Odd Stew – Weird and Bizarre News – Issue 6

August 15, 2015

droughtball

Another issue of the Odd Stew: oddities plus other bizarre, strange, and fascinating things that have happened in the news over the past week that you may have missed.

Black Plastic to the Rescue

Their are a bunch of black, plastic balls that are out to save the water supply for the largest city on the west coast.  The Los Angeles Reservoir has been made to look like a strange science experiment gone wrong with the introduction of black balls that are there to fight the ongoing drought griping the state.  They are shade balls, and the the city of L.A. has dropped 96 million of them into the reservoir as of August 12th.  Their purpose is to slow evaporation and block UV rays and sunlight that allow algae to grow.  They’re also there to act as a deterrent to birds from landing on the surface of the water.  It’s all in the name of conserving the 3.3 billion gallons of water for the city because of the drought.  The method is believed to be cheaper than other ways but still has cost the city $34.5 million to make it happen.  The spheres are made from polyethylene and are supposed to last 10 years, and this isn’t the first time the method has been implemented.  In 2008, the L.A. Department of Water and Power dropped off 400,000 of the balls in the Ivanhoe Reservoir.

A Stinky Situation in Paradise

Loads of seaweed are becoming a major problem in the Caribbean.  The sargassum, as it is also known, has been washing ashore in droves.  So much so that the island of Tobago has said it is a “natural disaster”.  Many areas of the Caribbean are having problems with the sea grass, and in some spots it is gathering in 10 foot high mounds on beaches.  It’s not what you would call a welcoming site for someone on their vacation, and this has many officials of Caribbean nations trying to find a solution before the high-time of tourist season in a few months.  The seaweed has begun to rot as it gets stuck on shore and has boats cut off from the sea.  Mexico has even said it will spend around $9.1 million to clean up the seaweed from the beaches on the Caribbean coast.

No one is really sure why it is happening, but it has been going on since 2011.  Even West African nations are finding the seaweed on their coasts.  The seaweed originates in an area of warm water in the North Atlantic called the Sargasso Sea.  It’s around a 2 million square mile area that is a habitat for an abundance of growing marine life.  The sargassum is an algae that grows in the area.

A Pope Beer

A New Jersey brewery named Cape May Brewing Company is welcoming the Pope to Philadelphia on his planned visit the best way they know how.  They’ve made a beer in his honor.  The beer has been branded #YOPO, for “You Only Pope Once”.  According to the brewery, the India Pale Ale will have “an unholy amount of hops–about three pounds per barrel.”

Someone With Too Much Time On Their Hands

A man was seen in Haines, Alaska harassing a mother bear and her two cubs wearing a “realistic-looking” bear suit.  The incident happened on the Chikoot River at a weir, which is used to count fish.  People gather there to watch and are kept at a safe distance by a fence away from the weir.  The man in the bear suit ran through the area and got to within five to ten feet of the bear and her cubs.  An Alaska Fish and Game technician at the weir was able to get the bear to move, fearing for the man’s safety, and tried to talk to the bear man, but he ran away.  He got into a truck and drove off, with the full bear suit still on.  The technician was able to get the license plate number, and since it is against the law to harass wildlife in Alaska, the unknown bear man is expected to get a visit from the authorities shortly.

Looking for Sewer Treasure

Three men were arrested in New York City after they decided it would be a good idea to go on a treasure hunt in the sewers in search of valuables.  They were caught by the New York City Police carrying metal detectors and had been in the sewer for four hours.  One of the men was an employee of the Department of Environmental Protection, and he was able to get the men access to the sewage system.  Oh, and they ended up not finding any treasure in the sewer.

Goodness, It Says It Right on the Sign

A lawsuit was filed on August 10th against a famous restaurant in Missouri when a woman claimed she had been hit in the head by a flying dinner roll and received an injury.  The diner, Troy Tucker, filed the suit against Lambert’s Cafe in Sikeston, Missouri, whose tagline is, “Home of Throwed Rolls”.  Tucker says she suffered “a lacerated cornea with a vitreous detachment and all head, neck, eyes, and vision were severely damaged,” as reported by WDAF-TV in St. Louis, Missouri.  Tucker is seeking $25,000 for legal fees and medical bills.  The suit said that the restaurant should know the dangers of throwing rolls.  The restaurant is famous for its servers heaving a roll in the direction of someone who wants one, and there are multiple signs around the establishment with its, “Home of Throwed Rolls” slogan.  It’s not known how many “throwed rolls” incidents the restaurant has had.

That Pigeon Sang Like a Canary

A reckless pigeon was captured outside a Costa Rican prison trying to smuggle in contraband this week.  The “NarcoPigeon”, as he is being named, was caught red-handed with 14 grams of marijuana and 14 grams of cocaine attached to him outside Costa Rica’s largest prison, La Reforma.  It’s the first time authorities have seen this type of smuggling plan by a pigeon but not from another animal.  In the past, cats had been used to smuggle in drugs on their tails, as strange as that sounds.  After the bird was caught, it was taken to a zoological bird refuge to serve out the remainder of its sentence, whatever that is.  Pigeons everywhere are gathering to fight for the “NarcoPigeon’s” release.  Yes, we made that last part up.

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.

Previous Issues of the Odd Stew

About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of great trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium. I hope you find things here to annoy those around you with your new found knowledge.

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