Darren’s Daily Dose of News – April 29, 2009

darrensdailydoseofnews12Old jeans can keep you warm — even with the holes. But the jeans in question aren’t being worn, they’re being recycled for insulation. Kids at the Parkside Elementary School in Powell, Wyo., have been collecting old blue jeans. They’re going to Cotton Incorporated, which will make insulation for homes built by Habitat for Humanity. National Geographic Kids is organizing the jean drive. The group figures it takes 500 pairs of jeans to insulate the average house.  ***MARLAR: My house can’t be separated from my Calvins. 

Cameron Brady is looking forward to plenty of ups and downs today. He plans on riding a roller coaster for 18 hours — for charity. Brady says he’ll be on the Serpent coaster at Kokomo’s Family Fun Center near Saginaw, Mich., until midnight. He calls himself the “Wacky Stunt Guy.” And he says this wacky stunt will raise as much as $25,000 for a number of local charities, including Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army. He figures over the course of the 18 hours he’ll do about 250 laps.  ***MARLAR: The tough part will be trying to collect change in the Salvation Army buckets while passing by the crowd going 78 miles per hour. 

Avon’s calling—this time on television. In an effort to recruit news sales people, Avon will be using a TV infomercial for the first time ever. It will debut Saturday on the Oxygen cable network. The half-hour ad features Deborah Norville and financial guru Suze Orman, but is dominated by testimonials from women who sell Avon’s products. This could be the perfect job for you or somebody you know.  ***MARLAR: And if you don’t sell it you can rest in the comfort of knowing that you’ll have a lifetime supply of blush in the garage.

Arnold Schwarzenegger will be in the new “Terminator Salvation” movie. It’s a digital version of him. It’s not him in flesh and blood. Variety says a body-cast mold of Schwarzenegger had been made during the first Terminator movie, when he was muscle-bound and younger. This is what the computerized version will look like. Variety says Schwarzenegger has OK’d the footage of him that’s been created by computer for the movie.  “Terminator Salvation” opens May 21st.  ***MARLAR: If the Terminator movies supposedly take place in the United States, why does the terminator have an Austrian accent? Has technology in the future come so far that it can create lifelike skin, bad breath, and artificial intelligence, but still can’t re-create an American accent? 

Congress is looking into plans by cable TV operators to roll out targeted advertising amid concerns that they will infringe on consumer privacy.  The House subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet will hold a hearing this morning that will look at new uses for digital set-top boxes.  Cable TV companies have plans to use set-top boxes to collect data and direct ads more targeted to individual household preferences. Consumer advocacy groups are wary of such plans.  Canoe Ventures, a consortium comprised of the nation’s six largest cable operators, is expected to roll out targeted and interactive ads nationally this year.  Several operators also are individually testing or rolling out targeted ads, including Philadelphia-based Comcast Corp. and Cablevision Systems Corp. of Bethpage, N.Y.  ***MARLAR: Actually, I might not mind giving up a little personal privacy if it meant I wouldn’t have to see any more feminine hygiene commercials or that smiling Bob guy. 

Australian researchers have found that eating foods high in fat and sugar reduces anxiety. In lab tests, scientists took two groups of young rats away from their mothers and gave one group junk food and the other healthy food. They found that the rats on junk food were much calmer than the rats that ate healthy foods. The bad news is, junk food still makes you fat and it isn’t good for you. The researchers say they’ll next see if exercise can be as good as junk food at relieving stress. ***MARLAR: I’ll answer that. Uh. . . no.

A Japanese court has ordered a McDonald’s to pay more than $70,300 to an overworked store manager for years of unpaid overtime. 46-year-old Hiroshi Takano claimed that he had worked more than 100 hours of overtime each month, without taking a day off. He’d come to work at 6:00 a.m. and the increasing number of responsibilities would usually find him heading for home about midnight. ***MARLAR: McDonald’s is planning to McAppeal.

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