Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – July 20, 2010

A bedbug outbreak at two trendy New York retail shops has sounded the alarm among city residents and businesses, prompting calls for the city to examine how it deals with the prickly pests.  Hollister, a popular clothing store owned by Abercrombie & Fitch in the fashionable Soho neighborhood, remained closed Friday after a bedbug infestation was found earlier in the week, according to company spokeswoman Iska Hain. And an Abercrombie & Fitch store in South Street Seaport also has been closed by an infestation.  ***MARLAR: It’s assumed the bedbug problem began because people were sleeping on the job.

Scientists are warning that the radiation emitted from full-body airport scanners has been seriously underestimated and could lead to an increase in skin cancer. According to Dr. David Brenner, head of Columbia University’s center for radiological research, the dose absorbed by the skin may be up to 20 times higher than previously thought.  ***MARLAR: Not to worry though, if you do get cancer you’ll have free ObamaCare now to save you.

It wasn’t snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night that stopped Chester Arthur Reed from his appointed rounds. The mail handler just felt it was time to call it quits at age 95.  The fork lift operator retired as the nation’s oldest postal worker, ending a career without taking a single sick day. It’s a feat he attributes to a healthy diet of watermelon, alkaline water and an onion sandwich with mayo every day.  ***MARLAR: The onion sandwich is probably the answer – nobody would get close enough to him to spread their germs.

Move over, greeting cards with sounds or smells. A new entry from an Ohio company plays to the sense of taste.  American Greetings Corp. announced the launch of Tasties, a line of cards that come with dissolvable flavor strips meant to be eaten by the recipients.  ***MARLAR: For example, Christmas cards would taste of peppermint, Valentine’s cards would taste of chocolate, and 40th Birthday cards would taste of bile.

Remember as a kid you’d say that you loved something and then one of your friends would say, “Oh yeah, well if you love it so much why don’t you marry it?!?” Well… that’s exactly what Mitch Hallen has done. He loves his television so much that he married it! Mitch, 42, wed his Sony Widescreen in a ceremony presided over by a priest – and a dozen of his pals looked on as he took his vows of high fidelity in his living room. He then placed a gold ring on top of the TV set and wore a matching band. Mitch said, “My TV gives me countless hours of pleasure without fussing, fighting or backchat.” ***MARLAR: As stupid as this sounds, how many of us wouldn’t love to have a volume control for our spouse?

A piece of artwork that was gaining rave reviews at the Museum of European Art in Paris has now become a source of embarrassment for the museum. The funny thing is, this piece of art was done by plumber Alphonse Gradant and it really isn’t “art” at all. It’s actually the layout drawing of the men’s toilet at the museum. Gradant said that to make the pipes and returns more visible and easier to see at a glance, he filled them in using colored pens and red and black ink. Some joker took it, framed it, and stuck it up on the wall. The two-foot by three-foot picture consisting of a squiggle of lines clearly shows three urinals and a half-dozen stalls. But the folks at the museum thought it was legit and art critics loved it. They stuck a $45,000 price tag on the piece and someone actually bought it. The embarrassed museum doesn’t think it’s so funny. Gradant said, “All I was trying to do was keep the men’s toilets flushing.” ***MARLAR: But if you’re interested, he is selling the blueprints to his kitchen.

Stealing a “prisoner” T-shirt might not be the best move for a newly released inmate. Authorities in Fresno, Calif., say Israel Ramirez nearly caused a collision while riding his bike. The incident occurred shortly after Ramirez was released from the county jail. Deputies report they noticed Ramirez was wearing a jail T-shirt, with the word “prisoner” printed on the back. They charge he snuck it out of the lock-up under his clothes. He was busted again, this time on felony charges of receiving stolen property.  ***MARLAR: Well, they do say that the “clothes make the man.”

There’s a radio station in Gifu, Japan that broadcasts nothing but a human heartbeat 24 hours a day. Listeners say that hearing it helps them relax.  ***MARLAR: The format is called Arrhythmia and Blues.

Residents of the small Mexican town of Canalumtic have thrown a bull in jail! No kidding. They say the bull devoured their corn crops and destroyed two wooden buildings. Police commander Felipe Gomez said the bull would not be released until the owner pays damages, to be determined by a local judge. The owner, Moises Santiz, says he won’t pay more than $400 — the price he paid for the bull four months ago. It’s not the first time an animal has been jailed in Canalumtic. Last year a dog was locked up for 12 days after biting someone. His owners were ordered to pay an $18 fine.  ***MARLAR: That may not sound all that serious, but that’s 84 days and $126 in dog numbers.

Two Australian scientists claim they have invented a real thinking cap that can actually improve the thinking skills and IQ of people who wear it. ***MARLAR: If you think you look stupid while wearing the thinking cap, that’s just evidence that it’s working.

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