Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – October 11, 2010

A Chinese man who claims he can sleep on a rope tied between two trees is hoping to get into the Guinness Books of Records.  Gao Yang, 37, says it took him nearly a quarter of a century to master the skill but he can now sleep on the rope for seven hours.  Gao, says he practices on a 10ft high rope in his local park every morning.  ***MARLAR: He said he finally mastered the technique when he got married and his wife hogged the rest of the bed.

At Mason High School in Ohio, vending machine choices include Coke, Gatorade — and carrots.  Baby carrots.  An all-carrot vending machine was installed this week as part of a national campaign that packages and markets carrots like junk food.  The campaign is an attempt to get kids to eat healthier and fight childhood obesity.  Cincinnati and Syracuse, N.Y., are the national test markets for the campaign. Mason and a Syracuse high school are the only schools in the country to pilot the machines, which will remain for two months.  ***MARLAR: Teachers complain enough about gum-chewing, imagine how they’re going to feel listening to crunching carrots in class.

A Kentucky man accused of killing his wife claims excessive caffeine from sodas, energy drinks and diet pills left him so mentally unstable he couldn’t have knowingly killed her, his lawyer has notified a court.  ***MARLAR: Be looking for the Red Bull defense – coming soon to a court near you.

A Chicago apartment leasing and management company has sued a former resident for $50,000, claiming a Twitter update was libelous.  Horizon Group Management LLC, filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court, claiming Amanda Bonnen defamed the company in an update on Twitter.  Twitter, a microblogging service, allows account holders to give quick status updates of up to 140 characters.  Bonnen tweeted to another Twitter accountholder: “Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it’s OK.”  The lawsuit claims, since Bonnen’s Twitter account was public, her comment was published “throughout the world.”  A telephone call to Bonnen seeking comment was not immediately returned.  ***MARLAR: You’re pretty good a spreading libel if you can do it in a 140-characters or less.

If you’re feeling bummed, you may want to try getting married. A new study has found that getting married enhances mental health, especially if you’re depressed. But there is a catch. They also found that if you’re not depressed, marriage could have the opposite effect.  ***MARLAR: So you could have a really depressed person suddenly get married and get happy by making a previously happy person miserable.

There’s a young man in Utah who’s getting an early start on his driving practice. Police say a 7-year-old boy led officers on a car chase through Weber County. It seems the pint-sized driver didn’t want to go to church. One witness says the boy ran a stop sign. Deputies tried to stop the car, but couldn’t. According to sheriff’s department officials, the car finally came to a halt in a driveway. Authorities say the 7-year-old is too young to prosecute or ticket.  ***MARLAR: That’s too bad, because personalized mug shots would’ve been great to take to second grade “Show-n-Tell.”

Coca-Cola is getting into the milk business. The soft-drink maker is currently test marketing a sweetened fizzy milk beverage called Vio. Made with sparkling water, a hint of skim milk and cane sugar, the 8-ounce beverages come in four fruit flavors: Citrus Burst, Peach Mango, Very Berry and Tropical Colada.  ***MARLAR: Because already, when you want healthy, refreshing milk, you don’t look any further than Coca-Cola.

A couple looking for the blue waters of the popular island Capri ended some 400 miles away in the northern industrial town of Carpi after misspelling the destination on their car’s GPS. The couple arrived at the local tourist office in Carpi asking for directions to the famed Blue Grotto sea cave. Officials quickly informed them that they were in the town of Carpi and not Capri, the popular tourist island a far distance away. Oops.  ***MARLAR: The “Isle of Carpi Casino” was also a disappointment.

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