<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Weird News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/weird http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.comen-usWed, 22 Feb 2017 10:30:24 -0500Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:30:24 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Girl Turns to Police Department for Help on Math Homework]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 10:08:42 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/16640810_10109124209283375_6508236704912685509_n.jpg

When a 10-year-old girl needed help with her math homework, she sought assistance from an unlikely source — her local police department.

“I’m having trouble with my homework. Could you help me?” Lena Draper wrote in a Facebook message to the Marion, Ohio Police Department.

The department responded, and — surprise, surprise — it had answers

The first equation: (8+29)x15.

“Do the numbers in the parenthesis first so in essence it would be 37 x 15,” the department replied.

Then a second problem: (90+27) + (29+15)x2

“Take the answer from the first parenthesis plus the answer from the second parenthesis and multiply that answer times two,” the department wrote. “Work left to right doing the work inside the parenthesis first.”

The young student’s mother, Molly Draper, posted screenshots of the exchange on Facebook soon after learning what her daughter had done.

“My daughter. Cause… she’s my daughter,” Draper wrote. “Thank you, Marion, Ohio Police Department, for truly building relationships with the community.”

As some were quick to note, however, the department solved the second equation inaccurately.

Using the order of operations, the problem is actually solved by adding the numbers in parentheses first, multiplying the second sum by two and adding that total to the sum of the numbers in the first parentheses.

“Hoping it is truly the thought that counts since apparently I cannot! Especially since the answer was wrong, it was very nice for Molly to acknowledge our attempt to help her daughter with some math homework,” the department wrote on its Facebook page. “We do aim to be a full service police department after all. Have to say this is the first time we have been asked by a young Facebook follower to help with homework through messenger but hey, we SERVE and protect. Maybe should have mentioned that History was my favorite subject before answering. Well, we know now!”

The officer writing on the department's page wondered what made the child call on them for help with her homework, saying it wasn’t unheard of “but still pretty rare.”

“The fact that this particular problem (third grade math) was over our head was not the important part,” the department wrote. “What's important is that an environment has been created in this community, quite deliberately that nurtures a sense of connection and belonging and trust. Because those things exist, this rather popular Facebook post was able to happen.”

Photo Credit: Marion, Ohio Police Department/ Facebook
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<![CDATA[Suspected Drunk Driver Does Cartwheels During Sobriety Test]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 07:04:04 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/dui-suspect1.jpg

Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico arrested a woman they say did cartwheels during a field sobriety test Friday.

Bryelle Marshall, 23, was arrested and charged with battery, aggravated DWI and driving with an expired license plate after her vehicle was reported driving recklessly

Albuquerque police said an officer found Marshall asleep behind the wheel of her parked car.

After waking Marshall up, officers asked her to step out of the vehicle. Police said she appeared to be extremely intoxicated and was having a hard time listening to the officers' commands.

The incident was recorded by one of the officers' body cameras.


A DWI officer was giving Marshall instructions to complete the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), to which she responded by laughing and doing cartwheels in front of the officers.

The officer then attempted to demonstrate the tests to Marshall when she completed another cartwheel and struck the officer in the back.

At that point, Marshall's opportunities to complete the tests were over and she was arrested.

Photo Credit: Albuquerque Police Department
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<![CDATA[Bull in Wild NYC Chase Dies Hours After Capture]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:40:25 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/runaway+cow1.jpg

The rogue bull that escaped from a Queens slaughterhouse and led police on a wild, hours-long chase through neighborhood streets Tuesday, ducking under caution tape and sidestepping cops, has died, NYPD officials confirmed.

The bull, which was seen with at least a dozen tranquilizer darts in its side over the course of the miles-long chase, died at some point before 2:30 p.m., nearly three hours after it escaped a Beaver Road slaughterhouse and went on a free-for-all through Queens, dodging police in Jamaica and South Ozone Park before it was captured in someone's backyard.

A cause of death for the animal wasn't immediately clear, but a spokeswoman for Animal Care Centers of NYC said it died during transport. It wasn't clear where the animal was being taken at the time and city officials had no further comment. The remains will now be taken to a crematorium, officials said. 

