Darren’s Daily Dose of News – May 22, 2009

darrensdailydoseofnews12Revenue and jobs at the U.S. gambling halls fell last year as Americans became less willing to risk their money. The study by the American Gaming Association found revenue nationwide was down 4.7 percent in 2008 to $32.5 billion. The year before, revenue had increased by 5.3 percent. The nation has more than 1,600 casinos, slot parlors and other gambling halls. The number of casino jobs fell 1 percent to more than 357,000.  ***MARLAR: Gee, maybe we should give them a bailout.

An Ohio man who argued with his grown son over a messy bedroom says he overreacted when he called 911.  Andrew Mizsak called authorities Thursday after his 28-year-old son – who’s a school board member in the Cleveland suburb of Bedford – threw a plate of food across the kitchen table and made a fist at him when told to clean his room.  The son, also named Andrew, lives in a room in his parents’ basement.  The father declined to press charges and told police he doesn’t want to ruin his son’s political career.  The son, who also works as a political consultant, says he’s lucky to be living in the house rent free. He also promises to keep his room clean.  ***MARLAR: He doesn’t want to ruin his son’s political career – but he’s totally fine with reporting to the world that his son is a loser, lives in his parent’s basement, and has a messy bedroom?

Is that a banana under your shirt or do you just want to rob me? A 17-year-old tried to hold-up an Internet cafe in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with a banana. Actually, he had the banana inside his shirt hoping it looked like he had a gun. Cops say the guy walked into the cafe, demanded money and said he had a gun. The cafe’s owner and a customer brought him down. It’s not known if the guy ever tried to draw his banana.  ***MARLAR: And sadly, even with a banana, the kid still couldn’t give cops the slip.

Some meals aren’t car-friendly. Police in Needham, Massachusetts stopped a man for alleged erratic driving and found he’d been trying to eat a bowl of cereal and milk. Sounds like the man thought he had a good excuse. He told officers he was hungry.  ***MARLAR: I heard this story driving in this morning and was laughing so hard I dropped by electric shaver in my oatmeal.

Privacy advocates plan to call on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to suspend use of “whole-body imaging,” the airport security technology that critics say performs “a virtual strip search” and produces very revealing pictures of passengers. The national campaign, which will gather signatures from organizations and relevant professionals, is set to launch this week with the hope that it will go “viral,” said Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which plans to lead the charge.  ***MARLAR: With the swine flu epidemic, are we sure we want to use the terms “whole body” and “viral” in the same breath?

If your boss can’t give you a raise, what’s the next best thing? How about a new job title?  A new survey says that almost 70% of most office workers would be willing to give up a pay raise in return for a more professional sounding job title.  Filing clerks could be called “data storage specialists”. Janitors could become “Custodial Engineers.” ***MARLAR: They did this to me too.  Instead of a raise, I’m now an “On Air Personality” – which is a drastic improvement from my old job title of “Monkey Boy Button Pusher”.

In California an amusement park operator has taken down an inflatable slide called the “Titanic” after someone complained that the name was offensive.  ***MARLAR: Is there anything Californians are NOT offended by?

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