Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – March 29, 2010

A requirement tucked into the massive U.S health care bill will make calorie counts impossible for thousands of restaurants to hide and difficult for consumers to ignore. More than 200,000 fast food and other chain restaurants will have to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and even drive-throughs.  ***MARLAR: Thank you Washington D.C.  Thanks to you, restaurants will have to create menus five times as large to accommodate the information, making my $1 double cheeseburger at Burger King now cost $4.95.

***MARLAR’S MOM: Not only that, can you imagine how long the lines will be at the drive-thru if anyone actually bothers to read all that crap?

The food in famous paintings of the Last Supper has grown by biblical proportions over the last millennium, researchers report in a medical journal Tuesday.  Using a computer, they compared the size of the food to the size of the heads in 52 paintings of Jesus Christ and his disciples at their final meal before his death.  If art imitates life, we’re in trouble, the researchers conclude. The size of the main dish grew 69 percent; the size of the plate, 66 percent, and the bread, 23 percent, between the years 1000 and 2000.  ***MARLAR: And now by federal law all paintings of the Last Supper have to include the foods’ calorie counts.

Marine mammal experts in the Florida Keys have opened a dolphin “chat line” of sorts, hoping to teach a deaf dolphin’s unborn calf to communicate. Underwater speakers and microphones were installed to broadcast dolphin noises into the tank.  The dolphin should deliver her calf in about a month.  ***MARLAR: If this actually worked, wouldn’t we have moms playing rock music for their unborn babies and then giving birth to kids who immediately knew how to play the guitar?

Harraj Mann, 24, was on a plane in Northern England waiting to take off when anti-terrorism agents burst in and removed him. An interrogation revealed that on the way to the airport, Mann had played some of his favorite classic rock tunes on his MP3 player in the taxi. One was the Clash’s 1979 song, “London Calling,” and he sang along with such lyrics as “London is burning” and “meltdown expected.” So the cab driver called the terrorist tip line. Mann said, “He didn’t like Led Zeppelin or The Clash, but I don’t think there was any need to tell the police.”  ***MARLAR: I disagree.  Anyone who sings along to an iPod in public should be arrested… and possibly tortured.

In Florida, a Marion County Jail corrections officer was fired after an internal affairs investigation determined he struck his wife in an argument over his buying Dungeons and Dragons fantasy toys. Investigators say Edward Bonthron and his wife, Lori, were arguing at their home over whether he was paying too much for the toys.  ***MARLAR: Dude – you’re a grown man spending money on Dungeons and Dragons toys.  Any amount is too much.

A new study shows teenagers who smoke are more likely to get fat.   ***MARLAR: Now listen up, kids – this is serious.  If you get fat — it’ll cost a lot more money to cover your body with tattoos and body piercings.

Figures released by the Earth Policy Institute say that there is enough wind energy in North Dakota, Kansas and Texas to meet power needs of the entire country. ***MARLAR: Or just grab the hot air from Washington D.C.

Many airlines are now offering broadband Wi-Fi access for their domestic flights.  In most cases the internet access costs about $9.95 on flights of three hours or less and $12.95 on flights of more than three hours.  ***MARLAR: Oh yeah, and you still can’t use your cell phone because it might bring down the plane.

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