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The animal's demise culminates a wild chase that featured daring efforts by police and passersby to bring the bull into custody. Live video from Chopper 4 showed the bull penned between two houses at one point Tuesday as authorities attempted to wrangle it. Chopper footage then captured the animal outmaneuvering law enforcement, dodging an officer who had jumped atop an emergency response vehicle, and ducking under yellow caution tape as it galloped down the middle of a street and onto a sidewalk.

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Passersby appeared to give chase as police, on foot and in department-issued vehicles, pursued the animal. Several times it appeared officers had managed to corral the animal, but each time the bull shot through makeshift barriers and started running down the street again.

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The bull appeared exhausted by about 12:15 p.m., settling in the middle of a street as officers armed with tranquilizer equipment tried -- and failed -- once again to take the animal into custody. About 10 minutes later, the animal was apprehended in someone's backyard; its legs were tied to keep it immobile as at least a half-dozen police officers crowded around it. 

Cows escaped slaughterhouses at least twice last year, in January and April. In the second case, comedian Jon Stewart took possession of the bull and transferred it to an animal sanctuary he owns. 

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Tuesday's crazy chase vaulted the bull to the stuff of Internet legend in a manner of hours. It becomes the second "viral" animal to die in the city in the last few months. In December, a white-tailed buck who was granted a last-minute reprieve from euthanasia after a days-long back and forth between the city and state died in Harlem. The one-antlered buck died while state officials from the Department of Environmental Conservation were arranging relocation. The city blamed the state for its death; the state blamed the city.

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Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York
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<![CDATA[Student Grades Ex's Apology Letter]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:34:09 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-553200253.jpg

A University of Central Florida student's reaction to his ex-girlfriend's plea for forgiveness is making the rounds on social media.

Nick Lutz received a hand-written, four-page letter from his ex, who apologized for the mistakes she made in their relationship.

But the lovelorn woman's effort did not make the grade for Lutz. He marked up her apology letter, gave it a D- and said he sent it back to her.

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The college student posted the letter to Twitter on Friday with all of his corrections and suggestions in red ink. The tweet has since garnered more than 311,000 likes and 106,000 retweets.

He first noted an indention error and criticized the long introduction. Then, he scrutinized the body and statements made throughout the letter.

His ex blamed herself while admiring her former lover. However, she made one detail clear: "I never cheated on you."

Lutz wrote in response: "Strong statement. No supporting details to support your hypothesis."

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The UCF student corrected a misspelling too: "loose" to the more appropriate "lose."

At the end of the four-page letter, Lutz pointed out that his ex had a "strong hypothesis but nothing to back it up." He added that "details are important" and that she needs "to stop contradicting your own story and pick a side."

Lutz signed the letter, "good luck."

We're not sure if his ex has moved on, but it sure does look like Lutz is not interested in rekindling the love.

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Photo Credit: Westend61, Getty
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<![CDATA[Ohio Woman's Final Jab at Trump]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:02:47 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_116963857380.jpg

As her loved ones mourn their loss, one Ohio woman found a source of comfort in her own passing – by taking a shot at President Donald Trump in her obituary.

Elizabeth "Liz" Smith died Monday at the age of 87, surrounded by her family, who then made her political views well known.

"Liz is smiling now, not to be living during the Trump presidency," her obituary reads.

A member of Huron County Democratic Party and a poll worker, Smith’s daughter told the Sandusky Register that her mother "doesn’t like the man, she never has."

"She had seen that in somebody else’s obituary and kind of made a note of that," said Deborah Lucal.

Smith was a lifetime member of Girl Scouts USA and an avid volunteer, as well as an active member of her church and a travel enthusiast.

Despite Smith’s preference for blue when it came to her politics, Lucal told the Register that her mother requested everyone wear red to her funeral, in celebration of her life.

Smith was hardly the first to make a political statement in her departure.

A Pennsylvania chiropractor who passed away in Jan. 2016 at the age of 70 had just one request for his mourners: "In lieu of flowers, please don't vote for Donald Trump."

His son told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he and his brother decided to include the line after seeing a New Jersey woman’s obituary the previous August, asking loved ones not to vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Though commentary came from both sides of the afterlife aisle, one Virginia woman’s obituary broke with the partisan trend in her post-mortem political plea.

"Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God," her May 2016 obituary said.

Photo Credit: Rogelio V. Solis, AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Scientists Say They’ve Discovered a Lost Continent]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 11:55:37 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/TLMD-zealandia--.jpg

Scientists say they have identified an underwater continent two-thirds the size of Australia — and they are calling it Zealandia.

