Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – June 03, 2010

About 180 county employees in suburban Atlanta are being asked to return thousands of dollars the county says they were overpaid 16 years ago.  Gwinnett County’s chief financial officer, Aaron Bovos, calls it a project to “clean up receivables and to eliminate outstanding obligations.”  The county is seeking to collect more than $39,000 from employees who received bonuses in their paychecks in 1994. Authorities blamed the overpayments on a payroll anomaly when the county adjusted employees’ payroll cycles.  Employees can apply the money to vacation leave or make a cash payment.  ***MARLAR: Apparently there is no statute of limitation on being a moron.

Rural southeastern Iowa resident Greg and Linda Wilbert say they’ve found a rare piece of roadkill for the state – an armadillo. The pair from Wever near Burlington were driving on U.S. 61 when they saw the animal. Linda Wilbert said it caused her to say “Oh my God, is that an armadillo?”  ***MARLAR: Later it was discovered to be an even rarer Hummer H-2.

An Oregon man spent Memorial Day in jail after calling 911 to complain that a McDonald’s worker was rude and didn’t give him an orange juice he ordered.  ***MARLAR: Not to worry, they serve a nutritious, well-balanced breakfast in county lock-up.

Baby boomers are getting a little cranky and Jeff Taylor thinks he knows why. It’s all those exasperating results from Internet search engines. Taylor’s Boston-based company has created Cranky-dot-com, a search engine for the graying set. Taylor says their research shows people 50 and older are confused by the volume of results from searches on sites like Google or Yahoo. Cranky.com shows just four Web sites, screened for Interest to the targeted baby boomers.  ***MARLAR: I thought this was a good idea until I did a search for (YOUR NAME).  Cranky.com said, “No one is interested.”

It was one long walk down the aisle for a suburban New York bride – 50 yards long, in fact. Hundreds of relatives, friends and students cheered as Rahsaan Potillo and Bethany Selino said their vows Friday in the center of the football field at White Plains High School. White Plains Mayor Joseph Delfino officiated.  The bride and groom say they were looking for an inexpensive but memorable venue for their wedding, and they settled on the gridiron because football and the school are important parts of their lives.  He was a standout football player there, graduating in 1998. He now teaches and is an assistant football coach in the school district. She is a certified social worker and works as a middle school teacher’s assistant in the district.  ***MARLAR: At the end of the ceremony the mayor said, “I now pronounce you husband and wife, you may tackle the bride.”

In Essen, Germany there’s a steel mill where bosses require their workers to sign a sworn statement every morning vowing they’ve had eight hours sleep the night before. If any worker seen out past midnight lies about getting 8 hours of shut eye, they are fired immediately. ***MARLAR: Which ironically would give you plenty of time for sleep.

If you’re really lonely and would like to have a cell phone, Softbank Mobile of Japan has the solution: the PhoneBraver, a new mobile phone that turns into a robot buddy who’ll chat with you. The phone has little attachable arms and legs, and a face can appear on its video screen, so you can pretend it’s a little person. It has enough artificial intelligence to hold simple conversations with you, replying via text message. It can even learn your habits and talk to you about them. For instance, if you call one number a lot, it might say, “You’re calling her often these days, aren’t you?”  ***MARLAR: If you actually had a girl you could call often, you wouldn’t NEED a robot buddy.

A new law passed in Costa Rica allows women to have a man arrested for trying to pick them up. If found guilty, the man can get up to 50 days in prison or a fine.  ***MARLAR: In other news, the population of Costa Rica is expected to be wiped out completely in the next 75 years due to the decreasing number of marriages.

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