DARREN’S DAILY DOSE OF WEIRD NEWS – July 14, 2009

Some health experts are now saying that advances in science will eventually enable humans to live decades beyond current age trends. ***MARLAR: The problem is finding something to watch on TV for 200 years that doesn’t make you want to give up and end it all yourself.

Long for the melancholy tune of the lute or the majestic sound of the sackbut?  A weeklong festival featuring early music will be held on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus starting Saturday.  Paul Rowe is a professor at UW-Madison’s School of Music and the event’s co-artistic director. He says the opportunity to study, attend concerts and perform sets the Madison Early Music Festival event apart from similar festivals.  Some early instruments include the sackbut, shawm, lute, viola de gamba or crumhorn.  Early music enthusiasts can attend classes, workshops and rehearsals, but there are also seven public concerts and eight free lectures planned.  ***MARLAR: Honey… I dropped my toast on the floor and need to clean it up – can you hand be the crumhorn? 

You could call the manager of an Irish pub in Boston a chowderhead and he’d probably smile – and might even say thank you. That’s because Ned Devine’s Irish Pub has won a New England clam chowder contest for the third time. What’s more, he’s been elected to the Chowderfest’s hall of fame. The recipe that’s won the pub fame is from chef Sean Ryan, who’s been making the stuff that way for 20 years. Here’s the interesting part. Ryan is from New York City – the same New York known for the rival dish, Manhattan clam chowder. Eight restaurants competed for the title of Boston’s Best Chowder this past weekend, with organizers saying 2,000 gallons of the creamy stew were dished up to about 10,000 people.  ***MARLAR: Of course, when he was asked for the recipe he clammed up. 

There have been a lot of things named after Barack Obama since he was elected president. Including a sea turtle. The turtle was named after the president because it was found ailing off a beach in Key West, Florida the day before Obama’s inauguration. And keeping with the patriotic theme, the sea turtle was set free on the Fourth of July. Obama the loggerhead sea turtle was nursed back to health by taking in a diet of squid and mineral oil at a turtle hospital. Hospital officials say the turtle was set free Saturday as about 100 people watched. After being set on the sand, you might say the turtle hauled shell to get back in the ocean. Administrator Ryan Butts says the loggerhead swam away with “all the energy it had.”  ***MARLAR: When asked if they could be sure Obama would survive back in the wild, his keepers said, “Yes we can.”

Joey Chestnut won the annual hot dog eating contest on Coney Island Saturday. He downed 68 dogs in ten minutes. At the first contest some 93 years ago just 13 dogs were enough to win.  ***MARLAR: Let’s hear it for progress!

The North Dakota Supreme Court has rejected a claim that an anti-barking ordinance is unconstitutional.  ***MARLAR: Isn’t that a Freedom of Speech issue?

The state of Kentucky has limited cigarette sales to “fire safe” versions. ***MARLAR: Is that even scientifically possible?  How do you light a fire-safe cigarette?

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