The Weird Week in Review
Guinness Book of World Records
Colonel Meow Sets World Record
Internet cat star Colonel Meow is now going to be enshrined in the Guinness Book of World Records as the cat with the longest fur. The Himalayan-Persian crossbreed has fur that reaches nine inches long! His owners, Anne Marie Avey and Eric Rosario, have no trouble believing his record-setting fur, and they say it is all over the house. The newest edition of the Guinness Book of World Records will be published next month.
Chimpanzee Art Contest
A 37-year-old chimp who paints with his tongue won $10,000 for his Louisiana sanctuary in an art contest for chimpanzees. A painting from a retired laboratory ape named Brent at Chimp Haven sanctuary was judged the best in the Humane Society's art contest.
A Chimp Haven spokeswoman said Brent was unavailable for comment Thursday. “I think he’s asleep,” Ashley Gordon said.
The second place winner, Cheetah from Florida, also received $10,000: $5,000 for second place and another $5,000 when Jane Goodall selected the painting as her personal favorite.
All Students Fail University Admission Exam
Almost 25,000 students in Liberia took the test this year for admission to the University of Liberia—and every one of them failed. The U of L is one of only two state-run universities in the country, and is severely overcrowded -but this year, they won't have any incoming freshmen. University officials blame an educational system that hasn't recovered from the civil war, which ended ten years ago. The country's education minister is suspicious, considering this is the first year that the university has seen a 100% failure rate in its admission process.
Toilet-cleaning Social Club
The Benjyo Soujer ("toilet soldiers") is a 35-member group that met on Facebook and came together for a fulfilling task: to clean Tokyo's public toilets.
The group gathers exclusively on Sunday mornings at 6am, even in the freezing winter.
What's more, the group's rules encourage members to use their bare hands to clean the lavatories, for one of the mottoes of the group is to 'clean thyself by cleaning cubicles'.
Masayuki Magome, the Benjyo Soujer leader, says: "Basically, excrement is something that comes out of our body, so we adults don't really think of it as dirty. So without really thinking, we clean them with our bare hands, and because the children see us doing that, they don't really think of toilets as dirty either. That is one of our philosophies."
45-year-old Magome, who runs an architecture agency, started the group in 2011, and says that for many members, this activity has led to a sort of spirit cleansing ritual, and it is similar to one of the trainings Buddhist monks endure to find peace of heart.
Tokyo has thousands of public toilets, so at the rate of one per week, the club is in no danger of replacing public service employees.
Police Respond to Call About Spider
A teenage girl in Forest Grove, Oregon, called 911 to report a giant spider on the couch. She described it as a "massive freaking creature." She estimated it to be about the size of a baseball. A police officer responded and reported that the spider was about two inches in diameter. He took care of the problem with a rolled-up newspaper. The police department said it was an unusual call, but they decided to respond anyway.
Hole Makes Huge Pumpkin Ineligible for Alaska Fair
J.D. Megchelsen of Kenai, Alaska, grew a 1,500 pound pumpkin to compete at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. He fed the pumpkin up to 300 gallons of water a day during its peak growth. The pumpkin gained 41 pounds in one 24-hour period! However, it was all for nought, as a small hole was discovered in the huge pumpkin. The thumb-sized hole makes the pumpkin ineligible for competition. Megchelsen is heartbroken at the loss of a possible record.
“It’s just killing him,” said Pam Elkins, Megchelsen’s sister-in-law. “He eats, sleeps and dreams pumpkins. All he does is pumpkins.”
He plans to take the pumpkin to the fair for the weigh-in anyway.