Bizarro Briefs: Singing Locusts
Oct11

Bizarro Briefs: Singing Locusts

An opera about locusts in the Rocky Mountains? You bet. Locust: The Opera premiered on Sept. 28 at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming. The piece tells the tale of the lost Rocky Mountain locust through arias and recitatives. Locusts disappeared in the Rockies during the early 20th century and no one’s 100 percent why. For decades, the insect could be found by the trillions. During the 19th century, they were...

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Bizarro Briefs: Welcome to Jurassic … Er? Hotel
Oct09

Bizarro Briefs: Welcome to Jurassic … Er? Hotel

A hotel in Japan has a very weird and niche schtick, and that’s saying a lot considering Japan is known for many things wonderfully weird. This hotel has a reception desk manned by robot dinosaurs. Whether you speak Japanese, English, Chinese or Korean, the pair of robo-dinos are more than happy to assist their customers at the east Tokyo hotel through the use of a tablet system. The hotel belongs to the Henn na (weird in English)...

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Bizarro Briefs: A Mammoth Hat
Aug31

Bizarro Briefs: A Mammoth Hat

If you suddenly came into possession of a bag of woolly mammoth hair, the first thing to come to mind likely wouldn’t be a hat. A man in Yakutsk, the capital of one of Russia’s eastern provinces, created a traditional style hat, usually reserved for horse hair, from woolly mammoth hairs. The bag of ancient fur had been sold to the man from a relative in need of funds after it was discovered on a permafrost melt hunt. Now, the man is...

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Bizarro Briefs: Have You Herd This One?
Aug21

Bizarro Briefs: Have You Herd This One?

A usually calm herd of cows became vigilantes when they began chasing a fleeing suspect in Sanford, Florida. The Sanford Police Department said officers attempted to make a traffic stop on a stolen vehicle. The driver took off and crashed into a ditch. The passenger fled the vehicle at which time the cows decided to make a citizen’s arrest. “A group of cows provided law enforcement a big assist, repeatedly following and helping...

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Bizarro briefs: A waking nightmare
Jul13

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...

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Bizarro Briefs: Keep Your Eyes Off The Road
Jun20

Bizarro Briefs: Keep Your Eyes Off The Road

Keep your eyes off the road A county coroner in Kentucky has been accused of working with at least two others — a retired police colonel and a current state police trooper — of illegally transporting a number of items. The most serious appeared to be $40,000 worth of illegally obtained weapons and ammunition, but the most eye-popping was a literal pair of eyeballs. Prosecutors allege the coroner, who is running to be re-elected as...

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Bizarro Briefs: Lava S’mores Are Not Cool
Jun05

Bizarro Briefs: Lava S’mores Are Not Cool

Taking a break from posting about the volcanic doom on Hawaii, The U.S. Geological Survey’s Twitter account fielded this question: “Is it safe to roast marshmallows over volcanic vents? Assuming you had a long enough stick, that is? Or would the resulting marshmallows be poisonous?” The USGS replied, “Erm… we’re going to have to say no, that’s not safe. (Please don’t try!) If the vent is emitting a lot of SO2...

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Bizarro Briefs: Guns aren’t fool proof, or dog proof
May22

Bizarro Briefs: Guns aren’t fool proof, or dog proof

Guns aren’t fool proof, or dog proof Everyone knows that dogs are goofballs. They eat things they shouldn’t. They dig up things they shouldn’t. And sometimes they shoot things they shouldn’t. One man in Iowa found out the hard way that the safety on his gun wasn’t fool proof, or dog proof, when his dog jumped up on his lap and discharged the gun that he was wearing around his waist. The dog accidentally disengaged the safety of...

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Bizarro Briefs: ‘Mystery pooper’ exposed
May07

Bizarro Briefs: ‘Mystery pooper’ exposed

‘Mystery pooper’ exposed On a daily basis, a New Jersey man eluded police detection and managed to relieve himself (i.e. poop) on school grounds at a New Jersey high school. Police finally caught up with the “mystery pooper,” as they called him, after setting up a sting operation that every officer on the force was probably clambering not to be a part of. It turns out it was the school’s superintendent! He was charged with lewdness,...

