Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – March 15, 2010

The bad luck of a stuck duck changed when firefighters in Santa Fe, Texas rescued the bird wedged in a chimney.  ***MARLAR: Fortunately the duck had that insurance that covers your bills when you’re not able to work.

Washington State troopers said a man is lucky to have only minor injuries when he crashed his car into a barn after his steering wheel popped off while driving. Trooper Keith Leary said the 59-year-old man was driving his 1978 Buick on Thursday afternoon on State Route 530 when his steering wheel came off, the car left the road, went down an embankment, up the other side, and crashed into a barn.  ***MARLAR: It all stemmed from a misunderstanding when he asked his wife to take the wheel.

A Chinese man, named only as Xu, swore to God in front of a crowd of neighbors that he didn’t owe his neighbor, identified as Mr. Huang, anything. One minute later Xu was struck by lightning. Doctors say he’ll make a full recovery. Huang, claims Xu borrowed 500 yuan, the equivalent of about $80 bucks, from him three years earlier. ***MARLAR: And people are pretty much taking his word for it now – seeing as God is apparently on his side.

A disposable diaper is responsible for saving the life of an 18-month-old boy, breaking his fall from a third-floor apartment window in a Brazilian city. The boy survived the fall because his diaper got snagged on a security spike embedded in the concrete wall around his apartment building. The boy dangled from the spike for a moment before the diaper “opened and the baby fell to the ground, but at a much slower speed,” an officer said. ***MARLAR: It’s also quite possible the diaper would’ve cushioned the fall anyway, as the diaper was full at the time.

A man who scratched off a lottery ticket and realized it was worth $3 million gave the ticket to his church. The independent Christian church will get at least $102,225 a year for the next 20 years. The amount could be higher if withheld taxes are refunded because of the church’s nonprofit status. The pastor said the church would give the first $102,000 to charity.  ***MARLAR: Isn’t a church considered a charity?

Scientists have recently discovered that many kinds of bacteria do not operate independently. Instead, they seem to communicate with each other and only go to work – causing an infection, for example — when they decide that they have reached the critical mass they need to get the job done.  ***MARLAR: Apparently they studied under the U.S. Congress.

The Scientific Staffing Company of Des Plaines, Illinois did research to find out the most effective way for companies to retain scientific professionals. According to their study, the best way is to give them better pay and benefits. ***MARLAR: Boy, using the scientific method sure gives you surprising results sometimes…

A Tufts University study of mice found that pregnancy sends new stem cells to a woman’s brain and rejuvenates her mind.  ***MARLAR: That must be only during the pregnancy itself, because I have yet to see a new mother be rejuvenated and energetic.

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