<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Weird News]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/weird http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Mon, 22 Sep 2014 21:44:55 -0700 Mon, 22 Sep 2014 21:44:55 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[70-Pound Turtle Found Wandering Near SoCal Country Club]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:38:35 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/140921-la-canada-turtle.jpg

A turtle weighing a whopping 70 pounds was found wandering streets near a Southern California country club, officials said Sunday.

Sheriff’s deputies found the common snapping turtle Thursday on the corner of Angeles Crest Highway and Starlight Crest Drive near the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club (map), where it had apparently stopped to rest several feet from a pond.

It was taken to Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Phelan.

“The turtle appears healthy – maybe too healthy, quite obese, and it’s probably eaten everything that’s been in the pond with it,” said Joel Almquist of Forever Wild.

The turtle’s appetite can be a danger, as common snapping turtles are known to eat anything and everything in sight.

“They’re very detrimental to the native wildlife here,” Almquist said. “They eat everything that they can fit in their mouths, and apparently by the size of this one, it has.”

“If he grabbed onto a finger, you would be one digit less,” he added.

It is unclear where the turtle came from, since it is not native to the area. Almquist said it may be someone’s lost pet.

Forever Wild will likely build a special pond where the hulking turtle will be housed, Almquist said.

<![CDATA[Woman Sits in Redwood City Oak Tree]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 13:21:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/RWC+TREE+SITTER+RAW+ROJAS+1515+PDT+-+23423605.jpg

Save the tree or… else! That’s what one woman on the Peninsula told crews who arrived to cut down an old oak Friday morning.

For the last century, the tree has been growing on the corner of Goodwin and Alameda de Las Pulgas in Redwood City, which is named for the soaring trees that line neighborhood streets. The city says this particular tree is diseased and needs to come down, but Gwen Minor is determined to save the oak – and others.

“I cried when I heard this tree was coming down,” Minor said.

Neighbors told NBC Bay Area the tree is a landmark that lets them know they’re home.

“It’s beauty, longevity – and an understanding that we’re flashes in the pan and things keep going after us,” Minor said.

But the 100-plus-year-old valley oak is sick, according to city arborists, diseased with a root fungus. “It’s not like we are going to lose a forest,” assistant city manager Bill Ekern said. “We just need this tree taken down for safety.”

Ekern said crews were supposed to cut the oak down Friday morning, but stopped when they found a visitor in the branches.

How’d she get up there? Minor said she climbed a ladder.

Why’d she go up there? “These things need special care and they can’t speak for themselves,” she said.

Minor said she wants the city to discuss ways to protect aging trees before it’s too late. “We didn’t get enough time to really unite as a community to try to save this tree,” Minor said. “This tree to me is a symbol for what we need to be planting for future generations.”

So, before crews eventually return with saws, the neighborhood gets to say goodbye to the old oak tree. Neighbor Brooke Wagner even picked up a handful of acorns so her kids will be able to someday enjoy a big oak on the corner.

“It’s a great feeling,” Wagner said, standing in the shadow of the tree. “I love to see all the people coming around.”

Redwood City leaders said the tree is dangerous and will have to come down, but they promise to plant another tree in its place.

As for Minor, she planned to climb down from the tree sometime before sunset Friday.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Cop Car Slams Into Dunkin' Donuts]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 16:48:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/cop+car+into+dunkin+donuts+berlin.jpg

A South Jersey police vehicle slammed into a doughnut shop Friday morning.

The police SUV crashed into the Dunkin' Donuts shop along White Horse Pike in Berlin, New Jersey just before 11 a.m. Winslow Township Police said the SUV crashed into the building after colliding with another car.

The unidentified Winslow Township Police officer suffered minor injuries, according to investigators. The other driver refused treatment.

No customers or employees inside the store reported any injuries, according to police.

As SkyForce10 hovered overhead, you could see the Winslow Township Police SUV right through the front window of the coffee shop with the driver's side door open.

Police said the crash caused structural damage to the building. No word yet on when repairs will be made.

Investigators said that the officer wasn't headed to a call at the time of the wreck. The cause of the wreck remained under investigation Friday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Kenny LaFountaine]]>
<![CDATA[Professor: Mushroom Material Could Replace Plastics]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 14:52:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/9634f97b21924142b454ab52b9e54809.JPG.jpg

A fine arts professor has figured out a way to build flame-resistant, extremely-strong furniture out of mushrooms.

The San Francisco Examiner reports that University of San Francisco prof Philip Ross discovered the secret qualities of fungi while trying to set a sculpture he'd made out of mycelium on fire.

And wouldn't you know? The darn thing wouldn't burn.

Another item the artist made out of mushrooms also shattered a wall, while remaining relatively intact, he told the newspaper. 

It was then he realized the "versatile, indestructible qualities" of the mushroom, the newspaper reported, which could someday replace plastics. And some companies are catching on.

One company is already trying this out. MycoWorks uses mycelium, mushroom fibers, as an ingredient in some of its building materials, the newspaper reported.

The material isn't durable enough to be walked upon, but it can be used as a laminate that would be flame-resistant and strong, the newspaper reported.

<![CDATA[Deputies Rescue Two Pigs in Santa Clarita]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 07:23:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/217*120/pigs4.JPG

You wouldn't think that pig wrangler would be in a cop's job description.

But for deputies in the bedroom community of Santa Clarita on Wednesday, it was.

Two pigs got loose from their home near Cherry Street and Peachland Avenue in Newhall, more than 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.

