Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News

A 51-year-old Ohio man has embraced the Valentine’s Day spirit faster than anyone before, giving 7,777 hugs in 24 hours for a new world record.  Jeff Ondash, who sought the squeezes under the costumed alter ego Teddy McHuggin, broke the record Saturday night outside the Paris Las Vegas hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.  ***MARLAR: And to all of those 7,777 hug recipients… welcome to H1N1.

It’s quite the man cave.  Jimmy Grey says he’s been out of work for almost a year and needed a project to stay busy. So with the heavy snowfall this winter, the 25-year-old laborer got to work on an extreme igloo in his family’s yard in Aquilla (ah-KWIL’-uh), about 30 miles east of Cleveland.  His four-room creation has 6-foot ceilings and an entertainment room. He powers the TV with an extension cord plugged into an outlet in the garage. He also ran wires for cable television with surround-sound stereo.  Grey says candles help add ambiance for nighttime get-togethers with friends, and the freezing temperatures mean that the beer never goes warm.  ***MARLAR: How does an unemployed guy afford an extra TV with cable, surround-sound stereo, and beer?

An Indiana man was so upset by his property tax bill he decided to make a scene by paying it – all $12,656.07 – with bags of change and $1 bills. Cary Malchow lugged the cash-filled bags to the treasurer’s office and plunked them onto the counter. His unorthodox payment stalled the line he had been waiting in as cashiers labored to count it out by hand. It took all three of the office’s cashiers 75 minutes to count out the cash.  Malchow says he did it so people could physically see what $12,000 is.  ***MARLAR: Unfortunately, in delivering the cash and coins, the added weight to his car forced him to spend $12,000 on gas.

A Mississippi monkey is on the loose again.  The capuchin (KAP’-yoo-chin) monkey named Oliver has escaped from Tupelo’s Buffalo Park and Zoo for the second time in two weeks.  Park employees noticed the monkey’s cage open Monday, and the lock on the ground. Oliver and another capuchin named Baby were spotted wandering nearby. Workers easily captured Baby, but Oliver fled the park, headed in the direction of the Tupelo Country Club. Oliver freed himself on July 31st and led park staff on a chase through the park’s trail system. He managed to avoid capture for almost a week. The park’s manager says he just bought $300 worth of new locks for the cage on Friday.  ***MARLAR: Remember the days when Harry Houdini’s escapes were impressive, exciting, and mysterious?  Now any monkey can do it.

Most jurors are told not to read news about their case. But jurors in Butler County, Ohio, can’t even look forward to their weekly installment of “CSI.” A judge has told jurors they can not watch any of the “CSI” shows or “Law & Order” series. “Nancy Grace” is off limits too. The judge says such shows can create unrealistic expectations for jurors about what can and cannot be done with evidence. It doesn’t matter that “CSI” and “Law & Order” are fictional.  ***MARLAR: But watching USA Network’s “PSYCH” is apparently within the realm of believability.

A woman in China complained of feeling weak, and doctors discovered she only had half a brain.  ***MARLAR: That sounds like a diagnosis Dr. House would make.

Watch out, computer geeks. If you’re ever in Japan, you may have something the muggers want! Police in Tokyo say there has been a wave of crimes against nerdy businessmen and computer nerds. They’re being assaulted and robbed for their plastic pocket protectors. Apparently in Japan, pocket protectors represent a large market, because they are considered by the Japanese to be indications of a hard worker.  ***MARLAR: In the U-S they are an indicator of someone who doesn’t date much.

A researcher at Michigan State University has come to the conclusion that inflammatory bowl disease can be successfully treated by having the patient swallow a common type of parasitic worm. ***MARLAR: Okay, raise your hands if you’d rather have the disease than the cure?

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