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Roadside News: Jan. 26, 2009

Raccoon with beer can, Wildwood, FL.Beer Can Milestone: Happy 50th birthday, aluminum beer can.  Without your lightweight, always-shiny surfaces, this house and this castle would have been impossible, and the hefty bulk of this mighty six-pack would have sunk it to the Earth’s core. The Raccoon raises a toast to you!

Dino Crime: A former Sinclair gas station dinosaur, which stood for 40 years in the yard of a suburban home in Jacksonville, Florida, has vanished.  “She came in and said, ‘The dinosaur is gone.’ I said, ‘You have to be joking.'” The disappearance of a six-foot-tall, 12-foot-long dinosaur from a Florida subdivision in broad daylight reminds us of another recent baffling Florida disappearance — of a giant chair.

Satan Takes This Round: When last we’d heard, Chicago’s miraculous Salt Stain Virgin Mary had been vandalized and then painted over.  Now comes news that “the paint has since worn off, rendering the image visible again” — but that Mary has been re-vandalized, this time with “demonic graffiti” of a purple, grinning devil’s head.  One report adds that “police have not received many complaints” — and it is a colorful devil….

The Bong: Call us juvenile, but we liked the Richard I. Bong Heritage Center in Superior, Wisconsin, better when it was just the Bong Memorial and then the Bong Recreation Area.  Now the Superior Telegram reports that the place has taken a step further from the old days by re-re-renaming itself the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center — although we note with satisfaction that the place is still casually referred to as “the Bong.”  “In the weeks and months ahead, the Bong will be expanding its center’s activities and capabilities and will launch an ambitious fundraising effort….”

American Celebration on Parade, a museum of parade floats in Shenandoah, Virginia, is considering which entries to add to its collection from the Obama inaugural parade.  “One possibility is the Illinois-themed float,” reports the Northern Virginia Daily.  “It looks like a giant glob of earth in the shape of Illinois.”

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