Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: December 15, 2010

NEW NEWS…

In Great Britain, hundreds of criminals are to be given four days a year off prison work – to celebrate pagan festivals.  Prison governors have been issued with a list of eight annual pagan holidays and told pagan inmates can choose four to celebrate.  It is the latest in a series of rulings to protect convicts’ rights and ensure equality among different faiths.  ***MARLAR: Because the last thing we’d want in prisons is for hardened criminals to feel like they’ve lost some of their privileges.

The California Court of Appeals has ruled that parents can sue a public school if it does not provide the minimum amount of physical education state law requires. The education code says elementary schools must provide 200 minutes of P.E. every ten days and that 400 minutes must be allotted for middle school and high school students. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, more than half of California’s public schools have failed to offer the required standard for physical education. ***MARLAR: 400 minutes of P.E. every ten days for high schoolers – that’s only twenty minutes per day of physical activity.  Don’t they get that already by walking between classes and making out in the hallways?

After public outcry and attention from a conservative law firm, Wachovia Bank will no longer ban a symbol of the Christmas season from its branches.  The bank had adopted a policy that banned all Christmas trees from its local office branches this Christmas, but intervention from Liberty Counsel changed that.  “Wachovia now says they no longer have a policy banning Christmas trees.  ***MARLAR: But Christmas spirit is still frowned upon.

Are you getting your pet a gift this Christmas?–Fifty-six percent of dog owners say they’ll buy their pets a gift this Christmas, but only 48 percent of cat owners plan a gift-according to an Associated Press-Petside poll.  A majority of all pet owners-53 percent-plan to get their animals a present this holiday season.  ***MARLAR: It’s the least we can do, since they’ve been leaving little gifts on the carpet for us the rest of the year.

RETRO NEWS: FORMERLY NEW, NOW NOT NEW, BUT STILL ENTERTAINING…

In Hayward, Wisconsin, shoppers at Marketplace Foods got an unexpected surprise when a 125-pound black bear walked into the store and headed straight for the beer cooler! The furry beast calmly climbed up 12 feet onto a shelf in the beer cooler where it sat for about an hour while employees helped evacuate customers and summoned wildlife officials. The good folks from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources tranquilized the animal and took it out of the store. Store workers say the bear seemed content in the cooler and did not consume any alcohol.  ***MARLAR: Who knew that beer was considered a bear necessity?

In Stuart, Florida, Pastor Rodney McGill of New Hope Outreach Church had been convicted of grand theft, racketeering and mortgage fraud and was at his sentencing hearing. But right before Circuit Judge Sherwood Bauer sentenced him, McGill, still undaunted, addressed the court room and offered up a prayer for his enemies. As he lifted his eyes to the heavens he said, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, for every witness called against me, I pray cancer in their lives, lupus, brain tumor, pancreatic cancer.” The judge then sentenced him to 20 years.  ***MARLAR: Dude – you’re supposedly a pastor, and THAT is your example of praying for your enemies?  Nice witness.

Talk about a sound sleeper. In Pittsburgh, firefighters were called to a residential fire and found the house a blaze. While putting the fire out part of the roof collapsed. It wasn’t until two hours after getting the fire out that firefighters did a walk-through of the home and were flabbergasted at what they found — the home’s owner fast asleep in a bedroom. He had slept through the entire thing and had no idea what had just happened.  ***MARLAR: He said he’d been desensitized to loud noises from being married for over twenty years.

You’ve heard of cats and dogs that have been left behind by families, just to find their way home, right? Pretty cool stories, but would you believe that a cow could do it?  In Scotland, Polly the Cow found her way home after she was sold at an auction the day before. Her owner sold the cow, but the next day the cow made a break for freedom when her new owners accidentally left the barn door ajar. Polly went half a mile up a railroad track, navigated a crossroads and ran along a busy road before returning to her old farm two miles away. A “homesick” Polly mooing at the gate wakened Graham early one morning. Animal experts say that it’s extremely unusual for a cow to exhibit this type of homing instincts.  ***MARLAR: Talk about a milk run!

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