Oddities News Archive - January 31, 2009

While dogs of all shapes and sizes can compete in a dog agility contest in Long Beach, Calif., certain shapes come with advantages, a contest official says. Carrie DeYoung, the co-chair of the American Kennel Club Agility Invitational, said the contest due to be televised next month typically finds dogs of certain shapes to be better suited for contest events, USA Today reported Wednesday. But DeYoung maintains that if training begins when dogs are just puppies, any canine can be a good competitor. A lot of it is nurture versus nature, she said, some dogs that are better suited because of body type. The American Kennel Club event, which will be broadcast on Animal Planet next Saturday, features dogs jumping hurdles and running around poles in an attempt to be crowned the most agile canine. Dorothy Wysaski, whose bulldog Plummer took part in the event last December, is proud of her dog's ability to move despite its 63-pound body. They kind of expect it to be funny, she told USA Today, r

A teacher at a school in the Swedish city of Angelholm was criticized for asking students to identify their most irritating peers, a principal says. The unidentified principal of the Angelholm school where the classroom activity took place said he learned several parents of the teacher's students complained after learning the details of the exercise, The Local said Saturday. I reacted strongly on the description (of the exercise) and naturally take this seriously, but I have to hear the teacher's version first before I can say anything else, the principal said. The teacher, whose identity was not released, had asked students to write the name of a classmate who bothered them on a piece of paper. The Local said the teacher had intended on announcing the student with the most votes during a parent meeting.

Fans of Girl Scout cookies in cities like Los Angeles will find smaller cookies in each box despite the price staying the same, a Girl Scout official says. Carol Dedrich, a Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles spokeswoman, said the organization decided to shrink their cookies instead of increasing the cost of their traditional product, The Los Angeles Daily News said Friday. Dedrich said the cookie boxes themselves will also be smaller this year, but their cost will remain at $4 despite the changes. The changes in the cookie products will likely serve as a good lesson for Girl Scouts nationwide, the spokeswoman added. The focus of the cookie program is not just about selling cookies, Dedrich told the Daily News.


A baby born in San Francisco has six perfectly formed and functional fingers and toes on his hands and feet, say doctors at Saint Luke's Hospital.

Camera-toting tourists hoping to snap a picture of Sweden's legendary Great Lake Sea Monster are ignoring an ordinance limiting their numbers, officials say. An intense hunt for photographic evidence of the monster, called Storsjoodjuret, has prompted officials of northern Sweden town of Svenstavik to limit the number of cameras along Lake Storsjon to four.

An English sheep badger has been deprived of his birthright of grazing his flock in his village for using the sheep to scare his neighbors. Jeremy Awdry, 60, was spared prison Friday by a judge who imposed a 16-week sentence and then suspended it, The Daily Telegraph reported.

A survey finds that the piece of the past British residents would most like to see return is police officers -- the old-style bobbies -- walking the beat. OnlineOpinions said that snow at Christmas was second on the hit parade, followed by Top of the Pops and the sight of children playing in the street, The Daily Telegraph reported.

A German mayor hopes to test the DNA of every dog in his small town so poop in public places can be traced back to its origin. Volkach Mayor Peter Kornell told The Daily Telegraph the program is voluntary because DNA data collection cannot be enforced.

Word of the Day
  • To befool; deceive; balk; jilt.
  • An illusion; a trick; a cheat.
The word 'begunk' may come from a nasalised variant of Scots begeck ("to deceive, disappoint"), equivalent to be- +‎ geck.