Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – August 27, 2010

With less than three months until the November midterm election, 72 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Congress, with 45 percent having a “very unfavorable” view, according to a recent Rasmussen poll.  ***MARLAR: Democrats say they have a plan to fix this by making chairs with really high seats so people will have a better view.

A man was jailed on charges he robbed a southwestern Pennsylvania supermarket pharmacy while his face was wrapped in medical bandages and a surgical mask. State police said 52-year-old Edward Singer entered the Giant Eagle on Route 31 in Somerset Township about 7 p.m. Wednesday. Police said Singer gave the pharmacist a note that read, “Don’t do anything stupid, this is a holdup.”  Police said the note also demanded Suboxone, which is used to treat opiate addictions, and the prescription painkiller OxyContin. Police said the pharmacist gave the suspect 22 Suboxone pills before he drove away in a pickup that police stopped a short time later for failing to stop at an intersection.  ***MARLAR: You just robbed a pharmacy drug store at gunpoint, and you’re stupid enough to get caught for not stopping at an intersection?  Let me guess… you were ON the OxyContin while driving?

Obese government workers in South Carolina can get stomach-shrinking surgery through the state health plan under a pilot program that starts in January.  The state’s employee insurance plan will cover gastric-bypass or Lap-Band surgery costs for 100 people statewide on a first-come, first-serve basis.  ***MARLAR: Guess who’s moving to South Carolina!

Our personalities stay pretty much the same throughout our lives, from our early childhood years to after we’re over the hill, according to a new study.  The results show personality traits observed in children as young as first graders are a strong predictor of adult behavior.  “We remain recognizably the same person,” said study author Christopher Nave, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Riverside. “This speaks to the importance of understanding personality because it does follow us wherever we go across time and contexts.”  The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.  ***MARLAR: Meaning Gary Busey has always been that way.

The same technology that helps to guide smart bombs could soon be taking your quarters.  Slot machines are going high-tech. Engineers at PureDepth Incorporated spent years developing top secret technology that creates electronic 3D maps for the Air Force and Navy. Now, the company has hooked up with International Game Technology, the world’s largest maker of slot machines. The idea is to create a video display that looks just the spinning wheels on a mechanical one-armed bandit.  ***MARLAR: The technology is already taking our quarters… who do they think pays for all those smart bombs?  At a million bucks a piece for each bomb, I think every person in America should get a free spin on the slot machines for each one we drop.

There’s dough in dung. Farmers have a something new to sell, the manure from their animals. The high cost of commercial fertilizer is prompting grain farmers to look for alternatives. So, the poo business is booming in Ohio. In 2003, there was only one licensed manure broker in the state.  Now, there are dozens.  And manure isn’t just for spreading on the fields. In Vermont, methane gas from manure is being used to generate electricity for a public utility.  ***MARLAR: My parents discovered a long time ago that there was money in manure.  My little brother once swallowed a whole roll of dimes.

High school grad Jeff Rolson has been docked 13 dollars for a lost algebra book and unpaid gym fees.  With interest, it could have been a lot worse: Rolson graduated from Superior Senior High in Wisconsin in 1977.   He stopped by last week to get a copy of his transcript and was surprised when a secretary also handed him a bill for 13 dollars from 1977.  Rolson still lives in Superior and his daughter is now a student at school and he says he can’t understand why they didn’t contact him sooner.  He also notes the school forgot to charge him the two-dollar fee for the transcript.  ***MARLAR: They can always stick it on the daughter and make HER pay it when she’s 48.

Flying taxis are still the stuff of science fiction. Except on Long Island. A taxi driver and his passenger in Islandia, New York, took an unexpected flight one weekend. The cab hit some ice, flew over a guardrail, flipped over, dropped 30 feet to the highway below and landed on its wheels. The driver and passenger came through in good shape, with neither being seriously hurt. ***MARLAR: The bad news is that the passenger is now completely out of frequent flier miles.

A dental assistant in Austria has been arrested after purchasing some used equipment and setting himself up as real dentist. ***MARLAR: Patients discovered he wasn’t a real dentist when they noticed the magazines in his waiting room were less than three years old.

An eight-year-old boy in Croatia borrowed his father’s car to take two pals to the playground. To see over the dash he sat on two cushions, but ended up getting lost and was eventually spotted by police more than 30 miles from home. ***MARLAR: He tipped off the police in the fact that he was the only one on the street actually using his turn signal.

A man armed with a pistol held up a clothes shop in eastern Germany demanding a bag load of tights and underwear. Police said the man, who burst into the Clothes Chest store shortly before closing time Tuesday, then demanded cash but was told by the owner the till was empty. He escaped with underwear worth about $188.  ***MARLAR: If caught, he’ll receive a brief sentence.

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