Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: November 26, 2010

NEW NEWS…

An apple a day? Apparently not in the United States.   Most Americans still don’t eat enough vegetables, and fruit consumption is actually dropping a little, according to a new government report.   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that last year about one-third of U.S. adults had two or more servings of fruit or fruit juice a day. That’s down slightly from more than 34 percent in 2000.   Only about 26 percent ate vegetables three or more times a day, the same as in 2000.  No state met federal goals of three-quarters of Americans eating enough fruit, and half eating enough vegetables. California ate the most fruit, and Tennessee was best with vegetables. Oklahoma was at the bottom for fruit, and South Dakota had the lowest vegetable consumption. Another report concluded that orange juice is the top source of fruit among U.S. adults and adolescents, and potatoes are the favorite vegetable.  ***MARLAR: How about we stop wasting money on useless studies like how many vegetables we eat and start spending money on more important things – like making vegetables taste like chocolate.

Football club songs and pop or rock music have been banned from funerals in Catholic churches in Australia under new guidelines distributed this week to priests and funeral directors.  A funeral should not be a “celebration” of the deceased’s life, Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart said in the rules, but a final sacred farewell. Celebrations of that life should be held at social occasions before or after the funeral, he said.  “Secular items are never to be sung or played at a Catholic funeral, such as romantic ballads, pop or rock music, political songs, football club songs.”  ***MARLAR: Apparently it’s not a true funeral to them unless you wish you were dead.

Ice skating in Chicago in January is nothing new. Doing it on the 94th floor of a downtown skyscraper certainly is.  Officials at the 100-story John Hancock Center said Thursday that they’re installing a rink that will allow visitors to skate at 1,000 feet up in the air.  About 20 people at a time will be able to skate on the 1,000-square foot rink. It will be open from January through March.  The rink actually won’t be made of ice. It will be made of a synthetic material that creates a hard, plastic floor with a slick silicone glaze.  ***MARLAR: And if you fall off the side of the building, you don’t have to worry about dying from the fall… you’ll die of frostbite before you hit the sidewalk.

Three Maine students who launched a message in a bottle in 2008 hoped it would make it all the way to Europe. It didn’t make it to the mainland, but it made it as far as the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean.  The Bangor Daily News reported seventh-grader Dustin Colson and sixth-graders Liam Griffith and Hannah Flood had all but forgotten about the bottle until it was discovered this summer. Flood’s dad and her uncle agreed to drop bottles into the water off the Bahamas in March 2008 while setting weather buoys.  Cheryl McFadden at the Adams School in Castine said the idea was to see if the Gulf Stream would take the bottles to Europe. The bottle traveled about 3,000 miles.  ***MARLAR: Those who found the bottles immediately replied by saying, “Give a hoot – don’t pollute.”

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

Coffee Nation is using more than espresso to attract customers. Their employees wear bikini tops when serving at the Salem, Oregon, drive-through. Owners Adam Marshall and Steven Rotan say sales have doubled to a-thousand dollars a day since their employees started dressing down. One of the bikini-clad baristas is Rotan’s wife, Carmel. She says her tips have tripled since she started wearing a bikini on the job.  The owners say they haven’t gotten any complains yet, even from female customers.  ***MARLAR: And they’re an equal-opportunity employer, so the bikini-tops apply to male staff too.

Two police officers who chased and Tasered a 76-year-old man driving a tractor in a Wyoming town parade have been fired. Bud Grose, who was shocked five times by Officer Michael Kavenius, welcomed the decision by the Glenrock Police Department. Police say Grose, who was driving an antique tractor in the parade, disobeyed Kavenius’ traffic command. That led to a short pursuit and the Taser use, which outraged some in the town of 2,400.  ***MARLAR: So the cops tasered them too.

The BBC reports that Indian strongman Shailendra Roy attached a chain to his foot-long ponytail and used it to pull a 35-ton locomotive and three train cars about 300 yards. He said he keeps his hair strong by treating it with mustard oil and pulling heavy objects with it. He next plans to fly into the air, hanging from a helicopter suspended only by his ponytail.  ***MARLAR: And only one thing can stop him – male pattern baldness.

It’s every child’s dream–a full-sized house made entirely of Legos, right down to the flushing toilet, breadbox and newspapers. But the two-story Lego house just completed in England was demolished after a deal to place it at a nearby Legoland amusement park fell through. The project was the idea of James May, a British TV host, to be featured on his series Toy Stories. He enlisted a thousand volunteers and used 3.3 million donated Lego bricks. He even spent a night in the house, which he learned in not waterproof and has “the most uncomfortable bed I’ve ever slept in.”  ***MARLAR: Keeping the lawn trimmed was a snap though.

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