TIME

Kansas Woman Sets House on Fire to Kill Spider

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Spider walk Getty Images

No one was injured

A Kansas woman found herself in a precarious situation Friday after she set her duplex on fire to kill a spider.

Five firetrucks later, the police proved to be less than sympathetic with the plight of the single lady as she struggled to deal with the arachnid. According to the Hutchinson News, 34-year-old Ginny M. Griffith’s Macgyvered form of pest control (lighting towels on fire throughout her house) was rewarded with an arrest and aggravated arson charges. She is being held on a $7,500 bond.

No one, including the other people who occupied the other half of the duplex, was injured, and the fire was extinguished in minutes without causing structural damage.

[Hutchinson News]

TIME Bizarre

This Shredder Can Mulch Entire Trees in Seconds

The woodchip really hits the fan

+ READ ARTICLE

We’ve not seen a shredder this powerful since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze. This ridiculous thing is called an excavator mulcher. Steer clear if you happen to see one.

TIME poverty

Meet the Chinese Philanthropist Who Just Disappointed a Lot of New Yorkers

Chen Guangbiao
Recycling magnate Chen Guangbiao sings to the media and his guests from the New York City Rescue Mission at The Loeb Boathouse restaurant in New York, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. The Chinese tycoon known for his sometimes eccentric gestures served up a fancy lunch Wednesday to hundreds of homeless New Yorkers at a Central Park restaurant and serenaded them with "We are the World." Chen said he wants to disprove the cliche image of rich Chinese spending money mostly on luxuries. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Seth Wenig—ASSOCIATED PRESS

Philanthropist or attention hog?

Chinese philanthropist Chen Guangbiao’s much-hyped posh luncheon for some of New York City’s homeless was overshadowed by an unmet promise to distribute $300 to each of the diners.

But Chen appeared unfazed, telling the New York Times that he’s taking his philanthropy to Africa next. The self-made recycling tycoon worth an estimated $740 million has already become something of a household name in China, where he’s used his money—and his theatrics—to grab headlines and push his causes.

Chen, who grew up in a poor rural household and says two of his siblings died of hunger, has cultivated a reputation for the eccentric, and he’s far from bashful about his exploits: His business card reads “Most Influential Person of China.” He’s known for handing out cash to unsuspecting passersby, an antic he brought to the streets of New York City ahead of the luncheon.

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He’s also used his theatrics to raise awareness about issues like pollution in China’s cities. Last year he distributed cans of fresh air with a variety of flavors—there were the options of “pristine Tibet” and “post-industrial Taiwan,” among others. That followed his public smashing of his old, gas-guzzling Mercedes and his handout of thousands of bikes. In a call for China’s wealth to join him in his philanthropy, Chen constructed a wall of cash for a photo-op.

He’s also played in geopolitics. In 2012, he took out an ad in the New York Times declaring that the disputed Diaoyu Islands are Chinese and not Japanese territory. And then a year later, he announced that he planned to buy the New York Times, even as the owner said it wasn’t for sale. If not the Times, Chen said at the time, then he’d try for CNN or the Wall Street Journal.

“As long as they have some influence, I’m still willing to consider buying lesser media outlets,” he said at the time.

TIME Bizarre

Corvette Museum Will Make Car-Eating Sinkhole a Permanent Exhibit

Visitors to the Bowling Green, Ky. attraction will be able to see at least part of the famous sinkhole

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The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. announced Thursday that a sinkhole that swallowed eight classic cars in February — as seen in the video above — will remain a permanent part of the exhibit.

The board of the museum was presented with three options: 1) Fill the sinkhole and replace the floor, as if nothing happened; 2) Keep a small bit open for posterity’s sake; 3) Mother Earth has spoken, leave it as is. After some consideration, they went with option 2.

“My own personal opinion changed as time went on,” a board member stated on the museum’s blog. “I come here today with my marching orders from my members. About two thirds of my organization says to leave it open in some form or fashion.”

This makes sense considering that the museum’s attendance has been up 59% and revenue increased 65% since the headline-making event.

TIME Bizarre

Man Shopping for Bananas Attacked by a Scorpion Because Nightmares Do Come True

New Zealand Budget 2010 Preview
Sandra Mu—Getty Images

Everything is horrible

Last week, a guy in Pittsburgh was just doing his thing at Walmart, shopping for fruit and probably not expecting anything horrible to happen. But then, as he reached into a box to retrieve some bananas, a scorpion bit him. A scorpion. In Pittsburgh. Because everything’s the worst.

The man, who did not wish to be identified, said he felt a pinch as something latched onto his hand, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

“I yanked my arm out and flung it, and this scorpion flopped to the ground,” he told CBS. “I was standing there in disbelief looking and there was another shopper there and people started to converge, and sure enough it was a scorpion.”

He promptly threw a lid on the creature and squashed it. Then he visited a doctor. At least Walmart offered to pay for his medical bill.

