And Finally...

760 readers
67 users here now

A place for odd or quirky world news stories.

Elsewhere in the Fediverse:


founded 11 months ago

A dog in the US has been crowned the ugliest in the world.

The eight-year-old Pekingese called Wild Thang won the 2024 World's Ugliest Dog contest in California on Friday.

The animal has competed in the contest five times, coming second three times before finally taking the top prize this year.

Wild Thang contracted the viral disease canine distemper as a puppy, according to his biography.

"He survived, but not without permanent damage," it says.

"His teeth did not grow in, causing his tongue to stay out and his right front leg paddles 24/7."

Apart from the physical issues, he is "a healthy, happy Glugly (glamorous/ugly) guy".

He and his owner Ann Lewis took home a cheque for $5,000 (£4,000).


A pet donkey that escaped his owners five years ago in California has been found "living his best life" with a herd of wild elk.

Terrie and Dave Drewry, of Auburn, are convinced the animal, filmed by a hiker earlier in June, is their pet "Diesel".

The couple say they are relieved the animal is safe - and have decided to let him wander free with a new family as a "wild burro" .


cross-posted from:

A man standing for election against Jacob Rees-Mogg in a mask covered in beans and eggs wants to introduce a “statutory brunch hour.”

Phin “Barmy Brunch” Adams is the Official Monster Raving Loony Party candidate for North East Somerset and Hanham. He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that at the time he decided to become a parliamentary candidate, the constituency had looked more like a safe seat.

He said: “I wanted to run against someone who looked to be safe in their seat to create a Portillo moment if possible or at the very least — let’s be realistic here — provide a none of the above alternative for those voters who are either disaffected by politics or whatever.”

He added: “If people don’t ordinarily vote, then vote extraordinary.”


If elected as Barmy Brunch, he wants all workplaces to have to stop and serve brunch between 11am and midday. He said he wants to “MAKE BRUNCH GREAT AGAIN” — but that there is a serious point behind it too.

He said: “Yes, it's ambitious, it's bold, it's an hour long. If we can just pause and just breathe, its one of the things that I think is key to upholding the good mental health that we all really desire.”

He warned that the mental health system was “underfunded” and “broken.” He said: “However the policy manifesto is read, it can be taken as a joke, that’s fine if it brings a smile to someone’s face that’s fine — but equally, if someone comes and accuses me of not taking politics seriously, I am incredibly serious about positive mental health.”


Barmy Brunch said he had looked at Ed Davey and considered the Liberal Democrats, but was worried by the party going against its 2010 manifesto policy of voting against tuition fee rises, which happened when he was a student. He said: “At the very least, the Monster Raving Loony Party has never broken a promise. That’s because they’ve never been elected.


He added that some friends had told him his Barmy Bruch mask looked “scary” or criminal. But he said: “I would like to see a criminal get involved in any criminal activity wearing a face mask that has beans and egg and has holes cut out for the eyes. I think it's more in the realm of Mr Blobby than one of the drug lords in Colombia.”


cross-posted from:

A 20-year-old man woke up in a hospital in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh to find out that his genitals had been removed and his sex change operation done. His life turned upside down, he started crying when his “friend” told him that he was now a woman and they both will have to get married.

The victim, a resident of Sanjak village, was allegedly tricked into a hospital visit by his friend who allegedly colluded with doctors of the Begrajpur Medical College to carry out the sex reassignment surgery. The friend later threatened the victim that he will now have to live with him as no one from his family or community will accept him, or he would shoot his father and seize his share of the family land.


The Satanic Temple is once again announcing plans for the Sooner State after a bill was sent to the governor’s desk which could allow students to receive class credits for religious and moral instruction off school campuses.

House Bill 1425 would force school districts to adopt a policy which allows students to go off-campus to attend a religious or moral instruction course taught by an independent entity. The student would be allowed to miss up to three class periods per week to attend such a course.

Instructors of these courses would not need to be licensed or certified teachers.


In response to the bill being one step away from becoming the state’s newest law, The Satanic Temple is highlighting their own learning academy that Oklahoma students could use to possibly earn school credit.

In a post on social media, the religious group stated their Hellion Academy of Independent Learning (HAIL) could soon be available for Oklahoma students.

