they did what?: December 2009 Archives

275x250.jpgThink you've set yourself a hard new years resolution? Then spare a thought for Martin Parnell, he plans to run 250 marathons in the next 12 months.

The 54-year-old from Canada hopes to raise $250,000 for charity with his marathon effort -- running a total of 6,550 miles.

That works out to five marathons per week and Martin won't be celebrating the new decade too hard, his runs start on the morning of January 1.

While most of the 250 marathons will be run on the Cochrane Foothills Marathon course in Cochrane, Alberta, Martin will also compete in several official events.

We dread to think how many pairs of trainers he will get through during the year, but given how long he will be wearing them we hope he leaves them outside.

275x250.jpgUS weather reporter Kim Perez didn't forecast this -- her boyfriend proposing to her live on TV.

The Weather Channel presenter was busy talking about rainfall in Florida when her policeman partner Marty Cunningham walked onto the set.

He quickly dropped to one knee and asked her to marry him, as he did music started playing and the US map switched to a screen saying "Will You Marry Me?"

Luckily he wasn't left embarrassed, Kim said 'I will,' before adding ‘You got me’ and ‘You make me so happy.’

Then came the traditional end to any good marriage proposal… a voiceover introduces the football forecast.

275x250.jpgA hypnotist has announced plans for a stunt where he intends to put users of Facebook and Twitter into a trance and stick their hands together.
Chris Hughes says his Socialtrance event on the 4th of January will be the world's largest mass online hypnosis session.

Using just the sound of his voice he claims the webcast will leave users of the social networks stuck to their chair and unable to open their eyes.

The 34-year-old says he wants to show people to the power of hypnotism and that all participants need is a computer with speakers and a Twitter or Facebook account.

But who is going to be more susceptible Twitter or Facebook users? Let us know which you think in the comments.

275x250.jpgA UK town ended up with dim street-lights when drug growers hacked into the electricity supply to power their cannabis farm.

The 200-plant cannabis factory in Lancashire is said to have drained so much power that residents asked the council if they were using low-energy lightbulbs.

But it was only when police noticed the dim lights and launched an investigation they discovered the local electricity network had been tampered with.

It was found that a 19-year-old woman was illegally draining the lighting system to power a £100,000 cannabis factory in her three rooms of her Fleetwood home.

The electricity was powering a sophisticated lighting and watering scheme -- something her neighbours were in the dark about, literally.

Christmas diners must sign pudding waiver

275x250.jpgA restaurant in London is making diners sign a legal waiver before they can tuck into a traditional Christmas pudding.

High Timber introduced the legal document because their puddings contains solid silver pieces - a tradition dating back hundred of years.

But bosses were worried that if a diner chipped a tooth or swallowed one of the coins - worth £15-£75 and in four of every 30 puds - they could sue the restaurant.

The waiver read: "I absolve High Timber from blame should I come to harm including a chipped tooth, or any injury as a result of swallowing it."

So far non or the diners have come to any harm… but some have tried paying for their meal with half-chewed silver coins.

275x250.jpgA man wearing a Santa suit, false beard and sunglasses has robbed a bank at gunpoint.

The Father Christmas walked into the SunTrust Bank in Nashville and demanded the teller gave him cash -- he then pulled out the gun.

As he stuffed the wads of money into his sack, he told staff he would "kill everyone" if they put dye packs in with the notes or tried and funny stuff.

It is not known why Santa has turned to a life of crime... but some people speculate his elves have demanded a pay increase this year.

275x250.jpgPrince William has spent a night sleeping rough on a bed of cardboard boxes in a  London street - to raise awareness of the plight of homeless young people.

On Dec 15th the Prince - along with Seyi Obakin of charity Centrepoint - set up a 'bed' of cardboard boxes around Blackfriars bridge as temperatures dropped to -4C.

They then experienced first-hand what it is like for the thousands of young people who live rough in UK cities worried about being accosted by drug dealers and pimps.

At one point the Prince and fellow rough sleepers were almost run over by a road sweeper. Throughout the night they had also needed to keep an eye out for people who were out to give homeless people a kicking.

Maybe sensibly the Prince refrained from using the sleeping bag with the sentence "My other bed ... is in a palace" printed on it.

275x250.jpg A German airline is allowing holidaymakers to take their Christmas tree away with them.

Air Berlin has said that up until Christmas Eve passengers can transport their festive trees (of up to two metres) for free.

Bosses introduced the move because they say Germans don't like to be parted from their Christmas trees, even when going on holiday.

Personally we would like to see the photos on the beach of Germans sunbathing next to a fully decorated tree with presents underneath.

275x250.jpgNew F1 boss Sir Richard Branson could soon be donning an air stewardess uniform and serving coffee on a rival airline, after placing a odd Formula One bet.

Branson has made a wager with rival F1 boss Tony Fernandes that his Virgin Racing team will do better than Lotus F1 next season.

