The good news

Lindsay Roberts

Sick of hearing about swine flu and balloon boy? Sick of being stuck with a permanent frown after watching the nightly news? We scoured the globe to bring a few lighter and crazy stories to you. Prepare to be inspired.

9-year-old: 1, 32-year-old: 0 – Shame on this mother in West Virginia for leaving her four young boys in an unlocked car with the keys in the ignition. She is lucky her eldest son did not inherit her brains because when a carjacker told him to get out of the car, he refused because “he didn’t want his little brothers to die” (they are 3 years old, 19 months and 4 months). Nine-year-old Malik then pulled the key out of the ignition as the carjacker slammed the boy’s head against the window, fighting him for the keys. But Malik had a grip of steel and ran with keys in hand to the convenience store where his mother was buying a drink. Stuck with an immobile car, babies and a toddler, the 32-year-old decided to run in the opposite direction, only to trip and fall on his face. Police found him lying in the parking lot next to the store, and the carjacker admitted to his failed attempt with, “I know, I’m stupid. I knew the kids were there. Sorry.” “Sorry” apparently doesn’t get you out of counts of kidnapping and grand larceny. It probably would have been better had he said he didn’t know the kids where there. What an idiot. Malik is a real life Macaulay Culkin, except defending your baby brothers is so much cooler than defending an empty house.

If at first you don’t succeed. – If you failed the first time you took your driving test, I think 68-year-old Cha Sa-Soon from South Korea will make you feel better. It took her 950 attempts before passing her written exam for a driver’s license. She has been trying since 2005 and has spent more than $4,000 in application fees. The best part of this story is Cha’s score: She got a 60 out of 100, the lowest passing score possible. Now keep in mind Cha still has to take the actual driving test, so she may not make it to the open road for another four years. God bless whoever this woman gets for a driving instructor. But who knows, she may be so cautious and so aware of the rules of the road that she will get a perfect score the first try. And give Cha all the criticism you want, but in her photo she is grinning with test in hand, one step closer to being able to incorporate driving into her vegetable selling business. They say the only failure is when you stop trying. If that is the case, Cha Sa-Soon cannot fail.

Bird Brain – Geneva, Switzerland, holds the largest particle accelerator in the world, called a Large Hadron Collider, or LHC. So what exactly does this $10 billion cylinder of metal do? Apparently scientists believe that it will decode the secrets of the origin of the universe. Well, not if nature can help it. The world’s largest atom smasher’s attempt at unraveling truths was thwarted by a bird and his “bit of baguette.” The machine shorted out, and when technicians went searching for the source of the problem, they found a piece of bread in the external machinery. Now, authorities do not know if the bird is the definite culprit, but there was a witness of a bird carrying a baguette in its beak around the vicinity of the atom smasher. Forget doves carrying symbols of peace. This bird was making a much bolder statement. It took something very inexpensive that we make and was able to shut down a wildly expensive invention. Maybe this bird has a point. Maybe we should stop obsessing over how we got here and focus on what we can do now that we are here. Either way you spin it, the irony of this animal with a reputation for little intelligence disrupting the work of our great minds is amusing.