He was shopping for the BEAR necessities…

Eye to eyeAn 86-year-old California man thought he was being robbed when he woke to a strange noise coming his kitchen early in the mornings. It turns out, the mysterious figure lurking there was not a burglar, but a bear. Quick-thinking homeowner Gus Hetland decided on his course of action. “I just let out a loud sound like a dog barking and the bear went out the window.” Both the bear and the home owner are going to be OK. ***MARLAR: This isn’t all that surprising though… old men bark all the time, especially if you’re on their grass.

 

Two British teens in the county of Hampshire, like their American counterparts, make a big deal of their arrival at prom — showing up in limos and daring attire, and finding other ways to make a stir. Sixteen-year-olds Sammy Burns and Megan Barton took stir-making a giant leap further. At the suggestion of Sammy’s mom, Debbie, the girls went as Barbies — not just all dolled up, but complete with box and bar code. Sammy says, “We stayed in the boxes for about half an hour.” “It was really hot and a little scary at first. But we soon got used to it and we kept smiling for everyone while they took pictures of us. It was great fun. We wanted to be properly unique — and we were.”  ***MARLAR: The only reason they were in the boxes for half an hour was that it took that long for their prom dates to undo the twisty ties. 

 

There’s at least one guy with a new high school diploma who’s not worrying about getting into college or finding a job.  After all, Takeshi Murata is 84.  He left University High School in Greeley, Colo., in 1944 when he was drafted to fight in World War II. The son of Japanese immigrants, Murata was trained as an interpreter in case of an invasion.  Murata says he barely spoke Japanese but was sent to Tokyo after the war ended. He married in Japan and returned to northeast Colorado in 1947, where he farmed and raised five children.  The high school finally granted Murata’s diploma Wednesday after a teacher heard his story and found his old report cards. ***MARLAR: He told reporters that graduating high school isn’t that big of a deal, because he’s already been a senior for the past twenty years. 

 

Authorities say a prankster persuaded a married couple to smash their Florida hotel window after falsely telling them the room had a gas leak.  Police say a person claiming to be a front-desk clerk at an Orlando hotel convinced the couple to break a wall mirror and use a lamp to punch a hole through the wall. The couple also threw a mattress out the window, but a hotel manager came to the room before they could jump.  The manager told the couple there was no gas leak. The manager also said employees had received a memo from the hotel’s corporate office warning that dangerous pranks were being pulled at hotels in other states.  The prank cost about $5,000 in damages. Police say the couple were not arrested Monday because they thought it was an emergency. The hotel has not asked them to pay. ***MARLAR: Maybe it’s just me, but if you have to leave a room because it has a gas leak, wouldn’t it be easier to leave through the door?

 

State education officials have given a failing grade to a plan by two Southern California elementary schools to use extended summer sessions to make up for lost class time.  California’s State Board of Education unanimously rejected Chino Valley Unified School District’s plan Thursday to use a July session at Rolling Ridge Elementary School and Dickson Elementary School to meet state standards for class time and avoid a roughly $5 million penalty.  The district launched the session in mid-June after realizing the schools fell a few minutes short of the minimum class time required for fourth-through-sixth graders on several days during the regular school year.  A staff report recommended the board reject the plan to use summer school to make up 22 days of class time. ***MARLAR: Needless to say, elementary students are tickled pink.

 

Fresh blooms brighten more than a room; they also lift your mood, a study from Harvard Medical School in Boston reports.  ***MARLAR: For those with allergies, they suggest watching a movie starring Orlando Bloom.

 

Laughter really is contagious. Merely hearing someone else laugh activates the region in your brain involved in vocalizing, promoting actual chuckles, researchers at the University College London say.  ***MARLAR: Maybe I should start doing this show with a laugh track. 

 

Creative Commons License photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar

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