Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News

The menu at a Florida eatery called Sublime offers everything from meat loaf to pork tenderloin. But there’s a twist. The upscale restaurant is vegan and doesn’t actually serve meat. The fake steaks and chops are made from things like fermented soybeans and concentrated wheat gluten. Diners at the Fort Lauderdale restaurant can also sample caviar for about 20 bucks. But instead of fish eggs, they’re eating seaweed. Sublime owner Nanci Alexander says she opened the restaurant in 2003 to help human carnivores stop eating meat. She hasn’t turned a profit yet. But Alexander says if she ever does, she’ll donate the money to the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. ***MARLAR: And take a wild guess as to what their salads are made of!  Yeah… lettuce.  (What’d you think a salad would be made of?  Sheesh!)

Up until now, you couldn’t get into the U.S. Air Force if you had a tattoo on your saluting arm — and anyone currently serving in the Air Force was banned from getting one. But as so many potential recruits do have such tattoos, coupled with the fact that at this point, our military will just about take anybody, the Air Force brass has decided to remove the tattoo policy. The military overall has long frowned on extensive body decoration. US air force policy bans tattoos that are obscene, above the collarbone or that cover more than a quarter of any body part.  ***MARLAR: However, you are still banned from serving in the military if your tattoo uses the words “Obamanation” or “How’s That Change Working For Ya?”

45-year-old William C. Caldwell III was arrested after he told a mall Santa Claus that he was carrying dynamite. And oh yeah — Caldwell was dressed as an elf at the time. Police say Southlake Mall in suburban Atlanta was evacuated but no explosives were found and Caldwell was not part of the mall’s Christmas staff. But — again, dressed as an elf — he did get in line to have his picture taken with Santa. When he got to the front of the line, Caldwell allegedly told Santa he had dynamite in his bag. Santa called mall security and Caldwell was arrested.  ***MARLAR: He’s now packing up coal in the North Pole’s Elf Prison System.

In Prior Lake, Minnesota, Robert and Roberta Masters have been arrested and charged with a series of mailbox explosions over last summer. Police say the explosions were actually carried out by seven teenagers who had been given pipe bomb supplies by the couple. According to the report, Mr. Masters bought black powder for the kids and had said it “would be a good educational tool for them to build pipe bombs.” Mrs. Masters allegedly encouraged the teens to learn on the Internet how to make pipe bombs because it would be “constructive.” If it makes you feel any better she did say she had told them to “be careful!”  ***MARLAR: Now Mr. and Mrs. Masters will get a good education on what it’s like to spend some time in jail.  It’s okay though, because it’ll be “constructive” – and they were told to “be careful.”

If you need some inspiration, just lie on your back. Darren Lipnicki from the school of psychology at the Australian National University found that people solve anagrams twice as fast when they were on their backs than on their feet. He says it suggests that lying down may also help your creative thinking process. Technically, it may have something to do with the brain chemical noradrenaline. While the chemical is associated with cognitive ability and attention, it is also believed to impair creative thinking and less of it is released while lying down.  ***MARLAR: So go ahead, lay down on the floor during your next board meeting… and tell your boss you’re trying to brainstorm… for the good of the company.

According to the latest test results compiled by the Education Department, more than half of America’s high school seniors do not have even the most basic grasp of U.S. history. ***MARLAR: There is no excuse for this – none whatsoever.  During the War of 1812, President Jimmy Carter said, “I Have a Dream”.  And I’m sure his dream didn’t include students failing history.

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