People living around Olten, Switzerland, got a surprise when it began snowing cocoa powder. Strong winds that morning distributed the cocoa dust from a malfunctioning ventilation system at the nearby Lindt and Spruengli chocolate factory, delivering enough cocoa to cover at least one car. The company offered cleaning services, but no one took them up on the offer. The ventilation system has been repaired.
— Commuters in Berlin are required to wear masks on public transportation, and are subject to fines if they don’t. But so many people wear their masks incorrectly (covering the mouth but not the nose) that Berlin’s transport company, BVG, is now suggesting that riders skip deodorant when they’re getting ready for the day, in hopes that the body odor on crowded trains will keep those masks in place.
“Given that so many people think they can wear their masks under their noses, we’re getting tough,” read a bright yellow posting on Twitter. “The BVG is calling for a general deodorant waiver. So now, do you still want to have your nose out?”
— Farm families in Botswana who live beside the Chobe River have long battled herds of elephants that pass through their fields at night, trampling crops as they move toward the river. Barking dogs and fences have failed to stop the elephants. But farmers are having remarkable success with a new weapon: disco lights. Scientists from Elephants Without Borders placed solar-powered strobe lights that flash color patterns along the sides of fields elephants are known to walk through. These frighten the elephants away. One farmer reported that before he had the lights, he “had more elephants raid … but in these two seasons with lights I have harvested successfully.”
Of Course You Are
What started as a report of a naked man running down a road hitting cars in Owensboro, Ken., soon turned into a home burglary in progress. Davies County Sheriff’s deputies said they arrived at the home in question around 1:30 am to find John Stefanopoulos standing inside, naked and covered with mud and blood. Authorities said the suspect rushed the officers while repeatedly telling them he had used “mushrooms with Jesus and that they were playing a virtual reality video game together.” Stefanopoulos was eventually tased and taken into custody.
That’s Heavy, Man
Andrea Balbi, president of the Gondola Association in Venice, Italy, announced that the organization is reducing the maximum capacity of the city’s iconic boats from six persons to five. The change comes not because of social distancing, but because “over the last 10 years or so, tourists weigh more,” Balbi said. He noted that heavier loads often mean the boats take on water, which makes it harder for the gondoliers to navigate in heavy traffic. “Going forward with over half a ton of meat on board is dangerous,” remarked Raoul Roveratto, president of an association for substitute gondoliers.
Robert Berger, of Huntington, N.Y., pled guilty to possession of a stolen Lexus and an attempt to steal a truck. In an effort to avoid jail, he tried faking his own death. The scheme unraveled when authorities discovered a spelling error and inconsistencies in the font styles and sizes on the fake death certificate submitted by his lawyer. Further, while Berger was “dead,” he was arrested in Philadelphia for providing false identity to police and stealing from a Catholic college. “It will never cease to amaze me the lengths some people will go to to avoid being held accountable on criminal charges,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said. “It’s never a good idea to submit phony documents to the district attorney.”
Two For One
A man who was attempting to elude police in a stolen Toyota Land Cruiser in Newberg, Ore., crashed into a woman driving a Buick Regal that had been reported stolen three weeks before. Newberg-Dundee police said they arrested the driver of the Toyota, Randy Lee Cooper, 27, and then found the driver of the Buick, Kristin Nicole Begue, 25, to be under the influence of intoxicants and arrested her. Neither driver was injured.
Liberty County (Ga.) sheriff’s officers who found a body lying next to a railroad track in Allenhurst followed protocol by covering the body with a sheet and waiting for the coroner. When the coroner arrived, detectives looking for injuries quickly discovered the body was a female sex doll. The doll was fully clothed and anatomically correct. Officials think they may have been victims of a prank.
A mystery unfolded in the Mystery section of the Walla Walla (Wash.) Public Library when workers performing renovations during the COVID-19 shutdown demolished a section of shelves and discovered a disintegrated paper bag with five full cans of Hamm’s beer and an opened bag of Godzilla Heads gum. Library staff determined the hidden snacks dated back to the 1980s. Library director Erin Wells posited that “somebody had stashed it there and maybe thought they could get it later … but there was no way to get it out.”