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Who Knew? 

A weekly roundup of international news oddities

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Who Knew?
In June, people in South Korea will suddenly become younger, the BBC reported. On Dec. 8, the South Korean parliament voted to switch from two traditional methods of counting age to the more widely recognized international method for official documents. Currently, Koreans are 1 year old at birth and then gain another year on the first day of each following year. An alternate method has them at 0 upon birth, then adding a year each Jan. 1. So, for example, someone born on Dec. 31, 2002, is 19 years old using the international method. But under Korea's traditional methods, they might be 20 or 21 years old. One member of parliament said the change would reduce "unnecessary socio-economic costs, because legal and social disputes as well as confusion persist due to the different ways of calculating age."

Unclear on the Concept
Phoenix police officer Christian Goggans, who had been assigned to home duty, took advantage of the situation by dedicating more hours to his porn career, KOLD-TV reported. Goggans is facing an internal investigation after he allegedly traveled back and forth to Las Vegas while on the clock to produce and star in pornographic videos. He posted the films to a public Twitter page using his "stage" name, Rico Blaze (which has since been made private). A Phoenix PD public information officer said Goggans' work-from-home assignment required only that he call in once daily.

Your Tax Dollars at Work
Someone aboard the USNS Yuma, a Navy transport ship moored on the Greek island of Crete, is having a superior bathroom experience, thanks to the installation of the Bio Bidet BB-1000, The Washington Free Beacon reported on Dec. 12. At a cool $553, the BB-1000 offers a heated seat, blow dryer, remote control, deodorizer and an "effective enema function," which a retailer called "the absolute strongest spray pressure of any electronic bidet seat on the market." The Military Sealift Command confirmed the purchase but declined to offer more details.

People Different From Us
In Japan, a phenomenon known as rojo-ne—literally, sleeping on the road—is once again becoming a hazard as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and people are out partying more, reported The Guardian. The number of deaths of snoozing partiers has nearly doubled in Tokyo compared to last year, police say, and they're worried that the impending end-of-year celebrations will only add to the problem. Officials have also asked taxi drivers and others to drive with their high beams on and slow down.

Animal Antics
A live nativity scene in Carolina Beach, an island community about 140 miles southeast of Raleigh, North Carolina, was missing its cows on Dec. 4, the News & Observer reported. The two cows escaped their pen at Seaside Chapel around 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, police explained, and were apparently so determined to get away that they ended up in the Cape Fear River. Carolina Beach police were joined by state park rangers and a K-9 with special herding skills as they hauled the soggy bovines back to shore.

Bright Idea
A homeowner in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, was puzzled when he discovered five bullet holes in the siding of his house, along with another in his son's bedroom window, the Grand Forks Herald reported. Police were summoned, and they questioned a next-door neighbor, Michael James Powers, 76, who readily admitted that he'd been shooting at a squirrel that was on his bird feeder; as he put it, "Well, that's war." Powers was aiming from his own bedroom window, and said it wasn't the first time he'd shot at squirrels. He offered to go talk to "the other guy" and make it right, but officers had something different in mind: They arrested him for reckless discharge of a firearm. When Powers told his wife he was being arrested, she responded, "Well, I told you."

Police Report
Anthony Thomas Tarduno, 48, saved the Hernando County (Florida) Sheriff's Office the trouble of investigating after one of their patrol cars was set on fire on Dec. 7 in Spring Hill, Florida, WTSP-TV reported. As officers looked over the scene, Tarduno walked up and confessed to being the arsonist, saying he "had been drinking at a bar ... and decided he'd like to set it on fire." Tarduno placed a bag of garbage under the patrol vehicle and used a lighter to set it ablaze, police said. Tarduno admitted to detectives that when he gets drunk, he does "stupid things."

Ewwww
Muscle Shoals, Alabama, experienced a thunderstorm on Dec. 10 that brought more than lightning and heavy rain, WHNT-TV reported. The city's utility board manager, James Vance, said lightning struck controls at a sewer pump station, which allowed almost 2,000 gallons of sewage to flow into the streets of the Camden Cove subdivision. The sludge eventually flowed into a stormwater retention pond, and utility crews were able to clean up the mess.

It's a Mystery
Residents of South Tampa, Florida, are shaking their heads, trying to discover the source of "a deep, vibrating bass sound" that's been occurring on Saturday evenings for months, Fox13-TV reported. "You can feel it when your head's down on the pillow," said Abbi Reynolds. People have posted on social media, saying that their "windows are literally rattling" and "it reverberates from neighboring tall houses like an echo chamber." But Tampa police can't locate the source, either. They've checked with the local Air Force base and cruise lines, neither of which are responsible for the noise. Resident Zach Reynolds and others want to get to the bottom of it, trying to triangulate the noise and station people in different areas to suss out the culprit.

Crime Report
Police in the village of Warzymice, Poland, are hunting for an unlikely culprit in a vandalism case, Notes From Poland reported on Dec. 12: a Christmas tree. The odd figure cut a hole in a fence and slashed the tires of 21 vehicles belonging to a meat warehouse around 1 a.m., and cameras recorded the whole incident. In fact, the figure is seen loitering nearby and covering themselves with branches taken from nearby trees before committing the crime. Mateusz Watral, who works for the meat company, called it "more of a guerilla (action) than a well-prepared operation. Along the way he lost his 'camouflage,' (and) branches were scattered everywhere."

Flipping the Script
Alligator intrusions in Florida are so ubiquitous that News of the Weird has stopped reporting them. But in Brevard County on Dec. 4, the alligator's look-alike cousin made an appearance in Melbourne Beach, WESH-TV reported. A 9-foot-long American crocodile, which is seldom seen so far north, was chilling on a beach. "American crocodiles typically live in coastal areas throughout the Caribbean, and southern Florida is at the very north end of their range," noted the county's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. Uh, not anymore.

New World Order
People. Can't we all agree that fast food isn't worth a human life? On Dec. 12 at a KFC restaurant in St. Louis, Fox2-TV reported, a man in the drive-thru asked for corn with his meal. When the employee told him they were out of corn, he made threatening remarks, then drove up to the window displaying a handgun. A 25-year-old employee went outside to speak with the suspect, who allegedly shot him. The victim is hospitalized with his injuries. The suspect took off after the shooting; police are still looking for him.

Send weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.

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