Offbeat News: Soda Pop Shop & Japanese Astronauts


Veronica Spekis, a retail clerk at the Soda Pop Shop in Maryland, got a pair of scratch-off lottery tickets from a regular customer as a year end “tip”. When she rubbed the first $5 Holiday Riches ticket, she discovered she’d won the $50,000 top prize.

Spekis, who was totally stunned by the holiday miracle, says she plans to use her winnings to help reach her goal of buying a house.

Norishige Kanai, a Japanese astronaut, apologized while on his way to the International Space Station for stating he had grown 3.5-inches while in space and expressing concern about whether he’d be safe on his return to Earth.

“My height’s been measured here in space and somehow, somehow, I’ve grown 9 cm! In only three weeks I’ve really shot up, something I haven’t seen since high school,” he tweeted. “This makes me a little worried that I might not be able to fit in the Soyuz seats for our return.”

When his tweet caused a media blitz, he apologized and said he’d measured himself after his captain raised questions about the apparent growth. Turns out, he’d stretched only 2 cm from his Earth-bound height.

A little known fact is, many astronauts “grow” one space missions, because their spines extend in the absence of gravity. They only grow a few inches usually, and it all disappears once they return home.

“This mis-measurement appears to have become a big deal, so I must apologize for this terrible fake news”, Kanai tweeted in a correction. “It appears I can fit on the Soyuz, so I’m relieved”.

Ikea is using some creative marketing to feel cribs. The Swedish furniture giant has asked women who think they may have a bun in the oven to urinate on its latest print ad to find out for sure. If the test is positive, discounts on baby furniture await!

Here’s how it works. The ad is running in Swedish magazine “Amelia” and has a picture of a baby crib with the text, “Peeing on this ad may change your life” at the top of the page. If the test is positive, a discount code is revealed for the advertised crib.

“This ad is also a pregnancy test. Pee on the marked area and wait a moment,” the print says. “If you are expecting, you will get a surprise right here in the ad.”

The agency behind the campaign said there were even “technical advancements made” while crafting the pregnancy test technology to work from a magazine page. Apparently, those advancements may have the potential to improve medical diagnostics in the future.
How’d you like to be the IKEA cashier who has to redeem those things?


A hard rockin’ 50-year-old man was arrested for allegedly making off with a massive haul of KISS memorabilia. The owner of the collection called police when he discovered his precious collection of shirts, records, action figures and magazines from his favorite band had been snatched from his storage unit in San Angelo, Texas. Surveillance video of the heist led police to Michael W. Roehr, who was charged with burglary of a building after his home was searched. He was also charged with burglary of a habitation and possession of a controlled substance. Some of the collection was recovered and returned to its owner, which is a good thing because he’d been collecting KISS goods for over 40 years!

A man in Russia apparently needed a drink so bad that he rammed a tank into a shop window, climbed through the rubble and stole a bottle of wine. Apparently, the already-drunk man swiped the vehicle from a motorsport training ground nearby, and took it on a joy ride bound for more booze. He also crushed a Daewoo car parked nearby in the midst of his desperate robbery, which ended up with him in cuffs. The shop wasn’t licensed to sell alcohol that early in the morning, authorities noted.

A bunch of folks parked at Greater Rochester International Airport over the Christmas holiday came back to fewer car parts than when they left for holiday vacation. Harry Coates III just may be to blame. He was arrested in connection to jacking multiple car parts and taken into custody after deputies tracked him to his home in Rochester. Coates admitted to stealing Cadillac rims and a Ford F150 tailgate from the airport parking garage, but that’s about it. He was charged with two counts of fourth degree grand larceny, one count of second degree auto stripping,and one count of third degree criminal mischief.

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