Friday Funny- Weird News and Random Oddities

I give credit where credit is due and most of my Weird News comes from Chuck Shepherd’s column of News of the Weird. You can go there for the complete list as I don’t always publish each point as I don’t find all of them funny/odd/weird enough to be included in my editorial.

Sex sells bone marrow:

It was a prestigious hospital on a worthy mission (to recruit hard-to-match bone marrow donors to beef up dwindling supplies), but UMass Memorial Medical Center (Worcester, Mass.) went hardcore: hiring young female models in short skirts to flirt with men at New Hampshire shopping centers to entice them to give DNA swabs for possible matches. Complaints piled up because state law requires insurance providers to cover the tests, at $4,000 for each swab submitted by the love-struck flirtees, and the hospital recently dropped the program, according to a December New York Times report. [New York Times, 12-17-2010]

I believe him, we hear this all the time with our billing system:

Vietnam veteran Ronald Flanagan, in the midst of expensive treatment for bone cancer, had his medical insurance canceled in January because his wife mistakenly keyed in a “7” instead of a “9” in the “cents” space while paying the couple’s regular premium online, leaving the Flanagans 2 cents short. Said the administrator, Ceridian COBRA Services, that remittance “fit into the definition in the regulations of ‘insufficient payment'” and allows termination. (Ceridian said it warned the Flanagans before cancellation, but Ron Flanagan said the “warning” was just an ordinary billing statement that did not draw his attention.) [KMGH-TV (Denver), 1-25-2011]

Sending the wrong message:

Tennessee, the “second-fattest” state, according to a recent foundation report, continues to pay for obese Medicaid recipients to have bariatric surgery (at an average cost of about $2,000), but to deny coverage for an overweight person to consult, even once, with a dietitian. [The Tennessean, 1-18-2011]

Wow, watching that volcano erupt makes me think of…

As of early November, 150 people had been killed by the 2-week-old, erupting Mount Merapi volcano in Central Java, Indonesia, and the government had created shelters in stadiums and public halls for 300,000 jammed-together evacuees. By that time, however, some had petitioned authorities to open up private shelter locations so that the displaced could attend to certain romantic, biological needs. Apparently some evacuees had become so frisky that they had left the shelter and returned to their homes in the danger zone just so they could have sex. [Australian Broadcasting Corp. News, 11-1-2010]

Court Judgement in 1990 not exactly fair to both parties (News of the Weird classic):

Broward County, Fla., judge Paul Marko, in a July (1990) divorce case, awarded Marianne Price, 33, possession of the marital house but prohibited her from having boyfriends over, adding that her husband could have the “entire (Miami) Dolphins cheerleading squad running through his apartment naked” if he wanted to, because that apartment was his. Marko then advised Price to start visiting singles bars: “I’ve been (in them). I’m a single man. There are all kinds of bimbos … and … guys running around in open shirts with eagles on their chests. There are great guys out there.” Marko said he would order Price’s house sold if she allowed a male to live there: “I don’t want (you) all of a sudden taking up with some nice, sweet, little blond from Norway.” Marko later apologized. [Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, 7-29-1990]

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This snippet is from “True Crime Report” about a poor Oregonian man denied emergency medical attention because he crashed his car in the parking lot outside Portland Adventist Hospital and Emergency Room personnel refused to come out to treat him.

…He had a heart attack, crashing his car just 150 feet from the emergency room door. He spent 20 minutes in the lot before a passerby noticed the accident and flagged down police. Soon, two officers were performing CPR, while two more ran to the emergency room for help.

And here’s where the craven Portland Adventist staff enters the picture. Instead of rushing out to help the dying man, they actually told the cops to call 911 to summon an ambulance. That’s protocol, they said. And they weren’t budging.

