The Case of The Walmart Toe Sucker

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I think the title of this post alone is enough to categorize this Huffington post article as weird news. On Monday, a North Carolina man went to Walmart in order to suck on women’s feet.

As the first woman was looking at shoes in the store, the man approached her and asked her to try on several different pairs of shoes. He apparently convinced her that he was a podiatry student conducting research about the feet of different races. At some point during the process, her foot ended up in his mouth.

At the second Walmart he went to, which was 15 miles from the first, the man persuaded a shopper to take off her shoe, but once he requested that she also take off her sock, she left the store, according to detective Dennis Harris. The suspect has not been caught yet. 

I think this article might take the cake for the weirdest I have read so far while writing this blog. Sure there have been other weird news articles, but this is just insane. First of all, if you were going to harass women in a Walmart, I’m not sure that sucking their feet would be first on many people’s list. Either way, it certainly is weird.

Thanks for reading!

 

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University of Florida Urinator

Police say in a case too weird to make up, the so-called urinator is peeing on women, exposing himself and flee. They described him as black and in his 20s.

As a Gainesville resident, I heard about “The Urinator” from the alert system they have there and my family. I was curious to learn more details about him, so I found this article. His attacks started in late February near the University of Florida campus. The victims, all women, were standing with their backs turned when they suddenly felt they were being urinated on from behind. When they turned around, they found the man exposing himself. He would then run away on foot. Since the article was written there have been at least three other assaults, for a total of at least seven. The man still hasn’t been caught by the Gainesville Police Department. There aren’t any known suspects, but there is a description of the man and an, albeit poorly drawn, sketch of him.

In another article, on the Daily Post, Officer Ben Tobias said, “It’s too weird to make up. It’s a first for us.” This crime definitely encompasses weird. I’ve never heard anything like this in the news before. UF has encouraged women around campus to be wary of their surroundings and not to turn around if they feel themselves being urinated on. It blows my mind that such a thing could occur on a university campus, because I can’t even imagine something like that happening at USF.

Thanks for reading!

Crime Stoppers Head Eats Anonymous Tip

The Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers Head, Richard Masten, could spend up to two weeks in jail for eating an anonymous tip he received on a cocaine possession case. According to NBC’s Weird News article, Masten stuffed the tip, written on a piece of paper, into his mouth while he was in court. He was appearing before judge Victoria Brennan when he refused to share the information from the anonymous tip, and instead ate it. He did this in order to protect the anonymity of the person who shared it. He was quoted in the article as saying, “We promise the people who give us information to solve murders, serious violent crimes in this community, that they can call with an assurance that they will remain anonymous and that nothing about them or their information would ever be compromised.”

Although it was later clarified that the judge was not asking for the information about the tipper, and solely wanted to know what the tip itself was, Masten still stands by what he did. He believes that if he were to comply in this case, it would have to be acceptable in every other case as well, and thus create a slippery-slope.

Masten will be going to court again soon to see whether he will be sentenced to up to two weeks in jail for his actions. I agree with what he did, however. I think it was noble of him to defy the judge in favor of upholding the very important laws of anonymity. Even many of the comments on the article agree with him. Many readers admire Masten’s respect for the identity of the tipper and believe it was wrong of the judge to demand the information.

16th Century Rocket Cats

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According to this article from NBC’s weird news, German drawings from around 1530’s depict cats and doves with jet packs strapped to their backs. These devices were supposed to be used to tactfully reach cities which couldn’t be easily penetrated otherwise. Although it does seem unusual that these animals would be outfitted with 20th-century technology, Mitch Fraas, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, says that this is not the conclusion. He discovered that the manuals were written by artillery master Franz Helm of Cologne. Other depictions included terrifying images of shrapnel-filled bombs and spikes attached to cats and birds. He seemed very fixated on the idea of using animals in his overthrow of enemy cities. His plan was to take a cat from an enemy city, strap a bomb to its back, and hope it runs back to it’s home to destroy the city. Fraas remains skeptical however, and doesn’t think that this idea would be very effective, stating that it may be more likely that the cat would blow up your own territory instead. I have to agree with him. I think this plan, although maybe somewhat promising in theory, wasn’t thought out well enough at all and would most likely end up backfiring. Although, Fraas said he could find no evidence that animals were used in early warfare. So I guess Helm’s plans didn’t go through after all.

Man Sets Guinness World Record for Nose Typing

Mohammed Khurshid Hussain, 23, of India has broken the record for fastest nose typing on a computer keyboard. According to the article in the Huffington Post, he was able to type the sentence “Guinness World Records have challenged me to type this sentence using my nose in the fastest time”. He beat the previous record of one minute and 33 seconds, set in 2008 by Neeta, also from India with his time of 47.44 seconds.

It may take up to four months for Hussain’s record attempt to actually be certified by Guinness adjudicators, but in the meantime he will continue to try to beat his own time again. He already bested his own score of 54 seconds from a few months ago.

I’m glad this man has found something to occupy his time. Although this is probably not the most useful record that could be earned, it still is a Guinness World Record, and I applaud his diligence in not only setting the record in the first place, but continually trying to beat his own time. He is obviously very passionate about nose typing, and in fact, typing in general considering he also holds the record for fastest (finger) typing of the 26 letters of the English alphabet, with 3.43 seconds. Hussain must spend a lot of time in front of the computer.

Until next time, and thanks for reading!

Naples, Italy To DNA Test Dog Poop

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According to this article from Huffington Post Weird News, Naples is planning to perform DNA tests of dog poop left behind to determine who the pets belong to. This will help them improve accountability for not picking up after their pets. Once the owner is found, they will be fined 500 euros, which is equivalent to about $690. This method has already begun to spread to other places across the globe including Israel, Canada, and certain communities in 43 states in the U.S.

