<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Weird News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/weird http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usMon, 23 Oct 2017 08:37:42 -0700Mon, 23 Oct 2017 08:37:42 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Man Builds Two-Story ‘Star Wars’ Transport Replica]]> Fri, 20 Oct 2017 06:43:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+Star+Wars+Display+THUMB.jpg

Nick Meyer decided that his AT-AT walker model wasn’t big enough, so he built a two-story replica of the famous “Star Wars” vehicle on the front lawn of his house. The display has inspired some neighborhood Jedis to sharpen their lightsaber skills.

<![CDATA[Paddington Bear Dances with the Duchess of Cambridge]]> Tue, 17 Oct 2017 06:43:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+PADDINGTON+DANCE+Thumb.jpg

Paddington Bear shared a dance with the Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, at a charity event the Royals were hosting at the famous Paddington Station, where the iconic children's book character got his name.

<![CDATA[This Is What Happens When You Take a Fidget Spinner to Space]]> Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:25:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+SPACE+FIDGET+SPINNER+THUMB.jpg

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station tested a fidget spinner in zero gravity. They had time to play with the popular toy in between three scheduled space walks this month.

<![CDATA[Top 3 Friday the 13th Spooky San Diego Attractions ]]> Fri, 13 Oct 2017 19:19:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Friday13-GettyImages-492064576.jpg

In honor of Friday the 13th, we’ve assembled a list of the top 3 places you should go for a spooky-good time.

Number 1 is Belmont Park, also known as ‘Boomont’ Park. It’s perfect for families with small children. There is a pumpkin patch, zombie laser tag and free trick or treating during Halloween.

The park opened a new ride for Friday the 13th called Xanadu. It’s a 7-D theater feature with moving chairs. A movie plays as you wear 3-D glasses and shoot evil creatures with a plastic gun near your chair. Admission for the ride is $8.

“It’s the newest and funnest thing in the park,” said James Austin, owner of Xanadu. “We have three movies, including zombies, which is fitting for Friday the 13th and Halloween.”

Number 2 is the Haunted Trail in Balboa.

The mile long trail is guaranteed to spook your hiking boots off. From graveyards to gargoyles, there’s plenty of freaky props. You might even get chased by a masked man with a chain saw.

At the end of the trail is an exhibit dedicated to the Friday the 13th movie.

Number 3 is the Haunted Hotel in the Gaslamp District of Downtown San Diego. Located on Market Street, organizers say the sign on the front is the most photographed sign in all of San Diego.

“The Haunted Hotel is a landmark, legend of a place,” said Jason Kleinschmit, operations manager at the Haunted Hotel. “This is its 25th year and since it’s Friday the 13th, if you want to get scared, this is the place to be.”

It’s $19 to get in, and customers must pay with cash.

The freaky hotel features zombies, crazy clowns and a so-called ‘hillbilly swamp’ exhibit. There’s also plenty of actors waiting to jump out of scare you, as well as a haunted elevator that takes you on a bumpy journey.

What’s your favorite Friday the 13th attraction in San Diego? 

Photo Credit: LightRocket via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cows Keep Traffic From Moo-ving on Nashville Parkway]]> Sat, 14 Oct 2017 16:32:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/cowshighway.png

A truck carrying cows overturned in Nashville, Tennessee, allowing the animals to roam free.

<![CDATA[Dog Gets Head Stuck Chasing Ball]]> Tue, 10 Oct 2017 10:32:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/doggy+head+stuck.jpg

A golden retriever bent on retrieving a ball got his head stuck in a hole Monday near San Diego, California.

The 3-year-old male dog had been chasing a ball when the ball rolled into a brick hole, according to a report from Lakeside Fire Department. The dog attempted to follow it and became stuck.

Lakeside Fire Department dispatched Engine 2 to the call.

Fire personnel helped pull the dog from the brick safely.

Once free, the dog did what any golden retriever would - he resumed chasing the ball. 

