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The Weird Week in Review

Party-crashing Cows

A backyard party in Boxford, Massachusetts turned ugly when a herd of cows arrived uninvited. A police officer responding to a call about loose cows saw the herd head into a backyard, with the sound of screaming soon following. The beasts chased people away and then turned over their abandoned beers and lapped them up. Cows even rooted through a recycling bin of beer cans. The owner of the livestock was located and he and a few friends rounded up the cows and took them home.

Marvel Creates Superhero to Help 4-Year-Old

Anthony Smith suffers from hearing loss, but did not want to wear hearing aids, because super heroes don't wear them. His grandmother, Lou D'Allesandro, contacted Marvel comics and asked if any superheroes had hearing problems. They responded that Hawkeye, one of the Avengers, once wore a hearing aid. But that wasn't the end of it. Inspired by Anthony's story, the creative staff at Marvel created a new superhero named Blue Ear and sent artwork by Nelson Ribeiro showing Blue Ear detecting trouble with his super-powered hearing aid. Anthony has since started wearing his own "blue ear."

A Man, a Zebra, and a Macaw Walk Into a Bar...

Jerald Reiter of Cascade, Iowa, was arrested Sunday night for drunk driving with a blood-alcohol level of .148. Police had stopped him to check on the welfare of the passengers in his truck: a zebra and a macaw. Reiter's 3-month-old zebra is named Pee Wee and his macaw is named Izzy.

Reiter, 55, told The Des Moines Register that the zebra and parrot are like friends to him and they often spend time indoors and ride in his vehicles. The animals visit neighbors, and the parrot has been on trips to the local feed store, Reiter said.

On Sunday, after doing chores and eating dinner, Reiter said he decided to take the animals to the Dog House, where he thought they’d be allowed.

“I said, ‘Let’s go for a ride. I ain’t been away from the farm for almost two months because I’ve been planting corn and everything else,’” he said. “So I opened the door, the zebra jumps in, the macaw loves to go for a ride, so we went for a ride.”

Reiter says at no time did he leave the animals in the truck alone. He said when police arrived, he was leaving the bar after being told the animals couldn't come in.

Man Saves Son, Gets Ticket

Frank Roder was on an excursion along the Rahway River in New Jersey with his son Aiden. As he was parking the car, the 5-year-old opened the door and ran toward an embankment with a 35-foot drop. Roder immediately jumped out of the car to catch the boy. As he did, his Jeep rolled into the river. Roder caught Aiden just before he reached the edge, but the Jeep was already gone. For his efforts, Rofer was rewarded with his son's safety -and two traffic tickets! The first ticket was for failing to apply the parking brake when he left the vehicle, and the other was for failure to produce an insurance card. Roder had insurance, but his proof was in the Jeep at the bottom of the river.

Bear Pulls Man from Outhouse

Despite what you've heard about what bears do in the woods, this one went straight for the outhouse. An unnamed 65-year-old man was in the outhouse at a campsite near Sioux Lookout, Ontario, when a bear came through the open door and dragged him out! A friend who was also camping came and shot the bear. The man suffered bites to his head and neck, and numerous slashes from the bear's claws. The two campers drove to the  nearest area with cell phone service, then to a hospital. The injured man is undergoing treatment for rabies.

Court Case Could Force Quebecois to be Married Against Their Will

In Quebec, where over a million people are unmarried but cohabiting, such couples are legally recognized as "de facto spouses," but the law put them under no obligation to each other if they break up. However, a "palimony" case involving an unnamed billionaire and his de facto spouse of ten years could end that. The couple split in 2002, and her case for support was appealed until she won in 2010. That decision set a precedent for every de facto couple in Quebec.

The sums of money involved make Eric and Lola’s case somewhat absurd to the average Canadian. But it could shape the lives of the 1.2 million Quebecois in de facto couples, making them as good as married, even though neither of them exchanged rings or asked the other person’s permission to spend their lives together.

The Quebec government has appealed the decision of the Supreme Court, which will rule on the matter in July.

Suitcase of Puppies All Find Homes

Last month, a litter of six puppies was found enclosed in an abandoned suitcase in Toledo, Ohio. The case enraged animal lovers, and the man found to be the dogs' owner was identified because the suitcase still had his identification tag on it. He pleaded no contest to animal cruelty charges.

