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Oddities News Archive - November 20, 2008

Cloud computing is one of the most popular yet confusing technological buzzwords used by society this year, an Austin, Texas, group said Thursday. The Global Language Monitor said in a news release the term, which portrays the Internet as a cloud accessed through programs and services, is one of 2008's most confusing yet popular techisms. Other top 2008 buzzwords, the group said, are green washing and, appropriately, buzzword compliant. Green washing refers to the marketing of a product in a way that its flaws appear environmentally friendly.

The state of New Mexico should soon have its very own cowboy song as a commission attempts to choose the very best song it can find, an expert says. Music commissioner Rick Huff said after carefully listening to 26 musical entries for a state song contest, the New Mexico Music Commission has tabbed Under New Mexico Skies, by Edgewood resident Syd Masters as its winner, the Albuquerque Journal said Thursday. Huff was careful to say that Wednesday's decision in Santa Fe, N.M., did not represent a new Western song for the state. A Western song and a cowboy song are close, the Western Music Association official said.

An 18-year-old man from Big Rock, Ill., allegedly set fire to a church bathroom stall and burned two portable toilets in a single night, police said. Police in Cary, Ill., said Thomas J. Meehan allegedly set fire to a St. Peter and Paul Church bathroom stall on Oct.

St. Francis Xavier Church parishioners in Albuquerque will get to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe the old fashioned way, city officials say. Mayor Martin Chavez told church leaders to go ahead and take their homemade posole, menudo, tamales and bizcochitors to church for the Dec.

A 22-year-old grocery worker in the British city of Gloucester says a posting he made on Facebook after calling in sick to his job has him in hot water. Tom Stones said while he did call in sick for a recent shift only to go enjoy a night out on the town, he shouldn't be facing a disciplinary hearing on the employment matter, The Daily Telegraph said Thursday. Stones said while he phoned in sick on a recent night to the Tesco station where he is employed, he didn't go out for the night until after his shift would have ended. I think it's a bit much -- a step too far.

A New York designer says she was inspired to make a new brand of designer jewelry out of spliced apart Barbie dolls due to her own history with the toy. Designer Margaux Lange said on her Web site that by slicing apart the popular plastic doll and her boyfriend, Ken, she was able to create a jewelry line featuring Barbie's dismembered body parts. Barbie dolls were extremely significant in fueling my creative life as a child, she said.

Henry Allingham of East Sussex County in England is the oldest Boy Scout alive at 112 years of age after rejoining the scouts after 100 years, members say. While 12-year-old scout Chris Denham may be a century younger than Allingham, he said it was a honor to meet the most world's oldest scout and present him with a certificate honoring his Boy Scout involvement, The Sun said Thursday. It was great to meet Henry, Denham said.

A Denver teenager says she felt like a suspect when police demanded she return the bullet-riddled car she had bought at auction. Vanessa Burdiaga and her uncle, Miguel Cerceda, paid $400 for the 1977 Oldsmobile at a police auction only to have a detective show up at their home and tell them the vehicle was still evidence in a murder case. He was telling me somebody died in the car, and he made me feel I had something to do with it, Vanessa told the Denver Post.

A Gwersyllt, Wales, woman who found a missing cockatiel said the bird uttered its first words in her care when she put it on the phone with its owners. Sue Hill said the cockatiel perched on her shoulder in Bellevue Park and she immediately contacted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals, which informed her that a bird had been reported missing from David Edwards' home 2 miles from the park, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday. I was given a phone number for the man, Mr.

A Somerset, England, woman said her parrot has been put on the anti-depressant Prozac because the death of her husband made the bird depressed. Helen Dance said the death nine months ago of her husband, George, who had raised the parrot from a chick, took a heavy toll on Fred, an African Grey parrot, The Sun reported Thursday. Dance said experts told her the parrot seemed to be suffering from a deep depression because he could not understand George Dance's sudden absence.

Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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