Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: December 22, 2010

NEW NEWS…

The little Smurfs are coming to the big screen in the summer of 2011. The blue cartoon characters will star in a movie that has both animation and live action. ***MARLAR: The movie will be called “Avatar 2.”

Over 12,000 Ikea employees got a new bicycle as a Christmas gift.  A spokesperson for the company said the bicycles were awarded to the workers as a thank-you for “great results and great team work, plus the bicycle also supports a healthy lifestyle.”  ***MARLAR: Plus with increasing gas prices they’re assured you can make it to work.

Over 350,000 lights have been used this December to create an explosion of holiday joy in Joe Novak and his family’s yard in New Mexico.  The lights blink on and off to eight holiday songs, each song taking over 25 hours each to program.  Novak says his light show draws in the locals more and more each year, pushing him to add more lights each holiday season. He plans to go even bigger in 2011.  ***MARLAR: Al Gore has confirmed that global warming would cease to be an issue if Mr. Novak would just stop decorating for Christmas.

Police officers in downtown Philadelphia who came across a shot-up car with exposed wiring inside were about to the call the bomb squad when they found out it was a movie prop.  The Philadelphia Inquirer reports police stopped Friday morning in the Old City section when they saw the car riddled with bullet holes and side windows shot out. They also saw wires running from the trunk into the dashboard.  The officers were ready to close the street and call the bomb squad when a security guard told them it was for a film.  ***MARLAR: Police in the state’s city of Pittsburgh say it’s no big deal.  In their area, that’s the normal look for cars on the street.

RETRO NEWS: FORMERLY NEW, NOW NOT NEW, BUT STILL ENTERTAINING…

It was pretty creepy and crawly – even for New York’s Bravest.  Firefighters in the New York City borough of Queens found snakes and creepy critters galore when they responded to a small basement fire.  Lieutenant Ed Ireland says it was like something out of a science fiction movie.  After the smoke cleared, Ireland says he saw a ten-foot python slithering near his feet.  There were also two cobras, tarantulas, two small alligators, and other creatures.  The animals’ owner was cited for health code violations.  ***MARLAR: Samuel Jackson has already signed on for the movie.

9-1-1 is closed — “because everyone is at the doughnut shop.” That’s the bogus audio message an Easton, Pennsylvania, firefighter heard when he clicked a link on the city’s Web site. City officials say the file was accidentally left on the site by a former fire chief, who was hired to improve Easton’s Net offerings. The consultant thought the audio links didn’t work and believed he had deleted them. The message has now been taken off-line. But firefighter Terrance Hand, who discovered the bogus doughnut shop message, says the city’s firefighters and police officers deserve an apology.  ***MARLAR: Which they will receive once they return from Krispy Kreme.

An Arizona state official is learning there’s no such thing as a private joke on MySpace. Dennis Seavers is the executive director of the state fingerprinting board. He posted in his online profile that he likes to indoctrinate kids in the “splendors of lawlessness.” He says it was a joke for his friends only. Seavers’ page also said he lived “a quiet daytime life as a state employee.” But he is really interested in “wild debauchery” and “self-promotion and enrichment.” Seavers says his MySpace profile is “exactly the opposite” of him as a person. He says he wouldn’t have done it if he had known everyone could see his MySpace page. Some state legislators say they still have questions about the incident.  ***MARLAR: How can an Arizona state official working in a crime division not know that MySpace is open to the public?

No men allowed.  That is the rule on the entire 19th floor of a new J.W. Marriott hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  A lounge at the hotel is also reserved for women only.  Spokeswoman Andrea Groom says more than half of all business travelers are women.  She tells The Grand Rapids Press they want to be able to relax over a drink without getting hit-on by men.  The women-only rooms have distaff-specific amenities like special hair dryers, bath products, jewelry holders and chenille throws.  But the businesswomen will have to pay for the privilege.  Rooms on the women-only floor are about thirty dollars more than the usual rate.  ***MARLAR: They were going to have a “Men Only” floor as well, but it’s too expensive to equip every bathroom with a La-Z-Boy, big screen TV, and a fridge.

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