Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: April 02, 2011

Want to hear the Daily Dose of Weird News ANYWHERE? It’s just part of “The Darren Marlar Radio Show” – and you can listen via your iPhone, Blackberry, iPad, or Droid!  Just search for “Darren Marlar” in the TUNEIN radio app (free in your app store now)!  Or listen online anytime at http://marlar.podomatic.com!


“You have nice eyes.” That’s one compliment people are hearing on a busy street in the nation’s capital. Artist Tom Greaves has created what he calls “The Compliment Machine.”  It’s a bright red-and-white-striped box that automatically says nice things about people as they walk past.  ***MARLAR: Our radio station’s General Manager bought one last week – he had it modified so it would just agree with every idea he comes up with.

Firefighters headquartered at the Arundel Fire Station in West Sussex, England, are looking for a new home. As you might guess by now, the building and a fire engine were destroyed in a blaze at the station. Fire chief Neil Odin says, “Unfortunately, we had severe damage to our fire station, which is embarrassing.” He also said, unlike the old building, the new station would have a smoke alarm.  ***MARLAR: That’s a good question, who DO you call if your reporting a fire at a fire station?


A Florida man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for violating his probation by trying to break INTO the Brevard County jail.  ***MARLAR: When asked why he tried to break back INTO jail, the man said, “their health care plan is better than what I can get on the outside now.”

A researcher at Ersta Skoendal University College in Stockholm had 20 women around 80 years old gather once a week for four months to look at various works of art and discuss them. She said their attitudes and creativity improved, their blood pressure went down, and oddly, they needed fewer laxatives and suffered less constipation.  ***MARLAR: Yeah, modern art gives me loose bowels too.

A burglar who broke into a Medford pharmacy had the right letter, but not the right drugs. Police said someone broke out a window at the West Main Pharmacy and grabbed the prescriptions in the “O” section. The Mail Tribune in Medford said investigators think the burglar was after the narcotic oxycodone – but the drugs in that section were filed alphabetically by customers’ last names.  No arrests have been made. ***MARLAR: Police are looking for anyone who might have overdosed on Ora-Gel.

What if a drug could help you gain some of the benefits of exercise without working up a sweat?  In a study, sedentary mice that took the drug (AICAR) for four weeks burned more calories and had less fat than untreated mice.  And when tested on a treadmill, they could run about 44 percent farther and 23 percent longer than untreated mice.  Just how well those results might translate to people is an open question. But researchers say someday such a drug might help treat obesity, diabetes and people with medical conditions that keep them from exercising.  The scientists also report that in mice that did exercise training, a second drug — GW1516 — made their workout much more effective at boosting endurance.  The research is published online by the journal Cell.  ***MARLAR: Finally – I can get in my cardio just by running my mouth off!

A Wisconsin college has found a new way to cut costs with e-mail – by changing the font.  The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has switched the default font on its e-mail system from Arial to Century Gothic. It says that while the change sounds minor, it will save money on ink when students print e-mails in the new font.  The new font uses about 30 percent less ink than the previous one.  That could add up to real savings, since the cost of printer ink works out to about $10,000 per gallon.  The decision is part of the school’s five-year plan to go green. ***MARLAR: Unfortunately, going green requires color cartridges which are more expensive.

Wanted: non-hairy humans willing to take the heat of a jellyfish burn.  A new sun screen tries to protect against jellyfish and their toxin-filled tentacles and Norwegian researchers are putting it to the test.  The scientists are hunting for people willing to bear a sting on each arm. One arm will be coated in regular sun block, the other the ant-jellyfish cream.  Five people so far have taken the researchers up on their offer.  Before you start booking a flight to Oslo, beware, participants have to be over 18 and have hair-free inner arms. The smoother the skin, the better the burn.  Asthmatics, pregnant women or people with allergies or skin diseases need not apply.  For their pain, participants will get three free bottles of the anti-jellyfish sun screen.  ***MARLAR: Which, if you’re feeling pain, obviously doesn’t work.

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