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Welcome to Casual Friday where we wake you up with the overlooked news stories of the week.  The offbeat, strange and sometimes downright weird news items that mainstream media tends to ignore, all wrapped up with a few funnies, all designed to get your face in smiling shape for the weekend.

Valley woman says "ditto" to neighbor's Christmas lights:

What are you to do if your neighbor has an incredible 16,000 light Christmas display on his/her home and you are too cheap to spend the money and do the same kind of work on your own home, but still want the attention?  Bingo or rather, "Ditto".

Kristina Green of Maricopa, AZ knew she couldn't match her neighbor's light display so she built a "ditto" sign of lights on her own home in what she calls a creative display.  She has even put up a facebook page and has a goal of 1,000 likes.

I would give her some credit for creativity, but this was done in the UK in 2009 and last year in Beaverton, Oregon as well.  I guess Ms Green just "dittoed" those ideas for her own too.


Toothy prehistoric lizard named Obamadon after smiling president

The small, insect-eating lizard was first discovered in eastern Montana in 1974, but a recent re-examination showed the fossil had been wrongly classified as a Leptochamops denticulatus and was in fact a new species, researchers told Reuters on Tuesday.

Obamadon gracilis was one of nine newly discovered species reported on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In naming the new species, scientists from Yale and Harvard universities combined the Latin "Obamadon" for "Obama's teeth" and "gracilis," which means slender.

"The lizard has these very tall, straight teeth and Obama has these tall, straight incisors and a great smile," said Nick Longrich, a paleontologist at the school in New Haven, Connecticut.


Icelandic cow sets new national record for lifetime milk production

A dairy cow on a farm in southern Iceland has broken the national lifetime record for milk production, giving 245,494 pounds in 14 years.

By the end of November, Mokolla, part of the herd at Kirkjulaekur, a farm in Fljotshlid, South Iceland, had beaten the previous record-holder by 333 pounds, Iceland Review reported. Mokolla appears to be still in her milk-producing years, so her lead is likely to increase.


$500 gold coin donated to Salvation Army red kettle in central New York

An anonymous person slipped a gold coin worth $500 into a Salvation Army red kettle outside a grocery store in Elmira, N.Y.

Salvation Army Maj. J. Craig Haggerty said the donation will help a campaign that lags about $8,000 behind where it was last year, the Elmira Star Gazette said Tuesday. The coin was donated Friday but not discovered until Monday when volunteers were counting up donations.


Cannon Fires Cans of Manijuana Into US

Over 30 cans of marijuana were shot across the Mexican border into the United States by cannon, Customs and Border Protection officials said Tuesday.

The suspicious cans were discovered near the Colorado River in Yuma, Ariz. on Friday.

Border Patrol agents said the discovery was "another unique but unsuccessful attempt" to smuggle drugs into the U.S.


"Today New Jersey Governor Chris Christie visited the White House. President Obama told him, 'I'd invite you to lunch but the deficit is already too high.'" –Conan O'Brien
"The governor of Arizona punched a reporter who asked her about global warming. Afterwards she apologized. She said, 'Sorry, I'm a little touchy because it's almost Christmas and it's 135 degrees outside." –Conan O'Brien
"The International Olympic Committee has stripped India of its right to participate in the games. In response, India said, 'Fine, just try logging on to your computers now.'" –Conan O'Brien
"Mitt Romney got a job. He's working at a Marriott. He is the guy that comes out to the pool and tells the kids to stop splashing." –David Letterman
"Because of climate change, "Frosty the Snowman" has a new name. Now he's called 'Frosty the Puddle.'" –David Letterman
"The Pentagon is preparing for massive budget cuts in the event that the country does go over the fiscal cliff. You can tell the Pentagon is scaling back because today it became the 'Triangle.'" –Jimmy Fallon
"House Speaker John Boehner says that his efforts to work with President Obama on the fiscal cliff have resulted in a lot of talk but 'no action.' Yeah, a lot of talk but no action – or as I called that in college, 'a date.'" –Jimmy Fallon
"According to a new study at UCLA, Latinos live longer than non-Latinos. More bad news for Republicans." –Jay Leno
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