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Weird National Briefs (02/10/2021)

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Friends to the end

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Rest assured, “Chucky” is not on the loose.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has apologized after mistakenly issuing an Amber Alert that said the killer doll featured in the 1988 horror film “Child’s Play” was a suspect in the kidnapping of his 5-year-old son, Glen Ray, who was featured in “Seed of Chucky.”

The emergency alert described Chucky as a 3-foot, 1-inch-tall (0.9-meter-tall) doll wearing “blue denim overalls with multi-colored striped long sleeve shirt wielding a huge kitchen knife.”

The alert was mistakenly sent out three times last week to Amber Alert subscribers. The agency said it was a test malfunction.

TME – Malfunction. Sure. That’s how the evil dolls lull you into a false sense of security.

Little lizard

BERLIN (AP) — It fits on a human fingertip, but this chameleon could make a big splash.

Scientists from Madagascar and Germany say a newly discovered species of chameleon is a contender for the title of world’s smallest reptile.

Frank Glaw, who was part of the international team of researchers that classified the new species and named it Brookesia nana said the body of the male specimen appeared to be just 13.5-millimeters-long (a little more than a 1/2-inch.)

That’s at least 1.5 millimeters smaller than the previous record holder, another member of the Brookesia family.

Glaw, a reptile expert at the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology in Munich, said the tiny male and a slightly larger female were spotted on a mountainside by a local guide during a 2012 expedition.

“You really have to get down on your knees to find them,” Glaw told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday. “They are obviously camouflaged and they move very slowly.”

Glaw and his colleagues performed a CT scan of the female and discovered that it harbored two eggs, confirming that it was an adult.

For the male, the researchers took a close look at its “well-developed” genitals, which in chameleons come in pairs known as hemipenes.

They found that the genitals of the Brookesia nana specimen were almost one=fifth of its body size, possibly to allow it to mate with the larger female.

“I have few doubts it’s an adult male,” Glaw said. “If we had a pair mating it would obviously be better proof.”

Confirming Brookesia nana as the smallest reptile species will require finding more of them, which might take several years, he said.

TME – Tiny chameleon > Karma Chameleon.

This bud’s for you

BOSTON (AP) — A man is warning people against using headphones while falling asleep after health care workers had to remove a wireless earbud from his esophagus.

Worcester resident Brad Gauthier, who detailed his bizarre experience in a Facebook post, went to bed Monday listening to music. He woke up Tuesday, shoveled snow for about an hour, and then went inside to take a sip of water. But the liquid wouldn’t go down, and he had to lean over to drain it from his throat.

Gauthier also noticed he was missing one of his two wireless earbuds, which he said typically uses as he falls asleep.

Gauthier’s son suggested that perhaps his father had swallowed the earbud, which is exactly what an X-ray at a local emergency clinic revealed. The small plastic device was lodged in his lower esophagus.

Gauthier said he never experienced more than minor discomfort. He told NBC Boston 10 that he wanted to share his experience to caution others not to sleep with their headphones.

TME – Don’t ask where they found his record player.

Go with the floe

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard and several other agencies rescued 66 people stranded on ice floes in a bay in northeastern Wisconsin.

Ice boats and helicopters were used to bring the people who were ice fishing to safety Thursday in Door County. Three separate ice floes broke away after cracks developed between the shore and groups of people, the Coast Guard said.

High winds associated with an approaching winter storm pushed the floes further from shore. No one was injured.

“Today’s success is a direct result of effective training and the long standing and close relationships with our agency partners in the greater Sturgeon Bay Area,” said Cmdr. Bryan Swintek, search and rescue coordinator for Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan.

Coast Guard Ice Rescue teams from Sturgeon Bay, Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, two helicopters from Traverse City, Michigan, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and local government agencies assisted in the rescue, which took four hours to complete.

Helicopter crews lowered rescue swimmers to the ice to help coordinate the rescues as local first responders and the Coast Guard’s ice boats arrived.

TME – That’s literally the most exciting ice fishing has ever been.

Where’s the beef?

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A 1,600-pound (725-kilogram) steer has been reported roaming the streets of Rhode Island’s capital.

Workers with Rhode Island Beef & Veal told WJAR-TV that a wholesaler lost control of the cow while unloading it for slaughter.

The animal was first spotted in Johnston, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Providence, by Tho Xaykosy, an Uber driver.

“It was about 2 a.m. I was on my way to pick up a passenger, and I look to my left, and there was a cow there, just hanging out, waiting for the red light! When it turned green, the cow goes! I was like ...” Xaykosy said, shaking his head.

The steer eventually made it to Providence, where local authorities contacted the Department of Environmental Management and animal control. Neither agency had the resources to capture and transport the animal, according to a police report.

Johnston police say the animal was still on the run as of Thursday night.

TME – Someone made a big mis-steak.

Last modified on Sunday, 14 February 2021 13:29

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