Odd Stew – Weird and Bizarre News – Issue 3

July 25, 2015

grass 829909 640Here’s the third issue of the Odd Stew: Oddities and other bizarre things that have happened in the news over the past week.

Time to Take a Nap, or Else

In the town of Ador in Spain, it has now become mandatory for citizens there to take a siesta, or nap, between the hours of two and five in the afternoon.  The tradition is so engrained in the area that everything closes down between those hours.  The law, by order of the mayor of Ador, Joan Faus Vitoria, requires that everyone and everything be quiet for those three hours so people can get some shut-eye.  The new rules even require that children should stay indoors so as not to disturb those catching a few winks.  This isn’t something new for the town.  The practice of taking an afternoon siesta comes from the area’s agriculture history where workers would take a long lunch break after eating.  Sounds good to us.

Better Keep Fluffy Inside

In Campbell River, British Columbia, a disturbing trend has been taking place.  Residents there have been finding that their cats are returning home with less fur because someone keeps shaving them.  One particular resident’s cat has had their hair shaved five separate times.  Others in the town have also noticed the shaving has become an ongoing occurrence.  Residents have had to let their feline friends out only at night since the act has only occurred during the day.  Hopefully one of the cats gets revenge on the shaver.

Some People Just Don’t Get It

Park rangers in Yellowstone National Park had to put out a warning this past week to tourists not to take selfies with the wild animals in the park.  Seems like that would be a no-brainer, but the selfie-taking has led to another attack in the park from a wild animal on a tourist.  A Mississippi woman was tossed in the air by a bison when she tried to take a selfie with it.  Obviously the bison hadn’t been on their Facebook page to notice the trend.  The woman has been the fifth to be attacked in the park this year, and the third while attempting to get a selfie.  The other people who also thought it was a good idea to selfie with an animal were a 62 year-old Australian man and a Taiwanese teenage girl.  It’s a good reminder not to take selfies with anything that has teeth, horns, or in general, doesn’t know what the hell you are doing.

A Bit of Remorse, 20 Years Later

An unknown thief in Israel decided what they had stolen hadn’t been a good idea and returned the objects 20 years after they stole it.  The thief left a note along with the items to the Museum of Islamic and Near Eastern Cultures in the city of Beersheba.  The items were 2,000 year-old ballista balls, or stone projectiles, stolen from an ancient city called Gamla in the Golan Heights.  They stated they stole the objects in 1995, and the reason for returning them was that the objects had brought them nothing but trouble.  The thief went on to plead for others not to steal antiquities.  The ballista stones were remnants of what the Romans shot at the city walls and at defenders while trying to attack the city during the early Roman period.

Good Intentions, Bad Outcome

The Boise, Idaho Fire Department responded to a wildfire on July 22nd in the Hulls Gulch Reserve which eventually scorched 73 acres before it was contained.  The investigation following the fire revealed that the cause of the fire was by someone thinking they were doing the right thing.  A cyclist was taking care of business on a break from a ride and tried to dispose of soiled toilet paper by burning it so they wouldn’t be littering.  The problem was an ember from the burning toilet paper got away and made its way into the dry grass, causing it to catch on fire and burn out of control.  While it was admirably that the cyclist didn’t want to litter, the fire department recommended the cyclist should have either buried it or found a way to haul it with them.

Lightning Is Definitely Bad For Your Health

Data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this week highlighted the dangers of lightning.  They looked at lightning fatality data from 2005-2014 and found that the most deaths by lightning strike occurred in Florida at 47, with Texas being second at 20.  When the lightning deaths were weighted by population, the most deadly state became Wyoming, followed by Colorado.  Six states haven’t had any deaths by lightning strikes in the past 10 years.  They were Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Washington.

A New Apocalypse?

On July 18th, a rather disturbing event happened in Iowa.  A swarm of mayflies covered the Savanna/Sabula bridge so much that officials had to close the bridge during the night.  The swarm was so thick and covered the bridge so much that the surface became too slick to drive on.  Two cars even lost control on the bridge because of the insects.  One supervisor said the mayflies were ankle deep on the bridge and the Iowa Department of Transportation had to use a plow to get them off.  Once they had plowed the bridge they poured sand on the roadway so vehicles would have more traction.  The reason for the huge influx of these mayflies, or shadflies, was because this is their hatching time, and they are attracted to light.  Officials plan to keep the bridge lights off at night since they are expecting the bugs to keep hatching for another couple of weeks.

Thanks for reading another issue of the Odd Stew.  Check back again next week for more bizarre and weird things that you may have missed in your news feed.

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About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium, our ad-free subscription sites. I hope you learn many new things here that add to your knowledge.

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