Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – August 03, 2010

WeirdNewsA toadstool is the spore-producing body of a fungus. Contrary to belief, only a few toadstools are poisonous.  ***MARLAR:  But after you find out a toadstool is a spore-producing fungus, you don’t want to eat one anyway.

The earth tilts at a 23.5 degree angle. For part of the year the north part is tilted towards the sun and experiences summer, then it changes and tilts away from the sun and has winter.  ***MARLAR: That’s one reason we have seasons. Another reason is so fashion designers will know when to introduce their new line of clothes.

The 21-year-old son of a Texas death row inmate has been jailed in Houston on a capital murder charge setting up what could be the only father-son combo on death row in Texas. ***MARLAR: If you ask me, this “Take Your Child To Work Day” has gone far enough.

The average American stays on a sugar high, eating the equivalent of 31 teaspoons of sugar each day. In addition to the obvious sugar in sodas (a 12-ounce can contains 10 teaspoons), desserts, and candy bars, sugar is a common ingredient in processed foods, from pizza sauce to crackers.  ***MARLAR: So expecting niceties from your boss is probably unreasonable – he’s sweet enough as it is.

Washington D.C. is looking for a new slogan.  Washington tourism officials are spending 150-thousand dollars to create a new catchphrase for the nation’s capital. You know, something like Las Vegas’ slogan: “What happens here, stays here.  ***MARLAR: So they’ve taken just the first half of the Vegas slogan.  D.C.’s new slogan is, “What HAPPENS here?”

The birthplace of California’s drive-through craze has had its fill of fast food restaurants. Amid complaints of obesity and lines of idled cars stretching into neighborhood streets, this blue-collar town is banning new drive-thrus in hopes of shedding its reputation as a haven for convenient, fatty foods.  It’s an ironic development for a community that proudly claims to have opened California’s first drive-through restaurant more than 60 years ago — a little joint named, appropriately enough, In-N-Out.  ***MARLAR: Couldn’t they just change up the menu so girls on roller-skates deliver tofu and seaweed tacos?

If you’re feeling depressed, you might feel better if you take fish-oil supplements, a new study shows. Some patients in the study, but not all, got relief from the omega-3 fatty acids in the fish oil. The ones who did improve — about half the group — were those who didn’t also have a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder. The other half — depressed people who had anxiety disorders, too — didn’t get any clear benefit from taking the supplements compared to placebo.  These findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, add to the confusion about whether omega-3 fatty acids really help depression.  ***MARLAR: And with the BP oil spill, fish are even more oily now than before!

A Michigan postal worker who hid thousands of pieces of mail in a storage unit has been placed on probation for two years.  Jill Hull appeared in federal court in Detroit, three months after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor of deserting the mail.  Managers of a self-storage business opened Hull’s unit and discovered thousands of pieces of unopened mail, including first-class letters. Some had postmarks from 2005.  The 35-year-old Hull has said she couldn’t keep up with her route in Livingston County, 50 miles northwest of Detroit.  U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen declined to order a fine, saying Hull can’t afford it.  ***MARLAR: So close… if she’d just hoarded junk mail she’d be hailed as a hero.

Kevin Bacon tried in vain to chase down a thief who grabbed his BlackBerry at a New York City subway station. The mugger took off with Bacon’s cell at 10:50am. Bacon who is currently touring with his band The Bacon Brothers, could not confirm whose numbers were stored in the Blackberry. It is likely, however, that the numbers for Bacon’s wife, ‘The Closer’ star Kyra Sedgwick, are now available to the thief.  ***MARLAR: But he’ll confess as soon as Kyra gets him in a room to herself.

Ben and Jerry or Haagen-Dazs might help you get pregnant, but not in the usual way. A study suggests a diet rich in ice cream and other high-fat dairy foods may lower the risk of one type of infertility. But some doctors say it sounds too good to be true and probably is. ***MARLAR: Whew!  That’s good… for a second there I thought I’d have to give up my Chunky Monkey!

Turn out the lights. While the party may not be over, the law has been changed in the central Illinois town of Pekin. For decades, an ordinance required that all cars parked on city streets after dark keep a light on. People complained the law left cars with dead batteries and motorists with short tempers. Many risked a ten-buck ticket rather than having to get a jump start in the morning. In voting to dump the ordinance, Councilman Daryl Dagit says it was time to stop harassing citizens with an outdated law. But some opposed the change, saying the light law helped keep streets clear of cars after dark.  ***MARLAR: And harder for residents of Pekin to peek-in!

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