Oddities News Archive - December 12, 2008

A man in Britain who dresses up as fictional comic book hero Batman and helps the needy says charities are important holiday news, not his real identity. The unidentified man who has been working in his superhero costume at charitable sites in the British city of Sheffield said charity work should remain the focus of any attention he garners, The Daily Telegraph said Friday. I don't want to reveal my identity because it's more important to highlight the charities, the mysterious man said in his typical fake U.S.

Postal workers in Britain say they are unfairly being forced to move at speeds made popular by the British military during World War II. One postman, whose identity was not revealed, said postal workers have been ordered by Royal Mail managers to increase their speeds from 2.4 mph to 4 mph, the speed army general Lucian Truscott had British troops move during the historic conflict, The Scotsman said Friday. The job is supposed to be done at a rate of four miles an hour, the postman said. That is taking into account calling at doors for packets, recorded deliveries, registered letters.

A judge declared a mistrial in the case of a man accused of assaulting a 102-year-old woman because the jury forewoman was upset about the length of the trial. Lawyers for Jack Rhodes, 46, asked the judge to send the jury home after three days of deliberations, the New York Daily News reported.

Police in the English county of Leicestershire say they are attempting to use nostalgia to lure former British police officers back from Australia. The Leicestershire Police said it asked the overseas officers what they missed most about Britain as part of the force's Homesick and Away campaign, The Daily Telegraph said Friday. Tops on the nostalgia list were real British ale, a cup of authentic British tea and the traditional Sunday roast. The police recruitment campaign is targeting the Australian cities of Adelaide and Perth, home to nearly 1,000 former British police officers. South Australian Police Association President Mark Carroll said he is not concerned that the recruitment campaign will lure away officers currently serving in those areas, the Telegraph reported. Those people that are coming from the U.K.

A New York firefighter, angry that his company on City Island faces staffing cuts, allegedly went on a false alarm spree in the Bronx enclave. Nicholas Vrettos, 30, who has been with Ladder Company 53 for six years, is charged with pulling fire alarms and calling in false reports of fires to 911 during a 45-minute rampage last week, sources told the New York Daily News.

A man suspected of a robbery and carjacking spree in Anchorage, Alaska, was arrested after police found his wallet near a stolen vehicle. Benjamin Wallace Rucker, 34, was charged with robbery, assault and vehicle theft Thursday morning, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

A Swedish library discriminated against a Dutch woman by only allowing her to check out two books due to her nationality, a government watchdog alleges. Sweden's Ombudsman against Ethnic Discrimination alleges a library in the area of Stockholm would only allow a Dutch national to check out two books

A North Carolina man who was shot in the thigh Friday at first blamed his cat and then himself. Charlie Busick of Eden told sheriff's deputies that he had left his .45-caliber pistol on a love seat, the Greensboro News & Record reported.

A pistol-packing soccer mom in rural Pennsylvania has sued the sheriff for revoking her permit after she brought her Glock to a match, court documents say. Meleanie Hain, 30, who lives in Lebanon in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, had been going almost everywhere with the Glock 26 strapped to her hip, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

A British bar owner said he has fulfilled his father's final wishes, burying the old man's ashes under the bar. Andrew Woodward, 52, said his father's final request before dying in May at age 83 was to spend the rest of eternity in the bar he had frequented since it gave him his first job at age 14, The Sun reported Friday. Woodward said his father's final resting place beneath the Boat Inn is marked with a plaque bearing his name and reading: Stand here and have a drink on me. Dad is in an oak casket exactly where he wanted to be, Andrew Woodward said.

Word of the Day
  • A person or thing gazed at with wonder or curiosity, especially of a scornful kind.
The 'stock' of 'gazingstock' comes from an Old English word meaning 'tree trunk' or 'wood'.