If they do Tony will have to work for a day as a stewardess with Virgin Atlantic Airways - complete with unflattering uniform. But if Lotus F1 do better Branson will do the same on AirAsia.

AirAsia CEO Fernandes - who released this cheeky picture - said of the bet: "Our passengers will be delighted to be served by a Knight of the Realm."

Either way I think we can all agree the biggest losers will be the passengers on whichever flight gets the cross-dressing stewardess.

275x250.jpgAquarium bosses have been forced to lower the level of water in their tanks... because of flatulent turtles

Bosses at Sea Life Yarmouth have been forced to drain off of water from a 250,000 litre tank after giving their turtles a seasonal treat of brussel sprouts.

The turtles are said to love the taste of the vegetables - which thanks to calcium, fibre and Vitamin C are good for their shells and digestions.

But, like with humans, this has apparently caused the same embarrassing side-effect, but with an added problem, the bubbling water can trigger overflow alarms.

This means that staff would be running to the tanks every time one of the green turtles farted - not what they want to be doing on Christmas day.

275x250.jpgThe son of Evel Knievel has announced plans to tackle the double-decker bus jump which defeated his dad and ended his career.

Robbie Knievel, 47 has revealed he will try to jump over 16 double-decker buses to mark the 35th anniversary of his dad’s failed attempt.

In 1975 Evel tried to jump his Harley-Davidson XR-750 over a row of 13 of the buses in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium.

But when his rear wheel clipped the last bus he summersaulted through the air and broke his pelvis - ending his career.

Now Robbie will try to recreate the jump in London during May 2010… well everything except the crash.

275x250.jpgThe sounds of some of the UKs worst snorers has been put together to make one of the oddest sounding Christmas songs of the year.

Musicians got snorers from around the UK to record the sounds of their night time rumbling and submit them for use in the 'song'.

They then edited the sounds together in the studio - creating a bizarre rendition of Silent Night which can be heard here.

While the snorers on the track are undoubtedly proud, we suggest they don't insist on playing it to their long-suffering partners too often - they want a genuinely silent night.

275x250.jpgA supermarket has pulled Christmas cards off the shleves after complaints they made fun of ginger haired kids.

The £1.50 card features a photo of a boy with red hair sat on Santa's knee and has the message 'Santa loves all kids. Even GINGER ones'.

But after a series of complaints from irate parents with red-head kids (who were seeing red) Tesco stores have stopped selling it.

A spokesperson for the store said they sell a large range of Christmas card some which are intended to be humorous and that they were sorry if the card had caused any upset.

It had been claimed that the card is discriminatory and likely to cause offence to people with ginger hair. However, no-one seems to be disputing that it was funny.

A sports fan watched in horror as friends fired guns at his 60-inch TV - after he bet them on Facebook that his team would win.

Wayne Spring was so confident that the Washington Redskins would win a recent game against the New Orleans Saints, he decided to bet his prized TV on the outcome.

He told pals on Facebook that it the Saints won, they could all go around to his house and shoot his TV. Guess what happened.

About 10 Saints fans arrived totting guns and beers and the 60-inch HD TV was positioned in his garden in front of the impromptu firing squad.

They then let rip and the television was shot dozens of times … Spring says he will be watching the rest of the NFL season on a 13-inch black and white set.

A US policeman who dances as he directs traffic has become an internet hit after videos of him have been uploaded to YouTube.

Dozens of clips show officer Tony Lepore strutting his stuff as he directs cars and busses around Rhode Island with a carefully choreographed routine.

The 62-year-old twirls, jumps and drops to his knees as he blows his whistle and points to tell drivers at busy the intersections when to move.

He is said to have started dancing on duty after seeing something similar on an episode of Candid Camera in the 1980s.

While Lepore wears full uniform including white gloves when working, he must be tempted to take one off Michael Jackson-style while he moonwalks cars in the right direction.

275x250.jpgA 1.5 metre tall remote-controlled Dinosaur robot has been stolen from a Walking With Dinosaurs show in Mexico.

Staff of the show - a live action production based on the hit BBC series - say they noticed the robo-dino was missing after their opening day in Guadalajara.

The show features 10 giant robots, some measuring 13m tall and worth £550,000 each. It tells the story of the 200 million-year reign of the dinosaurs.

Luckily for bosses, they say the stolen robot was one of their smallest dinosaurs, though it was still said to be worth £55,000.

It is not known how someone managed to smuggle the 1.5m tall dinosaur out of the venue, or what they plan to do with it -- but there could be one very happy Mexican boy somewhere.

275x250.jpgAn internet boss has given away around £10,000 for Christmas -- by throwing wads of cash into a busy London shopping street.

Bertrand Bodson of - an online community for daring and bragging - was challenged to give away the cash by users of his site. And he did.

