THINGS WE DON'T UNDERSTAND
There have been ghost stories floating around the North Carolina Capitol for years. Now, says the Raleigh News and Observer, there's proof.
With consent from the state, paranormal researchers set up shop at the 162-year-old statehouse last November and now have released their findings. The newspaper reports the evidence includes "photos of floating orbs of energy, a recorded whisper -- and, yes, a ghost."
Patty Ann Wilson of the Ghost Research Foundation claims to have contacted a specter in Reconstruction-era clothing sitting in the third chair in the third row of the old House chambers.
"I knew if I looked directly at him, he would disappear," Wilson told the paper.
NEWS OF OTHER LIFE FORMS
They attack in the middle of the night -- wild hogs that wreak havoc on Palm City, Fla., lawns.
Dozens of the 400-pound tusked marauders run rampant, the Palm Beach Post reports, digging up residential yards in search of worms and roots.
Palm City resident and hog victim Len Hoag told the newspaper his lawn "looks like someone went in there with a plow."
Aside from the lawn damage, residents are upset over Martin County animal control's officials refusal to trap the hogs -- on the excuse it's a job for state wildlife regulators.
These are pigs with a heritage -- these trace their ancestors back to Hernando DeSoto, who brought them along when he landed near Tampa Bay in 1539, the Post noted.
TODAY'S SIGN THE WORLD IS ENDING
Oh Puh-leese! Barbie Loves SpongeBob -- it's enough to make Squidward and any 10-year-old boy gag.
At the American International Toy Fair in New York City this week, Nickelodeon and Mattel are marrying the most popular girls brand with TV's most popular character.
The result is the Barbie Loves SpongeBob doll, which looks like she just returned from the underwater village of Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob's home, decked out in SpongeBob-themed Capri pants, T-shirt, shoes and backpack, and clutching a SpongeBob plush.
Nickelodeon's SpongeBob SquarePants is a national phenomenon -- carrying an audience that is 30-percent adult -- and holding the No. 1 kids' show spot for more than a year.
Tossing a jellyfish to the boys -- another new toy will be Wrestlin' SpongeBob, who gives his famous line: "You want a piece of me?" as kids pull his arms, legs, nose and body.
AND FINALLY, TODAY'S UPLIFTING STORY
Listen for a million "ahhs" on Friday as children nationwide open wide for the largest dental check up in the country.
On "Give Kids A Smile/National Children's Dental Access Day," dentists at more than 5,000 sites will participate in events to provide free services to children from low-income families.
Large-scale dental clinics will provide free fillings, cleanings and fluoride treatments and other dentists will provide care to underserved children in their private practices.
The American Dental Association created "Give Kids A Smile" to focus national attention on the issue of access to oral health care for underserved children. Approximately 23 million children in the United States do not have dental insurance.