Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – August 26, 2009

Can’t afford to buy new? Buy used.  That’s what the state of West Virginia is doing. State officials hope to save $800,000 over four years by buying used cars and trucks. The state recently awarded a contract to Chrysler Financial Services to supply used Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles for state agencies. The used cars cost up to 40 percent less than new ones.  Officials say the used cars get low mileage and are covered by warranties.  ***MARLAR: And then next year they can make money with Cash 4 Clunkers. 

It’s the vacation deal of a lifetime. A romantic weekend at a four-star hotel near Venice, Italy, for just a penny. Turns out the Internet offer was someone’s goof. The mistake was made at the Atlanta offices of Intercontinental Hotels Group. But a company spokeswoman says the chain will honor the 1-cent offer to the nearly 230 patrons who booked reservations before the mistake was discovered. The Crowne Plaza hotel stands to lose nearly $130,000 because of what’s termed a human error. ***MARLAR: Along with 230 towels and seven bucks worth of stolen shampoo. 

It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.  And that someone at the University of Nebraska is Sol Morton. He has to power-wash each seat at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln before the football season starts. It takes the building service technician 22 days to wash away the dirt, dust and bird doo from the more than 80,000 seats. Morton says he loves being part of the Nebraska Athletic Department. And Morton tells the Lincoln Journal Star he — quote — “wouldn’t trade this job for nothing.”  ***MARLAR: To ensure he has job security, on the off-season he raises pigeons.

A 1,224-pound triple vanilla cupcake with pink frosting has set a record as the world’s largest.  The sugary behemoth was unveiled Saturday at the Woodward Dream Cruise classic cars event in Royal Oak, Michigan.  A Guinness World Records adjudicator was on hand to certify the cupcake’s girth. It was more than eight times the size of the previous record holder.  The colossal cupcake took 12 hours to bake and included 800 eggs and 200 pounds each of sugar and flour.  Slices of the cupcake were served in exchange for donations to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer organization.  Ryan Abood, owner of New Hampshire-based Gourmetgiftbaskets.com who made the cupcake, told the Detroit Free Press that it clocked in at an estimated 2 million calories.  ***MARLAR: And in case you’re wondering – if you did eat the whole thing yourself, the number of calories would make you immediately gain 666 pounds.

According to a new study, here’s some news that you probably already figured out for yourself if you’re a fan of Twitter. It seems that a big percentage of the messages posted on the popular micro-blogging web site are pointless rather than vital information!  Pear Analytics, a San Antonio-based marketing firm, began its study based on the hypothesis that Twitter is “used predominantly for self-promotion.” But of the 27 million users, only 27% of users are on regularly and in fact, only 1% of users contribute to over 35% of all traffic. And according to their survey, over 40% of all tweets are “pointless babble” — things like “I am eating a sandwich right now.” ***MARLAR: Gee… who knew?

A New Jersey man has eaten a medium pizza and four diet cokes from Domino’s Pizza almost every day for five years. Mike Uris estimates he’s eaten 2,000 eight-slice pizzas in the five years, starting each day with six slices for lunch. He drinks two of the cokes with lunch and then has one each with a slice of pizza for dinner at 6pm and supper at 11pm. ***MARLAR: Mike’s now been asked to be a spokesman… for Lipitor.

Blind people could one day use their tongues to help them “see”. Scientists have developed a device which transfers visual cues from a video camera to the brain through electrodes in the mouth. A map of the outside world is sent to a postage stamp-sized “tongue display unit” made of 144 electrodes which stimulates the highly sensitive tongue. ***MARLAR: So if someone sticks their tongue out at you, they may just be sight-seeing!

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