So as officers desperately tried to save Birgilio’s life, they had to actually wait for an ambulance to show up to carry him just 150 feet. …

After the incident, Portland Adventist Hospital mouthpieces tried to claim they were merely following protocol, which to them is far more important than acting like a human. They said they sent a nurse, a supervisor and security to the parking lot, but that wasn’t until after the ambulance had already arrived, according to police.

Dr. Kelli Westcott, head of the hospital’s emergency services, said “We do call 9-1-1 to make sure trained responders can safely transport a patient to the emergency department. We activate the EMS system so the trained responders can safely transport you to the emergency department because we want to give everybody the timely care that they deserve.'”

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Here is the VERY abridged Cracked.com article authored by Mark M., Kathy Benjamin, Sami Reeves about the 6 Factors That Secretly Influence Who You Have Sex With.  I encourage you to read the full article, because they are fairly hilarious with pictures. (Also their site has the links to all the scientific reports about these various studies)

#6 Fear:

We tend to think that emotions such as fear and anger cause our hearts to speed up. According to the two-factor theory of emotion, it’s the other way around. When you meet a 15-foot-tall grizzly bear in the woods, your body doesn’t have time to ask your brain about feelings. Instinct takes over and turns your heart into an internal combustion engine. According to the theory, it’s only later that we come up with “an emotional interpretation of that arousal” and decide we were scared.

But scary movies aren’t the only type that can screw with your ability to choose a partner. Ladies, let’s say you take your soul mate to the latest Nicholas Sparks movie (you presumably don’t know he’s your soul mate yet). At a sad moment in the movie, you start crying, and he goes in for the cuddle. That slide whistle you just heard was his testosterone level dropping like a homesick rock. It turns out that female tears produce a hormone that dampens the male libido. According to the scientist behind the discovery, the purpose is evolutionary: “We’ve uncovered the chemical word for ‘no,’ or ‘not now.’ ” While that probably came in handy when the dating scene was full of hunter-gatherers, in the modern world, this means that something as simple as a bee sting can scare away the person you’re destined to be with for the rest of your life.

#5 The Color Red:

A few years ago, a study found that men tended to be attracted to women who were wearing red. Participants in the study were shown various pictures of women in different colors. The key was that researchers snuck in more than one photo of certain women wearing different tones. You would think that if the men found a woman to be unattractive in one color, she would be unattractive in any color. Nope. It didn’t matter whether the picture of a woman they saw in blue was the same person, only digitally changed to be wearing red. The redder picture was almost always rated as sexier. The men were even willing to spend more money on a date with the women in red than with her counterparts wearing blue, green or gray. Apparently, the people who run red-light districts are smarter than we’ve been giving them credit for.

Various types of monkeys and apes have, to put it in scientific terms, hilariously bright-red asses. These serve a purpose other than making humans point and laugh. They tend to swell and get redder when a female is fertile, indicating this fact to the males and thus ensuring the continuation of the species. This relationship of red and fertility may play with a man’s perception of what woman he finds most attractive. The monkey in him wants to make sure he knocks someone up, so the suave modern man finds himself most attracted to the lady in red.

#4 Your Ear and Forearm: (This is actually useful for all of us who have headsets stuck to one side of our faces all day)

The brain is a really complex organ. But after decades of studying it, most psychologists and neurologists feel comfortable making a couple of generalizations — namely, that the left side of your brain handles verbal information and is tuned in to positive emotions, while the right hemisphere concentrates on nonverbal stimuli and more negative emotions. They also know that information that goes in your left ear is handled by the right side of the brain.

Armed with this information, psychologists in Italy devised a study that tested how the different sides of your brain process information. What they found is that requests are 50 percent more successful when heard from the right side than the left. In the study, a woman approached people at a club and asked for a cigarette, leaning in to one side or another. Exactly double the number of people obliged her when she asked on their right. In a dating situation, not only could the chances of someone saying yes to a date hinge on who is standing where, but the emotional aspect could come into play as well. Sure, you might agree to go out with someone who talked in your left ear, but your first impression might be to associate him with more negative emotions.

