Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News – October 19, 2010

A Florida couple thought they were buying a Halloween decoration at a yard sale, but it turns out they bought a real human skeleton. Judith and Mitchell Fletcher paid $8 for what they thought were a box of scary holiday decorations at a yard sale. When they got the box home, they realized they had bought real bones.  They called the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives took the bones to the medical examiner, who determined they came from a professionally prepared human anatomical skeleton, normally used in medical courses.  The sheriff’s office is now contacting colleges and universities to see who may be missing a skeleton.  ***MARLAR: They’re also contacting political candidates who might be in need of a spine.

Determined to turn New Jersey’s education system on its head, Gov. Chris Christie has unveiled a tough-love reform package that will make classroom achievement — not seniority or tenure — the basis for pay hikes and career advancement in Garden State public schools.  The governor is demanding that teachers in kindergarten through fifth grade actually pass tests in reading and math in order to be certified.  ***MARLAR: New Jersey teachers sent out a memo saying that “105%” of them say they are “oppsoed” to the plan and are “axtremellery” angry.

A Massachusetts woman faces assault charges after Belmont police said she hit a motorist in the face with a bag of dog feces. Police said that the woman, whose name has not been released, admitted tossing doggie dung at the driver because she believed he was speeding.  The woman was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, vandalism to property and disorderly conduct.  ***MARLAR: That’s right – doggie doo is now considered a dangerous weapon.  Meaning there is now a two-week waiting period before your dog is allowed to poop.

Halloween is not immune to the negative effects of a bad economy. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend $4.75 billion on the spooky holiday, down from $5.77 billion a year ago. People on average are planning on spending $56.31, down from $66.54 last year.  ***MARLAR: Only fifty six bucks to spend on Halloween – that’s not enough for my own personal stash of Snickers bars!

If you are tired of earthly news you should know that astronomers have found 32 new planets outside our solar system, adding evidence to the theory that the universe has many places where life could exist.  Scientists using the European Southern Observatory telescope didn’t find any planets quite the size of Earth or any that seemed habitable or even unusual. But their announcement increased the number of planets discovered outside the solar system to more than 400.  ***MARLAR: And they have not yet figured out which planet Shirley Maclaine came from.

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