Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – November 02, 2010

NEW NEWS…
Pigeon gambling? That’s what a scientist at the University of Kentucky is saying in a recent study which showed that, like people, some pigeons take risks to win prizes, according to a news release from the school. The research, published Oct. 13 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found that pigeons given the choice to peck a light that would give them three food pellets each time almost universally preferred a light that would give them a payout of 10 pellets 20 percent of the time. Averaged out, that meant pigeons were choosing to get two pellets per peck instead of three. The reason could be that pigeons are motivated by a surprising change from their expectations, according to study author Thomas Zentall, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky. The same phenomenon could explain why human gamblers ignore their losses and focus on their rarer, but more surprising, wins.  ***MARLAR: Sadly, many gambling-addicted pigeons are now being found on street corners with signs saying “Will Peck For Food.”

Wausau rescued and arrested a drunken man who plunged into the Wisconsin River while chasing a one-legged goose. The 40-year-old Wausau man told officers he wanted to catch the bird and roast it. He said he took off his shirt and shoes and jumped into the frigid water.  Authorities said he was overcome by the cold water and had to be rescued by firefighters. Police said the man had been drinking heavily before the stunt.  Police told the Wausau Daily Herald that as far as they know, the goose is still on the loose.  ***MARLAR: And they’re pretty sure it was gray.

Bond was set at $50,000 for a 27-year-old Chicago man accused of stealing an ambulance while two paramedics treated someone he apparently knew in the back. Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said Jimmy McCoy allegedly jumped into the stopped ambulance and drove off with the emergency lights on.  The paramedics then radioed that they’re ambulance had been stolen with them inside. During the incident, McCoy only made it a few blocks before a fire truck blocked the road. Police surrounded the ambulance and McCoy was arrested.  ***MARLAR: Ironically, the only ones not chasing this ambulance were lawyers.

Listeners of two South Florida radio stations got a surprise when their Christian and classical music was interrupted with rap and profane language. Authorities found out why: A pirate radio station was using a nearby frequency.  The Broward County Sheriff’s Office says the illegal signal came from a Lauderdale Lakes home where an aspiring rapper had attached a laptop, audio mixer and computer to a large antenna.  The station called itself Trap Radio and was using a frequency in between Christian and classical music broadcasts. Listeners called the licensed stations to complain.  ***MARLAR: The main complaints weren’t about the fact that there was interference, but that it was a pirate rap station – meaning all songs included variations of “yo ho ho and a bottle of rum”.

RETRO NEWS: FORMERLY NEW, NOW NOT NEW, BUT STILL ENTERTAINING…
While few people enjoy a trip to the dentist, it’s particularly bad for redheads, scientists have discovered. Carrot tops are twice as likely as blondes or brunettes to avoid the dentist because of fear related anxiety, says a report in the Journal of the American Dental Association. Researchers believe its because the gene melanocortin-1 receptor, which causes red hair, may be present in redheads’ brains, making them more susceptible to pain. (Globe)  ***MARLAR: So lay off – it’s not my fault I’m a wussy-man.

They say it’s the skinniest house in New York City. And at 42-feet long and only 9 ½ feet wide, they just may be right. Located in on Bedford Street in Greenwich Village, the red brick building was built in 1873 and sandwiched in a narrow space that used to be an alley between homes at 75 and 77 Bedford. But there is nothing skinny about the price tag– $2.7 Million bucks! A small plaque on the house notes that poet Edna St. Vincent Millay once lived there; so did anthropologist Margaret Mead. And yes, people are interested. Real estate broker Alex Nicholas says he has appointments to show the home to three different potential buyers this week.  ***MARLAR: All of which weigh under 99 pounds.

It seems that there has been a major decline in the proportion of Canadians suffering hip fractures and doctors say that may be due to an increase in obesity and people having bigger butts. An article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association says the additional fat provides more cushioning during falls. Since 1985, the hip-fracture rate across Canada declined about 32 percent in women and 25 percent in men but researchers didn’t provide any specific figures for increases in weight or buttocks widths. However, they did note weight problems and obesity are epidemic these days.  ***MARLAR: So fatties like myself don’t have to worry so much about breaking something when we fall down.  The worry is finding a way back up after falling.

75-year-old Rose Griffin of Methuen, Massachusetts wants to make one thing very clear — she is not dead. Rose got a call from Joe Cataudella, co-owner of Cataudella Funeral Home, asking for her son. When she asked what the call was regarding, Joe said he was a funeral director trying to make arrangements for her son’s dead mother. Rose then said, “You’re talking to the dead person.” Turns out someone had played a “cruel prank” and left a message with the home’s answering service that Ms. Griffin had died. Rose, who’s a Wal-Mart greeter, joked that she expects to be around for some time because she’s mean and only the good die young.  ***MARLAR: She’s mean?  So how did she get the job of Wal-Mart greeter?

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