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Bizarro Briefs: No Singing Zone Ahead
Apr19

Bizarro Briefs: No Singing Zone Ahead

Dutch residents formed a chorus of opposition to a newly installed “singing road” earlier this month, prompting the road to be shut down after only one day of use. Workers had installed strips that act like rumble strips on 490 feet of road near the village of Jelsum, but instead of the familiar rumbling sound, the strips used vibration to play a popular portion of the regional anthem “De Alde Friezen,” or “The Old Frisians.” But like...

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Bizarro Briefs: Dog Doesn’t Bite Man
Apr09

Bizarro Briefs: Dog Doesn’t Bite Man

In 2016, dogs bit human postal service workers a total of 156 times in Colorado. But that shouldn’t deter any prospective mail carriers. A recent study shows that the number went down in 2017 … to 132 times. Nationwide, the number of dog bites to postal employees went down by about 500, which the Postal Service attributes to new technology that allows customers scheduling package pickups to indicate whether dogs will be at the...

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Bizarro Briefs: Mike Pence’s Gay Pet Rabbit
Mar22

Bizarro Briefs: Mike Pence’s Gay Pet Rabbit

Marlon Bundo is probably the most famous bunny in the news right now. He’s the grand-bunny of Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence and he’s been a wascally wabbit this week. Karen Pence and her daughter wrote and illustrated a children’s book that stars Bundo as he follows VP Pence through a “Day in the Life of the Vice President.” Unfortunately, with fame comes tabloids and Bundo found himself in the sites of someone...

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Bizarro Briefs: Dude, Where’s My Car?
Mar14

Bizarro Briefs: Dude, Where’s My Car?

A 19-year-old Canadian went to catch an event at Toronto’s Rogers Centre but was forced to park his Nissan Versa in a garage several miles away from the venue and from there take a cab. But when the show was over, he couldn’t remember where the garage was. Hours later, he finally took a Greyhound bus back home, having failed to find his car. His parents — who appropriately called him “doofy” then took out a Craigslist ad —...

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Bizzaro Briefs: Cash, Credit, or Wood
Feb21

Bizzaro Briefs: Cash, Credit, or Wood

“I can’t wait until the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo-Bell ….” Viewers likely experienced an unexpected craving for Chinese food when a Chicago’s ABC affiliate mixed up Olympics host city PyeongChang with the popular restaurant P.F.Chang. The news station apologized Monday after a logo appeared behind weekend anchor Mark Rivera on Saturday that advertised the South Korean host city of the Winter Games as P.F. Chang’s. The “P.F. Chang...

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Bizarro Briefs: Grenade Launcher Donated to Florida Goodwill
Feb07

Bizarro Briefs: Grenade Launcher Donated to Florida Goodwill

One heck of an explosive donation In Bradenton, Florida, authorities say a grenade launcher, loaded with a live grenade, was left with other donated items at a Goodwill store. The Bradenton Herald reports that The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office says the store manager told deputies that the grenade launcher had come in a shipment from another store several days earlier. The employees at the other location said they sent it along...

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Bizarro Briefs: Female Cats Are Right
Jan30

Bizarro Briefs: Female Cats Are Right

A new study by Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland shows that right-handedness is popular among female cats. Researchers worked with cat owners, collecting data on 24 male and 20 female domesticated cats. In a press released, the research team stated that they tracked when cats used their left or right paws when going up or down stairs, over objects, and whether they slept on the left or right side of their body. Male cats...

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Bizarro Briefs: So I Divorced an Axe-Thrower
Jan23

Bizarro Briefs: So I Divorced an Axe-Thrower

We’ve all seen the extravagant divorce celebrations: divorce cakes with decorations rivaling wedding centerpieces, “newly single” clubbing events that make bachelor and bachelorette parties look tame, and more. Now, you can throw axes as part of that celebration — so long as it’s at pictures or stuff that reminds you of your ex. Bad Axe Throwing has hosted everything from businesses to birthdays, but as they told the Washingtonian,...

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Bizarro Briefs: The Great Vodka Heist
Jan16

Bizarro Briefs: The Great Vodka Heist

On the early morning of Jan. 2 a thief entered Cafe 33 in Copenhagen, Denmark, which houses one of the largest collections of vodka in the world — more than 1,200 bottles. Captured in black and white security camera footage, the thief was only after one bottle — a diamond encrusted bottle of Russo-Baltique vodka worth $1.3 million, which is now missing. According to the BBC, the bottle was on loan from Dartz, a Latvian automobile...