It took the muscle of deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Santa Clarita station to save them. Neighbors called deputies reporting pigs running loose in the streets.

"As you consider commenting on this story online or on social media, we ask you to remember that law enforcement officials are here to serve and protect the public and uphold a tradition of service, a job that requires thick skin and a sense of humor," Deputy Josh Dubin quipped.

It took about 90 minutes for deputies to find out where the pigs lived and returned them safely to their pens.

The pigs were unharmed.

Animal care officials were trying to figure out how the animals got loose.

<![CDATA[Stolen Jaguar Found 46 Years Later]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:49:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/jaguar+xke+stolen+ivan+schneider.jpg

A classic British roadster regarded as one of the most beautiful cars ever made will be returned to its 82-year-old owner nearly five decades after the vehicle was stolen.

The 1967 Jaguar E-type convertible was seized by authorities last month at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport. Referred to the XKE in the United States, the car has captured hearts of auto enthusiasts, including Ivan Schneider, since it roared onto the scene in the 1960s with its sporting pedigree, graceful long hood, sleek profile and other timeless design elements. The New York Museum of Modern Art even added an XKE to its permanent design collection in the 1990s.

This particular car's story is not all about looks -- although, most of it is.

The car was stolen 46 years ago in New York City and Schneider, now living in Miami Beach, had no reason to believe he would ever see his beloved sports car again. He was so enamored with it that whenever he bought a new car, Schneider recalled regaling dealers with tales of his lost E-type, which the trial lawyer then in his mid-30s bought for $15,000 after winning a big case. Hagerty's classic car price guide now values the convertible 4.2-liter engine model at more than $112,000.

"I've had a lot of great cars since then, but none of them as pretty," Schneider, a car collector, said Wednesday. "I've had every car you can think of. That was, in looks, my favorite car.

"It's gorgeous. It looks like a bullet almost. It's a car they should make now again."

The theft occurred outside his New York City residence. Schneider walked downstairs on his way to work and realized the car wasn't where he parked.

"I walked up and down Madison Avenue, then up and down 5th Avenue, and it wasn't there," he said. "I was heartbroken."

He filed a police report. Holding out hope that the Jag would be found, he did not buy another car for about four weeks. Eventually, he accepted the possibilty he would never see it again.

Forty-six years later, he found what a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official told him during an August phone call even more difficult to accept. The car had been located in a shipping container at the Port of Long Beach/Los Angeles that was bound for Europe.

"When I got the call, I thought they were kidding me," Schneider said.

The break in the decades-old vehicle theft case came when Customs and Border Protection was notified by the National Insurance Crime Bureau of a vehicle reported stolen. CBP typically cross-references documentation provided by exporters with information, including vehicle identification numbers, in the Crime Bureau's active stolen vehicle reports.

"When we located the vehicle, it was in a container bound for the Netherlands," said Javier Larios, of the CBP.

The agency notified the carrier that the container should be returned to the Southern California port complex. When agents opened the container, they found Schneider's Jag, painted white over its original gray color.

"The outside looks great, the inside looks terrible," Schneider said. "This is just a miracle, a miracle."

Schneider plans to have the car restored in New York before it is shipped to his Florida home. He said he is "very excited" to take it for another ride after only putting 6,000 miles on the car before it disappeared.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Poodle Chases Bear Out of Home]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:17:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nc-poodle-bear.jpg 09/17/14: Casper may be just seven pounds, but on Sunday he helped protect his family from something much bigger. Pamela Osborne from NBC station WPXI reports.]]> <![CDATA[NY Dog Turns Up in Florida]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 08:36:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nika+dog+missing+found.jpg More than two years after a New York man's dog disappeared from its home, it mysteriously turned up in Florida. Brynn Gingras reports.]]> <![CDATA[Snake Hurt in Pedi Cab DUI: SDPD]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:40:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Ball-Python-Injured-in-DUI-.jpg

A pedi cab driver was discovered unconscious with a snake around his neck in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter Tuesday.

Travis Elsner-Young, 27, was arrested by San Diego Police at 5th and J, accused of riding a bicycle under the influence.

Officers said they found Young intoxicated and passed out on the ground just after 1:30 a.m. As they approached him, Young climbed onto his pedi cab and tried to cycle away backward, police say.

SDPD contacted San Diego County Animal Services who said the 18-inch snake was not in good condition.

The ball python was taken to an emergency veterinarian to be treated for starvation, dehydration and anemia, Animal Services says. The reptile will stay in the hospital until further notice.

Ball pythons are common pets available for purchase at many pet stores. Their bite often produces superficial wounds.

<![CDATA[Surge Is Back! Coca-Cola Revives Popular '90s Soft Drink After Fan Campaign]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 06:56:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/surge+soda.jpg

Children of the '90s, rejoice!

Surge, the popular citrus flavored soft drink, has returned, The Coca-Cola Company announced Monday.

But anyone hoping to take an icy swig of nostalgia will have to wait. Within a day of the announcement, 12-packs of the bright green drink sold out -- twice -- on Amazon.com. The drink is being sold exclusively on the online retailer's site. 

Surge made its original debut in 1996 before disappearing from store shelves in 2001. But a dedicated group of fans started an online campaign, asking the company to bring the drink back.

"They’ve inspired us," said Racquel Mason, associate vice president of sparkling flavors, Coca-Cola North America, in a release. "More than 128,000 people a dozen years after a brand left the market saying, 'Please bring it back!' That’s the best compliment any brand could hope for."

