Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: November 25, 2010


A new poll has found that up to three-quarters of councils in Britain are planning to turn off street lamps or dim the lights in an attempt to save money and meet climate change targets.  But police fear that darkened streets will act as a haven for burglars, muggers and vandals – and motoring experts warn that there may be more accidents on the roads.  ***MARLAR: Yes, you might get mugged and get in horrible car accidents… but it’s for the good of the planet, so stop your whining!

A man’s boisterous exercise routine on a bridge above the Spokane River sparked fears that he was about to jump. A motorist traveling on nearby U.S. Interstate 90 spotted the man on the bridge along the popular Centennial Trail path where it crosses the Spokane River near the Idaho-Washington border.  Concerned the 40-year-old man was about to jump to his death, the driver called in authorities.  But when Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputies arrived, they found only a man engaged in a strenuous workout routine – animated, pacing, burning those calories with a vengeance – but by no means contemplating a plunge into the abyss.  ***MARLAR: Police were irritated by the false report and found the man so annoying that they picked him up and threw him over the bridge anyway.

Authorities said charges are pending against a woman accused of hoarding nearly 130 cats and dogs in her rural Cherokee County home. Cherokee County Marshal Ray Waters said Shari Cahill was scheduled for a hearing after police rescued 113 cats and 14 dogs from her home. Authorities said many of the animals were dehydrated and showed other signs of neglect.  The animals were found after neighbors called police to complain about the smell coming from Cahill’s home. ***MARLAR: But that just turned out to be her cooking.

High levels of the stress hormone cortisol in hair may be a strong predictor of heart attacks months in advance, say Canadian researchers.  Issues such as jobs, marital, or financial problems are linked to an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks.   Until now a biological marker was not available to measure chronic stress and so predict  several months in advance  who may be most at risk of a heart attack.   “Traditionally, cortisol has been measured in serum, urine, and saliva. All of these matrices measure cortisol levels in the last hours to days and, therefore, do not reflect the stress response over prolonged period of time,” said study authors Stan Van Uum and Gideon Koren of the University of Western Ontario. But, cortisol is also captured in the hair shaft.  On average, hair grows one centimeter each month and so by examining a six-centimeter-long strand of hair, it is possible to determine stress levels over a longer period. ***MARLAR: Well, of COURSE you’re more susceptible to a heart attack… you’re working so hard even your hair is stressed!


In the midst of a drug raid on a house that apparently took nine full hours and cost $4,000, cops apparently were distracted by Wii bowling. Reports say they started the game up within 20 minutes of entering the house and spent hours playing it. The incident is being investigated after it was caught on the drug dealer’s security camera, though it should be noted that some cops were looking for drugs at the same time. ***MARLAR: Or the other game controller.

It seems hard to believe but only one in four Oklahoma high school students can correctly name the first president of the United States, according to a survey released late last week. The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs conducted the survey to find the students’ basic knowledge of civics. Students were asked 10 questions taken from the U.S. citizenship test.  ***MARLAR: At least, they THINK it was ten questions – turns out they can’t count either.

If you want to lose weight, don’t diet by skipping breakfast. That’s the lesson of a Purdue University study that found that overweight men who ate eggs and lean Canadian bacon in the morning had a great sense of fullness throughout the day, compared to those who ate the extra protein at lunch or dinner. “There is a growing body of research which supports eating high quality protein foods when dieting to maintain a sense of fullness,” says Wayne Campbell, Ph.D., who headed the research. “This study is particularly unique in that it looked at the timing of protein intake and reveals that when you consume more protein, it may be a critical piece of the equation.”  ***MARLAR: Wait a minute… so the news here is that if I want to lose weight, I should be sure to eat?

In Sandusky, Ohio, Greg and Judith Moses and cars just don’t seem to mix. The couple got a double dose of bad luck when their car was stolen– while they were recovering from a car accident! They were struck by a car while crossing a street and were taken to the hospital for treatment. Greg injured his knee while Judith got a few bruises. But later that same day, while they were still at the hospital, someone stole their car from their home! Two teenagers were later arrested and charged with stealing the car after they were stopped in Cleveland.  ***MARLAR: The teens drove the car to Cleveland because they figured a dented car would go unnoticed there.

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