Mad Minute

March 13 (UPI) -- A visitor to a campground in Australia captured video of a different type of toilet paper shortage -- a kangaroo raiding rolls from the restroom.

The filmer said they have been traveling the country in a camper with their family for the year, and they were stopped this week at the Wilpena Pound campground in South Australia.

The video shows a kangaroo inside the campground's restroom eating toilet paper from a bathroom stall.

"Maybe word of coronavirus has spread this far into the arid center of our country? Wilpena Pound is about 6 hours drive from the South Australian coast. It's pretty dry, dusty and fly-blown out here and the kangaroos have become tame from interacting with tourists," the filmer wrote.

The filmer said the family talked to campground managers and learned they are planning to put up a fence next month to keep the kangaroos from raiding the toilet paper.


March 13 (UPI) -- A skywriter encouraged healthy habits amid the coronavirus outbreak by scrawling the words "wash hands" in the sky over Sydney, Australia.

Witnesses captured video Thursday as a skywriting aircraft wrote the words in the sky over the city.

The message appeared to be advice timed to coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts say washing hands is one important step toward preventing the spread of the virus.

The identity of the skywriter was unknown.


March 13 (UPI) -- A British man who noticed his milk delivery had been stolen from his doorstep checked security camera footage and was shocked to identify the culprit as a thirsty fox.

Antony Neale, 55, who receives daily milk deliveries at his home in Essex, England, said one of his bottles went missing recently before he could retrieve it from his doorstep.

Neale checked it security camera footage and identified the thief as a wild fox.

He said the animal returned a few days later and repeated the same crime.

Neale said he has started retrieving his milk earlier in the morning, before the fox can sneak up and take it.


March 13 (UPI) -- Seniors at a Massachusetts college held a "fauxmencement" ceremony, complete with garbage bag gowns and yarn tassels, to replace their likely-canceled graduation ceremony.

The Olin College of Engineering, which is finishing its semester online due to coronavirus fears, is unlikely to hold an in-person graduation ceremony in the late spring, leading students and faculty to come together Thursday for the "fauxmencement" celebration.

"It was yesterday morning in the dining hall at about 9 or 10 am when a set of students and staff came and said 'Hey, we have this idea. We can do a fake commencement," Mark Somerville, Olin's Dean of Faculty, said at the ceremony. "Which seemed like a pretty awesome idea in a challenging time."

Seniors attended the ceremony in graduation gowns made from trash bags, caps fashioned from paper and tassels made of yarn.

"This is amazing that this is happening right now," Somerville said. "It is a testament to what Olin is as a community and it kind of makes me want to cry but I'm gonna not do that quite yet."


March 13 (UPI) -- A San Francisco career resource company is offering an unusual dream job of its own: getting paid $1,000 to spend St. Patrick's Day watching Irish movies.

Zippia announced on its website that it is seeking an aspiring movie critic to spend St. Patrick's Daywatching 10 Irish movies: My Left Foot, The Crying Game, Far and Away, Circle of Friends, Hunger, The Departed, Leprechaun, Waking Ned Devine, Angela's Ashes and The Wind That Shakes The Barley.

"This should only take you about 17 hours and 23 minutes, leaving you plenty of time to go out and celebrate with your friends afterwards," the company said.

The winning applicant will be required to write a 1,000 word summary of what they learned about Irish culture from the movie marathon.

The temporary movie critic will also receive a corned beef and cabbage meal for 4, a box of Lucky Charms cereal, a McDonald's gift card equal to the worth of four large Shamrock Shakes and a U2 album of their choice.

Applications are being accepted through March 15.


March 13 (UPI) -- A professional dog walker in Scotland captured video of her surprising encounter with an escaped wallaby.

Carly Meaney said she was at North Third Reservoir, near Stirling, when she spotted the small Australian marsupial.

Meaney filmed video of the wallaby as it hopped close to her and posted the footage to Facebook.

"You need to run away or you're going to be chased by the doggies," she says to the wallaby in the video.

Meaney said the dogs she was preparing to walk remained in her van while she filmed the wallaby.

The dog walker said the wallaby was later recaptured and returned to its home at a nearby farm.


(FOX) A very unique species of bug with unique sex organs and spiky horns was recently named after pop superstar Lady Gaga.

The treehopper insect from Nicaragua, known as Kaikaia gaga, certainly brings to mind the singer's bizarre, colorful costumes.

According to researchers, treehoppers suck on plant juices, sing to each other by vibrating plant stems, and are a vital food source for other forest creatures.

Entomologist Brendan Morris of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign decided to name the bug after Lady Gaga in recognition of what he calls the artist's "flamboyant, shape-shifting style."

"If there is going to be a Lady Gaga bug, it's going to be a treehopper, because they've got these crazy horns, they have this wacky fashion sense about them," Morris said in a statement. "They're unlike anything you've ever seen before."