Photo Credit: Lakeside Fire]]>
<![CDATA[Man Clings to Front of School Bus in Road Rage Case]]> Mon, 09 Oct 2017 07:40:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Man_Clings_to_Bus_in_Road_Rage_Incident-150755184653400002.jpg

Baltimore police arrested a man in a bizarre case of road rage last Thursday, after a video showed him clinging to the front of a moving school bus and banging on the hood while demanding the driver open the door. Baltimore County police said the man was trying to get into the bus after he said a bottle, thrown from the bus, hit his car.

<![CDATA[Restaurant Owner Admits to Smuggling Forbidden Seafood]]> Fri, 29 Sep 2017 16:04:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Illegal+seafood+charges.jpg

A New York restaurant owner pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle rare and restricted seafood into the country from Mexico, according to the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of California.

In court Friday, Alan Ren, 48,  admitted to conspiring with a Taiwanese citizen, Wei Wei Wang, 37, to covertly smuggle 250 of pounds of exotic seafood, secretly stashed in three suitcases and a black plastic bag.

He was charged with conspiracy, smuggling/importation contrary to law and unlawful importation of wildlife.

According to the arraignment, Ren said that he employed Wang to handle the finances at his seafood business. With Wang in his car, Ren drove into the U.S. with approximately 83 pounds of frozen black abalone, also known as Haliotis cracherodii, and 172 pounds of sea cucumber, also known as Isostichopus fuscus. 

The black abalone is an endangered species, and the sea cucumber is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered species, stated the U.S. Attorney's office. Ren acknowledged that he planned to use the abalone and sea cucumbers for commercial business, as he owns two Chinese restaurants.

Ren admitted that they didn't have any permits to export sea cucumber or abalone from Mexico or to import the restricted seafood into the U.S. He agreed that he should have known that harvesting the seafood was also illegal in Mexico.

Several months after smuggling the seafood, Ren falsely claimed two fake receipts from a vendor in Ensenada were the invoices for the sea cucumber and abalone, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. 

Ren agreed to pay $16,600 in restitution to the Mexican government for the illegally exported seafood. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 30 years in prison and combined fines up to $750,000.

Black abalone reside off California and Baja California. The harvest of abalone is illegal in California, after the population was reduced 80 percent by a wasting disease called Withering Syndrome in the mid 1980's.

Abalones reach reproductive maturity between three and seven years of age but they can live up to 25 or even 75 years, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Sea cucumbers are found in the Eastern Pacific Ocean from Mexico to Ecuador. The marine animals are guarded under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered species. A permit is required to import them into the U.S.

Illegal harvesting has decimated sea cucumber populations in the Caribbean Sea off the Yucatan Peninsula. Rival gangs fight over control of the harvest, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

<![CDATA[Last Chance to Smell Stinky 'Corpse Flower': SDGB]]> Thu, 21 Sep 2017 12:49:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Second+Corpse+Flower+bloom.JPG

Curious smellers who missed their chance to catch a whiff of the stinky "corpse flower" have been granted a new opportunity Thursday, with a second deathly plant in full bloom.

San Diego Botanic Garden officials say visitors enamored with the plant's nauseating stench of rotting flesh should come immediately, as the bloom may disappear anytime.

There is a third "corpse flower" at the garden but it's in an earlier part of its life cycle, said officials. They said it could be years before they see another "corpse flower" bloom. On this unique day, visitors can see all three of the plants in various stages of the bloom cycle.

A spokesperson for the garden, Lisa Reynolds, told NBC 7 the fact that the 'sister' plants bloomed within days of each other is a strange and unusual event.

“It’s very unusual that all of them would be blooming at the same time," said Reynolds. Both of the plants that bloomed this week had seeds harvested from the same parent plant, she said.

In Encinitas, the other-worldly plant, known as the Titan Arum, is on public display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the garden, located on 230 Quail Gardens Drive.

But the garden will remain open an extra hour Thursday night since the fleeting bloom is unlikely to last long. Garden officials said there is no time to wait if you want to experience its fascinating and uniquely repulsive odor.

The Garden team said the second, 4-foot-tall bloom is even more beautiful and stinky than the first on Tuesday. They believe the frilly leaves have opened wider and the scent is more pungent because they kept the plant in the greenhouse for a longer period of time.

To approach the foul-smelling flower, admission tickets are $14 for adults, $10 for students, seniors and military, and $8 for children. There is no charge for children under age 2.

