Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: November 18, 2010

NEW NEWS…

Wendy’s is remaking its fries with Russett potatoes, leaving the skin on and sprinkling sea salt on top.  The fast-food chain has been changing its menu to focus on “real” ingredients to win more fans.  This is the first major overhaul of the 41-year-old company’s fries, although it has adjusted the recipe in the past.  The new fries start appearing on Thursday and roll out over the next two weeks.  They’re slightly slimmer than the old recipe, and crispier because they’re smaller.  ***MARLAR: If Wendy’s is trying to focus on “real” ingredients, how can they possibly continue to sell the Frosty?

A new study concludes that a significant number of teens are very susceptible to peer pressure and also have permissive or absent parents.  According to the study’s lead author, Dr. Scott Frank, teens who text 120 times a day or more – and there seems to be a lot of them – are more likely to have had sex or used alcohol and drugs than kids who don’t send as many messages.  ***MARLAR: Really?  At 120 text messages a day, how do they have time?

The largest independent union of airline pilots in the world is urging its members to boycott body imaging machines currently being rolled out in airports all over the globe, citing dangers of excessive exposure to harmful levels of radiation during the screening process.  ***MARLAR: Plus there’s the danger to security workers of excessive exposure to harmful levels of seeing us naked.

Twinkies. Nutty bars. Powdered donuts.   For 10 weeks, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, ate one of these sugary cakelets every three hours, instead of meals. To add variety in his steady stream of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Haub munched on Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos, too.  His premise: That in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most — not the nutritional value of the food. The premise held up: On his “convenience store diet,” he shed 27 pounds in two months.  ***MARLAR: Forget Jenny Craig.  From now on I’m not doing any diet named after a woman unless it’s Betty Crocker.  Possibly Little Debbie.

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

The traditional cheek-to-cheek kiss that the French use to say hello or goodbye, has come under pressure from a globalized threat: swine flu. Some French schools, companies and a Health Ministry hotline are telling students and employees to avoid the social ritual out of fear the pandemic could make it the kiss of death, or at least illness, as winter approaches.  ***MARLAR: After all, you don’t know where those lips have been!

Paula Sunshine, a craftswoman and author, teaches traditional building techniques to builders, is building an addition to her own historic home — using human hair. Sunshine is using hair collected from salons, her dogs and herself as part of a popular building material called wattle and daub. “Traditionally people would use cattle hair from long-haired cattle,” Sunshine said, “But we don’t get many long-haired cattle around here anymore so I use human hair.”  ***MARLAR: And she uses Alberto VO5 instead of spackle.

A New York man has donated his 320th pint of blood, making him one of two people in North American who have given 40 gallons. Al Fischer reached the milestone after 58 years of giving blood regularly.  According to a New York Blood Center official, only 83-year-old Maurice Wood has donated more blood than Fischer. Wood is a retired railroad inspector from St. Louis. Long Island Blood Services executive director Harvey Schaffler says Fischer has helped almost 1,000 people.  ***MARLAR: When asked why he kept giving blood, Al said he was addicted to orange juice and doughnuts.

In Moseley, England, a pair of musician-beggars were banned from performing in the area after a magistrate court heard tons of complaints by desperate residents about their music. The big concern seemed to be that the duo only knew and played two songs– Oasis’ “Wonderwall” and George Michael’s “Faith.” And they played them over and over and over driving folks mad!  ***MARLAR: Maybe people could pay them… to leave.

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