Mad Minute stories from Monday, May 16th | Strange

LONDON (AP) — The owner of a rural English pub says he was asked to change the bar’s name by a fashion magazine because of the village where it’s located: Vogue.

Mark Graham, who runs the Star Inn at Vogue, said he received a letter from British Vogue publisher Conde Nast, saying the name could “cause problems” because members of the public might confuse the two businesses.

He said the letter from Sabine Vandenbroucke, chief operating officer of Conde Nast Britain, asked if he would change the name, adding: “Please reply within seven days or we will take remedial action.”

Graham stood his ground.

“There’s always too much a case of the big boys trying to stomp on the little boys, and as soon as I realized what they were trying to do, I went ‘you’re not having me, my handsome,’” he told broadcaster ITV.

He sent a reply noting that the village, in Cornwall county about 250 miles (400 kilometers) southwest of London, is considerably older than the magazine, whose British edition was founded in 1916.

“I presume that at the time when you chose the name Vogue … you didn’t seek permission from the villagers of the real Vogue,” he wrote.

“In answer to your question whether we would change our name, it is a categorical NO.”

Graham said that on Friday he received another letter from Conde Nast saying that it regularly monitors use of the name Vogue but acknowledging that “we did not need to send such a letter on this occasion.”


May 16 (UPI) — Animal rescuers came to the assistance of a stuck hedgehog found trapped in a goalpost hole on a soccer field.

The RSPCA said some teenagers playing on the field at Scotswood Social Club in Newcastle, England, lifted the plastic cap over a hole used for goalposts and found a hedgehog was tightly wedged in.

RSPCA inspector Jacqui Miller responded to the scene and used a thin rod normally used to close cat carriers to pry the hedgehog loose.

“I had to improvise, as I couldn’t get my fingers down with gloves as he was stuck in so tightly,” Miller said in a news release. “The only thing I found that I could squeeze down there was the cat carrier pole, which was thin enough. It has a loop at its end, which went neatly underneath the hedgehog’s body, so I could gradually push him up.”

The hedgehog was taken to Sunderland-based animal charity Pawz for Thought, where the animal was dubbed Shearer.

Shearer was examined by a veterinarian and given food and water.

The charity said Shearer will be returned to the wild once he’s back to full strength.


May 16 (UPI) — A coordinated Colombian 19-year-old broke his own world record by solving three Rubik’s cubes in 4 minutes, 31.01 seconds — while juggling them.

Angel Alvarado, who previously set the Guinness World Record at 4 minutes, 52.43 seconds in May 2021, broke his own record in Bogota, Guinness announced.

Alvarado said it took him five months of practice to learn how to solve a single cube while juggling, and four more months before he could efficiently solve three cubes while tossing them into the air.

The juggler said it took a lot of concentration to learn how to keep track of the three cubes while they were flying.

Alvarado also said he was proud to bring the record to Colombia.

“It would mean a lot to me since it would be the first both juggling and speed-cubing world record of Colombia, and would be cool to be the first person who achieved that,” he told Guinness World Records.


BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary’s military has found a new mission in life for a talented dog who was rescued from abusive owners, recruiting 2-year-old Logan to serve in counterterrorism operations for an elite bomb squad.

The Belgian shepherd is undergoing intensive training as an explosives detection dog for the explosive ordnance disposal and warship regiment of the Hungarian Defense Forces.

At the unit’s garrison on the Danube River in the capital Budapest, Logan receives daily socialization and obedience exercises, and is trained to recognize the smell of 25 different explosive substances.

“He has already started to learn how to smell explosives in a completely homogeneous environment, and he has also started to learn how to search motor vehicles and ships,” said Logan’s trainer, Sgt. 1st Class Balazs Nemeth.

Logan’s new role as a bomb sniffer came only after an early life full of hardships. In 2021, animal welfare officers received a tip that a dog was being abused and held in inhumane conditions at a rural residence in northeastern Hungary. During an on-site inspection, the officers found Logan confined to a one-meter (3-foot) chain and suffering from malnourishment.

Several weeks later, Nemeth, the regiment’s training officer, visited the shelter where Logan was housed and began assessing his suitability for becoming a professional bomb sniffer.

“The moment we met him the first impressions were very positive. We saw a well-motivated dog in relatively good condition and we immediately had confidence in him,” Nemeth said.

In a demonstration at the unit’s garrison, Nemeth opened a case containing two dozen vials of mock explosive materials like C-4, TNT, ammonium nitrate and others, which Logan is trained to detect.

After concealing a small package of explosive in a hidden crevice on one of the regiment’s river boats, Nemeth brought Logan to the training area where he went immediately to work sniffing for the package, which he found within seconds. The dog’s body tensed as he pointed with his nose at the source of the smell, alerting his handler.

The regiment’s commanding officer, Col. Zsolt Szilagyi, said that the increased use of improvised explosive devices by extremist cells since the turn of the millennium have made it necessary to employ new methods for detecting potential bombs.

“This was a challenge to which the military had to respond, and one of the best ways to detect these devices is to use explosive detection dogs,” Szilagyi said. “These four-legged comrades have been supporting the activities of our bomb disposal soldiers.”

Logan, he said, will serve as an inspector of important sites in Hungary, and could be sent along with the country’s military to NATO missions abroad.