And while fans are thanking Coke, our teeth and waistlines may not be as enthused. According to Amazon.com, a 16-ounce can of Surge contains 230 calories and 56 grams of sugar, one gram more than Mountain Dew, its chief competitor in the '90s.

Nevertheless, fans of the drink have been posting their delight online using the hashtag #SURGEisback.

Coca-Cola says Surge is the first of its discontinued brands to return.

<![CDATA[Golfer Wins Trip to Space After Hole-in-One]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 05:13:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/455429326.jpg

An English golfer scored a trip into space by sinking a rare hole-in-one at a tournament on Sunday.

Andy Sullivan made the shot at the 163-yard, 15th hole at the KLM Open in the Netherlands, The Associated Press reported.

XCOR Aerospace, an Amsterdam-based company that sponsored the tournament, offered a 100,000-euro ($129,238) seat aboard a commercial flight into space to the first player to make an ace on the 15th hole, according to Golf.com.

The reward was aimed at promoting the company's space trips, which are set to open to the public beginning in late 2015.

"I'm not sure yet,” Sullivan said when asked if he would take the trip, Golf.com reported. "I'll see what the missus says."

Sullivan finished third at the KLM Open, two shots behind winner Paul Casey.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mysterious Bright Light Over Bay Area Skies Possible Meteor]]> Sat, 13 Sep 2014 10:53:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/light-th.jpg

The Chabot Space and Science Center says that a mysterious streak of light that lit up Bay Area skies early Friday morning may have been a meteor.

Bay Area residents – and even some in Southern California and Oregon – reported seeing the phenomena, but nobody could figure out what it was.

Comet? White glow? Strange streak in the sky? Bright orange light? Aliens? UFO? – the rumors kept flying in.

Chabot Space Center astronomer Ben Burress told NBC Bay Area that there were a total of three events Thursday and Friday where people reported seeing something in the sky. Two of the events occurred Thursday at 9 and 11 p.m. and Friday's event occurred around 6 a.m., Burress said.

"There was an event today at 6 a.m. – it was reported from Los Angeles all the way up to Oregon," Burress said. "It was a fireball of some kind. Nobody knows whether it was a meteor or meteorite or a piece of reentering space junk. Reports are all fresh right now – somebody was in their bedroom and the light was bright enough to notice it."

Sky observers reported seeing something moving through the atmosphere on the American Meteor Society eyewitness page. The organization is currently investigating 42 reports.

"My aunt, mom and I were amazed. That was the most spectacular sighting I have seen and I am 46," wrote John R. of Los Angeles.

"This was one of the most incredible sights I have ever witnessed," wrote Harry T. from San Diego. "It was so bright and it streaked for a great distance across the sky. It was the largest fireball or meteor that I have ever seen."

A video taken by Anthony Fox while he was letting his dogs out in the backyard around 6:20 a.m. in Rancho Cordova, east of Sacramento, shows a white ball of light moving across the sky.

"At first I thought: 'is that a rocket?'" he said. "Went for good 15 to 20 seconds. I thought it was pretty cool ... cool and a little eerie at the same time not knowing what it was. I've never seen anything quite like that."

"It looked like a wispy comet-like object, but it was definitely not a comet," Burress said after looking at the video.

Burress said a meteorite is seen fairly rarely. "Most of the time people don't see them as they fall down on the earth or ocean," he said. "There have been a number of sightings in the last few months."

Scott Courtright was in his backyard in Antioch and managed to take some pictures of the object before it disappeared.

"After the initial bright point went away there was an area that was illuminated and blue green," he said. "It was moving slow but it was moving."

Ross O'Donovan tweeted at 6:08 a.m. that he was on his way to LAX When he thought he saw a comet burning up in the atmosphere. Another Twitter user responded, saying she saw "something streak across" her windshield around the same time

Twitter user @BayNewsVideo reported seeing "a bright orange light UFO" over Baypoint around 6:03 a.m. "Anybody else see the same? UFO," he tweeted.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

<![CDATA[Giant Panda Gets Dental Work: Raw Video]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 10:12:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/6PW_VO_PANDA_DENTIST_KNSD4S09_1200x675_327733827567.jpg San Diego Zookeepers put one of their giant panda's under anesthetic to fix a chip in her tooth. The zoo provided this video. ]]> <![CDATA[Santa Cruz Man Has "Longest Tongue in Recorded History"]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:40:44 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Nick-Stoeberl-Longest-Tongue-2.jpg

A 24-year-old Santa Cruz artist and comedian gets to tell everyone he meets - friends, audiences and even random strangers: "I have the longest tongue in recorded history." And what Nick Stoeberl is saying isn't really a joke. It's 100 percent true.

He and his 3.97-inch tongue qualified for the 2015 Guinness Book of World Records, after he edged out a Brit, Stephen Taylor, whose 3.86-inch tongue seems puny in comparison.

"Human achievement is important," Steoberl told NBC Bay Area on Thursday from New York, where he is on a Guinness press tour, visiting the studios of the Today Show and Inside Edition, among others. "The Book of World Records was always the first I'd grab in the library."

The bizarre accolade is also an homage to his late father.

His dad was a huge fan of KISS, whose lead singer Gene Simmons possesses the undisputed longest tongue in rock history.

"I'm sort of a weird answered prayer," Steoberl said, referring to his father's favorite band.

There must be something in the water on the West Coast. The record holder for the longest female tongue belongs to Chanel Tapper, also from California, whose tongue measured 3.8 inches in 2010. 

And lest you think that only long tongues are fêted, Byron Schlenker of Australia now owns the world title for having the widest tongue, at 3.2 inches.

