About a year ago, Les and Paula Ansley of Mossel Bay, South Africa, stumbled upon a novel idea for a new type of spirit, which they call Indlovu Gin, the Associated Press reports. During a safari, they learned that elephants eat a wide variety of fruits and flowers, but digest less than a third of it. "As a consequence, in the elephant dung, you get the most amazing variety of these botanicals," Les Ansley said. "Why don't we let the elephants do the hard work of collecting all these botanicals and we will make gin from it?" Why, indeed? They collect the dung themselves, by hand, and describe their gin's flavor as "lovely, wooded, almost spicy, earthy." ("Indlovu" means elephant in the Zulu language.) Each bottle's label notes where the dung was gathered and when. "Most people are very keen to actually taste it," Ansley said. A bottle sells for about $32.
Fine points of the law
After losing in district court, convicted killer Benjamin Schreiber took an unusual claim to the Iowa Court of Appeals, but was shut down again on Nov. 6, according to the Washington Post. Schreiber, 66, was sentenced to a life term in 1997, but in March 2015, he suffered a medical emergency in his prison cell that caused doctors to have to restart his heart five times. Schreiber thus claimed he had briefly "died," and therefore he had served out his life sentence and should be released. The district judge didn't buy it, though, saying the filing proved he was still alive, and the appeals court agreed, saying, "Schreiber is either alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or he is dead, in which case this appeal is moot."
A Dutch university now offers students a turn in the "purification grave," a hole dug in the ground where students can lie down and reflect on their lives for up to three hours. The student chaplaincy at Radboud University initially offered the experience in 2009 as a temporary experiment, but due to increased demand, it's back this year, according to Vice. Students are not allowed to bring their phones or a book with them into the grave. "You can see it as a special place of meditation: below you the earth, above you the sky," the university website explains. "You will then automatically notice what is going through your mind." If you're skittish about entering the grave, you can sit on the bench nearby. Radboud also offers a finals-season "crying room" and nap pods.
The continuing crisis
Female employees in Japan who wear eyeglasses are seeing red after some companies there have reportedly banned eyewear for their women workers, according to the BBC. While some retailers have said women in glasses give a "cold impression," the hashtag glassesareforbidden has been trending, and Kumiko Nemoto, professor of sociology at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, spoke out against the "outdated" policies: "It's all about gender. It's pretty discriminatory." Japanese women have also rebelled against policies that require them to wear high heels.
Subhash Yadav, 42, of Jaunpur, India, visited a market to eat eggs with a friend, News18 reported on Nov. 4, but the two fell into an argument. To settle the dispute, police said, Yadav accepted a challenge to eat 50 eggs in exchange for 2,000 rupees. He ate 41 eggs but then collapsed, unconscious. He was rushed to the hospital but died a few hours later. Doctors claimed Yadav died of overeating.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.