QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

Grown Ups 2 Leads Razzies Nominees

USA: Grown Ups 2 is making the most noise at this year’s Golden Raspberry Awards.

The silly comedy sequel about four childhood friends led the Razzie line-up with eight nominations, including worst picture, sequel, ensemble, screenplay, and lead actor for Adam Sandler.


Sandler is no stranger to the Razzies, which launched in 1980 as a spoof of Hollywood’s awards season. He won the worst actor trophy last year for the man-child comedy That’s My Boy. His 2011 cross-dresser comedy Jack And Jill made Razzie history the year before with a record 10 awards, with Sandler winning both the worst actor and actress prizes.


The Razzies announcement comes ahead of today’s Oscar nominations. Winners of the 34th annual Razzies will be announced on Mar 1, the night before the 86th annual Academy Awards.

This year’s other worst-picture nominees are the Wild West romp The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, Tyler Perry’s holiday comedy A Madea Christmas, sci-fi coming-of-age story After Earth starring Will and Jaden Smith, and comedy anthology Movie 43 featuring the likes of Kate Winslet, Richard Gere, Hugh Jackman, and Halle Berry.



After Earth, A Madea Christmas, and Movie 43 are tied with six nods each. In addition to worst picture, screenplay, and ensemble nominations, they are also in the running for worst actor, actress, and supporting actor slots for Will and Jaden Smith of After Earth, Perry and Larry the Cable Guy of A Madea Christmas, and Berry and Naomi Watts of Movie 43.

Past winners such as Berry and Sandra Bullock have sometimes shown up to claim their gold spray-painted prizes.



MACABRE CRIME

ENGLAND: Thieves have tried to steal the ashes of the founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud and his wife Martha.

The burglars “severely damaged” the ancient urn that contained the couple’s remains when they attempted to take it from Hoop Lane Cemetery in Golders Green, north-west London, between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, police said. The urn dates from the third century BC.

Detective Constable Daniel Candler called the attempted theft “despicable” as he appealed for anyone with information to contact police

UNUSUAL GIFTS

ENGLAND: An Oyster travel card was one of the more unusual gifts received by Queen Elizabeth of Britain last year.

Among the plethora of presents given to the monarch during royal engagements in 2013 were jewels, decorative pieces, and fine wine.

She was presented with a commemorative Oyster card on a visit to the capital’s Baker Street Tube station to mark the 150th anniversary of London Underground last March.

Other unusual gifts included an edible carriage made from chocolate, sugar, and a 24-carat gold leaf, presented during a royal visit to the UK headquarters of Mars in Slough, Berkshire.

HIDDEN AGENTS

USA: The Border Patrol is using wireless camera-equipped robots to let agents remotely navigate tunnels and storm drainage systems that smugglers use to sneak in drugs, guns, and people from Mexico.

Dozens of crude tunnels have been discovered in the area around the Arizona border city of Nogales over the years. The agency is using the devices to keep agents out of harm’s way. Many tunnels lack proper ventilation, are poorly built, and are prone to collapsing.

TIGER ALERT

INDIA: A tiger prowling for food has killed seven people in northern India in the past two weeks, forcing thousands of terrified villagers to stay inside while hunters try to kill the animal.

The tiger’s latest victim was a woman whose body was found in a forest in Uttar Pradesh state. The tiger, a female, has been on the prowl across an area spanning some 130km.

“A hunt has been launched to kill the tigress that has turned into a maneater,” a wildlife spokesman said.

“It must still be hungry, as it has been running without rest and adequate food.”


USA: Vandals have struck Plymouth Rock, the traditional spot marking where early pilgrims landed in North America to found a new life.

It is engraved with “1620” to mark the pilgrims’ arrival in the New World. Someone spray-painted the word “LIES” on the chunk of rock.

The vandals also defaced the granite walls of the landmark’s sunken enclosure with an obscene figure and the phrase “for a drug-filled world”.

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