Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – September 06, 2010

It’s not a crime to make friends on Facebook, but one Florida man found that the rules are a bit different when the person you’re trying to “friend” has a protective order against you. The man, 54-year-old Harry Bruder, was arrested for allegedly sending his soon to be ex-wife requests to “friend” him on Facebook, which police said violated the protective order. ***MARLAR: He was also arrested for assault when he “poked” her.

China is aggressively building up military forces capable of striking U.S. forces in the western Pacific and elsewhere as part of what the Pentagon calls an array of high-tech “anti-access” missiles, submarines and warplanes in its latest annual report. The report to Congress on China’s military power, released this week, also warned that China’s military is extending its global military reach beyond a weapons buildup to wage regional war with Taiwan and the United States. ***MARLAR: Oh yeah, well then we’re not going to pay you your money back… so there! Nyah!

Physicians have long told patients fighting obesity to eat their fruits and vegetables. Now they’re writing prescriptions for it. Health care providers are offering vouchers worth $1 per day to members of low-income families in Massachusetts and Maine participating in a new program. The idea is to boost consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by providing one serving a day from local farmers. ***MARLAR: The good news is that you’re eating vegetables every day for free. The bad news… you’re eating vegetables.

The current fitness wisdom is that to build muscle size, you need to lift heavy weights. But a new study at Canada’s McMaster University found that a similar degree of muscle bulk can be achieved by using lighter weights. The secret is not the size of the weight you lift, but stimulating muscles and pumping iron until your muscles become fatigued. ***MARLAR: So if I lift slice of pizza to my mouth dozens of times, it’s like being Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Paul Bissonnette of Plainfield, Connecticut, was arrested for allegedly stealing a copper rain gutter off a church. He picked an odd time to pull the heist: it was during a Saturday night service, when nearly 200 parishioners were in the church and heard him prying the gutter off the building. ***MARLAR: He came like a thief in the night.

In Michigan City, Indiana, someone made off with a semi-trailer loaded with 20 tons of Hershey’s chocolate! The vehicle disappeared 24 hours after driver Daryl Rey parked it at a truck stop. And our chocolate thief apparently knew what he was doing as the satellite device used to locate the truck was removed from the vehicle and thrown into a pond. Police are investigating and are puzzled as to what the thief is thinking of doing with all that chocolate. ***MARLAR: Police are on the lookout for an obese man with a pimple problem.

What would life be like with self-cleaning clothes? That may no longer be just a fantasy. Dr. Walid Daoud, of Monash University in Australia, has figured out a way to get tiny particles of a type of titanium to stick to the silk and wool. The titanium breaks down contaminants when it’s exposed to sunlight. In a test, Daoud stained fabric samples with red wine. Those samples, which had previously been treated with the anatase titanium, showed no evidence of the stain after being exposed to artificial sunlight for 20 hours. ***MARLAR: This means I’ll be able to go back to using my washing machine just to clean my cat.

It turns out that those funny-looking swirly fluorescent light bulbs may not be as environmentally friendly as everyone thought. They do last longer and use less energy but they also contain enough mercury to contaminate up to 6,000 gallons of water beyond safe drinking levels – which could cause kidney and brain damage. However, experts say fluorescent bulbs are still better for the environment as they are more energy efficient. ***MARLAR: Sure, you may die of mercury poisoning – but that’s good for the planet.

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