Bizarro briefs: A waking nightmare

A waking nightmare

Don’t you hate it when you wake up to find a six-foot-long snake has fallen from the ceiling into your bed? An Albany-area man certainly did. He called the police in a panicked state after finding himself next to a red-tailed boa constrictor. The boa, it turned out, was the pet of the tenant above him and had escaped from its enclosure. It then fell through the floor and into the man’s bed. After the ordeal, the snake was returned to its owner to return to its cage. Sweet dreams, guy. Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen again.

Just a technicality

Here’s a novel excuse: “I wasn’t drinking and driving, officer; I was only drinking while stopped at red lights and stop signs.” That’s more or less what a 69-year-old driver said after being stopped by police in Indian River County, Florida, and blowing about double the legal limit. Police were called to the area by a woman in a McDonald’s drive thru who kept getting rear ended by the man as she waited in line. Police said they found an open bottle of liquor in the man’s passenger seat, smelled alcohol on his breath, and that he told them he felt “pretty good.” What he did not have was a valid driver’s license or a clean record. He had two previous DUI charges in Missouri.

Weird science

Science’s spookiest subatomic particles — high-energy neutrinos called “ghost particles” due to their ability to pass through people, places, and things unimpeded — got a bit less mysterious this month. Scientists at the U.S. IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole found where these were coming from. It turns out there’s a spinning black hole called a blazar 3.7 billion light years from Earth that’s been blasting them at us for eons. One hundred billion of these particles goes through your thumbnail every second, so it’s safe to say we are swimming in alien ghosts.

Bear necessities

Parents all across Britain rushed to Build-a-Bear Workshop stores on July 12 for a promo that allowed them to buy a discounted teddy bear, which in some cases costs 52 British Pounds (about $69). The promotion allowed shoppers to buy a bear for a cost equivalent to their child’s age. But Build-a-Bear Workshop was not prepared for the throng of customers hoping to save some money on cuddly teddies. Stores were swamped with customers having to wait in lines (called queues in Britain) for hours upon hours, only to be turned away when they ran out of bears. Bouts of violence even broke out when would-be bear buyers learned about the limited supply, according to the Guardian newspaper.

See? Weed.

Federal investigators have found a new definition of seaweed at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina — marijuana, grown by the sea. While marijuana has been legalized in some form (either fully, medicinally, or medicinally in a limited capacity) in the vast majority of states, it is still completely illegal at the federal level. That was the unfortunate reality for a North Carolina man who was charged with growing the sea weed. Among the charges he faces in addition to drug charges are introducing plants into the park ecosystem, littering, trespassing, and defacing and damaging real property.

Illegal death

A few months following the tragic death of a 37-year old British woman due to cancer, Paypal contacted her with a letter informing her that her death breached their contract. A few weeks after being informed by her widower that she had died, the company sent a letter addressed to her stating she owed the company thousands of pounds. It said, “You are in breach of condition 15.4(c) of your agreement with PayPal Credit as we have received notice that you are deceased… this breach is not capable of remedy.” The woman’s husband, who complained to the company, received word that the letter was sent due to either a bug, a bad form letter, or human error. The company has since forgiven the debt.

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