Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – February 26, 2010

The state Department of Public Health is investigating an incident at a food supplier kitchen that left glass fragments in a batch of chicken noodle soup. The soup went to several customers of FoodService Partners Inc., including Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Northern California.  Kaiser said four of its patients reported finding glass in their soup Feb. 10. No one reported feeling any ill effects.  ***MARLAR: They also added that this isn’t the best source of roughage in their food products.

A man who is only 22 inches (56 centimeters) tall left his home country of Nepal on Sunday in a quest to be recognized as the world’s shortest man. Khagendra Thapa Magar is traveling to Europe to campaign for the Guinness World Record title. He applied to London-based group for a place in the record book in October, soon after turning 18, but said he has not received any response.  ***MARLAR: And he’s getting short on patience.

The world’s first full-scale nuclear reactor is now a National Historic Landmark. The Hanford nuclear reservation’s B Reactor in Washington produced plutonium for the first man-made atomic blast, the Trinity test in New Mexico on July 16, 1945, and for the bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945. Hanford and B Reactor were the centerpiece of the Manhattan Project.  Construction began on June 7, 1943, six months after physicist Enrico Fermi turned the theory of nuclear power into the reality of the atomic age. The B Reactor was shut down in 1968. About 2,000 people have visited the complex this year.  ***MARLAR: All of whom now glow in the dark.

Three bears are no match for a cockapoo pup. Pawlee, the spaniel-poodle mix, managed to scare away a mother bear and her two cubs. The bears had wandered on to Pawlee’s turf, a New Jersey back yard. Pawlee’s owner (Fran Osiason) says Pawlee started barking his head off when they let him out the other morning. Pawlee’s just eight months old and his owners say his a brave “little fur ball.”  ***MARLAR: When chasing the three bears, one was running to fast, was running too slow, and the baby bear was running juuuuuust riiiiight…

Next time you need directions, just ask a cow.  Researchers say cattle seem to know how to find north and south.  They studied satellite photos of thousands of cows around the world. And it seems that most cattle that are grazing or resting tend to align their bodies in a north-south direction.  The findings held true no matter what continent the cattle were on.  Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists from Germany and the Czech Republic say the Earth’s magnetic field “has to be considered as a factor.”  A German professor who led the research says scientists may now try to find out just how the animals align to the magnetic field, and why.  And, they’re wondering if humans do the same thing.  ***MARLAR: So instead of a GPS from TomTom just look for a MooMoo!

Older men who have big biceps and a smaller waist circumference will likely live a lot longer than their more portly friends. British researchers have concluded that the size of a man’s belly and the bulk of his biceps provide a far more accurate forecast of his mortality than body mass index (BMI) alone.  ***MARLAR: Looking at my gut, my challenge now is apparently to find a way to make my biceps three feet wide.

Many people are walking around with hidden defects in their brains but these flaws are harmless. A Dutch study at Rotterdam’s Erasmus MC University Medical Center found 13% of test subjects had secret brain abnormalities. Researchers believe more and more defects will be picked up as brain-scanner devices are improved and doctors need to learn which flaws are harmless and which require treatment.  ***MARLAR: I’ve also heard there’s a Dutch study that says 13% of people have flaws in their brains, but that the flaws are harmless.

According to Allure, 25% of employees have taken a day off from work to cope with stress.  ***MARLAR: That news is so stressful, I think I need to take tomorrow off.

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