Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania
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Fish Spill in China Leaves No Mess

A truck carrying 6,800 kilograms of catfish spilled its load Tuesday when the door swung open in Guizhou province, China. Tons of fish covered the road in the Kaili Development Zone. But the incident did not end with a call to a hazmat crew, or people carrying fish home with them. A fire brigade was summoned, and with the help of local residents, they hosed down the fish and gathered them in buckets. In two hours, the fish were all loaded back into the truck! There were no reports of any looted fish. But there are plenty of pictures.

Russian Wife Smuggled in Suitcase

As a train from Moscow to Nice, France, was passing through Poland, border guards checked luggage for smuggled goods. A suitcase belonging to a French passenger in his sixties was found to have a 30-year-old Russian woman inside!

“’Hi, and this is my wife,’” the Frenchman said when officers opened the luggage. “The woman in the suitcase was feeling well and did not require medical attention,” said Sienicki.

The border guards made no arrest, but sent the couple back to Russia. If they were indeed legally married, she could have applied for a visa and traveled to France legally. But then she would have had to buy a train ticket.

Drunk Driving Instructor Convicted of -You Guessed It

Alison Baker, of Exeter, Devon, UK, spent three years leading drunk-driving classes for the Devon Council, until she was laid off. One morning last May, she drove to a gas station twice to buy wine. The attendant, suspecting she was intoxicated, called police. The cops went to Baker’s home and found her blood-alcohol level at three times the legal limit for driving. In her defense, Baker said she drank a bottle and a half in the ten minutes between her second trip and the arrival of the police. The judge did not buy that story, and Baker was sentenced to a 26-month driving ban.

However, convicted drunk drivers can take a drunk-driving class and get 25% of their ban suspended. The prosecutor in Baker’s case said that would serve no use, as Baker knows all the information in the class as a former instructor. The defense argued that this is Baker’s first offense, and she has the right to take the class like anyone else. The judge ruled that Baker can take the class, which would reduce her ban by 26 weeks -if she passes the course.

515 Students Expelled for Cheating in One City

Over 500 students were expelled from high school in Patna, Bihar, India, over a two day period for cheating on their class ten board exams. The results of the tests determine high school graduation and are often also used for college admission. A photograph taken during one exam session showed friends and family members outside the windows, ready to pass notes to test-takers. Education minister PK Shahi says it is impossible to conduct fair exams without the cooperation of parents.

He appealed to parents to not indulge in such practices but said reports of cheating in exams were common in all parts of the country, not just Bihar, adding that chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and police chief PK Thakur had been asked to further tighten arrangements. Around 1.43 million students are appearing for the class 10 state board examinations this year at 1,217 centres, many of which are allotted a large number of students without commensurate infrastructure to accommodate them. The school-leaving examinations are marked by violence and wide-spread use of unfair means that include parents and friends writing answers for examinees, often guarded by armed men.

In addition to the expulsions, seven parents were arrested for helping their children cheat on the test.

104-year-old Woman Attributes Her Longevity to Dr. Pepper

Elizabeth Sullivan of Fort Worth, Texas, sees the doctor every day -Dr. Pepper, that is. Sullivan recently celebrated her 104th birthday, and has been a Dr. Pepper fan for about 40 years. She drinks three every day. For her birthday, she was presented with a surprise cake shaped like a can of Dr. Pepper, and a gift basket from Larry Young, CEO of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. Sullivan is in good health, still sharp, and does not live in a nursing home. 

South Carolina Cat Found in California

A routine truck inspection at the California border revealed a stowaway -a cat that had climbed inside. The truck driver said she had no idea when or how the cat got in. The cat was dehydrated and was taken to an animal shelter. Staff at the shelter found the cat was microchipped, his name is Kevin, and he was registered to an owner in South Carolina. Not only had Kevin come a long way, he’d been reported missing since 2013! The cat's owner, Cheryl Walls, had assumed Kevin found another home after being gone for so long, so she was shocked to hear he was discovered 2,500 miles away. Walls was delighted at the prospect of having him come home. The Riverside County Department of Animal Services contacted two nonprofit agencies and took donations from its staff to ensure that Kevin has a flight back to South Carolina.