Top 10 Offbeat Stories of the Day – July 4rd, 2012

Studied too fast…, existence of mermaids…., today…, Alaska…, Wild Car…, TrulyOffbeat…, marijuana…, miniature horse…, The ‘Busy’ Trap…, Redneck Resort…1. University sues student who ‘studied too fast’ for lost income.

Marcel Pohl completed 60 examinations in 20 months, gaining a grade of 2.3, and was officially ex-matriculated in August 2011. Such a course usually takes 11 semesters, but he only needed three.

2. The U.S. government officially states that it has found no evidence of the existence of mermaids.

The National Ocean Service made the unusual declaration in response to public inquiries following a TV show on the mythical creatures. It is thought some viewers may have mistaken the programme for a documentary.

3. Andy Griffith died today…

The Virginian-Pilot cites “two close friends” – Eddie Greene and W. Ray White – as confirming Griffith’s death. AP says Sheriff Doughtie confirmed the news, in a statement from the family, saying, “Mr. Griffith passed away this morning at his home peacefully and has been laid to rest on his beloved Roanoke Island.”

4. Alaska town gets free Taco Bell after hoax 

Residents of Bethel, Alaska, know from cable TV ads what the major fast-food chains offer: chicken at KFC, burgers at McDonald’s and tacos at Taco Bell. They just haven’t been able to get any of it. The city of 6,200 people is about 40 miles inland from the Bering Sea in far western Alaska, and the closest fast food other than a Subway sandwich shop is in Anchorage, 400 miles and a $500 round-trip plane ticket away.

5. Wild Car Wrecks From the Golden Age of the Automobile

For the younger generations it might be hard to imagine a time before seat belts, airbags and crumple zones were standard features in cars, but it wasn’t really that long ago. These astounding photos capture the golden age of the automobile around Boston Massachusetts in the 1920s and 1930s, showing the aftermath of car wrecks in the simple yet speedy cars of the era. At the time, cars had become affordable to the masses, but when you consider that people were not required to take a driving test of any sort, and drinking and driving was legal unless you were considered outright intoxicated, it’s not surprising that these wild wrecks happened frequently.

 6. Come on over to /r/TrulyOffbeat where you won’t get downvoted for knowing the rules.

The federal government last week went to unusual lengths to assure America that mermaids do not exist. Really. “No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found,” asserts the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in an item posted June 27 to its website, www.NOAA.gov.

7. Man tries to pay cab fare with marijuana

On June 27, a local man took a taxi to a local Holiday Inn, according to apolice report. Jacob Bruckner, 38, of Massillon, racked up a $24 cab fare on his way to the Holiday Inn on Medina Road. When the driver asked Bruckner to pay, the man asked him to wait in the parking lot, the report said.

8. Blind and not a fan of dogs? Get a seeing-eye miniature horse

Guide dogs — sometimes referred to as seeing eye dogs — have been assisting disabled people for at least 100 years, with references to them dating back perhaps centuries. The first U.S. school for guide dog training, named The Seeing Eye, opened its doors in 1929 and has been in business since.

9. The ‘Busy’ Trap

If you live in America in the 21st century you’ve probably had to listen to a lot of people tell you how busy they are. It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”

 10. Redneck Resort – yes, really – opens in Tenn.

If you want to get away and get mud on your face – and not from a facial – theRedneck Resort in Sweetwater, Tenn., offers a different kind of getaway – one with off-road vehicles and lots and lots of dirt. CBS News Knoxville affiliate WVLT reportsreports the resort is more of a park filled with giant mud puddles and obstacles for off-road vehicles.

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