This newly proposed continent is about 1.74 million square miles in size and 94 percent submerged. But at its highest points, it protrudes above the ocean surface in the form of New Zealand and New Caledonia, according to a paper published in GSA Today, the journal of the Geological Society of America.

"If we could pull the plug on the oceans, it would be clear to everyone we have mountain chains and a big, high-standing continent above the ocean crust," Nick Mortimer, a geologist at GNS Science in Dunedin, New Zealand, told Reuters.

Zealandia is believed to have broken away from Australia about 80 million years ago and sunk beneath the sea as part of the break-up of the super-continent Gondwanaland.

Photo Credit: GSA Today]]>
<![CDATA[Brewery Offers Paid Leave for Workers Who Rescue Dogs]]> Sat, 18 Feb 2017 02:23:27 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/brew-dog-today-170217-tease_ce1564ad4fd9dd4f935c216394edac83.today-inline-large.jpg

Scotland-based brewery BrewDog recognizes that, while a dog is a person's best friend, introducing a new dog into the home can be a difficult process.

The company announced earlier this week that they're giving their 1,000 employees around the world (including those working at a soon-to-open brewery in Columbus, Ohio) a week's paid leave if they become rescue dog owners.

This "paw-ternity" leave includes puppies and full-grown dogs. Considering that Americans spend more than $60 billion each year on their pets, according to the American Pet Products Association, the paw-ternity idea is now starting to find support in the U.S.

"It's not easy trying to juggle work and settle a new dog into your life, and many members of our crew have four-legged friends at home," company co-founder James Watt told KARE-11 TV.

"We wanted to take the stress out of the situation and let our teams take the time they need to welcome their new puppy or dog into their family."

Photo Credit: @BrewDog/Twitter
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<![CDATA[Thousands of Dead, Dying Bees Wash Ashore in Fla.]]> Wed, 08 Feb 2017 10:57:08 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/020717+bees+wash+up+in+naples.jpg

Thousands of dead and dying bees are washing up on a popular beach in Southern Florida.

Naples beach goers had to watch where they stepped Tuesday after some people say they have been stung just along the shoreline, according to NBC affiliate WBBH-TV.

Martha Duff lives in Naples and recently had a painful encounter with the bees.

"I've been stung a couple of times and at first, I didn't know what it was and then I realized and then I had an allergic reaction," Duff said.

Naples residents say the problem started only a few days ago. They are both concerned and confused.

"Why are there bees? Where are they coming from? And why are they in a very specific area of the beach?" Duff said.

A bee expert told WBBH that seeing bees wash up at the beach is very unusual. The cause could be anything from a nearby pesticide spraying forcing them to the water or a swarm flying overhead that became exhausted and flew into the water.

Photo Credit: WBBH-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Doctor Removes 130-Pound Tumor From Mississippi Man ]]> Tue, 07 Feb 2017 18:57:06 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/docGettyImages-71205638.jpg

A California doctor removed a 130-pound tumor from a Mississippi man who had been told by other physicians that he was just fat.

Roger Logan, 57, had the non-cancerous growth removed on Jan. 31 at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, where he will remain for another week or so before returning to Gulfport, Mississippi.

The tumor probably started as an ingrown hair that became infected, swelled and developed its own blood supply, Logan's surgeon, Dr. Vipul Dev, told the Bakersfield Californian.

It sprouted from his lower abdomen more than a decade ago.

Doctors told him: "You're just fat, it's just fat," Logan told KERO-TV in Bakersfield.

The tumor grew so massive that it hung to the floor when he sat.

"I used to equate it, you just put a strap around your neck and carry three bags of cement around with you all day long, just swinging," Logan said.

Virtually unable to move, he spent most of his time in a recliner in one room of his home.

By the time the tumor reached 130 to 140 pounds, doctors told Logan it was too risky for him to have surgery, giving him only a 50 percent chance of surviving it.

But his wife, Kitty, scoured the country for specialists to perform the operation and found Dev, who had performed similar surgeries.

"She just kept pushing," Logan told the Californian. "She wouldn't let me quit."

Logan finally made the 2,000-mile, 40-hour trip to Central California with his chair bolted to the floor of a cargo van, "just like I was in my living room at home," Logan told the paper.

