Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: December 17, 2010

NEW NEWS…

A Chinese man says he has become addicted to eating live scorpions and reckons he’s swallowed at least 10,000 over the last 30 years.  Li Liuqun, 58, says he got hooked when he was walking in mountains close to his home in Hunan province, central China, and was stung by a huge scorpion.  “I was so angry I picked it up and bit its head off. It tasted sweet and nutty and I never looked back. To me, they’re delicious – like fried beans,” he explained.  Now Li will eat 20 or 30 of the live beasts in a single sitting and seems to be immune to their venom, which can paralyze and kill humans in large enough doses.  ***MARLAR: He hopes to increase the number to approximately 50 live scorpions per day, at which point he feels he’d possibly having a shot at surviving a meal from Denny’s.

Denver firefighters ran into more than the normal hazards at a house fire. Crews responding to the blaze also had to battle bedbugs, the bloodsucking insects quickly becoming the scourge of households and businesses across the country.  Lt. Phil Champagne of the Denver Fire Department tells The Denver Post that firefighters had to be decontaminated after going into an attic where items were infested with bedbugs.  The bugs scurried away from the flames and latched on to firefighters’ equipment and gear. Some of the gear had to bagged so the bugs wouldn’t get a free ride to the firehouse.  There were no injuries, but the home was declared uninhabitable.  ***MARLAR: As was the fire truck.

Police in southwest Ohio say a birthday bash for a 3-year-old girl turned into a beer-soaked brawl as guests threw broken bottles and punches and sent two men to the hospital.  Elmwood Place police tell The Cincinnati Enquirer that 30 kids watched as dozens of adults fought in a party hall near Cincinnati.  None of the children were hurt, but police Chief William Peskin says broken beer bottles cut one man’s eye and injured another’s head, neck and chest. He called the amount of blood and broken glass at the party “unbelievable.”  Police say the fight broke out after a woman’s boyfriend and her ex-husband began to argue.  ***MARLAR: Apparently there was a misunderstanding over what the girl wanted for her birthday.  The boyfriend said the girl wanted a doll, the ex-husband said she wanted a brawl.

While most think soda is one of the causes for childhood obesity, new research from the University of Texas School of Public Health suggests it could be sports & fruit drinks.  Researchers found that unhealthy behaviors such as eating fried foods and physical inactivity “were associated with soda consumption, but healthy habits tended to be associated with higher intake of flavored and sports drinks.”   Past research has lumped all sugar-sweetened beverages together, but this study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, looked specifically at how kids may be consuming non-soda sweet drinks, such as fruit punch or sports beverages. While many of these drinks pack the same size caloric punch as soda, the data suggested that kids who were otherwise eating healthy and getting exercise where more likely to consume these drinks.   Nutritional guidelines suggest that sugary drinks should be limited to one eight-ounce serving per day, even for active kids. But of the over 10,000 Texas adolescents questioned in this study, nearly one-third had consumed three or more sugar sweetened beverages on the day of the survey. About one in five were obese.  ***MARLAR: So this means I’m just as healthy as those who chug Gatorade. Right?  Bonus!

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

You could spend hundreds of dollars on fancy creams and facials or you could drink a cup of hot chocolate every day for three months for glowing, younger-looking skin!  ***MARLAR: Ah, that’s the problem.  Every day I’ve been drinking a hot cup of facial cream.

50 people have been arrested for fraudulently taking English-speaking tests for middle-easterners who are in the U.S. on student visas. ***MARLAR: College officials are livid… perks like this are supposed to be reserved for members of the football team.

A recent study says Friday is the day most people get fired. ***MARLAR: On the plus side, it makes for a longer weekend.

The producers of a Dutch reality show in which ill people compete for a donor kidney admitted it was a hoax, and was created to draw attention to a real problem.  ***MARLAR: That problem apparently being bad reality TV shows.

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