There are many things one can do with a long tongue, as Stoeberl ticked off a seemingly endless list.

For one, Stoeberl can lick his own elbow. He can tweet with his tongue. "The iPhone is sensitive to that," he said. Plus, his tongue seems to have extra sensations. "I kiss my girlfriend, and I taste fear," he said.

And the tongue keeps on giving. The artistic side of Stoeberl is especially pleased that he can use his tongue as a paintbrush. In the Guinness video, he covers his large pink muscle with plastic wrap and dips it in blue paint before spreading it on canvas.

But there is one trick that he said stands out above all.

"I think one of the most useful things my tongue offers is actually not having to use napkin," Stoeberl said in an interview with Guinness officials, posted on YouTube.

The only real challenge Stoeberl said he faces is when meeting new people, who inevitably find out about his special feature, and then won't let him off without looking at it.

Plus, there's this slight downside. "I have to spend longer brushing my tongue in the morning," he told Guinness.

Photo Credit: Guinness Book of World Records]]>
<![CDATA[Giant Panda Chips Tooth, Heads to Dentist]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 08:00:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/PandaDental_001_Web_1.jpg

A dreaded trip to the dentist isn’t limited to the human race, a giant panda discovered Wednesday.

The San Diego Zoo’s Bai Yun has apparently been eating some tough bamboo, for keepers recently noticed a chip in one of her lower canines.

After a dental exam and x-rays, the veterinary team anesthetized the panda to repair the tooth.

They used a big dental composite to fill in the chip and cured it with a light to seal the filling. The vets also performed a restorative procedure to cover the chipped part and prevent further damage.

“The good news is the pulp canal hadn't been compromised, but it's very close to breaking into the pulp canal," said Meg Sutherland-Smith, associate director of the zoo’s veterinary services.

They topped the procedure off with a good, thorough cleaning and imaging.

Zoo officials explain that as pandas chew and break the bamboo with their mouths, their teeth get worn down over time. Many of these giant bears can spend up to 12 hours a day eating the rough plant.

After 23 years of chewing, Bai Yun’s teeth were due for some work.

All the giant pandas – one of the most popular attractions at the San Diego Zoo – are on loan from China. San Diego keepers work with the Chinese Academy of Science to study behavior, ecology, genetics and conservation of wild pandas.

Photo Credit: Ken Bohn]]>
<![CDATA[Missing San Jose Tortoise Returns Home]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 17:22:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/193*120/napo.JPG

Napoleon the tortoise who escaped from his South Bay home has returned to his owner.

Napoleon’s owner tweeted at NBC Bay Area Tuesday night to let everyone know he made it home.

The tortoise escaped from the backyard of a home on North 4th Street in San Jose Sunday afternoon. The owners were out of the house at the time.

Surveillance video caught the tortoise escaping from the backyard.

The video shows a passerby stopping to move Napoleon so he wouldn't get hit by a car. Another person stopped to take a picture. Later, a couple picked Napoleon up and put him in their car. The owner hopes they had good intentions.

It’s unclear how the tortoise was returned – or why someone picked him up.

<![CDATA[Jeremy Lin Pranks Visitors to Madame Tussauds in San Francisco]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:42:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jeremylin2.jpg

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin decided to have a little fun with visitors to Madame Tussauds in San Francisco, after having his likeness turned into a wax statue.

In a YouTube video posted by the wax museum on Tuesday, Lin, a Palo Alto native, is seen shocking fans and family members who stopped by to take a picture with what they thought was a wax figure of him. The event took place on Aug. 14.

Dressed in his yellow No. 17 uniform, the 25-year-old Lin is seen sitting quietly on a red chair, motionless until visitors poke and touch him - thinking the figure is made of wax.

Then, the athelete jumps out of his seat and dunks the ball in a nearby hoop, causing gasps and shocks from the crowd.

He even surprised his mom before taking a picture with her and the real wax figure.

No surprise, Lin likes to dunk - and play silly pranks - no matter what the occasion.

Watch this Instagram video Lin posted in August of him surprising three people, including his mom with a dunk in the kitchen. 

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Screengrab from YouTube of Madame Tussauds]]>
<![CDATA[Sleepy Burglar Busted While Taking Nap in Home]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 08:37:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/091014+dion+davis+sleeping+burglar.jpg

A sleepy burglar who broke into a Florida home was busted after he was caught napping on a bed inside, authorities said.

Dion Davis, 29, faces a burglary of an unoccupied dwelling charge following his arrest Monday, the Sarasota Sheriff's Office said.

Davis was being held on $10,000 bond Wednesday, jail records showed. It was unknown whether he has an attorney.

According to the sheriff's office, a cleaning woman called deputies after she found Davis sleeping inside a home in Nokomis Monday morning.

When deputies arrived, Davis was still passed out on the bed, a bag full of stolen jewelry sitting next to him.

The deputies took a photo of Davis before waking him up and taking him into custody.

Photo Credit: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Pescadero: 7-Foot Python Found Under Parked Car]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 19:54:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pescadero-boa.jpg

Authorities are investigating how a 7-foot-long Burmese python ended up under a car parked outside of a school in Pescadero on Friday afternoon, San Mateo County sheriff's officials said Monday.

A deputy on patrol at Pescadero Elementary and Middle School at 620 North St. noticed a large snake under a parked car at 3:13 p.m. Friday. The snake was 7 feet long, 4.5 inches wide, weighs about 40 pounds, sheriff's officials said. 

