Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – July 30, 2010

DailyDoseNewsTimes must be tough back at the Empire.  A bank robber dressed as “Star Wars” villain Darth Vader made off with an undetermined amount of cash after pointing a handgun at startled tellers inside a Chase bank branch on Long Island.  Detectives say the man walked into the bank shortly before noon wearing a full head mask and a blue cape. The only part of the uniform that was out of place were his camouflage pants.  ***MARLAR: Who needs a gun when you can just choke someone across the room with your mind?

Diners in China could soon help control the Asian carp that are infesting Illinois waterways and threatening the Great Lakes.   Gov. Pat Quinn announced an agreement between a Chinese meat processing plant and an Illinois fish company that is expected to pull 30 million pounds of Asian carp from Illinois rivers by the end of next year. Illinois is investing $2 million in capital funds so Big River Fish in Pearl can expand its facilities and increase production capacity.  ***MARLAR: So the solution is to eat more carp?  Why do we need the Chinese to help us with that?  We’re America – eating more is what we do!

It is an age-old riddle that has perplexed generations: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Now British scientists claim to have finally come up with the definitive answer: The chicken.  The scientific and philosophical mystery was purportedly unraveled by researchers at Sheffield and Warwick universities, according to the Daily Mail newspaper.  The scientists found that a protein found only in a chicken’s ovaries is necessary for the formation of the egg, according to the paper Wednesday. The egg can therefore only exist if it has been created inside a chicken.  ***MARLAR: They next plan to tackle the age old question of why the chicken crossed the road.

Downtown Milwaukee has transformed into the backdrop of a Hollywood blockbuster.  “Transformers 3” began filming Monday at the Milwaukee Art Museum.  The museum is closed to the public while a crew of about 200 films through Tuesday.  ***MARLAR: So “Transformers 3” is an art film?  It’ll be even worse that the first two movies!

Paper or plastic?  How will you be paying for your Dr. Pepper?  Cadbury Schweppes and MasterCard are testing vending machines that take credit cards in Dallas, New York, and Chicago.  Company officials say sales are up by as much as 35 percent at the machines in those locations that dispense Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, and other drinks.  ***MARLAR: This is NOT good news for me.  I’m a terrible compulsive shopper.  I’m the only person I know who will walk into a 7-Eleven and write a check for 83-cents because I just had to have a Slurpee.

Gentlemen, consider yourselves warned.  The “Hugging Bandit” is on the loose.  That warning comes from police in Buffalo, New York, where they’re seeing a rash of robberies believed to be the work of the same woman. Investigators say she targets men coming out of bars in the wee hours, who are really — really — drunk.  According to police, the woman comes up, tries to talk to the victims, then gives them a hug — during which she lifts their wallets.  ***MARLAR: Men don’t seem to mind though, because A) they get a hug out of it, and B) the woman spends less on their credit cards than their wives do.

The Massachusetts’s Department of Transportation has come up with a unique way to prevent drivers from gawking at traffic accidents – curtains.  The seven-foot-tall by 10-foot-wide screens, made of piping and vinyl material, are intended to obscure accidents from passersby and keep drivers moving.  Massachusetts State Trooper Tom Ryan said it’s too early to see if the screens will significantly reducing traffic problems. In addition to curbing congestion, Ryan said, the screens can shield the public from a graphic crash scene.  ***MARLAR: So what colors and fabrics don’t clash with collided metal?

Parents of children at John Eaton Elementary School in Washington are upset after discovering that the school was also being used as a cat spay and neutering clinic without their knowledge.  On weekends, the cafeteria and some classrooms and hallways at the school were turned into feline operating rooms.  The school has temporarily closed amid health concerns.  The city’s top health official didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.  ***MARLAR: Doesn’t this just confirm the suspicions of all school kids who keep saying they know what the Wednesday Mystery Meat dish is in the school lunch cafeteria?

A deaf puppy in Britain is being taught sign language. The collie had been born on a farm but his deafness meant he was useless as a working dog. Instead of being put to sleep, a retired teacher of deaf kids adopted him and has now begun teaching Sam sign language. ***MARLAR: And he’s already learned his first sign… “fire hydrant”.

In Hugo, Oklahoma, the mother of a teenage girl involved in an argument at a school track meet tried to shoot the mother of the other girl involved in the dispute, instead wounding a bystander. Police disarmed and arrested Sonya Bostic, 33, while the bystander was taken to the hospital.  ***MARLAR: They’re now considering a 30-day waiting period on all PTA meetings.

Surveys show that one in four Americans — that’s 70 million people — aren’t getting enough sleep. ***MARLAR: But then, that’s what The John Tesh Radio Show is for.

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