Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – July 05, 2010

A Connecticut priest with a reputation of caring for the poor has shocked his parishioners after being accused of faking a terminal illness to cover up the alleged theft of $1 million from his diocese.  The archdiocese became suspicious over the past year as they asked Rev. Kevin Gray to submit several years’ worth of annual financial reviews from his parish.  ***MARLAR: Now he only wishes he were dead.

The Alliance Defense Fund has filed a notice of appeal with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of a trial court’s affirmation of an Idaho state agency decision that it could ban any book, including the Bible, it determined to be “religious.”  ***MARLAR: Meanwhile, Christians in the area are suing to ban the state of Idaho.

If you’re like me, your dental hygienist scolds you every six months for not flossing. You hear the warnings that sticky plaque tucked between your teeth can lead to gum disease and health problems, but still you have trouble squeezing it into your daily routine. But here’s some news that may inspire you to remember: Flossing your teeth, experts say, may do more to fight the effects of aging — at least over the long-term — than plastic surgery. ***MARLAR: The tricky part is getting the floss between your face wrinkles.

A team of South Korean scientists has created the world’s first fluorescent puppy, according to New Scientist magazine. The cloned beagle, called Ruppy, which is short for Ruby Puppy, made her photographic debut on Thursday. The four-legged experiment looks like a normal pup in daylight, but under ultraviolet light she glows red. The odd effect was created by cloning cells that include a red fluorescent gene that sea anemones produce. Scientists said they hope this will pave the way to model human diseases in dogs, whose relatively long life-span could make them better study subjects than other animals.  ***MARLAR: If the dog is going to be red, shouldn’t it be named Clifford?

Surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center report removing a donated kidney through a woman’s belly button. Doctors say the procedure means the 22-year-old Virginia woman won’t have a visible scar from the surgery. The kidney was given to a 54-year-old Maryland woman. Medical center officials say the hospital is the third in the country to offer the new technique. The benefits aren’t just cosmetic. Surgeons report the belly button approach means a smaller incision and quicker recovery time.  ***MARLAR: The downside is that the extracted kidneys have a tendency to gather lint.

Tiki the giraffe is 18 years old… and that’s pretty old for a giraffe. And, like many senior citizens, she gets cold easily. So workers at the Oakland Zoo are having a custom-fit coat made to keep Tiki warm this winter. The zoo staff got in touch with a horse-blanket designer who agreed to donate her services to tailor a coat for Tiki. To get precise measurements for the tailoring, the coat-designer had to scramble up a ladder. The result? A 40 extra, extra long. ***MARLAR: The matching scarf will cost triple that of the jacket.

In Cyprus, a 2,500 year old coffin was found with painted scenes from Homer’s epics.  ***MARLAR: Homer?  Wow… The Simpsons really HAVE been around for a long time!

A UC-Berkeley professor claims that whiny, insecure children grow up to be conservatives.  ***MARLAR: And obnoxious children who call the other kids names grow up to be liberal UC-Berkeley professors.

Builders us a measurement called R-value. It’s the amount of resistance to heat offered by a material and is useful in calculating its value as insulation. For example, wood siding has an R-value of 0.8.  ***MARLAR: The movie industry uses a similar measurement, but in their case, it signifies how much heat the product is likely to generate.

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