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Bizarro Briefs: Do My Clams Look Small?
Jan08

Bizarro Briefs: Do My Clams Look Small?

There was a seafood emergency at Crabby’s Seafood Shack in Stuart, Florida, in the southeastern region of the state. A 51-year-old Stuart resident, did what anybody would do when they have a gripe with their undersized and minute meal of clams — he called 911. The man is now due in court on Jan. 11 for misuse of an emergency system. He told the TCPalm, a newspaper that serves the region, that the restaurant wanted to charge him $12...

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Bizarro Briefs: Frisky Interspecies Bird Sex
Jan02

Bizarro Briefs: Frisky Interspecies Bird Sex

Get the Lead Out The Flint, Michigan, drinking water crisis has likely done permanent damage to thousands of children, but for at least one child, it served as an inspiration. Twelve-year-old Gitanjila Rao of Colorado used her scientific knowledge to invent a fast, accurate, portable, and inexpensive device to detect lead in water. She has followed the Flint water crisis for two years, even though she lives about 1,000 miles away from...

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A Bizarro Year
Dec26

A Bizarro Year

It’s been about six months now since longtime “News of the Weird” writer Chuck Shepherd decided to call it quits, which means it’s been about six months since we’ve taken up the reigns and delivered you our “Bizarro Briefs” right from the Advocate newsroom. Here are some of our favorites from over the course of this bizarro year! Watch Where You Sit  (published July 10) A 25-year-old Jacksonville, Florida, woman was surprised when a...

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Bizarro Briefs: The Itsy, Bitsy Spider Went Up the President’s Back
Dec18

Bizarro Briefs: The Itsy, Bitsy Spider Went Up the President’s Back

Mark Burns is a South Carolina pastor who is such a big Trump fan that he would risk his life to save the president from sure peril. Sort of. Burns was standing behind Trump in the Oval Office on Monday for an award presentation when he saw a white spider the size of a half-dollar crawling up the president’s back. Before the spider bit the president, Burns slapped the spider, and Trump, with his bare hand. Burns went on to reassure...

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Bizarro Briefs: Foxy Lady of Fortune
Dec11

Bizarro Briefs: Foxy Lady of Fortune

For more than 40 years, Mumtaz Begum has been reading the fortunes of visitors from within the cage of a Pakistani zoo. With a body of a fox and a head of a woman, Begum is one of the oddest attractions at the zoo. However, the fortune teller is actually played by performer Murad Ali, who inherited the role from his father. Every day, Ali cakes his face with a thick layer of makeup and bright red lipstick, and then crawls into a box...

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Bizarro Briefs: Quench Your Thirst With Celery
Dec04

Bizarro Briefs: Quench Your Thirst With Celery

Celery isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about a flavor of soft drink, but surprisingly it was one of the first. In 1869, Dr. Brown (Is that you, Doc?!) founded the Cel-Ray soda company. The good doctor made tonics intended to alleviate bowel and stomach discomforts and decided to make a tonic made from sugar, carbonated water, and crushed celery speeds. Dr. Brown’s tonic was renamed Cel-Ray in the early 1900s and...

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Bizzaro Briefs: Holy Bong Water

Two churches in San Jose, California, have a whole new take on the Bible’s burning bush. In Coachella Valley Church, cannabis is treated as a sacrament. For a $10 donation you get an identification card and become a lifetime member, with access to a store in the back of the church. Authorities think that the churches are fronts for dispensaries, which, let’s be honest, is probably true given their television advertisement features...

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Bizarro Briefs: Venomous Snails, Baby Language, and Cats in Space

Many people know that the opioid crisis has been linked to over-the-counter pain medication being over prescribed by doctors. The problem is that there is not a practical solution for people with chronic pain. Brain scientists have been studying this question and are looking for a substance that can decrease pain without engaging the pleasure receptors that opioids do. Luckily, snail venom might do just that. We didn’t even know...

