Following is a summary of current odd news briefs.
Florida python hunting contest draws hundreds
ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A python hunting competition starting on Saturday is drawing hundreds of amateurs armed with clubs, machetes and guns to the Florida Everglades, where captured Burmese pythons have exceeded the length of minivans and weighed as much as grown men. Python Challenge 2013, a month-long event sponsored by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is open to hunters and non-hunters alike.
Not Santa! German fire brigade rescue naked man from chimney
BERLIN (Reuters) - German firemen rescued a mysteriously naked man trapped in a narrow chimney in central Berlin, a spokesman said on Thursday. The fire brigade was alerted to the emergency after police failed to help the 39-year old man who was wedged 10 meters (yards) down the shoulder-width chimney.
Singapore goes green with Lunar New Year red packets
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Clean and green Singapore is going even greener this Chinese New Year, recycling $2 bills for red packets of money instead of printing new ones. Giving out the little packets, or "lai see", with crisp new notes during the Lunar New Year, which falls on Feb 10 this year, is a long-standing tradition. Adults typically give them to children, older relatives and unmarried siblings to wish them good luck for the coming year.
The Kraken wakes: first images of giant squid filmed in deep ocean
TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese-led team of scientists has captured on film the world's first live images of a giant squid, journeying to the depths of the ocean in search of the mysterious creature thought to have inspired the myth of the "kraken", a tentacled monster. The images of the silvery, three-meter (10 feet) long cephalopod, looming out of the darkness nearly 1 km below the surface, were taken last July near the Ogasawara islands, 1,000 km (620 miles) south of Tokyo.
U.S. Franciscan friars go digital, accept prayer requests via text
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The largest group of Franciscan friars in the United States is offering the faithful a new way to pray in the digital age by accepting prayer requests via text messages. The Friars of Holy Name Province, who staff 40 parishes and have colleges, soup kitchens and food centers along the eastern seaboard, as well as groups in Peru and Tokyo, are among a few religious groups offering this type of digital service.
Body of man poisoned after winning lottery will be exhumed
CHICAGO (Reuters) - The body of a Chicago man who died of cyanide poisoning less than two months after winning $1 million in the Illinois Lottery will be exhumed for further examination in two to four weeks, according to the Cook County medical examiner. An affidavit to exhume the body of Urooj Khan, 46, will be filed Friday with the Cook County Circuit Court, Mary Paleologos, a spokeswoman for the county, said on Wednesday. Once a judge approves the request, which should take one to two weeks, it will probably take another one to two weeks to arrange the exhumation with the cemetery, Paleologos said.
Brazilian prostitutes keen to "learn the lingo" for 2014 World Cup
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Prostitutes in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte are signing up in droves for free language classes in order to be ready for a barrage of foreign visitors to the tropical country during the 2014 soccer World Cup. The women join many others in Brazilian society, from politicians to construction workers, who are racing the clock to prepare 12 host cities throughout the nation for the international soccer championship.