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

A 24-year-old Juneau woman went into a public restroom packing heat and left burned. The Juneau Police Department reports Veronica Valle-Arnes was carrying a Ruger .380 – a small pocket pistol – worth about $400 with her Friday night. She told police she took the gun out of her waistband and set it on top of a toilet paper dispenser in the women’s room at the Fisherman’s Wharf, a building on Juneau’s downtown waterfront with a bar, eateries and shops. She told police she forgot to pick it back up. When she realized it was missing a few moments later, she returned to the restroom but the gun was gone. ***MARLAR: Usually when I’m packing heat in the restroom it’s due to the Taco Bell I had earlier in the day.

A Massachusetts woman who was born without arms or kneecaps is preparing to test for her black belt in taekwondo. Sheila Radziewicz was scheduled to take her test next month at Bruce McCorry’s Martial Arts in Peabody. The 32-year-old brown belt, who was born with thrombocytopenia-absent radius, or TAR syndrome, told The Salem News she’s been training in martial arts for three years. ***MARLAR: No one will ever know she’s a black belt though, because she’s unable to put the belt on. (I wouldn’t tell her that to her face though.)

It’s a graduation tradition: a congratulatory handshake along with your diploma. But the H1N1 flu virus has the University of Illinois at Chicago banning the handshakes. And UIC isn’t alone other graduations had the same policy. And so, one by one, the students received their sashes and certificates without the traditional handshake. ***MARLAR: And the diplomas will be printed on Lysol Disinfectant Wipes.

A magician who had claimed he shipped himself in a crate aboard a cargo plane from upstate New York to Las Vegas now admits it was an elaborate hoax. Wade Whitcomb of North Syracuse says it was a publicity stunt from the start. Whitcomb had claimed he folded himself into a cramped wooden crate for the 26-hour trip by express mail truck and plane. Whitcomb, who goes by the stage name Wade Live, claimed he made the trip last November to publicize a friend’s Web site. A spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, said the TSA and FBI investigated and determined Tuesday that it was a hoax. ***MARLAR: How is it news that a magician pulled a slight-of-hand and lied to us about a trick? Isn’t that is JOB?

The creepy and crawly can be good for you – at least that’s the message that Dario Gutierrez preaches to sometimes squeamish students in Colombian schools. The biologist brings his roving “Living Museum of Spiders” to schools around the country to explain the medicinal and environmental benefits of arachnids – and to let some of them crawl around on the pupils. Fees collected from private schools also help finance his nonprofit institution dedicated to studying and cataloguing the country’s spiders and scorpions. He says Colombia is known to have 700 species of spiders. Gutierrez told students at a school that some scorpion venom has been tested as a cancer treatment. ***MARLAR: Schools who can’t afford to bring the biologist to their school are showing their students clips of Starship Troopers 3.

California leads all U.S. states in the number of turkeys raised. ***MARLAR: And some of them, it seems, may have participated in formulating the state’s energy policies.

There may be as many chickens in the world as there are people. ***MARLAR: We don’t know for sure though because chickens have a poor response rate when it comes to the census.

A new study reveals that fish living near wastewater treatment plants have been found to contain various medicines designed to treat cholesterol, allergies, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder, and depression. ***MARLAR: They are the healthiest fish in the world.

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