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Oddities News Archive - December 19, 2008

Staffers at the American Museum of Natural History searched for and found a $15,000 diamond a woman lost at its recent Night at the Museum sleepover. The New York Daily News said Catherine Hart lost the 1-carat stone from her ring last weekend when she spent the night with her husband, two grandsons and about 500 other people in the museum's 29,000-square-foot Hall of Ocean Life as part of the institution's popular sleepover program. The News said Hart reported the gem missing and museum staffers promptly searched the floors, raided the trash and picked through the contents of vacuum bags until they found it. It's not a big stone, but it's really pretty, and it's got a lot of sentimental value, Hart told the Daily News.

The stoats at an ancient ruined priory in Northern England appear to be preparing for a white Christmas. The mammals have already changed to their white winter coats, The Daily Mail reports.

Sixty-nine rabbits are up for adoption after being rescued from an abandoned apartment in Illinois, officials said. DuPage County Animal Care and Control officials said the animals were removed from the apartment because of health concerns, the Naperville (Ill.) Sun said Friday. The officials did not offer other details on the removal of the rabbits. The cost to adopt one of the rabbits is $15.

A former judge suing a District of Columbia dry cleaner over a pair of pants will not receive a new trial in the matter, a District appeals court says. The D.C.

A postal worker who allegedly stole gold from a package in Michigan tried to sell the gold to the store that had mailed it out, federal authorities said. Investigators said Mount Clemens Post Office mail processor William A.

Jim Bob Duggar of Rogers, Ark., says his wife Michelle has successfully given birth to the couple's 18th child. Duggar said the birth of Jordyn-Grace Makiya Duggar this week is like an early Christmas gift, despite the fact the newborn brings his ever-expanding immediate family to 20 total members, KSFM-TV, Fort Smith, Ark., said Friday. The ultimate Christmas gift from God, Duggar said after Thursday's birth.

Suburban Chicago police said a thief apologized as he stole money from a woman at an ATM outside of a bank. Police in Midlothian said the man, who was dressed in dark clothes, grabbed three $20 bills from the woman as she was taking them from the Harris Bank drive-through ATM, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday. I'm sorry, investigators quoted the man as saying to his victim during the incident last week.

A car parked in a lot at a bank in San Diego trapped a man who tried to break into the car, holding him until police arrived. The burglar pushed one of the car's windows out of its frame, but it popped back in, pinning both of his arms, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. San Diego County Sheriff's Lt.

Neighbors of a dog-breeding widow in Scotland learned Friday that she had been a millionaire and that she had left those millions for animal welfare. Grace Smith, 84, left an estate of more than 7 million pounds ($10.5 million), The Scotsman reported.

A North Carolina letter carrier who admitted taking junk mail home and dumping it has received a donation to pay his fine. The money came from gifts to a Chicago Web site, www.thepoint.com, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. The site is dedicated to raising money to make change happen.

Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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