Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – September 21, 2010

A 15-year-old boy damaged his eyes while playing with a laser pointer he’d bought over the Internet, say doctors who warn that dangerously high-powered versions are easily available online.  One eye expert called it “a legitimate public health menace.”  ***MARLAR: You have to assume a laser-pointer is dangerous when the warning label says “Do not look into laser with remaining eye.”  It kind of assumes you already ignored the warning once before, doesn’t it?

Pennsylvania’s Harrisburg University of Science and Technology will enact a week-long social media blackout for all students in residence. The students will be forbidden from using Twitter, Facebook, instant messaging and any other online communication except for e-mail.  NPR reports that university Provost Eric Darr chose to enact the temporary ban because he wants students to think about how much they’re using technology in their daily lives and what kind of impact it has. ***MARLAR: The school expects 83% of resident students will immediately get a life.

A church in West Palm Beach has been told to alter wording on its sign or it will no longer be an election polling site.  Belvedere Baptist Church has been a polling location for about 35 years — but apparently no longer. David Jasper, the chief deacon at Belvedere Baptist, explains that leading into the upcoming election cycle, the church decided to display the message: “The Best Vote You Can Cast: Make Jesus Your Lord.”   ***MARLAR: Apparently the Board of Elections is concerned that Christ might get into office.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely Voters would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate, while 36% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent. Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, notes that “voters are ready to deliver the same message in 2010 that they delivered in 2006 and 2008 as they prepare to vote against the party in power for the third straight election. These results suggest a fundamental rejection of both political parties.”  ***MARLAR: Meaning in 2012 we might very well elect a U.S. President with the name “None of the Above”.

In Oslo, Norway, Andreas Jankov, a serious movie buff, has decided to make a name for himself — quite literally. The professional bus driver has legally changed his name to Julius Andreas Gimli Arn MacGyver Chewbacca Highlander Elessar-Jankov. He says it’s the best way he can think of to pay tribute to his favorite movie heroes. His favorite films are Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, but he’s also a serious fan of the TV hit MacGyver. ***MARLAR: It’s just a hunch, but I’m guessing Andreas hasn’t been on a date in a very long time.

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