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The Weird Week in Review

Surprise Parking Violation

Hila Ben-Baruch parked her car on the street outside her home in Tel Aviv, Israel. Later the same day, she was shocked to find that her car had been towed away, and the parking spot was now designated as a handicapped parking space! Apparently, the lines had been painted while her car was still parked in the spot. When she called the municipal call center about it, they accused her of lying and said she would have to pay 350 shekels ($95) to get her car back, plus the fine for parking in a handicap space.

Ben-Baruch's Facebook post about the incident went viral. Refusing to give up, Ben-Baruch went to an office building overlooking the parking spot and obtained security camera footage.

In the footage, a pair of Tel Aviv municipal workers are seen painting the spot with Ben-Baruch's car still there. Shortly thereafter, a tow truck comes to take Ben-Baruch's car away.

Confronted with the evidence, city officials rescinded the fine and towing fee, and apologized.

Mistrial Declared When Victim's Eyeball Falls Out

A punch during a bar brawl in 2011 caused John Huttick to lose his left eye. Huttick sued Matthew Brunelli in Philadelphia over the incident. Huttick was on the witness stand Wednesday telling his side of the story when he lost his eye again -the glass prosthetic popped out in the courtroom. At least two jurors gasped and acted as if they wanted to leave. The judge immediately declared a mistrial due to the incident. The judge said it was an "unfortunate, unforeseen incident," and set a new trial date for March 4th.

Shoplifting 24 Quarts of Oil

Jorge Sanchez was spotted leaving a Costco store in Burbank, California, without paying for 24 quarts of motor oil. He had broken open cases of oil and stuffed the bottles into his clothing and strapped some to his body with bungee cords. Employees chased Sanchez for eight blocks, while quarts of oil fell along the way. Witnesses report that Sanchez was "running funny," which is no surprise. Sanchez finally stopped and complained that he couldn't breathe. When police searched Sanchez's car, they found an additional 50 quarts of oil, and are investigating where they may have originated.

Thieves Left with Right Shoes …But Not Left

A shoe shop in Exeter, England had a rack of lady's shoes and children's snow boots displayed on the sidewalk outside the store. Some time Monday night or Tuesday morning, someone stole the entire rack! They won't be able to use or sell the shoes, however, because only one shoe -the right one- of each pair was on the rack. Since the shoes will be useless to the thieves, police have appealed to the perpetrators to return the goods. Anyone with information is asked to contact the local Crimestoppers unit.

The Funniest Traffic Jam Outside of Hollywood

The car was small, but the road was tiny. A motorist in Naples, Italy, tried to turn around and avoid parked cars on both sides, but became stuck sideways in the street. Cars wanted to pass both ways. Then a motorcycle gang showed up. Then a church procession. Then the police. Then everyone in the neighborhood, all laughing and loudly offering their opinions. A good time was had by all -except for the driver stuck sideways.

Super Bowl Trip Winner Denied U.S. Entry

Myles Wilkinson of Victoria, British Columbia, entered a fantasy football league contest and won an all-expense-paid trip to the Super Bowl! The excited football fan flew to Toronto Thursday, but when he changed planes to enter the US, he was denied entry -because of his criminal record. He was convicted of marijuana possession in 1981.  

"I had two grams of cannabis. I paid a $50 fine," Wilkinson told CBC news.

Wilkinson said he was 19 when he was busted.

"I can't believe that this is happening, for something that happened 32 years ago."

Wilkinson returned to British Columbia, where he ended up watching the Super Bowl on TV, albeit in style -at the Super Bowl party at Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom, courtesy of Bud Light Canada.

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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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Design
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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