ONW Special Report: How To Name An Akron Octopus

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On Monday, June 25th, 2012, while digital cameras flashed and cameras rolled, a 20-pound female octopus at the Akron Zoo gave herself a new name: Cora.

Amazingly, an octopus in captivity choose their name in exactly the same manner as they do in the wild: by selecting a random, shrimp-laced Wiffle Ball.

A media frenzy erupts as the then-unnamed octopus begins the strenuous task of choosing a name.
–photo by Michael Chritton/Akron Beacon Journal

There were in fact two other names/Wiffle Balls that could have been selected: Octavia and Scarlet. But for reasons known only to her, the octopus went right for the Wiffle Ball marked “Cora”, immediately sparking rumors that the whole thing was rigged. As of this writing, Vegas bookies had no comment.

Rigged or not, Zoo patrons who said she would pick “Cora” will now have their names entered into a random drawing. Winners will receive, among other things, an Octopus Prize Pack. No word yet if said prize pack will include a Wiffle Ball that smells like shrimp.

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View the Akron Beacon Journal‘s full story, complete with video of the name-picking process, here.

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Dan Really IS The Man!

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My friend, Dan Stout, has a blog. And if you like the weird stuff on my blog, you should go read Dan’s. There’s weird stuff there, too. That’s because Dan’s weird like me. For example:

  • Our last “Movie Night” consisted of nothing more than Chinese takeout, beer, and 3 hours of movie trailers
  • We once spent the better part of an hour bitching about how we sat in the 2nd row of the Splatter Zone for Evil Dead: The Musical and barely got any blood on us

  • Dan is convinced one of my neighbors is none other than Father Merrin from The Exorcist
  • He’s always trying to creep me out with tales involving spider goats

Beware the Spider Goats!
–snagged from Dan’s site, who got it from Ashley Burke/CDC

So go give Dan’s blog a read. And be sure to tell him Weird Willis sent you!

Dan Stout’s Website: An Amalgam of Random Doings

Follow Me To The Strange & Spooky!

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Want to be one of the first people to know whenever new stuff is posted on this site? It’s easy! Just take a peek near the top left side of this page, find something called “Follow Me!”, and click on “Sign Me Up”. That’s it!

Then, every time I post something, even a random photo of something nonsensical, you’ll get an e-mail alerting you to come check it out…or ignore, as you see fit.

So go on, click away and follow me. Better yet, tell all your friends and they can follow me, too! Just please remember that there is a difference between following me on the Web and following me by hiding in the shrubbery outside my house.

ONW Special Report: Ohio’s Peanut Butter Cup Bandit Strikes Again

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Earlier this week, at approximately 1:00 am, a lone man in a hoodie walked into the Sunoco on Oberlin Avenue in Lorain, grabbed himself a whole mess of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (and some chips) and then disappeared into the night. And this wasn’t the first time.

Dubbed the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Bandit, this man has reportedly stolen an estimated four to six hundred dollars in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups over the past few months, all from the same Sunoco. Each time, the suspect calmly walks in, grabs the peanut butter cups, and then takes off before employees can stop him. During this last caper, the Bandit also grabbed some chips on the way out, which almost resulted in his being captured. One of the employees took the opportunity to “block the door” in an attempt to subdue the criminal. The perpetrator, however, was able to escape when he “spun” the employee around.

Lorain Police are asking for anyone with information to contact them at 204-2105.

Surveillance video showing the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Bandit
–via Morning Journal

Read the Morning Journal’s original report here.

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I’ve heard of having the munchies, but this is ridiculous! And what kind of thief goes into a store, snatches up a mountain of peanut butter cups, and then pauses on the way out and thinks “you know, I need a little something salty to go with all this sweetness” before grabbing some chips?

I’m not sure, but you do have to give the guy some credit for his mad skills. He’s carrying all that booty and he’s still able to avoid capture by performing the age-old ninja escape move of spinning someone around.

ONW Special Report: US Constitution Allows Ohioans To Flip People Off!