Logan is now recovering and last Thursday he was able to walk for practically the first time in years.

"My feet are together," Logan said, wiggling his toes in his hospital bed. "They haven't been together in years."

He is looking forward to returning home and resuming his life, out of an armchair.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Texas Family Finds Snake in Toilet, Then 23 More in Their Home]]> Fri, 03 Feb 2017 16:07:55 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2017-02-03-10h24m10s160.jpg

You can expect to find snakes in a Texas yard, in a pile of leaves or maybe in the garden. But the toilet is usually the last place to look.


Abilene mother of five Cassie McFadden woke up to a surprise when her 4-year-old son ran into the bedroom and informed her of a snake in their toilet. 

McFadden told a reporter for KRBC news she was forced to "hit it a few times, unfortunately." 

The incident made the family worry about what else may be lurking within their home. So McFadden's husband, Jason, took action.

"I didn't want to risk it," Jason McFadden said. "So that's when I felt moved to find a local snake removal company."

It's good he did. Big Country Snake Removal pulled 10 rattlesnakes from under the house and 13 from the cellar. 

Nathan Hawkins of Big Country Snake Removal blames the rain for the increase in snake sightings.

"The rodent population has been super high this year, therefore, more snakes," Hawkins said.

<![CDATA[Calif. Groundhog Is a Tortoise]]> Fri, 03 Feb 2017 06:36:25 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/livingdesertmojavemaxine.jpg

When is a groundhog a tortoise?

It sounds like it might be a riddle from a whimsical storybook or some age-old philosophical question, the kind of brainteaser that makes us ponder the nature of animalia, nature and the world.

But here's the straightforward answer: A groundhog is a tortoise when Californians speak of Mojave Maxine, and not Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil, at the start of February.

The furry superstar Punxsutawney Phil is the impressively toothed prognosticator who predicts if spring season will arrive early, or if winter will persist. On Feb. 2 each year, Phil emerges from his burrow to look at his shadow. No shadow? Spring's on the way. Shadow seen? Better bundle up for six more weeks. (Phil said there's more winter to come for 2017.)

Mojave Maxine's claim to animal-cute, season-predicting fame doesn't involve her shadow. At The Living Desert animal park in Palm Desert., Maxine's mavens -- devotees of the desert tortoise and schoolkids across the region -- keep an eye on her scrubby, rock-lined burrow, waiting for her to trundle out after a brumation, a reptile's hibernation period.

Now that Punxsutawney Phil's big moment has wrapped, when will Mojave Maxine emerge in 2017? Giving us all the tortoise-authenticated sign that spring in California, or at least the California desert, is definitely nigh?

There's a contest each year for students to guess the date and time the hard-shelled star will make her first cameo of the year.

One clue as to her pattern? Mojave Maxine left her burrow on Feb. 8 in 2016, so we may see her soon. Keep a watch on The Living Desert, which will announce the tortoise's emergence and the end of California winter.

Photo Credit: The Living Desert
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<![CDATA[Pet Python Stuck in Owner's Ear]]> Thu, 02 Feb 2017 12:04:28 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_snake0202_1500x845.jpg A Portland woman rushed to the emergency room after her pet snake became stuck in her gauged earlobe.]]> <![CDATA[Florida's Manatees Predict Different Super Bowl 51 Winner]]> Thu, 02 Feb 2017 09:23:34 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/HughSuperbowlPick_20170201_12.jpg

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium resident manatees Buffett and Hugh have been predicting the winner of the Super Bowl since 2008.

Americans will bet $4.7 billion on Super Bowl 51 between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons, according to an estimate released Tuesday by the American Gaming Association (AGA), marking an 11 percent rise from last year’s Super Bowl

Without analyzing the statistics and gameplay of both the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, which manatee should you place your bets on?

According to Mote, Buffett has accurately predicted the Super Bowl winner eight of nine times and Hugh has been right five of nine times.

This year, "Buffett knew exactly who he wanted to pick and went straight for the Atlanta Falcons. Hugh was a little undecided, but ultimately chose the New England Patriots," said Kat Boerner, Manatee Research Supervisor, in a press release.

Hugh and Buffett are the world’s most extensively trained manatees, Mote says. The training the facility focuses on revolves around husbandry behaviors, which help facilitate veterinary care, and research.