While rescued dogs often present challenges in training given their often traumatic backgrounds, Nemeth said he is confident that Logan will be successful and make a valuable addition to the unit.

“Logan is very valuable because about one out of 10,000 rescued dogs is fit for military service, both medically and psychologically,” he said.


(Charlotte Observer) An Arkansas town is upset after someone shot a hole in their water tower in a very specific, and unfortunate location.

The water tower in Kingsland, the birthplace of Johnny Cash, bears a painted silhouette of the famous Man in Black — but an unknown person recently took careful aim at Cash’s crotch and pulled the trigger. Now the mural is perpetually leaking from that spot, video shared May 11 by the Cleveland County Herald shows.

Kingsland, population around 400, is 72 miles south of Little Rock.

Betty Graham, water office manager, told the Herald it could take as long as a week to fix the damage.

She saw the leak when she went into the office early that morning but assumed it was “routine overflow,” until sunrise, when the cold light of day revealed the work of the crude vandal, the Herald reported. Kingsland spent almost $300,000 last year improving the water tower.

“Someone here knows who did this,” a comment read. “I hope they’ll come forward and turn the vandal in.”

“This is just terrible. If they find out who it was they need to give them the max punishment. This is people’s livelihood, their water source,” said another.

While not condoning vandalism, some felt that the perpetrator displayed a certain degree of panache.

“Shouldn’t have done it, but as far as creativity goes its 1st class,” a comment said.

Seeing harm come to the freshly refurbished water tower isn’t anything to laugh about, Graham said in a Facebook post.

“People think it’s funny but a lot of hard work and effort went into getting the grant to get this painted,” Graham said. “It’s sad that someone could do this. Please if anyone heard the shot and knows the time or was out last night and saw something suspicious please let me or someone with the water Dept or the sheriff Dept know.”


May 16 (UPI) — SeaWorld Rescue in San Diego said a sea lion that made headlines for blocking a freeway in January is undergoing a behavior analysis after being rescued from a storm drain.

The rescue team said the sea lion, nicknamed Freeway after being rescued from Route 94 in downtown San Diego on Jan. 7, returned to SeaWorld’s custody after being spotted in a storm drain under the National City Bridge on April 7.

Rescuers said the storm drain would have led Freeway back to the same spot where he was rescued in January.

Freeway was previously rescued when he was found walking on to Harbor Island Drive in San Diego in November 2021.

SeaWorld said Freeway is now undergoing a behavioral analysis with veterinarians and marine experts to determine why the animal, estimated to be 10-13 years old, keeps wandering inland.

“We want him to be in a safe situation,” SeaWorld Rescue team supervisor Jeni Smith told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We want to do what is best for the sea lion. Right now, because he has been rescued three times in unsafe situations, we are trying to figure out what his plan is.”


BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Two men have been charged after officers found drugs during a traffic stop in Bridgeport.

On April 17, officers with the Bridgeport Police Department were conducting a traffic stop on a vehicle for improper registration while at mile marker 125 on I-79, according to a criminal complaint.

Officers spoke with the vehicle’s driver, Roy Porter, 57, who handed officers a packet that they thought was the registration of the vehicle, however, a small plastic bag fell out, officers said.

Hundreds of Xanax bars, several guns seized in Preston County

Inside the bag, were “a couple pieces of crystal-like substance,” and officers led a K9 unit around the area of the vehicle to perform a free-air sniff which resulted in a positive indication, according to the complaint.

Porter was found to be in possession of 4 grams of meth, and a passenger in the vehicle, Jared Mayle, 21, of Salem, had 220 grams of meth, officers said

Mayle has been charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. He is currently out on bond.

Porter has been charged with conspiracy to commit a felony. He is currently being held in North Central Regional Jail on $5,000 bond.


May 16 (UPI) — An Ontario woman is offering a $200 reward for the return of an unusual piece of stolen property: a 125-pound polar bear statue.

Nancy Allen of London said her house is well known for the concrete polar bear statues that have adorned her garden for more than 30 years, but she discovered last week that one of the stone bruins was missing.

Allen posted a photo of the pilfered statue on Facebook in hope of securing its return.

“I just don’t understand why someone would steal it. I don’t get it. I just want it back,” Allen told CTV News.

She said the thieves would have had to put in some extra effort to take the 125-pound bear.

“They brought a dolly, there’s dolly tracks on the front lawn, and they would’ve done it before I got home,” she said.

Allen is offering a $200 reward for the bear’s safe return.

“I just want it back, no questions asked,” she said.


May 13 (UPI) — Things are back to normal at a zoo in Belgium after a large, male bonobo escaped from its enclosure, forcing staff to quickly evacuate the entire zoo Friday.

The endangered member of the great ape family went missing at the Planckendael Zoo in the city of Mechelen.

“There is currently a bonobo in a tree just outside the bonobo island. We immediately activated the emergency plan. The park has been cleared. Safety is a priority. We will keep you informed,” the zoo wrote on Facebook.

“All visitors have been taken to safety outside the park or in buildings within the park.”

Zookepers eventually managed to give the ape a banana and some anesthesia.

“We are relieved and happy to be able to confirm that our bonobo is once again safe in its enclosure. We now let him rest well with his family and recover from his adventure,” the zoo wrote in a followup posting.

The park reopened to visitors later in the day.

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