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On Monday, June 18th, 2012, an Ohio Municipal Court acquitted a woman of giving the middle finger to an off-duty police chief, claiming the gesture was protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Last month, off-duty Chillicothe police chief Roger Moore was driving his personal vehicle when he attempted to merge into a lane of stopped traffic. The unnamed woman driving the car Moore pulled in front of allegedly honked her horn and then flipped the police chief off. At which point, Moore pulled the woman over and charged her with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. The best part is that the police report lists the victims as Roger Moore and “society.”

On Monday, Municipal Court Judge John Street acquitted the woman, stating in part that her gesture is protected by the First Amendment’s right to freedom of speech.

Assistant Law Director Michele Rout, who represents Moore, is considering an appeal.

Columbus’ WBNS-10TV’s report on the original incident can be found here.

Read Cincinnati’s WKRC-TV’s report on the acquittal here.

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OK, so I’m not going to sit here and try to argue First Amendment rights and whether or not it’s right to flip police officers off. But here’s the thing; the police chief was off duty and was driving his own car. So it’s not like this woman knew he was a police officer. On top of that, all of the news stories on this incident reference that Moore was attempting to “pull into a lane of stopped traffic.” That to me sounds a lot like the classic Ohio traffic move of “I know we’re supposed to merge ‘one-and-one’, but the hell with that. I’m gonna run this lane up as far as I can and then dart in front of someone at the last second. It’s the other car’s job to stop before they hit me.” I’m not saying that’s what happened, but admit it; if you drive in Ohio traffic, you’ve either executed that move or had it done to you on a regular basis.

Look, people. Traffic sucks. But there’s no reason to get all bent out of shape about it. Just chill out and listen to a little Michael Bolton.

One Fuzzy Green Lawsuit

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As a diehard (and these days, somewhat depressed) Phillies fan, this bit of news was especially weird to me. Seems the Phillie Phanatic has found himself in hot water. He’s being sued.

The Phillie Phanatic
–via Philadelphia Phillies web site

Even if you don’t follow baseball, you are probably familiar with the Phillie Phanatic. He (it?) is a giant, overstuffed “thing” that has been entertaining crowds for decades. Over the years, the Phanatic has done such wacky things as crush opposing team’s batting helmets, shooting hot dogs into the stands while riding an ATV, and even stomped on a dummy wearing a Tommy Lasorda jersey back when Lasorda was managing the Dodgers (an act made famous when Lasorda ran onto the field and physically assaulted the Phanatic). On top of all this, the Phanatic has continually been at the top of “Best Mascot” polls for years. In other words, people know who the Phanatic is and what he is known for doing.

That’s why, at least for me, I find it so surprising that this woman wasn’t expecting mayhem to ensue when, back in 2010, he crashed an outdoor wedding she was attending. Let me be clear here: I’m not saying it didn’t happen and the woman didn’t get seriously injured. It’s just that I think suing the Phillie Phanatic for getting all wacky at a wedding is kind of like calling out for the Kool-Aid Man and then suing him afterwards to repair the fence.

You can read the original suit here, courtesy of Courthouse News.

No Comment

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Earlier this morning, the counter for my blog’s “page views” hit 7,000. That means that, according to the counter, individual pages from my blog have been viewed 7,000 times. I’m not bragging. If anything, I’m shocked and humbled that the number is so large. But here’s the thing: 7,000 page views and not a single comment left behind!

2 months ago, when I first noticed the lack of comments, I even went back and checked the settings to make sure people could leave comments. Yup, they could. But just to be on the safe side, I went and adjusted the settings. But still, no comments showed up. Kinda makes a guy think that people are clicking on my blog and then falling asleep while reading it.

So I have a request: if you read an article on my blog, please comment on it. Doesn’t need to be that long, either. Heck, feel free to tell me I’m a horrible writer and that you hated the article! At least I’d know someone read it!

Leaving a comment is easy. In the top right corner of every article, you’ll see an icon that looks like this (the number inside it changes based on how many people have left comments–right now, it’s a sad and lonely zero):

All you need to do is click on that icon and you’ll be taken to a screen where you can type to your heart’s content about the wonderful blog entry you’ve just read (or anything else, for that matter). You don’t even have to leave your real name! When you’re done, just hit “post”  and you’re done. Moments later, I will get an e-mail saying someone has left a comment. Shortly thereafter, a celebratory jig will be done, much to the chagrin of my wife and daughter.

