Odd Stew – Weird and Bizarre News – Issue 19

Daniel Ganninger
August 8, 2017

oddstew19Issue 19 of the Odd Stew: strange news items, oddities, plus other weird and fascinating things that have happened in the news that you may have missed.

Just a Little Bit Angry

A 34-year-old woman in Nagoya, Japan, was arrested in July 2017 for allegedly destroying 54 violins and 70 bows that belonged to her estranged husband, a 62-year-old Norwegian man that made and sold violins in the city. The woman denied destroying her former husband’s collection that was worth about $950,700 but did admit that she had broken into the home. It was alleged that the woman gained entry to her husband’s workshop by breaking a window while he was away on a business trip.

How Would She Not Know?

A 67-year-old woman in Great Britain was about to undergo routine cataract surgery in early 2017 when the medical staff noticed a “bluish foreign body” in the patient’s eye as they were giving her anesthesia. When they looked more closely, they discovered the woman had 17 contact lenses clumped together on her eye. They then found 10 more contact lenses under the patient’s eyelid. Amazingly, the woman had not complained of any irritation in her eye. She had been wearing disposable contact lenses for 35 years and hadn’t been getting regular eye exams. The surgery was postponed to allow bacteria to clear from the eye after the contact lenses had been removed.

These Hash Browns Sure Are Crunchy

In April 2017, McCain Foods USA had to recall some of its hash brown products because they might have had pieces of golf balls mixed with the potatoes. The company had to recall its Harris Teeter Brand Frozen Southern Style Hash Browns from seven East Coast states and the District of Columbia, as well as its Roundy’s Brand Frozen Southern Style Hash Browns from Illinois and Wisconsin. It was believed that the golf balls may have been harvested with the potatoes and were later chopped up when they were used for the hash browns. The company recalled the product because the golf ball pieces could have been a choking hazard, but maybe there was a better reason since there could have been golf balls in the hash browns.

A Driverless Van with a Driver

A gray unmarked van without a driver prompted reports to authorities from residents of Arlington County, Virginia, in early August 2017. The van, which had a camera behind the windshield and dark tinted glass, had been seen driving around the area without anyone in the driver’s seat. A local NBC television station finally discovered what was really going on with the 2017 Ford Transit van that had produced so many reports. Someone was actually driving the van. A man was sitting in the driver’ seat wearing a costume that resembled the car seats of the van. The driver was seen with his arms and legs coming out under the car seat costume. The reporter later found out that the van and the driver were part of a study about driverless cars being run by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Not That Cuddly

A pharmaceutical company in Japan introduced a new mascot for one of its products in August 2017. What is different about this mascot is that the character represents its line of home enema kits. The mascot is called Kan-Chan and is the property of Ichijiku Pharmaceutical Company. Kan-Chan’s bulb-like body strangely resembles one of its home enema kits. The mascot has two eyes, is pink with blushing cheeks, has a yellow smiling beak, yellow feet, and a “hat”. The name of the mascot comes from the Japanese word for enema, “kancho”. The pharmaceutical company says that Kan-Chan is actually just a penguin. If that is the case, Kan-Chan could be one of the strangest penguins ever.

Traveling Light

In July 2017, an Australian man checked what could be the lightest luggage ever on a flight; a single can of beer. The man checked a single can of Emu Export, an Australian light lager, on a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Perth, Australia. The single can of beer was tagged, placed on the plane, and came out on the baggage carousel before any of the other luggage from the flight. The man and a friend that worked at the airport came up with the plan just to see if it could be done. It’s probably not the most cost effective way to transport beer, however.

Not Going to Hit that Snooze Button

For thirteen years, a couple in Ross Township, Pennsylvania, put up with a digital alarm clock that would ring every morning that they couldn’t touch. The problem started when the owner of the clock, Jerry Lynn, tried to run a wire down a wall to his living room. To figure out the location of the wire in the wall, he tied an alarm clock to a piece of string and set it to ring 10 minutes later. But at some point, the clock broke loose from the string and fell down the vent he had put it in. For thirteen years every day, Jerry and his wife would hear the alarm ring at 6:50 or 7:50, depending on if it was daylight savings time. The story about their plight went nationwide, and a local heating and air conditioning company offered to finally remove the clock, which they did in May 2017. Now maybe the couple can finally sleep in for once.

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