Oddities News Archive - November 22, 2008

A Chinese college student who wanted to hug a panda bear climbed into its pen, but instead of getting a cuddle he was mauled by the animal, officials said.

Encouraged by police, residents of a Washington neighborhood have started an e-mail campaign to keep a teenage robbery suspect in custody. The teenager has been arrested three times for a string of 21 robberies in Columbia Heights in which he allegedly knocked down people to steal their money, iPods and cell phones, The Washington Post reported Saturday. The suspect, whose most recent arrest was Friday, allegedly committed more crimes soon after being released following earlier arrests, said Edward Delgado, a city police inspector who sent an e-mail bulletin to residents of Columbia Heights pleading for them to inundate City Attorney Peter Nickles with calls and e-mails demanding the teen remain in custody, the Post reported. I am concerned that if this person is released again he may commit more robberies or, worse, harm one of you, Delgado said in his e-mail to residents.

Residents along mailman Steve Padgett's route in Apex, N.C., say he's their hero for refusing to deliver at least seven years' worth of junk mail. Padgett, 58, was given probation this week in federal court for failing to deliver pizza fliers, menu advertisements and store discount notices. Padgett, who has diabetes and heart problems, said he started burying the junk mail in his yard and hiding it in his garage because he was overwhelmed by the amount of direct advertising mail he was supposed to deliver, said his attorney, noting not one customer on Padgett's route ever complained of missing the junk mail. Padgett's secret was discovered when a utility worker noticed bins of mail stacking up in his yard and reported him, the Los Angeles Times said Saturday.

A jaguar from Mexico recently had dental work done at the zoo in Phoenix by a father-son team.

A Sydney architectural firm suggests converting some of the area's 360,000 swimming pools into mother-in-law apartments -- draining them first. Nobbs Radford Architects' proposal was the runner-up in the Architecture Australia Prize for Unbuilt Work, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Word of the Day
  • A handkerchief.
  • Specifically— The legendary sweat-cloth; the handkerchief of St. Veronica, according to tradition miraculously impressed with the mask of Christ; also, the napkin about Christ's head (Johu xx. 7).
  • In general, any miraculous portrait of Christ.
The word 'sudarium' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a handkerchief'.