Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – July 21, 2010

A couple of fishing buddies from Delaware have been catching more than just bass. They’ve been helping police reel in cars.  Larry Newirth and Dan Cathell spotted a white BMW 750 sedan on June 17. Then on Friday, they found a late-model Honda Accord.  Police say the cars were stolen and abandoned. No arrests have been made.  Newirth, a 63-year-old retired carpenter, jokes that he and Cathell better stop finding cars or the police will think they’re the ones stealing them. ***MARLAR: In case you’re curious, he’s catching the cars using plastic worms with spinners.

Could a blind person drive a car? Researchers are trying to make that far-fetched notion a reality.  The National Federation of the Blind and Virginia Tech plan to demonstrate a prototype vehicle next year equipped with technology that helps a blind person drive a car independently.  ***MARLAR: In the meantime, the only driving allowed by the blind is in Chicago as cab drivers.

A public golf course in North Dakota has taken a new approach to dealing with pesky weeds: goats.  Eric Stromstad, superintendent at Hawktree golf course north of Bismarck, says two goats were brought in at the start of the season to rid the 16th hole of leafy spurge and clover. It’s worked out so well that three more goats were added.  Stromstad says the golfers have taken to the goats and feed and pet them.  Hawktree isn’t the first course to employ goats. Stromstad says courses in Ireland, Ohio and Florida have been using them.  ***MARLAR: And if a goat eats your ball it’s a penalty stroke.

Any dachshund owner knows the feisty breed rarely backs off from a challenge, but one in Russia is taking that reputation to new heights – or depths.  The dog named Boniface is learning how to scuba dive.  ***MARLAR: He immediately became a better super hero than Aquaman.

A Japanese court has ordered a McDonald’s to pay more than $70,300 to an overworked store manager for years of unpaid overtime. 46-year-old Hiroshi Takano claimed that he had worked more than 100 hours of overtime each month, without taking a day off. He’d come to work at 6:00 a.m. and the increasing number of responsibilities would usually find him heading for home about midnight. ***MARLAR: A company lawyer says they are planning a McAppeal.

Convicted bank robber Mark Merrill has a unique excuse for why he robbed two banks in Illinois. Mark says Donald Trump made him do it and is now suing the multimillionaire. Merrill’s 2.1 million-dollar lawsuit claims he robbed two Illinois banks to feed his gambling addiction. Court papers allege that Trump’s casino encouraged Merrill to gamble by offering perks like a free hotel suite. ***MARLAR: Gee, what do you think the chances are of a court awarding a confessed gambling addict (and bank robber) 2.1 million dollars? Ten to one?

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, actor Michael Melamed is performing a one-man show in which he wears a specially-wired suit, and any noise in the audience – laughter, boos, even coughing – give him an electric shock. The louder the noise, the bigger the shock, up to 90 volts. Melamed said, “All theatre is an experiment. The true theatre has to be innovative and has to raise questions.”  ***MARLAR: How do we get Adam Sandler to star in this show?

You’ve heard of hair extensions, now eyelash extensions are heading to a salon near you.  They’re semi-permanent, synthetic extensions that are glued on one by one by a technician using tweezers and adhesive. It takes about 90 minutes and costs between $250 and $500.  The extensions last for about five weeks.  They say it will make your lashes look like you’re always wearing mascara and you can roll out of bed in the morning with your eyes looking their best.  ***MARLAR: Assuming you don’t roll over your long lashes and rip your eyelids off.

The Dutch airline KLM was fined $14,340 for an incident in 1999 where 440 Chinese ground squirrels heading to Greece were shredded because they didn’t have the proper European health papers. ***MARLAR: KLM defended its actions, saying the only other option would’ve been to put them in the middle seat in coach between two traveling salesmen and bore them to death.

British politicians are being urged to eat gray squirrels as part of a radical plan to prevent the native red squirrels from being eliminated by the gray imports from North America.  ***MARLAR: As if English food isn’t bad enough – now they want you to sit down and eat a big steaming bowl of fish-and-chipmunks.

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