Finally! The election’s over. No more debates, no more super PACs, no more negative ads. Wait, what’s that you say? The next presidential election is only 1,459 days away? Don’t sweat it. Why not take your mind off politics with the Latitude News mishmash, three weird and wacky stories from around the world.
Not just in the cartoons
It’s true: crocodiles really do live in sewers. According to a report in the Jewish Press, Palestinian police have finally recaptured a feisty croc that escaped from a local zoo two years ago.
The 6-foot reptile reportedly lived in the sewage network of Beit Lahia, a city in Gaza, emerging only to feed on the livestock of unsuspecting shepherds.
“It came as a baby and now it is huge and the more it grows the more dangerous it becomes for the residents of the area and their [animals],” the head of Beit Lahia’s sewer system told Albawaba before the crocodile was captured.
Apparently, sanitation workers tipped police off to the beast’s whereabouts two months ago. Officers spent several frustrating weeks trying to capture the slippery croc before calling in local fishermen, who used shark nets to snare their prey.
Sakher, or “Rock,” has since been returned to his zoo, where he will be reunited with four other crocodiles.
He first came to Palestine via an underground smuggling tunnel with Egypt, through which weapons, food, medicine and other goods enter the country.
Maybe you’ve heard about the lengths the New York Aquarium went to in order to save its animals during the flooding of Hurricane Sandy. Did anyone think to count the crocs at the Bronx Zoo?
Free beer causes Christmas chaos
Free beer! What could go wrong? Lots, apparently, in Denmark.
Every November, the Danish brewery Tuborg releases its Christmas brew, Julebryg, and bars give out free samples of the lager. You can see how that might be a recipe for disaster.
The Copenhagen Post reports that police arrested scores of Danes for the usual drunken crimes: fighting, public urination, drunk driving and vandalism.
“This is always a busy day,” says Henrik Olesen of the Copenhagen police. “There are more people in town and there are always some who do not know how to behave.”
The tradition of giving Julebryg away – called J-dag, or “J-day” – began in 1990, according to the Post. Every year, “scantily-clad women” hand out the beer to customers.
“The purpose of J-dag is to get people out for a fun night with friends,” says a spokesperson for Carlsberg, which owns the Tuborg brand. “It is too bad that there are a few that would spoil it for everyone.”
This is a bad bad tradition in a country with epidemic levels of alcoholism and public health issues as a result. If this advertising stunt is so frigging important to Carlsberg, then they should foot the bill for the extra overtime, lost income from violence and injury, and the general clean-up bill for washing up vomit and piss. It’s really as simple as that.
Corpses on display in South Africa
Not in my backyard, thank you very much. That’s the word from Cape Town, where a museum exhibit promises fully preserved human corpses “strung up in postures of activity” like throwing a football, playing the guitar or even something much more risqué, as you can see in the picture on the left.
Some South Africans aren’t impressed, according to a report in the Daily Maverick. Nokuzola Mndende, a proponent of traditional African religion, calls the display “totally against African culture” and says the government should ban it.
A spokesperson for the Muslim Judicial Council adds that she believes “a normal person will be very offended” by the exhibit.
The exhibit uses the corpses of people who agree to give their bodies up for display. It is run by an organization called Body Worlds, which hosts events all over the world and has pioneered the technique of “plastination,” which preserves a corpse by replacing all its bodily fluids with plastic.
Body Worlds and its founder, the German anatomist Gunther Von Hagens, are no strangers to controversy. Religious groups have long accused the exhibits of defiling the dead and exploiting them for commercial profit. And the German magazine Der Spiegel claimed that Von Hagens used the bodies of executed Chinese prisoners in one of his shows. Von Hagens denied the charges, but ultimately sent the corpses back to China.
On a family trip to the Boston Museum of Science several Thanksgivings ago, this lily-livered reporter actually had the misfortune of seeing a Body Worlds exhibit. The exposed muscles and twisted tendons, the awkward positions and overwhelming aura of death all overwhelmed me and I fled, green in the face and sick to my stomach.
My family, mainly doctors and scientists, loved it. One cousin in medical school said Body Worlds should be required viewing for kids, especially the side-by-side comparison of the lungs of a smoker and a non-smoker.
If you’re curious or brave enough to check it out for yourself, Body Worlds is also on display in Anchorage, Alaska and Columbus, Ohio, as well as locations in Germany, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and Turkey.