The Weird Week in Review

You Gotta Pay the Piper

If you had to guess what German city has a big rodent problem, you might guess Hamelin -and you'd be right. City officials admitted that rodents have chewed their way through a power cable at a popular fountain, forcing its closure. It sounds like a repeat of the legend of the 1284 infestation, in which the Pied Piper was hired to lead the rats out of town and into the Weser River. This time around, city officials say they'll just decommission the fountain, which was due to be permanently closed anyway. Oh, why were they planning to close the fountain? High maintenance costs. Seven hundred years later, the city is still stingy about paying for municipal services.

A Bag of Pot Won't Pay for Restaurant Meal

What do you do when you have the 2AM munchies? You head for Denny's. What do you do if you have no cash for the bill? Offer some pot! An unnamed man in Niagara Falls, New York, ate a meal billed at $9.91, and offered the cashier a dollar and a bag of marijuana to pay for it. When the cashier refused, the man tried to sell the bag to other restaurant patrons. The man fled before police arrived, but a restaurant employee knew him and gave the man's name and address to police.

Don't Steal from the Cops

Two men were hauled in to the police station for fighting and suspicion of possessing stolen goods in Panama City, Florida, on Tuesday. Dennis W. Baugham and Michael A. Marquez were in custody while police tried to determine who owned the new camping equipment they were found with. Marquez, under surveillance, took a clock off the police station wall and tried to hide it in his backpack! Police retrieved the clock and added a petit theft charge to Marquez' problems. Both men were charged with theft of a shopping cart, and more charges may be added.

Neon Light Left On for 77 Years

Clifton's Cafeteria in Los Angeles has been in business since 1935, although the site had a cafeteria even before that. During the Great Depression, Clifton's displayed forest scenes on the walls, illuminated from behind by neon lights. In 1949, a basement restroom was partitioned to convert it into a storage area, and one of the neon lights was covered over -but it wasn't turned off first. This past February, the light was discovered to be still burning, 62 years later! It is estimated that the lamp has been continuously lit for a total of 77 years, running up an electricity bill of $17,000.

Snake-handling Preacher Dies from Snake Bite

West Virginia is one of the few places where snake-handling church services are still legal. Mack Randall Wolford, pastor of the Full Gospel Apostolic House of the Lord Jesus in Matoaka, held a homecoming service last Sunday in the Panther State Forest, during which he was bitten by a rattlesnake that he owned. Wolford was taken to a residence about 40 minutes after he was bitten. Some time later, paramedics took him to Bluefield Regional Hospital, where he died on Monday. An investigation is underway to determine how long medical care was delayed after the bite. State park officials say they were not aware that a religious service had been held in the park, and that permission would have been denied if Wolford had contacted them beforehand.

"Cleaning Fairy" Breaks into Homes to Clean Them

Yes, it is a crime to break into someone's house to clean it up. In Westlake, Ohio, Sherry Bush returned to her home to find it tidied up, with a note from Susan Warren, the "Cleaning Fairy," who asked for $75! Bush called the number on the note.

"I think our jaws just dropped to the ground," Bush said. "I said, 'What happened, did you get the wrong house?' She said, 'No, I do this all the time.' I said, 'What do you mean?' She said, 'I just stop and clean your house.'"

Bush told NewsNet5 that Warren later admitted she had broken in because she needed cash, though nothing was stolen from the house.

Warren has been charged with felony burglary.

Honor Student's Truancy Conviction Vacated, Expunged

Seventeen-year-old Houston, Texas, honor student Diane Tran was sentenced to 24 hours in jail and a $100 fine for missing too much school. Montgomery County Justice of the Peace Lanny Moriarty refused to make an exception for Tran, who was working two jobs to help support her siblings after their parents left. Tran's story went viral and pressure from the national media weighed on the judge. Yesterday, Moriarty vacated the conviction and ordered Tran's record expunged, so her truancy charge will not affect her efforts to get into college. Meanwhile, a website seeking donations to help Tran and her family raised $100,000.

22 Emojis That Look Completely Different on Different Phones

Emojis are a great addition to our communication toolbox. Without saying a word, we can talk about people, places, things, and emotions. But different platforms sometimes display the same emoji specification in different ways. An eye roll might come across as petulant or cheerful. A snake might look threatening or adorable. To help you navigate some potentially confusing cross-platform interactions, here are 22 emojis (referred to by their programming code names) that come out with important differences on Apple (iOS 11.1), Google (Android 8), and Samsung (Galaxy S8).