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Bizarro Briefs: It’s Good to Laugh Again
Nov13

Bizarro Briefs: It’s Good to Laugh Again

The woman arrested for laughing at the hilarious statement that Jeff Sessions has a “clear and well-documented” record of “treating all Americans equally under the law” at Sessions confirmation hearing (Sessions in fact was rejected as a federal judge in the 1980s over concerns about his past comments on race) is now free to laugh again. The charges against activist Desiree Fairooz, who was attending the hearing as a member of women’s...

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Bizarro Briefs: Sunscreen Snow and Robot Horror Stories

The fear of robots and artificial intelligence taking away your job and your livelihood just got real, folks. A new AI bot created by Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology writes it’s own horror stories. The bot, “Shelley’, named after Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, has been trained on more than 140,000 horror stories posted on Reddit. Every hour, the AI starts a new story on Twitter and others are encouraged...

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Bizarro Briefs: Bowling Ball Bear Tongue
Oct30

Bizarro Briefs: Bowling Ball Bear Tongue

You know how when you used to stick your tongue out, your grandma would say that it was going to get stuck that way? One asiatic black bear, which are more commonly called moon bears, in Myanmar found this out the hard way. The bear, named Nyan Htoo, had to have an emergency surgery to have his tongue removed earlier this month because it became so heavy that it had to be dragged along the ground. The tongue, weighing in at 6.5...

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Bizarro Briefs: Uh, How Did That Get In There?
Oct23

Bizarro Briefs: Uh, How Did That Get In There?

Uh, How Did That Get In There? In retrospect, it was a horrible idea, but so many of these entries start that way. A British man fishing on a pier in southern England took a six-inch sole he had just caught and jokingly placed it in front of his open mouth. The fish, seizing the moment, leapt down the man’s throat, blocking his windpipe and sending him into cardiac arrest. Luckily for the 28-year-old man, paramedics were on the scene...

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Bizarro Briefs: Do They Make Hard Hats That Small?
Oct16

Bizarro Briefs: Do They Make Hard Hats That Small?

Do They Make Hard Hats That Small? Ever have one of those days where you just wanted someone else to do your work for you? Well, there are bacteria out there being trained for just that! Researchers at Duke University taught a bunch of bacteria — using gene manipulation — to assemble a three-dimensional, working pressure sensor. The researchers provided the bacteria with gold nanoparticles (these are swanky bacteria), and they did the...

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Bizarro Briefs: Flipping the Bird at Priests
Oct09

Bizarro Briefs: Flipping the Bird at Priests

Flipping the Bird at Priests Sometimes church is boring. But every so often — as happened in Flowery Branch, Georgia — a man stands up to flip off and yell at the pastor for recognizing teachers during a service. The man, a homeschooling father, rose to give the pastor the bird and yell at him following his prayer recognizing teachers. That landed him in hot water with police, who charged him with misdemeanor disorderly conduct....

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Bizarro Briefs: 55 Years of Humpin’
Oct02

Bizarro Briefs: 55 Years of Humpin’

Ric Flair, wrestling’s golden boy in the ‘80s, says he’s slept with around 10,000 women during his 68 years on Earth. Woooo! Known for his flamboyant wrestling persona on WWE, Flair made this confession for an upcoming ESPN 30 for 30 documentary. The Nature Boy says now that he wished he hadn’t revealed the number because he doesn’t want to embarass his grandkids, he told People magazine. Flair isn’t up to his casual shtick anymore....

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Bizarro Briefs: A Home for the Homeless?
Sep25

Bizarro Briefs: A Home for the Homeless?

A Home for the Homeless? Not having a place to live was not a good enough excuse to get a Turkish man out of house arrest. A 31-year-old homeless man living in Istanbul, was sentenced to house arrest for using and selling drugs in April. In need of a house to be confined to, the Turkish government erected for him a sheet metal box with bars, windows, and no roof or ceiling on a sidewalk by a busy bus station. Although the man could...

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Bizarro Briefs: If a Monkey Takes a Selfie, Is It Yours?
Sep18

Bizarro Briefs: If a Monkey Takes a Selfie, Is It Yours?

If a Monkey Takes a Selfie, Is It Yours? The case of who owns the copyright to a selfie taken by a monkey — the monkey or the guy who owns the camera — has been settled out of court. In 2015, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sued on behalf of the macaque monkey who became a celebrity after he took a photo of himself with David Slater’s unattended camera during a 2011 trip to Indonesia. PETA was seeking financial...

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