Mississippi continues its five-year streak as the fattest state, snapping the fat-race tape with a 32.5 percent obesity rate. And neighboring Tennessee, West Virginia and Alabama round out the top four members of our nation’s Chunkiest Club. ***MARLAR: With all the cheese and beer I’d have guessed Wisconsin would’ve been in there somewhere.
The traditional playground is getting a modern makeover. City officials in Layton, Utah, about 25 miles north of Salt Lake City, plan to open an electronic public playground later this summer. The playground includes electronic versions of games such as capture the flag and tug of war. Ja Eggett, Layton’s city parks planner, says the goal is to get the video game generation back to the playground so they become more active. The playground is part of a $500,000 yet-to-be named park that’s set to open later this month. ***MARLAR: And staying true to playgrounds, the park comes complete with cyber bullies who threaten to give cyber wedgies.
Bear, the K-9 cop, has gone missing again. Chicago police are on the lookout for the German shepherd. Officer Laura Kubiak says the 3-year-old police dog disappeared from his handler’s home over the weekend. It’s not the first time Bear has gone AWOL. Bear jumped a backyard wooden fence in May after he was apparently spooked by thunder. A man spotted the dog and flagged down a patrol car. Bear jumped right into the police car. ***MARLAR: Does it bother anyone else that a Chicago cop is scared away by the sound of thunder?
When hardships come in the way of life, it doesn’t mean that music has to be put on the back burner. In fact, music just might be a beacon of hope. ‘Homeless Karaoke,’ a mini-documentary directed by Iris Ichishita, tells the story of the Karaoke Coffee Club, a unique venue that gives homeless people in downtown Los Angeles a place to sing to their heart’s content. The documentary shows how the positivity and joy of a night of karaoke might eventually lead those with economic and other troubles off the streets and back on track. ***MARLAR: Ironically, the biggest karaoke song at this club is “If I Were a Rich Man.”
Queen Elizabeth II won’t be tweeting. Neither will Prince Charles. But Britain’s royal family has taken steps to extend its realm into the land of Twitter. Buckingham Palace says it has set up a Twitter account to alert royal watchers to what’s happening with the family. The queen launched Buckingham Palace’s Web site in 1997. She also has her own YouTube channel. The British Monarchy Twitter site is http://twitter.com/BritishMonarchy. ***MARLAR: How boring is this going to be? If the Queen was Twitting herself, it’d be great… “which purse shall I carry today…” “using the 4,000 year old silver…”
In the 1960s Gatorade was supposed to be the magic sports elixir. In the 70s many athletes consumed bee pollen to energize themselves to the max. A few years ago a Chinese coach who trained record-breaking long-distance runners claimed that they ran faster when they snacked on worms. ***MARLAR: That’s AFTER spending twenty minutes heaving in the men’s room once you’ve eaten them.
In Chicago, a woman is suing her dance partner, claiming “negligent dancing” when he dropped her on her head after flipping her into the air at an office party. ***MARLAR: If someone can sue for “negligent dancing” I’m in biiiiig trouble.