“It (Titus Arum bloom) changes almost hourly, so you need to see it in all its stages," said President and CEO Julian Duval of the garden, in a statement. "Yes, it stinks. But it is also other-worldly beautiful.”

Currently, both plants that bloomed are on loan from California State University Fullerton (CSUF), said officials. The second plant was transported in a UHaul to San Diego on Wednesday. That also kept the plant warmer, which may have helped produce more energy for its bloom.

Last year, there were just a couple dozen blooms worldwide, reported BBC.

Due to its wicked stench, the Titan Arum is characterized as a carrion flower, according to the Botanic Garden. The plant originates in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra in western Indonesia.

Photo Credit: Rachel Cobb/SDBG
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<![CDATA[What's That Smell? Stinky 'Corpse Flower' Blooms]]> Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:28:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MrStinkyCorpseFlower.JPG

UPDATE: San Diego Botanic Garden officials said the "corpse flower" is no longer in bloom as of Wednesday. There will be a new "corpse flower" on display starting Friday.

Visitors were drawn like bees to a rare and unusual bloom known as a "corpse flower" that reeked of rotting flesh at the San Diego Botanic Garden Tuesday.

The exotic flower, known for its putrid, intoxicating perfume, only blooms once every five to 10 years.

In Encinitas, the other-worldly plant, known as the Titan Arum, is on public display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the garden, located on 230 Quail Gardens Drive. Garden officials said there is no time to wait if you want to catch a whiff of the uniquely repulsive smell, as the flower will only emit its foul stench for a couple days.

“If there is any plant that creates a stir when in flower, it certainly is the Titan Arum,” said President and CEO Julian Duval of the garden, in a statement. “One cannot predict when it will bloom."

The pungent bloom goes through the whole bloom cycle and produces a huge flower head within a month, said Duval.

To approach the foul-smelling flower, admission tickets are $14 for adults, $10 for students, seniors and military, and $8 for children. There is no charge for children under age 2.

“It (Titus Arum bloom) changes almost hourly, so you need to see it in all its stages," said Duval. "Yes, it stinks. But it is also other-worldly beautiful.”

Due to its wicked stench, the Titan Arum is characterized as a carrion flower, according to the Botanic Garden. The plant originates in the tropical rainforests of Sumatra in western Indonesia.

Currently, the plant is on loan from California State University Fullerton (CSUF), said officials. The manager of the CSUF Biology Greenhouse Complex carried the plant down to the garden in his Volkswagen Vanagon.

The plant was grown from a seed planted back in 2007, said garden officials. Last year, there were just a couple dozen blooms worldwide, reported BBC.

Once the Dickinson Family Education Conservatory is opened in Late Spring to early Summer 2018, the Botanic Garden hopes to replicate the climate of the Sumatra rainforests. Officials said this would allow the Titan Arum to remain on display permanently.

Until then, visitors must prepare their noses and hustle down to the gardens to get one last whiff before the flower's fleeting bud blossoms and fades away.

Photo Credit: Rachel Cobb/SDBG
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<![CDATA[Free Tacos After Chargers Losses]]> Mon, 18 Sep 2017 18:31:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/161*120/elpollogrillfreetacos.PNG

A local Mexican restaurant owner, devastated at San Diego's loss of the Chargers, decided to give customers a free taco every time the team loses a game. 

"It's coming out of my own pocket but that's how much this story means to me," said Victor Lopez, owner of El Pollo Grill in Bonita. "It's part of the healing process for fans like me." 

Lopez says he was a lifelong Chargers fan while the team was in San Diego.

Once the owner of the team, Dean Spanos, made the decision to move the Chargers to Los Angeles, Lopez said he felt frustrated and wanted to do something to "get back at Spanos" by giving out one free taco for each person that comes in the day after a loss. 

Many people poured into the restaurant on Bonita Road Monday after the Chargers lost to the Dolphins Sunday. 

"I came out here because I support anyone who doesn't support the Los Angeles Chargers," said Mercury Hornbeek, who enjoyed a free beef taco Monday. 

Anyone who wants a free taco must say the secret words to the cashier, 'Spanos Taco' for a taco of their choosing. Lopez added he will be offering them for the rest of the season. 