However, for this work, the dog must have its DNA collected and registered. When a sample of poop is found, it can be sent to the lab and analyzed to see who it belongs to. The owner of the dog will then be fined for not cleaning up after them.

In my opinion, this is an extreme measure. It is almost too far to resort to lab-analyzing poop samples in order to keep a community “clean”. First of all, this poop is decomposable in the first place, and it shouldn’t be as big of an issue as people make it into. Secondly, I think the fine is incredibly high for the offense. Almost $700 is much more than most people probably spend on their dog per month, and having to pay that much for not cleaning up after them is absurd.

If pet owners didn’t want to get fined for this, they could just opt out of having their dog registered, which means no matches would be found for the DNA from the poop. This is an easy way around the fine, with little to no consequence to the owner. This is especially true given that the article mentions it will actually cost the owner between $35 and $60 to have their dog registered. Even if registering your pet was required, there would always be people who got around it. Therefore, there are many flaws in this system, and I hope Naples works these out before seriously considering charging people $700 for not cleaning up after their pet.

Rare Iguanas Hidden in Socks Found by UK Customs

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NBC World News provided an article about thirteen rare iguanas that were being smuggled into Germany from the Bahamas by two Romanian women. The women hid the rare San Salvadorian Rock Iguanas in socks in a suitcase coming out of the Bahamas. They were intercepted by UK customs officers. All but one of the animals survived the journey, though they were all severely dehydrated, and they are now under the care of a specialist vet. According to Grant Miller, head of the Border Force of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), “This particular species of iguana is incredibly rare, only a few hundred are believed to be left in existence.” I find it interesting that these women were trying to smuggle iguanas into Germany. People don’t usually easily get away with smuggling illegal things into other countries, especially not animals. It doesn’t seem smart to me that they kept them in socks halfway around the world without giving them any food or water. Putting them into socks is a strange way of transportation in the first place. This article definitely falls under the realm of weird news, and this one involves multiple countries. Weird things happen all over the world.

Woman Gives Birth in New York City Crosswalk

This article entitled “Woman Gives Birth in New York City Crosswalk” from ABC’s weird news really captures the hustle and bustle style of New York, and certainly falls under the realm of weird. This woman, who was unnamed in both the article and video, had her newborn baby girl on a Manhattan sidewalk on Monday afternoon. She left her building to catch a cab to the hospital when she realized she was going into labor. However, she wasn’t able to get a cab in time, even with the help of the doorman. So, she got to the ground and delivered her baby there. Passersby helped her until police and paramedics showed up. Most notably, one woman offered her coat for the newborn infant. The woman who gave birth then made her daughter’s middle name Isabelle, after the other woman who gave her coat and then continued through the streets of New York with only a t-shirt on. I think the kindness of strangers was a big point in this article, no matter how weird. I find it very interesting that so many people stopped to help this woman who most likely looked very strange, sprawled out on the ground. To me it seems weird that she wouldn’t have just gone back into the building when she realized she wasn’t going to make it to the hospital. This certainly seems preferable to the cold ground outside. But either way, she got the help she needed and both she and her newborn are doing well. The world is a weird place.

Thanks for reading!

NYC Mayor’s Pizza Fork Earns $2500 In Auction

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Mayor Bill de Blasio seen holding the fork with owner of Goodfella’s Pizza. (image credit to politicker.com)

Today I read this article called “NYC Mayor’s Pizza Fork Gets $2,500 in Charity Sale” from ABC’s weird news section. Bill de Blasio, the mayor of Staten Island in New York, donated his used fork from Goodfella’s Pizzeria to an auction benefiting the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. The fork apparently sold for $2500 to an anonymous bidder, although it received six other bids before it was sold. The winning bidder then returned the fork to the pizzeria as a souvenir of the history of the city.

I find this article to be very interesting. The fact that the mayor thought a fork would make a good auction item surprises me. Even more surprising is the fact that someone actually bought this fork at the auction. Who would want a used fork, even if it was from the mayor? If I was going to buy a used utensil from someone it would probably be from President Obama or The Queen of England or Michael Jackson, not someone as insignificant as the Mayor of Staten Island. Although, clearly someone wanted to buy it since it sold, and for a reasonably high price. It is good, though, that someone donated that much money to such a worthwhile charity as the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation which helps wounded soldiers. I’m glad that although this was a somewhat weird story, it was ultimately able to benefit a charity.

Thanks for reading!

-Lauren

Introduction

My name is Lauren Strickland and I am a mass communications student at the University of South Florida. I am currently a sophomore in the advertising sequence in the program. I have tried blogging in the past, although the few blogs I made never really amounted to anything and I eventually stopped writing for them. I am not a very avid user of social media. I do not have a Twitter, Vine or Instagram, and I rarely use my Facebook account. I do, however, frequently use Tumblr. I also have a Pinterest which I occasionally use, though not as often as Tumblr. These accounts are for personal use and can somewhat relate to real blogging such as this website.

On this blog, titled “The Weird World” I’ll be posting about news articles that are interesting or odd in some way. Many major news sources such as ABC, Huffington Post, National Geographic and NBC have special sections dedicated to weird news, and these will be my main sources for this blog. The link for National Geographic’s Weird News page can be found here. On my RSS feed, I subscribed to some well-known news sources in order to see recent and popular news stories. These include CNN, National Geographic and Huffington Post Weird News.

Huffington Post Weird News home page

Huffington Post Weird News home page

I look forward to writing about the weird news of the world, and thank you for reading!