“The Satanic Temple believes that public schools should be free from religious influence,” the post said. “We are, however, prepared to ensure our members’ children receive the same opportunities as those participating in other religion’s programs. By not vetoing HB 1425, Governor Stitt will allow the state to grant elective credit for religious and morality classes taught by The Satanic Temple, making it possible for parents to invite TST’s HAIL program to their local public schools as soon as this fall.”


Scientists have found microplastics in human penises for the first time, as concerns over the tiny particles’ proliferation and potential health effects mount.

Seven different kinds of microplastics were found in four out of five samples of penis tissue taken from five different men as part of a study published in IJIR: Your Sexual Medicine Journal on Wednesday.


Ramasamy said he wasn’t surprised to find microplastics in the penis, as it is a “very vascular organ,” like the heart.

The samples were taken from study participants who had been diagnosed with erectile dysfunction (ED) and were in the hospital to undergo surgery for penile implants to treat the condition at the University of Miami between August and September 2023.


Now their presence has been confirmed, more research is needed to investigate potential links to conditions such as ED, Ramasamy said.


Farmer James Steele, 95, lost the treasured timepiece in the early 1970s when the strap broke while he tended his cattle.

It is thought one of his animals must have swallowed the watch, which ended up in a cowpat in the field.

He searched the field at his dairy farm in Morda, near Oswestry, but there was no sign of the watch.


Incredibly, half a century later, he has now been reunited with the timepiece after metal detectorist Liam King found it buried in the mud.


"I was really pleased because I never thought I would see the watch again. I only have half the bracelet because the other half must have disintegrated.

"Unfortunately it is not going. The face has gone a greenish colour but it has not rusted up. It shows how well-made it was, to survive 50 years under a field.


Visitors to Kew Gardens are still able to catch a glimpse - and whiff - of its titan arum plant, otherwise known as the corpse flower, after it burst into bloom on Tuesday, external.

The flower, which is said to stink like rotting flesh, usually only emerges once every two years.

The famous south-west London botanic gardens says it often attracts thousands of visitors whenever the titan arum flowers, who hope to experience the "magnificent sight and disgusting stench".


Science journalist and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science Marnie Chesterton, who visited the "hot and humid" glasshouse on Wednesday, said there was a "buzz of excitement from the crowds".

She explained that the plant had "hit peak stink yesterday, when you could smell it as soon as you opened the hothouse door", but was now "more subtle, apparently".

Describing the stench, she said: "When I put my face up close to the flower, I got a whiff of unwashed lavatory with strong undertones of something that went off at the back of the fridge. Definitely rotting."


A North Wales village has been mildly scandalised by four letters mown into grass onto a children’s playing field. At first glance they appear to spell "COOK" but residents insist the word is altogether ruder.

The guerilla graffiti in Ewloe, Flintshire, has become the talk of the village, causing widespread shock and hilarity. The culprit’s identity is a mystery but he or she has been labelled Deeside’s answer to Britain’s best-known subversive artist. “Has Banksy bought himself a lawnmower?” wondered one local when he shared pictures online.

Now one knows exactly why the 50ft-long letters were mown neatly in grass on Big Park playing fields in the St David’s area of Ewloe. As they are so neat, it’s assumed a ride-on mower was used - and that confusion was created by the tyre tracks it left when adding a second letter “C”. “It definitely doesn’t say “cook,” confirmed one resident.


Later aerial photos confirmed the word as being obscene or poultry-related.


The former footballer and manager Joey Barton has issued a public apology on the social media site X and has agreed to pay £75,000 to Jeremy Vine, after a high court ruling that calling the broadcaster a “bike nonce” on social media was defamatory.

The radio and TV presenter sued Barton after the former footballer called him a “bike nonce” and a “pedo defender” during an online argument on X in January and March this year. In May the high court ruled that the social media posts could defame Vine.


On Tuesday, at 12.24pm, Barton posted the apology from the X account he had previously used to insult the broadcaster. He wrote that he had accused Vine of having a sexual interest in children, and had created a hashtag with the allegations which had been viewed millions of times.


He also apologised for posts that had stated that Vine had advocated forced vaccination, based on an edited clip of his TV programme. “I accept that he did not advocate this policy and that the video clip has been edited to give a misleading impression of what he was in fact saying,” he said.


The troubled son of famed chef Marco Pierre White been jailed for robbing a Grade II-listed cafe after he was identified by the distinctive tattoos on his legs while escaping from a window.

