Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: November 08, 2010


Still wondering what to get that special someone for the holidays? Why not “earrings with giraffe tail slices” from German anatomist Guenter von Hagens’ new online shop for euro41.53 ($57.55)?  Von Hagens, famous for his “Body Worlds” traveling exhibition of preserved human bodies and body parts, said Friday his new Internet shop is going online Nov. 3.  The shop will sell a wide range of his creations – from animal-part jewelry to entire human corpses. But he says any human body parts will only be sold to places like universities and hospitals for research purposes, as he already does.  German Archbishop Robert Zollitsch is criticizing the plans, saying von Hagens is desecrating corpses to create “a spectacle under the guise of medical research.” ***MARLAR: Plus, it’s not really all that original.  There are thousands of websites selling body parts already – usually female and barely 18.

It is assault charges for Spider-Man and Captain America, and breach of peace for Poison Ivy. Police in Connecticut said a man dressed as Captain America and another as Spider-Man have been arrested after getting into a fight in Stamford over the Halloween weekend.  Stamford Police Lt. Elizabeth Erickson said officers found 25-year-old Michael Sanchez, dressed as Captain America, beating the father of 21-year-old Vincent DeCarlo, sporting a Spider-Man costume, in a parking garage Halloween morning.  The Stamford Advocate reported that DeCarlo allegedly punched Sanchez of Stamford as police tried to break up the scuffle.  DeCarlo’s girlfriend, 18-year-old Nicole Bitterli of Toms River, N.J., dressed as Poison Ivy, also hit Sanchez.  Sanchez and DeCarlo face assault charges. Bitterli faces a breach of peace charges.  It was unclear if any had attorneys.  ***MARLAR: Although if they did, I’d bet a hundred bucks at least one of the attorneys would be named Harvey Dent.

Police in Wichita said a little girl in a pink costume played a part in a Halloween holdup. A 19-year-old woman was driving through a neighborhood on Halloween night when she saw a girl dressed as a princess or fairy run into the street.  The woman stopped her car, and the girl told her she couldn’t find her parents. But when the woman opened her car door, a man in a mask showed up demanding money. The woman gave him cash from her purse.  Police said the little girl and the man ran together from the scene. The woman was not injured.  ***MARLAR: It probably shouldn’t be surprising that a child is being taught armed robbery on Halloween.  After all, we’re already teaching kids how to commit extortion by trick-or-treating.

Maryland State Police said a drunken 47-year-old Florida man wearing a diaper was arrested for shouting profanities while trick-or-treating. Police said Joseph David DiVanna of Sarasota, Fla., was arrested about 9:15 p.m. Halloween night and charged with disorderly conduct.  Police said witnesses reported DiVanna cursed at adults and children in the Fox Chapel neighborhood of West Ocean City as he tried to get them to give him candy. ***MARLAR: He wasn’t arrested for being drunk, or for wearing a diaper, or for asking people for candy even though he’s 47-years-old; he was arrested for cursing.  The rest of that was apparently fine.  You gotta love Halloween.


We know that drinking and driving is a big problem, but what about eating and driving? A man in New Zealand was stopped by the police for driving erratically along a busy road. It turns out that he was attempting to drive and eat Chinese food. With chopsticks in both hands, he was using his knees to steer the car! This type of behavior might not be so uncommon. A new survey says that 8 out of 10 drivers eat while behind the wheel. I do it every day on my way into work.  ***MARLAR: I heard this on the way into work this morning and laughed so hard I almost dropped my bowl of Fruit Loops.

Like father, like son — at Michigan State University. Freshman Mike Robell has moved into the same dorm room his dad had three decades ago. University officials say it’s just a coincidence father and son were assigned to the same room out of about 8,000 on the East Lansing campus. Rich Robell tells The Detroit News he suspected it was his old room. But the proof was found in a 1978 student directory.  ***MARLAR: And backed up by his dad’s roommate who hasn’t graduated and still living there.

Authorities say a college professor on a crusade to change the way a Los Angeles weatherman uses terminology has to leave him alone or face six months in jail.  Melanie Patton Renfrew, a Harbor College teacher, wants KNBC-TV’s Fritz Coleman to change references to onshore and offshore winds.  She says the terms are confusing because people don’t know which are coming and which are going.  Burbank-based KNBC obtained a restraining order in March 2008 after calling her behavior bizarre and saying Coleman feared for his safety.  Prosecutors say she continued sending letters and e-mails. Last month, she pleaded no contest to violating the order.  Burbank Assistant City Attorney Denny Wei says the case will be dismissed if she leaves Coleman alone through next August.  ***MARLAR: Which still leaves the largest issue unresolved… what the heck are onshore and offshore winds?

Fans behaving badly may get fingered at Nebraska football games. University of Nebraska police have set a set up a text-messaging system. Cornhuskers fans can type on their cell phones from the stands and send a message to the campus cops. The school is among the first to adopt a text-based police reporting system.  ***MARLAR: The tendency to misuse that kind of technology would be overwhelming, wouldn’t it?  The instant your team was losing you’d want to text the cops every time the referees made a bad call.  “Crime being committed at the 47 yard line…”

Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal have successfully sailed from California to Hawaii in a raft made of plastic bottles and Cessna airplane parts. The raft, which they named “Junk,” was made out of 15,000 plastic bottles and a Cessna 310 fuselage. The purpose of their journey was to bring attention to the massive amount of plastic floating at sea. Maybe you’ve heard of the Northern Pacific Gyre, which has been getting some media attention recently. It’s an area twice the size of Britain that swirls with tons of plastics used for water bottles, food containers, and various other one-time purposes. Their point was really brought home when they caught a fish on their journey only to find plastic in its stomach when they cut it open. During the 26,000 mile and 87 day journey, the two men saw firsthand that “plastic is forever, and it’s everywhere.”  ***MARLAR: Meaning we’ll never get rid of Cher.

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