DARREN’S DAILY DOSE OF WEIRD NEWS – June 28, 2009

Flying taxis are still the stuff of science fiction. Except on Long Island. A taxi driver and his passenger in Islandia, New York, took an unexpected flight one weekend. The cab hit some ice, flew over a guardrail, flipped over, dropped 30 feet to the highway below and landed on its wheels. The driver and passenger came through in good shape, with neither being seriously hurt. ***MARLAR: The bad news is that the passenger is now completely out of frequent flier miles. 

High school grad Jeff Rolson has been docked 13 dollars for a lost algebra book and unpaid gym fees.  With interest, it could have been a lot worse: Rolson graduated from Superior Senior High in Wisconsin in 1977.   He stopped by last week to get a copy of his transcript and was surprised when a secretary also handed him a bill for 13 dollars from 1977.  Rolson still lives in Superior and his daughter is now a student at school and he says he can’t understand why they didn’t contact him sooner.  He also notes the school forgot to charge him the two-dollar fee for the transcript.  ***MARLAR: They can always stick it on the daughter and make HER pay it when she’s 48. 

There’s dough in dung. Farmers have a something new to sell, the manure from their animals. The high cost of commercial fertilizer is prompting grain farmers to look for alternatives. So, the poo business is booming in Ohio. In 2003, there was only one licensed manure broker in the state.  Now, there are dozens.  And manure isn’t just for spreading on the fields. In Vermont, methane gas from manure is being used to generate electricity for a public utility.  ***MARLAR: My parents discovered a long time ago that there was money in manure.  My little brother once swallowed a whole roll of dimes.

The same technology that helps to guide smart bombs could soon be taking your quarters.  Slot machines are going high-tech. Engineers at PureDepth Incorporated spent years developing top secret technology that creates electronic 3D maps for the Air Force and Navy. Now, the company has hooked up with International Game Technology, the world’s largest maker of slot machines. The idea is to create a video display that looks just the spinning wheels on a mechanical one-armed bandit.  ***MARLAR: The technology is already taking our quarters… who do they think pays for all those smart bombs?  At a million bucks a piece for each bomb, I think every person in America should get a free spin on the slot machines for each one we drop.

A recent study says that while duct tape may be the solution for a lot of things, its ability to cure warts may have been overstated.  A study among older adults has found duct tape helped only 21 percent of the time and was no more effective than moleskin, a cotton-tape bandage used to protect the skin.  But researchers used transparent duct tape. Only later did they learn that the transparent variety does not contain rubber, unlike the better-known, gray duct tape that appeared to be effective in a 2002 study.  The tape supposedly works by irritating the skin and stimulating the body’s immune system to attack the virus that causes warts.  Experts say warts usually clear up on their own in about two years.  The study appears in Archives of Dermatology.  ***MARLAR: So what’s worse… two years with a wart on your nose, or 2 years of duct tape on your nose?

It seems not everyone in the world likes McDonald’s as much as we do. In a recent demonstration against the opening of a Mickey D’s in the town of Sete, France, about 500 protestors gathered and used a homemade catapult to bombard the new restaurant with a unique form of ammunition. The ammunition was fresh catches of the area’s renowned delicacy — octopus.  ***MARLAR: New on the menu – McSquid Nuggets!

A man in Zhuhai City, China, “expressed his dissatisfaction with reality” by marrying a life-size foam cutout of himself in a wedding gown.  ***MARLAR: Later it was discovered that the only women who’d marry him actually looked like him in a dress.

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