TIME Japan

Scarecrows Outnumber People in Tiny Japanese Village

Getty Images

It's 150 scarecrows vs. 35 elderly residents

A village in Japan has four times as many scarecrows as people. And it’s all thanks to one woman — and more than a decade of work.

Tsukimi Ayano said she made her first scarecrow 13 years ago in the likeness of her father as a tribute to him after his death. Since then, she’s made more than 350 life-sized dolls but, like their human counterparts, they don’t last forever, so about 150 of them remain in Nagoro, a village in southern Japan.

Still, with a population of 35, the scarecrows outnumber the people in Nagoro by a good amount, acting as replacements for…

Read the rest of the story from out partners at NBC News.

TIME Retail

IKEA: Please Stop Playing Hide-and-Seek in Our Stores

An Ikea store in Montpellier, southern France on March 27, 2013.
Pascal Guyot—AFP/Getty Images An Ikea store in Montpellier, southern France on March 27, 2013.

32,000 people signed up to play an in-store game

IKEA is a pretty fun place. But the Swedish furniture store — known for meatballs, ball pits and unpronounceable dressers — has taken a stand against irreverence by banning massive games of hide-and-seek in its Dutch stores, Bloomberg reports.

And by massive, we mean 32,ooo people signed up for a Facebook event in Eindhoven; 19,000 in Amsterdam; and 12,000 in Utrecht.

“It’s hard to control,” IKEA Group spokeswoman Martina Smedberg told Bloomberg. “We need to make sure people are safe in our stores and that’s hard to do if we don’t even know where they are.”

Last summer, hundreds played the game in Belgian IKEA locations.

And just look at how much fun they were having:

[Bloomberg]

Read next: Ground Zero in the Clutter Wars: My House

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TIME France

An Airplane Crashed into a Skier in the French Alps Almost Severing Her Hand

The 55-year-old suffered a “near amputation”

What was supposed to be a relaxing excursion on the slopes of the French Alps turned into a near catastrophe when a small plane, sliding out of control after leaving an adjacent runway, struck a Polish woman on a skiing holiday.

The aircraft appeared suddenly from behind her without a sound, the local public prosecutor told Agence France-Presse. It skirted a group of children and slid under a chairlift. The woman, 55, did not hear the approaching plane and was hit by its propeller. She was seriously injured, and emergency services reported that she suffered a “near amputation.”

The resort doctor was immediately on scene to provide medical care, and the woman was then taken by helicopter to the local hospital.

The pilot was about to depart Avoriaz, a ski resort near France’s border with Switzerland, but failed to take off from the snowy high-altitude runway. Local prosecutor Patrick Steinmetz, whose office is investigating the incident, told AFP that the pilot was “a professional who is used to these kind of conditions.”

[AFP]

TIME Crime

Ohio Police on the Hunt for Serial Pooper

He has defecated on (and in) 19 cars in the last 3 years

Ohio police are on the lookout for a mysterious serial pooper who has defecated on at least 19 cars in the last three years.

Akron police said that the culprit was caught in the act and photographed Wednesday morning when pooping on the hood of a car. But according to Cleveland.com, the suspect has also reportedly pooped on door handles and in passenger seats of unlocked vehicles.

A 2012 police report notes that “the excrement did not cause any damage to the car, but it did cause a big mess.”

Read next: Virginia Police Take to Facebook to Find Rightful Owner of Lost Cocaine

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TIME Bizarre

Can This Giant Alligator Invading a Florida Golf Course Be Real?

Myakka Pines Golf Club says creature is genuine but some suspect the work of Photoshop

Myakka Pines Golf Club got a very scary visitor on the seventh hole green last week when an enormous alligator decided to spend some time there.

“Enormous” actually does not do this animal justice. Perhaps Jurassic is the proper adjective for a reptile this imposing.

