Weird news of the week: January 3, 2014

By Mona Neuhauss of MSN News | AP Photo
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Meditate your way into the New Year

Odd stories and viral news from around the world this week. See gallery

While many reminisce about the year just gone on New Year’s Eve, perhaps in a slightly drunken state, those who want a tranquil time for reflection had the opportunity to take part in the Jivamukti Yoga practice in silence. About two miles south from Times Square in New York, partners Sharon Gannon and David Life have been offering this New Year’s Eve service for 25 years, alongside their usual classes specifically for this type of yoga that they have co-founded.

Getty Images: Tom Grill
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Make the most of your Christmas leftovers

Brussels sprouts are a delicious and essential part of a Christmas roast, yet a common dilemma is buying too many and not knowing what to do with the leftovers during the post-Christmas blues. One entrepreneurial yet charitable man from Herefordshire, England, had the idea to sell uneaten Brussels sprouts on eBay with a witty description text, listing them as "used" with a "nibble-sized chunk missing from one sprout, while remnants of turkey, gravy, cheese sauce and broccoli are present throughout." The 22-year-old pulled a similar stunt last year, with two unwanted sprouts achieving a winning bid of £99.99 (approx. $165). All proceeds of this year will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

AP Photo
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Bee burglary

A hive containing thousands of bees hibernating over the winter was stolen from a community garden in Norwich, England. These hives typically home between 20,000 and 60,000 bees, which is why police believe that at least two people must have been involved in this criminal bee-haviour. The investigation continues, and police are waiting for witnesses to come forward.

Getty Images
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2013 and 2014 twins

As most people around the world partied their way into the New Year, two mothers in different cities were celebrating for a different reason. Born just minutes apart, the two mothers from Washington D.C. and Toronto gave birth to two of the last,babies of 2013 and the first of 2014. The younger twin in Toronto, Sophia Salgueiro, was born at 12:00:38am, roughly 8 minutes after her older sister, naamed Garbriela. Likewise, the Washington D.C. twins were born at at 11:58pm and 12:01am.

Rex Features: Food and Drink
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The asparagus says it all

Tea leaves, palms and crystal balls are some of the things we associate with fortune-telling, but Jemima Packington from England uses a familiar supermarket buy to predict the future. When she was only eight years old, she began using asparagus for readings, and she claims that for 2013, her predictions were about 80 percent accurate. The vegetable is lobbed in the air, and then the patterns formed on the floor are read.

Getty Images: kali9
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New policy for long names

It is bad enough when people do a double-take for your ID photograph, but for a woman in Hawaii, it's her name that catches people’s attention every time. With a last name 36 characters long, Janice "Lokelani" Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele always had her last letter cut off her identification cards, which caused problems during traffic stops. Now, thanks to her campaign, a new policy has been introduced, which allows up to 40 characters for last names, and 35 for first and middle names.

Getty Images: svariophoto
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Chicken challenge

Popular fast-food restaurant Nando’s, famous for its flame grilled chicken, opened a competition two years ago, offering a black card guaranteeing free meals for life to anyone who could prove that they had eaten at every one of the firm’s 1,031 stores around the world. Christopher Poole, aged 26, took up the challenge and ate at 85 branches in the UK, spending £1,000 (approx. $1650) along the way, before realizing that the competition had ended. Luckily, the restaurant chain still acknowledged his efforts, and has agreed to honour the old promotion if he can complete the global challenge.

Rex Features: Stock Connection
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Drown your sorrows in petrol

Many of us regret drinking just that little bit too much during New Year’s Eve celebrations, but for petrol addict Brian Taylor it meant breaking the order that bans him from all garage pumps, which resulted in a 16-week prison sentence and a fine. The serial offender loves nothing more than a sniff or drink of petrol, and his habit was first reported back in 2005. He attended meetings to beat the addiction, but ironically was kicked out because he stank strongly of petrol and was deemed a fire hazard.

Getty Images: TommL
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Emoji art

When words just aren’t enough to express your feelings via texts and other social mediums, emojis come in handy. Originating from Japan, nowadays the little picture letters are standardized and built into handsets. One Los Angeles-based artist rates the Japanese emoticons especially highly, claiming that “they're the best thing that ever happened to our generation." This led Liza Nelson to re-enacted and create them in real life using papier-mâché, cardboard, paint and a few living humans as part of her art project.

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