DARREN’S DAILY DOSE OF WEIRD NEWS – June 30, 2009

A number of Pizza Hut restaurants are changing their name to,”The Hut.” The streamlining of the name is meant to appeal to younger customers. The chain dates back half a century to 1958, when Dan and Frank Carney founded it in Kansas. The two former Wichita State University students borrowed $600 to open their first store; in 1977, the chain was sold to PepsiCo. for $300,000,000. With more than 12,000 locations worldwide.  ***MARLAR: When asked, Jabba was not pleased.

Washington County’s “Bunny Lady” is in trouble after violating a court order banning her from owning animals for five years. Miriam Sakewitz was arrested Tuesday at a hotel in the near Portland  after an employee reported finding rabbits hopping around in her room. Problems for Sakewitz started in October 2006 when police found and confiscated nearly 250 rabbits in her home, including about 100 dead ones in freezers and refrigerators.  ***MARLAR: Apparently having over 1,000 rabbit’s feet in the house still isn’t good luck.

A Belgian teenager fell asleep while getting her face tattooed and woke up to 56 stars on her face. Now, she’s suing the tattoo artist, claiming he misunderstood her. The artist counters that Starface is only peeved because her boyfriend dumped her after seeing the permanent artwork.  ***MARLAR: How do you fall asleep while a needle is puncturing your face thousands of time a minute?

Starbucks is recalling of half a million coffee grinders because of a “laceration hazard” — the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Starbucks have received 176 reports of the Starbucks Barista Blade Grinder and Seattle’s Best Coffee Blade Grinder failing to turn off, or to turn on unexpectedly. Only in three cases was there an injury. The units were sold between 2002 and 2009 for about $30 each.  ***MARLAR: Some people like to put a little of themselves into the coffee they make.

Louie the Lumberjack is getting a makeover. The 10-foot, 1,000 pound cedar statue has greeted visitors to Flagstaff for decades. But the years haven’t been kind to Louie. His face is flattened and his body is rotting from the inside out. Builder Wally Baird is doing Louie’s facelift. He says he’ll be using auto body filler. Louie is also getting a bigger ax and a new paint job. When Louie’s out of surgery, he’ll again be standing outside a Flagstaff restaurant.  ***MARLAR: He’ll have more plastic surgery than Cher! 

Blind people could one day use their tongues to help them “see”. Scientists have developed a device which transfers visual cues from a video camera to the brain through electrodes in the mouth. A map of the outside world is sent to a postage stamp-sized “tongue display unit” made of 144 electrodes which stimulates the highly sensitive tongue. ***MARLAR: So if someone sticks their tongue out at you, they may just be sight-seeing!

Sometimes your skivvies will just have to do. A Southern California man was sipping his coffee early the one morning, when his Ford Ranger suddenly started up and someone roared off in it. The man jumped in his wife’s van and chased the fleeing thief. The truck owner didn’t have time to grab his pants and was wearing only his underwear. According to Kirk Durbin, of the California Highway Patrol, the man said his tools were in the truck and he couldn’t afford to lose them. Durbin says the pickup owner finally rammed his stolen truck with the van and the thief ran away. By the time officers arrived, the wife of the pickup owner had brought him some clothes. Durbin says the guy’s “got a lot of courage.”  ***MARLAR: And yes, Mother… they were a clean pair.

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