Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania
Joel Isfeld
Joel Isfeld / Joel Isfeld

Cat Survives 17-story Fall

Joel Isfeld lives with his cat Cleo on the 17th floor of a condominium in New Westminster, British Columbia. On Sunday, Cleo managed to sneak out to the balcony. Isfeld looked for her all over the apartment and on the ground, but found no trace of the Savannah cat. So he posted a notice on Facebook. Late Monday night, Isfeld was contacted by someone who had seen Cleo on a terrace at an adjacent building! Isfeld was reunited with his cat, and thrilled to learn she was okay.

"She was shaken up, but other than that she was totally OK. No broken bones, no scrapes, just a small cut on her mouth."

Cleo better stay off the balcony. Isfeld says she’s only got a couple of her nine lives left.

24-year-old Woman Found to Have No Cerebellum

The cerebellum, the rear part of the brain, takes up only 10% of the brain’s volume in humans, but has 50% of the brain’s neurons. So it was astonishing to doctors in Shandong Province, China, to find a living 24-year-old woman who did not have one. The unnamed woman had gone to a hospital complaining of dizziness and nausea, where a brain scan revealed only spinal fluid where the cerebellum should be. The cerebellum is important in motor control. The patient had always had a problem with balance, and has some neurological deficits, but otherwise has led a normal life, including giving birth and caring for her child. Scientists say it’s a classic case of neuroplasticity, in which other parts of the brain take over necessary functions.

Mel Brooks Plants 11 Fingers in Cement

Filmmaker Mel Brooks was honored by setting his handprints and footprints in cement in front of the TLC Chinese Theater in Hollywood this past Monday. One detail that many in attendance did not notice was that Brooks’ handprints have eleven fingers. Brooks arranged for a prosthetic sixth finger on his left hand that day. Few people noticed the extra finger before the pictures were published. Of course, it is recorded for posterity in the cement.

Man Hoped to Avoid Arrest By Touching Home Base

York County deputies in Fort Mill, South Carolina, began following an SUV after it drifted across lanes several times. The car did not pull over as police indicated, but continued all the way to Robert Charles Lafferty III’s home.

After several minutes, the SUV came to a stop in Lafferty’s driveway. The driver then reportedly disobeyed instructions to stay in the car and instead started walking toward his home’s front door. When told he was under arrest, Lafferty said, “You can’t, I’m on base,” and reached out with his hands to the side of the house.

Despite having touched base, Lafferty was arrested and taken into custody. He was charged with DUI, driving without a license or car tags, failure to stop, and resisting arrest.

Abandoned Home Infested with Exotic Deadly Spiders

Worried neighbors in County Carlow, Ireland, contacted an animal shelter about an abandoned home that contained over a hundred deadly spiders, including black widows, funnel-web spiders, scorpions, and tarantulas. A man who had lived in the home had ordered the spiders over the internet, and then had left them behind when he moved. The National Exotic Animal Sanctuary took a spider expert into the house to round up and catalog the spiders. There were also dozens of dead spiders, and evidence that the exotic species were mailed in from overseas. A representative of the NEAS says importing exotic species is a growing problem in Ireland.

Detroit Fire Department Has Alarms Made of Pop Cans, Doorbells

The Detroit Fire Department has suffered from the city’s bankruptcy in that they’ve had no technology upgrades in years. In more than one fire station, emergency alerts come in by fax, and homemade alarms like a pop can knocked over by the paper coming out of the fax are in use. Another office uses a stack of coins. When these objects fall over, that’s an alarm. Some of Detroit’s 38 firehouses have built their own alarm systems from doorbells, wind chimes and other noisemakers. Detroit Deputy Fire Commissioner John Berlin says that money for alarms is low priority because the fire crews managed to come up with such systems to work around their limitations.