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Welcome to Casual Friday where we wake you up with the overlooked news stories of the week.  The offbeat, strange and sometimes downright weird news items that mainstream media tends to ignore, all wrapped up with a few funnies, all designed to get your face in smiling shape for the weekend.

Zippers send 1,700 men to ER each year

I thought it was just me. But according to a study published this month in the British Journal of Urology International by a University of California San Francisco urology resident named Herman Singh Bagga, an estimated 17,616 people wound up in U.S. emergency rooms between 2002 and 2012 because they caught their genitals, almost always penises, in zippers.
Close up of a blue jeans zipper.
The article states that if you're laughing right now, you've never done it.  Bagga reports that zippers are the most common reason adult males report to the emergency room with a penile injury followed by bicycles.  For young boys it is from the toilet seat slamming down on them while urinating - seems little boys like to rest their penises on the rim of the toilet - with zippers following in second place.
OK, so it’s a little funny in a Three Stooges kind of way, but a careless zip of the pants can be serious. While permanent damage is rare, Bagga said, zipper entrapment has led to surgical intervention such as undesired circumcision. A more common consequence is infection.
In case of an unfortunate zip, Bagga advised, it’s best to try to free oneself gently by backing the zipper down. If that doesn’t work, don’t struggle. Head for the ER. And don’t be too embarrassed. You’re not alone.
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Ann Coulter Banned From Visiting Iowa

The state of Iowa has issued a mandate that will prohibit the Republican spokeswoman, Ann Coulter from ever stepping foot in the state.

The mandate came about as a direct result of Ann Coulter's recent statement on The View that she hates corn and that there is an ingredient in corn which causes people to uncontrollably utter the word shucks (no pun intended) at some most inopportune times.
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Highwire stuntman plans to cross Grand Canyon without a tether

Aerialist Nik Wallenda on a high wire.
Aerialist Nik Wallenda, a seventh-generation member of the Flying Wallendas will cross the Grand Canyon on a tightrope 1,500 feet in the air and without a safety harness on June 23rd on live television.
Wallenda said he would traverse a remote section of crimson-hued canyon owned by the Navajo Nation in what will be his first major stunt since he last year became the only person to walk a wire over the brink of Niagara Falls.

"This is another one of my dreams coming true," Wallenda, 34, told Reuters in a brief telephone interview. "This is one that has been on my bucket list for some time."

Wallenda had bristled at wearing a safety tether during his Niagara Falls crossing last June. But ABC, the television network that aired the event, said it would pull the plug on the broadcast if he unhooked the harness.

The tether was never needed as Wallenda took 25 minutes to complete the walk from the United States to Canada while some 200 feet above the falls.

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Republicans Demand Spending Cuts in Exchange for Joining President Obama's NCAA Tournament Pool

Political infighting continued when President Obama invited both Democrat and Republican Congressional members to join his pool with a $50 buy-in.  No surprise that immediately the Republicans began demanding cuts that would make the buy-in $20 instead.  

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the Republicans' demands threaten the entire pool with the NCAA Tournament set to begin.

"This shouldn't be as difficult as they are making it," said Carney. "The buy-in is set by the person running the pool. That's how it always has been. But they want to hold the entire pool hostage. We have no idea how many people are in the pool now or what the pay-outs will be. It's irresponsible. Other nations are looking at this debate over our tournament pool and laughing at us. It's time to do what's right and join."

Speaker of the House John Boehner said he is not willing to budge on paying only $20 to join.

"Fifty dollars to join the pool is ridiculous," said Boehner. "If everyone joins at just twenty, the pay-outs to the winners will still be sufficient, plus people will have enough money to join other pools if they want to. We don't want to be beholden to the president's pool. We want tournament pool freedom."

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