Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News

A recent survey shows U.S. bond markets are still a mystery to most Americans. ***MARLAR: Bond markets… those are the stores with all the really cool 007 spy gear, right?

A study has found that fish in Washington’s Spokane River have an extremely high concentration of toxic flame retardants. ***MARLAR: You can still catch the fish but you’ll have a heck of a time trying to fry one.

A local zoning dispute in Naugatuck (NAW’-gah-tuck), Connecticut, has become, for some, a battle of good versus evil. The owner of a photo store put signs outside her store urging passing motorists to “Beep for Christ.” But then the owner of a neighboring tattoo store put out a sign urging motorists to honk twice for Satan.  Town officials responded by ordering the signs removed.  ***MARLAR: And put up their own signs saying, “Honk if you hate being told to honk.”

Looks like the stuffed animals and hand puppet industry may be the latest casualty of H1N1. In Minneapolis, Hennepin County libraries say plush toys and hand puppets will no longer be available for checkout or play, partly because of H1N1 flu concerns. Puppets have been available at less than half of the 41 libraries in the suburbs and in Minneapolis and some are allowed to be checked out. And while there’s no way to know if anyone has gotten ill through the puppets, the libraries are sensitive to the real threat and public sense that puppets might be germy. So for now the kids will only have toys that can easily be wiped down.  ***MARLAR: Miss Piggy is insistent it has nothing to do with her.

A new study by research company Uinvue says the average family will spend 91 hours a year fighting and arguing. Fights flare up as much as three times a day, usually lasting for around five minutes. The most common arguments are over household chores, children “treating the house like a hotel”, and couples taking each other for granted. 3,000 families took part in the research and it was interesting to note that the mother seems to still play the most pivotal role within the family when it comes to resolving conflicts. However the results do show that dads are getting far more involved. Daughters were most likely to slam doors during an argument, while fathers preferred to go for a long drive to cool off. But it’s not the arguing that tears families apart — it’s how they deal with their disagreements. Families who promote healthy resolve to conflicts can actually realize a positive effect on family members. On the other hand, one in ten of the families surveyed said they were not on speaking terms.  ***MARLAR: And would only answer survey questions through gritted teeth.

In Southwest Ranches, Florida, Rob Falk must really love his pig. Town officials ordered him to get rid of his 300-pound Yorkshire pet pig named Strawberry, but Falk says he’d rather leave town than give up the animal. City Council members cited Falk’s landlord for a code violation in July. Last week, officials gave Falk 30 days to remove Strawberry from the home, saying that the town allows only one Vietnamese pot bellied pig per household. Officials are also worried that the pig will get bigger and grow large tusks. Falk says his family will move because “the pig is like one of our children.”  ***MARLAR: Oh yeah… Rob’s children have also been banned from town.

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