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The Weird Week in Review

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Suspect Identified in Evidence Vandalism

Police in Wichita, Kansas, held a press conference to release a sketch of the suspect in a case of evidence tampering at their property and evidence department building. They have determined that mice chewed into packages of marijuana. Lt. Doug Nolte said police followed protocol and photographed, weighed, and resealed the evidence. Exterminators have been called in to assist police in the case.

"We do have a sketch artist that came and did a rendering of who we believe is responsible for the marijuana heist, and so, we are currently looking for something that resembles a mouse like this," said Nolte.

The perpetrators have yet to be caught.

Chicken Wing Theft

Either they were taking advantage of the high price of chicken wings, or they planned a really big Super Bowl party. Dewayne Patterson and Renaldo Jackson were arrested after being seen loading a rental truck with ten pallets of frozen chicken wings, worth about $65,000. The theft took place the Nordic Distribution Center outside Atlanta, where both men worked. Patterson and Jackson now face felony theft charges. 

Student Project Helps Disabled Kitten

A nine-month-old cat named Flipper was born with a twisted spine. She's not paralyzed, but her back end doesn't walk on the same plane as her front end. Vets at the Aspen Park Vet Hospital in Conifer, Colorado, considered putting her down, but then decided to seek the help of the Blitz Robotic Club at Conifer High School. The club went to work and students designed a set of wheels that are powered by Flipper's sideways-turned back legs. The kitten learned quickly to use the contraption, and vets are hopeful that the support and exercise she gets from the device will allow her spine to straighten out on its own. 

Zimbabwe Has Only $217 Left in the Bank

The government of Zimbabwe paid civil servants' salaries last week, and discovered the balance of funds to be only $217, according to Finance Minister Tendai Biti. The nation has no money to hold elections and will have to appeal to other countries for the estimated $104 million needed for the elections and a constitutional referendum. No mention was made of paying workers' salaries in the future. Zimbabwe's financial structure has been in ruins for a decade, and hyperinflation has devalued its currency to ridiculous levels.

Woman Arrested for Falling Through Ceiling

A woman fell through the ceiling of the police station in Kihei, Hawaii, on Monday. Sheryl Vazquez was arrested on the spot for criminal trespass, criminal property damage, and disorderly conduct. It is believed that Vazquez gained entry to the crawl space above the ceiling from outside the building, but no motive for the stunt was suggested. Damage to the ceiling was evident in several rooms at the station. Vazquez was not injured in the incident, and was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Fresh Air in a Can

The legendary air pollution in China has been in the news because Beijing's air is worse than ever, causing sore throats and diverted airline flights. Multimillionaire businessman Chen Guangbiao saw an opportunity in the situation. On Wednesday, he handed out free cans of fresh air, supposedly from faraway areas of China with more pristine air quality. The cans normally sell for 5 yaun, or 80 cents, with proceeds going to charity. Chen considers the stunt "a way to awaken people to the importance of environmental protection."

Dreadlock Thieves Cut and Run

Hair stylists in South Africa are reporting an increase in incidents of dreadlock theft. Victims report that thieves cut the dreadlocks off to be resold. Natural dreadlocks sell for as much as 2500 rand ($279), and are rare enough that buyers often don't care where they came from. Police in Johannesburg say they have not received reports of theft, possibly because the victims are embarrassed. Durban police say they only had one reported theft.  

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Wisconsin Software Company Will Microchip Its Employees
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Typically, pets—not people—are microchipped. But as NBC News reports, one Wisconsin-based company plans to become the first business in the country to offer the tiny implants to its employees.

Three Square Market (32M), a software design firm in River Falls, Wisconsin, will begin providing the chips starting August 1. The rice-sized implants—which cost around $300 each—will be implanted in the hands of staffers between the thumb and the forefinger, and will allow them to purchase vending-machine snacks, open secured doors, or log into their computers with the wave of a hand. The company says the chips are optional.

32M is partnering with Swedish-based BioHax International to install the chips, which were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2004. The chips utilize electromagnetic fields to identify electronically stored data, and near-field communications, a technology that's used in contactless credit cards.

Fifty company members—including CEO Todd Westby—are expected to volunteer to receive the implants, according to a company statement. The company will foot the bill for the implants.

32M's microchipping program may sound unconventional, but the company—which owns machines that can use microchips—says it's simply riding the wave of the future.

"We see chip technology as the next evolution in payment systems, much like micro markets have steadily replaced vending machines," 32M's Westby said in the statement. "As a leader in micro market technology, it is important that 32M continues leading the way with advancements such as chip implants."

As microchipping becomes more common, Westby added, people will use the technology to shop, travel, and ride public transit.

The company says the chips are easily removable and can't be hacked or used to track recipients. However, some experts have argued the technology is an invasion of privacy, and that it could lead to heightened employee scrutiny.

"If most employees agree, it may become a workplace expectation," Vincent Conitzer, a computer science professor at Duke University, told NBC News. "Then, the next iteration of the technology allows some additional tracking functionality. And so it goes until employees are expected to implant something that allows them to be constantly monitored, even outside of work."

[h/t NBC News]

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Animals
Fisherman Catches Rare Blue Lobster, Donates It to Science
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Live lobsters caught off the New England coast are typically brown, olive-green, or gray—which is why one New Hampshire fisherman was stunned when he snagged a blue one in mid-July.

As The Independent reports, Greg Ward, from Rye, New Hampshire, discovered the unusual lobster while examining his catch near the New Hampshire-Maine border. Ward initially thought the pale crustacean was an albino lobster, which some experts estimate to be a one-in-100-million discovery. However, a closer inspection revealed that the lobster's hard shell was blue and cream.

"This one was not all the way white and not all the way blue," Ward told The Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything like it."

While not as rare as an albino lobster, blue lobsters are still a famously elusive catch: It's said that the odds of their occurrence are an estimated one in two million, although nobody knows the exact numbers.

Instead of eating the blue lobster, Ward decided to donate it to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye. There, it will be studied and displayed in a lobster tank with other unusually colored critters, including a second blue lobster, a bright orange lobster, and a calico-spotted lobster.

[h/t The Telegraph]

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