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This year produced its share of kooky news, from diaper-wearing astronauts to the “don’t tase me, bro!” incident at a John Kerry speech. Here are a few that entertained.
n CNN apologized to presidential candidate Barack Obama after running a segment on the whereabouts of terrorist Osama Bin Laden that carried the caption “Where’s Obama?”
(After finding Obama, which didn’t take long, they began the search for a proofreader.)
n We’re not sure what caused Miss Teen South Carolina to crash so spectacularly in the Miss Teen USA pageant, but her response to a question about why a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a map was deliciously inane.
“I personally believe the U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh … people out there in our nation don’t have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education like, such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq everywhere like, such as and … I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., er, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our…”
n Apparently a poor grasp of math, not geography, was the reason for the failure of a game called “Cool Cash” in the Britain National Lottery.
Tickets were winners if the scratched-off temp was lower than the one shown on the card ó but many players couldn’t tell figure was lower. One indignant woman complained that the lottery “fobbed me off with some story that -6 is higher, not lower, than -8, but I’m not having it.”
n Also indignant were some librarians, who got the vapors over a naughty word in Susan Patron’s Newberry award-winning book, “The Higher Power of Lucky.” The heroine overhears another character say he saw a rattlesnake bite his dog, Roy, on the (avert eyes here) scrotum. That part of the book, Patron said, was based on a true incident involving a friend’s dog.
Opposing voices pointed out that if the s-word was unacceptable, the encyclopedia would need to be censored, too.
n In anticipation of the 2008 Olympic Games, the Chinese capital of Beijing began a campaign to improve its signposting in English. Among signs earmarked for correcting included ones for “Pubic Toilets,” and “Deformed Men” ówhich indicated facilities for the handicapped.
n Little League umpire Brian Hilferty realized after he made a disputed call that he needed a rulebook, which proved to be like searching for the holy grail. Little League headquarters informed him that not just anyone could get the rules ó apparently, the league was tired of being sued by players’ parents. Hilferty was told he could not receive special treatment and that “everybody has to abide by the same rules.”
Whatever they are.
n A German psychotherapist, Dr. Peter Blaeker, has been accused of taking advantage of a patient diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. Blaeker reportedly used one of Monika Mirte’s personalities as a sexual partner, one to be his cleaner and another to lend him cash. When confronted by Mirte, he refused to comment, saying he had a “duty of confidentiality” to her other personalities. He faces prison time if convicted.
Contact Katie Scarvey at 704-797-4270 or kscarvey@salisburypost.com.

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