The bugs, which apparently tend to be overlooked, reside in many of the world's forested areas.

"I love outrageous forms and colors. It blows my mind that a group that is roughly 40 million years old has so much diversity of form — diversity, I would argue, that we don't see in any other family of insects."

Morris and his colleagues published their observations in the journal Zootaxa.


(NPR) Within the wood paneling of a hallway in the British House of Commons, there was a small brass keyhole.

Members of Parliament and staff walked past the tiny hole each day. The rare person who noticed the hole took it for an electrical cabinet.

Enter a team of historians planning the much-needed restoration of the Palace of Westminster, which is home to the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The oldest part of the estate, Westminster Hall, dates to 1099 and is still in use.

The team was at the Historic England Archive poring over some 10,000 uncatalogued documents relating to the palace when they found something interesting: plans for a doorway in the cloister behind Westminster Hall.

Back at the palace, they found that tiny keyhole in the wood paneling — just where the plan suggested it would be. They had a key made so they could open the door – and they discovered a secret passageway 360 years old.

"To say we were surprised is an understatement — we really thought it had been walled-up forever after the war," Mark Collins, Parliament's estates historian, said in a statement. They knew such a passage had once existed, but believed that it had been filled in after the palace was bombed during World War II.

Behind the door was a small room, with hinges for a door that would have been more than 11 feet high and that would have opened into Westminster Hall.

It turns out to be a passageway with a rich history.

Investigators studied the ceiling timbers in the room and determined that the trees had been harvested in 1659. That corroborated accounts suggesting that the doorway was created around 1660, for the coronation banquet of Charles II, the king who ruled until 1685.

Records indicate the route was used by part of the coronation procession as it passed from the former House of Lords into the hall where the king and queen were seated. Afterward, the door was used for coronations, the Speaker's procession and, more commonly, by members of Parliament to access the Commons chamber.

Historians say the entrance was used for centuries, by figures including the diarist Samuel Pepys, Robert Walpole (now regarded as the first British Prime Minister) and William Pitt the Younger.

In the passage, the team found more-recent artifacts: graffiti from 1851.

A bricklayer who was restoring the palace years after an 1834 fire had written on the walls in pencil: "This room was enclosed by Tom Porter who was very fond of Ould Ale."

Another bit of graffiti read: "These masons were employed refacing these groines (repairing the cloister) August 11th 1851 Real Democrats."

The term "Real Democrats" suggests that the masons were supporters of the Chartist movement for universal voting rights for men and to allow for members of Parliament who weren't property owners.

House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle paid a visit to the newly discovered passageway, one used by his predecessors over centuries.

"To think that this walkway has been used by so many important people over the centuries is incredible," he said. "I am so proud of our staff for making this discovery and I really hope this space is celebrated for what it is: a part of our parliamentary history."

And evidence of more recent history was found in the passage, too: a working light bulb, likely installed in the 1950s.

That tiny keyhole in the wood paneling turned out to be a portal to Britain's history — found again, after 70 years unnoticed.


March 13 (UPI) -- A golden retriever puppy in Michigan has been branded a "unicorn" due to an unusual facial feature: having only a single ear, positioned on the top of her head.

Rae - "ear" spelled backward - was brought to Family Friends Veterinary Hospital in Grand Rapids as a newborn because she required emergency surgery.

The now-12-week-old puppy is now in the care of Brianna Aardema, who was one of the people caring for Rae at the hospital.

"The minute I saw her, I knew I wanted to raise her and be there for her even though I knew the road to recovery wouldn't always be easy," Aardema told ABC's Good Morning America.

Rae was dubbed a "unicorn" by hospital staff due to her unusual ear, and she soon found viral fame thanks to a video on TikTok and an Instagram account.

Aardema said there is no name for Rae's condition. She said the dog's existing ear was originally on the side of her head, but started rising to the top after her surgery.

"She's amazingly brave tough little girl who has the most confidence of any puppy I've known," Aardema said.


PORT ARTHUR, Texas (AP) — A 24-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail for posting on social media a video last August of himself removing an ice cream container from a Texas market freezer, licking the contents and returning the container to the freezer.

D'Adrien Anderson, 24, also was sentenced to an additional six-month jail term probated for two years and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $1,565 in restitution to Blue Bell Creameries, which had to replace all of its products in the freezer.

Anderson began serving his jail term immediately after sentencing.

The incident happened Aug. 26 at a Walmart in Port Arthur. Store surveillance cameras showed that he finally took the Blue Bell ice cream from the freezer and bought it, which wasn't captured in the social media video, authorities said.

Anderson could have been sentenced to up to a year in jail and fined $4,000 for misdemeanor criminal mischief.

Port Arthur is about 85 miles (137 kilometers) east of Houston.