The Weird Week in Review
Man Caught Shoplifting During Shop with a Cop
Around 50 police officers in full uniform were at a Walmart store in Waldorf, Maryland Saturday for a charity event in which they helped children select Christmas gifts. Timothy Randall Clark decided it would be a good time to pick up some video games. Store employees saw Clark cutting open video games and stuffing them into his shirt. It was easy for the store to contact police, who were right there. Clark was arrested on charges of attempting to steal 26 games, two controllers, and other game accessories that they found on him, worth a total of $635.
Dog Poop Lottery
The citizens of Taiwan will clean up the streets, given the right incentive. A recent lottery offered $2,000 in gold as the top prize. The catch? To get a ticket, you bring in a bag of dog poop collected from the street. Over 4,000 residents of New Taipei City signed up for the program, and have brought in 14,000 bags of excrement to trade for tickets since the launch of the program in August.
Mythbusters Wrecks Neighborhood
How fast can a cannonball travel? Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage were tackling this question Tuesday for an episode of their TV show Mythbusters when things went completely wrong. The cannon misfired, and the cannonball went up into the air over Dublin, California.
It flew straight though the front door of a home on Cassata Place, and bounced around like a pinball, flying up to the second floor before blasting through a back bedroom wall.
The wayward cannonball then blasted across a busy road and through a second home some 50 yards away, demolishing roof tiles.
The story doesn't stop there, and neither did the cannonball. It finally came to rest inside a minivan at a third home. The driver had left the vehicle just minutes before. Incredibly, no one was injured in the incident. Hyneman and Savage visited the affected homes to apologize.
He Picked the Wrong Victim
Anthony Miranda was arrested in Chicago for an attempted mugging. The 24-year-old approached a man in a car and demanded money at gunpoint last Friday night. After some money was turned over, Miranda made the driver get out of the car. What Miranda didn't know was that his selected victim was a martial arts expert and had won an ultimate fighting championship. At some point, Miranda's attention was distracted and his unnamed victim grabbed for the gun. Two two wrestled, the gun went off, and Miranda shot himself in the ankle. The victim pinned Miranda until police arrived, at which time the perpetrator was sent to the hospital. He was treated for his ankle wound and multiple facial lacerations and two black eyes, which are apparent in his mug shot.
Stranded Man Survives on Beer
Clifton Vial of Nome, Alaska, set out in his Toyota Tacoma to see where a road went, but ended up stuck in a snowdrift on a deserted road that doubles as a snowmobile track. He was 40 miles from town, out of cell phone range, without provisions or much in the way of emergency equipment. Vial wrapped himself in a sleeping bag liner and waited, turning on the car occasionally for warmth. After three days, he was almost out of gasoline. On the second day he didn't show up for work, his boss called emergency services, and the Nome Volunteer Fire Department and state troopers began searching. Meanwhile, Viial's only provisions were a few frozen cans of Coors Light beer. He opened the cans and ate the frozen beer with a knife. When Vial was found, he had lost 16 pounds, but showed no signs of frostbite.
Squirrel Pulls Fire Alarm Prank
When someone pulled a fire alarm at Blackburn Elementary school in Ellenton, Florida, administrators thought a student must have been responsible. Security camera footage was scrutinized to find the perpetrator. The footage showed a squirrel had climbed up the wall, looked around, and pulled the alarm.
"We didn’t have to pay any fines for a false alarm once the fire department realized the little guy was the culprit," according to Todd Henson, director of maintenance and operations for Manatee County Schools.
The squirrel was eventually trapped and let go.
"It's really hard to fine a squirrel, so he got a stern lecture and was released outside," Henson joked.
The video is posted with the story.
No War Crime Charges for Gamers
The 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent was held recently in Geneva, and among the many discussion topics were the many gamers worldwide who played war games, and whether this contributed to a mindset in which war crimes could be committed. Remarks about gamers from those attending the conference led to fears among gamers that they would be tried for virtual war crimes. The International Committee of the Red Cross in Switzerland released a statement Thursday reassuring gamers that violation of international war crime laws only apply to real-life situations.