Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – September 20, 2010

Why the sun’s atmosphere is nearly 200 times hotter than its visible surface is a long-standing mystery. A new spacecraft, called Solar Probe Plus, aims to find some answers.   The new unit will fly directly into the sun’s corona.  It’s not going to be easy. For starters, the probe will need to withstand temperatures up to about 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit. Solar Probe Plus will cost more than $1 billion and will launch in 2018.  ***MARLAR: Oh… wow… so I guess we’ve already eradicated poverty, illegal immigration, and the U.S. deficit, so we can afford to launch money directly into the sun?

Many Americans refuse to believe their bathroom scales, thinking they are thinner than they actually are. A Harris Interactive/HealthDay survey asked participants to provide their height and weight, and pollsters calculated their body mass index (BMI), a measurement used to indicate obesity.   Those participating were then asked which weight category they fell into. According to HealthDay, 30 percent who were actually in the overweight category thought their weight was normal, while 70 percent who were obese believed they were simply overweight. And 39 percent of the morbidly obese classified themselves as being merely overweight. Experts are saying obesity may soon become the new norm.  ***MARLAR: Well, what do you know – there’s a chance I might eventually be labeled “normal” after all.

When it comes to changing health behaviors, it takes more than a far-flung network of friends on Facebook egging you on. It takes a jostling herd, according to U.S. researchers.  Social scientists have assumed that changing behavior would spread like the flu, which transmits best via individuals with lots of long-distance contacts.   But to change behavior, you need to be surrounded by the message — with neighbors, family, and members in the community all reinforcing the same idea.   ***MARLAR: In other words, you might be my friend on Facebook, but if you TRULY cared about my weight, you’d move next door to me and needle me about it.

It’s hard to believe but it’s true! A woman in Ghana has married her dog! Yeah, this actually happened. Says the blushing bride, 29 year old Emily Mabou, : “For so long I’ve been praying for a life with a partner who has all the qualities of my dad. My dad was kind, faithful and loyal to my mum, and he never let her down.”  ***MARLAR: Apparently her dad also had a nice shiny coat and spent a lot of time in the doghouse.

Off the coast of Australia a new rare and beautiful species of dolphin has been discovered .  ***MARLAR: Early reports say it tastes like chicken.

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