Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – March 19, 2010

Britons trying to cheer up their hospitalized friends and relatives often have to do so standing up; sitting on the bed usually isn’t allowed.  In a commentary published Wednesday in the British medical journal BMJ, Dr. Iona Heath argues the recommendation is unjustified and denies patients the chance to be close to their loved ones.  British authorities claim the ban on sitting is needed to prevent patients from getting infected by visitors and health care staff.  ***MARLAR: You can stick your fingers inside a patient during a checkup or surgery, but don’t sit next to them on their bed because that could be dangerous!

A former Massachusetts dentist is accused of putting paper clips in patients’ mouths during root canals, then billing Medicaid for the stainless steel posts he should have used.  ***MARLAR: He claims it’s a simple cost-cutting measure, similar to his using used popsicle sticks as tongue depressors.

The controversy over “Holiday Trees” has barely subsided, and here comes a new one: the Palm Beach, Florida, Post reports that the Gardens Mall Easter Bunny is now the “Garden Bunny.” Other local malls are also dropping the word “Easter” to give the Bunny more P.C. names, such as “Peter Rabbit” or “Baxter the Bunny.” A Garden Mall spokeswoman says the “Garden Bunny” name complements the mall better and doesn’t risk offending non-Christians.  ***MARLAR: Seeing as the bunny has nothing to do with Christianity in the first place.  And a quick word of caution here… if you see a rabbit laying chocolate eggs, DON’T EAT THEM!

In the British Medical Journal, scientists from Australia and the Netherlands claim they’ve invented a diet that cuts heart disease by 78 percent and adds 4.8 years to a woman’s life and 6 years to a man’s. You have to eat four servings of fish a week, plus daily servings of 400 grams of fruit and vegetables, 68 grams of almonds, 2.7 grams of garlic, 150 milliliters of red wine and 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of dark chocolate.  ***MARLAR: I took a look at this earlier, and I think I’ve figured out how to make it work.  With MY version of the same plan, you have four Fillet-O-Fish sandwiches a week, a large order of  fries and two Orange Julius’ each day, along with an order of garlic bread and chocolate covered almonds for desert – and you wash it all down with a glass of grapefruit juice.

A couple in Parma, Ohio, may be able to save their home from foreclosure thanks to a rare coin they cashed in. Coin and Jewelry Buyers of America said the unidentified couple presented them with an 1873-CC Seated Liberty dollar in hopes of getting enough money to pay off a pile of mounting bills, including their mortgage. ***MARLAR: How lousy is our housing situation when a single coin could be worth more than your whole house?

Prison inmate Moses Wiggins is suing over what he claims was a bag of moldy cookies. He bought the cookies while in the King County, Washington, jail last year. Wiggins claims he ate half the bag before noticing the cookies were moldy and then got a badly upset stomach. He’s suing the county for pain, suffering and emotional distress. He’s now in state prison, serving time for theft.  ***MARLAR: Of cookies.

The Dallas Library had so many complaints about homeless people living there, they passed a new rule and will eject people who stink.  ***MARLAR: The backup plan is to install a shower in their bookmobile.

In Alaska’s Matanuska Valley, the long hours of sunlight are used, by some farmers, to grow giant vegetables. One such farmer grew a 100-pound cabbage.  ***MARLAR: Are there even enough people in Alaska to eat that much coleslaw?

Paramedics in the Netherlands are fighting traffic and high gas prices by using bikes. Three bikes have been equipped with baggage racks full of first aid supplies including medicines, defibrillators, and even oxygen tanks.  The only thing the bikes don’t carry is a stretcher.  ***MARLAR: So if a trip to the hospital is required you have to sit in the bicycle basket.

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