Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania
Brittany Maher-Kirk
Brittany Maher-Kirk / Brittany Maher-Kirk

Cat Denied Gift Delivery for Lack of ID

Brittany Maher-Kirk’s mother found an advent calendar for cats that contained cat treats. She bought it and mailed it to her daughter’s cat, Ted, in London, UK. When the delivery came, Maher-Kirk wasn’t home. When she tried to retrieve the package from the post office, she was denied because she didn’t bring Ted’s ID. Ted doesn’t have any ID; he’s a cat. Maher-Kirk called the head office later to explain, and was invited to come down there. The staff was amused, but disappointed that she didn’t bring the cat. Maher-Kirk explained that Ted must stay inside due to health issues. The postal staff said that they were not obligated to hand the package over, but they did in the end. Ted is reportedly enjoying his advent calendar treats

Why the Zuist Religion is Booming in Iceland

Americans are so used to the concept of separation of church and state that we forget how rare it is in the rest of the world. In Iceland, everyone pays a church tax, which goes to the religious organization you register. If you are an atheist, or have no religious preference, your portion of the tax goes to the government, which supports the Church of Iceland. But now there’s an alternative for those who would prefer not to support a church. The new Zuist religion is inviting people to join, by promising their tax would be refunded by the church.

On the Zuist website in Iceland it was advertised that anyone over the age of 16 registering with the religion ( and thus unregistering from the National Church of Iceland) would get a refund for these fees called parish fees. However, tax authorities have responded to explaining that if Zuists go ahead to refund parish fees to their members they will have to pay income tax from these funds.

The Zuist religion is based on ancient Sumerian texts, but the church in Iceland is mainly a response to the religious tax.

Cemeteries in Moscow to offer free Wi-Fi

Good news for Muscovites: you won’t have to give up internet access just because you die. The Moscow city government will begin offering free Wi-Fi service in funeral homes and in the cemeteries of Vagankovskoye, Troyekurovskoye, and Novodevichy. While the headline may sound silly, the purpose of the service is to provide information. The cemeteries are huge, and with downloadable maps and directories, people will be better able to find a certain grave. Previously, two of the cemeteries allowed visitors to navigate by GPS. The service is expected to roll out in the first half of 2016

Arsonist Beaver Suspected in House Fire

A home burned down in Heby, Sweden, north of Stockholm. Police investigated the fire as a possible case of arson. A forensic examination unearthed evidence that points to a beaver as the prime suspect. Police spokesperson Christer Nordström said a tree fell on a power line, which sparked an electrical fire.     

“I heard the evidence was trees that had been gnawed on and such like. I don't know anything about the forensic team's beaver expertise, but that's the information I have received,” said Nordström. The animal, thought to have his hideout in a nearby river, was understood to still be at large on Thursday.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Man Survives Compaction in a Garbage Truck

A homeless man in Fremont, California, was sleeping in a dumpster Monday morning when a garbage truck came and emptied it. The trash was compacted after the contents were loaded. The truck then made another stop and again compacted the trash. At the next stop, the man crawled out through a hole in the top of the truck. The unnamed man had no apparent injuries, but emergency services took him to a hospital to be checked out anyway. Once there, he was placed on a psychiatric hold.

Funeral Held for High School Lab Skeleton

Haydock High School in St. Helens, UK, had a skeleton for about 50 years. It was first used in the science lab, and later went to the art department. When the skeleton was replaced by a new plastic model, it was put in storage. Only this year, when the skeleton called Arthur was rediscovered in a school cupboard, did the school find out that Arthur was made of real human bones! Specifically, it had belonged to a small malnourished Asian man with curvature of the spine, believed to have been between 25 and 30 years old at his death decades ago. The school consulted with authorities and found that it could not be disposed of without a proper burial. So the school held a funeral.

Mrs Dixon said: “We learnt a lot from the skeleton, drawing his anatomy, then when I found him looking a state, we needed to do something about him. “The children are just elated to have the service because he has been part of us for so long. “It gives him the send off he deserves for all his years of service.”

Haydock Funeral Services donated the coffin, provided the hearse, and directed the service. Arthur was buried at Greenacre Woodland Burials. There’s a video of the funeral service at the Liverpool Echo