Oddities News Archive - December 26, 2008

A comedy writer in Los Angeles has authored an SAT-preparation book that aims to use humor to help students get ready for the exam. Charles Horn, a comedy writer whose TV credits include The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and the animated show Robot Chicken said he got the idea for the humor-based test preparation after realizing that many students likely do not get their highest possible scores on the SAT because it's boring, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. Students can't even get into it, because they have to read it over and over and over again, he said of the real test. The practice questions in Horn's book are peppered with jokes and pop culture references. At a Saks Fifth Avenue store, Winona Ryder examines four distinct blouses, five distinct dresses and two distinct handbags.

Oklahoma authorities said they used DNA from tobacco spit stains at multiple crime scenes to identify a suspected serial burglar. Randy Lee Shoopman Jr., 33, is accused of stealing from at least 11 businesses, including multiple insurance offices, in five counties between August and September 2008.

Workers at a courthouse in Franklin County, Wash., said they sealed items including a county budget and a Twinkie inside a time capsule. The workers said they used an old vault at the Franklin County Courthouse as a time capsule to send items that also included computer equipment, a cell phone, a phone book and a Cousins Restaurant menu to county workers expected to open the capsule in 2058, the Tri-City Herald (Columbia, Wash.) reported Friday. Also sealed in the capsule are a copy of the Nov.

Officials at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in suburban Detroit said the world's oldest known bat in captivity celebrated his 23rd birthday Friday. Rob Mies, director of the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., institute's Organization for Bat Conservation, said the 23-year-old winged mammal, Tanner, is a rare

Officials said a scheme to outfit elephants at Kenya's Ol Pejeta conservancy with text-messaging collars has been successful in protecting crops. Save The Elephants, a British-registered charity based in Kenya, is outfitting elephants at the conservancy with collars that send hourly updates on their positions to a central server in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and alert rangers with text messages when the mammals are straying too close to farmlands, The Telegraph reported Friday. At first I could not believe that the elephant was sending me a text message, said Richard Lesowapir, a senior ranger at the conservancy.

Britain's Advertising Standards Authority said 196 billboards in the London area promising longer lasting sex provoked a flood of complaints. The agency said the 196 billboards in and around London advertising the products of the Advanced Medical Institute, which was banned from executing a similar

A retailer in Canada's British Columbia province said a sales promotion he announced earlier could cost him tens of thousands of dollars.

Workers at a Murray, Utah, grocery store said surveillance video recorded a dog walking into the store and taking a rawhide bone.

Word of the Day
  • Any of various tropical Old World birds of the family Indicatoridae, some species of which lead people or animals to the nests of wild honeybees. The birds eat the wax and larvae that remain after the nest has been destroyed for its honey.
Honeyguide birds have even been known to eat candles.