Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – August 28, 2009

(AHN News) The government’s Cash For Clunkers may have been the best thing to happen to some new car buyers, but it’s the worst thing that ever happened to The Flower Corner flower shop in Clinton, Illinois, and may shut down the business! General Motors began advertising a national toll-free cash-for-clunkers number that starts with 877. However, The Flower Corner’s toll free number is the exact same number except theirs begins with 800. So they’re getting about 150 calls a day on the Cash For Clunkers program overwhelming the staff and preventing real customers from getting through. Owner Judy Van Fossan says “It’s a horrible nuisance. And it’s cutting into the productivity of my people ’cause all they’re doing is answering phones.” Plus, the shop is supposed to pay a fee for each toll-free call to the store and Van Fossan said she could be hit with a massive phone bill at the end of the month! All a GM spokesperson would say about the problem is, “We certainly hope that people order flowers when they call.” ***MARLAR: Maybe they could start a “Cash for Clematis” program. 

They say some people never learn — and 64-year-old Harold Goldstein of Southern California would be one of those people. Goldstein just wrapped up a seven year prison sentence for falsely claiming to be an attorney and representing clients in court. But just days after he was released he was at it again — pretending to be a lawyer again. So they gave him two more years in jail.  ***MARLAR: Wait a minute… first conviction gets him seven years, the second conviction for the same crime gets him only two years?  Wow – he may not be a lawyer but his results are improving!

(WBBM News) New research says people who are tone-deaf — that is can’t sing a note in tune — suffer from a disconnect in the brain. Researchers found that tone-deaf people have fewer connections between two areas of the brain that perceive and produce sounds. Tone-deafness also appears to be largely hereditary and is present in an estimated 4 to 17 percent of the population. The study’s lead author, Psyche Loui (SY’-kee LOO’-ee) of Harvard University, likened the connection to a highway between two islands in the brain and said, “In tone-deaf people, there’s less traffic on the highway.”  ***MARLAR: And if you’re really bad, your singing sounds like road rage. 

(AHN News) In Tunisia, a female teacher has been confirmed to be pregnant with — are you ready — twelve babies! No kidding! Six boys and six girls are in her belly and so far her condition is reported to be good. The woman underwent fertility treatments after a number of miscarriages and they apparently worked a little too well. Doctors believe it would be impossible for the woman to deliver the babies normally. If all dozen babies are successfully born she will smash the current world record for delivering the most number of babies which stands at eight and is held by a California woman. ***MARLAR: Twelve babies… one trip to the delivery room.  It’s true… everything IS cheaper by the dozen!

Robots with superhuman strength are being tested at the University of Texas and the University of British Columbia. The mechanical men have a layer of artificial muscle stretched over their metal frames. The gel-like substance is made of microscopic carbon nanotubes and can flex in milliseconds when charged with a small jolt of electricity. In their flexed state, the muscles are many times stronger than steel. Apart from creating super strong robots that can lift thousands of pounds, the muscles will have applications in human transplants and bionic limbs. (Sun)  ***MARLAR: Wow, maybe we DO need John Connor!

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