Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania

Finally: A Use for Zucchini

An unnamed woman rose to the occasion when her dog was attacked by a bear near Missoula, Montana. The 200-pound bear came up on the back porch of her home. When she tried to separate the animals, the bear bit her in the leg. The woman grabbed the first object she could reach, which was a large zucchini, and struck the bear with it. The bear ran off. The woman did not require medical attention.

US Millionaire Leaves Estate to Wombat Awareness Organisation

An unnamed millionaire traveled to Australia two years ago and visited the people who run the Wombat Awareness Organisation in Mannum, Australia. He was impressed by the efforts the group put into their work. Upon his death, the wealthy American bequeathed the project eight million dollars! Director Brigitte Stevens was in shock when she was notified. She plans to use the money to buy properties and to open a 24-hour veterinary advice phone line. However, the money will be coming in gradually at a million a year for eight years, with the first installment due next year.

Say Hello To "Hostgator Dotcom"

Alaskan prizefighter Billy Gibby is trying for a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the man with the most corporate tattoos on his body. He sells the space on his skin as corporate sponsorships for his boxing career. But Gibby is no longer Gibby, as his latest sponsorship deal had him legally change his name to Hostgator Dotcom. He already has a tattoo from the company, and now his driver's license reads "Hostgator Mel Dotcom". Dotcom uses the proceeds from his fights to support the cause of organ donation.

Dog Swallows Shot Glass

A woman in Palmerston, Australia went on vacation and left her dog in the care of her housemates. The remaining residents threw a party in which they celebrated with shots of Jagermeister. Billy the German pointer apparently helped himself to the refreshments as well, but the housemates didn't know until he began to vomit blood a couple of days later. A trip to the vet revealed that Billy had taken a shot himself, glass and all. The shot glass was removed from the dog's stomach in a three-hour operation. Billy's owner says the dog will not be invited to any more parties.

Embarrassing Billboard Typo

A billboard bragging about the schools in South Bend, Indiana was erected without anyone noticing a certain misspelled word. The sign directed readers to a website to see a list of the "15 best things about our pubic schools."

Responsibility for the spelling error has been claimed by the Blue Waters Group. The company does work for the city of South Bend's redevelopment commission to promote the city.

"I feel terrible. It's a mistake we made and we're guilty of it, and responsible for it. and we take full responsibility for the error," said Patrick Strickler, president of the Blue Waters Group.

"Four people looked at it, eyeballed it and didn't see the mistake, and those people all work for me,” Strickler explained. “We take responsibility for it. We simply blew it. We did not see the missing "L."

The billboard has since been taken down.

Pot Farm in Zoo Enclosure

It was the perfect place to grow marijuana: a section of the rhinoceros pen that only one zookeeper had access to. A worker at an Austrian zoo though he would never be caught, but Salzburg police raided the rhino pen at the Salzburg Hellbrunn Zoo over the weekend and arrested the 59-year old keeper. Additional weapons charges were added when guns were found in the man's apartment. Police, acting on an anonymous tip from one of the zookeeper's pot customers, seized 33 plants growing in the rhinoceros pen.

Sir Terry Pratchett Acting Like a Knight

Author Terry Pratchett was knighted by Queen Elizabeth last year. That wasn't enough to make him feel like a real knight, however, so he forged himself a sword. A very special sword. He gathered the iron ore from property he owned, threw in a little iron from a meteorite, and smelted it in a kiln he built himself. The 62-year-old fantasy author, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, hammered out the metal and then took it to a blacksmith for the final shaping.