Wednesday, November 29, 2017

WEIRD NEWS

Garbage!

Officials say it took firefighters in Philadelphia over two hours to free a man who somehow wound up stuck in a garbage truck's compactor section! Reportedly, firefighters used ladders to get into the vehicle so they could remove bags of trash to reach the man. The ordeal happened outside the Kintock Group home, which serves as an interim stop before state and federal prisoners are released. Authorities initially said the man escaped from the facility, but a prisons department spokeswoman says no one was missing from a roll call. The man was taken to a hospital but there's been no word on his condition. He was seen moving his arms on a stretcher after the rescue. So far, nobody knows how he wound up inside the garbage truck. (Newser)

Still Bringing in the SS

Judith Meisel says that when she was a teenager in the Stutthof concentration camp in western Poland, other prisoners told her: "Don't let us die without you mentioning what happened to us." The 88-year-old Minnesota resident has not forgotten and her testimony just helped German authorities indict two former Nazi SS guards from the camp where 65,000 people, including Meisel's mother were murdered. She identified one former guard, 94-year-old Johann Rehbogen, as the young SS officer who would taunt female prisoners as they undressed. Prosecutors say the men can't be tied to specific murders, but their work as guards made the killings possible. Meisel - who escaped along with her sister when inmates were sent on a "death march" away from the camp in 1945 - says she is willing to relive her horrific experiences to help prosecutors. "This process of seeking answers and finding justice for my mother gives new meaning to my life," she says. The two former guards have been charged as accessories to murder. They deny any knowledge of killings at the camp, where thousands were starved to death or froze. Prosecutors say prisoners were also gassed to death, shot, and killed with lethal injections. Authorities say Meisel and several other Stutthof survivors in the US could be called as witnesses if the former guards are deemed healthy enough to stand trial. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

When Elephants Attack

Back in July, World Animal Protection issued a report on the "thousands of elephants exploited for tourism" in Asia, with Thailand listed as a "main concern." Now it looks like one of those elephants, a well-known performer in films and TV ads, may have rebelled against his own conditions, crushing to death his handler at Thailand's Chiang Mai Zoo. Ekasit, a 32-year-old, 5.5-ton elephant who has appeared in nearly 10 films and is contracted as a performer at the zoo until April, had been fed by owner Somsak Riengngen, who then unchained him so that he could drink and bathe. That's when, in front of Somsak's wife and others, Ekasit attacked Somsak with his trunk and tusks - an assault that lasted over five minutes. According to the zoo director, "The elephant used his trunk to crush him. This accident was an unpreventable tragedy." But some debate how unpreventable Somsak's death was. The WAP report notes that when they're not performing or giving rides, tourism elephants are often kept in subpar conditions, tethered by short chains, not fed well or given adequate medical care, and constantly surrounded by crowds and loud noise - and that's after they've been torn away from their mothers and put through training meant to "break their spirits and make them submissive." Somsak, said to be in his mid-50s, had worked for about 10 years with Ekasit, who'd never been reported as violent before. (AFP)

Second Chance Wedding Reception

In New Jersey, Victoria Tumolo had to leave her wedding reception early when the bride suffered some kind of allergic reaction! She was dancing at the September reception when she became ill and started to have trouble breathing. As a nurse, she realized what was happening and soon her father was administering an EpiPen through her wedding dress. Tumolo said, "I had to take my dress off outside so they wouldn't cut it off me when we got to the hospital," noting that her new husband, Dominic, and her mother took off her dress together. "Not exactly what I was imagining for our wedding night," Dominic Tumolo said. Sympathizing with the newlyweds' plight, their caterer and the owner of the entertainment company that performed at the wedding teamed up to offer them a complimentary second reception to be held Sunday. The Tumolos say at least 150 of the 250 guests who attended the first reception will be able to attend the second. Volunteers will do the bride's hair and makeup, and the wedding photographer will also return at no cost. Meanwhile, Victoria Tumolo says she's learned that she's allergic to milk and almonds, and that the symptoms manifest after exercise - in this case, dancing. She was treated and released, but the couple missed the rest of the reception. (Courier Post)

Most "Sinful" Cities in U.S.

