News of the Weird by the Editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication

LEAD STORY – Eclipsing Weird

A California man with European heritage "strong and pure" placed an ad on Craigslist in advance of the solar eclipse on Aug. 21, seeking a "worthy female" to have sex with him in Oregon and "conceive a child that will be on the next level of human evolution." "Everything will be aligned in the local universe. Both of our cosmic orgasmic energy will be aligned with the planets," the ad posited. He had only one specific caveat: "You must like cats." The ad has since been deleted. [Men's Health, 8/11/2017]

Rise of the Machines

When Louise Kennedy, an equine veterinarian from Ireland who has worked in Australia for the past two years on a skilled worker visa, decided to stay in the country, she had to take the Pearson Test of English as part of her requirements for permanent residency. Imagine her surprise when, as a native English speaker with two university degrees, she flunked the oral component of the computer-based test. "There's obviously a flaw in their computer software when a person with perfect oral fluency cannot get enough points," Kennedy said. For its part, Pearson has denied that there is any problem with its test or scoring "engine." Kennedy will pursue a spouse visa so she can remain with her Australian husband. [The Guardian, 8/8/2017]

New World Order

In Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec, near Plattsburgh, New York, the Canadian military is building a refugee camp to house asylum-seekers coming from the United States, where recent migrants fear the current administration's immigration crackdown. Montreal has already turned its Olympic Stadium into a shelter for refugees. The new camp would house 500 people in heated tents while they wait for refugee applications to be processed. More than 3,300 people crossed into Quebec from the U.S. between January and June 2017. [BBC, 8/9/2017]

Bright Idea

United States Border Patrol agent Robert Rocheleau and Alburgh, Vermont, resident Mark Johnson, 53, exchanged tense words on Aug. 3 when Johnson climbed down from his tractor and demanded to know why Rocheleau wasn't doing more to apprehend illegal immigrants. Johnson said people working in the U.S. illegally were damaging his livelihood. (Alburgh is just south of the border with Canada.) After the exchange, Johnson got back in his tractor and, as Rocheleau reported, "While passing by my vehicle Mr. Johnson … engaged the PTO shaft to his trailer and covered my vehicle in cow manure." Mr. Johnson pleaded not guilty in Vermont Superior Court in North Hero, saying he didn't know the car was nearby when he turned on his manure spreader. [ABC News, 8/17/2017]

Picky, Picky

The Ford Motor Co. has hired smell-testers for its research labs in China, where consumers don't like the "new-car" smell that many Americans seek out. Ford calls the testers its "golden noses," who sniff materials such as upholstery, steering wheels and carpet. Testers are subjected to a stringent selection process and must not smoke or drink alcohol. "In North America," said Andy Pan, supervisor for material engineering at a Ford facility in China, "people want a new-car smell and will even buy a 'new-car' spray to make older cars feel new and fresh. In China, it's the opposite." [The Sun, 7/21/2017]

Ow! Ow! Ow!

On June 25, Doug Bergeson of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, was framing the fireplace of a home he was building when his nail gun slipped from his grasp and shot a 3 1/2-inch nail into his heart. Bergeson said it stung, but when he saw the nail "moving with my heart," he realized he wasn't going to get any more work done. So he washed up and drove himself to the hospital 12 miles away, where he alerted a security guard that he had a nail in his heart and said, "It'd be great if you can find somebody to help me out here." Bergeson underwent surgery to remove the nail, which his doctors said barely missed a main artery in his heart. [WBAY, 8/14/2017]

Bold Move

Edward Kendrick McCarty, 38, of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, came away with more than good tips after deejaying a wedding reception. The morning after the wedding, bride Ashley Karasek of Turkeytown noticed that her box of wedding cards was mostly empty. McCarty had been in charge of the box during the reception, and Karasek noticed people handing him cards to put in it throughout the evening. But when she and her new husband looked in the box, only 12 cards remained. McCarty confessed to taking the cards "because of financial struggles" and said he got about $600. [, 8/15/2017]


Swiss grocery chain Coop announced on Aug. 17 that it will start selling burger patties made from mealworms as an alternative to beef. Essento's Insect Burgers and meatball-like Insect Balls also contain rice, carrots and spices. "Insects are the perfect complement to a modern diet," said Christian Bartsch, co-founder of Essento. "They have a high culinary potential, their production saves resources and their nutritional profile is high-quality." [United Press International, 8/17/2017]


-- In Florida, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority CEO Brad Miller and board chair Darden Rice helped Barbara Rygiel celebrate her 103rd birthday on Aug. 15 by presenting her with a lifetime bus pass. Rygiel rides the bus to church about four times a week and said the pass will help with the costs. "Look at how much I can save," she said. [United Press International, 8/16/2017]

-- Stephen DeWitt, 57, of Aptos, California, was "quite intoxicated," according to an arresting officer, on Aug. 16 when he mowed down a Highway 1 road sign reading: "REPORT DRUNK DRIVERS. CALL 911." His Jeep continued up an embankment and flipped, leaving DeWitt with serious injuries – and a DUI charge. [KSBW, 8/16/2017]

Weird Science

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board is investigating in Navi Mumbai, India, after stray dogs started turning blue. An animal protection group there contends that dyes being dumped into the Kasadi River by nearby factories are causing the dogs' fur to turn a bright shade of blue. [United Press International, 8/15/2017]

Model Parents

A school resource officer at Lexington Middle School in Lee County, Florida, caught a glimpse of something alarming on Aug. 15 as he looked out a second-floor window toward the parent pickup lane. Christina Hester, 39, of Fort Myers was using her iPhone – to cut and snort cocaine. After seeing Hester use a straw to inhale the substance, the SRO asked her to come inside the school. He retrieved her purse and found .5 gram of cocaine inside, and she was charged with possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Twelve-year-old Spencer Yeager commented: "That's crazy. That's just so irresponsible and they shouldn't be doing that." [FOX4, 8/17/2017]

Drive-Thru Rage

Michael Delhomme couldn't abide a Delray Beach, Florida, McDonald's having run out of ice cream on Aug. 15. So while he and his friend, Jerry Henry, 19, waited in the drive-thru line, Delhomme asked Henry to get the "stick" out of the trunk. A McDonald's employee watched on surveillance video as Henry went to the trunk and removed a replica AR-15 airsoft rifle, then got back in the car. The workers couldn't tell that the weapon was not authentic and called 911, and Henry was charged with improper exhibition of a firearm. [WPLG, 8/16/2017]

Oh, Canada

In the wake of violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, a plaque commemorating Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865, was removed on Aug. 15 from the wall of a Hudson's Bay department store – in downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Apparently, Davis had lived in a house that formerly stood on that property in 1867, and the Daughters of the Confederacy placed the plaque there in 1967. Davis moved to Canada after getting out of prison following the Civil War. [Canoe, 8/16/2017]

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