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Roadside News: March 13, 2009

Pilgrim's Pride chicken statue.Chicken Empathy Museum: Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has rejected a proposal by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which wanted to turn a closed Pilgrim’s Pride poultry processing plant in Farmerville into the Chicken Empathy Museum. “Outside the museum,” the letter explained, “children could clamber through a preserved chicken-transport truck to experience how cramped and uncomfortable the trucks are,” while the gift shop would sell plush chickens with tags reading, “I am not a nugget!”

Oh PETA, you tease us so, gleefully plucking free publicity with these creative proposal stunts. In November, 2008, PETA offered to turn an endangered Texas cowboy colossus into a symbol protesting cow cruelty. They were turned down.

Giant Buddhist Goddess: A Buddhist temple in Tulsa, Oklahoma, wants to a erect a nearly-six-story-tall statue of the goddess Quan Am, which would seriously eclipse the current Buddhist goddess champion statue in Adelanto, California. Despite its location in the buckle of the Bible Belt, the proposed goddess is encountering little opposition — perhaps because Quan Am wouldn’t have a prayer in a wrestling match with Tulsa’s giant praying hands or oil man.

Meteorite Comes Home: Outside of Winslow, Arizona, Meteor Crater is getting part of its meteor back. A 50-pound chunk, stolen from the crater’s visitor center in 1968, was recently purchased at a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, yard sale by bargain-hunter Tom Lynch for $10. It turns out to be worth around $100,000. Tom, however, will forgo the money and drive the meteorite back to Meteor Crater where it will once again be put on display. “Lynch is doing the honest thing and the decent thing,” writes the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “which is no guarantee in the world of meteorite collectors.”

VA is for Lovers – of Large Bladders: A budget-slashing proposal to close 25 rest areas in Virginia is drawing flack from local tourist attractions, which rely on the rest stops to display their promotional brochures (it was at a Virginia rest stop, we recall, where we first learned of this attraction). Commerce aside, the state really should rethink this plan — or it may find itself as the eastern hot zone in the ongoing Jugs of Pee plague.

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