Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: January 26, 2011

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NEW NEWS…

Audience members got a brief chuckle during a legislative hearing at the Idaho Capitol this week, when lawmakers were hit with a pop quiz on their state’s history – and not everyone passed.  Public school officials demonstrated new technology being used in Idaho classrooms and asked lawmakers two questions and gave them each an electronic device that functions like a remote to input their answers.  Question 1-what year did Idaho became a state?  17 percent of lawmakers on the two education panels didn’t know the answer: 1890.  When asked which town was Idaho’s first capital, 15 percent did not know the correct answer: Lewiston.  ***MARLAR: They also thought the Idaho state mascot was Mr. Potato Head.

President Obama is planning to hand the U.S. Commerce Department authority over a forthcoming cybersecurity effort to create an Internet ID for Americans. It’s “the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government” to centralize efforts toward creating an “identity ecosystem” for the Internet, White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt said.  ***MARLAR: Because you know how we’ve all been clamoring for the government to watch and analyze every single click we make while online.  Thank goodness our wishes are finally being granted!

German authorities ordered 140 pigs slaughtered after tests showed high levels of a cancer-causing chemical for the first time in swine.  ***MARLAR: On the plus side, bacon is a lot cheaper now in  Germany.

Where do you keep your cell phone? An Illinois man’s accidental “butt dial” to his wife turned into more than just a garbled cell phone call when the wife mistook the call as evidence that her husband was being held hostage. Police dispatched dozens of personnel to the school where the man worked, sparking fears that a gunman was on the loose at Carleton Washburne School in Winnetka, Illinois.  Police have not revealed the identity of the couple, but they said that the man was driving home from work when his touch screen phone accidentally dialed his wife’s number. ***MARLAR: Of course, if it was a true hostage situation, his butt would’ve known to dial 9-1-1.

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

It had to happen someday.  Europe now has the world’s very first outpatient addiction treatment program for problem video gamers.  ***MARLAR: It’s a two step program.  Step one… take away the video games, step two… go outside.

According to a report sponsored by the Uhlich Children’s Home in Chicago, teenagers feel that adults do a pretty good job at helping them with career counseling, and they concede that adults are fun, but ultimately they feel they’re lousy listeners. ***MARLAR: At least, that’s what they said when they finally popped out their ear buds.

Medical researchers from New York and New Jersey universities, including Rutgers, did MRI scans on people who were freshly in love. They found that in its effects on the brain, new love could easily be mistaken for mental illness. In its neural profile, romantic love resembles drives such as cocaine cravings. It appears as a blend of mania, dementia and obsession, causing behavior such as compulsive phone calling, serenading, yelling from rooftops, and showing up at the gym every day because the loved one is there.  ***MARLAR: By the sound of it, falling in love and getting married should require pre-martial counseling and a psychiatric evaluation!

Not only can you fuel yourself with hamburgers, but you might be able to fuel your car with them in near future as well!  All Adam Mastrogiovanni wants from you is the fat and grease left behind from your last meal.  Why?  He plans to use it to drive all over the country someday in his diesel Volkswagen Jett, which is fueled only by the waste-oil restaurants and fast-food establishments leave behind.  Sure, it’s gross – but it’s free.  And according to Adam, it won’t wreck the environment the way gasoline does.  He says, “You can fill up and drive across the country.”  ***MARLAR: So whenever and wherever he stops to fill his tang with gas, he can fill himself and get gas.

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