Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: Peru

In a tragic but giggle-inducing story, some 10,000 “scrotum frogs” have died mysteriously near Lake Titicaca. Thousands of Titicaca water frogs, also known as scrotum frogs because of their distinctive folds of skin, were discovered floating in the river Coata by members of the Committee Against the Pollution of the Coata River. The river flows into Lake Titicaca, which straddles the border between Peru and Bolivia. The scrotum frog, scientifically identified as
Telmatobius celeus, is found only in the waters of Lake Titicaca. According to IFL Science, the frog is already on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of “critically endangered species.” High sulfide levels and previous algae blooms have been blamed for the mass die-off. Peru’s National Forestry and Wildlife Service released a statement saying that they are evaluating the situation and preparing to launch an investigation.

Dateline: Malaysia

According to a report on BBC News, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department, a religious government body, said it has asked food outlets selling hot dogs to rename the product or risk being refused halal certification. “In Islam dogs are considered unclean and the name cannot be related to halal,” Director Sirajuddin Suhaimee announced. Local media reports that Malaysian halal food guidelines specify “halal food and halal artificial flavor shall not be named or synonymously named after non-halal products such as ham, bak kut teh, bacon, beer, rum and others that might create confusion.” The hot dog brouhaha popped up earlier this month when popular pretzel chain Auntie Anne’s was refused halal certification unless it renamed its “pretzel dog” a “pretzel sausage.” A representative from the US firm told the BBC it was fine with the name change, but others in the Asian nation are upset. Malaysian Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz told reporters, “Even in Malay, it’s called hot dog—it’s been around for so many years. I’m Muslim and I’m not offended.” The minister added that the word “comes from the English language. Please do not make us seem stupid and backward.” The ruling has garnered significant ridicule in local media and on Malaysian social media. Malaysia is a majority Muslim country that prides itself on practicing a moderate form of Islam and allowing other religions freedom of worship, although conservative attitudes have reportedly been on the rise in recent years.

Dateline: Canada

An extremely Canadian thief used a rope to break into a Canadian sporting goods store and commit the most Canadian of crimes—stealing more than $100,000 worth of hockey sticks. L’Expérience MonkeySports manager Greg Goyer told the CBC his security company contacted him about a break-in earlier this month. “There were no windows broken. The doors were locked,” Goyer said. “[But] the store had been cleared. There was a hole in the ceiling with a rope coming down. … I guess the individual had come through the roof.” Closed-circuit surveillance footage showed the thief rappelling down into the store and heading directly over to some expensive hockey equipment. “They knew exactly what they were coming in for,” Goyer said. The as-yet-unidentified burglar made off with more than 400 high-end hockey sticks worth at least $120,000.

Dateline: Florida

A woman in Ft. Lauderdale is accused of robbing a bank—and tricking her father into driving the getaway car. Police say 24-year-old Chelsea Wilson was arrested on the morning of Friday, Oct. 14, after she allegedly robbed a TD Bank on Thursday afternoon. According to the
Florida Sun-Sentinel, Wilson’s father told police he drove her to the bank because she said she was going there for a job interview. Between exiting the car and entering the bank, Ms. Wilson covered her blonde hair with a red wig and a hat. Wilson allegedly entered the bank shortly before 4pm and handed the teller a handwritten note that read, “You have exactly one minute to give me all your $50 & $100 bills from both drawers or I will shoot you! No dye packs, no alarms follow these instructions and no one will get hurt, act normal.” The teller handed over $300 and Wilson fled to the bank parking lot where she was picked up by a black SUV. The FBI later traced that vehicle to Wilson’s father. The father told police he thought the $300 was an advance on his daughter’s paycheck. According to the Palm Beach Post, a witness recognized Wilson as someone wanted in connection with four other recent robberies in Broward County. Wilson reportedly admitted to committing all five robberies and said she spent the money on groceries. She’s being held in Broward County Jail pending a detention hearing.

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

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