Investigators said they do not know where the snake came from or who it belongs to. The animal was turned over to the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA.

Sheriff's officials initally identified the snake as a boa constrictor, but the Humane Society's Scott Delucchi said the animal is in fact a Burmese python.

"The snake doesn't appear to be socialized," Delucchi said in an email.

The python is suffering from undetermined skin issues, Delucchi added.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA]]>
<![CDATA[Man Catches Massive Shrimp]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 13:07:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giantmantisshrimp.jpg

There’s nothing small about what fisherman Steve Bargeron caught when he was fishing from a deck in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Bargeron caught a shrimp that was far from its name. The giant shrimp was around 18 inches long and Bargeron said he had to grab it from its tail like a lobster.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, scientists said the giant catch could have been a form of mantis shrimp. However, a mantis shrimp isn’t actually related to shrimp; it’s actually a type of crustacean called a stomatopod.

Scientists haven’t been able to identify the exact species yet.

Photo Credit: FWC]]>
<![CDATA[36 Pound Cat Loses Weight]]> Sat, 06 Sep 2014 18:09:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/file-little-dude-obese-cat-wags.jpg

A morbidly obese rescue cat named Little Dude is eating healthy and working on his fitness in preparation of being put up for adoption, said shelter officials in Orange County.

Handlers said the 10-year-old short-haired feline arrived to WAGS Pet Adoption in Westminster in August weighing a hulking 36 pounds - roughly three times what his normal weight should be.

"He is the equivalent of the news stories that you see of humans that are being forklifted outside of their houses," said Cortney Dorney, the shelter manager. "I can tell you that in my 20 years of doing this I've never seen a cat this size."

Little Dude's owner turned him over to WAGS because he said he couldn't pay an added charge at his apartment complex for renters who owned pets.

When the cat arrived, the shelter staff said he needed immediate medical attention - Little Dude's weight problem likely stemmed from eating too many treats and human food, and not enough physical activity, officials said.

"His sheer size was detrimental to his health," Dorney said.

Little Dude, who has put on a strict diet, was down to 33 pounds at his last weigh-in, but he's shedding pounds too quickly due to stress, so he's being fed with a tube to stabilize his weight loss, Dorney said.

It could be weeks before he's ready to be put up for adoption.

"He's fabulous," Dorney said. "He's very laid back and easy going - because of his size he doesn't have a choice. He's a lap cat. He just wants to hang out and be brushed."

Anyone interested in adopting Little Dude can begin the process by filling out an application at the WAGS website at wagspetadoption.org or by calling the shelter at 714-887-6156.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of WAGS Pet Adoption via Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Box of Clocks Prompts Shutdown]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 13:50:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bomb+threat+evacuation+hall+of+justice+la.jpg

A suspicious ticking box that prompted the shutdown of an LA County building across the street from the Hall of Justice Friday was discovered to be a box of clocks and other presents for retirees.

The package was left unattended on the third floor of the Hall of Administration building in the 500 block of Temple Avenue, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

An employee found the package addressed to someone in her office and placed it on a desk. After hearing beeping coming from the package, she notified deputies and security inside the building.

Five K-9 units with explosives-detecting dogs and the LASD Arson Explosives Detail responded to the scene. The second, third and fourth floors were evacuated by word of mouth until investigators were able to assess the danger.

An X-ray photo revealved the box's contents: retirement award pens, pencils, watches and clocks.

The building is located across the street from the Hall of Justice, which has been closed since the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

<![CDATA[Crews Rescue Buck Stuck in Metal Netting]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 13:29:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/deer-rescue-blue-background-hd---01000209.jpg

Firefighters are pretty used to extricating people out of sticky situations.

But on Friday, the crew with Redwood City Fire No. 13, along with San Mateo County Sheriff's deputies, worked to free an entrapped deer, which got stuck in metal netting about 8 a.m.

The short Vimeo clip shows two first responders cutting and snipping a fence to set the deer free in the backyard of a San Carlos home, as other deputies stand by.

According to the fire department, the deer was a large buck, which somehow got his horns stuck in the netting.

<![CDATA[Wildest Food Crazes: Taco Bell's Biscuit Taco]]> Fri, 05 Sep 2014 10:33:15 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/biscuit-taco-bell.jpg Cronuts, cupcakes and frozen s'mores are just some of the recent food trends that have swept the culinary world.

Photo Credit: Taco Bell]]>
<![CDATA[Typos in "Rainbow" Sidewalk Honoring LGBT Heroes]]> Wed, 03 Sep 2014 12:00:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/wilde-inset-typo-rainbow-walk-5.jpg

Too bad there's no such thing as White Out for sidewalks.

Turns out, after the organizers of the Rainbow Honor Walk unveiled 20 "heroines and heroes" of the LGBT communities in San Francisco's Castro District on Tuesday, several eagle-eyed copy editor types spotted two glaring typos cemented in the sidewalk.

Playwright Oscar Wilde’s plate, for example, says the writer was “known for his bitting wit.”

And Christine Jorgensen, the first widely known person to have sex reassignment surgery, is called the “first trangendered American” rather than “transgendered.”

The CastroBubble blog was the first online site to point out the mistakes, and then several people began tweeting and posting snarky comments on Facebook.

Rainbow Honor Walk Treasurer Kathy Amendola told NBC Bay Area on Wednesday that the problem will be corrected.

"This is obviously an important issue," she said. "And you know how politically correct we must be. We're very conscious of it."

