xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
In September, an exceptionally rare American veery (a thrush-like songbird) landed in Britain’s Shetland Islands and briefly excited the country’s birdwatchers, but just as word was circulating, according to Scotland’s Daily Record, a local cat ate it.
In November in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, as the staff of the television company Endemol NV were working to set up 4 million dominoes in an attempt at a new Guinness Book record, a sparrow flew in through a window, landed on the formation, and toppled about 23,000 of them before built-in gaps stopped the collapse. (An exterminator with an air rifle tracked the bird down in the building and killed it, to the outrage of animal rights advocates.)
The Harbor Commission of Newport Harbor, Calif., met in emergency session in September after news that 18 200- to 800-pound sea lions had jumped onto a 37-foot sailboat and sunk it. (Elsewhere on the coast, sea lions eat boogie boards, vomit on docks and bark cacophonously, and efforts to disperse them are ineffective because they are protected by a 1972 federal law.)
Research by a Department of Agriculture scientist and a University of Georgia professor, reported in December, showed that with five minutes’ training, certain wasps can detect drugs, bombs and dead bodies as well as dogs can.
The wife of Frank Ficker of Freiberg, Germany, filing for divorce, said in November that she learned of her husband’s infidelity when her parrot, Hugo, imitating Frank’s voice, continually cried out for some woman named “Uta.”)
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or WeirdNews@earthlink.net or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.) NEWS OF THE WEIRD