"By having the manatees trained to go to targets, we are able to maneuver them around the exhibit and ask them for a variety of behaviors," said Boerner.

A square PVC structure is placed in the manatee exhibit with a photo of the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, and all Hugh and Buffett had to do was touch one of the two targets.

In Norwalk, Conneticut, a seal at the Maritime Aquarium held her nose against a photo of the Patriots' helmet, taking her pick for the winner. However, do not hold your breaths, the aquarium’s seals so far are zero for five in predicting the winner of the NFL championship game.

Tune in to watch the Super Bowl LI at 6:30 p.m. EST Sunday in Houston, Texas, and to see which manatee, or seal, chose the right winner.

Photo Credit: Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium]]>
<![CDATA[Photos Show Cat's Amazing Transformation After Rescue]]> Fri, 27 Jan 2017 06:45:01 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/sinbad+found.jpg The cat named Sinbad was found in terrible condition by utilities workers in a Chicago basement last year

Photo Credit: The Anti-Cruelty Society ]]>
<![CDATA[This Dutch Ad For a Pregnancy Test Has One Glaring Problem]]> Thu, 26 Jan 2017 20:01:00 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/PregoAd.jpg

The look of surprise and excitement on the faces of this couple in an advertisement for a pregnancy test would make sense if not for one bumpy issue.

The ad by the Dutch company Predictor shows a happy couple reacting to a positive pregnancy test, except they would have to be the two most clueless people on the planet to not have already reached that conclusion themselves. 

The image is of a happy couple reacting to the pregnancy test, with the woman already looking visibly pregnant.

The ad is tagged with the line, "When you need to know."

The end result is that if "you need to know," you might want to get on that about seven months earlier than this couple did.

Photo Credit: Predictor
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<![CDATA[Friends, Legislators Fight to Save NY Family's Support Pig]]> Thu, 26 Jan 2017 20:08:41 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/StatenIslandPig_Wilbur.jpg

Wilbur is at the heart of conflict again, except this time he's not in a barnyard watching over "Charlotte's Web," he's on Staten Island.

Reporters crowded the backyard of Cristy Matteo's Hylan Boulevard home. Friends, neighbors and fellow pig owners stood behind Matteo holding up homemade signs in support of the pig as she took her place at the podium. "Save Wilbur!" one sign said. 'Let Wilbur stay in his home!" read another.

New York City has ordered the Great Kills woman to get rid of her pet pig, who has served as her father's therapy pet, by Jan. 31. Matteo, whose father has cancer, called the situation "heartbreaking," noting that the pig has become a member of the family since she brought him home from Utah five years ago. 

"He's like my child," she said about the helpful hog. "He's very emotional, he's very caring."

Matteo had her initial health violation dismissed last year by a judge who found that the Wilbur didn't qualify as a "wild animal." However, she said her case was overturned when it was brought to Manhattan.

That's when the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ordered the pig out of her home, otherwise he'd be seized by the city.

Wilbur is so much of a comfort to her dad, the National Service Animal Registry has deemed him an "emotional support animal". Her father's oncologist has even said that he's helped keep his stress levels down, according to Matteo.

"As soon as my father would walk into the house, Wilbur would lay down in front of him and my father would rub his belly for an hour just trying to take his mind off of the radiation treatment he had all day," she said. "He's no harm to anybody, he stays in the house 95 percent of the time wrapped up in a sleeping bag all day."

A spokesperson from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said that the DOH issued several warnings to Matteo prior to issuing the August 2016 order.

"The Health Department has been working with Wilbur's owner for a year now and we will continue to work with her as she transfers Wilbur to a sanctuary," the agency said in a statement Thursday. "While we can appreciate how emotional this issue can be, the Health Department's primary role is to protect public health."

He added that she agreed to have Wilbur sent to a sanctuary and chose the location in November.

The Department said the Board of Health mandated that pigs remain on the list of prohibited animals because there's no USDA-approved rabies vaccine for pigs.

State Sen. Tony Avella called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to change the policy regarding pigs as support animals. He said that the city has failed to properly address the issue.

"There are municipalities across the country that do allow these animals, so why is New York City behind the curve?" Avella said. 

Avella says he proposed a state bill that would allow the state commissioner of the Department of Health to come up with regulations permitting municipalities to have support pigs, but the city council would need to mandate the bill for the proposition to take effect.

