Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – March 08, 2010

Scientists at the Salk Institute in San Diego have created mice with human brain cells, to use in testing drugs for neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s. But they say the mice are not remotely “humanized.” They say the mice have only 0.1 percent of human brain cells in their heads, which is just a trace amount, so there’s nothing about them that’s like a human.  ***MARLAR: So they’re more like Pinky than The Brain.

A 37-year-old Salt Lake City woman acknowledged hitting her husband in the head with a hammer three years ago after blindfolding him and promising a surprise. Amy Teresa Ricks pleaded guilty to second-degree felony aggravated assault. Ricks’ husband suffered minor injuries in the May 2007 attack. ***MARLAR: He also says that yes, he was very surprised.

A giant gorilla was kidnapped in broad daylight from a flea market in East Machias, Maine.  Maine State Police are investigating and have put out an all-points-bulletin on the primate – an 8-foot mechanical ape. The gorilla has been a favorite local attraction at Sandy’s Sales, and owner Lowell Miller wants it back, no questions asked. Miller believes the gorilla may be hiding in a teenager’s bedroom.  ***MARLAR: How do you hide that from your parents?  “Gorilla?  What gorilla – oh now, that hairy thing in my bedroom is my study partner, Carl!  He’s just hairy because his parents are Greek…”

In the U.S. in 1882 an inventor patented a propeller-driven rocking chair. The propeller supplied movement to the chair from its mount at the top of the chair’s back. Legend has it that the inventor, in his first demonstration of the chair, leaned back too far, got his hair caught in the propeller, and, well, you really don’t want to know.  ***MARLAR: Now the product goes under the name of “Epilady.”

Scientists have known for a long time that lycopene, the chemical that gives tomatoes their red color, fights cancer. Now, new research indicates the yellow liquid surrounding the tomato’s seeds prevents heart attacks and strokes. The fluid keeps the blood from forming clots, which can clog arteries, interrupting blood flow to the heart or brain.  ***MARLAR: So from now on, be sure to ask for your pizzas with EXTRA sauce.

A woman in Waterville, Maine, who used to eat a dozen donuts a day and weigh 500 pounds lost 330 pounds without surgery simply by dieting and exercising.  ***MARLAR: Yeah, it’s a slow news day.

A man in Mexico protested the way people with tattoos and piercings are treated as freaks by hanging himself from a tree, suspended by wires through his various piercings.  ***MARLAR: Ironically, that’s the best way to get someone to think you’re a freak.

The Discovery Canyon Campus elementary school in Colorado Springs has banned children playing Tag on its playground after some children complained they were harassed or chased against their will.  ***MARLAR: If you’re being chased against your will, you’re not playing Tag, you’re playing Cops & Robbers.

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