TIME Bizarre

An American Got Stuck in a Stone Vagina Sculpture in Germany

Kamahele

No word yet on whether he was trying to take a selfie

An American exchange student got stuck inside a stone sculpture of a vagina last week in Germany.

It took more than 20 emergency responders Friday to free the young man, according to reports in the German newspaper Süddeutsche and The Guardian. He had wedged himself inside Pi Chacan, a 2001 stone sculpture by Peruvian artist Fernando de la Jara, in front of Tübingen University’s Institute for Microbiology and Virology. The police in Tübingen first learned of the incident when they received a call reporting that “a person is stuck in a stone vulva.”

The city’s mayor Boris Palmer said he could not understand how the student got himself in that situation in the first place, “even taking into account adolescent fantasy,” Süddeutsche reports.

No word on whether the student was trying to take a selfie.

TIME technology

This Club Is Offering Poolside Drone Bottle Service

Yes, really

When the Hollywood Reporter released a roundup Thursday of the extravagant luxuries provided by some Las Vegas clubs, we didn’t blink at the $9,000 personal fireworks displays or PlayStation 4-filled cabanas. What gave us pause was the Cosmopolitan Marquee Dayclub’s poolside bottle service … delivered via drone.

For a mere $20,000 bar tab (and a day’s notice), an unmanned drone will descend from the sky to bring libations to the inebriated, bikini-wearing masses.

The bizarre service was available on Memorial Day, although the Cosmopolitan did not respond when asked if the service was still available or to other requests for comment.

“It seems as if there is something new that comes up almost every week,” a Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson told TIME, referring to strange drone integrations. Unfortunately—and we’re sorry to burst your champagne bubble—this kind of drone activity is definitely not approved by the FAA. Which is, you know, mandatory.

While a recreational voyage, like innocently taking a “dronie” in the park, doesn’t need FAA approval, a commercial unmanned flight does. However, the FAA spokesperson added that “FAA regulations apply only to outdoor use—If a hotel wants to use an unmanned aircraft to deliver drinks indoors, that’s outside FAA jurisdiction.”

The FAA has only approved two commercial drone voyages, one to conduct research in the Arctic and another to survey pipelines in the U.S. But the FAA spokesperson said that although civil penalties can be applied, he doesn’t expect that it will be in the case of the drone bottle service as “that is usually for flying in a careless or reckless manner.”

The Cosmopolitan, however, isn’t the only hotel to use drone bottle service — The Mansion at California’s Casa Madrona also offers the service for guests staying in the $10,000-a-night Alexandrite Suite.

TIME News

Little Boy Finds Mummified Body in Empty House Because Horror Movies Are Real

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Mummy Getty Images

Yes, this is real life

A curious 12-year-old boy ventured into a semi-hidden abandoned house in Dayton, Ohio Sunday. He then found a mummified corpse hanging by a rope in the closet.

This isn’t a viral marketing stunt for the next season of American Horror Story. The movie-trope occurred in real life, and the body of resident Edward Bruton is thought to have been hanging there since 2009. Being stored in the closet may have helped prevent the body from decomposing too heavily.

While the coroner suspects suicide, no official cause of death has been determined.

[CNN]

TIME Appreciation

Nebraska Firm Pays Out $61K in Bonuses Exclusively in $2 Bills

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Two dollar bill Getty Images

If your grandpa gave bonuses, this would be how he'd do it

It turns out that Nebraska-based Hornady Manufacturing is the kooky grandpa of the business world. Why? Because the ammunition manufacturer gave its 300-plus employees $61,000 in bonus money exclusively in $2 bills.

But unlike the $2 bills Pop-Pop gave you when you were good last Christmas, these bills aren’t meant to be hoarded in your special drawer.

“Two years ago, we caught a lot of flack from the city council and some people in the city of Grand Island for how we don’t support the community and we don’t do things around here, which we disagreed with… [it] kind of hurt our feelings,” VP Jason Hornady told Omaha.com. And so, to prove a point, he is asking employees to spend the bills at local businesses.

“If people look at you funny, tell them where you work, and we think that they will notice,” said the vice president, whose company slogan promises dependability (as well as accuracy and deadliness).

Hornady’s father, Steve, had done a similar bit with $1 coins a few years ago, but surely asking employees to lug those things around is just cruel.

Hornady also clarified that employees aren’t only getting paid in Monopoly money. “They also receive a nice check and a deposit into their 401(k)s,” that they can spend wherever.

Bonuses reportedly total 40% of employees’ regular pay.

[Omaha.com]

TIME U.S.

Jeopardy Host Alex Trebek Sets a Guinness World Record

Daily double!

Who is the Guinness World Record holder for most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter? Answer: Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek, of course.

Trebek hosted his 6,829th episode on June 13. And the dedicated host hasn’t had so much as a sick day. The only time Trebek missed out on an episode in its 30 seasons was when he and Wheel of Fortune’sPat Sajak switched hosting gigs for April Fool’s Day.

He was pretty excited about it:

 

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