Odds & Ends

Devin D. O'Leary
5 min read
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Dateline: England—Police in Hampshire on the hunt for six missing water buffalo have warned locals to be on the lookout for flying feces. The buffalo were last seen in a field in Lower Pennington Lane, Lymington, early last week. Police believe the animals were stolen because there was no trail of telltale dung at the scene. According to BBC online, a police spokesperson warned people who might stumble across the livestock, “They should not be approached from behind … as the animals are able to spray dung across large distances.” Most water buffalo are native to Asia, but have been increasingly imported to the UK to produce specialty milk, cheese and yogurt.

Dateline: Korea—Koreans have long believed that their national dish, kimchi, holds miraculous medicinal properties. Now, the South Korean firm LG Electronics is poised to start marketing a kimchi-scented air conditioner in hopes of protecting consumers from the bird flu virus. Kimchi, typically made from pickled radish or cabbage and packed with garlic, ginger and hot peppers, is as well-known for its pungent odor as for its supposed health benefits. Researchers in South Korea have been testing whether an extract from kimchi can be used as an additive to chicken feed to prevent bird flu, although there has been little scientific evidence to support the claim. Despite the inconclusive evidence of previous studies, LG claims their product is capable of eliminating the deadly H5N1 virus. Plus, according to an LG spokesperson, the appliances would be virtually odor free. The special filter inside the units is made from an enzyme extracted from kimchi and would not actually transmit the foodstuff's unmistakable smell.

Dateline: New Zealand—Residents of a small rural New Zealand district have voted unanimously to retain their community's legendary “bra fence.” Cardrona on South Island has attracted worldwide attention since four women hung their undergarments on the rural farm barrier on New Year's Day 2000 to mark the “liberation” of the new Millennium. Thousands of tourists stop to photograph the fence each year, many of them adding their own bras to the barbed-wire landmark. Recently, however, U.S. national Andre Prassinos, who lives for part of the year in nearby Wanaka township, has been complaining for more than a year that the mammary-related monument presents a “potential traffic hazard.” After Prassinos lodged a fresh complaint with the local council earlier this month, Cardrona Valley taxpayers came out in support of the bra fence, voting unanimously for it to stay. “We don't want it getting higher, longer or suddenly being filled with boots and knickers as well. But it should stay because it's become part of the valley,” the Southland Times newspaper quoted local lobbyist John Scurr as saying.

Dateline: North Dakota—A North Dakota State University student is facing charges after allegedly showing up at a police station to purchase some pot. According to authorities, the 20-year-old woman called the police station at 3:15 a.m. on Saturday asking where she could buy some marijuana. The dispatcher repeatedly told the woman that it was illegal to sell and possess marijuana. The caller persisted, however, and the dispatcher finally told her that police had some of the drug in the station's evidence locker. Officer Ken Zeeb was working in the evidence locker at about 3:45 a.m. when the woman arrived. “The dispatcher got on the intercom and said, ’You know what? She's here. She just handed me $3 for marijuana,'” Zeeb told reporters. The woman was arrested on charges of criminal attempt and possession of drug paraphernalia. “She didn't seem like she was really under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” Zeeb said. “She understood what was going on and articulated herself well.”

Dateline: Ohio—A flatulent dog has prevented two teenage runaways from meeting up with an alleged sex offender. The two New York girls, ages 12 and 15, ran away from home last Monday on an overnight bus to Minneapolis. One of them brought her family dog, Bambi. She was allowed on the bus because she told the driver that Bambi was her “guide dog.” While en route to Minneapolis, however, the girls fed the dog junk food and the animal suffered a lengthy attack of gas. Other riders complained about the malodorous mutt. The driver eventually kicked the two girls off the bus and alerted security guards at Cleveland's Greyhound station. The guards called police. “Of course we quickly figured out this wasn't a seeing-eye dog and neither of the girls is blind,” Lt. Thomas Stacho told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Eventually, police learned that the girls had intended to meet up with Manuel Alvarado, 22, in Minnesota. Alvarado met the 15-year-old in New York and was charged last month with having sex with her in Minnesota. After the relationship was discovered, the girl was returned to her parents in the Bronx. With the help of her 12-year-old friend she ran away from home again, hoping to meet up with Alvarado on Valentine's Day. Both of the girls and the flatulent dog were sent back to New York.

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

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