Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – July 17, 2010

Japanese and U.S. universities have jointly developed a medical technique that can quickly detect various cancers using a simple saliva test.  Japan’s Keio University and University of California, Los Angeles, have developed the technology with which they detected high probabilities of pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, and oral cancer.  ***MARLAR: Early results show patients relish the opportunity to spit on their doctors after three hours in the waiting room.

The Kellogg Company is recalling about 28 million boxes of the sugary breakfast cereal kids love and dentists curse.   Although no one has become seriously ill, 20 people complained about a “stale” odor and flavor. Five people reported nausea and vomiting.  The company is offering refunds to customers who purchased any of the four brands of cereal involved in the recall: Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Froot Loops and Honey Smacks.  Kellogg blamed the offensive odor and flavor on a substance in the waxy resin used to make the plastic box liners. ***MARLAR: Which was also found to be a better source of fiber.

The Terrafugia Transition, a light aircraft that can convert into a road-legal automobile, is to go into production after being given a special weight exemption by the US Federal Aviation Administration.   The two-seater Transition can use its front-wheel drive on roads at ordinary highway speeds, with wings folded, at a respectable 30 miles per gallon. Once it has arrived at a suitable take-off spot – an airport, or adequately sized piece of flat private land – it can fold down the wings, engage its rear-facing propellor, and take off. The folding wings are electrically powered.   Its cruising speed in the air is 115mph, it has a range of 460 miles.  ***MARLAR: It’s a two-seater, so you have room for your boy, Elroy.

A St. Bernard Parish man was arrested Monday after sheriff’s deputies said he stole a duck from a public park and planned to eat it. The Sheriff’s Office said the man, 38, was booked with theft of an animal after someone saw him take a muscovie duck from Sidney Torres Park. A deputy found the man at his home with a duck inside a bucket in his van, authorities said.  Deputies said the man told them he intended to eat the animal.  The duck was returned to the park and set free.  ***MARLAR: The man will be missing quite a bit of work now – but fortunately he has Aflack.

A study in the Journal of Applied Psychology makes the case that companies may be wasting their ad budgets when advertising during violent or sexually explicit programming.  The study claims that over-stimulating the brain with sexual or violent images basically shuts the brain off to the information contained in the commercials that follow. ***MARLAR: The brain being shut off – that’s the only explanation I can think of for someone wanting to see the latest “Twilight” movie.

There are more American households that have just a cell phone and not a land-line phone than there are that have a land-line but no cell phone. And the recession is apparently speeding up that trend.  A survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that 20 percent of households had only cell phones during the last half of 2008.  That compares to 17 percent with land-lines but no cells. It’s the first time the number of cell-phone-only homes is larger.  ***MARLAR: In these same households, instead of calling each other to dinner they text.

Specialty coffee retailers are hoping new ads and price cuts will entice more latte lovers to take a sip.  Those retailers include the nation’s biggest hamburger chain.  Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s began a more than $100 million campaign including TV, radio, print, online and outdoor ads for its espresso drinks. They aim to get consumers to see the beverages as affordable, quality alternatives to lattes at more gourmet chains.  ***MARLAR: Affordable alternative… yes.  Quality… no.

A team of British engineers have designed a car that not only runs on a fuel derived from a tasty treat, but is largely constructed from parts derived from vegetables. The steering wheel of the open-cockpit car is constructed from carrot fibers, the foam in the seats from soybeans, and the rear view mirrors and body panels produced from the starch of potatoes. Even the brakes are based on cashew nut shells.  Even though the car can run on any form of biodiesel, the engineers choose a fuel made from chocolate.  The veggie-car’s top speed is 150mph.  ***MARLAR: So now your Jaguar can run on a KitKat.

A woman in Paris was killed when she tried to withdraw some cash from an ATM. The woman died after touching the keypad. Police and bank officials blame a short circuit for the tragedy. Attempts by witness to revive her with CPR failed.  ***MARLAR: I’ll never use a charge card again.

An Australian motorist was convicting of assaulting an officer of the law… with his breath. Driver Jeff Pearce admitted in court that when he noticed he was being pulled over by a police officer, he immediately chewed a clove of garlic, so his breath would be all smelly. He says that his best friend told him it was a good way to get a cop to leave you alone.  ***MARLAR: “You have the right to remain silent… PLEASE!”

Some doctors believe that if you want kids to develop healthy immune systems, they need to be exposed to germs, pet hair, peanut butter and intestinal worms before age three.  ***MARLAR: And people say my mother didn’t raise me right!

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