Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: December 08, 2010


About 12 million more obese Americans could soon qualify for surgery to implant a small, flexible stomach band designed to help them lose weight by dramatically limiting their food intake. The Food and Drug Administration will make a final decision on the Lap-Band in the coming months.  ***MARLAR: I sure hope so.  I’ve been doing my own Lap-Band, and it’s almost impossible to find rubber bands big enough to fit around my gut.

Philips electronics is working on new technology that would make it impossible for TV viewers to skip commercials. It would use MHP, or Multimedia Home Platform, the software now in most digital TV receivers and recorders that picks up flags in programs that signal extra features, such as program or shopping info. They want to embed flags in ads that would prevent viewers from fast-forwarding or changing channels until the commercial ends. They admit this might be “greatly resented by viewers,” but perhaps they could be charged an extra fee if they want to skip commercials.  ***MARLAR: Or perhaps they could charge the Philips headquarters with torches and pitchforks.  What’s next – a La-Z-Boy chair that straps you down and doesn’t let you go to the bathroom during commercial breaks?

The people of Bergen rolled out the cookie dough as local police tried to sniff out vandals who destroyed the Norwegian city’s traditional Christmas decoration — a town of gingerbread houses.  Vandals entered a massive tent in central Bergen and crushed most of the 650-cookie-house town, topping off the ruins with paint and fire extinguisher foam.  Police in Norway’s second largest city asked the public to offer information that could lead to the perpetrators.  Police inspector Erik Sveaas says, “The people who did this must be full of gingerbread dust, They will smell a long way.”  ***MARLAR: Unfortunately, it’s an uphill battle, because “you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man.”

School-age children whose mothers tightly control their diets may be prone to overeating, while those with moms who pressure them to eat tend to be fussy about food, a new study finds.  A number of studies have found that when parents strictly control their children’s diets — either denying all unhealthy fare or pressuring them to expand their menu choices — kids may be more likely to have less-than-ideal eating habits.  ***MARLAR: In other words, the reason I’m so fat is that my mother told me not to eat so much.


Texas is moving forward on a proposal to deploy photo radar on state highways. The new time-distance ticketing systems use multiple cameras spaced far apart on a freeway. Each car is photographed once as it enters the first section of road. Miles later a second photograph is taken that allows the vehicle’s average speed to be calculated from the time it took to travel between the two locations. ***MARLAR: It’s the convenience of getting a speeding ticket, without that annoying opportunity to explain why you don’t deserve one.

Remember when mom would say, “dry your hair before you go out or you’ll catch a cold?”  Well, mom was wrong. Just because you leave your house with your hair wet doesn’t mean you’re going to get sick. The common cold and flu are caused by viruses, not by exposure to cold air or going out with wet hair.  ***MARLAR: What you WILL catch, however, is more flack from Mom.

A 34-year-old saleswoman was caught driving down a Swiss highway while she was using her laptop computer and chatting on her cell phone. The driver said she was unaware of any wrongdoing and responded that she was “driving like I always do”. Police pulled her over after they saw her car zig-zagging along the road.  ***MARLAR: I was driving to work this morning when I first heard this story.  I laughed so hard I almost dropped my electric razor in my Fruit Loops!

For most of us, turning 18 has little more significance than marking the age we can now vote. For Khagendra Thapa Magar, turning 18 meant a lot more than that. It meant he went from being the world’s shortest teenager to the world’s shortest man! Khagendra, who stands just 2-feet 5-inches, says he has two birthday wishes– to be officially recognized by the Guinness World Records Book and to find a wife. He has been enjoying a week of celebrations with friends and family at his rural Nepalese home in the foothills of the Himalayas.  ***MARLAR: With special musical guest, Randy Newman.

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