Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – September 14, 2009

When 34-year-old Indianapolis firefighter Joe Frolick isn’t putting out fires and saving lives, he likes to take to the air for a little sky diving. He loves it so much he decided he’d try and set a new world sky diving record — and he did it on Friday. He made 100 jumps in 24 hours at the Warren County Airport. Frolick said he practiced for his jump-a-thon all summer. He was making his skydives from an altitude of 2,500 to 3,000 feet, lower than many free-fall jumps. Along with the glory of a world record, he also did it to raise awareness and money to fight fire deaths from smoke inhalation.  ***MARLAR: How do you raise awareness of smoke inhalation by jumping out of an airplane… unless you’re jumping over California?

In Uniontown, Pennsylvania, 54-year-old William Maser was arrested — for firing a cannon ball through his neighbor’s house! Now it’s not quite as sinister as it sounds. Maser is a war history buff and recreates firearms from old wars in his spare time. When he was trying out his newly made cannon, the 2-pound cannon ball ricocheted and hit a neighbor’s house 400 yards away. Smashed right through a window and a wall before finally landing in a closet. Fortunately nobody was hurt but police did charge Mr. Maser with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. He did apologize and promised he would stop shooting his cannons on his property.  ***MARLAR: Who knew we’d be longing for the days when neighbors just shot their mouths off?

In Mankato, Minnesota, it took very little effort on the part of two county sheriff’s deputies to track down four burglary suspects. The officers were taking a coffee break at the Happy Chef restaurant when all four suspects pulled right in. The officers noticed right away that their pickup truck matched the description of the truck being driven by the wanted men. And a quick peek inside revealed all the stolen goods, including laptop computers, other electronics and jewelry. So all four suspects were arrested.  ***MARLAR: For the sake of justice, Captain Rich Murry is now demanding the entire force take continual coffee breaks.

It’s not quite like the robots are taking over the world just yet — but — scientists from the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, say a robot named Waldo has been missing over a week now. The underwater, $100,000 robot seems to have vanished. It is also equipped with a special detector to find red tide, a toxic form of algae. That was valued at another $30,000. Scientists aren’t sure what happened to Waldo. Could have had a leak or malfunction and sunk to the bottom. Or it could be on the surface walking around. Nobody knows for sure.  ***MARLAR: Yes, it’s the world’s largest game of “Where’s Waldo?”  He should be easy to find though – he’ll be the only robot wearing a red and white striped shirt and stocking cap. 

The Madison City Council is thinking pink.  The council in Wisconsin’s capital has voted to name the plastic pink flamingo the city’s official bird. It’s in recognition of one of the greatest college pranks ever. Student leaders at the University of Wisconsin in 1979 placed 1,000 pink plastic flamingos on the steep hill that leads to the dean’s office. One council member says that prank is captured in their “imaginations forever.”  ***MARLAR: Since when do pranks inspire official stuff from the city?  You get a pink flamingo prank and suddenly the city’s official bird is the plastic pink flamingo?  What’s next?  Will the official utensil be plastic forks?  Will the official city paper be Cottonelle? 

A study says Americans are sleeping less.  Millions are turning to strong night time remedies to make them nod off, such as Ambien and Lunesta.  ***MARLAR: And the John Tesh Radio Show.

Most Americans misquote Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, believing for some reason that he said “Fourscore and seven years ago our forefathers brought forth . . ..” He actually said “fathers,” not “forefathers.” ***MARLAR: And what a relief!  I was so confused as a kid – I mean, really who has FOUR fathers?

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