horse named "Air of Temptation" found the lure of the ocean too tempting. The horse, called William, was at Summerland Beach in California for a photo shoot when he suddenly galloped into the water. As those at the scene tried to lure him back, the horse wandered out as far as a mile into the sea. Mindy Peters, William's owner, was called to the scene and told that the horse was out of sight from land. The horse was finally spotted by oil rig workers, who alerted rescue crews. By the time two paddle boarders and a harbor patrol boat saved William, he had been treading water for three hours.

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science
2017 Ig Nobel Prizes Celebrate Research on How Crocodiles Affect Gambling and Other Odd Studies
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iStock

The Ig Nobel Prizes are back, and this year's winning selection of odd scientific research topics is as weird as ever. As The Guardian reports, the 27th annual awards of highly improbable studies "that first make people laugh, then make them think" were handed out on September 14 at a theater at Harvard University. The awards, sponsored by the Annals of Improbable Research, honor research you never would have thought someone would take the time (or the funding) to study, much less would be published.

The 2017 highlights include a study on whether cats can be both a liquid and a solid at the same time and one on whether the presence of a live crocodile can impact the behavior of gamblers. Below, we present the winners from each of the 10 categories, each weirder and more delightful than the last.

PHYSICS

"For using fluid dynamics to probe the question 'Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?'"

Winner: Marc-Antoine Fardin

Study: "On the Rheology of Cats," published in Rheology Bulletin [PDF]

ECONOMICS

"For their experiments to see how contact with a live crocodile affects a person's willingness to gamble."

Winners: Matthew J. Rockloff and Nancy Greer

Study: "Never Smile at a Crocodile: Betting on Electronic Gaming Machines is Intensified by Reptile-Induced Arousal," published in the Journal of Gambling Studies

ANATOMY

"For his medical research study 'Why Do Old Men Have Big Ears?'"

Winner: James A. Heathcote

Study: "Why Do Old Men Have Big Ears?" published in the BMJ

BIOLOGY

"For their discovery of a female penis, and a male vagina, in a cave insect."

Winners: Kazunori Yoshizawa, Rodrigo L. Ferreira, Yoshitaka Kamimura, and Charles Lienhard (who delivered their acceptance speech via video from inside a cave)

Study: "Female Penis, Male Vagina and Their Correlated Evolution in a Cave Insect," published in Current Biology

FLUID DYNAMICS

"For studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks backwards while carrying a cup of coffee."

Winner: Jiwon Han

Study: "A Study on the Coffee Spilling Phenomena in the Low Impulse Regime," published in Achievements in the Life Sciences

NUTRITION

"For the first scientific report of human blood in the diet of the hairy-legged vampire bat."

Winners: Fernanda Ito, Enrico Bernard, and Rodrigo A. Torres

Study: "What is for Dinner? First Report of Human Blood in the Diet of the Hairy-Legged Vampire Bat Diphylla ecaudata," published in Acta Chiropterologica

MEDICINE

"For using advanced brain-scanning technology to measure the extent to which some people are disgusted by cheese."

Winners: Jean-Pierre Royet, David Meunier, Nicolas Torquet, Anne-Marie Mouly, and Tao Jiang

Study: "The Neural Bases of Disgust for Cheese: An fMRI Study," published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience

COGNITION

"For demonstrating that many identical twins cannot tell themselves apart visually."

Winners: Matteo Martini, Ilaria Bufalari, Maria Antonietta Stazi, and Salvatore Maria Aglioti

Study: "Is That Me or My Twin? Lack of Self-Face Recognition Advantage in Identical Twins," published in PLOS One

OBSTETRICS

"For showing that a developing human fetus responds more strongly to music that is played electromechanically inside the mother's vagina than to music that is played electromechanically on the mother's belly."

Winners: Marisa López-Teijón, Álex García-Faura, Alberto Prats-Galino, and Luis Pallarés Aniorte

Study: "Fetal Facial Expression in Response to Intravaginal Music Emission,” published in Ultrasound

PEACE PRIZE

"For demonstrating that regular playing of a didgeridoo is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring."

Winners: Milo A. Puhan, Alex Suarez, Christian Lo Cascio, Alfred Zahn, Markus Heitz, and Otto Braendli

Study: "Didgeridoo Playing as Alternative Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome: Randomised Controlled Trial," published by the BMJ

Congratulations, all.

[h/t The Guardian]

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Courtesy of Julia Donovan
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Art
Meet the 12-Year-Old Boy Who Makes Surreal-Looking Dolls Using Found Materials
Original image
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

Some dolls are cutesy, but not Callum Donovan-Grujicich's fantastical creations. As Bored Panda reports, the 12-year-old artist from Whitby, Ontario crafts tiny, surreal-looking figures, some of which have won art show prizes and been featured in national magazines and on TV.

Donovan-Grujicich first began making art dolls around two years ago, when he was 10. The bodies and faces of the dolls are made from clay, and the limbs from stuffed cloth, but the young artist often uses found objects—like bits of old metal—to create facial features or accessories like hats and jewelry.

"Found objects are a big part of his process and often, he says, the inspiration for the whole sculpture comes from some rusted piece of metal," Donovan-Grujicich's mother, Julia Donovan, tells Mental Floss. "He loves to collect old-looking scrap metal and anything else that he finds interesting."

Aside from art classes at a local gallery, Donovan-Grujicich is entirely self-trained. Someday, he hopes to earn a master of fine arts degree to teach and make art, but for now, the preteen continues to hone his unique aesthetic by making dolls and creating stop-motion animation and live-action films with his brother.

Some people might view Donovan-Grujicich's figures as grim—especially for a kid—but his mother thinks they simply provide a different perspective on beauty.

"A lot has been made of the darkness in Callum's work, which I think has been completely overblown and misunderstood," Donovan says. "Callum is sometimes serious, but not a dark person at all."

You can check out some of Donovan-Grujicich's work below, or visit his website for more information.

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

 A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

 A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

 A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

 A sculpture made from found materials and other objects by 12-year-old Callum Donovan Grujicich.
Courtesy of Julia Donovan

[h/t Bored Panda]

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