Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – March 28, 2010

The FDA has approved a diet pill for dogs that must be administered once or twice daily.  ***MARLAR: Because that is SO much easier than just giving your dog less food.

A link has been found between dyslexia and low blood pressure. ***MARLAR: At least they think it’s a link; though it could be a kiln.

A former aerospace engineer is planning to build a hotel in space.  ***MARLAR: Their only dilemma in zero gravity is how to get the mints to stay on the pillows.

In Florida, a defibrillator implant is credited with saving a 61-year-old man’s life — but not in the way you’d expect. According to a report in the journal Heart Rhythm, our friend had a Medtronic implantable cardiac defibrillator to prevent sudden cardiac arrest. Turns out it’s also very good at stopping bullets! The guy suffered a gunshot wound to the chest, but had no damage to his lungs or circulatory system because the bullet became lodged in the stopwatch-sized device. Surgeons removed metal fragments and the device from the man’s chest and he was discharged from the hospital the next day.  ***MARLAR: The difficult part is asking your would-be murderer to please shoot you in exactly this place right here… no, just a couple inches to the left… yeah, there… okay now you can shoot me…

It may surprise you that the word “nice” does not have a nice background!  In fact it comes from the Latin word nescius, which means ignorant. In addition to foolish and stupid, the word nice, in the English spoken in the Middle Ages, also meant wanton. By the 15th century it meant “coy.” A hundred years later it also meant “dainty.” And only in the 18th century does it finally mean agreeable.  ***MARLAR: So now you can think of someone as an idiot and simply tell them to have a nice day!

A 72-year-old Chinese grandmother has pulled a four-ton truck, loaded with people, with nothing but her teeth. Wang Xiaobei managed to drag the truck for more than 10 meters. Still working as a senior accountant, she attributes the feat to her good health, high spirits and more than 30 years of martial arts training. Next she says she wants to attempt a passenger car from a train. ***MARLAR: Boy that Pollygrip really works!

Marlon Brando Gill of Independence, Missouri, is on trial for assault for allegedly shoving a cell phone down his girlfriend’s throat.  Fortunately, she’s okay after doctors pulled it out.  Gill’s lawyer claims the girlfriend swallowed the phone on purpose to keep Gill from finding out who she’d been calling. Sounds like a dumb idea – but then, she was also drunk at the time.  In fact, her blood alcohol was three times the legal limit that night.  ***MARLAR: This guy is a hero.  How many of us know how it feels to WANT to shove somebody’s cell down their throat.

Mathematicians at UCLA have discovered a 13 million-digit prime number, a milestone that makes them eligible for a $100,000 prize. The group found the 46th known Mersenne prime last month on a network of 75 computers running Windows XP. It is the eighth Mersenne prime discovered at UCLA. Primes are numbers like three, seven and 11 that are divisible by only two whole positive numbers – themselves and one. Thousands of people around the world have been participating in the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, or GIMPS, a cooperative system in which computers are used to perform the calculations needed to find and verify Mersenne primes. The $100,000 prize is being offered by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for finding the first Mersenne prime with more than 10 million digits.  ***MARLAR: One in ten-million is also the chances someone will find a practical use for a 13-digit prime number.

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