Weird news

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January 18, 2017

Now, that's a lot of change.

A Virginia man used 300,000 pennies to pay sales tax on two cars at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMW).

The Bristol Herald Courier reported that Nick Stafford delivered five wheelbarrows full of change, mostly pennies, at the DMW office in Lebanon, Virginia, last Wednesday. The coins weighed in at 1,600 pounds.

Stafford said he paid in coins to "inconvenience" the DMV.

Stafford was upset because he was unable to find out the direct number to the Lebanon DMV until filing a Freedom of Information Act request. He later sued the state because he says he was denied direct phone numbers to other DMV offices in his area.

Stafford ended up filing three lawsuits, which were dismissed on Tuesday.

A Chinese factory has been doing a brisk business selling giant inflatable roosters, some as tall as 16 feet, based on a design widely perceived in China to resemble President-elect Donald Trump.

Yifang Inflatables, a factory in the city of Jiaxing, near Shanghai, began selling the inflatables after images of a large sculpture of a similar design outside a shopping centre in the northern city of Taiyuan went viral on social media last month.

The original statue was designed by US-based artist Casey Latiolais, whose website displays the rooster next to a similar design that borrows elements of a Trump election slogan. Chinese state media have described the rooster as "sporting the President-elect's signature hairdo and hand gestures".

Wei Qing, owner of the factory in Jiaxing, said they have sold around 100 of the roosters, in sizes from 2 to 5 metres (7 to 16 feet) tall, to shopping centres in mainland China and Taiwan. Wei said some customers think the rooster resembles Trump but that the manufacturers had no say over that.

A book of short stories titled Forty Minutes Late has been returned to a San Francisco library 100 years late.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Bay Area resident Webb Johnson returned the book Friday. There was no fine.

Johnson's great grandmother had checked it out from the city's old Fillmore branch in 1917. She passed away a week before the due date, and the Fillmore branch is no longer around.

Johnson found the 1909 book, by F. Hopkinson Smith, in an old steamer trunk in 1996. He assumed the library wouldn't want it back, but a recently announced "fine forgiveness programme" inspired him to return it.

Head city librarian Luis Herrera said the library was glad to, finally, get the book.

US Customs and Border Protection officials say officers in Cincinnati intercepted more than 50 pounds of methamphetamine that was concealed inside a statue of a snail.

Authorities say the package, which came from Mexico and was labelled 'Mexican stone crafts,' contained a decorative snail statue that exhibited "interior anomalies" during an X-ray inspection on December 30.

Customs officers drilled a hole into the statue and found 53 pounds of a white crystalline powder that tested positive for meth.

Richard Gillespie, CBP's Cincinnati port director, says the agency's officers excel at preventing dangerous packages from reaching innocent citizens.

The snail's intended destination was Lawrenceville, Georgia.