Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania

One-armed Monkey Kills 80 Chickens

Li Chun, farmer in Menghai, Yunnan, China found an injured monkey and adopted it, although the monkey had to have an arm and a leg amputated. It became a household pet. Now there's the problem of "monkey see, monkey do." The monkey watched Li crack eggs, and then went to the hen house and cracked every egg it could find. It saw Li slaughter a chicken, and now the monkey has killed around 80 chickens! No word on what Li plans to do about his overly-helpful house pet.

Don't Store Your Gun in the Stove

Antoine Boutte of College Park, Georgia was in the habit of storing his gun in the bottom of his gas stove. Last Saturday, he forgot the loaded .40 caliber Smith & Wesson was there and fired up the stove to cook a meal. The gun's magazine melted in the heat, and bullets started going off like popcorn. The damage may have been confined to the stove, if no one had opened the oven door.

Boutte's friend, Christopher Henderson, opened the stove "to see what was happening," the police report said.

That's when part of a bullet casing flew out of the stove, hitting Henderson in the stomach, police said.

Henderson was taken to a hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Superheroes Need Super Support Groups

Every day, more and more people are donning costumes and roaming the streets performing acts of kindness or heroism. These real-life superheroes now have an organization to turn to when they need help. Superheroes Anonymous is there to help understand and empower superheroes. The group helps heroes find their inner powers and encourages them in their quest to make the world a better place. However, SA discourages vigilantism, and asks its members to leave crime fighting to the police. So far, Superheroes Anonymous has two chapters, in Portland and New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Not Your Everyday Money Laundering

In some places, US bank notes are considered filthy lucre. So filthy, in fact, that they have to be washed. This isn't what you normally think of when you think of money laundering; this is actual soap and water washing in Zimbabwe. Since Zimbabwe dollars are near-worthless, other currencies are used instead, and American dollars are preferred. Not only do they stay in circulation longer than in the US, they are carried in shoes and underwear, and they change hands a lot. The recommended method is hand washing, but washing machines are also used. Those who know say chemical dry cleaning will cause the ink to fade.

Spicy Curry Could Curb Methane Emissions

The problem of the methane from livestock farts and burps puts a significant amount of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Researchers at Newcastle University say that adding curry spices to livestock feed could reduce those emissions.

Research has found that coriander and turmeric - spices traditionally used to flavour curries - can reduce the amount of methane produced by sheep by up to 40 per cent.

Working a bit like an antibiotic, the spices were found to kill the methane-producing ''bad'' bacteria in the animal's gut while allowing the ''good'' bacteria to flourish.

Spices also help an animal digest its food more efficiently, which could reduce the amount of feed needed. Coriander was the most efficient spice in the experiment, followed by tumeric and then cinnamon.

Woman Celebrates 130th Birthday

Antisa Khvichava celebrated her 130th birthday yesterday in Sachire, Georgia. She worked as a tea and corn picker until she was 85 years old, then retired and now lives with her grandson, who is now 40. Khvichava's birth certificate was lost long ago, but has Soviet documents that state that she was born in 1880. Family, friends, and neighbors vouch for her age. Suspiciously, Khvichava's son is 70 years old, which would mean Khvichava was 60 years old when she gave birth to him.

Wine Vending Machines Appear in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania now has vending machines from which you can buy a bottle of wine -IF you are sober enough for an automated breath test, have a valid driver's license proving your age, and don't mind having your picture taken by a machine. If that sounds too complicated, you should know that wine vending machines are a plan to make it easier for people to buy a bottle, because of the complicated liquor laws in the state. Not everyone is convinced that the vending machines are a good idea. Some say the machines will not be effective enough in keeping underage drinkers from using them. At the same time, others say the machines will be too difficult to use. However, customers have given the machines thumbs ups in early surveys.