DARREN’S DAILY DOSE OF WEIRD NEWS – July 2, 2009

Not exactly an urban legend.  A spokeswoman for Frito Lay says a dead mouse found by a Colorado eighth-grader in a bag of potato chips probably chewed its way in after the snack was delivered to the school.  The late rodent was found by a student who bought the bag of chips in the lunch line at Lewis-Palmer Middle School in Monument, Colorado.  Bag and dead mouse were sent off to the home office in Plano, Texas, which is where Frito Lay employees found a “chew hole” in the bag.  For now, bags of chips have been pulled from the school district’s vending machines. But they’re expected to return after spring break early next month.  ***MARLAR: With new and better prizes inside!

A research team from UCLA and the University of Pittsburgh, and another from Duke University, reported success at collecting valuable human stem cells from ordinary liposuctioned fat, potentially ending the need to collect such cells through controversial fetal-tissue procedures and painful bone-marrow extraction. Stem cells can make replacement muscle, bone and cartilage, and if they come from one’s own fat, will not be rejected by the body. Also, as the researchers pointed out, Americans’ fat cells are an abundant resource. ***Tell me about it – they’ve been knocking on my door for the last two weeks asking for me for a donation!

A Houston home decorated with thousands of flattened aluminum cans won’t have to take them down, thanks to an art endowment.  John Milkovisch attached the cans to his house over a 20-year period as an alternative to more traditional home repair.  The home was becoming a nationally celebrated folk-art site when the man died in 1988 at age 75. Since then, it has suffered years of decline.  Now, a $125,000 grant from the Houston Endowment to the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art will help restore the home.  ***MARLAR: How do you know you’ve correctly restored a work of art when it’s made out of junk?  Does it look WORSE when you’re done?

Even though firefighters don’t spend much of their time actually fighting fires — their risk of dying of heart problems while doing so is 100 times greater than it is during their down time.  That finding comes from a large U-S study that provides more evidence that firefighters need to stay in shape. Experts say it shows that diet and exercise need to be priorities at the firehouse.  ***MARLAR: It gives new meaning to “burning calories,” doesn’t it?

Are you hot?  If you don’t rate an eight on the hottie scale, you won’t make it on to the Hot Enough-dot-org Web site.  Co-founder Jason Pellegrino says other Internet dating sites just don’t have enough hotties. Prospective hot guys and gals must submit three pictures, including one full-body shot. Their hot-ness rating is assigned by registered members of Hot Enough.  Pellegrino, who says he rates an eight-point-two, says that once you’re in you’re part of the party. The New Jersey businessman says at first only about eight percent of applicants made it.  Now, it’s about 25 percent. Even if you are hot enough, you still have to pay about ten dollars a month to e-mail other hotties.  ***MARLAR: Would you really want to date only people who are so shallow that you have to be rated as a “hottie” before they’ll even speak to you?

A couple in India plans to get married 2,000 feet above the ground while suspended by ropes between two mountains. Ashriwad Ayre and Bharti Patil will exchange vows between mountains called Duke’s Nose and Duchess Peak by a priest hanging from another rope. ***MARLAR: If they’re not careful they might redefine the term, “falling for you.”

Scientists at the University of Tokyo have invented a pair of glasses that they say will end the problem of “senior moments,” when you mislay your car keys, iPod, purse, cell phone and other things. Smart Goggles have a built-in camera, computer and display screen. You put them on, and wander around looking at various things you might want to find later and saying the names out loud. Later, when you can’t find, say, your keys, you just say, “Keys,” and the glasses recall the last time they saw them and show you where they were.  ***MARLAR: Okay, what happens when you can’t remember where you put your glasses?

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