Oddities News Archive - December 05, 2008

A Canadian undertaker says he's been ostracized by his peers for offering cardboard and other environmentally friendly caskets to customers in London, Ontario. Dan Atkinson opened Ontario Cremation Services several months ago with a goal of concentrating on environmentally friendly containers for the deceased.

A man in Glendale, Ariz., used a pickax in an attempt to destroy a police camera used to catch speeders, authorities said. Travis Munroe Townsend's alleged act of vandalism was witnessed by a state Department of Public Safety motorcycle officer this week, resulting in the 26-year-old Townsend's arrest,

A Canadian judge has thrown out a lawsuit by a British Columbia man who says various software companies and police invaded his brain. The lawsuit seeking $2 billion was filed three weeks ago by Jerry Rose in the city of Nanaimo.

An office worker in Worcester, England, kept a World War I shell as a paperweight for years without knowing it was still live, a friend says. Jon Williamson said his friend, Jeff Heyes, had unknowingly put his own life in danger by keeping the live shell on his desk, using the potentially deadly item

An obese dog survived a night outside in Wisconsin because its fat provided insulation protecting it from temperatures so cold it was frozen to the pavement. Carey Payne, a manager at the Sheboygan County Humane Society shelter, said that she and other employees poured warm water on the animal to free it Thursday morning, The Sheboygan (Wis.) Press reported. The dog's owner faces charges of animal neglect.

A sign calling religion a myth that was on display in the Washington state Capitol was stolen and taken to a Seattle radio station overnight. The sign was grouped with holiday religious displays including a menorah and a nativity scene in the Capitol rotunda, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said.


President-elect Barack Obama's reported use of a Microsoft Zune mp3 player caused a Philadelphia newspaper's Web site to crash temporarily, an editor said. Drew Lazor, the online editor for citypaper.net, said Obama's choice of a Zune over his usual iPod while working out at a gym was reported as a rather innocuous comment in the original piece appearing in the weekly newspaper, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday. Lazor said the mention of Obama's Zune did not come until the fourth paragraph of the story but a tech blogger spotted the story and it kind of exploded from there.

A Plainfield, Ill., woman says she is flying the U.S.

A Naperville, Ill., woman who owns a Jeep that once belonged to President-elect Barack Obama said she plans to put the vehicle on eBay this month. Liz Murphy, 45, said she learned after purchasing her Jeep Grand Cherokee that Obama had been its first owner while he was serving as an Illinois state senator, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday. Murphy said eBay bidding on other Obama memorabilia -- including a Topps baseball card signed by Obama that had a high bid of $2,025 Friday -- has given her hope for a profitable auction. My plan is to put it out there to see what happens, Murphy said.

A Ludlow, England, auction includes a letter written by the former Prince of Wales lamenting his inability to serve on the front lines of World War I. The letter, written in March 1915 by the future King Edward VIII when he was 19-years-old, will be auctioned Dec.

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'.