The Weird Week in Review

Woman Injured by Falling Porcupine

Sandra Nabucco of Gavea, Brazil, was walking her dog in Rio de Janeiro when a porcupine perched on a lamp post fell -right on Nabucco's head! The porcupine was okay, but Nabucco was left with 272 quills stuck in her scalp. We know how many because the surgeon counted them as he removed them, one by one. Nabucco is taking antibiotics after the painful treatment.

Don't Use Fire to Remove TP from Tree

Cheryl Crausewell of Dora, Alabama, found that someone had TPed the trees in her yard on Saturday night. The family tried to clean up the mess, but some of the toilet paper in a magnolia tree was out of their reach. What to do? Maybe they should have tried a ladder, but instead they set it on fire. A small piece of paper drifted out to the yard and ignited the grass.

"It just popped out into a little patch and we tried to put it out and it just kept going, so I was trying to keep it from going down the front porch and came down the bank and around the back of the house," she said.

Within seconds, Crausewell said the fire spread to the backyard where the propane gas tank from a grill may have added fuel to the fire.

Crausewell, her son, her elderly aunt, her mother and her aunt's caregiver were all at home when the fire started around 2 p.m. Everyone was able to get out safely.

The video at WBRC shows the scorched yard and toilet paper still in the trees, as well as the house, which is a total loss.

Baby Born on Snow Sled

Shirley Bonanni of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, went into labor Thursday. Before she and her husband Fabian could go to the hospital, they waited for Fabian's parents to come and stay with their two-year-old son. By the time they arrived, Shirley was so far along in labor that she couldn't walk. So Fabian got a snow sled to take her to the car, which was down the hill and couldn't make it up the icy driveway. The baby couldn't wait, and came into the world as her mother was being transported on the sled. The grandparents and neighbors were on the phone with two 911 dispatchers, who gave instructions. Fabian rushed the baby into the warm home, and the grandparents and two neighbors carried Shirley, still on the sled, back into the house. An ambulance arrived later to take mother and daughter to a hospital for observation. Little Bella Sophia Bonanni is doing well. After the publicity of the birth, Firestone is giving the family four new snow tires so this won't happen again.

Police Rescue Man from Snow Fort

Police in Hermantown, Minnesota, responded quickly and saved a man's life after his snow fort collapsed on him. And his dog. Josh Toms and his dog Leo were inside the snow fort he built when the roof fell in, trapping both of them with little breathing room. The weight of the snow kept Toms from escaping.

Outside the fort was Toms’ son, Ian. "It was like, really, really scary because I didn't know what was happening," Ian said.

Ian then remembered what Toms had told him an hour before: "You first call 911 and then you come back and you start shoveling. But I was like, 'don't worry this never happens.'"

But this time it did.

Ian said "I was like ‘oh, he's just going to stand up,’ but he didn't stand up. So I ran inside to call 911."

Within 15 minutes, police arrived and pulled both Toms and Leo from the snow.

Hacked Refrigerators Send Spam Email

If a malware program can't find its way into your computer due to increased security, it will try other devices -like household appliances. An attack in December sent 750,000 spam email messages through malware that invaded 100,000 vulnerable devices, including a refrigerator. Some modern appliances have sophisticated computers inside, with internet connectivity so you can program them with your smartphone. However, these appliance computers rarely have adequate security against such attacks.

Pentagon Gives Away 13,000 Armored Trucks

The US military is divesting themselves of 13,000 10-foot-tall 40,000-pound heavily-armored vehicles because they don't think they will need them in the future. No, you can't just run out and get one, because they are not going to be given to private citizens. You wouldn't be able to afford parts and maintenance anyway. The Pentagon first offered the vehicles to US allies.

Interest from foreign militaries has been tepid. But they are a hit with stateside police agencies. Almost 200 trucks have been distributed to police departments since August and requests are pending for an additional 750 trucks. The vehicles, many of which feature machine-gun turrets, are off-limits to private citizens and businesses.

Lucky recipients run from the Ohio State University campus police force to Florence County, S.C., which replaced an armored vehicle from the 1970s that the sheriff department's SWAT team had used for about 15 years. A new armored truck would have cost at least $188,000.

You have to wonder what a campus police force intends to do with an armored truck. Or local police departments, for that matter. Defense contractors that maintain the vehicles and supply parts hope that the vehicles will stay in use instead of being sent to the scrap heap.

More from mental_floss...

January 24, 2014 - 12:01pm
webby
submit to reddit