The Weird Week in Review
Fake Cop Pulls Over Real Cop
21-year-old Antonio Fernandez Martinez of Oakland was impersonating a police officer when he tried to pull over a car driven by Jim Beere, who is an actual police officer in plainclothes working undercover. Fernandez was driving a car with flashing lights and loudspeakers. Martinez was promptly arrested. If convicted, Martinez faces more than a sentence for impersonating an officer -he will also have his probation revoked on an earlier charge of car theft.
Misspelled Highway Sign
A sign on Highway 51 in Wisconsin points to exit 185. There are four words on the sign, and three are misspelled. "Exit" was correctly spelled. The state Department of Transportation blamed a subcontractor, Decker Supply Company. The sign read "Buisness 51 Rothschield Schofeild." By Sunday morning, the sign had been replaced.
World's Oldest Potted Plant
It took three months of planning, a crane, and nine gardeners to transfer a palm tree called a cycad to a new pot. The operation at Kew Gardens in London was difficult and delicate because the tree is considered to be the oldest potted plant in the world. It was collected around 1770 during the Captain Cook's second voyage around the world, which would make it at least 235 years old. It has been growing in a pot at Kew Gardens in London for 160 years. The repotting procedure was successful.
Gnome Rescue Operation
An elderly resident of Cootamundra, New South Wales, Australia died and left behind around 1500 cement garden gnomes. Not knowing what to do with them, the executor of the will contacted the Australian Gnome Convention for advice on disposing of them. A four-member team traveled 800 kilometers to pack up the gnomes of all sizes.They will be painted and refurbished, and will appear at the 2010 Australian Gnome Convention on January 26th.
Cheese Sculpture Melts
Artist Sarah Kaufmann created a life-size sculpture of astronaut Neil Armstrong made out of Wisconsin cheddar cheese. It was to go on display this week at the Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Unfortunately, the air conditioners at the museum are turned off every night to save energy, and the statue started melting and slid off of its base. Visitors were disappointed to see the statue was not on display, or at least most of it wasn't.
The Only Zebra in Gaza
After two years of economic blockade, the zoos in Gaza are suffering. Only one has a zebra, but there's something about the zebra that seems, um, un-zebralike.
"It's really a painted donkey," admitted Mahmud Berghat, the director of Marah, when asked about the creature. Making a fake zebra isn't easy—henna didn't work and wood paint was deemed inhumane, so they finally settled on human hair dye. "We cut its hair short and then painted the stripes," Berghat explained behind the closed door of his office.
Most zoo animals have to be smuggled in through tunnels, but a zebra was too expensive for the Marah zoo.
Doctorate on Ice
Diana Entwistle, a former champion ice dancer, is the first person in Britain to achieve a PhD in figure skating.
The ex-British Masters ice dance champ said: "There is so much science in figure skating and it's the difference between getting a gold medal and appearing lower down in the leadership table."
Diana, who is in her 20s and from Roxwell in Essex, still competes but now plans to become a coach.