Tragedy tops most popular list


Tragedy, folk dancing and one mammoth-sized dog were among the story lines that grabbed your attention in a week that also saw high drama in Congress — or maybe that was low drama.  In either case, here are five of the most popular picks for the week.

1. Orca kills SeaWorld trainer

Dawn Brancheau, a trainer with 16 years experience at SeaWorld in Florida, was killed when a killer whale grabbed her by the waist, thrashed her about and took her underwater. Brancheau, 40, was patting the Orca’s head at the time.  A follow-up story provided more clues to the tragic tale. Astonishingly, the same whale had reportedly been involved in deadly incidents in the past.

2. Toyota chief grilled by Congress

As if things weren’t bad enough for beleaguered automaker Toyota. First the speed pedal gets stuck, then all those recalls, followed by your expected assortment of lawsuits. Then this week the guy who’s name is on each and every one of those cars is pretty much forced to sit before a bunch of Congressional lawmakers and pretend there’s nothing wrong with being a punching bag. Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota and the founder’s grandson, came to Washington and ended up in tears.

3. Arizona dog is world’s tallest

giant georgeAnd in this corner, Giant George! The 4-year-old Great Dane from Tucson, Arizona, stands 3-feet 6-inches tall and weighs in at a whopping 245 pounds. Giant George eats about 110 pounds of food every month and sleeps in his very own queen-size bed — alone, according to the big pooch’s website. For perspective, remember Sadie? The Scottish Terrier that won Best in Show at Westminster last week? Well, this pup is at least 11 times bigger. What else is that height and poundage? I have no idea. I don’t want to know. I also don’t want to be the dog walker charged with yanking Giant George’s chain.