Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: December 27, 2010



Meet SM, a 44-year-old woman who literally knows no fear.  She’s not afraid to handle snakes. She’s not afraid of the “The Blair Witch Project,””The Shining,” or “Arachnophobia.” SM isn’t some cold-blooded psychopath or a hero with a tight rein on her emotions. She’s an ordinary mother of three with a specific psychological impairment, the result of a very rare genetic disease that damaged a brain structure called the amygdala (uh-MIG’-duh-luh).  Her case shows that the amygdala plays a key role in making people feel afraid in threatening situations, researchers say.  ***MARLAR: After numerous tests, the only thing she was found to be afraid of was her husband’s cooking.

A Virginia man has launched the “American Redneck Society”, which includes a dues-paying society and scholarship fund.  The society’s executive director, Roby Clayton, said, “I really felt that American Rednecks are an under-served, but large population that could benefit from a formal membership organization structure.”  A $20 membership fee will get you access to retail discounts across the country, and a portion of the funds are set aside for an educational fund for “rural youth.”  ***MARLAR: You might be a redneck… if you look for a college scholarship from something called The American Redneck Society.

Trying to come up with some bright ideas for your next home project?  Then get rid of your lampshades.  According to a recent study, illuminating a room with a single unshaded light bulb greatly boosts your problem solving skills.  ***MARLAR: It’s also convenient; you can hold it over your head whenever you need a bright idea.

Please pass the nuts!- A study of 31,000 Seventh-day Adventists at Loma Linda University in California found that eating a serving of nuts daily (about a quarter of a cup – or one handful) lowered the risk of heart attack by up to 60 percent when compared with those who ate nuts less than once a month.  ***MARLAR: I would’ve thought someone would’ve been irate as soon as they heard nuts being associated with Seventh-day Adventists.  That’s just wrong.


The entire police force in the town of Budaörs, Hungary, quit after winning more than $16 million in the lottery. The group of 15 officers presented their lottery ticket and quit on the spot. Each of the winners will receive a little more than $1.1 million in winnings. Police chiefs have culled together back-up units to serve the region until more full-time officers can be recruited.  ***MARLAR: “To protect and to serve”… unless I no longer need the cash.

An apartment complex in Albany, Ore. that banned residents from flying American flags outside their homes and vehicles has lifted the restriction. The ban sparked outrage when resident Jim Clausen was told he would be evicted from Oaks Apartments if he didn’t remove the American flag from the back of his motorcycle. Residents said that they were told “flags could be offensive because they live in a diverse community.”  ***MARLAR: How diverse is your community that you can’t display a U.S. flag in the U.S.?

A new study has found the fear of looking stupid stops people from using self-service checkout machines — but hiding in a crowd helps. And that could give stores some tips on how to handle self-checkout, which is becoming a very popular cost-cutting tool among retailers. The study found that shoppers felt more comfortable ringing up their own purchases if they were alone or in a crowd. But if there was just one other person waiting in line behind them, they felt more pressured and less confident and were less likely to use the machine again or recommend it to others.  ***MARLAR: It might also have made them nervous to have some doofus with a clipboard hovering over them ready to ask about their checkout experience.

A father in Conroe, Texas, is demanding that the school district remove the book “Fahrenheit 451,” which is about a society that burns books, because he finds it offensive.  ***MARLAR: I’d comment, but nothing I add will make this any more ironic or funny.

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