Lost your thumb? Use your big toe

A British cobbler was distraught after a freak accident last year — his thumb was caught in some machinery and severed completely. The man thought his work as a cobbler, which he is passionate about, was over. Instead, he agreed to an unorthodox procedure that at this point has restored him to work — replacing his thumb with one of his own big toes. Surgeons at Royal Derby Hospital amputated the toe and sewed it onto the man’s hand. While his hand looks a bit different than it started, he is now back to cobbling, and recently expressed his gratitude to the doctors involved. “Toe-to-thumb reconstructions are quite rare but we have been really pleased with all of the outcomes these patients have achieved,” one of the surgeons said. “There are lots of different ways to reconstruct thumbs but using the big toe gives the best functional and cosmetic benefits, as it is the thing most like a thumb on the body.

A cannabis buzz

It’s commonly known that bee populations are in danger, of late. While no single culprit has been identified for the bee decline, one possible solution was recently determined — cannabis. Yes, that miracle of plants has yet another trick up its sleeve: rehabilitating the bee population. Why? Hemp plants can sustain about 16 different varieties of bees, according to a recent study performed in New York. As hemp and other cannabis strains are agriculturally produced, there is an opportunity to help bee populations as a result, according to a new study published in Environmental Entymology. The trick is to not blow it with our buzzing friends. “As cultivation of hemp increases, growers, land managers, and policy makers should consider its value in supporting bee communities and take its attractiveness to bees into account when developing pest management strategies,” the study reads.

Horrors down under

With much of Australia on fire, we’re all horribly frightened of the environmental news coming out of that region. But here’s something else to keep you up at night. Scientists recently discovered Australian sharks that can walk on land. Scientists at Australia’s University of Queensland reported finding four new species of walking sharks, which use their fins to move around on land, nearly doubling the number of known walking shark species to nine. The good news for humans and other large animals is that these sharks tend to only eat small fish and invertebrates. That’s some comfort, but we’re still going to advise that if you see a walking shark, walk in the other direction.


Sharing office space can be a challenge for anyone. But what if your officemate walks on four legs and has messed up the stuff on your desk? Blee Blakeman, a senior research fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra, thought her office had been trashed when she came to work one day last week. It had, to some extent, but the offender turned out to be a common brushtail possum that had taken up residence on a desktop behind her computer. Blakeman tweeted a photo of the small, gray-furred marsupial and of course it quickly became an internet sensation, especially as the critter showed little interest in leaving the office, even after campus officials tried to lure it into a metal box stocked with fresh fruit. “World exclusive possum update,” Blakeman tweeted on Jan. 21 with an additional photo. “The discombobulated possum is still occupying my office.” The possum, which had apparently gotten in through a hole in the ceiling, evidently exited the same way after a three-day stay. But he has since become a meme, the Huffington Post reports, with Blakeman’s original photo of the possum curled behind her computer gracing social media sites, like one twitter post that added the caption “ME TRYING TO STAY POSITIVE ON MONDAY.”

Rabbit run

A Florida man who became a video sensation after fighting with a man on the street while dressed as the Easter Bunny has been arrested following an accident in which police say he tried to elude capture by again wearing his floppy-eared costume. The suspect became an overnight phenomenon in April 2019 when a video captured him in his costume coming to the aid of a woman who was fighting with a man outside a bar in Orlando. But earlier in January, police say, the man was driving a motorcycle and ran a stop sign, then crashed into a carport that collapsed on the bike. He then fled the scene, and when officers went to his address, they saw a car driving away. Stopping the car, which was driven by his cousin, they found him laying in the backseat in his bunny suit. He denied being at the scene of the motorcycle crash. “I’m the Orlando Easter bunny, google it,” he said, according to an arrest report. Police had him take off his costume and then arrested him on charges of leaving the scene of a crash involving property damage, driving with a suspended license, and operating a motorcycle without a license, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Name a cockroach after your ex for Valentine’s

A Texas zoo has a popular event for Valentine’s Day. The El Paso Zoo allows people to name cockroaches after their exes who are then fed to zoo animals, an event called “Quit Bugging Me.” The event happens over a three-day period, from Feb. 14 to 16. Names are submitted online and are displayed anonymously and only first names are displayed.

In a pickle

The owner of a jewelry store in Sandy Springs, Georgia, was walking back from lunch last weekend when robbers stormed his store and held up customers and employees at gunpoint. The robbers were smashing up glass display cases with hammers and had grabbed Rolexes before their attempted escape. The store owner, who wished for him and his store to remain anonymous, used a bag full of pickle jars to attack the robbers, and he even managed to apprehend one until police arrived. The other three robbers sped away before they crashed and were arrested by police. Three out of the four were captured and police are still searching for the fourth suspect.

Carpool cadaver

Police officers in Arizona pulled over a driver using the carpool lanes illegally. Although it looked as though two passengers were in the vehicle, the other person was discovered to be a skeleton. The Arizona Department of Public Safety tweeted a photo of the skeleton, which was wearing a hat and covered in bandages, while sitting in the passenger seat. The 62-year-old driver had taken a trip in the high occupancy lanes on State Road 101, located near Apache Boulevard in the Tempe, Arizona area, and was cited for high occupancy and window tinting violations.

Thrift store photo private eye

A woman from Pennsylvania was able to track down the original owners of decades-old photos from a photo album she bought at thrift store. The woman was shopping at the Goodwill store in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, when she spotted a photo labeled, “My Gang.” The photos, which dated back to the 1950s and 1960s, were donated accidentally. The woman is now planning a meeting to return the photo album, which she purchased for $3, to its original owner after connecting with them on social media. The power of the Internet is not to be trifled with.