Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania
Tom Warne via Twitter
Tom Warne via Twitter / Tom Warne via Twitter

Calgary Balloon Man Charged with Mischief

A man in Calgary, Alberta, attached 110 large helium balloons to a lawn chair and took to the skies on Sunday. Daniel Boria said he planned the stunt for months, to draw attention to his cleaning products company. The plan was to parachute down to the Calgary Stampede. Instead, the wind blew him off course, and he parachuted into an industrial area of the city. Boria was then arrested on one count of “mischief causing danger to life,” and jailed overnight. Police confiscated his parachute and video, but the balloons and lawn chair are still on the loose. Who knows, they might still be airborne! 

Man Comes To Realize His Puppies Aren't Puppies After All

A banana farmer in China bought a couple of “good looking pups” from a Vietnamese man. He played with them, petted them, and groomed them every day. The puppies grew fast and they grew big, and they had voracious appetites, leading them to chase and eat his chickens. Two years later, the farmer had the opportunity to visit a wildlife protection exhibition, and when he saw the bear exhibit, he realized what kind of animals his “dogs” really were! He reported the bears to wildlife authorities, who identified his pets as Asian black bears, a protected species. The bears were taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center in Yunan. You can see a video report from Xinhua at Facebook.

Fugitive Asks Police for a Better Mugshot on Facebook

Police in Victoria, Australia, posted a mugshot of Daniel Damon on Facebook, asking the public for help in locating him. Damon is wanted for drug and traffic charges and for jumping bail. Damon couldn’t resist commenting on the post, asking for a better picture to be used, and then replying to several comments.

"Can you use a better photo tho. This is a horrible mugshot," said Damon, 25, in response to the warrant. "Hi Daniel, please visit your nearest police station and we'll arrange for a new photo to be taken!" police replied.

The Facebook post was deleted, but BBC News has a screenshot of some of Damon’s comments. 

Horse Crashes Through Roof

A mare named Netti escaped from her corral in Lower Austria and wandered down the hill. As the hill got steeper, the 28-year-old horse lost control and fell. A mobile home was parked at the bottom, up against the hill, and the horse crashed through its metal roof. Luckily, she landed in the bedroom, right on a double bed! No one was at home at the time. Jacqueline-Isolde Bauer-Weiskirchner, Netti’s owner, found her when she heard the commotion of hooves inside the mobile home. A veterinarian gave the mare a sedative, and a brigade of firefighters used mountain rescue equipment to winch the horse back out through the roof. There’s a picture of the procedure. Netti has since been declared uninjured by the incident.

In You’re Not in the Show, Stay Off the Stage

A breach of theater etiquette on Broadway has the town talking. Last Thursday, before the beginning of the play Hand of God began at the Booth Theater, a member of the audience jumped up on stage in order to plug his phone charger into an electrical outlet. As there were no stairs, he had to jump up to the stage, then walk to the back of the set. The outlet, it turned out, was only a prop. The incident was captured on video, and a member of the stage crew announced that charging phones on stage was prohibited. The upside of the story is that the small play has received way more publicity than the producers could have afforded to buy.

Bear Breaks Zoo Window

On Monday, a bear at the Minnesota Zoo picked up a big rock and slammed it over and over against the glass that separated the bears from zoo visitors, shattering it. The five-layer safety glass did not fall apart, however, and no one was hurt. The bear exhibit has been closed since then, and the zoo will have to shell out “tens of thousands of dollars” to replace the pane.  

Robin Ficker, a visitor from Maryland, said he was watching “the bears wrestling with each other and looking at the people” shortly after the zoo opened at 9 a.m. Then one of the animals “picked up from the bottom of the pool a rock that had to weigh 50 pounds. And while many people were standing there, he slammed it against the glass several times,” Ficker said. [Zoo animal collections manager Tony] Fisher said he’s not sure which of the three bears is responsible for breaking one of pane’s five layers, but he suspects it was Kenai, a nearly full-grown male. Grizzlies typically top out at 800 to 900 pounds. Kenai is “usually the clown out there, fooling around in the water,” Fisher said. “He didn’t know what he was doing. He was just being a bear.”

Oh, really? Do grizzly bears in the wild ever throw rocks? This could be the beginning of a revolt, as bears learn to use tools to gain their freedom. And the last thing we need are free grizzly bears teaching each other how to use big rocks to get what they want.