If you've been to Austin, Texas, perhaps you've participated in a birthday celebration for beloved Winnie the Pooh character Eeyore. The town hosts an annual Eeyore birthday party to benefit Austin's non-profit charity groups.
That's just one of the odd facts in this week's video by our friends at Mental Floss, hosted by John Green. Some of the other odd traditions include the fact that the World Toe Wrestling Championships are real, and Thailand hosts a Monkey Buffet Festival — for monkeys.
Many of the odd traditions focus on creative uses of food: People chase cheese down a hill in Gloucestershire, England; Italy is home to the Battle of the Oranges; and in Yorkshire, England, children race in pudding boats.
Check out the full list of incredible local traditions in the video below. --Meghan DeMaria
Support for ObamaCare is creeping up, and it could tick even higher if Americans were better informed about the specifics of the law, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Tuesday.
In the survey, only eight percent of adults correctly responded that ObamaCare is costing less than expected. Meanwhile, 50 percent of adults — and a whopping 70 percent of Republicans — said it was costing more than planned, while 18 percent said the cost remained unchanged, and 23 percent were unsure.
In March, a Congressional Budget Office report concluded ObamaCare would cost 11 percent less than expected.
Despite that confusion, though, for the first time since November 2012 a plurality of Americans hold a favorable opinion of the law. While support for ObamaCare bottomed out at 33 percent in late 2013 following the law's blundering debut, it rose to 43 percent in the latest survey. —Jon Terbush
The Koch brothers may not be settling on a Republican presidential candidate just yet. One day after The New York Times reported that the Kochs were getting behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a "top Koch aide" tells Politico the billionaire brothers are going to give Jeb Bush a "chance to audition for the brothers' support."
The reason for the reconsideration, according to Mike Allen: "Bush is getting a second look because so many Koch supporters think he looks like a winner."
It's possible the Kochs really are undecided. It's also possible they're doing some damage control to contain the fallout from the Times story.
Either way, David Koch, fresh off proclaiming Walker would be the nominee, walked back the remark in a statement to Politico. While Walker would make a "terrific" president, he said, "I am not endorsing or supporting any candidate for President at this point." Jon Terbush
Archaeologists have discovered an incredibly rare, advanced weapon, and they found it by accident.
A Russian archaeological team was studying a sabre that was discovered seven years ago in Yaroslavl. They were only conducting a routine examination, but closer inspection revealed that the sabre was actually the oldest crucible steel weapon found in eastern Europe.
— MongolsChinaSilkRoad (@MongolsSilkRoad) April 21, 2015
Asya Engovatova, who led the research, said in a statement that the discovery was "highly unexpected," since the sabre had already been on display at a local museum for seven years. In 2007, Engovatova's team found the weapon at a mass grave site for civilians killed in a massacre in 1238. The site also yielded skeletons and household items, including dishes and jewelry.
Analysis of the sabre revealed that it was a sword made from crucible steel, a rare and expensive material. The archaeologists believe the sabre could have belonged to a wealthy warrior from the army of Batu Khan, who led the 1238 invasion. They also believe the sabre was burned during a ritual before it was buried. There's still much for historians to explore about the weapon, but for now, the sabre has returned to its display at the Yaroslavl Museum. Meghan DeMaria
On Tuesday, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn, who led the Kansas City/St. Joseph diocese. Finn pleaded guilty in 2012 to charges that he failed to report suspected child abuse to authorities — he waited six months to tell police that Rev. Shawn Ratigan had hundreds of explicit photos on his computer of young girls from around churches where he worked — and was sentenced to two years of probation. Ratigan was given 50 years for child pornography.
— 41 Action News (@41ActionNews) April 21, 2015
Finn, 62, offered his resignation under a section of canon law that allows early departure of duties due to illness or other "grave" reason that renders them unfit for duty. Last month, Pope Francis demoted Cardinal Keith O'Brien of Scotland and stripped him of all priestly "duties and privileges" after O'Brien admitted to sexual misconduct in 2013, but Finn is the first U.S. bishop removed for failing to report a suspected child abuser. Archbishop Joseph Naumman will temporarily lead the Kansas City diocese. Peter Weber
The universe's largest known structure has turned out to be nothing more than a supervoid — a.k.a, a really big hole.
Scientists discovered the supervoid, a blob that's a stunning 1.8 billion light years across, during a recent astronomical survey. Istvan Szapudi, who led the research, told The Guardian that the hole may be "the largest individual structure ever identified by humanity."
— Discovery News (@DNews) April 21, 2015
Szapudi explained that the astronomers had hoped to find the void, because it provides an explanation for why previous reports showed the area as "unusually cool," The Guardian reports. The new research suggests that the "Cold Spot," where the hole was discovered, could be a result of the supervoid draining the energy from light traveling through the region. The void could help explain the universe's formation after the Big Bang, because light photons would lose energy and become cooler after passing through the void, The Guardian explains.
A giant hole may not seem exciting, but for scientists, the rare find is spectacular. "It just pushed the explanation one layer deeper," Roberto Trotta, a cosmologist at Imperial College London, told The Guardian. "Now we have to figure out how does the void itself form." Meghan DeMaria
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) will let his super PAC, Right to Rise, do a lot of the heavy lifting (and fundraising) in his undeclared presidential campaign, The Associated Press reports, citing "two Republicans and several Bush donors familiar with the plan." Right to Rise might do many of the things presidential campaigns typically do, like run TV ads and direct-mail campaigns, get-out-the-vote drives, and gather voter data.
"Nothing like this has been done before," campaign spending limit opponent David Keating, president of the Center for Competitive Politics, tells AP. "It will take a high level of discipline to do it." The advantages for Bush are obvious: Money. Super PACs can raise unlimited amounts from people, groups, and corporations, while campaigns must limit donors to $2,700 in the primary and another $2,700 in the general election.
The downside? Once Bush launches his 2016 bid — but not before — he and his campaign can't coordinate with the super PAC. At least not legally. Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell downplayed the strategy, telling AP that "any speculation on how a potential campaign would be structured, if he were to move forward, is premature at this time." Read more about Bush's evolving plan, and how it fits with campaign finance laws, at AP. Peter Weber
On Tuesday, a judge in Cairo handed down 20-year prison sentences to ousted President Mohamed Morsi and 12 other defendants, most of them members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, for the death, kidnapping, and torture of protesters in the violent demonstrations that led to overthrow of Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected president. Judge Ahmed Sabry Youssef acquitted the men of murder, which could have led to death sentences.
The sentences can be appealed, but Morsi faces three other trials, and the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi — the former general who overthrew Morsi — has cracked down harshly on the Muslim Brotherhood. The sentencing hearing, from a makeshift courtroom at the national police academy, was broadcast on national TV. Peter Weber