Perched in a window above Carnaby Street in London earlier this week, he started throwing banknotes down onto unsuspecting shoppers and users of the site who had been warned in advance.

But as shoppers went crazy grabbing at the cash, they realised that mixed in with the £10,000 were some fake £6 notes… we guess Bodson needed something to make him smile as he threw money away.

Building-sized cocktail opens in London

275x250.jpgA giant cocktail which takes up an entire house and can serve over 25,000 people will open in London today.

The Architectural Punchbowl has been created at 33 Portland Place using over a tonne of cognac, berries, organic cider vinegar, and winter spices.

Artists Bompas & Parr had to make the building water proof and food-safe and find a way of keeping a vast volume of drink at optimum temperature for the odd installation.

Tickets to visit (and sample) the giant cocktail until 10th December are available online - though visitors are warned not to try swimming in it.

Parents spend £150 on nativity costumes

275x250.jpgUltra competitive parents are spending up to £150 to make sure their child is the star of the annual school nativity play, it has been claimed.

Where once tattered tea towels and tinsel made a suitable costume, parents are now said to be employing personal shoppers to ensure their child is 'Manger Chic'.

A high-street store says parents are buying new bridesmaid dresses for angels, fleeced duffle coats for donkeys and jewelled turbans for the wise men.

They claim that opting for a 'designer' nativity costume can easily take the cost from a couple of quid, to £50. In some cases they have seen parents are shelling out up to £150.

And the odd news continues with findings that kids with the most minor parts, such as a sheep, get the most expensive costume… fur throw anyone?

275x250.jpgA council has been branded 'patronising' after launching a scheme designed to tell the over-50s how to wear slippers safely.

Warwickshire County Council also offered 'older people' the chance to upgrade their worn out slippers for a new subsidised £5 pair.

The 'slipper service' told people to ensure their slippers were the right size and offered grip on the floor.

They warned that ill fitting slippers could lead to falls and fractured bones which could cause disability and even death.

Who knew something as mundane as a pair of slippers could be so dangerous - it looks like poor fitting slipper wearing could become a new extreme sport.

Iraqi shoe-thrower gets shoe hurled at him

The Iraqi man who threw a shoe at George Bush has seen what it's like when the shoe's on the other foot… well hurling at him to be more precise.

TV journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi was giving a press conference in Paris about his own shoe throwing experience, when another shoe thrower decided to target him with a boot.

Al-Zaidi,much like Bush in December 2008, was easily able to duck and dodge the shoe as his attacker was chased by security.

While the identity of the new shoe-thrower is not known, or the exact reason for his hurl - he is thought to be Iraqi.

Keeping his hero status among many people, Al-Zaidi quipped "He stole my technique" shortly after the shoe zipped past his head.

Man updates Facebook during own wedding

275x250.jpgA Facebook addict interrupted his own wedding to update his status on the social network from 'in a relationship' to 'married'.

As the minister had pronounced Dana Hanna and bride Tracy Page husband and wife, Danna shocked friends and family by pausing to get out his mobile phone.

The minister - who was in on the joke - then announced that the groom was updating his Facebook status. He was actually also updating his Twitter account.

While the guests laughed he then proceeded to get out a second mobile which he passed to Tracy.

Hopefully he didn't spend the rest of the evening tweeting every single detail of their first married night together.

275x250.jpgPeople normally use toothpicks to make small models or larger items, but not Terry Woodling, he made a full size stage coach.

Also known as "Mr Toothpick" Terry, from Indiana, has spent 15 years carefully crafting the exact replica of a Concord Coach stagecoach - using 1.5 milliion of the wooden sticks.

In those countless hours he used nothing but toothpicks and glue to create the model, which was then painted.

Terry says the stagecoach is the sort used by Wells Fargo to transport people and mail around the Us during the 1800s - though his toothpick version might not be up to the job.

275x250.jpgThe town of Darlington has appointed a "tweeter in residence" to tell people what is happening in the area.

Mike McTimoney - a social media fan and IT teacher at the town's Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College - will now get paid - though only £140 per year - for his tweets.

A spokesperson for the Darlington Partnership, which is behind the job, said that while many towns and cities have artists and writers in residence - they were the first to have a Twitterer.

Using the name @TheDarloBard Mike will now tweet about anything and everything going on in the town, sharing local news, insights and observations.

So lots of tweets about how much it is raining in Darlington then.

275x250.jpgThe giant Christmas tree in Copenhagen City Hall Square is a mass of hundreds of lights… but only while people are pedalling.

That's because in a bid to be environmentally friendly, the lights are connected to a selection of exercise bikes which generate power as they are pedalled.

As peoples legs spin they light up the tree - and burn a few calories while they're at it.

It is predicted the alternative way of lighting up the Christmas tree will save the environment a total of nine tonnes of CO2 compared to the traditional way of powering the lights.

But isn't it hard to be full of Christmas sprit if you are panting for breath?

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