News at a Glance

By Sarah Masker
Copy Editor

1.) The Philippines recently held a race studded with man-made obstacles, but the real fun for the runners came from the mass of “zombies.” The survival-themed 5K race in Laguna Province was an event for five thousand people who had to dodge the two hundred actors dressed as post-apocalyptic zombies. The actors hid behind trees, bushes, and rocky uphill climbs to surprise the runners and symbolically feast on their brains by stealing flags attached to the runners’ waists. Once all three flags were stolen, runners were “dead.” Organizers said the race was designed to prevent the boredom that often kills some runs. Chestertown, start planning.

2.) Ed Houben was a virgin until age 34, but now he’s the biological father of 82 children. Wow, he must get around, right? The 42-year-old Dutchman is a unique kind of sperm donor who offers couples a chance to conceive a child without the expense of using a sperm bank. Okay, so he just donates his sperm? No, Houben is different from typical sperm donors in that he actually has sex with the women to whom he is donating. While everyone takes a moment to wrap their heads around this moral enigma, Houben points out that what he does is perfectly legal, and none of his clients have ground to sue him for child support. People and their careers.

3.) Engineers in California are taking precautions as the world gets nearer and nearer to its supposed end. UC San Diego’s School of Engineering plans to violently shake a five-story building outfitted with hundreds of sensors and cameras to study how earthquakes affect buildings. This study, one of the biggest ever of its kind, will simulate the motions of earthquakes by placing a 1.4 million-pound building on top of the country’s biggest shake table. The upcoming test will simulate a magnitude-6.7 quake that hit Los Angeles in 1994, and future tests will replicate Chile’s 2010 8.8 quake and an 8.0 quake that rattled Peru in 2007.

4.) Penguin lovers rejoiced when satellite imaging revealed that there are twice as many Emperor penguins in Antarctica as scientists had estimated previously. Seven new colonies of the four-foot-tall birds were revealed, raising the penguin population from the 270,000-350,000 range to about 595,000. Peter Fretwell, the lead author and a geographer at the British Antarctic Survey said, “This is the first comprehensive census of a species taken from space.” It’s remarkable that penguins can be seen from space, but is anyone else stunned simply by the four-foot penguin tidbit? That’s a big bird.

5.) Perrando de Resistencia Hospital in Argentina should get ready for a massive lawsuit. The Argentine parents of a presumably stillborn baby found the girl breathing and alive when they went to the morgue to say goodbye. The infant, born three months premature, had been inside a tiny coffin in the refrigerated morgue for 12 hours. The surprised couple named the girl Luz Milagros, which means Miracle’s Light. Provincial health officials are now investigating the incident.

6.) Overprotective parents have finally gone too far. Given the high crawling speeds toddlers are prone to, kids are now provided with crawling helmets just in case a regular bump is actually a deadly injury. The helmets protect the babies from horrors like hitting their heads while doing normal baby activities. The sales pitch for the crawling helmet mentions hardwood and tile floors, but if a simple bump on the head causes death, how has Earth’s population managed to make it this far?

7.) Since New York City doesn’t have enough super heroes, 24-year-old Charles Sonder has become “Snackman,” the Big Apple’s latest subway hero. Sonder, who hopped an uptown train for a study party, happened to be carrying Pringles and Gummi bears when he witnessed a kicking fight between a man and a woman. Sonder said, “I decided to break up the fight when I saw the man kick back at the woman.” Sonder has since received about 50 messages, including marriage proposals. Oh it’s good to be famous.

8.) Apparently being a runaway farm animal is enough to get a movie deal. Yvonne the German cow evaded helicopter searches and left her calf on the farm for a life on the run, and now she’ll be the star of a new Hollywood animated film. “Cow on the Run,” based on a dairy cow’s wild escapades in the real world, will be produced by Max Howard, whose previous credits include Walt Disney’s “The Lion King.” Michael Aufhauser, founder of the animal sanctuary that now looks after Yvonne, said the film is going to be “very romantic…Yvonne even falls in love with a buck.” The film is set for release in 2014. Who else can barely wait?

9.) 6-year-olds can be awful, but they aren’t exactly hardened criminals. A kindergartener in Georgia, however, was handcuffed by police after she threw a tantrum at school. The girl, a student at Creekside Elementary School, tore items off the principal’s wall, upended furniture, and reportedly knocked over a shelf. Someone needs to lay off the sugar.

10.) Sexy nuns? Shakespeare would approve. A Moroccan model testified in Milan court that “bunga bunga” parties hosted by then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi featured pole dancers dressed as nuns. 27-year-old Imane Fadilo testified at the former prime minister’s trial, in which he is charged with paying an underage prostitute. Fadilo is one of three women who have stated publicly that the parties were more than just “elegant dinners.”

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