Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – June 23, 2010

A woman making a stop to pick up her mail from a post office in Michigan ended up trapped inside for four hours because of a door malfunction. WJBK-TV reported the post office in Willis about 28 miles southwest of Detroit was closed Thursday evening when the woman stopped by but the post office box area was open. After she went inside to get her mail, she couldn’t get out.  Another woman saw her when she was mailing letters and called 911.  Postal Service spokeswoman Shannon LaBruyere said something in the mechanical mechanism on the door prevented it from opening. LaBruyere said the woman was understanding about the “unfortunate fluke.”  ***MARLAR: She said it wasn’t nearly as long of a wait as the week before when she had to renew her license at the DMV.

A New York couple has taken the plunge inside a shark tank.  April Pignataro and Michael Curry were lowered in a steel cage into the tank to exchange their wedding vows at Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead, N.Y, on Sunday.  She wore a white wet suit; he wore a black one.  ***MARLAR: Getting married in a shark tank is a good idea, actually.  It prepares the groom to have this head bitten off by his wife the rest of their marriage.

The eggs, ketchup and mustard are out.  Instead, students at the University of Pennsylvania can look forward to being pelted with streamers and marshmallows this Spring.  Hey Day is a rite of passage at the University of Pennsylvania.  It’s the day when juniors officially become seniors.  The tradition has been for the graduating class to shower the new seniors with condiments and food.  But this year, Penn officials threatened to cancel Hey Day, because it bordered on hazing and posed a potential safety hazard.  Now, university officials and students have agreed to a compromise.  The new seniors will still make the run to College Hall, but they’ll only have to dodge streamers and marshmallows along the way.  ***MARLAR: That’s not really all that safe either though – have you ever had a two-month old marshmallow peep hurled at your head?  You can put an eye out!

Statisticians from Harvard and the California Institute of Technology have created a mathematical formula to determine whether or not you should wait for the bus that is running late or leave the bus stop and walk to your destination.  The formula takes into account many factors including the number of bus stops, the distance you’re traveling, the average speed of the bus versus the average speed of walking, and the probability of the bus showing up or passing you as you’re walking.  ***MARLAR: Unfortunately, by the time you’ve finished the calculations you’ve missed your bus.

Prince William, heir to the throne of Britain, is now insisting he fly in economy class in an effort to keep his traveling expenses down. Recently, when the heir to the throne of Britain went on a skiing vacation in Courchevel, on a flight to Switzerland, he took a right upon entering the British Airways aircraft, and sat amongst the common people. “I think a lot of people on the flight didn’t even realize who they were,” said a flight attendant.  ***MARLAR: This all began when he was told that royalty used to always travel by coach… he just didn’t realize horses were involved way back then.

Health authorities in India’s Kottayam district report that at least 50 people have gone blind after a rumor went around that if you stared at the Sun long enough, you would see a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary in the sky. They are desperately trying to stop this by putting up a sign warning people that it isn’t true. ***MARLAR: Where do you hang a sign so people staring in the sun will see it?

Psychology researcher Felix Warneken of Germany’s Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology discovered that babies develop altruism at around 18 months. He did household tasks in front of 24 different toddlers. Every time he knocked over a book or dropped a clothespin, the toddler would quickly crawl over, pick up the object, and hand it back. He never asked for help or said “thank you” because he didn’t want to influence their behavior. But he found that the babies only helped when he appeared to accidentally drop something and needed help, not when it looked like he did it on purpose. ***MARLAR: Yet they never, NEVER picked up their own toys.

A man in a Cleveland suburb was charged with assault after throwing his pit bull at police and then barricaded himself in the house.  Fortunately no one was injured…including the pit bull.  ***MARLAR: However, in Cleveland there is now a five day waiting period to buy a dog.

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