Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: November 29, 2010


When it comes to the new vibration-plate fitness craze, experts are telling people to shake it, but don’t break it.  The trendy equipment has been generating lots of buzz.  Promoters say vibrating machines are fast workouts that improve flexibility and strength, build muscle and reverse osteoporosis.  The Power Plate, for example, vibrates 20 to 50 times a second in three directions — which is supposed to increase the effectiveness of a workout.  Users are raving about how their workout times are reduced by two-thirds. ***MARLAR: That knocks a 20-minute workout down to 6.6 minutes!  Couldn’t you just stick the vibration-plate on the seat of your car and drive around the block listening to KC & The Sunshine Band?

A study of UK consumers by Glasgow Calegonia University found that men are still much more likely than women to shop on the Internet. The study also found that the stereotype is true: men don’t like shopping, so they go on the Internet, find something that looks good at the lowest price, assume it’ll be okay and buy it. But women see shopping as a “social event.” They want to go with their friends, “feel the fabric,” and have lunch together to get their friends’ advice. And unlike men, women want direct contact with the merchandise they’re going to buy.  ***MARLAR: My wife hates it when I buy my jeans online.  “But you don’t have a chance to try them on that way.”  True; but I don’t do that in the store either.

Harry Potter books will be staying put on school library shelves in Gwinnett County, Georgia, after a judge’s ruling.  Parent Laura Mallory argued the popular fiction series is an attempt to indoctrinate children into witchcraft. She wanted the books removed.  The ruling by Superior Judge Ronnie Batchelor upheld a decision by the Georgia Board of Education, which had supported local school officials.  County school board members have said the books are good tools to encourage children to read and to spark creativity and imagination.  Mallory says she still wants the books removed and may take her case to federal court. She argues witchcraft is a religion, therefore, the books should be banned because reading them in school violates the constitutional separation of church and state.  ***MARLAR: She also has the right to free speech… but that doesn’t mean we have to LISTEN to her.

British dentists say the National Health Service doesn’t reimburse them enough so they’re refusing to take patients who have bad teeth.  ***MARLAR: Wait a minute… Britain has DENTISTS?


Someone has been putting on a monkey mask and then whizzing past photo radar devices in the Phoenix area, developing a pretty clear picture of the weaknesses of high-tech traffic enforcement in the process. Police say that “someone” is Dave VonTesmar, the owner of the white Subaru photographed during the drive-bys. The flight attendant is accused of wearing the mask to conceal his identity while speeding at least 37 times on local freeways. ***MARLAR: Perhaps next time he’ll think about covering up his license plate instead of his face.

A roadway construction crew in England was startled when something popped its head out of a rabbit hole — and it wasn’t a bunny. It was a small dog that looked like a Jack Russell terrier mix. “We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw the dog pop her head out of the ground,” Arthur Evans, site manager. He thinks the dog was chasing the rabbit, went into the hole and got stuck for up to about 6 days. The dog is going to be ok. ***MARLAR: As soon as it goes back and makes that left turn in Albuquerque.

Shooting blind isn’t just a figure of speech to Carey McWilliams. He’s been blind since the age of ten and is trying to get a concealed weapons permit in Minnesota. He already has a carry permit in North Dakota, where he lives, and in Utah. McWilliams says he followed all the rules in Minnesota, including a required class, and has shown proficiency on the firing range. McWilliams says brains are more important than eyesight when it comes to public safety. A judge has turned down his request for a permit. Now, McWilliams says Minnesota officials have violated his constitutional right to keep and bear arms. He adds it’s nobody’s business that he’s blind. ***MARLAR: Tell that to the lady he hit yesterday with his car.

Jeffrey Ely of Duluth, Minnesota, is suing Nikki Munthe and her family for the damages their dog Fester did to his car when he ran over him. The 13-pound dog squeezed past Nikki when she opened the door, ran onto the nearby highway, and was hit and instantly killed by Ely’s 1997 Honda Civic. He said the dog pushed his bumper into his radiator, necessitating replacement, so he’s suing them for about $1,100. Ely said, “I have complete compassion for them. I know how it feels. I love dogs. But once you get them, they are your responsibility.” ***MARLAR: And when their kids ran out crying, their tears caused some rust damage he wants fixed.

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