Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – August 30, 2010

Seventy percent of college students admit they have secretly used their roommate’s toothbrush “three or more times,” according to a recent survey of college students.  ***MARLAR: Eww!  I’d rather have halitosis!

Police in Tampa, Florida, are looking for a man who stole a six-foot hot dog costume from a Sonic drive-in. ***MARLAR: Well, he should be easy to pick out of the police line-up.

The average flea can leap an amazing 36 inches without a struggle. That’s comparable to a man jumping the 555-foot high Washington Monument.  ***MARLAR: And that’s a good comparison when you consider the number of human parasites that live in Washington, D.C.

A recent study says that while duct tape may be the solution for a lot of things, its ability to cure warts may have been overstated.  A study among older adults has found duct tape helped only 21 percent of the time and was no more effective than moleskin, a cotton-tape bandage used to protect the skin.  But researchers used transparent duct tape. Only later did they learn that the transparent variety does not contain rubber, unlike the better-known, gray duct tape that appeared to be effective in a 2002 study.  The tape supposedly works by irritating the skin and stimulating the body’s immune system to attack the virus that causes warts.  Experts say warts usually clear up on their own in about two years.  The study appears in Archives of Dermatology.  ***MARLAR: So what’s worse… two years with a wart on your nose, or 2 years of duct tape on your nose?

It’s a long way down — but window washer Alex Clay lives to tell about it. He fell from six floors up, suffering just a broken foot and gash in his leg. He hit a small roof over a Wisconsin bank building’s entryway and bounced off. Clay says his safety line never caught, but officials think it might have slowed his fall. Clay had only been washing windows for about four months.  And he’s not eager to go back. His mother says that’s fine with her. She adds that she’s “amazed” the 21-year-old survived the fall.  ***MARLAR: Superman leaped over tall buildings in a single bound… this window washer leapt from a tall building with a single bounce.

The lions, tigers and bears are now smoke-free — at the Minnesota Zoo. The zoo south of the Twin Cities has banned outdoor smoking. Smoking inside was made a no-no long ago. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums notes nearly two-thirds of their members have smoking restrictions. Minnesota Zoo visitors who want to smoke will be allowed to light up in the parking lot.  ***MARLAR: One reason for the ban is that some non-nocturnal creatures are up all night craving nicotine.

The mother of an 8-year-old girl who was put on the wrong plane while traveling unaccompanied blames the mix-up on “total incompetence and a lack of caring” by Continental Airlines. Wendy Babineaux said she’s “getting the run-around” from the airline while trying to find out how her daughter, Taylor Williams, flew out of Houston and ended up in Fayetteville, Ark. She was supposed to go to Charlotte, N.C., to visit her father.  ***MARLAR: How do you blame the airline when you as the parent are totally fine with sending an 8-year-old across the country without parental supervision?

And it’s not a matter of if, but when.   The issue of EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) dangers to the Earth, have been the subject of multiple reports in recent months.   World Net Daily reported just days ago that the U.S. House had authorized plans to defend America’s power grid against such dangers, but the members of the Senate left citizens to fend for themselves, eliminating the contingency plans. ***MARLAR: So, thanks to our Senators, we might have an EMP disaster and end up doing math on stone tablets and driving cars made out of rocks that we have to stop using our feet.

For students entering college this fall, e-mail is too slow, phones have never had cords and the computers they played with as kids are now in museums. Few incoming college freshmen know how to write in cursive or have ever worn a wristwatch.  These are among the 75 items on this year’s Beloit College Mindset List.   The list is meant to remind teachers that cultural references familiar to them might draw blank stares from college freshmen born mostly in 1992.  Remember when Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Dan Quayle or Rodney King were in the news? These kids don’t.  Ever worry about a Russian missile strike on the United States? During these students’ lives, Russians and Americans have always been living together in outer space.  ***MARLAR: Meaning, to the Class of 2014, the storylines of half of the James Bond movies make absolutely no sense to them whatsoever.

The dismissal of a town employee in the UK who had an unblemished record of counseling housing clients for 18 years has been fired from his job because he mentioned God to a terminally ill woman.   The startling decision is being reported by the Christian Legal Centre, which argued the case on behalf of Duke Amachree against the decision by the Wandsworth town council in Great Britian. His defense counsel even was told by the city that saying “God bless” would require an investigation if word was brought to officials.  ***MARLAR: So whatever you do, if you’re in Britain, don’t sneeze.

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