The Return of the Tokoloshe

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Over the years, I’ve written about a lot of weird stuff for this blog; ghosts, Fiji Mermaids, Thomas Edison allegedly talking to the dead, etc., etc. I guess there are a lot of weirdos like me out there, because the number of daily visits to my site from new people is quite impressive…and for that, I thank you. But far and away, the #1 search term that brings people here to my site is “Tokoloshe”.

For the uninitiated, the Tokoloshe is a bizarre creature that appears to be a cross between a monkey and a gnome. Originally found only in African folklore, the Tokoloshe could be summoned and called upon to do everything from frighten children into behaving to generally making a mess of their victim’s life.

Recently, there have been a rash of reports claiming that reports of Tokoloshe activity have not only increased, but has also spread outside of Africa whose attacks often appear to be sexually motivated. I first covered the Tokoloshe in a July 2011 post, which, to be honest, was the result of a conversation I had with a co-worker/friend about how strange it was that some people believed in the creature.

As the number of hits on my blog via Google searches for “tokoloshe” began to steadily climb, I quickly discovered that many people across the world do indeed believe such a creature exists. In fact, Tokoloshe sightings are becoming more and more commonplace…and bizarre.

Now, you can own your very own Tokoloshe puppet. Great for terrorizing neighborhood children and adults alike!
Via Africarve

Case in point, on May 31st, 2012, the online site Informante published an article discussing how a Tokoloshe was being blamed for an outbreak of attacks and assaults on women in the South African village of Bethanie. Stranger still, the majority of the attacks are said to involve the creature sucking on the breasts of women as they sleep. One victim is even quoted as saying the Tokoloshe has been sexually assaulting her, so much so that “sometimes in the morning, I wake up with swollen private parts.”

And the weirdness doesn’t end there. The villagers have become so desperate to rid themselves of the Tokoloshe that they have resorted to contacting local “prophets”, asking them to exorcise the monster. However, the prophets’ asking price for such a job is way beyond the reach of this poverty-striken village. So for now, it appears as though the Tokoloshe is still free to roam through the village, apparently assaulting women at will.

More details as they become available!

You can view the full Informante article here.

ONW Special Report: Arrest of the Ohio Cleaning Fairy

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–From the ONW (Ohio News of the Weird) News Desk

Last week, Westlake, Ohio resident Sherry Owens returned home to find her husband’s dirty coffee cups all washed up,  a vacuumed carpet, and all the garbage taken out. There was also a bill for $75 from the cleaning woman. But there was a problem. You see, Sherry Owens doesn’t have a cleaning lady. On top of that, the $75 bill was written on a napkin. When Owens noticed the cleaning woman had left her name and phone number on the bottom of the invoice/napkin, she decided to give the number a call to see  if there had been some mixup…or if this was just some sort of weird prank.

Homeowner Sherry Owens, apparently pointing out what $75 from an unwanted cleaning woman will get you.
Via nbc-2.com

Turns out Owens was wrong on both accounts. When called, the cleaning woman, who identified herself as Sue Warren, not only stated she had indeed cleaned the Owens residence, but that she does this sort of thing “all the time.” When pressed, Warren said “I just stop and clean your house.” After she hung up with Warren, Owens’ next call was to the local police, who, although nothing appeared to have been taking from the residence, promptly arrested Warren and charged her with burglary.

On Thursday, May 31st, Warren pled not guilty and is currently being held  on $5000.00 bond.

To read the full story, visit nbc-2.com

ONW Special Report: Taco Loco

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–From the ONW (Ohio News of the Weird) News Desk

In the early morning hours of May 29th, 2012, 23-year-old Michael Smith pulled away from the Huber Heights, Ohio Taco Bell drive-thru, having just completed his order…or so he thought.

Apparently, Taco Bell employees had inadvertently left a soft taco off of Smith’s order. Seeing this, Smith did what anyone in this situation would do; he drove his truck through the glass front of the restaurant and then drove calmly away. Police arrived soon after and were able to track Smith to his home by following the trail of fluids leaking from his truck. He was arrested and charged with felony vandalism.

In a press release, police stated that Smith admitted driving his truck into the building because “he did not get one of the tacos he ordered.”

For the full story, visit the New York Daily News.