Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: December 03, 2010

NEW NEWS…

Colorado is working toward becoming the first state to regulate production of medical marijuana, and is weighing the difficulties of pot regulations.  ***MARLAR: So they’re probably weighing by the gram.

Secondhand smoke kills more than 600,000 people worldwide every year, according to a new study.  In the first look at the global impact of secondhand smoking, researchers analyzed data from 2004 for 192 countries. They found 40 percent of children and more than 30 percent of non-smoking men and women regularly breathe in secondhand smoke.  ***MARLAR: Because second-hand smoke is so dangerous, the FDA is now requiring warning-labels on all smokers.

For the fifth straight year, gift cards are expected to be the top gift purchase – 66% of consumers plan to buy them. Consumers are also spending less per card – $28.43 per card compared with $36.18 last year. ***MARLAR: Twenty-eight forty-three? Who walks into a K-Mart and says, “I’d like buy a gift card in the amount of twenty-eight dollars and forty three cents.”?

A new report on eating disorders cites data showing a sharp increase in children’s hospitalizations for such problems.  Among children younger than 12 with eating disorders, hospitalizations surged 119 percent between 1999 and 2006. The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality released data last year showing that hospital stays for the disorders increased 15 percent during the seven-year period. The biggest increase was in the youngest patients.  The academy says doctors can help prevent eating disorders by stressing proper nutrition and exercise to avoid an unhealthy focus on weight and dieting.  ***MARLAR: Maybe we should tell kids that eating disorders will lead to the hospital – where they’ll have to eat hospital food.

RETRO NEWS: FORMERLY NEW, NOW NOT NEW, BUT STILL ENTERTAINING…

The Japanese company Fujitaka has invented a cigarette machine that determines if you’re over the legal smoking age of 20 by figuring out your age from your face. Buyers have to look into a digital camera, and the machine counts their facial sags and eye wrinkles, examines their bone structure, and compares them to data from over 100,000 people to identify their age. The makers say it will stop minors from using fake IDs to buy cigarettes, and it will be convenient for adult smokers who won’t have to prove they’re over 20 anymore. ***MARLAR: The problem though is that if you smoke you’ll already have wrinkles and sagging skin by age 15.

In the United Kingdom, a blind man has been convicted of dangerous driving after police spotted his car on the wrong side of the road. Omed Aziz was apparently being guided by someone who was in the passenger seat, because that individual had lost their license. Aziz is also partially deaf and suffers from leg tremors.  ***MARLAR: Wait a minute.  Mr. Aziz was driving because the other guy lost his license?  So a blind guy in the U.K. CAN have a driver’s license?!?!

In Brighton, Michigan, Dr. Phil Kazanji had to laugh at his most recent property tax bill. Not only that the bill is only 51-cents, but that the city of Brighton spent $5.21 to send it to him by certified mail — which means they’re $4.70 in the hole. The good doctor said at first thought the amount was a mistake — but he called and no — that is the correct amount. City finance director Dave Gajda says Kazanji paid $158 on a bill for $158.48. The city penalized him 3 cents and sent him the new bill. Kazanji calls the whole thing “the most ridiculous thing a government agency would do.”  He plans to write out a check for 51 cents.   ***MARLAR: Which is just as ridiculous.

In Downey, California, college sophomore Moshe Kai Cavalin is cramming for final exams in classes such as advanced mathematics, foreign languages and music. Not that different from any college sophomore except for one thing — Moshe is only 10-years-old!  Moshe’s parents avoid calling their son a genius though. They say he’s just a normal kid who enjoys studying as much as he enjoys playing sports or watching movies. ***MARLAR: I have news for you, Mom and Dad – if your kid enjoys studying, he ain’t normal!

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