The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland has a new course of study: a bachelor’s or master’s in yodeling. Beginning in the 2018-19 academic year, students will be able to major in the traditional form of singing, which was used by Swiss herdsmen to communicate with each other in the mountains. The BBC reported that prize-winning yodeler Nadja Rass will lead the courses, which will include musical theory and history. “We have long dreamed of offering yodeling at the university,” gushed Michael Kaufmann, head of the school’s music department.
Destroy The Building, Not The Wine
An unnamed Russian man, apparently desperate for a drink, stole an armored personnel carrier from a secure facility on Jan. 10 and used it to ram a storefront in Apatity, Russia. Surveillance video showed him climbing out of the tank-like carrier and into the store, where he retrieved a bottle of wine, then returning to the vehicle and ramming the storefront again as several bystanders looked on. He was arrested after leaving the scene.
— A landlord in Cardiff, Wales, was caught in a compromising position when he offered a special rent deal to an ITV Wales reporter with a hidden camera. The unnamed man posted an ad on Craigslist offering a 650-pound-per-month home with the option of a “reduced deposit/rent arrangement” for “alternative payments.” When he met reporter Sian Thomas at a restaurant to discuss the property, he said, “I don’t know if you have heard of a sort of ‘friends with benefits’ sort of arrangement,” reported Metro News on Jan. 30. He went on to say that if a once-a-week sex arrangement could be struck, “then I wouldn’t be interested in any rent from you at all.” The ITV Wales report was part of an investigation into “sex for rent” arrangements, which apparently are not uncommon in Wales, judging from other advertisements.
— Chris McCabe, 70, of Totnes, England, escaped a frigid death thanks to his own quick thinking. McCabe owns a butcher shop, and he had entered the walk-in freezer behind the shop when the door slammed behind him. Ordinarily that wouldn’t be a problem, as a release button inside the freezer can open the door. But the button was frozen solid. So McCabe looked around the freezer and saw the shop’s last “black pudding,” or blood sausage, which he used as a battering ram to unstick the button. “They are a big long stick that you can just about get your hand around,” McCabe told the Mirror. “I used it like the police use battering rams to break door locks in. Black pudding saved my life, without a doubt.” He believes he would have died within a half-hour in the -4-degree freezer.
— In Albuquerque, N.M., a church’s new electronic bells are creating a living hell for neighbor Bernadette Hall-Cuaron, who has lived next to Our Lady of Guadalupe for years. “The bells ring multiple times a day during the week, and then they run multiple times again during the weekend. Because of the volume and frequency of the bells, this is not calling people to the church.” Hall-Cuaron called the church to complain, but said since her request, “they have added ‘Amazing Grace’ every day … a full verse.” The pastor responded that he has lowered the volume, but will not turn off the bells completely, as some in the neighborhood love them.
Fire And Ice
One of Quebec City’s iconic tourist attractions is its ice hotel, the 45-room Hotel de Glace. But on Jan. 9, the hotel’s most dreaded disaster, a fire, broke out in one of the guest rooms, the CBC reported. Manager Jacques Desbois admitted that “when [he] received the phone call, they had to repeat twice that there was a fire in the ice hotel.” The flames caused little damage to the structure. But smoke spread throughout the hotel and residents were evacuated. “In a room made out of ice and snow, there are few clues to look at,” Desbois said. Each room has candles, and the hotel is considering the possibility that one of them caused the fire.
Alyce H. Davenport, 30, and Diron Conyers, 27, of Southbridge, Mass., couldn’t make it to the funeral of Audra Johnson, Davenport’s mother, because they were busy stealing a safe from Johnson’s home. Southbridge police started searching for the pair after Johnson’s boyfriend discovered the safe was missing. When police stopped Davenport the next day, they found the safe in the trunk of the car she was driving (which was registered to Johnson). Davenport and Conyers were arrested at a Sturbridge motel, where officers found stolen jewelry, keys, cellphones and other documents. The two were charged with seven counts related to the theft. “Alyce has a history of larceny, identity theft and forgery,” the police report said.
An unnamed man tried to kill a wolf spider in his Redding, Calif., apartment by setting it afire with a torch lighter. Unfortunately, the burning spider ran onto a mattress and caught it on fire. Residents were able to put out the mattress fire, but not before flames reached nearby drapes, a flag collection and a closet. When a garden hose failed to douse the blaze, firefighters were called and prevented it from spreading to other apartments. The blaze caused $11,000 in damage. All the residents were able to escape unharmed.
Armed And Frustrated
On Dec. 30, as her husband sat on the toilet, Linda Jean Fahn, 69, of Goodyear, Ariz., barged in and “shot two bullets at the wall above his head to make him listen to [her],” she told police. Fahn said her husband “would have had to be 10 feet tall to be hit by the bullets.” But officers estimated the bullets struck about 7 inches over the man’s head as he ducked. She was charged with aggravated assault.
Creme De La Weird
An unnamed 41-year-old Chinese woman, who had been suffering from fevers and breathing problems for six years, finally went for a check-up at a hospital in Tongchuan, Shaanxi Province, China. Doctors X-rayed her and found an inch-long chili pepper in her right lung. Metro News reported that Dr. Luo Lifeng tried to remove the pepper using a probe but was forced to operate because it was lodged too deeply. He speculated that the patient had inhaled the pepper and then forgotten about it.
Pesto’s Pizza Shop in Boise, Idaho, takes its pizza prep seriously. So, when an employee burns a pizza, the discipline is swift and public. The worker must don an orange bag that reads “I burned a pizza,” then “walk the plank,” or the sidewalk, in front of the shop five times. Pesto’s owner, Lloyd Parrott, said, “You know, we gotta have some fun around here. It’s all in good fun.”
Troy, Mich., police received two calls early on Jan. 10, both leading them to the Zion Church. One call was from the church, reporting vandalism caused by gunfire. The other was from the alleged shooter, who told police the church was an alien spaceship. Surveillance video shows the unnamed shooter, 40, driving up to the church around 5 am and firing shots into the doors. “He was talking very strangely about how the Zion Church is an alien spaceship for reptiles,” Troy Police Capt. Bob Redmond told WJBK-TV in Detroit. Police were assessing the shooter’s mental health to determine whether charges would be filed.
Armed And Naked
In Texas, game wardens saw an unnamed Upshur County man hunting in the nude along a state highway. The Houston Chronicle reported that the hunter, who is a well-known nudist and activist in the area, contested his arrest on charges including hunting without a license. But one look in court at the warden’s body cam footage undermined his case. The man then dropped his appeals and settled the citations.
You Have The Right To Remain Silent
Vincente Rodrigues-Ortiz, 22, was arrested in Grand Rapids, Mich., for the assault and murder of Andre Hawkins, 17. But when Rodrigues-Ortiz appeared in court for arraignment, he questioned the judge about his “other murder case.” His query led prosecutors to interview him, and then swiftly charge him with the March, 2017, homicide of Laurie Kay Lundeburg. Rodrigues-Ortiz now awaits arraignment in that case as well.
Kane Blake of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, has great things to say about his Springvalley home: “It’s a gorgeous neighborhood,” and his family loves most things about it. Nevertheless, the Blakes have listed their home for sale, with a sign out front reading: “Home for Sale by owner because neighbor is an —hole.” Blake said a neighbor has been harassing his family for five years, including sending police and bylaws officers to the house for frivolous reasons and taking photos of Blake’s house. “My kids won’t even walk to school, they’re terrified,” he told the Kelowna Capital News, adding that he’s received several offers on his house. Update: Kane has since removed the sign.