The gator is so big that many are claiming the picture must be Photoshopped, but the country club says that the course’s newest, and most imposing, hazard is all too real.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Bizarre

Breaking Bad Creator: Stop Throwing Pizzas at Walter White’s House

"It's just not funny"

Breaking Bad fans are being, well, bad.

At the beginning of the Better Call Saul Insider Podcast, show creator Vince Gilligan pre-empted the discussion about episode six with a PSA: Stop throwing pizzas at Walter White’s Albuquerque, N.M., home — which has become a bit of a tourist attraction.

The inspiration comes from the following iconic scene:

“Let me tell ya, there is nothing original, funny, or cool about throwing pizzas on [the owner’s] roof,” Gilligan says. “It’s just not funny. It’s been done before. You’re not the first.”

Uncool, guys.

Read next: Q&A: Vince Gilligan on Reviving Saul Goodman in Better Call Saul

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TIME animals

Watch This Pig Outshine the Dogs at a Canine Obedience Class

Amy the pig currently attends class twice a week

 

You can’t teach a old dog new tricks, but you can teach a pig all kinds of canine moves.

Amy the six-month-old pig is quickly becoming the top dog in her obedience class full of pooches, reports The Seattle Times

Along with the commands and tricks, the 45-lb swine has also learned more advanced challenges like the chutes, teeter-totters, jumps and balance beams.

The Family Dog Training Center was happy to take Amy into their puppy class, as long as she was housebroken. Luckily the pig was, and she has been learning ever since.

While the pig’s participation may seem odd to onlookers, Amy’s owner Lori Stock isn’t surprised her pig is a teacher’s pet.

“Amy is outgoing, affectionate and darn cute,” the owner said.

Amy currently attends class twice a week, and Stock plans to keep training the pig. When the tiny oinker isn’t outshining her fellow pupils, she is training at home and enjoying her own personal playroom.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME Canada

Canada Town to Fine Residents for Spitting in Public

Residents will also face fines for shouting and swearing

A Canadian town adopted a measure in late February that would fine residents for unseemly behavior, according to a report.

Residents of Taber, Alberta can now be fined 75 Canadian dollars [$59] for spitting in public or on someone else’s private property, the Lethbridge Herald reports. Shouting and cursing in public could prompt a ticket of 150 Canadian dollars [$119].

Many residents are concerned about another section of the new bylaw, which says that a gathering of three or more people could be fined 250 Canadian dollars [$198] if an officer determines that the group intends to disturb the peace.

Despite controversy, Taber’s mayor, Henk De Vlieger, said he still supports the measure.

“I’m not saying this thing is perfect, but I think we should give it a chance and try it out, and let the police work with it,” he said, according to the Lethbridge Herald. “After a period of time, we might make some adjustments, but let’s see how it works.”

[Lethbridge Herald]

TIME Bizarre

Florida Woman Arrested for Getting Naked at Dunkin’ Donuts

It was a dare, police say

A Florida woman says she got naked at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Greenacres, Fla., because her dance group dared her to do it, police say, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Shakara Monik Martin of West Palm Beach was reportedly offered clothes, but refused to wear them, according to witnesses. The Palm Beach Post reports that the 32 year old has been released from the Palm Beach County jail Monday morning on her own recognizance, but could face an indecent exposure charge.

Read next: This GIF Won 2014’s GIF of the Year

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TIME Bizarre

This Poo Emoji Dress Is Perfect for Your Next Date

Keep piling on the jokes

The San Francisco-based clothing company Betabrand recently ran a successful crowd-funding campaign for a dress covered in the poop emoji. Advertised at an early-bird price of $106.20, the frock will prompt countless jokes bound to leave the wearer feeling pooped out. Not to mention it boasts four pockets (though the website does not say whether they are filled with toilet paper squares).

The brand has been crowd-funding men’s attire with this poo-emoji pattern, including a dress shirt, sneakers and trousers aptly named “Poopy pants.”

(h/t CNET)

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