This week's wackiest web stories: The Jackson One, 50 shades of brown and the $60 hug

Ashes to ashes, bust to bust; dead men elected to office and the woman who failed her driving test for the 105th time
  • @mariewww

The Jackson One

Michael Jackson's older brother is asking a court to allow him to change his famous surname to become Jermaine "Jacksun". He filed a name change petition this week in Los Angeles, writing that he wanted the new identity for "artistic reasons".

Ashes to ashes, bust to bust

We know sex sells, but surely there are limits? If so, a Polish casket maker is fearlessly testing those limits. He's currently under fire for using sexy lingerie models to sell his product.

But Halloween was last week...

Dead men have won elections in Alabama and Florida. And by "dead men" we don't just mean very old Republicans with views from another era. We mean actual dead men. Florida Democrat Earl K. Wood and Alabama Republican Charles Beasley won their respective elections but won't be taking office, since they both died weeks before the election on November 6th. Despite this setback, they still managed to beat their very much alive opponents by comfortable margins.

Her face rings a bell

A campanologist (that's "church bell-ringer" to you and me) was rescued by fire crews after becoming entangled in ropes in a belfry. The unfortunate woman described herself as "just a bit unlucky", but met with little sympathy from family members: according to reports her daughter "laughed very hard when I told her about it".

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try, try, try....

An unnamed woman has redefined 'tenacity' by failing her driving theory test for 105th time at Ilford test centre. Imagine how many times she'll have to sit the practical!

Grime doesn't pay

Susan Warren, 53, was charged with burglary after she went inside a Westlake, Ohio home and cleaned it, then left a bill for $75 on a napkin. Luckily, she came clean to the police.

50 shades of brown

Wearside Women in Need initially expressed its disapproval of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey in August, planning to set the books aflame in a bonfire. Now they’ve come up with a more eco-friendly protest. They will use it as toilet paper.

Expat cat

A Belfast cat has used up at least one of its nine lives after it hitched a ride to Londonderry under the bonnet of a car.

The hills are alive with the sound of cheating

A German-language folk group famed for their Alpine brass band sound and cheerful style have been faking the music on their albums for years and should give back their 13 German music awards, their former producer said on Wednesday.

There's no such thing as a free hug

Graduate student Jacqueline Samuel has founded a company that allows clients to cuddle her for $60 an hour. Apparently, business is booming

Destitute, but tanned

In previous times of economic hardship, the unemployed were urged to get on their bikes - but jobseekers in one Welsh town are now being told to claim a free spray tan in order to enhance their employability.