The nonprofit organization that raised $100,000 for the plaques said the foundry in Berkeley is working hard to fix the error, and will replace the two plaques by early October. Amendola said each plaque cost $6,000.

Rainbow Honor Walk Board President David Perry said he honestly doesn't know how the mistake was made, but no one is angry or pointing fingers.

In fact, he said his group is now making "lemonade out of lemons." There are plans to auction off the misspelled Wilde plaque and give that money back to the Rainbow Honor Walk group, and auction off the Jorgensen plaque, with the money to go to the Transgender Law Center.

The other 18 honorees on the sidewalk all spelled correctly, and in the organizers' eyes, deserve just as much attention as the two who suffered typos.

They are: The first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Jane Addams; Novelist James Baldwin, AIDS activist George Choy; Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca; artist Keith Haring; Beat poet Allen Ginsberg; writer Harry Hay; disco star Sylvester James; feminist Del Martin; Japanese playwright Yukio Mishima; Mexican artist Frida Kahlo; civil rights activist Bayard Rustin; journalist and author Randy Shilts; writer Gertrude Stein; scientist Alan Turing; Gay Games founder Tom Waddell; dramatist Tennessee Williams and novelist Virginia Woolf.

Amendola's day job is giving tours of the Castro, and she said when the plaques are finished, she'll be giving specific walks by the special sidewalk.

When that happens, she'll be able to point out where the spelling errors used to be.

<![CDATA[Weird News Photos: "Aggressive” Lizard in SoCal]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 08:45:37 -0700 Read more here.]]> Read more here.]]> http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/140915-huntington-park-lizard.jpg Check out these weird news photos from around the world.

Photo Credit: Huntington Park Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Bouncing Tire Slams Though Car Windshield, Roof]]> Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:24:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/police+car+tire+110+10+freeway.jpg

Lanes were closed on a freeway near downtown Los Angeles Wednesday morning as authorities investigated a report of a tire that bounced across the road and slammed through the front of a school police officer's car.

California Highway Patrol officers earlier received a report of a tire bouncing in lanes on the 110 Freeway near the 10 Freeway. The tire -- likely from a trailer traveling in southbound lanes -- bounced across a median and then struck the Los Angeles School Police Department vehicle near the busy interchange, according to authorities.

The tire shattered the car's windshield and tore through part of the roof.

Lanes were closed for the police investigation, leading to an early morning backup on the 110 Freeway. Lanes reopened just before 7 a.m.

The car's driver was hospitalized with minor injuries, according to the CHP.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[27 Large Marijuana Plants Found Near Walmart ]]> Tue, 02 Sep 2014 09:02:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/marijuana+plants.jpg

Police in St. Albans, Vermont, found 27 large, mature marijuana plants in a field just south of the Walmart store on Swanton Road.

The find came after authorities received a call on Aug. 28 about strange plants on the private property.

The plants appeared well cared for and some were held up by stakes, police said. Fertilizer had been placed around the base of the plants.

Officials decided to eradicate and destroy the plants, after more people in the community became aware of them.

Police are working to identify those responsible for planting and caring for the unlawful marijuana.

Anyone with information has been asked to call: (802) 524-2166.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: St. Albans Police]]>
<![CDATA[Giant Millipedes Intercepted at SFO]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:32:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sfo-millipedes.jpg

Customs agents are used to confiscating fake Viagra pills, counterfeit sports jerseys and illegal DVDS. They're not accustomed to snagging giant myriapodous arthropods, however, that wriggle in the dirt and eat decaying plants.

But the U.S. Customs and Border agriculture specialists found and intercepted 20 foot-long millipedes at the San Francisco International Airport mail facility, the agency announced on Friday, and in doing so, stopped the slimy creatures from any further travel.

The intended recipient in Vista, California, was sent a letter that his or her package of exotic wormlike insects would not be arriving from Berlin, Customs Chief J. Frederick Ho told NBC Bay Area. Ho didn't know why the box would be sent to San Francisco and not LAX.

“I'll be honest, we do get certain strange things here," Ho said. "But I can't recall ever getting something like this here. It is out of the ordinary.”

Shipping millipedes – which some like to keep as exotic pets – isn't illegal, Ho said, but they do need a special permit to be sent through the mail – and this package didn't have that. In fact, the package was mislabled "toy car model."

An agent discovered the millipedes while inspecting the facility's X-ray machine and noted the discrepency. Inside the X-rayed package was a large Styrofoam box, containing a mesh bag that held the millipedes, along with chunks of soil and paper.

Ho said, since the shipper lives in Germany, it is unlikely that person will face a fine or a penalty.

The millipedes were whisked off to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and were euthanized.

Photo Credit: Courtesy U.S. Department of Homeland Security]]>
<![CDATA[Giant Rubber Duck Forced to Deflate]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:10:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/deflated+rubber+duck.PNG

The giant rubber duck that had been on display in Southern California since last week was deflated Thursday because of damaging winds.

Thousands have flocked to the Port of Los Angeles to view and photograph the 11-ton rubber duck, an art project by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman that has traveled worldwide and made stops in Japan, Brazil, Hong Kong and New Zealand, among other places.

The “World’s Largest Rubber Duck” made it’s Port of Los Angeles debut on Aug. 20 as part of the Tall Ships Festival. It was supposed to be on display only until Aug. 24, but because of its popularity, plans were made to keep the rubber duck on display until Sept. 6 as part of the Duck Days of Summer.

The rubber duck was transported to Banning’s Landing off the Wilmington coast Thursday, where it was supposed to be on display Thursday and Friday. Because of windy conditions, the duck was deflated and towed back to San Pedro. A 10-foot "baby" duck will still be on display in Wilmington Friday.

