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 V.23 No.36 | September 4 - 10, 2014 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: China

A giant panda has been accused of faking a pregnancy in order to score better food. The keepers of Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Center were excited to see Ai Hin starting to show signs of pregnancy, including moving less and having a smaller appetite. As with her previous pregnancies, keepers moved her into a single, air-conditioned room. “They also received more buns, fruits and bamboo, so some clever pandas have used this to their advantage to improve their quality of life,” zoological expert Wu Kongju told China’s state news agency Xinhua. Experts speculate the bear may have learned to fake the signs of pregnancy after associating them with being pampered. According to Xinhua only 24 percent of female pandas in captivity give birth.

Dateline: China

A chef from Foshan in the Guangdong province died after a cobra he was preparing bit him20 minutes after he chopped its head off. Chef Peng Fan was preparing a special soup made from Indochinese spitting cobra, a rare delicacy in China. When the accident happened, Peng was allegedly throwing the severed snake head away when it bit him and injected its neurotoxic venom. Lin Sun, 44, who was dining with his wife at the time, told local media, “We were in the restaurant having a meal for my wife’s birthday when suddenly there was a lot of commotion. We did not know what was happening but could hear screams from the kitchen. There were calls for a doctor, but unfortunately by the time medical assistance arrived, the man was already dead. After we heard that, we did not continue with our meal.” Police say Peng died before he could be given lifesaving anti-venom at a hospital. “It is a highly unusual case, but it appears to be just an accident,” said a police spokesperson.

Dateline: Florida

In this week’s most “Florida” news, police in Hudson say 29-year-old Bobbey Jo Boucher was talking to an officer about her missing child but had to hang up on him because she needed to get up on stage at the strip club. According to WTPS Boucher is a stripper at the Calendar Girls club. The working mom allegedly left her 10-year-old daughter at a barbecue on the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 27. When the girl did not return, her grandmother called local law enforcement. Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies contacted Boucher at her work. While talking to a deputy, Boucher stated “I have to get on stage” and hung up the phone. The daughter was located, unharmed, at about 9pm that evening. Boucher was arrested and charged with misdemeanor obstruction. She was released on $663 bond the next morning.

Dateline: Florida

In this week’s second most “Florida” story, a woman in Edgewater is facing drug and child neglect charges after her 7-year-old son ratted her out for manufacturing meth. Briana Buchanan was arrested on Aug. 15 after her landlord spoke to her young son. “Her son, who’s 7, just told me she keeps bad stuff in her car, and he opened the trunk and she has a meth lab in her trunk,” Peter Arnoldwho is also the brother of Buchanan’s boyfriendtold WPTV. Buchanan’s son was also pretty savvy about how his mom gets her ingredients. The young boy allegedly told Arnold that “Mommy goes to the store and lies to the people, saying she is sick and needs medicine.” After being shown the mobile meth lab, Arnold took the boy inside and called 911. Buchanan was charged with child neglect with great bodily harm, possession of methamphetamine, manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of listed chemicals and possession of narcotic paraphernalia. Her son was sent to stay with his grandmother.

Dateline: Ohio

Volunteers stepped into the kitchen after a fire destroyed one and a half tons of potato salad destined for a Toledo-area German American Festival. The fire started in a refrigeration truck early on Friday, Aug. 22. The accident ruined the mountain of potato salad and hundreds of gallons of sauerkraut shortly before the fest was set to open to the public. Within hours, Toledo’s The Blade newspaper reports, dozens of volunteers with potato peelers and paring knives were skinning spuds to replace the scorched side dish. According to WTOL-TV, it took nearly 150 people to prepare the original potato salad. The festival in the city of Oregon typically serves hundreds of pounds of the stuff each day to accompany its traditional German cuisine.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. Email your weird news to devin@alibi.com.
 
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