The Weird Week in Review
Courthouse Toilet Explodes
Deputy Stillwater County treasurer Norma Brewer had just left a courthouse bathroom stall when the toilet exploded, throwing shards of porcelain everywhere. Luckily, she had closed the stall door behind her and was not injured. She said it sounded like a huge bomb. The toilet had a Series 503 Flushmate III Pressure Assist system, which had been recalled in 2012. The recall was issued after Flushmate received 304 reports of explosions, some causing injuries. Over two million of the units have been sold in the U.S. and another 10,000 in Canada. Flushmate is sending someone out to replace the systems in all of the toilets at the courthouse in Columbus, Montana.
Do Not Remove Alligators from Roadway
What do you do when there’s an 11-foot alligator blocking the road? Not what Glen Bonin and his three friends tried to do when it happened in Sulphur, Louisiana.
"(We) took our shirts off, threw it on his (the gator's) face, and we were going to come from behind it and jump on it... in the process of doing that, it spun around and grabbed my hand seconds before we jumped on it," Bonin said.
The alligator then snapped at Bonin, biting his hand and sending him into a daze.
"It felt like someone was pulling my arm out. I thought I was about to lose something. It felt like it lasted forever," Bonin said.
Bonin received 80 stitches and a lesson in what not to do with an alligator.
"I've always been the kind of guy who learns the hard way," said Glen Bonin.
If you ever find yourself in this position, it’s best to call law enforcement or wildlife authorities. You might even consider using a different route until the alligator is gone. KPLC has some video footage of the gator encounter, in which it appears there was much more interaction with the animal than was necessary to unblock the roadway.
Airport Fire System Designed by Fake Engineer
The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport was supposed to open in 2012, but a problematic fire safety system that canceled the original opening date is still not operational. Now it comes to light that the man who designed the smoke extraction system for the German airport, Alfredo di Mauro, was not a qualified engineer. Di Mauro is qualified only as an engineering draftsman, but the abbreviation “Dipl.-Ing” appears on his business cards, indicating he is an engineer. Di Mauro, who was fired from the project last month, said the business cards contained a mistake, and that no one on the airport project asked if he was an engineer. However, di Mauro allegedly passed himself off as an architect in 2002 on a hospital project, a charge he denies.
It’s Raining Hay!
Reports of hay falling from the sky came from far-flung locations in the UK over the past week. A rain of hay and grass was observed in Paignton, Devon, last Thursday, followed by Sunday hay showers in Devizes, Wiltshire, Pendle, Lancashire, and Builth Wells in Mid Wales. The showers lasted up to ten minutes and appeared to come from a high altitude. Experts says it’s possible that hay cut during the recent dry weather was lifted from the ground, possibly by convection, and carried by warm thermals into the upper atmosphere. The showers of hay appear when the thermals break down.
Bear Crashes Party and Eats Cupcakes
Alicia Bishop and Glenn Merrill of Juneau, Alaska, were celebrating their child’s first birthday Wednesday when a bear fell through the skylight of their living room!
"I was literally in the room, and I heard this cracking," Merrill told the paper, describing the sound of the skylight's plexiglass creaking under the bear. "And the next thing you know, there's this bear that, I mean, literally, fell right from (the skylight). It was like one metre away from me."
Merrill told the paper he fled into an adjoining room and closed the door behind him, and Bishop said the animal feasted on her infant son's birthday cupcakes.
Bishop told the paper that she opened a door from the living room that led to the backyard and that the couple yelled at the animal until it casually walked out of their residence.
Wildlife officials estimate the bear was a juvenile male, weighing about 82 kilograms (180 pounds).
Strange Dog Appears in Locked Car
A woman in the town of Adenau, Germany, attended a religious service and returned to her car. When she unlocked it, she found a dog inside -but it wasn’t her dog! She drove the dachshund to the local police station. No one could figure out how the dog got into the car. Then another woman came into the station to report her dog missing from her car.
Here’s what happened: the two women drove the exact same model of car, and had parked beside each other. Their keys also coincidentally worked with both cars. The woman who owned the dog returned first and drove off in the wrong car -the one without her dog. Neither woman realized they had the wrong car, because the only difference was that one had a dog inside.