Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – March 10, 2010

People who complain they have no time to exercise may soon need another excuse.  Some experts say intense exercise sessions could help people squeeze an entire week’s workout into less than an hour. Intense exercise regimens, or interval training, was originally developed for Olympic athletes and thought to be too strenuous for normal people.  But in recent years, studies in older people and those with health problems suggest many more people might be able to handle it. If true, that could revolutionize how officials advise people to exercise – and save millions of people hours in the gym every week.  ***MARLAR: So now we open up the phones and ask, what excuse can we continue to use to get out of exercise?  I could use a few ideas…

What if you could be fat but avoid heart disease or diabetes? Scientists trying to break the fat-and-disease link increasingly say inflammation is the key.  In the quest to prove it, a major study is under way testing whether an anti-inflammatory drug – an old, cheap cousin of aspirin – can fight the Type 2 diabetes spurred by obesity.  And intriguing new research illustrates how those yellow globs of fat lurking under the skin are more than a storage site for extra calories. They’re a toxic neighborhood where inflammation appears to be born.  ***MARLAR: So I can be fat and healthy if I take Ibuprofen?

South Pasadena, CA, has banned all cussing during the first week in March, and it will continue to be banned during the first week of March for every year from now on.  ***MARLAR: So if you cuss and get a ticket, do you get another ticket for cussing at the officer for giving you a ticket?

A group working to protect Lake Champlain on the Vermont-New York border wants to generate electricity from nuisance weeds and algae. The Lake Champlain Restoration Association is planning to haul tons of plants from the lake. The decaying weeds will create methane gas, which can be used to generate power. Experts will study the process to see if weeds make a viable power source.  ***MARLAR: If they’re looking for sources of gas couldn’t they just hook up a fuel line to the nearest Taco Bell?

Normally, tobacco is associated with causing cancer – not curing it. But researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in California say a personalized vaccine made from tobacco plants could help cure cancer. The treatment, which would vaccinate cancer patients against their own tumor cells, is made using a new approach that turns genetically engineered tobacco plants into personalized vaccine factories.  ***MARLAR: The downside is that intensive care units will now have to have smoking and non-smoking sections.

Scientists say the Earth is becoming more like Saturn. In a report in the Weekly World News, some astronomers say the earth is developing rings just like the planet Saturn. The discovery has both astronomers and theologians scratching their heads. Some astrophysicists believe the rings may be a bi-product of global warming.  Some religious experts say the ring is probably a sign of the impending second coming of Christ.  ***MARLAR: Or it’s a new advertising promotion by Target.

Michael Warren now fits into his uniform. The 20-year-old lost 125 pounds in just 18 months to qualify for a badge. Now Warren has been sworn in as a deputy sheriff in Ohio County, West Virginia. He had tipped the scales at more than 300 pounds. Warren says he couldn’t even do a single push-up, much less the 18 to pass the sheriff department’s endurance test. Warren credits his new wife Theresa with helping him shed all the pounds. He says she had to whack his hands a few times when he reached for a snack.   ***MARLAR: She’s now under arrest for assaulting a police officer.

Researchers at BioTransplant Inc. claim to have bred a pig that does not transmit potentially dangerous viruses to human cells, which could pave the way to making animal-to-human transplants safe.  ***MARLAR: Good news – you come out of surgery with a disease-free snout.

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