Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – July 12, 2010

The school superintendent in Springfield, Mass., has taken responsibility for tests given to the district’s 11th- and 12th-graders that were rife with spelling, grammatical and factual errors.  Two tests given in May to about 2,600 students contained about 100 errors combined.  The mistakes included the phrases “truning around” and “For God’s skae,” as well as a note on one test that read “This is the end of the Test,” when there were two more pages.  ***MARLAR: It was so bad then we he said “I apologize” in his letter, he spelled “apologize” with an “s” at the end.

Police said an 81-year-old man was arrested after he chased another man around a Salem taco stand while armed with a machete.  ***MARLAR: He apparently refused to drop the Chalupa.

An Iowa couple whose passion for bowhunting encouraged Cupid’s arrow to strike wore camouflage to blend in with the wooded backdrop at their treetop wedding.  Forty-two year-old Kim Silver dressed in a silk gown made by camouflage specialists Mossy Oak, and her 61-year-old groom, Marvin Hunter, was dressed in camo shirt and pants at the Saturday nuptials.  ***MARLAR: At the end the priest said, “You may now kiss the bride… if you can find her.”

Japanese psychiatrist Makoto Natsume is warning that too much smiling can be dangerous for your mental health. Japanese employers demand that workers affix permanent smiles on their faces and even use video training to drill them into doing it unthinkingly. Dr. Natsume said he’s starting to see more and more patients who were shocked to find they can’t stop smiling, even when dealing with personal tragedies. He said that forcing people to suppress their emotions and smile constantly is threatening to spark a national epidemic of depression and mental illness.  ***MARLAR: The good news: nobody will ever know.

Scientists have now proven what college students, shift workers and parents know so well — the brain does not work properly after a sleepless night. California researchers confirmed this information while looking at ways to alleviate the effects of sleep deprivation and jet lab. They monitored brain activity to see how it compensates for lack of sleep. They found that the effects of sleep deprivation differed depending on what the brain was asked to do — the sleepy brain increases activity in certain regions if it has to deal with verbal problems but slows down for mathematical dilemmas. However sleeping during school or work doesn’t help the problem either. ***MARLAR: Lack of sleep equals lack of brain power? Boy, that explains a lot about me, doesn’t it?

It’s just what the doctor ordered — and may have tried to keep secret. Bill Waters says he’s stumbled across the original formula for Dr Pepper in an old ledger book. He paid 200 bucks for the book while traveling through the Texas Panhandle.  Waters says the ledger comes from the Waco, Texas, drugstore where Dr Pepper was invented. One recipe in it is titled “D Peppers Pepsin Bitters.” The book is going up for bid later this month.  Experts at Dallas-based Heritage Auction say it could sell for up to $75,000. Officials of Dr Pepper say the book doesn’t contain the soft drink recipe, but one for a digestive aid.  ***MARLAR: Which you’ll need if you pay $75,000 for the secret Dr. Pepper recipe and later find out that you don’t.

Health officials in Hong Kong are warning that some Chinese dishes such as fried rice and noodles are loaded with fat, cholesterol and sodium that can cause heart attacks and high blood pressure.  ***MARLAR: Even worse, an hour later you’re hungry for more fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

A 142-year-old sheep farm in Australia puts on a show for tourists where the sheep shearers demonstrate synchronized shearing to music. ***MARLAR: They tried synchronized swimming, but the sheep kept shrinking.

The worst time to wake up is before 5am. And it’s best for your heart health to sleep in until 7 or 8am. That’s according to researchers from universities and hospitals in Kyoto, Japan, have concluded that early-risers have a higher risk of developing heart problems. ***MARLAR: I’m doomed!

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