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News of the Weird 7/19/18

By the Editors at Andrews McMeel

Karma Walt Dean King, 69, just wanted to take a look at a used car for sale on July 4. But when he approached the vehicle in the small California town of Tracy, about 60 miles east of San Francisco, he was suddenly knocked off his feet by a bull that had gotten loose. King felt the bull’s horn go through his side and crawled between a bush and a house as the bull stood over him snorting for about 20 minutes. FOX40 reported that King underwent three hours of surgery, after which doctors told him his belly fat had saved him from worse injury. King believes karma kept him alive: “Back in the ’70s, I had pulled a lady out of a burning building, so now I think I’m being paid back, by not dying,” King said.

People With Too Much Time on Their Hands Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who have made their fortunes in tech-related fields have discovered a spiritually enriching new guru, Jess Magic, a ukulele player and singer who calls herself a “heartist.” At Magic’s intimate, invitation-only “Soul Salons” (and now on a 10-city national tour), participants share their energy and join in “songversations” — philosophical rap and improvised music and dance — a process Magic calls “a play date for your inner child.” Andrew Hewitt, creator of Game Changers 500, explains: “For people who live most of the time in their head, this feels like magic.” The New York Times reported that Magic believes her appeal is in response to the spiritual hollowness wealthy executives feel. “People forget that they are human beings rather than human doings,” she said.

•Patriotism inspired Rain Wiggand, 22, and Zane Liles, 21, of Collins, Ohio, to construct an American flag using more than 2,000 Budweiser, Bud Light and Miller Lite beer cans. Wiggand posted pictures of the “beer flag” on Twitter on July 4. “It was a rough month of work for Zane and I,” Wiggand confessed, adding that they “averaged somewhere around 14 beers a night for 28 days straight.” Six other friends helped, he said, but they only drank on Thursdays to Sundays. Liles told BuzzFeed News, “It was a monthlong hangover that nothing could cure.” However, he said the project had not ruined beer for him. “I can still drink beer with the best of them.”

Cultural Diversity In Ghana, the reaction of mourners at a funeral is a measure of the deceased’s position in the community. But for family members who are unable to express their emotions openly, professional mourners will cry on their behalf. A leader of one team of criers told BBC Africa in July that they charge based on the size of the funeral, and the Kumasi Funeral Criers Association offers different styles of crying, such as crying with swagg, crying and rolling on the ground, and crying and vomiting. Ghanian funerals also feature dancing pallbearers and giant billboards to announce the funeral arrangements.

It’s a Compulsion In 1985, Tosya Garibyan of Arinj, in Armenia, asked her husband, Levon Arkelian, 44, to dig a pit under their home where she could store potatoes. But once he got started, Radio Free Europe reported, he just couldn’t stop. Twenty-three years later, the underground oasis Arkelian created is a tourist attraction. Working as many as 18 hours a day with only a hammer and chisel, Arkelian created seven rooms, stairwells and passages running as deep as 65 feet and adorned them with carvings and decorations made from found objects. Arkelian passed away in 2008, and his widow welcomes tourists to her museum, which includes his shredded work boots and tools. But she says the couple argued about the project. “He ruined his health because of this hole,” she told RFE.

Wait, What? Brigadier Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali, the head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization, announced in a press conference on July 2 that Israel is manipulating the weather over Iran to prevent rain. “Israel and another country in the region have joint teams which work to ensure clouds entering Iranian skies are unable to release rain,” Jalali posited, according to YNet News. “On top of that, we are facing the issue of cloud and snow theft.” However, the head of Iran’s meteorological service was skeptical: “It is not possible for a country to steal snow or clouds. Iran has suffered a prolonged drought, and this is a global trend that does not apply only to Iran.”

Oops! Finished with her shopping at the Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, Walmart in late June, an unnamed woman returned to the parking lot and drove off in the black rental car she had just picked up. Two weeks later, when she returned the car to the rental agency, she complained about the car’s messy condition and the set of golf clubs left in it. Nation Valley News reported the “slightly confused” manager informed her the car she had rented was a Nissan Sentra, but the car she returned was an Infiniti. Sure enough, the Infiniti owner had reported his car stolen from the Walmart parking lot, and when the woman and the agency manager returned to the lot, the Nissan was still parked there. The Infiniti owner got his car back, the woman was a “wee bit embarrassed,” and the Cornwall Community Police Service reported on July 8 that there was a “happy and funny ending to the story.” They also urged citizens to “not leave your key fobs in your vehicle when not being operated.”