Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – September 23, 2010

If you’ve taken the young ones to the area Chuckie Cheese’s, check the toys they may have brought home. More than 1.2 million Chuck E. Cheese light-up rings and toy eyeglasses are being recalled over concerns that children might swallow the small battery inside, regulators announced Wednesday. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said the plastic on the toys can break, possibly exposing the button-type batteries inside. The commission did not link the toys to any reported injuries.  ***MARLAR: If your kid is that desperate for energy, you might want to also hide the Red Bull.

Apparently, a new study from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that reducing the number of Americans who have a Body Mass Index that rates them as “obese” would cut per capita health care spending by 4 percent in the United States over the next 10 years.  “Because lower rates of obesity are associated with better health and lower health care spending per capita, there is considerable interest in devising policies that would reduce the fraction of the population that is obese,” said the CBO in the just released report entitled, “How Does Obesity in Adults Affect Spending on Health Care?”  ***MARLAR: Apparently we’ve found “public enemy number one” for our new health care death panels – obese people.  “Sorry, we can’t give you this life-saving cancer cure, because you like your Cheetos too much.  NEXT!”

Britain’s The Sun tabloid is reporting that a British teenager who sent an email to the White House calling President Obama an obscenity was banned from America for life.  The FBI asked local cops to tell college student Luke Angel, 17, his drunken insult was “unacceptable.”  Angel said he fired off a single email criticizing the U.S. government after seeing a TV program about the 9/11 attacks.  Joanne Ferreira, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said there are about 60 reasons a person can be barred from visiting America.  ***MARLAR: Apparently, one of the reasons to be barred from America is evoking your right to free speech.

The Homeland Security Department plans to test futuristic iris scan technology that stores digital images of people’s eyes in a database and is considered a quicker alternative to fingerprints.  The department will run a two-week test in October of commercially sold iris scanners at a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, where they will be used on illegal immigrants.  Not surprisingly, the technology also has sparked objections from the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).  ***MARLAR: On the plus side, we’ll be able to immediately tell illegal immigrants whether or not they have glaucoma.

You still can’t use your cell phone on a plane.  The Federal Communications Commission has spent the past couple of years re-examining the current rules, which require cell phones to be turned off once the plane leaves the ground.  FAA rules restrict the use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices on planes to make sure they don’t interfere with the aircraft’s navigation and communication systems.  ***MARLAR: How can they say that flying is the safest way to travel when they’re nervous that you might bring down the plane by making a cell call to your mom?

Marine mammal experts in the Florida Keys have opened a dolphin “chat line” of sorts, hoping to teach a deaf dolphin’s unborn calf to communicate. Underwater speakers and microphones were installed to broadcast dolphin noises into the tank.  The dolphin should deliver her calf in about a month.  ***MARLAR: If this actually worked, wouldn’t we have moms playing rock music for their unborn babies and then giving birth to kids who immediately knew how to play the guitar?

In Caracas, Venezuela police have always been able to arrest people for kissing in public. However, now they can arrest a couple if they LOOK like they’re even thinking about kissing. Cops were given the green light to round up would-be smoochers after older citizens complained that kissing couples made them feel uncomfortable. Human rights activists are protesting the law.  ***MARLAR: As are the makers of TicTacs.

A full-sized Viking ship made from recycled ice-cream sticks is setting sail for England from the Netherlands. The 50-foot long ship, named after the Norse god Thor, is made from 15 million recycled ice-cream sticks glued together by American stuntman Robert McDonald, his son and more than 5,000 children.  ***MARLAR: The biggest challenge will be keeping the boat afloat from all the weight the crew gained from eating all those popsicles.

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