Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: December 16, 2010

NEW NEWS…

A new restaurant where all of the waitresses are robots has opened in China.  The Dalu Rebot Restaurant, in Jinan in northern China, has six robot waitresses and can cater for up to 100 diners.  The 21 tables are set in circles and the robots follow a fixed route to serve diners in rotation.  After serving, the robots return to the kitchen to refill their cart for the next round.  While the robots wait on the tables, the food, mainly the Chinese version of fondue, is prepared by humans in the kitchen.  ***MARLAR: The robot waiters still have better personalities than waiters at French restaurants.

Leave it to Spanish researchers to discover that caffeine and glucose — found in those longtime office favorites, coffee and doughnuts — actually make you smarter.  In a study published in the journal Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, researchers at the University of Barcelona discovered that the caffeine-glucose combo boosts your brain in terms of attention and memory.  ***MARLAR: No wonder cops are so smart… they LIVE on coffee and doughnuts.

A report published in the October issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine recaps the daily nonwork, nonsleep activities of 80,000 American adults, and splits them up based on relative intensities (sedentary, light, moderate and vigorous).   Only 5 percent of people evaluated got any vigorous activity — think running, biking or strength training — in a given day.   Along with phone calls, television and reading, snack prep ranked high on the list of preferred daily activities.   Eighty percent of Americans engaged in daily TV watching, while only 25 percent spent time cooking.   In yet another startling statistic, the research team found that 78 percent of Americans reported spending time “washing, dressing, and grooming oneself.”  ***MARLAR: Meaning 22% don’t wash or dress at all.

If you’re looking to stash some cash at home, you don’t want to hide it somewhere obvious — like under a mattress or in your dresser drawer. You want to put it someplace that no sticky-fingered person would think to look.   Recently AOL asked its readers where they squirrel away their secret cash:  In the Tampon Box, In a Bra, In a Toilet Paper Roll,  In a Fake Drain, In the Hamper, in an old purse, In a Fake Plant, In a Can,  In their Tax Files, Inside a Picture Frame, In a Vacuum,  In Between Cement Bags, In an Old Winter Coat,  Inside a Wooden Door,  Inside Curtain Rods, even Under the Litter Box.  ***MARLAR: Of course, now we know to look in those places too, so you’ll need to be more creative now.

Police said two armed men broke into a home, tied up one man and robbed another, then were chased away by the woman of the house who was armed only with a broom. Police Capt. Stephen Fox said the men broke a window to get inside the home of a family that runs a city convenience store.  He said a 49-year-old male resident went downstairs to investigate and was tied up, then his 80-year-old father came downstairs and was robbed of $50 at gunpoint.  Fox said the robbers started to go upstairs and were confronted by the 43-year-old woman of the house, who chased them out with a broom.  ***MARLAR: In custody, the burglars said the woman was being a real witch.

Thanks to his horse, he’s always got a ride to school. Sixteen-year-old Roby Burch saddles up every morning and rides his horse, Jet, to the Haverford School in suburban Philadelphia.  Burch told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the plan was hatched during a family vacation to a Montana cattle ranch. School officials allowed Burch to build a corral across the street from the athletic fields.  The sophomore leaves around 6 a.m. to beat traffic. After his four-mile ride, he sees to Jet’s hay, grain and water, then changes into khakis for class.  As much as he loves the early morning rides, Burch still wants a set of wheels. He’s hoping to get a truck when he turns 17.  ***MARLAR: Why get a truck, dude?  You’ve already got a Mustang!

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

A convenience store clerk in Mazomanie, Wisconsin, drove off a robber by threatening to throw a can of beer at him.  ***MARLAR: Which is weird, since the robber was probably trying to rob them in order to buy beer.

The Al-Riyadh newspaper reports that a woman in Khamis Mushayt, Saudi Arabia, asked for a divorce because her husband of 30 years lifted her veil while she was sleeping so he could see her face for the first time. The paper says that wives never showing their faces to their husbands is not an Islamic edict but a tradition practiced by a minority of Persian Gulf people. For instance, one 70-year-old woman who was asked how she had kids without her husband ever seeing her face replied, “Marriage is about love, not faces.” In the case of the woman who asked for a divorce, her husband apologized and promised never to try to see her face again.  ***MARLAR: In fact, after seeing her face, he was very insistent about not seeing it ever again.

A cat who rode two miles through New York City while stuck in the engine compartment of an SUV has lived to meow about it. Wilfred Rodriguez heard rattling while he was driving Monday in the Bronx. After he parked, he spotted a bushy tail and a paw sticking out of the SUV’s front end. He was relieved when the paw moved. Detectives with the New York Police Department’s Emergency Service Unit freed the grease-covered kitty by removing the SUV’s battery and other vehicle parts. Richard Gentles of New York City Animal Care & Control says the tan-and-white stray appears to be in good physical shape.  ***MARLAR: He now boasts his SUV gets nine lives a gallon.

In Springfield, Massachusetts, 25-year-old Demot Weaver allegedly robbed a woman as she was pulling money out of her wallet for bus fare at the bus stop. He then got on the bus. So the victim ran to get her boyfriend and the couple followed the bus to a restaurant where Weaver got out, then went inside and started filling out a job application. So they called the police. When Weaver saw his victim watching him, he ran out of the restaurant but was quickly captured by police. He then pleaded guilty to unarmed robbery in Springfield District Court.  ***MARLAR: What kind of a genius robs someone then chooses a metro bus making frequent stops as his getaway vehicle?

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