Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – August 29, 2009

Pigs may not fly, but University of Illinois researchers are working on a project that could have pigs helping to drive your car. They recently announced a breakthrough in turning pig droppings into petroleum products. The big breakthrough came when they figured out a way to make the pig oil continuously, instead of one batch at a time. They figure they can get 3.6 gallons of crude oil a day out of each pig and the nationwide pork industry has about 100-million hogs. The resulting fuel has similar properties to diesel, although they’re not sure what it will take to convert a car to run on it. Whatever it is used for, they say that it could result in millions of barrels of crude a day, which could make a significant dent in America’s dependence on foreign oil.  ***MARLAR: And you thought the exhaust from the guy in front of you smelled terrible before…

A truck driver in Dyersburg, Tennessee, reports that his trailer containing 2,880 cases of the energy drink Red Bull, valued at $100,000, has been stolen. Earlier in the week in Dyersburg, someone stole a trailer containing $100,000 worth of Kraft sauces. The trailer was found in Ohio, but all the sauce was gone.  ***MARLAR: Red Bull and Cheese Whiz… sounds like someone has pretty hefty weekend plans.

An alarming study shows that one in five new drugs has serious side effects that don’t show up until well after the medicine has received government approval. ***MARLAR: I already have to put up with dry mouth, diarrhea, coughing, watery and/or itchy eyes, nasal congestion, heart attacks, liver failure, brittle toe nails, rashes, fainting spells, constipation, difficulty in breathing, clogged arteries, sensitive gums, hair falling out, ringing in the ears, sneezing, and discoloration of the tongue! And now I may have to deal with unknown side effects?!?

You can dramatically reduce your blood pressure reading without spending a dime at the drugstore. All you need to do is go out and make a friend. Researchers at the University of Utah’s Department of Psychology have discovered that people who had a strong network of friends and were involved in regular social activities had blood pressure readings that were much lower than those who spend most of their time alone.  ***MARLAR: I always thought it was my friends that were causing the high blood pressure!

You can reduce your risk of stroke by up to 64 percent by getting some exercise every day. The key is moderation, both in the amount of time you spend exercising and in the intensity of your workouts. You don’t have to train like an athlete to get the full benefit. A brisk 45-minute walk will do the trick,, as will 45 minutes of fairly vigorous housework. Gardening, biking, swimming and weight training are all good alternatives. If you opt for weights, use lighter resistance and aim for a high number of repetitions for each exercise.  ***MARLAR: I’ve already started begun biking five miles every day.  And fortunately Mopeds don’t use a lot of gas.

An auto insurance company says eating while driving is the cause of many car crashes. ***MARLAR: Especially in oriental areas where drivers are using chopsticks.

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 was tipped off to police by the fact that he was the only one on the street actually using his turn signal.

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