According to the Port of Los Angeles website, the duck will not be on display over Labor Day Weekend because it is “on holiday.” The duck is expected to be inflated again Tuesday and put back on display at the Downtown Harbor through Saturday.

Upcoming daily events centered around the giant duck include “Dress Like a Duck Day” and “Duck Dance Day.”

<![CDATA[Viral Video: "This is Exasperating" – Little Boy Reacts to Mom's Baby News]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 08:15:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/162*120/carseat1.JPG

"This is exasperating." "What were you thinking?" "Why you have to just get another baby? You just have two." These are just some of the things Tré told his mother when she told him she was having a baby.

Big words for a six-year-old? The Internet agrees.

Tré's mother Shanee Gibson Hart of Fort Lewis, Washington, posted the video on her Facebook page, and from there it went completely viral. "My husband and I been keeping a secret from Tré, finally told him and he was not happy. He's so smart we are very proud of our kids!" Gibson Hart wrote.

"I've something to tell you -- I'm pregnant," Gibson Hart announces to her son and his toddler sister in the video.

Tré hides his face before going off on a very grown-up rant that includes words like "exasperating." It doesn't take too long to realize that most of Tré's fears come from the possibility of being replaced by someone new, but his mom quickly squishes them.

"We would never replace you and Maya," Shanee Gibson says. "You're just gonna have another brother or sister that you will have to help take care of."

"That doesn't make no sense," Tré responds. And later, "What kind of baby is that?"

"I don't know – it might be a boy, it might be a girl," his mother says.

Tré then makes it clear that he doesn't like little boys because they cry. "Buy me some ear plugs," he requests.

<![CDATA[Missing Dog Found After Napa Quake]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:28:40 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chance1.jpg

When the earth moved during Sunday's Napa earthquake, scores of noise-sensitive pets took off from their comfortable digs. That included "Chance," a 1-year-old cattle dog mix, who bolted from his home at 3:20 a.m., jumping out the living room door, popping out a screen on his way out.

That set Chance's owner, Casey Myers, 31, and her boyfriend into a worried frenzy.

After Myers screamed then hugged her boyfriend, she immediately started looking for Chance, who typically sleeps by her bed.

But he wasn't there. And she had taken his tags off because they jingle at night. She and her boyfriend hopped in the car to look for their beloved pet.


So she posted Chance's picture on Facebook and posted about 400 flyers about town. She was one of many to advertise their lost post on the Missing Pets of Napa Quake Facebook page.

Then, on Thursday, she got a call from Napa Police Officer Rosa Calderon: "We think we have Chance."

Myers drove to Crosswalk Church, and indeed, Chance was there, sitting – hungry but OK – in the back of a truck.

"I opened the door," Myers said, "and Chance jumped out. I was overwhelmed. I just started bawling."

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Casey Myers]]>
<![CDATA[Shaun is Not the Wooliest Sheep in the World After All]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:58:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/shaun1.JPG

Shaun the sheep finally got his first haircut.

This very woolly sheep – found wandering around in Tasmania – was previously thought to be the wooliest in the world. But it turns out he’s not. Shaun just got shorn, and his wool isn’t as heavy as a sheep named Shrek, who holds the world record for a whooping 60 pounds of fleece.

The farmers who found Shaun wandering around Tasmania earlier this week say that while the record would have been nice, they just want to make sure Shaun is comfortable and healthy.


<![CDATA[Human Skull Donated to Thrift Store]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 08:34:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/013012+human+skull+generic.jpg

Police asked for the public's help to locate whoever donated a human skull to an Austin, Texas, thrift store.

Homicide Detective Derek Israel said Wednesday that foul play was not suspected in the person's death. He said he just wants to know how the skull came to be in an unspecified container left at the store.

Goodwill staff discovered the skull while sifting through donations July 16. A spokeswoman said it could have been gifted up to a week prior to its discovery.

Israel said the skull is from an adult. No other details about it have been released.

This is at least the fourth skull to be donated to the international nonprofit this summer. Three were donated in July to a Goodwill store in Bellevue, Wash.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Dies at Burning Man, Struck by Bus: Sheriff]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:19:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/BURNING-MAN-VO---00000618.jpg

A woman died at Burning Man early Thursday morning after falling under a bus carrying attendees of the weeklong gathering in northern Nevada's Black Rock Desert, authorities said.

The Pershing County Sheriff's Department in Nevada confirmed the death, referring all other questions to Burning Man's promoter, who said the 29-year-old woman from Wyoming died just after midnight near the Central Camp Area.

Event organizers said Alicia Louise Cipicchio was killed afterapparently falling underneath a "large vehicle" at the festival.

The last time a person died at Burning Man was seven years ago when a woman died when she fell under a trailer being pulled by a bus, promoter Jim Graham said.

"This is a terrible accident," Burning Man co-founder Marian Goodell said on the blog. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and campmates. Black Rock Rangers and Emergency Services Department staff are providing support to those affected."

According to her Facebook page, Cipicchio worked at a Jackson Hole art gallery and previously studied art at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

At its peak, Burning Man had 68,000 "Burners" attend this year, Graham said.

The festival describes itself as a gathering of those who "dedicate themselves to the spirit of community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance."

Bay City News contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Unbelievable Animals: Puppy Helps Cheetah Recover]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 21:18:59 -0700 Read more here.]]> Read more here.]]> http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cheetah+surgery+puppy.JPG Check out some of the craziest animals and the stories behind them.

