Just after midnight on July 22, a couple in Palo Alto, Calif., were awakened in their bedroom by a 17-year-old burglar with a garment obscuring his face. Instead of demanding money or jewelry, though, the intruder asked for their Wi-Fi password. According to the Sacramento Bee, the homeowner forced the teen out of the home and called police, who tracked him down a block away and arrested him for felony residential burglary. Police later determined it wasn't the teen's first attempt at connectivity. Less than an hour earlier that night, a prowler had summoned a woman from her home to ask for access to her Wi-Fi network also. She told him to go away, and he rode off on a bicycle — which she realized the next day he had stolen from her backyard. She called police, who recovered the bike near where they had arrested the teen.
You thought you were old? You're just a twinkle in a nematode's eye. Russian scientists have revived two ancient, frozen roundworms, or nematodes, from samples collected in Siberian permafrost, the Siberian Times reported on July 26. The worms, which were found in cores taken from 30 meters and 3.5 meters deep, are believed to be female and 41,700 and 32,000 years old, respectively. After collecting the samples, scientists slowly thawed the worms, which eventually started eating and moving.
During a July 23 debate among mayoral candidates in Key West, Fla., Sloan Bashinsky, a perennial contender, took a minute to answer a call from God. "Hello? What? God?" Bashinsky said, speaking into his cellphone. According to FLKeys News, it wasn't the first time he's heard from a higher power: "I have said every time I ran, I ran because God told me to run," Bashinsky explained. "I think anyone who wants this job is insane." Bashinsky has a law degree from Vanderbilt University and was once among the island's homeless. He joins six other candidates on the ticket.
Jeffrey Jacobs, 37, thought he had a great thing going. Last year, when a tree fell on his White Plains, N.Y., home, he told the owner of a tree service (and big hockey fan) that he was the owner of the NHL's Boston Bruins, reported the Hour. Impressed, the tree service owner sent a crew in the midst of a storm, then billed the actual club owner, 78-year-old Jeremy Jacobs, $5,100 for the service. Police in nearby Wilton, Conn., heard about the deception when they received a call in May from security officials at a company chaired by the Bruins' owner. The story sounded familiar: In November, Jacobs had been pulled over in Wilton, and he told officers he owned the Bruins in an effort to get out of the ticket. On July 20, Jacobs was pulled over for using his phone while driving in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., sent back to Wilton and charged with criminal impersonation.
Lucky Cubs fan
Kyle McAleer, 20, a Chicago Cubs fan from Iowa, adopted a goofy "rally cap" idea from former Cubs player Starlin Castro a few years ago — a plastic bucket. But no one's laughing now: As McAleer and his family watched a game from seats under Wrigley Field's manual scoreboard on July 24, a 6- to 8-inch metal pin fell out of the board and onto McAleer's head, where he had only moments earlier secured the bucket. Although he suffered a cut requiring five staples, McAleer is crediting the bucket for saving his life: "It might have fractured my skull. It definitely could have been fatal. I am extremely lucky," he told the Associated Press. Cubs spokesperson Julian Green said the incident has been ruled an accident, not a structural issue, and the team has sent McAleer some swag.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.