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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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A Manmade Fatberg Is Floating Off the Coast of Amsterdam
A chunk of the Whitechapel fatberg on display at the Museum of London.
A chunk of the Whitechapel fatberg on display at the Museum of London.

Fatbergs—typically masses made from congealed grease, diapers, wet wipes, and other trash—have a tendency to form where they’re not wanted, but a new one floating in the sea just off Amsterdam was put there deliberately. As Gizmodo reports, designers Mike Thompson and Arne Hendriks constructed the buoyant blob to be a statement-making piece of experimental art.

Their Fatberg (capital F) started in 2014 as a single drop of fat in a glass of water. In the time since then, Thompson and Hendriks have grown it into a 2205-pound behemoth by gradually adding melted-down vegetable and animal fats to the mound. Unlike fatbergs that appear in the wild (a.k.a. city sewers), this monstrosity is pure fat. The two masterminds hope to eventually incorporate human fat obtained from a liposuction procedure.

The project is less a statement about the litter and pollution that leads to fatbergs clogging up our sewers as it is about the meaning of the fat itself. “Basically we’re doing this because fat is a very interesting material—it’s probably the most iconic material of time,” Hendriks told Gizmodo. “It’s organic, but it speaks about energy. It speaks about health. It speaks about over-consumption. It speaks about beauty.”

The two men plan to continue growing their fat island with the goal of getting it big enough to stand on and towing it to the North Pole. But they have a long way to go before they break the record for biggest fatberg—that title belongs to the Whitechapel fatberg, which weighed a whopping 143 tons when it was pulled from a London sewer in 2017.

Floating fatberg.
Mike Thompson, Arne Hendriks

Adding fat to a floating fatberg.
Mike Thompson, Arne Hendriks

[h/t Gizmodo]

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New Lobster Emoji Gets Updated After Mainers Noticed It Was Missing a Set of Legs
Emojipedia
Emojipedia

When the Unicode Consortium released the designs of the latest batch of emojis in early February, the new lobster emoji was an instant hit. But as some astute observers have pointed out, Unicode forgot something crucial from the initial draft: a fourth set of legs.

As Mashable reports, Unicode has agreed to revise its new lobster emoji to make it anatomically accurate. The first version of the emoji, which Maine senator Angus King had petitioned for in September 2017, shows what looks like a realistic take on a lobster, complete with claws, antennae, and a tail. But behind the claws were only three sets of walking legs, or "pereiopods." In reality, lobsters have four sets of pereiopods in addition to their claws.

"Sen. Angus King from Maine has certainly been vocal about his love of the lobster emoji, but was kind enough to spare us the indignity of pointing out that we left off two legs," Jeremy Burge, chief emoji officer at Emojipedia and vice-chair of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee, wrote in a blog post. Other Mainers weren't afraid to speak up. After receiving numerous complaints about the oversight, Unicode agreed to tack two more legs onto the lobster emoji in time for its release later this year.

The skateboard emoji (which featured an outdated design) and the DNA emoji (which twisted the wrong way) have also received redesigns following complaints.

[h/t Mashable]

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