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

Village stays blue to beat the blues

SPAIN: A Spanish hilltop village has found a way to chase away the country’s recession woes by keeping all its buildings blue — the way they were painted in 2011 for a promotion for cartoon movie The Smurfs 3D.

“We calculate that around 210,000 tourists have visited us since we painted ourselves blue two years ago, and people keep on coming,” Juzcar mayor David Fernandez said told Reuters.

A traditional village nestled amongst chestnut forests in the southern region of Andalusia, Juzcar, with a population of fewer than 250 people, painted everything blue, including its church and town hall, when it was chosen by Sony Pictures to host an event to promote the movie.

Promoters pledged to repaint the town white after the event, but residents voted to keep it blue because of the economic benefits brought by Smurf-seeking tourists.

Woman’s head gets stuck in railing during sex

RUSSIA: A woman having sex on the stairs outside her apartment got her head stuck in the banister and had to be freed by firemen after her partner vanished.

The 46-year-old and her boyfriend had decided to go out to the stairs to “spice things up”.

Emergency worker Alexei Dotsenko said: “In all my time working as a rescuer, I don’t recall any incident like this one.”

Potato crop stolen from field

ENGLAND: Police are investigating the theft of 1.5 tonnes of potatoes from a field.

The incident happened in a field near Basin Road in Outwell, Norfolk, between 10pm on Sunday and 9am on Monday.

The thieves dug up a section of the field measuring about an eighth of an acre and stole the immature crop.

It comes three weeks after 500 potatoes were stolen from a field near Hall Road in the same village.

Rare bird that has fans flocking to New Mexico

USA: A frenzy has erupted in the US birding world, and the Rufous-necked wood-rail is to blame.

Never before has there been a recorded sighting of a Rufous-necked wood-rail in the US, but for the last two weeks one has been at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

The sighting has prompted hasty plane reservations and lengthy road trips from bird spotters around the country.

Ohio woman's sentence includes Christmases in jail

USA: A central Ohio judge has ordered a woman to spend the next five Christmases in jail as part of her sentence for issuing state ID cards and driver’s licences to immigrants who entered the country illegally.

Prosecutors say 44-year-old Betina Young — a former license agency employee — accepted payments from applicants to falsify records showing they had verified their immigration status. She has pleaded guilty.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Judge Michael Holbrook put Young on probation Monday for five years — ordering that she spend a minimum of three days in jail each Christmas while on probation.

If she violates probation, she could go to prison for 15 years.

Granny drums up huge interest in solo

USA: A video is going viral of an elderly woman dazzling staff at a music shop with a brilliant drum solo on one of their kits.

More than 3 million people have watched the clip of “Mary, the Grandma Drummer” in the past few days.

Staff at the Coalition Drum Shop in Wisconsin, USA, say the pensioner took them completely by surprise.

“We have no idea where this lady came from, what her name is, or where she went but she rocked our faces off,” the shop’s YouTube page reads.


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