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News of the Weird

Lead Stories Readers’ choice, part 1: In December veterinarians at an aquarium in Fushun, China, called in Bao Xishun, a seven-foot-nine-inch Mongolian herder believed to be the world’s tallest person, to reach into the stomachs of two dolphins and pull out shards of plastic they’d swallowed. The dolphins had become depressed and were refusing to […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story More than six decades after losing the use of his right eye in a WWII explosion, Don Karkos apparently regained it in a 2006 workplace accident. Karkos, an 82-year-old security guard at a harness track in Monticello, New York, told reporters in December that his vision returned shortly after he was head-butted by […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story At a ceremony in December marking the transfer of authority in Najaf, Iraq, from the U.S. military to Iraqi forces, Iraqi commandos demonstrated their mettle by eating small animals raw in front of a stadium of onlookers. One participant sliced open the carcass of a rabbit with his knife, screamed, took a bite […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story In a December article in the Guardian about Chinese scientists’ recent success in breeding pandas, Zhang Hemin of the Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province explained how they’ve expanded the gene pool to include even the least attractive females: they prep the breeding pen by letting a more popular female panda excrete in […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story One day in November onlookers watching the progress of a window washer in downtown Nashville noticed that he’d stopped moving. According to a witness interviewed by the Tennessean, the man hung motionless 20 stories above the street for at least half an hour; after firefighters arrived and tugged on his ropes, he regained […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story The delivery of Sharon Taylor’s third child reached an abrupt climax at Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax, England, in December. By the time Taylor, 35, got out of the car in the hospital parking lot, the baby’s head had appeared, and she had just made it inside the building when, according to the […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story The Associated Press reported in October on the Oklahoma City company Skulls Unlimited International, which claims to be the world’s leading supplier of bone specimens. Its employees strip as much flesh as they can by hand from human, bear, dog, alligator, gazelle, whale, and other carcasses, then put the bones in tanks where […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story A North Carolina appeals court overturned Timothy Stone’s drug conviction in September, holding that the trial court should have excluded evidence obtained by police in a body search Stone consented to. Appellate judges ruled that when Stone agreed to the search, he couldn’t have reasonably expected that officers would pull open the waist […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story “It was one thing to believe in the sexuality of the cello, but it was an entirely different thing to express those beliefs in front of an audience,” said Jesse Hale in September of her experience as part of the CJ Boyd Sexxxtet, a group of like-minded cellists (plus other instrumentalists) that tours […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story Two men in a Dodge Neon, ages 37 and 40, were seriously injured in a rollover accident on Interstate 75 near Toledo, Ohio, in September after a red bra flew from the antenna of another car, which the driver said caused him to swerve and lose control. Emily Davis, one of four teenage […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story Chinese media reported in November that Xiao Senwen, of the southern province of Guangdong, had applied to register the name of NBA superstar Yao Ming as a trademark for sanitary napkins and adult diapers. According to a trademark official, the application would almost certainly be denied if Yao were to object during the […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story News of the Weird reported in 1998 on the medical use of maggots to eat dead flesh out of wounds. This October, scientists at the University of Bradford, in Yorkshire, England, reported that maggots also produce enzymes that accelerate healing and suggested that bandages containing maggot secretions might be able to provide these […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story Anthony Mesa went to court in DeLand, Florida, in October to explain why he’d failed to take a scheduled drug test the month before: he suffers from shy bladder syndrome, he said, and is thus unable to urinate with others around. The 22-year-old Mesa, a former convenience store clerk, was required to take […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story David Scholnick, a biologist at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, is measuring how shrimp respond to physical exertion by having them run and swim for hours on a tiny treadmill, the Web site LiveScience reported in October. To vary the strenuousness of the workouts, the shrimp are sometimes made to wear tiny […]

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News of the Weird

Lead Story Public debate over the essence of masculinity broke out in Norway in September after the principal of Dvergsnes elementary school in Kristiansand, citing complaints from the janitorial staff about poor aim, proposed a rule requiring male students to urinate sitting down. Some parents and political figures reacted bitterly: the mother of a seven-year-old […]