This Week's 'Realm of Bizarre News' Top 7
-Eek! Mouse terrorism! The owner of Nina's Bella Pizza (Upper Darby, Penn.) planted a bag of live mice in in the bathroom of the rival Verona Pizza! And, he apparently also planted squeakers in a trash can at Uncle Nick's Pizza across the street! Now, we ask, if this is a first in food wars, or merely the first time is has been discovered?
-Low-flow toilets sounded like a good ecoconservative concept. But, because they do not provide enough water to push through waste, there is a stinking build-up of sludge in toilets in San Francisco where they are widely used. Now, the cost for de-stinking the system will run $14 milliion (not to mention the $100 million squandered on setting up the low-flow systems).
-"Cover your heads! Cover your heads!" That has been the repeated recent cry at the Regent Arcade in Cheltenham, England where two-foot-long seagulls have been viciously dive bombing shoppers!
Two levels of the popular mall have been shut down over fears that one of the birds might injure or even kill a human, especially a small child. Incredibly, as the attacks have persisted, management is seriously considering enlisting hawks, yes, hawks to drive away the gulls!
(Trivia question: What is the technical term for a group of seagulls? Answer below.)
-Parapsychologists have long been intrigued by celebrated composer Fredric Chopin's repeated sightings of phantoms. On one memorable occasion, he abruptly left the stage in the middle of a concert, claiming that he had observed hideous monsters emerging from the piano!
However, in a new report published in the journal Medical Humanities, the authors suggest that Chopin was actually suffering hallucinations engendered by temporal lobe epilepsy rather than envisioning ultradimensional entities. For the record, he died at just age 39 from chronic lung disease, possibly cystic fibrosis.
-Eerie! One of the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, Australia has started glowing bright blue! Indeed, those partaking of an evening swim in its waters have emerged with a striking luminescent blue coloration!
The root cause is a native bacteria, Noctiluca Scintillans, which generates a natural bioluminescence. Apparently, it is currently multiplying at an unprecedented rate, causing the phenomenon, which, fortunately, is both visually engaging and completely harmless.
-Candidate for the "Doofus of the Week Award": The owner of an 11-unit apartment building in West Lebanon, NH, was endeavoring to thaw out frozen pipes in the basement using, of all things, a blazing torch!
As you guessed, he managed to set the structure on fire: Four apartments were demolished, two others severely damaged, and the reaming five experienced major smoke and water damage. However, it was never reported as to whether or not the pipes were thawed out!
-During his reign, Genghis Khan fostered global cooling and a successor, Janibeg, actually triggered Europe 's Little Ice Age.
Those are the startling conclusions of climatological experts. According to Dr.Julia Pomerantz of the Carnegie Institute's Department of Global Ecology, Genghis Khan was responsible for the deaths of up to 40 million individuals throughout Asia and Eastern Europe in the early 1200s, which resulted in significant fewer people tilling the fields. This, in turn, promoted the growth of trees which drew down the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the air, resulting in a pronounced cooling trend.
Then, according to other experts, during the Mongol siege of the western fort at Kaffa in the Crimean Peninsula, which served as headquarters for Italian traders, especially from Genoa, the attacking soldiers began dying of bubonic plague. Their leader, Janibeg, realized that he would have to retreat, but came up with the brilliant stratagem of catapulting the bodies of the dead over the fort's walls in the first documented case of bioterrorism.
The Europeans contracted the disease and carried it back to Europe with them, where it ultimately became the notorious Black Death, killing anywhere from 25 to 40 million people. The survivors abandoned farms and moved into cities, allowing for an expansive growth of trees, culminating in the Little Ice Age that lasted from approximately 1500 to 1800. While Janibeg might conceivably have realized that he had started a European plague, he undoubtedly had no idea that he had fostered an ice age!
(Trivia answer: A group of seagulls is a "colony.")