The state senator from Queens, who announced his New York City mayoral bid last month, says he'll change the laws regarding pet pigs if he is elected.

Staten Island legislators have also rallied behind the pig. The politicians sent a letter to the commissioner of the city Department of Health Wednesday requesting an exemption to allow Wilbur to stay put.

People have signed an online petition to keep Wilbur in Staten Island. As of Thursday evening, the family need a little over 100 signatures away from their goal of 10,000 signatures by Jan. 31st.

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Photo Credit: NBC New York]]>
<![CDATA[Dogs Enjoy the Sights of London]]> Fri, 27 Jan 2017 15:31:08 -0500 N DOGGYSSENTI>LS]]> //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WIDE+DOGS.jpg What's described as the world's "first" tour bus designed especially for dogs took some pampered pooches on sightseeing tours of London. The tour bus promoter said over 160 dogs enjoyed a ride on the special "K-9" bus over three days last week. The route concentrated on London's dog-walking hotspots. Dog owners joined their pets on board the traditional London bus. The company said the rides were sold out every day.

<![CDATA[Wyoming School Says No Guns for Grizzly Bears]]> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 06:18:41 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_devosbears0119_1500x845.jpg Grizzly bears near Wyoming schools got national attention after Donald Trump's education secretary nominee mentioned them in a Senate hearing this week. Betsy DeVos suggested teachers in Wapiti, Wyoming, may need guns to fend off bears, but the school says that's not the case.]]> <![CDATA[Community Embraces Goat Neighbors]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 20:31:57 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_goats0109_1920x1080.jpg A large herd of goats has become a popular fixture in one Florida community. Neighbors have been visiting and feeding the goats for years, but many had no idea how the animals ended up there.

Photo Credit: WJHG-TV]]>
<![CDATA[New York Subway Riders Ditch Pants]]> Mon, 09 Jan 2017 11:59:33 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NO+PANTS+THUMB.jpg New York Subway riders were in full winter attire except for their pants as part of the annual 'No Pants Subway Ride.']]> <![CDATA[Surfing on Lake Michigan in Winter]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 18:43:35 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/SURFER_CHICAGO_THUMB.jpg Hear from a group of surfers who ventured out to surf on Lake Michigan in the middle of winter.]]> <![CDATA[Auto Dealer Commercial Bloopers Go Viral ]]> Fri, 06 Jan 2017 13:47:17 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/215*120/WhiteBearMitsubishi.png A blooper posted on an auto dealer's Facebook page may prove to be the better marketing strategy, after White Bear Mitsubishi's outtakes reel gathered millions of views in just two weeks. The commercial, posted on Dec. 23, 2016, tickled viewer funny bones after a white bear mascot is shown slipping multiple times throughout the recording. (Video courtesy White Bear Mitsubishi)]]> <![CDATA[Mandy Moore Shower Mosaic ]]> Thu, 05 Jan 2017 16:12:02 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-629176044.jpg

A mural of Mandy Moore was said to be found inside an apartment shower in Queens — a piece of art that inspired the singer and actress to respond on Twitter.

Roommates apparently discovered the life-sized, sepia-toned mural after they bought the apartment. It appears to depict a bikini-clad Moore brushing back her hair.

The mural came to light after Peter Kaplan posted a photo of it to Twitter on Monday, writing “My friend’s friend bought an apt in Queens and there was a Mandy Moore mosaic in the shower.”

A text message accompanying the photo suggests that some people didn’t believe the mosaic was of Moore, but a years-old photo of the singer matches up perfectly.

Moore, 32, even responded to Kaplan on Twitter: “It’s equal parts flattering and terrifying??”

Some Twitter users chimed in with photos and descriptions of unusual mosaics they’d discovered in bathrooms over the years. Others posted tweets of admiration or sarcasm — “it’s the most magical thing ever” and “it’s a fabled mandy moorsaic.”

Still others weren’t so happy about the mural’s existence. One apparent Queens resident wrote: “damn these people for giving my borough a bad name!”

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Llama Runs Free on Roads Near Athens, Georgia]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 17:27:27 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/llama-loose-athens-georgia.jpg

A llama was on the lam in Georgia for a little while Wednesday afternoon, bringing out sheriff's deputies and, according to two witnesses, slowing traffic as onlookers gawked. 

