Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – August 07, 2010

WeirdNewsTo spur blood donations, an Ohio Red Cross chapter is offering people who give a pint of blood the chance to win a car or a horse-drawn buggy on September 6th. Spokeswoman Christy Chapman in Cleveland says the Red Cross didn’t want to leave its many Amish donors out of the giveaway. ***MARLAR: What’s black and white and red all over?  An Amish Bloodmobile.

President Barack Obama declared Monday that the Iraq war was nearing an end “as promised and on schedule.”  ***MARLAR: Since when do wars allow for scheduling?  “Gee, according to my PDA I’m not available for an insurgency until next Saturday after getting my nails done, will 3pm work for you?”

A Catholic priest in New Hampshire plans to visit a Candia water park to see if he can see the face of Jesus in the park’s lifeguard flag. The owner of the Liquid Planet Water Park said that when the flag was unfurled earlier this season staff saw what looked to them like a shadowy image of Jesus Christ. Kevin Dumont said he had been praying for a miracle to improve business.  Since the flag was opened, there have been a string of perfect days and business is up 200 percent.  The New Hampshire Union Leader said Father Volney “Von” DeRosia from St. Joseph’s Church in Epping will visit the park Thursday to try to determine if the image could have been intentionally fabricated.  ***MARLAR: The priest plans to test the flag by attempting to walk it across the water without sinking.

U.S. health officials have approved a first-of-its-kind technology to counter a leading cause of blindness in older adults – a tiny telescope implanted inside the eye.  The Implantable Miniature Telescope aims to help in the end stages of incurable age-related macular degeneration, a creeping loss of central vision that blocks reading, watching TV, eventually even recognizing faces.  The idea: Surgically insert the Implantable Miniature Telescope into one eye for better central vision, while leaving the other eye alone to provide peripheral vision. The brain must fuse two views into a single image, and the Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday that patients need post-surgery rehabilitation to make it work.  ***MARLAR: It also helps if you get your right arm and both legs replaced with bionic parts. Estimated cost – six million dollars.

Kris Allen’s family is expanding – because long-lost relatives are coming out of the woodwork. Allen says someone approached him and claimed to be his cousin, but Allen had never seen that person before. Turns out they were indeed related.  Even Allen’s wife is getting more attention. He says she had to shut down her Facebook profile because she was getting bogged down with messages.  ***MARLAR: If relatives come out of the woodwork once you get famous, why do I have family and friends disavowing any knowledge of my existence?  (audio clip)

A former school board trustee from Southern California has been sentenced to two years of informal probation for stealing a bottle of ketchup from a college dining area.  Orange County Superior Court Judge Jacki Brown on Tuesday also ordered Steve Rocco to pay about $200 in fines and stay 100 yards away from the college.  Rocco was convicted by a jury last month of misdemeanor petty theft for stealing a 14-ounce bottle of ketchup from a Chapman University dining area.  The eccentric former Orange Unified School District trustee known for espousing conspiracy theories claims authorities planted the ketchup near his bicycle to make it look like a theft when he was recycling the bottle.  He says he will appeal.  ***MARLAR: No wonder he’s a FORMER trustee… he can’t even be trusted with an empty ketchup bottle.

A guy arrested for slashing the tires of nearly 50 cars in Boulder, Colorado has an assortment of reasons for the spree: his mother, radiation and the braces he wore when he was a kid. Police say they spotted the guy crouched behind a police SUV. They went to investigate and found that a tire was leaking air. Police say the man told them he was frustrated by his relationship with his mother. He also blamed radiation from a former nuclear weapons plant in Colorado. And, if those two reasons weren’t enough, he said his desire to slash tires was because he had braces in the 1990s.  ***MARLAR: And I have a weight problem because I lost my G.I. Joe when I was six.

USA Today reports on a study by the non-partisan education group Common Core that found that about half of American 17-year-olds can’t identify the books and historic events that have always been basic cultural touchstones. 48 percent didn’t know what “1984” was about, 49 percent didn’t know that Joseph McCarthy was crusading against communism, and only 43 percent could place the Civil War as being fought between 1850 and 1900. A spokesman said it shows schools are concentrating so much on teaching math and reading, kids aren’t learning the basic history, literature and humanities required to maintain a common culture.  ***MARLAR: If we’re spending so much time teaching them reading, how come they’ve apparently never read anything?

With nobody home, a dog in Berlin turned on a radio and had neighbors complaining about the loud music.  ***MARLAR: New woofers.

A woman in England has received permission from her church to have her dog as a bridesmaid in her wedding. ***MARLAR: Not only will the bridesmaid catch the bouquet but she’ll bring it back to her and jump up and down until she throws it again.

Toby, the golden retriever, is a lifesaver. That’s according to Debbie Parkhurst, who says her dog performed the Heimlich maneuver and saved her life. The Calvert, Maryland, woman says she was choking on a piece of fruit. She started beating on her chest in an attempt to dislodge the obstruction. Parkhurst says that’s when Toby pushed her to the ground and began jumping on her chest. She says the bit of apple loosened and Toby started licking her face to keep her from passing out. Parkhurst says she has the paw-shaped bruises on her chest to prove it. She adds her hero hound is “amazing.”  ***MARLAR: And Toby is now allowed to beg and be fed under the table for the rest of his life.

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