Since then, the puppies, known as the Suitcase 6, have been in the care of the Toledo Area Humane Society, which received over 1,000 inquiries to adopt them from all over the country. Of those, 132 people with approved applications were entered into a lottery, from which six new homes were selected, for five of the puppies and the mother dog. One puppy was adopted by its foster family. The dogs are all settling in to their new homes.

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Little Baby's Ice Cream
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Food
Pizza and Cricket Cake Are Just Some of the Odd Flavors You'll Find at This Philadelphia Ice Cream Shop
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Little Baby's Ice Cream

Ice cream flavors can get pretty out-there, thanks to the growing number of creative scoop shops willing to take risks and broaden their customers’ horizons beyond chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Intrepid foodies can cool off with frozen treats that taste like horseradish, foie gras, and avocado, while Philadelphia's Little Baby’s Ice Cream is pushing the boundaries of taste with chilly offerings like everything bagel, Maryland BBQ, ranch, and cricket cake.

Cricket-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Everything Bagel-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

As Lonely Planet News reports, Little Baby’s Ice Cream launched its first signature “oddball” ice cream—Earl Grey sriracha—in 2011. Since then, its rotating menu has only gotten quirkier. In addition to the aforementioned flavors, customers who swing by Little Baby’s this summer can even try pizza ice cream.

The store created the savory flavor in 2011, to celebrate neighborhood eatery Pizza Brain’s inclusion into Guinness World Records for its vast collection of pizza memorabilia. The savory, Italian-esque snack is made from ingredients like tomato, basil, oregano, salt, and garlic—and yes, it actually tastes like pizza, Little Baby’s co-owner Pete Angevine told Lonely Planet News.

Pizza-flavored ice cream, made by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

“Frequently, folks will see it on the menu and be incredulous, then be convinced to taste it, giggle, talk about how surprised they are that it really tastes just like pizza … and then order something else,” Angevine said. “That’s just fine. Just as often though, they’ll end up getting a pizza milkshake!”

Little Baby’s flagship location is in Philadelphia's East Kensington neighborhood, but customers can also sample their unconventional goods at additional outposts in West Philadelphia, Baltimore, and a pop-up stand in Washington, D.C.’s Union Market. Just make sure to bring along a sense of adventure, and to leave your preconceived notions of what ice cream should taste like at home.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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travel
Nalcrest, Florida: Where Postal Workers Go to Retire
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iStock

You could say that the Nalcrest community in central Florida delivers affordable retirement housing for seniors. And with amenities like a pool and tennis courts, you might even say it has the whole package [PDF]. Or you could just go with the pun that the community itself has landed on: “Nalcrest: A First Class Community.”

Nalcrest, you see, is a retirement community exclusive to members of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC); the village has 500 ground-level apartments available for postal workers to enjoy after they’ve delivered their final Oriental Trading catalog. Garden-style units start at just $374 a month, including water, sewage, trash removal, basic cable, maintenance, and use of all of the recreational facilities.

The idea for an affordable, profession-specific retirement community came to NALC president William Doherty in the 1950s, when he toured Europe and saw similar setups organized by labor unions, religious groups, and fraternal organizations [PDF]. He proposed the idea for U.S. mail carriers as early as 1954, then pounced when Congress passed a law in 1959 that provided loans to build housing for seniors. Doherty was there to break ground on July 1, 1962; Nalcrest officially opened for business less than two years later on January 20, 1964. The dedication ceremony included a band of mail carrier musicians and a separate group called “The Singing Mailmen,” a group made up of—you guessed it—singing mailmen, as well as a female water skiing team that proudly flew pennants spelling out “Nalcrest.” After a stint as the ambassador to Jamaica, Doherty himself retired to Nalcrest, living there until his death in 1987.

Though residents may not be traipsing a daily mail route anymore, they still have plenty of options to stay active. Nalcrest has shuffleboard, horseshoes, bocce, miniature golf, tennis courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool, walking trails, and a softball diamond (home to the Nalcrest Eagles). It also boasts a travel club, a women’s association, and free art classes, among other activities. There’s one thing, however, it doesn’t have—dogs. With the exception of therapy dogs, Nalcrest has a no-canine rule in deference to retirees who were bitten in the line of duty and have an aversion to the animals.

If a dog-free community seems like paradise for postal workers, the other thing Nalcrest lacks cements its status as letter carrier nirvana: There are no mailboxes, because there is no home mail delivery. Each resident has to visit the Nalcrest post office to pick up any correspondence.

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