3 different face with rolling eyes emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Way to miss the point.
Google: Ugh. Oh boy. Nice one. NOT!
Samsung: Heh, heh. Neato.


3 different snake emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Beware!
Google: Beware?
Samsung: Aww. Snakey-poo.


Three different nerd face emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Nerdy cuteness.
Google: Nerdy excitement!
Samsung: Nerdy astonishment!


Three different cookie emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Mmm. Delicious chocolate chips…
Google: Raisins? Nuts?
Samsung: Uh, thanks for the cookie?


Three different loudly crying face emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: River of tears.
Google: Waterfall of tears.
Samsung: Cast adrift on a lake of tears.


Three different ghost emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Ready for a goofy good scare?!
Google: Me scary! (*wink*)
Samsung: (*clears throat*) Um, boo.


Three different couch and lamp emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Midcentury modern pad.
Google: Office waiting room.
Samsung: Haunted Victorian hotel.


Three different chipmunk emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Cute? No. Please allow me my dignity.
Google: Tee hee. Cute!
Samsung: Where did I put those nuts…


Three different octopus emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Oh. You surprised me there.
Google: Boo! I surprise YOU!
Samsung: Hellooooooo, over there.


Three different cat emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Always identified more with the mice, actually.
Google: On the internet, everyone loves a cat!
Samsung: Your texts are tedious.


Three different pizza emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Pepperoni.
Google: Pepperoni and olives.
Samsung: Pepperoni, olives, and extra cheese.


Three different man dancing emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Disco in the '70s.
Google: Miami Vice in the '80s.
Samsung: Dabbing, whipping, and nae-naeing at the middle school.


Three different old man emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: More like middle-aged.
Google: Old and yet somehow babyish.
Samsung: Very prematurely grey kid.


Three different running shoe emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Ready for the 5K.
Google: Ready for some stickball.
Samsung: Ready for the playground.


Three different detective emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Experienced and ready to assist.
Google: No experience yet, but can’t wait to start!
Samsung: Seen too much.


Three different person surfing emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Awesome!
Google: Pretty fun.
Samsung: Whoa. Help.


Three different framed picture emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: For the nursery.
Google: For the den.
Samsung: For the great hall.


Three different drooling face emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Sooo delicious…
Google: Sooo incomprehensible…
Samsung: Sooo disturbing…


Three different clapping emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Pay attention!
Google: Polite applause.
Samsung: Hushed appreciation.


Three different t-shirt emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Casual Friday at the office.
Google: Saturday at the gym.
Samsung: Sunday on the couch.


Three different person frowning emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Hurt and disappointed.
Google: Crushed and disappointed.
Samsung: Not gonna stand for it anymore.


Three different fearful face emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Yikes! Aaack! No way!
Google: Oh dear! Why! I feel sick!
Samsung: Bzzzt! Yoinks!

Check the platform differences for all the emojis at Emojipedia.

NSW Transport
This Just In
Australians Vote to Name New Sydney Harbor Boat 'Ferry McFerryface'
NSW Transport
NSW Transport

Proving that some jokes never die (or at least take a little longer to reach the Land Down Under), Sydney has a new ferry named Ferry McFerryface, according to BBC News.

For the uninitiated, the name Ferry McFerryface pays homage to an English practical joke from 2016. It all started when the UK's Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) made global headlines after launching an online poll to name a nearly $300 million polar research ship. Leading the vote by a significant margin was the moniker “Boaty McBoatface.”

For a short period, it seemed as though jokesters would pull off their naming coup. But once the competition reached its end, government officials ultimately decided to override the poll. They named the research ship RSS Sir David Attenborough instead, although they did agree to give the name Boaty McBoatface to one of its submarines.

Sydney recently held a similar competition to name a fleet of six new harbor ferries, and the results were announced in mid-November. Locals submitted more than 15,000 names, and winning submissions included the names of esteemed Australian doctors, prominent Aboriginal Australians, and—yes—Ferry McFerryface, according to the Associated Press. Boaty McBoatface also came out on top, but it was struck down.

“Given ‘Boaty’ was already taken by another vessel, we’ve gone with the next most popular name nominated by Sydneysiders,” said Andrew Constance, the New South Wales minister for transport and infrastructure, in a statement. “Ferry McFerryface will be the harbor’s newest icon and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of visitors and locals alike.”

[h/t BBC News]


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