The Weird Week in Review
Fruit Preserves Spill Causes Traffic Jam
A van carrying a supply of fruit preserves and juice spilled its load on the E45 highway near Sunne in western Sweden on Tuesday. The van doors came open in the back, and a pallet of product slid out on the road. It turned into a sticky situation as fruit, juice, and broken glass littered the highway. Traffic jammed up, and emergency crews had to divert vehicles as they cleaned up the mess. The mess covered 70 to 100 meters of roadway. There are more puns about the spill here, and pictures here.
Cat Stuck in Wall for 26 Days
Guy Mantha and his wife Linda Jardine-Mantha of Toronto had their air-conditioning unit changed out in June. It was about that time that their cat Stuffi went missing. Stuffi usually hides from strangers, so they assumed she was hiding from the A/C guys and would come back eventually. But she didn’t, and Jardine-Mantha posted notices about her missing cat. After a few days, she started hearing noises coming from inside the house, but could not find the source. Even a search with an infrared camera detected nothing.
Last Friday, Jardine-Mantha could hear sounds inside the house again.
"She called me at work and she said I think I heard it inside the wall ... oh my god, I said," Mantha said.
They called the friend with the infrared camera and began another search.
They broke a hole in the wall in the closet, and they put a light in there. Her husband's friend looked in and saw the cat.
"So they ripped out the wall and sure enough she was in there, all scrunched up, where she'd been for three and a half weeks, and so we rushed her to the hospital," she said.
The veterinarian found Stuffi to be weak, but had none of the expected liver damage after being confined for 26 days. She is recovering well.
George Harrison Memorial Tree Destroyed by Beetles
In 2004, a pine tree was planted in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park to memorialize Beatle George Harrison, who died in 2001. This week, it was announced that the tree itself has died, due to an insect infestation. Yes, the tree was killed by beetles. Those who knew Harrison said he would have appreciated the irony of the situation. Another tree will be planted in its place, but has not yet been scheduled.
Teenager Gets 232 Teeth Pulled
Seventeen-year-old Ashiq Gavai of Buldhana, India, suffered a growth and pain in his jaw, but local doctors could not diagnose the problem. Fearing cancer, his father took him to J J Hospital in Mumbai, where doctors diagnosed Gavai with composite odontoma, a tumor in the part of the jaw that produces teeth.
Ashiq was diagnosed with a condition called composite odontoma or a benign tumour of the tooth, which can cause difficulties in eating, swallowing, and lead to a grotesque swelling of the face, though it is not life-threatening.
"The condition has been known to affect the upper jaw and a maximum of 25 teeth have been extracted from the tumour. But in Ashiq's case, the tumour was found deep in the lower jaw and we removed more than 232 teeth," Dr Sunanda Dhiware, head of the J J Dental Department, said.
A team of two main surgeons and two assisting surgeons performed an intra-oral procedure as they tried to remove every bit of the tumour. "While a few teeth were loose, others were in clumps which made it difficult to count. The tumour was an abnormal growth of the second molar which did not come out. It was also pressing on the wisdom tooth which we had to remove," Dhiware said.
Gavai was left with only 28 normal teeth, but will require followup surgery to repair the hole in his jaw. The hospital is going to forward the case to the Guinness Book of World Records for the most teeth extracted from one person. See more pictures here.
Russia Loses Contact with satellite Full of Geckos
The Russian Foton-M4 satellite was launched on July 19th, with one male and four female geckos aboard for an experiment in sex and weightlessness. Other passengers include insects and plants. The mission had been delayed for three weeks over electrical system problems. Now mission control has lost contact with the satellite, and have no way to monitor the geckos, feed them, or bring them down. If contact cannot be re-established, the satellite could orbit for months before falling on its own.
Flying Car Smashes into Brick House
A home in Hop Pole, Lincolnshire, UK, has an enormous hole in the first floor due to a car smashing into it. That’s what Americans would call the second floor. The car landed on its side in the yard, and the 25-year-old driver suffered only a dislocated shoulder and some broken ribs. The car also demolished a fence. There was no one at home when the incident occurred Thursday. Police say it is not really clear yet whether the second-floor hole was caused by the car itself, or if the bricks had collapsed due to damage underneath them. Engineers were called out to assess the structural damage.