Lopez added more people have actually been coming to the restaurant since he made the decision. He does not believe it will hurt his business financially. 

<![CDATA[300 Drones Light Up Night Sky Over Downtown LA]]> Fri, 15 Sep 2017 16:54:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+WONDER+WOMAN+THUMB.jpg

To celebrate the Blu-ray release of “Wonder Woman,” 300 drones flew over downtown Los Angeles in an illuminated, choreographed art show creating some stunning visuals. Patty Jenkins has signed on to direct the sequel, and the deal will make her the highest-paid female director of all time.

<![CDATA[Double Whopper: Babies Born Back-to-Back at NJ Burger King]]> Wed, 13 Sep 2017 15:03:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/BATTLE+BABIES+BORN+BURGER+KING+NJ+MATERIAL+-+14482420_WNBC_0000.jpg

Two women have delivered healthy babies on back-to-back days in the parking lot of the same Burger King restaurant in New Jersey.

Denville police say they were called to the restaurant around 7:30 p.m. Friday for a woman going into labor. They say the parents were on the way to the hospital but had to pull over after getting stuck in traffic on Route 80.

From the parking lot of the Burger King, the dad called 911. 

Detective Scott Tobin told News 4 New York, "When we responded, he told us that this isn't their first child, it's their third, and that the first and second came pretty fast so they weren't going to have enough time to get there." 

Sure enough, 10 minutes later, officers and emergency responders then helped the woman deliver a healthy baby boy.

The same patrol officers, including Tobin, went back to the restaurant the next night for a report of another woman going into labor. Authorities say the couple was heading to the hospital when the woman started going through severe contractions.

"My partner and I were in the back doing the paperwork from the night before when the road sergeant called it in," Tobin said. "And I said it's not a joke, we're going again." 

Make that a double: same parking lot, same EMTs, same cops. This time, baby Braydon was already making his entrance in the couple's vehicle by the time they arrived. 

"I had to cut the umbilical cord because it was wrapped around his neck and his stomach, we had to make sure everything was OK," Tobin said. 

Burger King worker Pedro Cruz had arrived at work Saturday to the news that the first baby had been delivered there the night before.

"When I was taking out the trash I saw all the lights and I was joking and I said, 'It's another baby,' and then a customer came in and said, 'Yeah, it's another baby!'" he said. 

Both babies did eventually make it to St. Claire's Hospital, just a couple of minutes from the Burger King parking lot. The second baby was still at the hospital for observation Wednesday but both are expected to be fine. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Artist Depicts Giant Baby Looking Over Border Wall in Mexico]]> Fri, 08 Sep 2017 13:56:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/169*120/baby23452456.PNG

Anyone passing through Tecate, Mexico might see a giant display that is hard to miss: a young child looking over a border wall towards the United States. 

The black and white billboard is held up by a wooden structure on the Mexico side. It shows a baby reaching a hand over the barrier. 

The image was erected by artist Frances JR as both artwork and a political statement. 

JR said at a press conference Thursday that he did it so that American legislatures "have a heart" as they pass policies on immigration in the United States that will affect millions. 

He added that many of the people who cross the border do so with the hope of having a better life and he wanted to remind people of that through this project. 

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Watch: Dust Devil Column Stretches to Clouds]]> Fri, 01 Sep 2017 11:59:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/216*120/09-01-2017-dust-devil-sage-1.JPG

A day of unusual summer weather in Southern California including this large dust devil in the Riverside County community of Sage. The video was captured Thursday Aug. 31 at about 1 p.m. on Red Mountain Road.  

Photo Credit: Ryan]]>
<![CDATA[Rare Yellow Lobster Makes Debut at New England Aquarium]]> Fri, 08 Sep 2017 06:45:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/216*120/Screen+Shot+2017-09-01+at+9.51.29+AM.png

The New England Aquarium added a rare yellow lobster to its collection of uniquely colored lobsters. The odds of a yellow lobster in the wild are estimated at one in 30 million.

