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Saturday December 16th 2017

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News of the Weird 9/21/17

By the Editors at Andrews McMeel

Ewwwww! Forget the horrifying clown from “It.” The newest inhabitant of your nightmares is a giant “fatberg” in the sewer system beneath the streets of London. A fatberg is created by a buildup of fat and grease combined with used diapers, sanitary napkins and wipes. This one is almost the length of three football fields and weighs more than 140 tons. Matt Rimmer with London’s Thames Water said the current glob is “a total monster and is taking a lot of manpower and machinery to remove, as it’s set hard.” He said it’s basically like trying to break up concrete.

Wait, What? Entrepreneur Miki Argawal, 38, of Brooklyn, New York, was a hit at this year’s Burning Man gathering in Nevada, where she pumped breast milk and offered it to fellow attendees to help with hangovers or use in lattes. She even tried some herself, saying it tasted a bit like coconut milk. She estimated that 30 to 40 people tried her milk. “The fact that any part of that could be seen as taboo… it’s time that conversation changes,” Argawal said.

Least Competent Criminals Terror suspect and Uber driver Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, 26, of Luton, England, was detained in London on Aug. 25 after using his navigation program to direct him to Windsor Castle. But the technology led him astray, and he pulled up outside The Windsor Castle pub in Windsor. After realizing his mistake, Chowdhury headed for London, where he parked his car next to a marked police van outside Buckingham Palace, brandished a 4-foot-long sword and yelled “Allahu Akbar.” Chowdhury was charged in the Westminster Magistrates Court with one count of preparing to commit an act or acts of terrorism.

Bright Ideas An unnamed man in Plymouth, Minnesota, went to extraordinary lengths and wasted two days of police investigators’ time just to get a few days away from his wife, police Sgt. Keith Bird said. The woman reported her 34-year-old husband missing on Aug. 28 and showed police a text from him saying he had been kidnapped. The kidnapper demanded a paltry $140 for his return, and the wife agreed, but the kidnapper said she could wait for the husband to receive his paycheck. Eventually police caught up with the husband, who insisted he had indeed been kidnapped but asked officers to stop investigating. “He’s fine,” said Sgt. Bird.

Life Imitates TV Paul J. Newman of Rensselaer, New York, was sentenced on Sept. 6 to 2 1/3 to seven years in prison after pretending to be a licensed and registered architect, after an investigation the New York attorney general’s office dubbed “Operation Vandelay Industries” in a nod to “Seinfeld.” Newman’s charges included larceny, forgery, fraud and unlicensed practice of architecture. He will also have to pay more than $115,000 in restitution to his victims.

Sweet Revenge After arguing with a security guard about the high price of parking, a woman in Benxi, Liaoning Province, China, left her car in front of the entrance gate to a housing community on Aug. 22. But people have to get in and out, so a crane was employed to lift the car onto the roof of the security building next to the gate. Onlookers can be heard laughing in a video of the incident. The car was later lowered to the ground using the crane.

Why Not? In Santa Fe, New Mexico, tens of thousands of people gathered at a city park on the evening of Sept. 1 to revel in the burning of the effigy Zozobra, a six-story monkey puppet filled with handwritten notes about anxieties and problems they hoped to send up in smoke. Locals dropped their notes in a “gloom box” at a shopping center, with subjects ranging from an ill family member to hurricane victims to government corruption. The tradition began in 1924 and was named for the Spanish word for upset or worry.