Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: November 22, 2010

NEW NEWS…

Ladies, this Thanksgiving you’d better think twice before sending your man to the grocery store Why? Men tend to be overwhelmed by the number of choices.  New research shows that men don’t grocery shop as efficiently as women, and they rarely ask for help if they can’t find something. It may not be their fault though, grocery stores are designed for women and the way women shop. The top three problems men face in a grocery store are 1) They have difficulty finding things.  2) If something that is on the list isn’t available, they aren’t adept at finding a substitute so they come home empty-handed.  3) They hesitate to ask for help.  ***MARLAR: So for the love of all that’s good and to keep peace in the home, please… NEVER ask us to go grocery shopping for you… EVER.

A South African pastor provoked outrage after beginning a recent sermon with the claim that Jesus Christ was HIV-positive.  Xola Skosana stunned his congregation in Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township with the bold statement and Christians have reacted angrily, claiming it portrays Jesus as sexually promiscuous.  Pastor Skosana, whose non-denominational Hope for Life Ministry is part of a growing charismatic movement in South Africa, insists his message is more about giving hope than anything else.   By making the claim, he hopes to remove the stigma attached to HIV suffers in his country.  ***MARLAR: This could backfire though – particularly if this same pastor teaches that we should all try to be like Jesus.

Teens send an average of 34 texts a night (adding up to 3,400 a month) after going to bed — in some cases up to four hours after hitting the sack, found researchers from JFK Medical Center, in Edison, N.J.  The evidence has been mounting that teens mightily prefer texting to actual contact with family members, with studies from Nielsen and Kaiser contributing data that show teens consider the loss of a cell phone more dire than the loss of an internal organ.   But the new research is especially concerning, experts say, because it finds that half of the kids kept awake by electronic media suffered from a whole host of mood and cognitive problems, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, and learning difficulties.  ***MARLAR: They also sucked at spelling.

The rumors are apparently true .  Facebook revealed that it will, in fact, be launching a deals service for Facebook Places. Deals is a new application within Facebook’s iPhone app that lets you find deals at nearby businesses.   There are four types of deals: Individual Deals (for discounts, free stuff or other rewards), Friend Deals (where you and a pal claim something together), Loyalty Deals (for the regulars) and Charity Deals (which allow you to donate to a cause).  ***MARLAR: Deals you can’t find are Privacy on Facebook and a decent signal using an i-Phone.

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

Two Massachusetts college coeds are in trouble for swiping copies of their campus newspaper at Framingham State College.  The young women are pictured on the front page of The Gatepost wearing hip-hugger shorts and skimpy tank-tops.  They were part of a group that had painted their stomachs to support a friend on the women’s lacrosse team.  The paper’s faculty advisor says the students apparently thought the pictures made them look fat.  About half the paper’s run of 2,000 copies disappeared.  The two students won’t be charged with a crime, but they could face disciplinary action.  ***MARLAR: And mandatory Weight Watchers.

Police who were watching a house in Salt Lake City spotted a man who was on parole and about to be placed under an arrest warrant, so a cop approached him. The man took off running, and the cop couldn’t catch him, so he yelled, “Taser, Taser, Taser!” The suspect believed he was about to be hit with a taser and suddenly threw himself on the ground and surrendered. The cop didn’t even have a taser. He was just yelling, “Taser.”  ***MARLAR: Good thing he didn’t yell “gun” – he might’ve killed the guy!

The Portsmouth City Council recently banned the staff of 4,500 at its town hall from using Facebook, after discovering that employees spent an average of 413 hours per month on the site. Not only were these people spending a jaw-dropping amount of time logged-in, but they were also logging in often — about 270,000 times a month. Things really spiraled out of control this past July, when the staff totaled 572 hours and 38 minutes, or 71 working days, on Facebook, even though they were only supposed to visit the site during lunch or after work.  ***MARLAR: If you’re as angry about this as other tax payers, feel free to defriend them.

The search for the best observatory site in the world has lead to the discovery of what is thought to be the coldest, driest, calmest place on Earth – a place where no human is thought to have ever set foot. The researchers pinpointed a site, known simply as Ridge A, that is 13,297 feet (4,053 meters) high up on the Antarctic Plateau on the continent at the bottom of the world. The study revealed that Ridge A has an average winter temperature of minus 94 degrees and an extremely low amount of water in the air. The site is also extremely calm, which means that there is very little of the atmospheric turbulence that elsewhere makes stars appear to twinkle. “It’s so calm that there’s almost no wind or weather there at all,” said study leader Will Saunders, of the Anglo-Australian Observatory in Australia.  ***MARLAR: So if you’re looking for the easiest job on the planet, move to Ridge A in the Antarctic and be a meteorologist.

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