<![CDATA[Squirrel Hides in Car, Climbs Up Woman's Leg as She Drives]]> Fri, 01 Sep 2017 10:46:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/233*120/Screen+Shot+2017-09-01+at+9.44.39+AM.png

A University of North Carolina professor keeps her cool and makes a new friend when a stowaway squirrel climbs up her leg as she's driving. WRAL's Lynda Loveland reports.

<![CDATA[Lost Cat Reunited With San Diego Family After 7 Months]]> Thu, 31 Aug 2017 18:54:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Cat+Survives+8+Months.JPG

A family that was heartbroken to move to Washington without their beloved cat, Badger, discovered he is alive and well in San Diego after a 7-month disappearance.

Their brown striped cat, Badger, went missing back in January. For months, the family posted "lost cat" signs in their San Diego neighborhood and on social media channels.

They assumed something terrible must have happened to the cat, said San Diego Humane Society officials. After an extensive search for the cat, the family reluctantly moved to Spokane, without any idea where the cat went or what became of him.

Three weeks ago, a San Diego County Shelter rescued Badger and scanned his microchip, directly matching him to his owners.

The family was elated when they learned that Badger was coming home to them, according to the San Diego Humane Society. They were in tears and full of disbelief.

Director for Rescue and Recovery, Sara Thompson, said the cat is generally in good health, despite being a little skinny.

"He’s in pretty good condition considering he’s been on the run," said Thompson.

Now, Badger has been sent on a plane to Washington to reunite with his family. Animal Services transported him to the airport and the family paid for his flight.

When asked how the cat managed to survive, Thompson considered different theories.

“We’re not sure. Cats are resourceful so he may have been foraging, or he may have been finding unique ways to survive," said Thompson. "Or he may have made friends with someone in the neighborhood and may have had someone taking care of him and feeding him.”

There's no way to know for sure how Badger roughed the 7-months on his own.

“It’s really hard to say. If only he could tell us," quipped Thompson, with a smile.

Animal Services reminded pet owners how important it is to microchip your pets. They said pet owners should also make sure to update their information whenever they move.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Un-Bee-Lievable! Canadian Man Sets New Bee Beard Record]]> Tue, 05 Sep 2017 06:27:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/beebeard.jpg

A bee honey worker from Ontario, Canada, set a new Guinness World Record time for wearing a bee beard.

<![CDATA[Tooth Stolen With Employee's Apron in Coronado]]> Wed, 30 Aug 2017 16:47:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/False+Teeth+Generic.JPG

An employee's false tooth appears to have been stolen along with the victim's apron in Coronado, confirmed police.

In mid-August, a man reported a petty theft near the 1000 block of Orange Avenue.

The employee finished his shift late in the evening while working at the Costa Azul Restaurant, said Lee Corbin, a spokeswoman for the Coronado Police Department. He took a tooth out and put it in his apron.

"He left the apron sitting on a bench behind the restaurant and [when he] went back to retrieve it the next morning -- it was gone," said Corbin. 

Police believe the person who took the apron may not realize there's a tooth enclosed inside.

"I am pretty confident that the person who took the apron wasn’t intentionally stealing the teeth," said Corbin.

Photo Credit: AP Image]]>
<![CDATA[The Story Behind the Hurricane Harvey Viral Dog Photo ]]> Mon, 28 Aug 2017 17:56:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT_HARVEY_DOG_082817_1-150395393150800001.jpg

After Hurricane Harvey hit, a now-viral photo was taken of a dog carrying a bag of dog food down the street. But there’s more to this photo than meets the eye.

<![CDATA[Fla. Man Engages in Sexual Activity While Stealing a Trailer: Officials]]> Wed, 23 Aug 2017 20:29:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/161*120/082317+man+steals+trailer.jpg

A man was getting busy in more ways than one when he stole a trailer from a pool company in Cooper City worth at least $1,200, authorities said.

The suspect was caught on camera backing a truck into a parking lot at Twin Lakes Pool and BBQ, located at the 9900 block of Griffin Road.

When the suspect arrived on the scene, he dove into some sexual activity with a companion, according to the Broward Sheriff’s office.

About five minutes later, he left his partner, freed the trailer from the fence to which it was chained, hitched the trailer to his pickup truck and drove off.

The incident happened July 27 around 9:15 p.m.

