What’s the longest place-name in America? Let’s journey to Worcester County in Massachusetts, where there’s a lake that can literally take your breath away. It’s Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg. The name, which has 17 g’s, is pronounced, naturally, as it’s spelled. Not that pronouncing it “naturally” is possible. According to author Bill McLain, this Nipmuck Indian word means, “You fish on your side, I fish on my side, nobody fishes in the middle.” By the way, it’s also known as Lake Webster.
The government of Austria is launching a campaign to educate drivers after more than 550 of them were caught driving in the wrong direction on freeways last year. The state radio now issues ‘Ghost Driver’ warnings advising other motorists to slow down and pull into the slow lane whenever a car is spotted going the wrong way on a freeway. ***MARLAR: That’s the difference between Austria and the United States. In Austria, people going the wrong way on a freeway are a nuisance; here, they’re entertainment.
Be careful what you say around 8-year-old Peaches – she’ll learn and repeat whatever she hears. That’s fairly typical for a child… but Peaches is an 8-year-old cockatoo. Staff at the Indiana animal sanctuary say Peaches’ favorite phrases, include “Go away, shut up, shut your blankety-blank mouth.” ***MARLAR: So visit the zoo and feel right at home.
A fugitive wanted for bank robbery in Michigan is in custody after police say he walked out of a Pittsburgh hospital and into a bar wearing only his hospital gown, with an intravenous needle still his arm. ***MARLAR: He figured since the beer would end up in his bloodstream anyway…
California is warning its 36 million residents not to flush pharmaceuticals down the toilet or drain, or they may end up in the drinking water. The Associated Press reported weeks ago that the drinking water supplies of at least 46 million Americans contain minute concentrations of pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics and anti-depressants. ***MARLAR: On the plus side, drinking California water doubles as a flu-shot.
According to a U.S. Department of Transportation survey, more Americans oppose the idea of using a cell phone while on a plane than support it. The survey found that 45.2% of Americans think cell phones should definitely be banned from planes. But 39.7% think it is OK if they don’t interfere with aircraft communications. Like it or not, several foreign airlines are moving to equip their planes for cell phone use. U.S. flights are a different story, because government regulators, saying cell phones might interfere with ground or air communications, are balking at giving the go-ahead. ***MARLAR: That’s too bad. I’d love to be able to call up to the front and ask the pilot why my cell service stinks at 30,000 feet.
The staff at Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach, Oregon, gave 71-year-old grandfather John Grady Pippen some happy news – he’s pregnant! The paperwork stated, “Based on your visit today, we know you are pregnant.” Hospital administrator William McMillan says an errant keystroke caused the hospital’s computer to spit out the wrong discharge instructions. Pippen went to the hospital after suffering severe abdominal pain. ***MARLAR: Or morning sickness, they can’t really be sure.
A Cedar Rapids, Iowa, woman got a little something extra with her morning coffee – a bat. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, the woman saw a bat in her house but wasn’t too worried about it. She set her automatic coffeemaker before going to bed and drank her coffee the next morning before discovering the bat in the filter later in the day when she went to clean it. The woman has undergone treatment for possible rabies. Health officials said the bat was sent to a lab but its brain was too cooked by the hot water to determine whether it had rabies. ***MARLAR: “Robin; to the Bat-Percolator!”