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Lars Mytting

The Weird Week in Review

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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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In Pursuit of Guinness Fame, Two Men Ride the Entire Boston Subway System in Record-Setting Time
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Two intrepid commuters may have ridden the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) all the way into the Guinness World Records, according to The Boston Globe. On Friday, August 18, locals Alex Cox and Dominic DiLuzio visited every single stop in the city's subway system (more than 125 stations) in a little under 7.5 hours. The record they hope to snag—completing the journey in the fastest time possible— is both unofficial and brand-new, but the two hope to make it an official Guinness World Record category once they submit photos, videos, a log book, and other documentation.

DiLuzio conceived the stunt more than two years ago, after learning of another Beantown resident who completed the challenge in about 8 hours, simply for bragging rights. Cox, who works for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, was fair game for the project, so DiLuzio recruited him as a partner after submitting an application to Guinness.

On August 18, after months of planning, DiLuzio and Cox woke up bright and early to board a 5:24 a.m. Red Line train at Alewife Station. Amid much jostling, running, bladder-holding, and live-tweeting, the duo finished the entire Red Line in just 90 minutes, before tackling the Mattapan, Orange, Green, and Blue lines. During the final stretch of the trip, the record-seekers were joined by some MBTA officials, according to New England Cable News.

Right before 1 p.m., DiLuzio and Cox reached the Blue Line’s Wonderland stop, signaling the end of their journey. There, they celebrated the ride—which was reportedly around 15 minutes shorter than their predecessor's attempt—with friends, MBTA officials, and media.

“I think everything went incredibly smoothly. We didn’t have any major delays, any breakdowns,” Cox said, according to CBS Boston. "A couple of hiccups here and there, but we stuck exactly to our plan and I can’t believe we did it in the time that we did."

In a few months, DiLuzio and Cox will find out if their subway hustle scored them a Guinness Record, placing them among company like lawyer Matthew Ahn, who rode all 469 New York City subway stops in under 22 hours. In the meantime, the MBTA—which didn’t sponsor or help plan the effort—is cheering the duo on.

[h/t The Boston Globe]

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Thanks to a Royalties Dispute, Spain’s Smurf Village Will Soon Be No More

For the past six years, tourists in Spain who were tired of Gaudí could head to the town of Júzcar, a tiny spot nestled high in the Andalusian mountains, for a high dose of lowbrow design. In 2011, the town’s buildings were painted bright blue to promote The Smurfs 3D movie, as part of a publicity scheme orchestrated by Sony Pictures. But now, thanks to a nasty royalties dispute, Atlas Obscura reports that Júzcar can no longer market itself as a Smurf-themed town.

Sony Pictures reportedly chose to give Júzcar a Smurfy makeover because its surrounding hills are filled with mushrooms. (Smurfs loooove mushrooms.) Technically, the cartoonish color scheme—which was achieved by covering homes, churches, and even gravestones with thousands of liters of blue paint—was supposed to be only temporary. But regional unemployment was high, and as the tourists began flooding in, Júzcar’s residents voted to keep the village’s new look instead of whitewashing its buildings back to their original pale hue. They played up the Smurfs theme by erecting sculptures and murals, orchestrating themed events, and even dressing up like Smurfs themselves. Soon, the pastoral town was attracting up to 80,000 sightseers per year, according to The Independent.

However, Júzcar’s tourism gimmick hasn't gone over well with the descendants of Pierre Culliford, the Belgian artist who once worked under the pseudonym Peyo. Culliford created the Smurf comics in 1958, so Júzcar officials had agreed to pay 12 percent on all Smurf-related royalties to his estate. Now the deal appears to have soured: The town’s council recently released an online statement informing potential visitors that Júzcar has now “lost the authorization to market itself as a Smurf town.” (The notice has since been removed from the website.)

It's unclear what precisely went down between Culliford's relatives and the Júzcar town council—but as of August 15, 2017, the town will have no more Smurf statues, Smurf-themed weddings, Smurf impersonators, or mushroom-capped public kiosks. Still, Júzcar will remain blue, according to The Local. This means the town may still serve as a magnet for novelty-loving tourists for years to come—even they can no longer take a selfie with Papa Smurf.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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