Want to guess what the most "sinful" city in the US is? Well they don't call it "sin city" for nuthin'! Yep Vegas tops the list-but what other cities are full of sin? WalletHub has a new ranking using metrics that run the gamut from casinos, to massage parlors, to plastic surgeries (remember - vanity is a sin), and even to the number of active Tinder users. Here's the most and least sinful along with their "vice index":

MOST sinful:
  • Las Vegas, 59.53 
  • Orlando, Florida, 53.11 
  • Miami, 52.52 
  • St. Louis, Missouri, 52.46 
  • North Las Vegas, 50.58 
  • Henderson, Nevada, 50.27 
  • Detroit, 50.09 
  • Baton Rouge, 50.01 
  • Tampa, Florida, 49.70 
  • New Orleans, 49.64 

LEAST sinful:
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 31.78 
  • Aurora, Illinois, 31.64 
  • San Jose, California, 31.44 
  • Santa Rosa, California, 31.35 
  • Plano, Texas, 31.24 
  • Port St. Lucie, Florida, 31.21 
  • West Valley City, Utah, 31.05 
  • Brownsville, Texas, 30.62 
  • Pearl City, Hawaii, 29.77 
  • South Burlington, Vermont, 28.97 

(Newser)

Museum of Failure Should Be Huge Success!

No-this isn't some grand oxymoron-but the Museum of Failure is expected to be a huge success! The Museum of Failure will debut for a two-month run starting Saturday, Dec. 2 at the A & D Architecture and Design Museum in the Los Angeles Arts District. There are over 100 failures in all on display-some near misses, others that missed by a mile. The line-up of "history's epic fails" will include foodstuffs, furniture, medical instruments, and games from the last couple of centuries, though you can bet an emphasis will be placed on the outlandish output from more recent decades including the Apple Newton! It's all the brainchild of Dr. Samuel West who said, "I started the Museum of Failure out of frustration - it's time we accept failure, learn from it, and truly achieve progress. I am thrilled to bring the hilarious, yet impactful memories of these colossal flops to Los Angeles." Tickets are $15 and selling out fast! (NBC4)

Students Film Teacher in Classroom... Snorting Coke!

Prosecutors filed charges against 24-year-old Indiana high school teacher Samantha Cox after students secretly filmed her allegedly snorting a white powder in between classes! Cox has been charged with possession of cocaine and possession of paraphernalia. The events unfolded last Wednesday morning, when students at Lake Central High School in St. John, Ind., saw Cox through a door window sitting in an empty classroom and behaving strangely. Junior Will Rogers said, "She's in the corner, hiding with a chair and a book and what appears to be cocaine, putting it into lines." Rogers pulled out his cellphone and began filming her through the glass pane in the door. Police found "a clear tightly twisted bag with multiple small rolled up pieces of tin foil" and "a rolled up small piece of paper" that can be "used to ingest illegal narcotics through one's nostril," according to court records. So Cox was arrested and escorted from the school in handcuffs. Cox told police she had been using drugs since her freshman year of college and had purchased $160 of "dope cocaine" that morning. (Chicago Tribune)

What the What?

Over in India, eight donkeys were actually kept in prison for four days after they munched on some expensive plants. Don't worry, the animals have now been given bail but were originally detained for allegedly eating thousands of pounds worth of plants that were supposed to go outside the Urai Jail. The prison's head officer R.K. Mishra told Indian media: "Despite warnings the owner let loose his animals so we detained the donkeys." It wasn't until the owner enlisted the help of a local politician that the donkeys were released. For what it's worth, the animals were really no worse off for their four days spent in detention. (Metro)

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