DARREN’S DAILY DOSE OF WEIRD NEWS – July 11, 2009

If you spend a lot of time listening to your iPod or similar device, you’d better turn the volume down. There’s growing evidence that the devices can cause hearing loss for those who like to crank it up.  ***MARLAR: Loud music can cause hearing damage?  Gee… who knew?

The UFO and Paranormal College has opened in Russia in response to a rash of unexplained crop circles in the region.  The faculty says they are qualified to teach the course, because they have video footage featuring the type of UFOs called Belgian triangles, which they say are frequent visitors to their city.  ***MARLAR: That’s like saying I’m qualified to teach a course on time-travel, because I own all of the Back to the Future DVDs.

A 40-year-old British man entered the record books by becoming the first person ever to run around the world. It took him 5 years and 8 months to do it.  ***MARLAR: It would’ve been just three years, but he kept refusing to ask for directions.

A study says more time in day care causes more behavior problems in kids. ***MARLAR: You know you’ve chosen the wrong day care when their idea of a large play area is a big screen TV.

What’s the number one time-waster at work? Meetings. That’s the word from 32% of the people in 200 countries who were surveyed by Microsoft when they were asked to name the top time-wasters at work that interfere with their ability to get the job done.  On average, each participant spends 5.6 hours a week in meetings, and 69% of that time with colleagues is considered pointless.  Lack of team communication and unclear objectives were also named by 32 percent at the top time-wasters. Coming in right after these were unclear priorities, chosen by 31%, followed by procrastination at 29%.  In totally, 17 hours of an average 45-hour work week are unproductive due to these “productivity pitfalls.” That’s more than one-third of the work week!  ***MARLAR: Our boss has scheduled a meeting for us after the show to address this very issue.

In Australia, scientists came across a toad the size of a small dog.  ***MARLAR: Instead of turning into a prince when you kiss it, it turns into Prince, then the artist formerly known as Prince, and then back into Prince.  

San Francisco has become the first major city to ban plastic grocery bags.  ***MARLAR: So instead of “paper or plastic” your checkout clerk will just say “paper or.”

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