Marco Pierre White Jr is serving a 41-week prison sentence after being caught smashing into a Bath delicatessen with a champagne bottle and stealing £250 in May.

The 29-year-old was identified by authorities after his trousers fell down revealing his distinctive tattoos on his legs.


“He probably thought he was in the clear but when he crawled back through the window he got his tracksuit caught on the frame and accidentally mooned his bare backside right at our CCTV cameras.”

He added: “He’s been hanging out with the wrong crowd for years and we know he’s got a drug problem.

“This is the second time he’s broken into our cafe – the first time was almost exactly a year ago when he stole about £650.

“The hilarious thing about this burglary is that we only knew it was him because his trousers got caught around his ankles and we could see his tattoos on his bum cheeks.”


“Surely this is the most solitary organism in the world,” wrote palaeontologist Richard Fortey in his book about the evolution of life.

He was talking about Encephalartos woodii (E. woodii), a plant from South Africa. E. woodii is a member of the cycad family, heavy plants with thick trunks and large stiff leaves that form a majestic crown. These resilient survivors have outlasted dinosaurs and multiple mass extinctions. Once widespread, they are today one of the most threatened species on the planet.

The only known wild E. Woodii was discovered in 1895 by the botanist John Medley Wood while he was on a botanical expedition in the Ngoye Forest in South Africa. He searched the vicinity for others, but none could be found. Over the next couple of decades, botanists removed stems and offshoots and cultivated them in gardens

Fearing that the final stem would be destroyed, the Forestry Department removed it from the wild in 1916 for safekeeping in a protective enclosure in Pretoria, South Africa, making it extinct in the wild. The plant has since been propagated worldwide. However, the E. woodii faces an existential crisis. All the plants are clones from the Ngoye specimen. They are all males, and without a female, natural reproduction is impossible. E. woodii’s story is one of both survival and solitude.

My team’s research was inspired by the dilemma of the lonely plant and the possibility that a female may still be out there. Our research involves using remote sensing technologies and artificial intelligence to assist in our search for a female in the Ngoye Forest.


cross-posted from:

A "mysterious monolith" has appeared in a desert north of Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department says the shiny, reflective structure – similar to one found in Utah years ago – was spotted by its search and rescue unit near Gass Peak over the weekend.

"We see a lot of weird things when people go hiking like not being prepared for the weather, not bringing enough water... but check this out!" police wrote on X alongside an image of the monolith.

The discovery comes months after a hiker in Wales captured a video of a mysterious "UFO"-like monolith on top of a hillside along the country’s border with England.


Similar monoliths also have been found in Belgium, Romania and the Isle of Wight – an island in the English Channel.

In November 2020, one of the monoliths, estimated at between 10 feet and 12 feet high, was found by Utah state wildlife employees who were counting sheep from a helicopter.


Then a week later, another monolith was discovered in Atascadero, California, which is north of Los Angeles.

It’s unclear who is behind the placement of the monoliths. A New Mexico artist collective claimed responsibility years ago.

Archive link

Previously: monolith in Powys


cross-posted from:

MADISON, Wis. -- More than 100 nude bikers took to the streets of downtown Madison Saturday morning for the annual World Naked Bike Ride.

"I think there's a sense of defiance, you know," said long-time participant Nicholas Wootten. "We wanted to really make a statement that we're back."

Last year, the ride was thrown into controversy after a 10-year-old girl participated nude. The Wisconsin State Legislature took up bills aimed at stopping the event, but after they died at the end of the last legislative session, the ride is back in full swing.

Dane County Supervisor Jeff Weigand was one of the first to raise concerns after the child participated last year. He says he believes the laws currently on the books should already prevent events like this.

"There has been enforcement of the state statutes in the past, however different leadership comes in and then they tell police departments not to take action," Weigand said. "As a father of five and a former Dane County foster parent, I can especially tell you that children should not be permitted to take part or witness this type of event. The innocence of children is special, and as adults, we need to protect that innocence. The participants are actually taking away my freedoms because I can't bring my kids downtown Madison anymore, and if I do, I have to be very, very careful."

The Dane County District Attorney and the Madison Police Department both declined to take action after the child took part saying the laws Weigand is referring to did not apply in this case.


There are many reasons why people choose to ride nude with hundreds of others. Some participate in protest of oil usage, others to promote body positivity. Buchweitz says part of it for him is about biker safety.


cross-posted from:

The desk of the writer Dr Samuel Johnson is to be returned to his former London home for the first time in more than 260 years.

