Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – July 27, 2010

DailyDoseNewsAmericans’ initial reactions to the U.S. Justice Department lawsuit against Arizona’s new illegal immigration law are more negative than positive, by a 50% to 33% margin.  Emotions run high on both sides of the issue. The substantial majority of those in favor and those opposed to the lawsuit say they feel strongly about their position.  The margin of opposition to the federal lawsuit is highest among those who are following news about the law most closely.  ***MARLAR: Those who know how to read.

A French surgeon said Thursday he has conducted a full-face transplant including eyelids and tear ducts, in a rare operation on a man.  Rivals called the French operation, similar to one carried out in Barcelona in April, a new achievement that further advances efforts to provide faces – and new lives.  ***MARLAR: Nicolas Cage says he is happy with John Travolta’s face.

Donations to a special fund that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer established to help pay for the state’s legal defense of its immigration enforcement law now total roughly $500,000.  ***MARLAR: It’s assumed 100% of those dollars came from somewhere other than California.

Could this impact future air travel?- An experimental solar-powered plane landed safely Thursday after completing its first 24-hour test flight, proving that the aircraft can collect enough energy from the sun during the day to stay aloft all night.   The record feat completes seven years of planning and brings the Swiss-led project one step closer to its goal of circling the globe using only energy from the sun.  ***MARLAR: In other news, the government is looking into the possibility of a “sun tax”.

Ken Andexler is a sculptor with a mission. All the chunks of pipe, sheet metal and plastic in his creations are junk he’s picked up from the side of the road. The southwest Florida artist says his one-man clean-up campaign is his contribution to society. He’s picked up everything from saws to cell phones to incorporate in his artwork. Andexler notes road debris is not only ugly, it’s dangerous, too. He adds something spiritual has been happening to him, since he started picking up trash for art.  ***MARLAR: This doesn’t take a lot of imagination; most modern art is garbage anyway.

Getting a nip and a tuck could cost some extra bucks in Minnesota. State lawmakers are considering a proposal to tax tummy tucks and facelifts. The measure would extend Minnesota’s six-point-five percent sales tax to cosmetic surgery and other appearance-enhancing procedures. State Representative Phyllis Kahn is pushing the idea. She says anyone who can afford plastic surgery can afford to pay the tax. Now, New Jersey is the only state that taxes cosmetic surgery.  ***MARLAR: That would require stretching your skin AND your wallet.  I don’t think I’m that limber.

According to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Americans will spend one out of every five dollars of their income on heath care by 2015.  ***MARLAR: Probably because Americans will spend the other four out of every five dollars on beer, cigarettes and junk food.

Japanese police report they’ve busted a cat burglar with the nose of a bloodhound. According to a police spokesman, the man (Seiichi Shirota) told them he picked his victims by sniffing for expensive perfume. The accused thief figured a single woman who bought high-priced fragrances would also own designer handbags, watches and expensive jewelry. And how would the crook know whether his mark was single? Police say the man told them he would check clotheslines on apartment balconies for men’s underwear. The suspect is charged with about 200 break-ins, netting more than a half (m) million dollars worth of loot.   ***MARLAR: We’re talking about a man who has the ability to distinguish designer perfumes from the knockoffs… can he not find something better to do with his life than rob single women?  With a talent like that, shouldn’t he be working for the Scratch & Sniff people?

Fresh blooms brighten more than a room; they also lift your mood, a study from Harvard Medical School in Boston reports.  ***MARLAR: For those with allergies, they suggest watching a movie starring Orlando Bloom.

Laughter really is contagious. Merely hearing someone else laugh activates the region in your brain involved in vocalizing, promoting actual chuckles, researchers at the University College London say.  ***MARLAR: Maybe I should start doing this show with a laugh track.

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.

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