The Boston Typewriter Orchestra has been performing its brand of music throughout New England since 2004 and will now be releasing its first vinyl album later this summer. Self-proclaimed conductor Tim Devin and a group of friends founded the ensemble as a joke, reports Ripley's Believe It or Not, and after premiering at Boston's Art Beat Festival, the idea took off. Using vintage machines to rhythmically clack, roll, spin and bang out "music," the typist-musicians say different models produce different sounds. "A Smith-Corona Galaxy 12 has a power space function that makes a nice metallic clang sound," explained Brendan Emmett Quigley.
In the Grand Lake neighborhood of Oakland, Calif., Gerald the turkey has been an institution for some time, regularly queuing up with carpool riders near Morcom Rose Garden. But lately, Gerald has grown grumpy and started attacking park visitors, reports KGO, prompting complaints to Oakland Animal Services. "I swear I was getting flashbacks to the velociraptor scenes in 'Jurassic Park' as he was 'cooing' at me, sizing me up," one said. Others said Gerald charged them, clawing and pecking as they tried to run. In response, the city closed the rose garden at the end of May and asked people not to feed Gerald or any other wildlife, as it "may have contributed to the male turkey becoming more aggressive," the parks department said. Animal control officers are also trying to "train him to revert to natural behaviors," but have had limited success keeping him socially distanced from humans.
• In April, following the cancellation of basketball madness, a Twitter account called March Madness of Flags was launched "for the love of vexillology," pitting banners from all over the world against one another in a fearsome bracket to determine which was the "coolest flag." During the final four, held over the weekend of June 13-14, the St. Louis (Missouri) flag beat out Stuttgart's entry, then went on to clinch the championship in a commanding 625-49 victory over the standard from Yaroslavl Oblast, a Russian federal district north of Moscow. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the city's flag, a relative newcomer, was designed by Yale University art history professor Theodore Sizer and adopted in 1964 for the city's bicentennial.
• For those missing travel abroad, Songshan Airport in Taipei, Taiwan, is offering 90 people the opportunity to tour the airport and "pretend to go abroad." On July 2, 4 and 7, participants can spend a half-day going through immigration, boarding an airplane, and then getting off the plane and re-entering the country through immigration. "People who didn't have the opportunity to take international flights at Songshan (can) use this chance to experience and learn more about the boarding process and relevant service facilities," Chih-ching Wang, deputy director of the airport, told CNN Travel. Tour customers will also get to take home "exclusive mysterious gifts."
The foreign press
The Associated Press reported that an unnamed man in Vienna, Austria, was hit with a 500 euro ($565) fine for "offending public decency" when he broke wind following an encounter with police on June 5. Authorities said that "of course no one is reported for accidentally 'letting one go,' " but after behaving "provocatively and uncooperatively," the man rose from a bench and "let go a massive intestinal wind apparently with full intent. And our colleagues don't like to be farted at so much."
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.