You’re even more likely to accept a date if the person asking also touches you on the arm. A French study found that women were more likely to accept an offer to dance with a man at a club, and to give their number to a stranger on the street, if he lightly touched their arm while asking. When questioned about why they said yes, the women who had been touched said they thought the man was more dominant, which might be expected, but they also rated him as more attractive physically.

#3 The Taste in the Kiss

There’s a cluster of chromosomes present in the body called MHC (major histocompatibility complex) that controls part of your immune system. And when you’re out looking for someone to breed with, MHC is probably the most influential aspect of a partner that you didn’t know you were judging. MHC controls your ability to fight off infection, and if you breed with someone whose MHC is similar to your own, the pregnancy is less likely to take. Finding someone whose MHC is different means a more diverse immune system for the child.

In fact, according to a report in Psychology Today, the scent of MHC might be the second-most-important factor in determining how attractive a woman finds a potential mate. While you might not realize you’re secretly judging someone you just met on how well your child would be able to fight off a cold, that’s what’s happening. Your body tries to instinctively make sure that each potential partner has the sexual compatibility seal of approval. Now how does it do that?

MHC is present in both pheromones and saliva, meaning that to really detect whether a partner is suitable, one must be in close proximity (to smell the MHC), and there must be an exchange in saliva (to taste the MHC). Now, what usually happens when these two events are placed together? That’s right, ladies and gentlemen — the kiss is in fact a damn taste test. We’ve adapted the behavior to make sure we find someone with whom our chemicals match up.

#2 The Pill

If she’s been on birth-control pills the whole time you dated, there’s a chance you’re both being tricked into marrying exactly the wrong person by your own bodies.

When a woman is actually pregnant, her body decides, “It’s not like I can get more pregnant,” and it stops doing a bunch of the things it normally does. The pill basically uses hormones to convince a woman’s body that it’s already pregnant. The woman doesn’t want to get pregnant, her body thinks it’s pregnant, everyone’s happy.

A woman on the pill gets exactly the same effect, without the belly or the appearance of the boob fairy. For the entire time she’s on the pill, a woman will prefer people with MHC that is similar to her own. This is why some psychologists believe that the high divorce rate in modern times can be blamed on the pill. Two people can be dating for years, thinking they’re meant for each other when in reality, their MHC is the exact opposite of compatible. Of course, they only find out when they’re ready to hatch one and she goes off the pill, which of course is often way, way too late.

#1 Timing

Whether a woman wants babies or not, her body definitely does. Every month, a woman’s body fires up the baby maker, releasing a fertile egg into the line of fire in case she gets lucky. To help improve her luck, her body also makes sure she looks ripe for the picking by raising the size of her breasts, dilating her pupils and increasing the pitch of her voice. All of this is accompanied by a cocktail of pheromones wafting off her body into the air around her.

Yes, there is a time every month that each woman is basically signaling to the world that she wants to have sex. How good are men at picking up on these signals? One study showed “that strippers who are ovulating average $70 in tips per hour, those who are menstruating and thus unable to conceive make $35 and those who are doing neither make $50.” Women have also reported “that when they’re ovulating, their partners are more loving and attentive and, significantly, more jealous of other men.”

So ladies, if you’re wondering how you keep ending up with jerks, take a look back through your inbox. Do the emails you send your friends about how you “met the greatest guy at the bar last night” tend to fall around the same time each month? It might be because ovulation actually lowers women’s standards for sexual partners and even goes so far as to increase their likelihood of sex with multiple partners.

And guys, if a douchebag runs into your dream girl at a sexually convenient time, it might not even matter if he’s the type of person who would request a “bridesmaid sandwich” in their wedding vows. He’s going to have the edge.

OK, That’s the End of that Folks!  Hope you enjoyed your new edition of the Friday Funny!  Have a safe and happy weekend!

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