Except, in a strange twist, its owner is now uncertain whether it really is the desk of the famous 18th Century dictionary author.

It's been suggested that despite many years of being treated as a literary relic, it could have been part of a Victorian hustle to make money.


What's now in dispute is the fate of the desk on which he wrote the dictionary when he was living in Gough Square, in a house which is now a museum to his memory.

Since the 19th Century the wooden desk has been in Pembroke College Oxford - and the college is lending this prized possession to the Dr Johnson House museum.

But when Lynda Mugglestone, professor of the history of English at the college, began to check out the provenance of the desk, there were some unexpected questions.

"The real story is that we don't quite know if it's the real desk," she says.

It had come to the college through a clergyman who had been close to Dr Johnson's god daughter, Elizabeth Ann Lowe, and her sister. A plaque was attached to signify its historic importance.

But the puzzle is whether those sisters ever really had the desk or whether they used their literary connection as a way of guilt-tripping some famous writers of their era for money.

Prof Mugglestone says that as the centenary of Johnson's dictionary was being marked in 1855, the Lowe sisters began writing asking for cash, describing themselves as in penury and with nothing left but a desk which they said had been left to them by the great writer.

They were "living in poverty" in Deptford in south London, says Prof Mugglestone, and they made clear that "donations were welcome".

Writers such as Thomas Carlyle and Charles Dickens, who had just written Hard Times, began to fund raise for the sisters.

Literary London was mobilised to help the sisters who were the surviving connections to Dr Johnson. The desk became part of that story.

Dickens wrote of the sisters being in "great poverty, but undemonstrative and uncomplaining, though very old - with nothing to speak of in the wide world, but the plain fir desk on which Johnson wrote his English Dictionary".

Such pleas from Dickens helped to raise large donations for the sisters, with the desk being saved as a "proud possession to the English nation".

But Celine Luppo McDaid, director of the Dr Johnson House, says it is now seems unclear whether this desk was actually Johnson's.

The case for it being authentic, she says, is that the sisters could have been thinking: "We've sold everything else, but we still have this treasured desk, it's the last thing we have."

Or else it might have been a chance to turn a bit of spare furniture into a financial lifeline.

"They might have seen an opportunity and decided that the knackered old desk in the corner was 'Johnson's desk'," says the museum director Ms McDaid.


A saltwater crocodile terrorized a remote Australian community by snapping up dogs and lunging at kids -- only to meet its end in a feast cooked up by locals. The 12-foot reptile "had been stalking and lunging out of the water at children and adults," Northern Territory police said in a statement.

"The crocodile had also reportedly taken multiple community dogs."

After talking to elders and traditional landowners in the Bulla community, police shot and killed the scaly predator on Tuesday, police said.


"I believe he was cooked up into crocodile tail soup, it was on the barbecue, a few pieces were wrapped up in banana leaves and cooked underground," McBride said.

"There was a rather large traditional feast."

Commander Kylie Anderson said "crocodiles can pose a significant risk to community safety" and praised officers and residents for working closely together to resolve the issue.

"There's never a dull moment in remote policing," Anderson said.


LBC's Tom Swarbrick asked Mr Polanski about the practice after an article by The Sun from 2013 resurfaced about him performing the practice at a hypnotherapy clinic on Harley Street.

In the 90-minute sessions allegedly costing £222, women were told to visualise themselves with bigger breasts.

On Wednesday, Mr Polanski apologised for his past actions and said he never believed them.

"It does not represent my work, it does not represent me."

Mr Polanski added he never charged for the service.


Joey "Jaws" Chestnut, 40, is the reigning champion of the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest, having won all but one of the competitions every year since 2007.

In the 2021 contest, he ate 76 hot dogs and buns in just 10 minutes, one of 55 competitive eating world records he holds.

Last year, he fell short of his own record but still put away an impressive 63 sausages. He blamed his performance on stormy weather.

But after signing an endorsement deal with Impossible Foods - a plant-based meat company - Chestnut will miss out on the annual New York event.

It's because Nathan's Famous prohibits eaters from endorsing competitor hot dog brands, the contest's governing body Major League Eating (MLE) said.


A book about book bans has been banned in a Florida school district.

Ban This Book, a children’s book written by Alan Gratz, will no longer be available in the Indian River county school district since the school board voted to remove the book last month.

