#1. A Major Head Case
Margret Wegner underwent surgery in August to remove a pencil that had been stuck inside her head for 55 years. The German woman had suffered from chronic headaches and nosebleeds after falling at age 4 with the writing implement in hand. “The pencil went right through my skin and disappeared into my head,” she said. It was too risky at the time to remove the three-inch object, which did not pierce any vital parts of her brain. But thanks to significant technological improvements, this summer surgeons in Berlin were able to remove all but the pencil’s tip.
#4. Fatal Hydration
A silly water-drinking contest ended in tragedy in January. Jennifer Strange, 28, was trying to win a Nintendo Wii gaming system in a contest a California radio station had dubbed “Hold Your Wee for a Wii.” But the organizers were unaware of the dangers of consuming too much liquid in a short period of time. Contestants started out drinking 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes, and finalists were handed even bigger bottles to polish off. Later that day, Strange complained of a headache and hours later died from water intoxication.
#5. Sleepwalking in the Buff
British budget hotel chain Travelodge reported a seven-fold increase in sleepwalking from the previous year and noted that 95% of the somnambulists had been naked men. When the company released the results of its annual sleepwalker audit in October, it reissued guidelines on how hotel staff should handle wandering snoozers, including keeping a supply of towels behind the reception desk to protect their dignity.
#6. Ho-Ho No-No
Santas in Australia may sound a little less jolly this season after word spread that they had been asked to stop saying “ho ho ho” and to use “ha ha ha” instead. One disgruntled would-be St. Nick said the traditional phrase had been banned because it might be offensive to women. But the management company running the Santa training sessions maintains that it was only a suggestion, and that the greeting is being left up to the discretion of each individual Santa.
[Read More of these stories @: Time]