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Lars Mytting
Lars Mytting

The Weird Week in Review

Lars Mytting
Lars Mytting

Norwegian TV Show on Firewood is a Hit

Lars Mytting wrote a book about firewood, which became a bestseller in Norway, where firewood is a serious subject. That led to a TV program that was 12 hours long -and consisted of eight hours of a fire burning in a fireplace. Twenty percent of Norway's citizens watched at least part of it, and dozens texted the TV station to complain about the way the firewood was stacked. The eight-hour fire was not a loop, but a continuous burn, which prompted viewers to stay tuned to see if more firewood would be added at the proper time.  

Brothers Celebrate Lottery Win by Blowing Up House

Two unnamed brothers in Wichita, Kansas, won $75,000 in the lottery. They purchased marijuana and meth to celebrate their good fortune.
 
The brothers were in a house in the 100 block of North Nevada Court, near Douglas and West Street, about 7 p.m. Friday, Watts said. One of the brothers went to the kitchen to refuel the butane torches they planned to use to light their bongs. He emptied a couple of large cans of butane lighter fluid, leaking butane into the air.

“The butane vapor reached the pilot light in the furnace, and as you might expect, ka-boom,” Watts said.

The victim was wearing a lottery T-shirt during the explosion.

The injured brother was taken to a hospital where his girlfriend dropped him off and left. Police arrested the other brother at the site of the explosion.

Bigfoot's Genome is Published

A group of researchers in Texas had a hard time getting their Sasquatch DNA sequencing study published in any respected scientific journal. So they bought one. The DeNovo Scientific Journal has only one study published, and accessing it costs $30. The study has not received any peer reviews, but a few copies of the study were sent to journalists, who have found some problems with the results.

Murder Suspect Turned Away at Police Station

After 15 months at large, Saleh Hadri decided to face the music and turn himself in to police in Sweden. The 45-year-old was wanted in connection with the murder of a gang leader in 2011. Hadri says he is innocent and wants to clear his name. However, when he went to the police station in Malmo shortly after 6 PM, he found it was closed. He explained his situation to those inside by the intercom, but was told to go to another police station, which he did -unescorted. Hadri was arrested in his second attempt to surrender. Police officials say the incident is "regrettable."

Turkish Man Cured of Vampirism

An unnamed man in Turkey was diagnosed two years ago with vampirism, dissociative identity disorder, major depressive disorder, alcohol abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The PTSD, and possibly the alcohol abuse, were attributed to the crimes he committed due to the vampirism. He began drinking his own blood and then progressed to attacking others. He was arrested several times for stabbing and biting people in order to drink their blood. The man had suffered from several traumatic incidents before turning to blood. Doctors believe he has now been cured of his "blood addiction."

Pig Trains Fire Department

The Fire and Rescue service in Avon, England has recruited a pig named Dominic to train firefighters in important skills. Dominic is a rescue pig living at the HorseWorld rescue centre in Bristol. He has escaped several times and always presents a challenge to workers in rounding him up. The Avon firefighters saw an opportunity, and will use Dominic in drills to train firefighters in rounding up animals. Many firefighters are inexperienced in dealing with animals, but after a lecture at the center and an afternoon of chasing Dominic, they are much more comfortable with the task.

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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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