Oddities News Archive - November 18, 2008
New, heavier public transit tokens are helping to reduce fraud, but are threatening to collapse the Toronto Transit Commission's counting office. The 22-year-old building where fares are separated and counted has required engineers to shore up the basement and enforce floors to deal with tons of additional weight triggered by the switch to the tokens two years ago, the Toronto Sun reported. As counterfeiters were having a field day with printing fake tickets and stamping out cheap aluminum tokens, the agency did away with paper tickets and simple tokens and introduced the heavier two-metal tokens. Two years ago, all fares weighed about seven tons.
A 55-foot Christmas tree was bound for Boston from the Canadian province of Nova Scotia Tuesday as part of an annual appreciation of the city's help in 1917. The spruce tree was felled on private property Monday in a ceremony in rural Clementsvale, near the province's north shore west of Halifax, the Chronicle-Herald reported. Since 1971, Nova Scotia has provided Boston with a giant tree for the Boston Common as thanks for the city's help when munitions ships exploded in Halifax Harbor and nearly flattened the city Dec.
A help-wanted ad for 20 witches isn't conjuring up controversy, just jobs, a Swedish company says. Haxriket i Norden, based in Ahus, Sweden, is advertising its witch hunt to place five witches each of its in four locations, The Local Reported.
A Chicago-area man admitted he was stunned when he learned he was the best goose caller in the world. Wade Walling, 21, Bollingbrook, Ill., took first prize in the annual World Goose Calling Championship in Easton, Md., out-honking 32 contenders and flying home with a $10,000 first prize. My knees were shaking, my hands were shaking, Walling told the Chicago Sun-Times in describing the moment of triumph last weekend.
A professor says it's possible for an object falling from the top of New York City's Empire State Building to hit the ground despite it's wedding-cake shape. New York University physics Professor David Grier, however, told a jury Monday an object -- such as stunt-parachutist Jeb Corliss -- would have to be propelled sideways, perhaps by a 10-mph gust of wind, when leaving the building's observation deck, the New York Post reported. Grier's observation is germane because New York prosecutors have charged Corliss with endangering public safety when he tried to parachute off the Empire State Building two years ago.
Police in Kansas City, Mo., said attempted carjackers were forced to abort their theft when the vehicle turned out to have a manual transmission. Investigators said two males, an adult and a juvenile, approached a woman sitting in her car outside of a store at about 11 p.m.
A New York woman said a burglar stole so many large items from her house that he would have needed a moving truck to remain inconspicuous. Tammy Gould, 45, said she returned in May to her apartment in Brooklyn after two days of visiting her ill mother and found her home had been trashed and looted, the New York Post reported Tuesday. Everything was gone.
Authorities said they have arrested a wheelchair-bound man accused of robbing a Merritt Island, Fla., bank and hiding the cash in his prosthetic leg. Brevard County sheriff's deputies arrested Christopher Warren Reed, 45, Friday about 10 minutes after he allegedly robbed Space Coast Credit Union, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Tuesday. Deputies allege Reed entered the credit union in his motorized wheelchair at about 4 p.m.
Goodwill announced a Glen Carbon, Ill., employee will receive $500 after she discovered $7,500 in cash stuffed in a shoebox and turned it in. Teodora Petrova, who had just arrived in the United States from her native Bulgaria two months earlier, discovered the shoebox full of money while sifting through donated merchandise at the store during her first day on the job Nov.
A 74-year-old blind Massachusetts woman says the city of Attleboro has threatened to put a lien on her home if she doesn't pay an outstanding bill of 1 cent. Eileen Wilbur said she received a letter Nov.
- A ceramic container used inside a fuel-fired kiln to protect pots from the flame.