BSO officials said the suspect wore a baseball cap and a long-sleeved shirt. He was driving a silver two-door pickup truck with a retractable bed cover.

Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Calls can remain anonymous.

Photo Credit: Broward County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Bei Bei the Panda Celebrates 2nd Birthday at National Zoo]]> Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:00:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/pandabday.jpg

Bei Bei the panda cub celebrated his second birthday at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 22, with an ice cake and some new toys.

<![CDATA[Fla. Judge Denies Postponing Trial So Witness Can See Eclipse]]> Mon, 21 Aug 2017 12:37:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/220*120/Philly+Solar+Eclipse+258p.JPG

A federal judge in Florida ruled a trial couldn't be postponed just because one of the key witnesses — a federal agent — had travel plans to see the solar eclipse.

In a droll, three-page ruling issued Friday, Judge Steven Merryday denied the motion filed by an assistant U.S. attorney.

Recalling popular dialogue from the TV classic "Star Trek," the judge wrote that an "Assistant United States Attorney boldy moves (where no AUSA has moved before)."

"The solar eclipse is no longer mysterious, supernatural, foreboding or ominous," wrote Merryday. "An eclipse is just another astral event, precisely predictable since the day the Babylonians discovered the governing formula."

Prosecutors wanted Monday's trial postponed because an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent had booked a trip to see the eclipse on a day when defendant Joseph Bishop was to stand trial for unlawfully transporting firearms.

Merryday chalked it up to a "cruel fate" that allowed the trial and the eclipse to happen on the same day. The prosecutor's motion "proposes to subordinate the time and resources of the court, of the opposing counsel, of the witnesses and of the jurors to one person's aspiration to view a 'total' solar eclipse for no more than two minutes and forty-two seconds."

A large chunk of the ruling cited lyrics from singer Carly Simon's "You're So Vain," which contains a line about flying to witness an eclipse.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Blocked: NASA Moon, Sun Accounts Squabble on Eclipse Day]]> Wed, 23 Aug 2017 06:22:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_17233631248479.jpg

The moon didn't just block the sun in the sky on Monday.

NASA's official Twitter account for the moon temporarily blocked its official account for the sun, in an example of social media imitating life.

"HA HA HA I've blocked the Sun!" @NASAMoon tweeted with a screenshot of the blocked account. "Make way for the Moon."

The sun didn't take too kindly to the social media shade, which came as the moon covered the the midday sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century.

"uh, EXCUSE ME?!?" @NASASun tweeted back.

But the two accounts were back on good terms after the eclipse completed its path of totality across the U.S.

"Let the Sun shine @NASASun, I unblocked you in the sky and on Twitter," @NASAMoon tweeted. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Don Ryan
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<![CDATA[As Eclipse Approaches in Oregon, 1 Rest Stop Fills]]> Mon, 21 Aug 2017 11:17:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_Oregon_Traffic_092117-150333610869000001.jpg

Motorists in Salem, Oregon traveling to see the solar eclipse have apparently decided to hunker down at a rest stop, heeding warnings from law enforcement that stopping on the shoulder of highways is illegal.

<![CDATA[Local Woman Shocked to Find Puppy with Chemical Burns from Backyard Plant]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 20:31:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/164*120/remi.PNG

Amy Kat of Paradise Hills was stunned when she came home to find her one-year-old great Dane-mix, Remi, injured and her maltipoo, Koopa, sick.

"I noticed Remi had sap on his fur, when I wiped it off his skin rolled off with it," Kat recalled. "My little one, Koopa, was laying on the ground with four piles of vomit around him. He was unresponsive."

Terrified, Kat said she drove both her dogs to an emergency pet service in Chula Vista. The vet told her the dogs were sick from one of her backyard succulents, known as a pencil cactus.

The pencil cactus, or Euphorbia tirucalli, is toxic to humans, dogs, and cats worldwide and can cause serious intestinal and skin injury, according to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Some people refer to the plants as "sticks of fire." They can be small enough to fit in a container or tree-sized.

“This plant's white milky sap is toxic to pets and humans. If sap makes contact with the skin, a painful rash develops at the point of contact. If the sap gets in the eyes, it can cause temporary blindness,” stated Laura Eubanks, a succulent expert in San Diego.

