Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – September 28, 2010

The top-selling Bible in North America will undergo its first revision in 25 years, modernizing the language in some sections and promising to reopen a contentious debate about changing gender terms in the sacred text. The New International Version of the Bible will be revised to reflect changes in English usage and advances in Biblical scholarship. The revision is scheduled to be published in 2011. The NIV was first published in 1978 and more than 300 million NIV Bibles are in print worldwide; its publishers and distributors say the translation accounts for 30 percent of Bibles sold in North America.  ***MARLAR: So, can you still call it the New International Version of the bible when it’s over 30 years old?  And what do we call the old New International Version when the new New International Version comes out?  Is the new version the New New International Version, or is the old one now the Old New International Version?  And what happens thirty years from now?  Do we go through this again and call the new version the New New New International Version while making the previous New New International Version the Old New New International Version, and making the original version the Old Old New International Version?  How about we just come up with a new name altogether, hmm?

Ferndale police are seeking a man who wore a plastic Darth Vader mask before pulling a butcher knife and robbing a convenience store. Authorities said the holdup happened about 1:35 p.m. Monday at the Get & Go store in the Detroit suburb north-northwest of Detroit. Police said the man fled after demanding all the cash from the register.  But Lt. William Wilson told The Daily Tribune of Royal Oak the suspect made a “significant mistake” because he was in range of a store surveillance camera before he donned the mask.  ***MARLAR: Without the mask, the man is said to be pale white, bald, and have difficulty breathing.

California officials are outfitting preschoolers in Contra Costa County with tracking devices they say will save staff time and money.   When at the school, students will wear a jersey that has a small radio frequency tag. The tag will send signals to sensors that help track children’s whereabouts, attendance and even whether they’ve eaten or not.  School officials say it will free up teachers and administrators who previously had to note on paper files when a child was absent or had eaten.  ***MARLAR: Plus it’s really cool to see the kids get the tar shocked out of them when they try to leave school grounds, crossing the invisible fence.

Some airlines are deciding it’s time to spend some money to spruce up their cabins; and not just in first class. No one is bringing back free food or eliminating fees though, sorry.  The biggest change: installing Wi-Fi to allow gadget-obsessed travelers the ability to surf the web and check e-mail while in flight. Delta now has Wi-Fi on 95 percent of its domestic fleet, more than 500 aircraft. US Airways has outfitted all of its Airbus A-321 aircraft with Wi-Fi, United offers it on many transcontinental flights, and American’s adding it to its Boeing 737s.  AirTran already offers Wi-Fi on all its flights.  And how about those seats? Carriers are increasingly installing seats that lay down flat in first and business class. As for the back of the bus, US Airways is putting in leather seats in coach, United and Delta in some of their jets too.   Plus-American Airlines overhead bins will soon hold 6 bags instead of 3.  ***MARLAR: Room for six bags in the overhead bins – or three bags and a two screaming toddlers.

A New Jersey social studies teacher has been charged with accepting cash from students looking to improve their grades. Thirty-year-old Megan Laboy is accused of collecting more than $1,400 from Colts Neck High School students during the 2008-09 school year. Police say the Howell resident told students she’d give them extra credit and the money was for charity. But they say she kept the money for herself. She’s charged with third-degree theft by deception. ***MARLAR: Third-degree theft by “deception?”  So if she had given the money to charity then everything would be hunky-dory?

A New Hampshire man says he swiped his debit card at a gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes and was charged over $23 quadrillion dollars. Josh Muszynski checked his account online a few hours later and saw the 17-digit number — a stunning $23,148,855,308,184,500. Muszynski says he spent two hours on the phone with Bank of America trying to sort out the string of numbers and the $15 overdraft fee.  ***MARLAR: You just took 23-quadrillion dollars out of the guy’s account – what makes you think he has fifteen bucks for an overdraft fee?

Next time you run through your checklist of things you don’t want to forget when you go on vacation, be sure to include your kid on the list. That is where a Belgian family went, when they left their son on a bench next to their caravan. The family had stopped at a French highway rest stop and set up their caravan for the night. When the young boy got too hot indoors, he decided to sleep outside on a bench. When he woke the next morning, his family was gone, and he was on his own without any money or a phone.  ***MARLAR: Wouldn’t you know you have left your kid behind when you stop hearing the question, “Are we there yet?”

This plane had just two wings, but lots of noses and tails.  It’s the first flight for Pet Airways — the only passengers are dogs and cats.  It was founded by a couple who didn’t want to put their Jack Russell terrier through another trip in a plane’s cargo hold.  The first flight took off Tuesday from an airport in suburban New York.  Pet Airways will fly a pet between New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles for $250 one way.  And the pets don’t get stuck in cargo,- where temperatures can vary widely. They fly in the main cabin of a Suburban Air Freight plane, which has been retooled and lined with carriers in place of seats.  About 50 pets are on board each flight. They’re escorted to the plane by attendants who’ll check on them every 15 minutes.  The pets get pre-boarding walks and bathroom breaks. And at each of the five airports, there’s a “Pet Lounge” in which passengers can wait and sniff before boarding.  Flights on Pet Airways are already booked up for the next two months.  ***MARLAR: And today’s in-flight movies… “The Shaggy Dog” followed by “That Darned Cat.”

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