Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – June 21, 2010

The Mexican government is issuing a series of public service announcements warning people against “do-it-yourself dentistry” after a rash of tragedies in which people tried to shoot aching teeth out with a gun. Three men and two women have died and six others have been injured this way. Health officials blame the trend on poverty and widespread ignorance. ***MARLAR: So if you’re ever in Mexico, avoid any dentist who claims to be of the highest caliber.

More medical care won’t necessarily make you healthier – it may make you sicker. It’s an idea that technology-loving Americans find hard to believe.  A new study seems to indicate that anywhere from one-fifth to nearly one-third of the tests and treatments we get are estimated to be unnecessary, and potentially sicker.  ***MARLAR: Probably from seeing the medical bills for unnecessary treatments.

Scotland’s John Smith & Company, the world’s oldest bookstore, is closing its doors after being in business continuously since 1751. The big superstores and online book sites have taken away a lot of business, but the real reason it’s closing is because most people in Scotland prefer to listen to their books rather than read them.  ***MARLAR: That’s right, they’re stuck on Scotch tapes.

A Massachusetts health board has voted to have public schools weigh students and include their body mass index, a measurement used to screen for obesity, on their report cards. Massachusetts students in first, fourth, seventh and 10th grades will be weighed and the results sent home.  ***MARLAR: Wow, I’d hate to see how the teachers use the red pen on that test!

A 12-year-old girl’s parents were divorced; in the spring of 2008, the girl’s mom gave her permission to go on a class trip to Quebec City in June. But the middle-schooler lived with her father, and after she disobeyed her dad’s orders to stay off the Internet, he told her she couldn’t go. So what did she do? She took him to court. A lower court ruled in favor of the girl, who went on the embattled class trip. Her father appealed — on principle – -and amazingly, the girl won again. The father’s attorney, Kim Beaudoin, says that her client is “flabbergasted” and they are considering another appeal, this time to Canada’s Supreme Court. But, the attorney adds, the father has no regrets about the court proceedings. “Either way, he doesn’t have authority over this child anymore. She sued him because she doesn’t respect his rules,” Beaudoin said. “It’s very hard to raise a child who is the boss.”  ***MARLAR: The father plans to move ahead with the second appeal as soon as his daughter gives him permission to.

A doctor in Austria filed a police complaint after a truck driver threw a cheeseburger at him for driving too slowly, but police told him that wasn’t illegal. ***MARLAR: Apparently Austrians consider cheeseburgers deadly weapons. Here in the U.S. they are considered appetizers.

New studies are suggesting that not all generic drugs are the same as their name brand supposed equals.  Troubling reactions and a series of recalls are making some doctors wonder if generic drugs are as safe as the FDA says they are.  ***MARLAR: Bad news for me – I suffer from placebositis!

A new study says garlic stinks at reducing cholesterol.  Almost 200 adults given the equivalent of an average clove of garlic a day, six days a week for six months, saw no reduction in their cholesterol level.  ***MARLAR: But garlic-eaters did see a massive reduction in their number of friends.

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