Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – August 10, 2010

WeirdNewsA science professor at Gustavus Adolphus College left for a week’s vacation this summer and returned to a shiny office. Very shiny. Professor Scott Bur’s students had covered his office in aluminum foil. Computer screen, chairs, the ceiling, the floor – all covered in foil. Books and pens were individually wrapped, so was the phone, a bottle a coffee maker, and his ball cap.  ***MARLAR: Which is good news because he won’t have to worry about aliens implanting thoughts into his head… or his phone, or coffee maker, or pens…

An animal rights activist has caused a stir in Jordan’s capital by covering herself in lettuce in a quirky attempt to persuade Middle Eastern meat lovers to go vegetarian.  Crowds quickly gathered to gawk at the lettuce lady, but police were not amused.  ***MARLAR: The woman now promises to turn over a new leaf.

A new poll indicates more than half of those in the work force have been negatively affected by the recession, which began 30 months ago, and it shows that spending habits have changed in that same time period.  The Pew Research Center has discovered that 55 percent of working adults in the U.S. have either been pushed into unemployment, received a reduction in pay, or had their hours reduced.  The study also showed that six in ten American’s have reduced their spending and borrowing. Half of those surveyed say they have paid down sizeable amounts of debt, like mortgage loans and credit cards, while nearly a quarter have borrowed money.  ***MARLAR: It’s so bad now that I’m robbing Peter to pay Paul… and then going back to rob Paul.

The New York Post reported that author Susan Shapiro Barash interviewed 500 women for her book, “Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth About Why Women Lie.” Her conclusion: women are much better liars than men, and they lie about everything from shopping binges to barhopping to facelifts.  Barash said, “Women lie… to get what they want.”  ***MARLAR: For example, women will lie to get people to buy their book.

There seems to be an unending supply of dumb criminals. A Roanoke, Virginia man was so proud of robbing a bank of nearly $4,000 that he boasted about it on MySpace.  Prosecutors say before his arrest, he posted a message to his MySpace page that said: “On tha run for robbin a bank Love all of yall.” It was a friend who called investigators after seeing surveillance pictures of the robber who now faces seven years to life in prison.  ***MARLAR: During which time, virtual-friends are the only ones he’ll have.

Remember Borat in that mankini? It’s probably a vision you’d rather not dredge up. But now deputies in Andersonville, Tenn., say a man’s been arrested for burglarizing a home and he was caught wearing only a woman’s thong. ***MARLAR: Eminem could not be found for comment.

Inmates in a northern Ohio jail are growing their own. Food, that is. They’ve planted a vegetable garden. The point is to save money. The Sandusky County Sheriff had to find some way to lop off $75,000 from the jail’s budget. He started by banning pancakes from the jail’s menu. Next step was for inmates to plant a vegetable garden.  ***MARLAR: When asked why, the prisoners said growing vegetables was a lot safer than growing what got them thrown in the slammer to begin with.  (And really, could they grow anything that would be worse than prison food?)

The employees at Tops Friendly Markets in Erie, Pennsylvania have been catching hundreds of little white rabbits everywhere – using everything from bags to boxes. ***MARLAR: This is what happens when you don’t find the Easter Bunny’s hidden eggs.

A Minneapolis man lost a $1,000 prize for sending the fastest text message because he left out an exclamation point.  ***MARLAR: Apparently, in the world of text-messaging, spelling and grammar don’t mean jack – but if you don’t insert five exclamation points at the end of a sentence…

Scientists at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, claim they have found that women sometimes ovulate several times in a single month, which may require the rewriting of medical textbooks and explain why the rhythm method of birth control doesn’t work. ***MARLAR: This should be fun… educating married couples on the importance of abstinence.

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