The woolly scofflaw was seen in Oconee County, on the 10 highway near Athens, which is east of Atlanta, according to the county sheriff's Facebook page. "We can't make this stuff up," deputies added in a post reporting the loose llama.

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A photo shared to the department's Facebook showed a brown llama with a white neck and black spots around its left eye and mouth.

It appeared to have been wrangled by a captain.  Another photo posted just before 5 p.m. ET showed the llama in custody, along with the caption, "Captain Hale, llama whisperer." Other posts on social media showed the llama surrounded by law enforcement officials.

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Athens resident Hannah Martin tweeted two pictures showing a llama on a road Wednesday around the time of the sheriff's Facebook post.

She told NBC she spotted the llama about 100 yards away, galloping down the median on Epps Bridge Road, and said traffic nearby had stopped.

"I think everyone was just really taken aback," she said.

She and her boyfriend pulled over to take pictures. Martin's boyfriend, Matt Bridgers, said the llama was a fast runner.

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"I at first thought it was a homeless person with a really big backpack," Martin said. "Then I saw it galloping down the median and I realized it was a llama."

In 2015, a pair of loose llamas being chased by Arizona law enforcement brought business on the internet to a near-standstill as people watched live feeds from helicopters. Even Sen. John McCain and the Arizona Cardinals watched that llama drama unfold. (The llamas were safely corralled.)

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Martins and Bridgers said they weren't aware of that precedent when they pulled over for this llama.

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Photo Credit: Oconee County Georgia Sheriff's Office / Twitter user @definatley
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<![CDATA[Utah Woman Says Plane Dropped Feces on Her Home ]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 15:01:57 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NC_planewaste0104_1920x1080.jpg A Salt Lake City woman says a commercial plane dropped human waste on her car and home, and it isn't the first time this has happened. "At first I thought, 'Wow, some bird really took a dump on my car!" said Bethany Bowker. "It's disgusting." ]]> <![CDATA[Snake in a Toilet! Arlington Woman Makes Startling Discovery]]> Wed, 04 Jan 2017 19:37:56 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/blue_peacock_background.jpg

This probably isn't something you thought you needed to be afraid of.

Think again?

A Virginia woman called Animal Control last week after she found a snake in a toilet in an Arlington County apartment. To repeat: She. Found. A. Snake. In. A. Toilet.

An animal control officer was able to safely remove the "lost and confused" snake and brought him to the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, the animal shelter said in a Facebook post Tuesday.

The snake is a juvenile yellow anaconda, the animal shelter said. Yellow anacondas can grow to be 13 feet long and to weigh more than 100 pounds.

The shelter has named him Sir Hiss.

Well, they think the snake is a him. It's hard to tell, with snakes.

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Fortunately, animal control officers were able to find a specialist who will be able to care for the snake, animal shelter officials said. The snake will not be available for adoption, because the shelter finds that snakes that grow that large -- and have special care needs -- aren't appropriate for adoptions.

"We highly encourage anyone thinking about having a snake as a pet to do extremely thorough research to determine whether they will be able to adequately care for their snake," they said. "...Plus, [no one] likes being surprised by a lost and confused snake in their toilet!"

True. So, so very true.

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No one knows exactly how the snake got into the toilet, but there is a "high, high, high likelihood" that someone in the building owned the snake and it either got out of its enclosure or it was abandoned, said Chelsea Lindsey, a communications specialist with the Animal Welfare League.

Then, the snake could have traveled through pipes, Lindsey said -- it has been known to happen, as snakes seek out water. But it's also possible the snake slithered through another hole and decided a nice body of water was a good place to hang out. "Snakes are very good at getting into small places," Lindsey said.

Reports of snakes in toilets aren't common, but have happened before. "This is not the first time I have ever heard of this," Lindsey said.

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Photo Credit: Animal Welfare League of Arlington
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<![CDATA[Roads In Canada Turn Into Ice Rinks]]> Fri, 30 Dec 2016 14:21:23 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/vlcsnap-2016-12-29-13h35m11s220.jpg Parts of Canada have seen so much ice building up on the roads that residents have been putting on their skates. Laura Spink posted a video from Peterborough on Monday showing an adept skater moving around with ease over the icy road. Many others also used the opportunity to show off their skating skills with Michael Daoust & Nicolas Daoust posting a video of a skater pulling shapes in the middle of a residential street in Quebec.

