Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania
Traditions Club
Traditions Club / Traditions Club

World Record Gingerbread House Attracts Tourists, Bees

The Texas A&M Traditions Club has built the world's biggest gingerbread house in Bryan, Texas. Guinness World Records officials certified that the 39,201.8-cubic-foot structure is the biggest ever, surpassing the previous record-holder at the Mall of America. The house is over 20 feet tall at its highest point. The house is open for tours through December 14th, with proceeds going to the St. Joseph Level II Trauma Center.

The outside of the house is roped off so that no one aiming to make sure that it’s made of gingerbread reaches out and takes a bite of the exterior. That’s actually what Horton did when the official from Guinness World Records was working on validating the record. “The Guinness guy said it had to be real gingerbread and real icing, so I ate a chunk,’’ Horton said. “He said, ‘Either that’s real gingerbread, or you’re an idiot.’’’

The downside of such a large gingerbread house is that it's outdoors. The club had to find a tarp to shelter the building from rain and humidity, and a colony of a couple thousand bees has taken up residence in order to sample the sugary edifice.

Young Entrepreneur Told to Beg Instead

Eleven-year-old Madison Root of Portland, Oregon, came up with the idea to sell mistletoe from her uncle's farm to raise money to help pay for her braces. She began selling the sprigs in a public park, but was told by a guard that she couldn't conduct business in the park without a business permit. He suggested that she ask for donations instead -which is designated as free speech and does not require a permit. The logic of telling a child to panhandle instead of selling a product bothered Madison's father so much he took the story to the local news. The point was to shine a light on the practice of encouraging begging over commerce, but the publicity brought in so many orders for mistletoe that Madison is scrambling to fill them. Meanwhile, Portland's mayor said he is reviewing the city code.

Twerking Student Set Off Fire Alarm

Twerking is now banned at North Naples Middle School in Colllier County, Florida. The incident that led to the ban happened Tuesday, when a male 6th-grader put his feet up against a wall in order to twerk. His foot slipped and hit a fire alarm switch, which summoned the local fire department. The unnamed student was suspended, but it was for an unnamed incident after the fire alarm went off. The North Naples Fire Department confirmed they were called to a false alarm at the school on Tuesday.

Letter Returned to Sender—68 Years Later

The San Francisco Chronicle received a return letter in the mail that it had sent out in 1945. It was labeled by the postal service as "not deliverable." And it's no wonder: the woman it was addressed to, Thelma Weber, moved from the address in 1970 and is now deceased. For that matter, so is the sender, Chronicle reporter Peter Trimble, who died in 2001. There's no word on why the postal service took so many years to give up on delivering the letter. For the record, the envelope contained stamps from several nations inside. Trimble's daughter confirmed that her parents knew Ms. Weber, but she doesn't know why her father would have sent her stamps.

Poor Puppy Looks Like Hitler

Patch is his name, but everyone calls him Adolf these days. At only seven weeks old, the French bulldog-shih tzu cross is white with black patches in all the right places: a short mustache under his black nose and a off-center mop on his head. Lynda Whitehead of York, England, is raising Patch and his two brothers.

Lynda said: “He’s my grandson’s dog, and none of us noticed the likeness until we put a photo on Facebook. When my eldest daughter saw it she said ‘You’ve got a little Hitler there’. “Although he’s called Patch, everybody calls him Adolf now. My grandsons are the worst for doing the goosestep when the puppy’s around.”

At this point, Patch, who is a sweet dog, is more liable to answer to "Adolf" than to his name.

Amazon Receives Cake for Third Anniversary of Unpaid Invoice

MusicBrainz, which is owned by a nonprofit charity MetaBrains, provided premium services for Amazon three years ago, and has yet to be paid for it. In honor of the long time that they have tried to get Amazon to pay invoice #144, they sent a cake to Amazon headquarters decorated with icing that reads, "Dear Amazon, Congratulations on 3rd Anniversary of invoice #144!" Whether or not Amazon employees enjoyed the cake, the photo of it has gone viral, and may get the attention of someone with responsibility for the company's accounts payable department.