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Oddities News Archive - January 20, 2009

Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts had only 35 words to utter but the placement of one word tripped him up Tuesday. Roberts misplaced the word faithfully while administering the oath of office to Barack Obama when he was sworn in as the 44th president.

The proud owner of New York license plate OBAMA 08 says he has traded it in now that his favorite candidate has gained the presidency. New York City pizza restaurant owner Tibi Vasilescu got the vanity plates last spring when President Barack Obama was competing in the Iowa caucuses.

Washington tattoo parlor owners said the influx of people to the capital for President Barack Obama's inauguration brought many requests for Obama tattoos. Tattoo artists in the District said the most popular Obama-themed tattoos have been the 44th president's campaign logo, the word Hope, and the popular red and blue Obama poster designed by artist Shepard Fairey, CNN reported Tuesday. T.J.

A New York state man whose lawn ornaments include a 6-foot hot dog statue said he will appeal convictions related to the upkeep of his property. Rian White, 53, of East Hampton, said the 30-year-old statue was at the heart of complaints from neighbors and town officials about the appearance of his antique-cluttered lawn, the New York Post reported Tuesday. White, an unmarried father of one son, said an East Hampton town court cleared him of an illegal signage charge related to his yard decorations but handed down five misdemeanor convictions stemming from the state of his yard.

A British family said a 4-inch lizard they discovered hiding among broccoli purchased at the grocery store has become a beloved member of the family. Paula Walsh said she and her partner, Jez Allen, decided to keep the gecko after Walsh's daughter discovered it among the broccoli after they returned to their Meole Brace, England, home from supermarket Tesco, the BBC reported My daughter had been cutting the broccoli for lunch when she screamed, 'Mum come quick, come quick -- there's something crawling in the broccoli,' Walsh said.

A mountain biker in Boulder, Colo., said she stopped to let a cow pass her by but the impolite bovine knocked her to the ground and walked on her legs. The woman, whose name was not given, said the cow continued walking down the Boulder Open Space trail after shoving her over and stepping on her Monday, KMGH-TV, Denver, reported Tuesday.

Scottish regulators said Speedball beer is being removed from stores after complaints that the name glamorizes illegal drug use. The Independent Complaints Panel of the Portman Group sided with Alcohol Focuses Scotland in ruling that the marketing of the 7.1 percent alcohol beer is associated with a famous cocktail of illegal drugs with the same name, The Daily Mail reported Tuesday. The Portman Group, an alcohol industry-funded organization aimed at promoting responsible drinking, said its ruling to remove the brew from shelves is dependent on retailers voluntarily abiding by the decision.

An Alaska man said his 5-ton ice sculpture of 2007 Nobel Prize winner Al Gore is aimed at luring the former vice president up north for a visit. Craig Compeau unveiled the 8 1/2-foot-tall sculpture Monday in Fairbanks as an invitation to the global warming education leader to visit the town, the Anchorage

Witnesses said an attempted bank robber in Ohio was foiled after he became trapped between security doors while trying to flee the scene. Bystanders said the man entered the National City Bank branch Tuesday morning in Dayton and handed a note to a teller demanding money, the Dayton Daily News reported Tuesday. However, bank employees activated a security system as the man attempted to leave the bank and he became trapped in between the interior and exterior doors of the bank, witnesses said.

Officials in two Irish villages said the local governments are feuding over the skeleton of a whale that died in a bay between the towns. Leaders in the villages of Courtmacsherry and Kilbrittain have both drawn up plans to put the fin whale's jawbone and ribcage on display to attract tourists and serve as an educational tool, Sky News reported Tuesday. The whale was found stranded Thursday in Courtmacsherry Bay and soon died despite rescue attempts.

Word of the Day
aphotic
  • Having no light.
  • Of or relating to the region of a body of water that is not reached by sunlight and in which photosynthesis is unable to occur.
The word 'aphotic' comes from Greek roots meaning 'without' and 'light'.
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