Photo Credit: APTN]]>
<![CDATA[The Crazy Year in Politics (Besides Trump and Clinton)]]> Wed, 28 Dec 2016 13:23:17 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2016-crazy-year-in-politics.jpg

It's a tradition for NBC News to sum up the oddest, silliest and most head-scratching political moments of the year, but this year was a strange one.

Even if the social media fodder from the deeply divisive battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton election now feels as stale as Christmas leftovers, there were plenty of other hilarious moments from 2016 that remind us that we're all human — even in politics.

There was the good old-fashioned physical humor of Ben Carson spectacularly bungling his entrance to the February ABC News debate. That month, fellow candidate for the Republican presidential nomination Jeb Bush implored an audience to "please clap" as he spoke at a town hall.

Democrats weren't strangers to unintentional comedy either: California Senate candidate Loretta Sanchez tried dabbing at the end of a debate, earning a side-eye from her eventually victorious opponent.

And that doesn't even touch on Ken Bone, Birdie Sanders and the rest of politics' funniest moments of the year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/NBC, File
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<![CDATA[You Can't Expense That Llama: 2016's Wackiest Claims]]> Mon, 26 Dec 2016 06:15:19 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/145441415-llama-generic.jpg

A llama brought in for a photo shoot may just be the zaniest expense request of 2016, according to a survey of more than 430 business travelers, NBC News reports.

A $28,000 bottle-service tab, a blow-up doll and personalized bobblehead figurines also made the list of oddest expenses that the travelers or a colleague tried to push through, per the survey by travel and expense management firm Certify.

Workers trying to expense something offbeat or expensive, or pass off personal expenses as something related to work, can be incurring a risk, experts say.

"You might think of it as a joke, but it could come back to haunt you in the office," said Dan Schawbel, author of "Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rat Hops Down Up NYC Escalator]]> Tue, 20 Dec 2016 13:18:08 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-141167926-rat-generic.jpg

Rats taking on giant dinner rolls and slices of pizza in the subway have become fodder for viral memes this year, but no New York City rodent has attempted such a feat as one undertaken at the height of Monday's morning rush at Penn Station. 

A video posted to YouTube shows a determined rat trying to make its way down the escalator — but going the wrong way — at the Seventh Avenue exit of the busy transit hub around 9 a.m.

People taking the escalator were lunging out of the way as they noticed the rat, according to NBC staffer Josh Kleinbaum, who saw it in action. A woman handing out copies of the Metro newspaper was urging passersby to step on the creature.

Sam Mazur, who took the video, according to Gothamist, told the website the rat caused a bit of commotion. 

"But most people were more amused by it than anything," Mazur said. "It's not like New Yorkers haven't seen a rat before. Still, I'm glad I took the stairs."

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Flickr RF, File
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<![CDATA[Watch: Workers Throw Sex Toys to Chase Off Gunman]]> Fri, 16 Dec 2016 15:35:41 -0500 //media.nbcwashington.com/images/202*120/12-16-2016-sex-toy-robbery-1.JPG

An armed man who entered an adult-themed store Wednesday and demanded cash was chased off by two employees who lobbed sex toys at him in a bizarre confrontation that was caught on camera.

The man can be seen pacing around outside Lotions and Lace, which bills itself as San Bernardino's "One Stop Sex Shop," before pulling a hood over his head and entering the store. He marched toward the cashier's counter with gun drawn, but two women working the late shift refused to back down.

Instead, they began yelling at the man and throwing sex toys at him.

"It blew me away," said store owner Janel Hargreaves. "I initially walked in and see all these toys all over the store, and I say, 'Did you throw these at him?' They're launching them all the way from the cash register all the way up to the front door. It just blew me away that they took it into their own hands."

Hargreaves said the employees thought the gun might be fake, but added employees are encouraged to avoid any type of confrontation.

The man demanded cash, but left with nothing under the barrage of adult merchandise. One of the sex toys appeared to sail just over his head, but a second struck him in the upper body.

Cameras showed the robber walking out with his back turned to employees, but not before they tossed a third toy that rolled on the floor near the robber's feet as he left.

"I told the girls it was not a good idea," she said. "But nope, they took it one step further.

"I think they felt violated. Away from home, this is their home. The message is get out, we're not going to stand for it."

No arrests were reported. 

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>