So, what was up over the skies of Arizona the other day? So many people were asking that the Feds had to come up with an answer. The Federal Aviation Administration says it got calls all afternoon Monday about an object seen overhead from Scottsdale to Sedona. A spokesman for the FAA says the object in question didn’t show up on radar – and was likely a balloon. Eventually, the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas identified the object as a 4,000-pound research balloon. It was released by a NASA organization to measure gamma ray emissions in high altitudes. ***MARLAR: Didn’t they say the same thing about Roswell?
Water is supposed to help put out fires – not cause them. But officials in Washington state are blaming water for starting a fire that charred the back of a home. The water in this case was in a glass bowl left out for a dog. Investigators say rays from the sun caused the bowl of water to act like a magnifying glass and start a fire on the home’s wooden deck. Authorities say they did manage to rule out any other possible causes, like electrical wiring or some other issue. The homeowners were away and the family dog was rescued after neighbors noticed the smoke and flames. Damage to the home is estimated at $215,000. ***MARLAR: Hot dog!
US government officials are concerned that the quality of the Global Positioning System could begin to deteriorate as early as next year, resulting in regular blackouts and failures – or even dishing out inaccurate directions to millions of people worldwide. The warning zeros in on the network of GPS satellites that constantly orbit the planet and beam signals back to the ground that help pinpoint your position on the Earth’s surface. The satellites are overseen by the US Air Force, which has maintained the GPS network since the early 1990s. According to a study by the US government accountability office (GAO), mismanagement and a lack of investment means that some of the crucial GPS satellites could begin to fail as early as next year. ***MARLAR: This is NOT good news for me. I could get lost on a one-way dirt road with an Eagle-Scout duct-taped to my forehead. I’m so bad, I have to use my GPS to find Wal-Mart.
Massachusetts is expected to unveil the toughest restaurant menu labeling rules in the United States on Wednesday, requiring fast-food chains to list how many calories are in the food they sell in a bid to combat obesity. ***MARLAR: Who battles obesity by stepping into a fast food store?
“Star Trek” has been beamed aboard the International Space Station. Paramount Pictures said they transferred director J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi franchise reboot to NASA’s Mission Control in Houston. The movie was uplinked to the space station on Thursday. NASA astronaut Michael Barratt watched the film on a laptop inside the Unity module. The 50-year-old astronaut said he remembered “watching the original ‘Star Trek’ series and, like many of my NASA co-workers, was inspired by the idea of people from all nations coming together to explore space.” ***MARLAR: He then turned and kissed his green girlfriend on all three of her lips.
Coffee stand owner Troy Malchow hopes to turn the heat up on a robber — with some hot java. Malchow is offering free coffee for a year to anyone who can help catch the guy who robbed him. Malchow has owned Perfetto Espresso north of Seattle for a decade. He says in the span of two weeks his coffee stand was both vandalized and robbed. ***MARLAR: Make that a double-large gourmet coffee with triple cream and Splenda and I’ll cop to the crime myself!
Believe it or not, you really CAN catch “cooties.” The word cooties likely comes from the Malay word “kutu,” which means “body lice.” ***MARLAR: So instead of using imaginary “cootie spray” we should use a can of Raid.