Remi was chemically burned on 30 percent of his body by the pencil cactus, according to Kat. Her other dog, Koopa, ingested part of the plant, which is why he was vomiting.

Kat said both of her dogs are now doing better two weeks later and seem to be in good health. Remi is still on medication.

"They have such an unbreakable spirit," said Kat.

Kat is urging others to check for the plant in their backyards. She said she recently moved into her home, and the plants were put there by the previous homeowner.

"I checked for typical pointy plants and things that might hurt them, but I had no idea that pencil cactus could make them sick," said Kat. "I almost lost both my boys in one night."

If the plant is ingested, some signs to look out for are stomach pain, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

Kat created a GoFundMe page to help raise money to pay for her dogs’ veterinary bills and medicine.

<![CDATA[Man Accused of Spraying Manure on Border Patrol Car]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:30:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/VT+border+patrol+manure-1502830697.jpg

A Vermont man who contracts with farmers to provide agricultural services firmly maintains he is innocent of assaulting a federal law enforcement officer with cow manure. 

On Thursday, the defense attorney for Mark Johnson, 53, of Alburgh, entered not guilty pleas on two misdemeanor counts: one of simple assault on a law enforcement officer with bodily fluids and one of disorderly conduct. 

The Grand Isle County State’s Attorney says Johnson, who provides various services to area farmers, including manure spreading, directed liquid cow manure from his spreader toward a cruiser with a U.S. Border Patrol agent inside. 

“He was definitely targeting that vehicle,” State’s Attorney Doug DiSabito said at Johnson’s arraignment in North Hero Thursday. 

In court paperwork, Sheriff Ray Allen of Grand Isle County said Johnson has long been frustrated with federal authorities, and that was a reason for the alleged manure assault. 

Johnson has often complained, Allen noted, that border patrol and immigration officers aren’t doing enough, in his eyes, about undocumented laborers on Vermont dairy farms. 

Those migrant workers, often from Mexico, are generally considered critical to the state's agriculture sector and to getting food on the tables of people across the Northeast and beyond. 

However, in Johnson’s view, he and his family have lost work and jobs to the migrants, court records show. 

“I'm not guilty,” Johnson told necn shortly after the court hearing, describing the accusation that he targeted the cruiser with liquid manure. “What was said in court today was not the truth. People need to know the truth.” 

Johnson insisted that dirtying the car was unintentional; that some of his load merely sloshed out as he drove past the cruiser. 

The Border Patrol agent acknowledged in a report filed with the court that his parked cruiser had been at least partially blocking an access road to a field where Johnson was working to spread manure. 

Johnson’s rig can hold 5,250 gallons of liquid manure, according to markings on the side of it. 

Because of that capacity, Johnson told necn that if he had truly planned a crime, the cruiser would've been basically black.

Photographs obtained by the Islander newspaper showed that one could still clearly see the markings on the cruiser, despite the splotches of manure. 

In another photo included in paperwork from the sheriff’s department, the front of the Border Patrol vehicle appeared mostly clean. 

In his report filed with the court, Border Patrol Agent Robert Rocheleau described Johnson using swear words while accusing him of not doing enough to address violations of immigration policy. 

Rocheleau said Johnson told the agent that he was being “squeezed” due to work lost to migrants. 

The agent noted in his report that he told Johnson if he is unhappy with the authorities’ handling of immigration issues, he should “write to his congressman.” 

Rocheleau said in the report he filed with the court that he heard Johnson revving the tractor’s engine aggressively and described Johnson operating the tractor “violently” to get a wave of manure to slosh out in his direction. 

Johnson suggested in brief remarks to necn following his arraignment that the agent’s version of events was exaggerated. He firmly maintained he is innocent. 

As the court case proceeds, Judge Michael Harris ordered Johnson to stay away from the Border Patrol agent. 

Stephanie Malin, a spokeswoman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the northeast, told the Associated Press that prosecutors are handling the case. 

If found guilty of both of the charges, Johnson could face a maximum punishment of six months and 60 days in prison, and a $1,000 fine. 

Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP]]>