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The Weird Week in Review

Friday the 13th Lucky for the Tattoo Business

At one time, getting a tattoo of the number 13 inked in your skin on Friday the 13th was popular because it was considered an act of rebellion. Some tattoo parlors still celebrate Friday the 13th with special prices on tattoos, as low as $13, and expect great business. London tattoo artist Dan Gold already has 13 tats of the number 13 on his skin, but will get another today. Victor Miller is another who has the tattoo. He considers 13 his lucky number, especially after a movie he wrote, Friday the 13th, became a hit.

Parking Spaces for Men and Women

Gallus Strobel, the mayor of Triberg, Germany, a small town in the Black Forest, has discovered a shortcut to international publicity: political incorrectness. A city parking garage has unveiled parking spaces designated for male and female drivers.

Unlike the 12 spaces set aside for women, which are wider, well-lit, and closer to the exit, the men’s spaces require the driver to pull in at an angle, and avoid hitting cement pillars. They are an “attraction” for any ambitious driver, Strobel told the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.

“But men are, as a rule, a little better at such challenges,” he told the paper.

Strobel is particularly happy with the attention the story brought to his town.

Fruit Flies With the Ability to Count

A team of geneticists at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada and the University of California held math training sessions for generation after generation of fruit flies. The fruit flies, being not too bright, did not respond to the numbers... that is, until the 40th generation of flies to undergo such training. Finally, flies could recognize the difference between two, three, or four flashes of light. The next step in this research is to figure out what changed in the flies' brains over the 40 generations of math training, and how they managed to pass on those changes to their descendants.

Don't Clear Spiderwebs with a Blowtorch

Eiliya Maida of Chico, California, just wanted to clear cobwebs from his backyard. However, he chose to use a propane-fueled blowtorch to do it. Maida did not notice that some weeds ignited, which spread to the house. Only when his brother-in-law saw smoke coming from the attic did Maida realize what he'd done. Firefighters extinguished the blaze in a few minutes, but not before the fire did $25,000 damage to the house. The attic is burned, and the home's electrical system will have to be replaced.

Chimpanzees Escape, Roam Zoo Freely

Five chimpanzees in Hannover, Germany, took advantage of some debris in their enclosure to climb out and mingle with zoo visitors on Wednesday. Four of the chimps at the Experience Zoo returned to their home after a short time, but the oldest ape went to visit the zoo's gorilla. The zoo evacuated 2,500 people during the escapade. One 5-year-old girl was taken to the hospital with minor injuries after a chimp knocked her down. The last chimpanzee was eventually lured back and was given the use of a ladder to return to the pen. You can see some video of the incident here.

Giraffe Rescued from Septic Tank

A full-grown giraffe became stuck when its weight apparently caused a septic tank to collapse at the Marloth Park wildlife preserve in South Africa. Veterinarian Cobus Raath and a team of rescuers worked to free the animal. They blindfolded the giraffe and stuffed cotton in its ears to calm the beast while they worked. Twenty volunteers heaved the giraffe out of the tank.

"The animal was distressed and had been trying to get out," he said.

"We decided not to incapacitate him but blindfolded him to try and calm him down.

"We then called a load of local people who rushed to help and we used ropes and brute force to pull him out of the hole sideways."

The operation took about 20 minutes to get him out.

The giraffe was treated for shock and was freed after appearing to recover nicely.

Raw Crawfish Transmit Lung Fluke

Protip: when you're river rafting and drinking, try to avoid the temptation to eat raw crawfish. St. Louis hospitals have treated at least nine people over the past year for a flatworm transmitted from the crawfish that travels to one's lungs and can live for up to ten years if not treated. The condition, called paragonimiasis, can take months to exhibit symptoms and is hard to diagnose. A scientist from the CDC said, "In Georgia, we go canoeing and we see crawfish. It never occurred to me to eat one. What's wrong with you people?" Most of the cases were blamed on excessive alcohol intake while camping or rafting on Missouri's rivers. .

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iStock
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22 Emojis That Look Completely Different on Different Phones
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iStock

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).

1. FACE WITH ROLLING EYES

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.

2. SNAKE

3 different snake emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

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

3. NERD FACE

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

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

4. COOKIE

Three different cookie emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

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

5. LOUDLY CRYING FACE

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.

6. GHOST

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.

7. COUCH AND LAMP

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

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

8. CHIPMUNK

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…

9. OCTOPUS

Three different octopus emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

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

10. CAT FACE

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.

11. PIZZA

Three different pizza emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

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

12. MAN DANCING

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

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

13. OLD MAN

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.

14. RUNNING SHOE

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.

15. DETECTIVE

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.

16. PERSON SURFING

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

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

17. FRAMED PICTURE

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

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

18. DROOLING FACE

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

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

19. CLAPPING HANDS

Three different clapping emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

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

20. T-SHIRT

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.

21. PERSON FROWNING

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.

22. FEARFUL FACE

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.

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