Oddities News Archive - January 15, 2009

World Famous Lawn Rangers members in Illinois say they are prepared to take part in the Presidential Inauguration Parade in Washington. Lawn Rangers member Larry Harper of Urbana, Ill., said he has decorated his riding lawn mower with a three-foot beaver he is sure will thrill those attending next week's presidential ceremony, the Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette said Thursday. It's a real crowd pleaser; this beauty amazes and scares the young children and amuses the adults, Harper said.

A Seattle law that mandates all dog owners carry some sort of pooper scooper while walking their dogs is too vague, at least one dog owner says. Seattle resident Steve Guiling said he received a $54 citation from humane law-enforcement officers for not carrying a pooper scooper while taking his 13-year-old shepherd-mix dog for a walk, The Seattle Times said Thursday. After investigating the city law for dog walks in parks, Guiling found the regulation mandates that a dog walker shall carry equipment for removing feces. Guiling maintains he typically uses plastic bags from area garbage cans to remove his dog's droppings and says the city ordinance should be more clearly defined. My point was that there is no definition, he said.

Police in Utah said they have confiscated a man's .40-caliber pistol after the weapon accidentally fired in a restaurant bathroom and destroyed a toilet. Investigators said the 26-year-old Salt Lake City man, who had a concealed weapons permit for the gun, suffered minor injuries to his arm as a result of porcelain shards sent flying from the exploding toilet at the Centerville Carl's Jr.

Police in Texas said a man turned in a 30-pound brick of marijuana that he found inside a package mistakenly delivered to his home by UPS. Officer Ryan Grelle, a police spokesman, said the Denton man discovered the marijuana, which had an estimated street value of $10,500, at his home Monday after it was dropped off by a UPS driver at about 8 p.m., The Denton Record-Chronicle reported Thursday. He was expecting tools that he had ordered from Sears, Grelle said.

A woman who decided to take a motorized supermarket scooter cart on a drive home from a pub in England has lost her driver's license for 20 months. Amanda Leaff's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit for operating a car when officers spotted her on the scooter and driving erratically, The Daily Mail reported Thursday.

Rumors that livestock owners throughout the United States could be taxed for their animals' gas emissions are completely untrue, a federal official says. Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Jonathon Shradar confirmed the federal agency has no plans to begin taxing farm owners like Joe Gonzalez for the flatulence of their herds, KFOX-TV, El Paso, Texas, reported Wednesday. But Gonzales, who owns Gonzalez Dairy Farm, Inc., remains concerned that he could face additional payments in the future for his animals' instinctual activities. When I first heard it, I thought it was ridiculous thing to try and tax cows for doing what they do naturally.

Police in Northwest Indiana said they were called to the scene when a 10-year-old boy stuck his tongue to a freezing streetlight pole. Officers said the boy, a fourth grader at Field Elementary School in Hammond, mumbled to police that he had licked the pole after a friend dared him, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported Thursday. The boy yanked himself away from the pole before an ambulance arrived and police said they gave the boy's mother, who was described as pretty upset by the incident, instructions on how to care for his bleeding tongue. You'd think everybody in the country had seen 'A Christmas Story' by now, a police officer at the scene said, referring to a scene from the popular holiday movie depicting a child sticking his tongue to a metal pole.

A Buddhist leader said two statues at Missouri's Kansas City Zoo that sparked a complaint from a patron are not images of Buddha, but of a pot-bellied Ho Tai. Lama Chuck Stanford, executive and spiritual director of the Rime Buddhist Center, spoke after an Overland Park, Kan., man complained to a zoo employee that the statues, which he identified as depictions of Buddha, offended him as a Christian, the Kansas City Star reported Thursday. I have seen them, Stanford said of the statues.

Police in Nassau County, N.Y., said they have arrested a man who allegedly grabbed a shark out of a fish tank in a pet shop and hid it in his jacket. Investigators said Elbert Starks, 30, entered the Total Aquarium store in Lynbrook 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'.