Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – April 12, 2010

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has started a program he calls “Pedal Vision,” in which inmates pedal stationary bikes to generate electricity for television sets. The bikes are customized to turn on connected TV sets once inmates at Phoenix’s Tent City Jail pedal enough to generate 12 volts of electricity. An hour of pedaling equals an hour of television.  ***MARLAR: And the only shows they can get are “COPS”, “World’s Dumbest Criminals”, and “Biggest Loser”.

A toddler in Oshkosh is OK after taking his mother’s car out for short spin down the block. Police said the mother of the 3-year-old boy told officers her son was asleep in the 1985 Buick sedan when she left it running and ran into the house for a moment Wednesday morning.  When she returned, the car was gone. Police say the boy knelt on the seat, pulled down on the gear shift lever and started to roll down the block.  The car had traveled nearly two blocks before an officer was able to stop the vehicle.  ***MARLAR: The boy’s driving privileges have been suspended for three years.

Yet another person claims to have found hidden messages in Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting, “The Last Supper.” Italian musician Giovanni Maria Pala heard a theory that Leonardo hid a musical composition in it, so he spent four years studying it. He drew a five-line staff over a copy of it, and treated the loaves of bread and Jesus’ and the Apostles’ hands as music notes. Reading it backwards from right to left, he said it sounds like a requiem, “like a soundtrack that emphasizes the passion of Jesus.”  ***MARLAR: Sadly, played forward it sounds like “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.”

Scientists from three US universities and Hershey Foods analyzed chemical traces on pottery shards uncovered in Honduras, and they believe they’ve discovered the oldest known hot chocolate drink. It dates back 3,100 years, at least 500 years earlier than previously thought.  ***MARLAR: Yet the expiration date on the packaging isn’t for another four months.

Research published in the journal Sleep reveals that tweens and teens are doing a lot more texting and talking than their parents might realize. In fact, 62% of the kids surveyed admitted to using cell phones even after they’ve gone to bed for the night.  ***MARLAR: So text them a bedtime story!

An airline is defending its decision to bump a family from a flight after a child’s temper-tantrum delayed take-off.  AirTran Airways says “in fairness” to the other passengers, the crew made the decision to remove the family of three. It happened after a Massachusetts couple’s crying three-year-old daughter refused to take her seat before takeoff.  But the family vows never to fly AirTran again.  ***MARLAR: On the plus side, AirTran has just earned my loyalty as a new customer.

Archaeologist are baffled by the discovery of a rare coin dating back to 200 A.D., because it appears to depict the profile of a space alien. The crowned figure has large, almond-shaped eyes and a tiny nose and mouth. The flip side of the coin shows a Stonehenge-like temple.  ***MARLAR: Which proves that aliens not only lived among us in ancient times… they also had Laundromats.

A new study links video game playing with aggressive behavior in young adults.  ***MARLAR: Fortunately, they’re so out-of-shape that they’re easy to outrun.

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