A New Zealand toddler gave her parents a shock (to say the least) when she purchased a $12,000 earth digger truck on an auction Web site. Three-year-old Pipi Quinlan woke up before the rest of her family and made her way to the family computer. After booting up Internet Explorer, Pipi navigated to an online auction site called Trade Me. Since her mother’s account was still logged onto the site, Pipi was able to click her way to a winning bid for the massive industrial digger. The daughter said nothing about her purchase until her mother received an e-mail notification from the site confirming the sale. Luckily for the Quinlan family, a quick phone call to the auction site cleared the mess up, and the digger was re-listed for auction. ***MARLAR: Now that girl really knows how to dig in the sandbox!
Twitter, the Web site that asks what everybody’s doing, says it wants to be doing a TV series. The social-networking service has teamed with Reveille productions and Brillstein (BRILL’-steen) Entertainment to develop an unscripted series based on the site, which invites brief, 140-character postings from members all over the world. The show would harness Twitter to put players on the trail of celebrities in a competitive format. The producers call their planned series the first to bring the immediacy of Twitter to the TV screen. But they’re offering no further details on the interactive show’s format or when it might hit the air. ***MARLAR: And apparently they can’t report any more than that because they’re only allowed 140 characters.
Calling anyone with an inner-wolf, who can howl like one. Seriously. If you can howl like a wolf and are willing to spend a night making that sound in the Maine woods, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to hear from you. The Wolf Inquiry Project will hold “howling surveys” in several areas this summer. It’s to find out if wolves are resettling in Maine. ***MARLAR: Why would a wolf want to settle there with the neighbors constantly making all that racket?
Stopping driver’s license fraud is no laughing matter: Four states are ordering people to wipe the grins off their faces in their license photos.”Neutral facial expressions” are required at departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) in Arkansas, Indiana, Nevada and Virginia. That means you can’t smile, or smile very much. Other states may follow. ***MARLAR: Police don’t want you to smile because they want to make sure you look exactly as you’ll look when they hand you a ticket.
China will ban smoking in all hospitals and medical facilities starting in 2011 as the world’s most populous nation struggles to get its people to kick one of their favorite habits. China is the world’s largest cigarette producer and Chinese are the world’s most enthusiastic smokers, with a growing market of about 320 million. ***MARLAR: The biggest problem with Chinese cigarettes is that one you’re done smoking, you’re need another one just an hour later.
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch and now your grocery bills are about to get bigger, too. Economists say a number of ingredients are combining to send grocery store prices upwards. Even worse news is that it will not only affect prices of fresh foods, but processed foods as well. For one thing, the world has more people to feed than ever before and now we’re competing for food with the biofuel industry. You can also blame the rising cost of vegetable oil, which is used for preservatives, colorings and flavorings. Food prices went up about four percent last year and you can look for them to make a similar jump this year. ***MARLAR: Maybe we should create a car that runs on kitchen leftovers.
Clarence Stucki recently called the local power company to report a power outage before he realized that he might as well have turned himself in. You see, Clarence wired up a bypass in order to get free electricity and his plan worked for some 60 years. The statute of limitations only allows him to be charged with 7 years of theft, but that still amounts to around $82,000. The Logan Light and Power company spotted Clarence’s handiwork when they came to fix the power outage at his home. The company said they did not want to “put him in jail” but wanted to recoup their costs. ***MARLAR: Because if they put him in jail, he’d still get free power!