The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Switzerland has a new course of study for scholars to pursue: a bachelor's or master's in yodeling. Beginning in the 2018-19 academic year, students will be able to major in the traditional form of singing, which was used by Swiss herdsmen to communicate with each other in the mountains. The BBC reported that prize-winning yodeler Nadja Rass will lead the courses, which will also include musical theory and history. "We have long dreamed of offering yodeling at the university," said Michael Kaufmann, head of the school's music department.
Homeowners in Noosa, Queensland, Australia, were perplexed about why their toilet kept randomly flushing, so on Jan. 28, they looked into the flush mechanism embedded in the wall behind the toilet. Then they summoned Luke Huntley, a local snake catcher. Huntley found a 13-foot brown tree snake in the niche, according to the Daily Mail, resting on the flush mechanism. "Hopefully, he's going to be able to come straight out," Huntley said on a video of the capture, "but he's a little grumpy."
Government in action
• Saugatuck, Mich., attorney Michael Haddock's dog, Ryder, probably gave the mail carrier a day off after receiving an unexpected letter on Jan. 27 from the State of Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. According to WZZM TV, Haddock opened the envelope addressed to Ryder and found a letter saying that Ryder is eligible for $360 per week in unemployment benefits. "I knew he was clever," Haddock said of Ryder, "but he surprised me this time." The UIA admitted that its computer did send the notice to Ryder, but it was later flagged as suspicious, and the German shepherd won't receive any benefits after all.
• In New Hampshire, the State Legislature is considering a bill that would hold owners of poultry responsible for the birds' trespassing. According to the proposal, reported by the Associated Press, "anyone who knowingly, recklessly or negligently allows their domestic fowl to enter someone else's property without permission" can be convicted if the birds damage crops or property. Rep. Michael Moffett, a Loudon Republican, told a committee on Jan. 30 that one man told him his neighbor was using chickens as a "form of harassment and provocation." But Earl Tuson, a local vegetable farmer, opposed the bill, noting, "Everyone loves eating bacon until they move in next to the pig farm."
Rookie metal detectors Andy Sampson and Paul Adams were out looking for treasure along the Suffolk/Essex border in England when they came across more than 50 gold coins and pottery. Sampson said Adams started "shouting and jumping around and dancing." As for himself, Sampson immediately started figuring out how he would spend the money, which the pair thought might amount to 250,000 pounds or more. Alas, when Sampson showed the coins to his neighbor, he said, "They're not real — there's something wrong with them." Sure enough, when the treasure hunters made inquiries, they found that the coins and pottery were props for a BBC TV show, "Detectorists." Sampson and Adams told the BBC on Jan. 31 that they have "got over" their huge disappointment and will continue to metal detect.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.