Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News

A Brooklyn woman said a mugger stole a doggie coat right off the back of her mild-mannered terrier. Donna McPherson said she tied up Lexie, her 10-year-old Westie, outside a Park Slope supermarket “for two minutes” while she bought milk. She heard a “funny bark.” When McPherson went outside, she found the little white dog shivering. His green wool coat, with leather trim and belt, were nowhere in sight.  McPherson said the dog coat was worth $25. She said that, fortunately, Lexie wasn’t wearing his pricier Burberry.  ***MARLAR: The terrier wants the robber found immediately in order to thank him.

A Connecticut school cafeteria worker and a 13-year-old girl face criminal charges after police said a food fight turned into a real fight. Waterbury police said the fifth-grader at Gilmartin Elementary School threw vegetables at 55-year-old lunch aide Rosa Robles last Thursday, and Robles responded by throwing vegetables in the girl’s face. Police said a fight broke out when the girl punched Robles in the face. Authorities said both suffered cut lips, and the girl also had scratches on her face. School officials said Robles is on paid leave and the girl has been suspended.  ***MARLAR: Police said the girl was lucky, as she could’ve been charged with assault with a deadly weapon had it been Salisbury Steak Day.

A family in Berlin, Germany, is going to court to fight an apartment eviction order for practicing their religion. Neighbors complain that they hold loud Christian prayer sessions involving singing and screaming – sessions that don’t begin until 2:30 a.m. They’ve been asked repeatedly to hold it down, but to no avail. The father of the family said, “I really don’t want to disturb the neighbors, but the high volume is needed in the battle against the devil.”  ***MARLAR: Why?  Is Satan deaf?  (Maybe the Devil is deaf from being at all of those heavy metal concerts.)

The journal Neuron reports that a study by Oxford Prof. Edmund Rolls proved that words can influence the way something tastes or smells. The findings confirm that diners perceive a restaurant as being better when the menu and waiter provide flowery descriptions of the wines and dishes. For instance, test subjects rated a scent as more pleasant when they were told it was called “cheddar cheese” than when it was called “body odor.”  ***MARLAR: Up until now my favorite snack was cheddar cheese.

Six high school seniors in Fort Kent, Maine, were charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief after they let 45 chicks and 10 baby geese loose in their school, making a huge mess that forced the school to close for two days to clean up.  ***MARLAR: The smell was so bad, the cleanup crew cleared their heads by sticking them in gym lockers.

“Chill out” isn’t just a slang term — it’s also now a scientific suggestion to cure stress. Researchers in Germany say sitting in a freezer can relieve tension. Tests showed that spending three minutes in a freezing room makes stress levels plummet. Scientists say sub-zero temperatures increase the brain’s serotonin levels, making their freezing volunteers feel much calmer.  ***MARLAR: But they get stressed out all over again when they find out they have pneumonia.

A 440-pound man in Gifhorn, Germany, was so bulky, he suffered only minor injuries when a Volkswagen rolled over him in traffic.  ***MARLAR: Unfortunately, the Volkswagen was totaled.

Two middle school teachers in Los Angeles say they’ve been able to help improve student grades in science by coming to class dressed as Star Trek characters. The students also dress in Star Trek uniforms and the teachers say it really helps them get excited about science. ***MARLAR: But it doesn’t help at all when looking for a date to the prom.

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