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Oddities News Archive - August 18, 2005

Sister Mary Michael is no killjoy. Only the other day the 61-year-old Catholic nun was riding around on the back of a motorbike. But her sense of fun does not extend to "The Da Vinci Code," a film based on the Dan Brown best-seller and starring Tom Hanks that is being filmed this week at the towering Gothic cathedral in her home city of Lincoln, eastern England.

Those high-tech, air-filled, light-as-a-feather sneakers on your feet are a far cry from the leather slabs our ancestors wore for protection and support.

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More than a week after a man-sized alligator stunned authorities by surfacing in a murky Los Angeles lake, the fugitive reptile has already become a folk hero in the gritty neighborhood where he continues to outwit wranglers and elude capture.

Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'