Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: March 18, 2011

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NEW NEWS…

American adults have a significantly higher rate of obesity than their neighbors to the north, a new study says.  About 24 percent of Canadians are obese compared to more than 34 percent of Americans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  ***MARLAR: We’re number one!  USA!  USA!

More than a third of U.S. adults sleep less than seven hours a night, and many of them report troubles concentrating, remembering and even driving.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the statistics Thursday in two separate studies.  In one study, about 35 percent of people surveyed in 12 states said they slept less than seven hours a night, on average.  The second study based on a national survey found about 23 percent said they had trouble concentrating because they were tired. Another 18 percent struggled to remember things, and 11 percent had difficulty driving or commuting.  ***MARLAR: On the plus side, they do make up for their lack of rest by sleeping on the job.

Unless things change, the post office will run out of money by the end of the fiscal year in October, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe told the House Oversight subcommittee on the postal service.  Donahoe said that as of Sept. 30 his agency will owe the federal government a payment of $5.5 billion to fund medical costs, in advance, for future retirees, and in November it will need to make a $1.3 billion payment for worker’s compensation.  ***MARLAR: These guys need to do what the rest of us are doing, and start working two jobs.  Deliver the mail, sure, but why not also deliver pizzas at the same time?  Or maybe they can deliver groceries or flowers. Maybe they could take over for “Meals on Wheels”.

Researchers recently unveiled the first complete millimeter-scale computing system that is about the size of the letter “N” on the back of a penny (or about the same size as the letter in this sentence).   This tiniest computer to date is a prototype of an implantable eye pressure monitor for glaucoma patients. Key to this unit linking up with other computers to form wireless sensor networks is a compact radio that needs no tuning to find the right frequency.  ***MARLAR: So they can make a radio small enough to be surgically inserted in the eye that can find radio frequencies on its own, but the giant stereo in my living room has to be manually tuned and picks up static even in the best of circumstances?  Is the key to success just buying a smaller stereo?

RETRO NEWS: FORMERLY NEW, NOW NOT NEW, BUT STILL ENTERTAINING…

Be sure to drink plenty of water. This helps to prevent dehydration, which can cause confusion and memory problems. And be sure to get plenty of rest. Being tired can impair your memory as well. ***MARLAR: In other news, it’s been discovered that drinking water and getting plenty of sleep can improve your memory…

It’s something of a dog fight in Brookfield, where residents are arguing over a proposal to limit the number of pets per household.  Opponents say the city should not limit the number of dogs people can own but better enforce existing rules governing pet owners.  Brookfield aldermen are now considering a proposal to limit households to four pets total.  ***MARLAR: Don’t even THINK about opening a package of Sea Monkeys.

Police in Houston say murder suspect Darryl Layne Norris who lost weight so he could escape from jail by squeezing through a vent has been caught.  Authorities say Norris escaped from the Waller County Jail in Hempstead, about 50 miles northwest of Houston by squeezing through an air conditioner vent that is less than one foot wide.  Waller County Sheriff Randy Smith said Norris usually weighs about 160 pounds but had been losing weight.  Norris is charged with murder in connection with a convenience store robbery.  Police caught him as he was swimming in a motel pool.  ***MARLAR: Although after losing all that weight he looked fabulous in his swimsuit.

No one’s trying to get out this P.E. class.  But instead of kids getting a work-out, Old School P.E. is an exercise class for grownups. The gym class for adults is offered at Rhode Island’s Newport Recreation Center. There are warm-up exercises and stretches, then friendly competition with games like dodge ball and Ultimate Frisbee. Old School P.E. only has a few rules, including one that requires husbands and wives to play on opposite sides. Newport Recreation director P.J. Lovely says they’re a victim of their own success. He adds they have to turn people away because there’s not enough room in the gym.  ***MARLAR: And you should hear the backtalk when the coach tells someone to take a lap.

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