Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: November 17, 2010


The U.S. Forest Service has found a new branch of crime-fighting. A study by the service has found less crime occurs in neighborhoods with big trees in the yards and on the streets, and more crime at homes with smaller trees.  Researchers from the Pacific Northwest Research Station took crime data from the Portland Police Bureau and compared it to information showing neighborhoods’ tree coverage.  Forester Geoffrey Donovan says small trees may aid criminals by providing hiding places for criminals and obstructing views.  ***MARLAR: More so than LARGE trees?  Wouldn’t you think LARGE trees would be easier to hide behind?  You have to wonder if this guy is working for the government because no one in the private sector would hire him.

Police said a brotherly argument turned violent when a West Haven man shot his younger brother with a BB gun and swung a sword at him, and his brother responded by hitting him with a chair. Authorities said 54-year-old John Lassiter and 53-year-old Irving Lassiter are facing assault and other charges.  ***MARLAR: And have been banned for life from watching another second of SPIKE-TV.

A group of children waiting for their school bus got a shock when they spotted a mountain lion in a field just 200 feet away. Beach Transportation General Manager Robert Mitchell said his driver and the children saw the wild animal at about the same time last Wednesday morning just as the bus was pulling up to the stop on a rural route south of Missoula.  The driver quickly loaded the children and used his two-way radio to inform the company, which called 911.  Regional Wildlife Manager Mike Thompson said the mountain lion walked in front of the bus, down the road and up a nearby mountain. He said state wildlife officials don’t believe the animal poses a threat to people.  Mitchell said the school district has alerted the parents of about 15 students who live in the area.  ***MARLAR: One possible solution is to tear up the yellow brick road and put down asphalt.

A Florida woman and her boyfriend have been charged with trying to sell her infant grandson for $30,000.  Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents arrested 45-year-old Patty Bigbee and 42-year-old Lawrence Works on Friday in Daytona Beach after they met with an agent posing as a buyer. Both were charged with illegal sale or surrender of a child, and Bigbee was also charged with communication fraud.  FDLE agent Wayne Ivey said an investigation began last month after an informant told authorities the woman was trying to sell the baby. Authorities say the woman originally wanted $75,000 but was talked down to $30,000.  ***MARLAR: Like kids don’t have low self-esteem as it is – this kid gets to live with the fact that he was haggled down in price.


A Winona Minnesota man was cited for cursing in public under a local law created back in 1887. Police said a 19-year-old man was cited after he yelled obscenities at officers who had earlier given him a ticket for underage drinking. Officers said they could hear the man cursing at them from a block away. Several neighbors said they also heard the shouting. Violating Winona’s obscenity law is a misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.  ***MARLAR: Upon hearing that he was receiving a ticket for cursing, authorities immediately had to give him another one… for cursing.

Let me have a YouTube music video, hold the video. It’s a trend that seems to be growing by the day when it comes to the online clip-sharing site. When recording artists want to get their music into the pipeline, they have their people put an audio track on the site without a video to go with it. The only video content in many cases is a still photo of the performer, along with the music. And it’s not just the management of recording stars who are doing this.  Some fans of artists are putting music on the site, sans video, to create a little buzz about their favorites.  ***MARLAR: It’s the perfect solution for performers like me whose careers might be hurt if people knew what they looked like.

In Croydon, South London, 102-year-old Winnie Langley has finally decided to stop smoking — AFTER 95 YEARS! She had her very first cigarette in 95 years ago and has smoked an average of five a day ever since. That works out to more than 170,000 smokes during her lifetime. So why quit now? Winnie says she simply doesn’t like it any more. Ironically, her doctors have told her there’s not much point in stopping now.  ***MARLAR: She’s 102-years-old… but she’s quitting because she wants to live to the ripe old age of 102-and-a-half.

People who are thin apparently still need to worry about fat on the INSIDE.  Some doctors now think that the internal fat surrounding vital organs like the heart and liver could be as dangerous as the more obvious external fat that bulges underneath the skin.  A professor of molecular imaging in London and his team have scanned nearly 800 people with MRI machines to show where people store fat.  Their data show people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise are likely to have major deposits of internal fat.  According to the professor, people who are fat on the inside are essentially on the threshold of being obese.  They eat too many fatty, sugary foods, and exercise too little to work it off.  But they are not eating enough to actually be fat.  ***MARLAR: So you can be a 99-pound weakling, and still be morbidly obese!  What’s the point of trying anymore?

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