Spotlighting The Wonderfully Weird Around The World

The Doors said it best. People are strange. In a crazy, weird world where you never know what stories are about to fill up and spew forth from the 24 hour news cycle catering to our 20-second attention spans, I think it's nice to remind folks that every now and again the weirdness of the world can still shock and awe in a good way...or in the case of the all-nude a not-so-good way. I'm exhausted from being shocked by stupidity, so being shocked by the wonderfully weirdness of the world is a nice change of pace.


Paris, France - Dining O'Naturel

Question. How does one maintain one's appetite while dining at Paris' first nudist restaurant? O’Naturel bills itself as the capital's first nudist eatery. Diners leave their clothes, phones and inhibitions in changing rooms before taking their seat. Wearing only slippers, diners chow down on French cuisine while large white curtains shields them from gawpers outside. I would hope my fellow diners were just unattractive enough I could still want to eat, but no so attractive I couldn't leave when I wanted to.

New Zealand - Beers on the Beach

Sand is used in everything from construction to pharmaceuticals; a major ingredient of mortar, plaster, concrete, and asphalt, businesses often collect beach sand in bulk. As a result, two-thirds of the world’s beaches are retreating.

Amazingly, New Zealand-based DB Breweries thinks it may have found a solution: Drink more beer:

Florence, Italy - Wonderfully Weird Happy Taxi

Some people think I am too much. And I respect that.
— Caterina Bellandi

By day, Caterina Bellandi offers free travel between a pediatric hospital and the homes of young cancer patients, and in the evening, she carries regular clients around Tuscany’s main city. She's been doing this for 16 years.

She is better known in Florence and across the country as Zia Caterina (Auntie Caterina). She drives her Chrysler taxi wearing a flashy green-and-azure cloak topped by a straw top hat decorated with pompoms, and fabric roses and an army of little bells sound at the movement of her wrists and of her necklace, a polka-dot rosary of yellow, orange and red.

“This is not a show,” she said, looking in the rear mirror through her fluorescent glasses. Her warm smile was accented by her red lipstick. “My children may be sick, but they can and have to be happy.”

Caterina Bellandi AKA "Auntie Caterina"

Caterina Bellandi AKA "Auntie Caterina"

...More Weirdness From Around the World...


China - Taken For A Ride

Imagine a football field covered in a pile of tangled bikes stacked so high only cranes can reach the top of the heap. That's the situation in China as the supply and demand for dockless bikes has been greatly miscalculated.

Dublin, Ireland - Love Actually

A Judge has been hailed for excusing a 54-year-old man from jury service after he told a courtroom he was in love for the first time.

The individual explained that taking part in the trial would prevent him from whisking his new partner away for a long weekend. Here's the transcript from reporter Sarah-Jane Murphy:

Courtesy: @sjanemurf

Courtesy: @sjanemurf

Oviedo, Spain - When Snoring Becomes A Good Thing

A man in Spain who was declared dead by three doctors was actually still alive, which doctors discovered only when he began snoring on the autopsy table.

The man, 29-year-old Gonzalo Montoya Jiménez, was a prisoner at a jail in northern Spain. He was found unconscious in his cell, and was believed to be dead, according to the Spanish news outlet La Voz de Asturias. Three forensic doctors allegedly examined Jiménez and certified his death.

But 4 hours later, right before Jiménez's autopsy, he was heard making noises on the autopsy table, and was found to still be alive. This discovery was not a moment too soon — Jiménez's body even had the marks painted on it to guide the autopsy.

Dallas, Texas - Assuming Makes An Ass Out Of...

Kevin Smith had an interesting encounter at the Dallas airport. During a layover, he made some assumptions about an older couple that turned out to be a bit wrong, but it led to some interesting revelations about himself. I'll let him tell you himself:


The Friendly Skies - Don't Drink The Water

A cup of tea or coffee at 40,000 feet may sound like a great way to give yourself an extra energy boost during a tiring trip, but it might be healthier to nap away your fatigue—or at least wait until hitting ground to indulge in a caffeine fix. Here’s why flight attendants avoid drinking tap water on airplanes according to Business Insider.

Quebec, Canada - Grilled Cheese Is No Longer A Threat

Quebec's language watchdog, The Office québécois de la langue française, has softened its approach to anglicisms, now deeming terms like "grilled-cheese," "cocktail" and softball" as acceptable for everyday usage. Ok, wait what? Quebec has a language watchdog?

New York, New York - Ready For Prime Time Player?

SNL may have found its next iconic character with teen YouTuber movie critic Bailey Gismert (Heidi Gardner):

Finland - The Greatest Country In The World?

I thought for sure one of the 18 Reasons Why Finland is the Greatest Country on Earth would be, "I can see Russia from my house!" But no, this lists just notes trivial things like it has the most trees of any European country, Santa Claus lives there and visitors can actually time travel. Big whoop.

Barcelona, Spain - What's Old Is Stunning Again

Architect Ricardo Bofill's home will truly take your breath away. It looks like a set-piece from a Blade Runner movie. It's stunningly beautiful and unique. And oh yeah, it used to be an old cement factory.

Bogota, Colombia - Juan Valdez Gets His

I was born and raised in Colombia. And all my life, I’d been drinking bad coffee.
— Colombian Barista, Cesar Parra

Colombians have for years grown amazing coffee. Finally, they’re drinking it.

Newman, California - Stranger Things Have Happened

As if David Harbour wasn't already great enough starring as Police Chief Hopper on the Netflix hit Stranger Things, he wowed us again during all those Superbowl Tide ads. By the end of the game, I was convinced every ad was about to become a Tide ad.

But he's also great because of this story that broke last month, but definitely worth sharing again. Orestimba High School senior Damaris Fregoso was only joking when she asked @DavidKHarbour "How many retweets for you take my senior photos with me?" Much to her shock, David Harbour replied (because of course he did), "25k. And I get to wear the school sweatshirt and hold a trombone." 

Damaris only had about 400 followers on Twitter at the time, so 25,000 retweets seemed like a long shot. However, Noah Schapp who plays Will Byers on Stranger Things, jumped into the fray and asked people to retweet to make this happen. And before you know it, THIS HAPPENED: