Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

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Coleg Cambria
Coleg Cambria / Coleg Cambria

Goat Prefers the Lights On

Coleg Cambria’s Northop campus in Wales has a policy to turn off lights to save energy. But the lights were reported on after hours frequently at the goat barn. The staff all swore that they turn the lights off every evening, but the lights continued to be turned back on. The manager thought it could possibly be intruders, or even a ghost turning the lights on. But the real perpetrator turned out to be a Bagot billy goat named Jake. He once slipped and turned on the lights while humans were present. The goat climbed up on a hay bale and deliberately hit the switch with his horns. The staff at the barn are relieved to have the mystery solved, and are even proud of their intelligent rare goat.

Dead Mayor Wins Election

The people of Hillsboro, Missouri, really liked their mayor. Frank Roland Jr. was running unopposed for re-election after serving in the office for 20 years. He died March 9, at the age of 81. Since then, Jim Gowan has been serving as interim mayor. Since it was too late to place another name on the ballot, Gowan registered as a write-in candidate. The election was held on Tuesday, and Roland won again. He got seven more votes than the nearest write-in candidate! Now it’s up to the board of aldermen to decide who will serve in the office.

10 Husbands in One State

A New York woman was caught marrying ten different husbands in eleven years without divorcing any of them. Liana Barrientos began her serial wedding spree in 1999, when she married for the first time. After that, the marriages came thick and fast, all registered in different counties.

Barrientos married Mohamed Gerbil in November 1999, Ahmed Allam in November 2001, Habibur Rahman also in November 2001, Davit Koridze in February 2002, Duran Goktepe in March 2002, Aliaksandr Paharelau also in March 2002, Vakhtang Dzneladze in May 2002, Rashid Rajput in July 2002, Kakhaber Khorbaladze in August 2002, and Salle Keita in March 2010, prosecutors alleged.

Although the case was exposed in 2010, it has still not been adjudicated. Barrientos is due in court today in the Bronx for an arraignment on charges of false instrument for filing.

Tortoises Mistaken for Sea Turtles Can Drown

Sea turtles have flippers and live in the sea. Tortoises have feet and heavy shells and live on land. The problem is that gopher tortoises tend to nest in the same sandy beaches in Florida that sea turtles use to hatch their eggs. There have been at least three documented cases of well-intentioned people "helping" the tortoises reach the ocean, where they tend to drown. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has posted a guide to distinguishing turtles from tortoises. However, learning to tell the difference isn’t the best way to save turtles or tortoises- the best thing to do is leave both kinds of animals alone.

Godzilla Named Tokyo Tourism Ambassador

Tokyo once cowered in fear of the monster Godzilla, then later depended on him to protect the city from other monsters -in the movies. Now he is their symbol of tourism. Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward has appointed Godzilla to be their “special resident and tourism ambassador.” A giant Godzilla head was erected atop Toho Studios to celebrate the appointment, ahead of a ceremony on Thursday. 

At an awards ceremony next to the giant Godzilla head, an actor in a rubber suit waddled to Shinjuku Mayor Kenichi Yoshizumi. However, Toho executive Minami Ichikawa had to accept the residency certificate in Godzilla's place, since the suit's claws aren't designed to grab anything. The longtime belief is that any place Godzilla destructs in the movies is sure to prosper in real life, Yoshizumi said. "Godzilla is a character that is the pride of Japan," he said.

Toho Studios is releasing a reboot of the original Godzilla story in 2016.

Maya Angelou Stamp with Wrong Quote Won’t Be Reissued

The U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp, unveiled Tuesday, featuring Maya Angelou and a quote. But the quote was not from Ms. Angelou. The quote, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song,” was often misattributed to Angelou, and it was one of her favorite quotes, although she never took credit for it. The line was actually written by Joan Walsh Anglund in a 1967 book of children’s poetry. The Postal Service said it has no plans to reissue the stamp with an actual Angelou quote.