Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – August 09, 2010

WeirdNewsThe University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point will no longer sell bottled water on campus.  School officials say they’re trying to help the environment by eliminating plastic containers.  The campus has outfitted its drinking fountains with filling attachments. This way, students can fill their own bottles with Stevens Point municipal water.  ***MARLAR: Isn’t the whole point of buying bottled water so that you don’t have to drink the nasty stuff that comes from the city?

After more than a year of unemployment, a frustrated Sonja Funakura is now offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can land her a permanent job.  She has $500 saved and a friend offered to give the other $500.”It’s based on if I get a job offer, Funakura, 51, explained. “I figure the worst case scenario, I’ll give them my first paycheck. Literally. That’s better than going another year like this.”  ***MARLAR: Of course, with our current tax laws, giving away her first paycheck will be considered a monetary gift – and the recipient will be penalized for receiving it.

Americans are not as far behind on their bills as a year ago.  The number of consumers behind on their credit card payments fell to an eight-year low in the first quarter of 2010, the American Bankers Association reports. Overall, delinquencies across a wide-range of consumer debt categories have also fallen.  ***MARLAR: Bills mean you’ve been spending money… which is hard to do when you’re unemployed.

La Rosa Carrington has more than enough to worry about. She’s a single mother with two teenage daughters, she’s fighting a type of leukemia that requires five days of chemo a month for four months, and she lost her job in May.  So the last thing she needed was news that her health insurance benefits would be terminated because she hadn’t paid her premium in full. The shortfall? One penny.  Carrington said she talked twice to a customer service representative, who told her it was policy that the penny be received before the benefits could be reinstated. Write a check or send a money order, Carrington said the representative told her.  Carrington then asked to speak to a supervisor, who reiterated the company’s policy and wouldn’t budge on the penny. Carrington also threatened to take her case to the media, and that’s why she thinks the supervisor called her back with some good news: The supervisor had pulled out her own calculator, done the math — and determined that Carrington was correct.  ***MARLAR: So… media coverage somehow changes the laws of mathematics.  That explains a lot about government spending somehow miraculously saving us money.

Maybe the Colorado town of Basalt isn’t so welcoming after all.  That’s the impression government officials fear people will get when they enter the town because new posted signs say “Warning” in red letters right below the sign that reads, “Welcome To Basalt.”  The warning refers to a town ordinance that prohibits drivers from letting their cars idle for more than two minutes. But Town Councilwoman Amy Capron says having the signs so close together makes it “daunting and not so welcoming.”  The town mayor suggested that they be relocated.  ***MARLAR: The signs that is… not the residents.

A T-shirt depicting three wolves howling at the moon has gained an exploding following with a Facebook page and online videos – all because a customer posted a tongue-in-cheek comment on Amazon.com saying it made him a babe magnet.  The Mountain, the Keene, N.H., company that makes the shirts, is selling thousands a day – and enjoying the comments.  “We’re laughing a lot more than we used to,” owner Michael Krinsky said Thursday.  Thousands responded to the original comment from last fall, adding to the shirt’s supposed powers.  But one wrote that after wearing his T-shirt for weeks, he suspected the benefits were exaggerated.  “Not ONE supermodel has approached me,” he wrote.  The company said it does not guarantee wearers will become “a magnet for supermodels.”  ***MARLAR: Why wear a t-shirt with wolves when you’re trying to attract foxes?

Burger King announced that it is releasing three new kids’ meals that are healthier than its old child-oriented offerings. The new choices all have fewer than 560 calories, yet still hover around 600 milligrams of sodium. Even so, with menu options like apple sticks that are cut to look like fries, bite-sized burgers, and low fat caramel dipping sauce, the new meals are a major step up from their predecessors.  ***MARLAR: I’ve tried the healthier bite-size burgers, and they’re not bad if you order them by the dozen.

People who drive Hummers receive almost five times as many traffic tickets as the average driver, according to a new study. A new study surveyed data from 1.7 million drivers and found the Hummer H2 and H3 are the most frequently ticketed vehicles on the road, surpassing even the 565-horsepower Mercedes CLK 63 AMG. At the other end of the spectrum, the Jaguar XJ  was the vehicle least likely to attract the attention of Johnny Law. Researchers attribute to the feeling of invincibility that comes from driving a rolling bank vault.  ***MARLAR: Plus, if you don’t like getting a ticket, you can role your Hummer right over the squad car.

The #1 way women can prevent a heart attack or stroke is to keep their blood pressure under control, according to a Simmons College study. ***MARLAR: In some cases that might mean staying away from your husband.

A crocodile doesn’t chew its food, it swallows it whole. What a waste of sharp teeth. Crocodiles also continually grow new sets of teeth to replace old teeth. ***MARLAR: Since they don’t use them to chew, what happens?  Do the teeth fall out from boredom?

See a game and stuff your face. Several major league ball clubs are trying something new this season — all-you-can-eat seats. Fans are able to pig out in the ballpark.  ***MARLAR: Now they now stretch at the 7th inning to make more room for nachos.

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