Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – April 24, 2010

If George Washington were alive today, he might face a hefty overdue library fine.  New York City’s oldest library says one of its ledgers shows that the president has racked up 220 years’ worth of late fees on two books he borrowed, but never returned.  One of the books was the “Law of Nations,” which deals with international relations. The other was a volume of debates from Britain’s House of Commons.  Both books were due on Nov. 2, 1789.  New York Society Library head librarian Mark Bartlett says the institution isn’t seeking payment of the fines, but would love to get the books back.  The ledger also lists books being taken out by other founding fathers, including Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and John Jay.  ***MARLAR: Hold the phone – are you telling me politicians have stolen property and then somehow gotten away with not paying a fine?!?!  That’s unheard of!

Europeans should try to stay indoors if ash from Iceland’s volcano starts settling, the World Health Organization warned Friday as small amounts fell in Iceland, Scotland and Norway.  World Health Organization spokesman Daniel Epstein said the microscopic ash is potentially dangerous for people when it starts to reach the Earth because inhaled particles can enter the lungs and cause respiratory problems.  ***MARLAR: But you still have to step outside to smoke.

A fitness trainer in Australia wants to better understand what it’s like for his clients who are trying to lose weight, so he’s going from 175 to 280 pounds and plans to live that way for three months before taking it off again.  ***MARLAR: Meanwhile his clients keep going back to a trainer who gets fatter week after week.  That’s got to be inspiring.

We are now being told that social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users. Neuroscientist Susan Greenfield tells us that sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self centered.  ***MARLAR: In fact, I didn’t even pay attention to that story because it took too long to report it.

The gator’s got to go. Now, the frat brothers at Delta Upsilon need a new mascot. It seems the student newspaper at Washington State University dropped a dime on the baby gator. Police Commander Chris Tennant saw the article and alerted animal control officers. He says it’s illegal to own alligators in the city. A local radio station (KRPL) reports the frat member who bought the foot-long reptile over the Internet now has a week to find it a new home. ***MARLAR: They thought they had a solution, but it turns out that Washington State also bans people from owning alligator bags.

A University of California researcher said that licorice root may be better at fighting tooth decay than toothpaste.  ***MARLAR: So instead of brushing, just buy some licorice Jelly Bellys.

An international survey by Harlequin Romances found that women say the most attractive trait in a man is a sense of humor.  ***MARLAR: On newsstands now – People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” is Larry the Cable Guy.

Personnel at O’Hare Airport in Chicago reported a UFO hovering over the runway in November of 2009 before it took off and disappeared.  ***MARLAR: So it’s finally happened… now even space aliens can’t get where they’re going without going through Chicago O’Hare.

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