Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania

Car Wedged Between Homes

An unidentified drunk driver crashed his vehicle in San Pedro, California early Sunday morning. The car hit the curb and launched into the air, coming to rest five feet above ground, with its front and rear ends embedded in two adjacent houses! The driver and a passenger, both under 21, were unhurt. The driver was arrested and police are investigating to determine how fast the car was going when it launched into the air. A couple were sleeping upstairs in one home and woke to find a car jutting into their dining room. The other home was unoccupied. The damage to the two houses is estimated at around $100,000.

Chernobyl to Open for Tourism

For 24 years, no one was allowed in the area around Chernobyl, Ukraine after an explosion at the nuclear plant contaminated everything with radiation. That may change soon. Officially sanctioned guided tours are expected to begin sometime next year.

Several hundred evacuees have returned to their villages in the area despite a government ban. A few firms now offer tours to the restricted area, but the government says those tours are illegal and their safety is not guaranteed.

Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Yulia Yershova said experts are developing travel routes that will be both medically safe and informative for Ukrainians as well as foreign visitors. She did not give an exact date when the tours were expected to begin.

A new billion-dollar safety shell is being built over the reactor. That project should be completed in 2015.

Burglar Steals Laptop, Uploads Picture to Facebook

A home burglary in Washington, D.C. took an unusual turn when the perpetrator left a taunting calling card on Facebook. A man broke into Marc Fisher's home and took cash, clothing, electronics, and other items, including his son's laptop computer. Later, a new profile picture was uploaded to the 15-year-old son's Facebook page. It was the thief, wearing the new winter coat he stole and flashing a wad of purloined cash! Facebook will hand over any information they have if and when they received a subpoena from the police. No arrests have been made.

Baby Goat Born During Staged Nativity

A church in West Columbia, South Carolina staged a drive-through nativity scene last weekend. The hundreds of people who came to see it got more than they expected when a participating goat on loan from a local farm gave birth to a kid. The female kid was standing on her own within 15 minutes. The music minister named her Beth, short for Bethlehem.

Ohio Lighthouse Encased in Ice

A winter storm earlier this week left a large part of the Midwest covered in ice. That was especially true in Cleveland, as structures along the shores of Lake Erie were completely encased. A combination of freezing rain, freezing waves, and high winds frosted the entire West Pier lighthouse with inches of ice! Trees, vehicles, wharfs, and other structures were also covered -not just glazed- with a layer of ice. (Thanks, Beki!)

2,400-year-old Soup

You'd think soup would completely dry up after a couple of thousand years, but a pot of still-liquid soup was found by a team of archaeologists in China. It was sealed inside a bronze cooking pot at a dig near Xian.

The soup and bones were discovered in a small, sealed bronze vessel in a tomb being excavated to make way for the extension of the airport in Xian, home to the country's famed ancient terracotta warriors, the report said.

The liquid and bones in the vessel had turned green due to the oxidation of the bronze, it said. Scientists were expected to conduct further tests to confirm the liquid was indeed soup and to identify the ingredients.

Another liquid discovery at the same site is believed to be wine.

Escaping Cat Saves Burning House

A 3-year-old cat named Pepper used a trick worthy of Houdini to escape from a burning kitchen in Stoke Gabriel, South Devon, England. Frightened by an exploding microwave, he leapt to a window and nudged the window catch open with his nose. Neighbors noticed smoke billowing from the open window and alerted the fire department. Homeowners Phil and Sharon White are grateful the fire was contained, and credit both the cat and the observant neighbors for saving their home.