Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania
Ukraine Police via Instagram
Ukraine Police via Instagram / Ukraine Police via Instagram

Chewbacca Arrested

The elections last week in Ukraine were contentious enough between the pro-Russian and anti-Russian factions, but now they’ve gone and arrested Chewbacca! The Wookiee was accompanying mayoral candidate Darth Vader to a polling place, according to The Guardian.

The Star Wars character Chewbacca has been dragged before a court in Odessa, in perhaps the most surreal episode in local elections across Ukraine that have been both hotly contested and rife with dirty tricks. The man inside the costume was fined 170 hryvnia (£5) for the “administrative offence” of not being able to produce identification documents. A statement posted on the official Instagram account of the Ukrainian police read: “Nothing unusual here, just Chewbacca detained for being without documents while driving Darth Vader to the elections in Odessa. The Sith Lord has already claimed this was illegal as Chewbacca is his pet and general servant and thus does not require documents.”

Other sources report that the offense was campaigning on election day. This Darth Vader is one of several people who have campaigned under the name while running for office under Ukraine’s Internet Party in the past few years. Some races have included Padme Amidala, Yoda, or Chewbacca. The party is also responsible for the new Darth Vader statue in Odessa.  

Attorney Suspended For Pulling Gun On Fake Spiders

The consequences of arachnophobia can be serious if one is carrying a gun. An assistant prosecuting attorney in Logan County, West Virginia, has been suspended indefinitely from his job over it. On October 5, Chris White arrived at his office and found that the secretaries had decorated for Halloween with fake spiders on the walls. Logan County Prosecutor John Bennett said that White became irate and demanded the spiders be removed, and eventually pulled out a gun. The gun wasn’t loaded, but no one knew that. White never pointed it at anyone, and only threatened to shoot the spiders. On Wednesday, White was notified that he was suspended pending an investigation by the prosecutor’s office. Bennett said he doesn’t intend to fire him as of now. New rules bar anyone from carrying firearms in the office, except for the county investigator. 

Crack in Earth No Sign of Supervolcano Eruption

The earth cracked open about 10 miles south of the town of Ten Sleeps, Wyoming. The fissure was discovered this week and reported on Facebook. Some who saw it were worried that it may be related to volcanic activity in the Yellowstone region, but an inspector says that’s not the problem. An engineer who inspected the crack reported back to SNS Outfitter and Guide, who said, 

Apparently, a wet spring lubricated across a cap rock. Then, a small spring on either side caused the bottom to slide out. He estimated 15 to 20 million yards of movement. By range finder, an estimate is 750 yards long and about 50 yards wide.

The crack is pretty big, but it’s not an unusual event.

Speaking of Crack …

In France, what we call “plumber’s crack” is known as sourire de plombier. Adrien Herve-Pellissier, a 24-year-old from the French town of Rennes says he has developed a cure for the unfortunate syndrome. He has designed a set of boxer underpants with a very wide elastic band that doesn’t pull down when the wearer bends or squats. So far, Herve-Pellissier has received a lot of publicity and support for the product, which he chalks up to a lack of any other good news in the media.

Police Catch Speeding Hearse Full of Caviar

Police in Russia pulled over a speeding hearse that was supposed to be carrying a corpse to a funeral in Khabarovsk. The vehicle had signs attached to its windshield: one said “funeral,” while the other had a portrait of the deceased. However, a search found there was no body in the coffin. Instead, they found 1100 pounds of canned caviar, worth about $156,000! The driver and another person in the hearse were arrested, both denying they knew anything about the smuggled caviar. The search was captured on a phone video.

When Art Imitates Life

The scene at the art museum looked like a mess left after a party. That’s what most people would think. But the torn banner, confetti, and champagne bottles were an art installation, titled “We were going to dance tonight” by Milanese artists Goldschmied & Chiari. It went on exhibit last Friday at the Museion modern art gallery in Bolzano, Italy. And, of course, when a new exhibit opens at a gallery, there’s always a reception. The cleaning crew arrived Saturday morning and saw what appeared to have been quite a party, so they cleaned it up.

“Of course we warn staff not to clean away art,” gallery curator Letizia Ragaglia told Alto Adige. “ We told them just to clean the foyer because that's where the event on Friday night had been. Evidently, they mistook the installation for the foyer...” Fortunately, all was not lost. After organizing the 'rubbish' art into separate bin bags for glass and plastic, the cleaners realized their error before they threw out the artworks for good.

The museum staff went to work to re-assemble the installation, using photographs as a guide.