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Vodka bears and other things you may have missed this week

Rosa, a 5- year old female bear, lives in a cage near a gas station in Lityn, 400 km (245 miles) away from Kiev December 15, 2011. The Vier Pfoten (Four Paws) Animal Welfare Foundation started a bear rescue project together with the Ukrainian Ministry of Environment Natural Resources and The Rehabilitation Bears Center in Synvyr, Ukraine.

HANDOUT/REUTERS

For many of us, Monday to Friday races by in a blur. We know it can be a struggle to delve beyond the big headlines and keep on top of all the interesting stories out there. We're here to lend a hand: In case you didn't see them the first time, a collection of stories you may have missed this week on globeandmail.com.

The vodka bears of Ukraine

As co-host of the Euro 2012 soccer tournament, the world is watching Ukraine, and drunken bears aren't exactly the image it is going for. The country is working to rehabilitate its "vodka bears" – animals that are fed liquor and stagger around for the amusement of spectators. The rescue operation shines an uncomfortable light on how the practice of keeping performing bears has survived in some Eastern European countries.

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Sorry you asked?

Ever wonder why a McDonald's burger looks so different on TV than in the store? Or what's in the sauce they put on a Big Mac? Now you can ask Mickey D's directly. The fast-food chain's latest marketing campaign includes a website where customers can post questions, and the company posts answers in the form of videos. The transparency train, however, didn't turn out so well the last time they tried it. Remember #McDStories on Twitter?

When cars should come with a disguise for drivers

From the Chevrolet Chevette to the Pontiac Aztek, GM has produced some questionable car designs in its day. The Globe's Jeremy Cato takes a look through the past 85 years and finds 10 examples of cars so appalling, it's a wonder the auto giant didn't go bankrupt sooner.

Proof you can turn anything into a hat

At this year's Royal Ascot, where outlandish hats are a part of the tradition, headwear included an Olympic torch, a soccer pitch and supersized cherries. How does one wear a soccer pitch on her head you ask? Take a look here.

Spite is a powerful fundraiser

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When hit with a bizarre legal demand to cough up $20,000, online cartoonist Matthew Inman set out to raise some money – not for his legal defence but to donate to charity (and stick it to his accuser in the process). After posting a note online, it took 64 minutes to reach his goal and 24 hours later, he was up to more than $100,000. As The Globe's Ivor Tossell points out, the online masses are eager to protest, and will pay for the privilege.

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