The Philly Voice reported on June 5 that a resident of White Haven, Pa., has solved the mystery of why that state has experienced more tornadoes than usual this year. The unnamed amateur meteorologist called WNEP's "Talkback 16," which allows locals to opine on the issues of the day, and left a voice mail on May 31. In his own words: "We didn't have tornadoes here until we started putting in traffic circles. ... When people go round and round in circles, it causes disturbances in the atmosphere, and causes tornadoes." So there you have it.
A 47-year-old resident of southern Israel approached a teller at a Postal Bank branch in mid-May, handing her a note that read, "Hand over the money in the drawer" (misspelling the Hebrew word for "drawer"), the Times of Israel reported. As the teller hesitated, he said, "Put the money in the bag quickly or I'll throw this grenade," referring to a black object in his right hand. The teller gave him $4,450 in cash, and he left. Five days later, he repeated his method at another branch, where he netted $3,300. Police eventually tracked him down, discovering the "grenade" he wielded was an avocado he had painted black.
When ya gotta go ...
A 16-year-old driver was pulled over by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Manitoba on June 6 after being clocked driving 105 miles per hour, according to Fox News. The teenager was driving a Chevrolet Camaro, but it wasn't the muscle car that made him go so fast, he said. He told police he had just eaten hot chicken wings and really needed to use the bathroom. Officers were unmoved, however, tweeting, "Absolutely no excuses for that kind of speed."
In the Arctic region of Murmansk in Russia, an abandoned railway bridge was the quarry of ambitious metal thieves who removed the 75-foot-long center span, leaving only the support structures near either shore. Locals noticed the section was missing in May, reported the BBC. And while the span would have weighed about 62 tons, it was estimated to be worth only about $9,000. Russian law enforcement is looking into the theft, but locals are nonplused: One mused that the remaining structures would be "eyesores" for a long time to come, then shrugged: "Ah, who cares — this isn't Germany, and restoring order to the vandalized landscape is not high on the agenda."
Wide world of sports
Men looking for diversion in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, entered the Male Slapping Championships, part of the Siberian Power Show, in March, wherein contestants slap each other so hard that some of them sustain concussions. According to RT News, female Siberians now have their own contest: the Booty-Slapping Championships. For this event, which took place in mid-June, the women, all fitness enthusiasts, take turns whacking each other on the heinie until one is knocked off balance. Fitness blogger Anastasia Zolotaya, one of the contest's winners, features demonstrations of the serious workouts she uses to toughen her buns on her Instagram page.
A lock of Beethoven
A lock of Ludwig von Beethoven's hair sold at auction on June 11 for an unexpected 35,000 British pounds (about $45,000), "Inside Edition" reported. Sotheby's said the framed hair was given by Beethoven to a friend, pianist Anton Halm, as a gift for Halm's wife almost 200 years ago. Reportedly, when Halm asked for the gift, a servant snipped some hair from a goat and presented it to Halm. Beethoven was incensed, saying, "You've been tricked. This is not my hair. It's the hair of a goat." He then cut a lock of hair from the back of his own head, wrapped it in paper and turned it over to Halm. A Sotheby's expert confirmed that the auctioned hair was human.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.