Gratz’s book, which came out in 2017, follows fourth-grader Amy Anne Ollinger as she tries to check out her favorite book. Ollinger is told by the librarian she cannot, because it was banned after a classmate’s parent thought it was inappropriate. She then creates a secret banned-books library, entering into “an unexpected battle over book banning, censorship, and who has the right to decide what she and her fellow students can read”, according to the book’s description on Gratz’s website.

In a peculiar case of life imitating art, Jennifer Pippin, a parent in the coastal community, challenged the book.

Pippin’s opposition is what prompted the school board to vote 3-2 in favor of removing it from shelves. The vote happened despite the district’s book-review committee vetting the work and deciding to keep it in schools.

Indian River county school board members disagreed with how Gratz’s book referred to other works that had been taken out of school, and accused it of “teaching rebellion of school-board authority”, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.


cross-posted from:

A man who became the shin-kicking world champion on his first try has successfully defended his title, having trained by hitting a hammer on his shins nearly every day for a year. The world champion set his sights on becoming the five-time champion of the bizarre 17th century English sport.

Mike Newby, 34, an account director who lives in Cheltenham with his girlfriend, Geo Legate, 27, competed in the Cotswold Olimpick Games – which celebrates English folk sports and games, such as tug of war, hammer throwing and the main event, shin kicking – on May 31, 2024.

The winner of the competition is crowned the world champion and has their name added to a trophy which is displayed in Chipping Campden, home of the Olimpicks, all year round.

Just a few weeks after winning the 2023 edition of the competition, Mike hit the gym, did cardio, struck his shins with a hammer, and practiced martial arts almost every day for a year. It paid off, he won all three of his rounds this year and came out unscathed, having broken two toes last time around.

During the competition he was up against “humongous” men, and relied on his signature move “the shin wheel” – which involved kicking his competitor in the shins and pulling them around so they tripped over his legs – to secure maximum points.


Mike told PA Real Life: “When I won, I really couldn’t believe it. There’s a person who dresses up as Robert Dover, the original founder of the games, in a royalist Civil War costume, and I grabbed their sword and just went up the castle holding the sword and cheering – I felt a bit like Maximus from Gladiator. The experience was just mythic, it was amazing.”


cross-posted from:

Protesters have covered a portrait of the King with the face of the animated character Wallace from Wallace and Gromit.

Animal Rising shared a video of campaigners pasting Wallace’s head over Charles’s and adding a speech bubble on top of the red-hued painting by Jonathan Yeo.

The speech bubble read in capitals: “No cheese, Gromit. Look at all this cruelty on RSPCA farms!”


The demonstration was aimed at highlighting the group’s “damning investigation” into 45 RSPCA “assured” farms, the group said.

It added that the protest was a “comic redecoration” and said the posters were affixed using water sprayed on to the back, so they could be easily removed.

It is understood the painting is behind Perspex and so no damage has occurred.

The group said the “lighthearted action played on the King’s love of Wallace and Gromit”.

The Queen once revealed that inventor Wallace and his dog Gromit – the stop-motion animation stars of hit Aardman films including The Wrong Trousers and A Grand Day Out – were her husband’s “favourite people in the world”.


cross-posted from:


Earlier this week, Austin police arrested a suspected car thief with a strange name.

According to court documents, 37-year-old Optimus Prime Blakely faces a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

The affidavit says officers stopped Blakely on Tuesday after they say they caught him driving a stolen vehicle on Congress Avenue near Radam Lane in south Austin.


Fish in a former dock in Hull could die as a result of being fed chips and pasties by customers at a nearby shopping centre, experts have warned.

The koi carp were introduced to the basin in front of Princes Quay Shopping Centre when it opened in 1991.

Since then, their numbers have increased, with 1,200 fish added in 2010 alone, and over the years they have become an attraction for people using Monument Bridge, in front of the centre.

However, Iain Turner, from the Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM), has said feeding scraps of "non-natural" food to the fish "will shorten their lives".

Mr Turner, the IFM's development officer, said people should "enjoy the fish but resist the temptation to throw in food scraps".

He added: "Carp will eat, eat, eat. They will eat things like sausage rolls, pasties and chips.

"The fish may look healthy because they're so big, but if they're fed non-natural food like this their vital organs, especially their livers, will become encased in fat. It really isn't good for them."

view more: next ›