Oddities News Archive - January 19, 2009

Monday was designated Blue Monday in Britain by a psychiatrist who said it represented the most miserable day of 2009 for British workers. Martin Hird, who lectures at Leeds Metropolitan University on mental health and psychological therapies, said this Monday deserved to be ranked the worst day of the entire year due to the rampant cold and flu outbreak during the country's economic crisis, The Daily Telegraph reported. The selected day of social misery was also selected as the point at which individuals begin to truly stress about Christmas bills while beginning to feel the impact of a long cold winter. Factors which affect a person's well-being are things like social networks and access to money, both of which can be affected at this time of year, Hird said. Hird suggested to those impacted by such factors that they embrace a balanced diet or exercise more.

A British woman said she barricaded a repairman in the room with her broken washing machine because she felt there was no other option. Tracey Fox, 42, said the Jan.

An elderly British couple said local officials ordered them to stop pruning sycamores that the couple said posed a danger from falling branches. Ray Lyon, 70, and his wife, Wendy, said they cut back the sycamores in Cheltenham, England, after the Tewkesbury Borough Council failed to respond to requests that the trees, which Lyon said were dying, be pruned, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday. Lyon said the council went to court and issued a preservation order to prevent the pair from grooming the trees any further. Councilor Derek Davies, cabinet member for built environment, said the preservation order was sought to protect the trees. Officers do not go to court except as a very last resort because it takes time and taxpayers' money, he said.

Police in Florida said they have arrested a woman accused of battery after she allegedly used a bagel to hit a man in the head. Investigators said Cassady Catolico, 28, was arrested in St. Petersburg after she allegedly struck Steven Bunaisky with a bagel at about 2:18 a.m. Sunday, the St.

Vermont-based ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's has unveiled its latest flavor, Yes Pecan, which recalls President-elect Barack Obama's campaign mantra. Yes Pecan, a variation of Obama's famous slogan, Yes we can, is described by the company as an inspirational blend that includes amber waves of buttery

The Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia said it has acquired the 16-foot keyboard played by Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia in 1988 movie Big. The Walking Piano, created by Philadelphia artist Remo Saraceni, was sold to Joseph and Janet Shein shortly after the release of the movie, which featured Hanks and Loggia playing Chopsticks and Heart and Soul on the instrument, The Philadelphia Enquirer reported Monday. The Sheins said they decided to donate the piano after the museum moved to its new location last fall. We love this piece, Joe Shein said.

A Florida man says his boutique soda company, which began as an experiment 20 years ago, is starting to attract national attention. Jeff Kaplan, 50, a Pompano Beach insurance adjuster, said he started experimenting with home-brewed sodas as a hobby and has since turned the pastime into a company, Global Beverage Enterprises, which manufactures soda flavors such as cucumber, jasmine, elderflower, mavi tree bark and a sparkling milk concoction, The Miami Herald reported Monday. No one else is doing the flavors I'm doing, Kaplan said.

A twice-failed candidate for judgeship in Broward County, Fla., says she plans to run again in 2010, this time using her married name. Mardi Anne Levey Cohen, who filed paperwork to open a campaign account Jan.

It wasn't raining iguanas in southern Florida -- experts said cold weather caused some of the lizards to fall asleep and drop from trees. The experts said this week's cold temperatures, which dropped into the 40s, caused several iguanas to lose their grips and fall out of trees due to the deep sleep

One of India's most popular artists says he visited an exhibition of his works in Delhi only to discover many of the paintings were fakes. S.H.

Word of the Day
  • Stoppage; cessation (of labor).
  • A standing still or idling (of mills, factories, etc.).
The word chomage comes into English from French.]