Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: April 08, 2011

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People earning over $100,000 a year are almost twice as likely to apologize after an argument or mistake as those who earn $25,000 or less, according to a Zogby International survey.  ***MARLAR: And on the off-chance it works in reverse as well, I’d like to apologize profusely to everyone I’ve ever known – and I’ll do so again tomorrow, and the next day.

Here’s a potential boost for the economy: The Internal Revenue Service expects to issue up to $300 billion in tax refunds this year.  The average federal tax refund is about $3,000 this year. The Internal Revenue Service has received a little more than 75 million returns so far, with about 65 million qualifying for refunds.  ***MARLAR: It’s hard for them to say you owe them money when you’re unemployed.

A Beavercreek, Ohio man says his payment for television service was rejected because it wouldn’t cover the $16.4 million he was told he owed Time Warner Cable instead of the usual $80.  Time Warner says human error is to blame for the payment problem. Officials say a worker typed the wrong amount owed & they’re working to resolve the issue.  ***MARLAR: How about giving the guy $16.4-million worth of free cable?

Customer loyalty may be in short supply with bank fees soaring — and consumers will face tough decisions as they consider fleeing longtime banking relationships over lower service fees.  A new poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, finds a majority of Americans say they would rather switch banks than pay higher bank fees.  ***MARLAR: The difficult part will be finding a bed mattress that has a checking account.


The mother of a 6-year-old whose mouth was taped shut by a school secretary is suing the school system.  An elementary school secretary, Jennifer Carter, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor child abuse charge after the incident. Carter taped the unruly child’s hands and mouth with masking tape.  ***MARLAR: Tape over the mouth is child abuse?  I could sue my parents for millions.

The Kingsport Times-News cites a report from the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office in reporting 34-year-old James M. Denoon and 18-year-old Anthony Stout were found hiding under a truck at the bakery late Friday night.  The deputies found about $300 worth of stolen snack cakes stacked on the ground nearby.  Finding the accused thieves was easy: The deputies only had to follow their footprints. There was more than an inch of snow on the ground by Friday night.  ***MARLAR: Police said the theft was a real Zinger.

In this case, social networking has gone to the dogs — and that’s a good thing for pet lovers. There is now a canine equivalent to Facebook or MySpace. It’s called Doggyspace.com — and owners of pooches are setting up pages for their dogs, hoping to let the world know about their pets. The Virginia-based site is part of a growing trend of niche, or content-focused, social networking sites that target interest groups looking to connect with like-minded people.  ***MARLAR: And like regular MySpace there’s an age section – but when it says the dog is seven years old it really means 49.

A British celebrity chef says he’s sorry for mistakenly recommending a deadly plant as a tasty salad ingredient.  Anthony Worrall Thompson told Healthy and Organic Living magazine that the plant “henbane” could be used in salads. But henbane, whose name means “killer of hens,” is a toxic plant that can cause hallucinations, drowsiness and disorientation if ingested.  Large doses can kill. Thompson says he meant to suggest using the weed “fat hen,” a member of the spinach family whose leaves are edible. The magazine has issued a correction on its web site.  Thompson says he’s sorry for the mix up, and calls it “a bit embarrassing.”  ***MARLAR: Talk about a recipe to “die” for!

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