Weird news of the week (Oct 24-30)

SMRT's embarrassing typo, foam tsunami invades India streets, and more of this week’s oddest news. 

Commuters amused by train breakdown at “Tampenis”
Commuters amused by train breakdown at “Tampenis”
30 Oct 2015

Commuters amused by train breakdown at “Tampenis”

Commuters who were affected by the MRT breakdown on East-West Line on Wednesday (Oct 28) afternoon were treated to a bit of a laugh during the disruption, thanks to a Freudian slip by SMRT. Along with the train breakdown, SMRT’s spelling also broke down, spelling “Tampines” as “Tampenis” in announcements flashed on screens at stations. Unsurprisingly, netizens had a field day coming up with dirty jokes to amuse themselves while some pointed out that SMRT wasn’t exactly wrong - apparently this was how Tampines was spelt in the early 1900s. Oh well, you learn something new every day. 

Art installation binned after cleaners mistook it for rubbish
Art installation binned after cleaners mistook it for rubbish
30 Oct 2015

Art installation binned after cleaners mistook it for rubbish

A cleaner at an Italian museum mistook an art installation featuring empty champagne bottles, cigarette butts and spent party poppers for trash and binned it. Entitled “Where shall we go dancing tonight?”, the installation which was created by Milan artists Sara Goldschmied and Eleonora Chiari, was designed to represent the consumerism, fraud, mass media and wild parties of the 1980s. Apparently it looked so authentic that the weekend cleaning lady thought the mess was left over from a party the night before and cleared it – she reportedly even separated the “garbage” into bags for recycling (how thoughtful!). When museum staff realised the mistake, they quickly salvaged the materials from the trash and recreated the art work, though the artists were not amused. The installation reopened on Tuesday.

Foam tsunami invades India streets
Foam tsunami invades India streets
30 Oct 2015

Foam tsunami invades India streets

A mysterious wall of white foam has hit the Indian city of Bangalore. According to residents, the toxic foam which covered the Bellandur Lake suddenly caught fire and broke into flames as high as four feet (1.2 metres). The toxic foam is a result of the buildup of sewage and chemical waste that flow into the lake and has been covering it for more than 15 years. Every time it rains, froth rises and covers commuters and vehicles when they cross the bridge over the lake, said one resident.

Hong Kong Airlines fight delayed because pilot forgot passport
Hong Kong Airlines fight delayed because pilot forgot passport
30 Oct 2015

Hong Kong Airlines fight delayed because pilot forgot passport

A Hong Kong airlines flight was delayed nearly one and a half hours in Shanghai last week after a co-pilot forgot his passport. The Hong Kong-bound flight carrying some 200 passengers was supposed to depart at 7.55am but only took off at 9.26am. According to media reports, the airline said the delay was caused by air traffic control and “travel document issues” but a passenger claimed he overheard ground staff discussing the co-pilot’s slip up. After making numerous complaints, the passenger said the airline finally acknowledged that it had “failed to meet [customer service] standards” and that it has taken appropriate action in the relevant departments.

No bidders for Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch on Taobao
No bidders for Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch on Taobao
30 Oct 2015

No bidders for Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch on Taobao

Michael Jackson’s infamous Neverland ranch went under the hammer on Taobao, proving that you can buy just about anything on the online shopping site. Now called Sycamore Valley Ranch, the sprawling 12,000-square-foot property inspired by the tale of Peter Pan was listed at a low price of 500 million yuan (S$110 million). Despite attracting more than 60,000 views and a 50,000 yuan (S$11,000) deposit for a bid, it failed to find a buyer when the one-day auction closed on Tuesday (Oct 27). 

‘Death experience’ schools teach suicidal students to appreciate life
‘Death experience’ schools teach suicidal students to appreciate life
30 Oct 2015

‘Death experience’ schools teach suicidal students to appreciate life

In response to South Korea’s rising suicidal rates, “death experience” schools are being set up to teach depressed students to appreciate life, by showing them what it’s like to be dead. During the course, students take their “funeral portraits, make fake wills, and read their farewell letters aloud before they are given mock funerals. During the “funeral”, they are locked inside coffins for at least ten minutes, where they contemplate life from another perspective. Students wake up afterwards and emerge from their coffins, where, they say, they feel “liberated” from their troubles. 

Frozen poo crashes into UK couple’s roof
Frozen poo crashes into UK couple’s roof
30 Oct 2015

Frozen poo crashes into UK couple’s roof

This has got to be the most bizarre insurance claim ever. A retired UK couple has been left with a hole in their roof after a chunk of frozen poo and urine fell from a passing plane. Keith and Ruth Mead claimed the seven-inch long excrement was ejected from the plane’s toilet and froze before it hit their roof. The couple said they thought it was a car accident when they heard a “horrendous crash” but were shocked to find a frozen lump of urine and faeces. Keith quickly put the poo ball in his freezer to show insurance assessors, who were unsurprisingly speechless. The Civil Aviation Authority said such incidents are relatively rare with around 25 ice falls reported in the UK each year. 

“Fattest dog” travels like a boss
“Fattest dog” travels like a boss
30 Oct 2015

“Fattest dog” travels like a boss

A photo of a fat dog went viral after it was spotted flying first class on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Denver on Monday (Oct 26). According to Twitter user Madeleinedoux, the fat pooch boarded the plane last and sat in the front row of first class with its owner. It spent most of the flight lying on the ground near its seat, and did not bark for the duration of the trip.

The dog was later identified as Hank, whose owner, Beverly Hills interior designer Kari Whitman, is the founder of Ace of Hears of Dog Rescue. Hank, a 74kg Mastiff breed dog which Kari rescued from a shelter, is her support animal and due to an illness, can only move with the aid of a cart. Well, that explains its size.
 

Woman fined after video of her KTV-ing while driving goes viral
Woman fined after video of her KTV-ing while driving goes viral
30 Oct 2015

Woman fined after video of her KTV-ing while driving goes viral

Singing our hearts out while driving is not unusual. Most of us do it when we’re alone and no one really cares when we do it, except when this lady in Chengdu decided to karaoke during her commute. A nosy passenger in another vehicle could not resist filming the woman’s KTV session, complete with all the feels and a gold microphone to boot. Despite the traffic, the woman never once put down her mike during the 50 second clip. Unfortunately for her, the clip went viral and drew the attention of the traffic police who tracked her down and slapped her with a 200 yuan fine (S$45) and two demerit points.

Related:
Weird news of the week (Oct 17-23)
Weird news of the week (Oct 10-16)
Weird news of the week (Oct 3-9)

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