Photo Credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park]]>
<![CDATA[Shell Shocker: Rare Blue Lobster Found]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:57:03 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rareblue-lobster.jpg A rare blue lobster has found a permanent home at the Maine State Aquarium. 14 year-old Meghan Laplante was out pulling traps with her dad on Saturday when they pulled up the rare blue lobster.]]> <![CDATA[Burning Man "Burners" Head to Wal-Mart During Rain]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:47:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/burning-man-AP139188049693.jpg

Ah, Burning Man, the annual weeklong rave that draws thousands of free-thinkers to a remote spot in the Nevada desert. It's a festival so remote and bizarre that the only limit to free expression is imagination ... and that dust that always gets into the electronics.

Except when it rains.

That's when the "Burners" end up in the parking lot of the Reno Wal-Mart.

Turned back at the gate to the Black Rock Desert after rare showers on Monday turned the ancient lake bottom to a muddy quagmire, hundreds of "Burners'' were forced to overnight on the Wal-Mart blacktop. Nearly a hundred other RVs pulled into the parking lot of the Grand Sierra Resort casino, across the street.

"We're just trying to stay positive," said a woman from Oakland, California, who identified herself only as "Driftwood," and was hanging out with some first-timers from Texas. "Positivity can raise everything up."

Organizers announced after midnight that they could roll onto the lake. By midmorning Tuesday all but a few dozen of the RVs were back on the road again, and by most accounts, no worse for the wear.

"We'll make the best of things," said Aviva Mohilner, a former public relations specialist from Los Angeles making her third trip. "It always works out. Burners make it good."

One New York City man loading coolers into a U-Haul on his first voyage to the desert wilderness said he was in too much of a hurry to make it to the desert Tuesday to talk. But another New Yorker, Ben Zion, asked a reporter to take a picture of him and his eight friends from Israel, all anxious first-timers. The rain delay was actually good for them, he said: "We got to get some rest and a shower."

Cuong Huynh, a four-time Burner and IT specialist from San Diego, California, said he's usually more concerned about dusty wind storms than rain, which is why he keeps his cellphone in a plastic bag.

Last year, it rained just before the festival, packing all the dirt and keeping the dust down, he said.

"Rain is really good for us, just not while you're out there," he said.

Destin Gerek, an 11-year veteran, thinks the delay will add a spark to the gathering.

"All this pent-up energy," said Gerek, 36, who teaches Burning Man workshops on the "intersection of sexuality and pirituality."

Gerek grew up in New York City, lives in California and has toured 25 different countries. "In all my travels, Burning Man is utterly unique," he said. "Absolutely nothing compares."

That was the general consensus among Burners Monday night as many of the RVs, VW buses and truck's pulling trailers gathered at a makeshift staging area under the blinking pink casino lights twinkling through the night.

It wasn't entirely unlike the contraptions that light up the weeklong desert gathering, which began at San Francisco's Baker Beach in 1986 and now culminates in the Black Rock with the burning of a towering wooden effigy Labor Day weekend. A record 68,000 people attended last year.

Still, the Wal-Mart wasn't exactly what seekers of "paradise on the playa" had in mind while driving hundreds of miles to the counter-culture festival, which offers theme camps, art exhibits, all-night music and guerrilla theater, along with a decent dose of nudity and a bunch of other stuff that's just plain weird.

One camp this year is "Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust," where participants are invited to be photographed as they "strip naked, cover in Playa dust, paint cracks on the body and finalize with red hands to simulate a connection between oneself and the desert environment."

The journey's final hours, across a dry, perfectly flat lake bed that seems to stretch on forever, is usually part of the fun.

Unless, again, it rains, covering the clay-like surface with standing water that turns to mush under the wheels of a well-equipped "Burner" crew.

Barbara Quintanilla and Bill Sanchez, who drove up from Houston in an RV, said the delay was the least of their worries.

"We made a 2,000-mile trip and none of us had ever driven an RV before. It would only go 35 mph up hills,'' Sanchez said.

Jeff Cross of Orange County, California, said the brief detour hadn't deterred his group's enthusiasm.

"It's the best festival in the world," he said. "There's no cellphones, no internet, no money or corporate sponsors."

True enough, once they reach the desert.

But while they were stuck in Reno, the rain delay provided for one last consumer capitalist opportunity.

"We have a list of 27 things we need to get at Wal-Mart," Quintanilla said.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Giant Duck Will Stick Around LA Until September]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:53:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/234*120/Rubber+Duck+Tall+Ships+Fes.JPG

A giant rubber duck that has been drawing crowds to the Port of Los Angeles since its arrival last week will be staying in town a few more days, organizers said Monday.

The 11-ton rubber duckie – part art project, part boat – headlined the Tall Ships Festival this weekend, and proving incredibly popular for gawkers who flocked to see it.

It drew so many fans who wanted to take selfies with it before the festival that event organizers moved it into the World Cruise Terminal so visitors would have to stroll through the rest of the event’s offerings to see it.

The six-stories-tall duck will now remain in LA at the Downtown Harbor until Sept. 6, with daily events centered around the giant fowl, including “Make Your Best Duck Face” day, “Selfie” day and “Dressed Like a Duck” day.

Philanthropic fundraising events have also been added to the duck’s calendar, including a canned food drive and a save-a-bird day.

The duck will not be available for viewing over Labor Day weekend.

For more details on the Port of Los Angeles’ Duck Days of Summer, visit www.portoflosangeles.org