Oddities News Archive - October 02, 2009

A would-be robber handed a bank teller in Oregon a note saying, Need $300 or I'll kill you, but the teller couldn't read the handwriting, police said. The teller at a Wells Fargo branch in Hillsboro, Ore., told the woman -- identified as Stephanie Martin -- she couldn't decipher the note.

A mother bear and one of her three cubs, apparently looking for food, repeatedly tried to enter a grandmother's Colorado home, the resident said. Sally Rebehn of Vail, Colo., said the mother bear broke into her bedroom, but Rebehn fended it off with a decorative pillow, KMGH-TV, Denver reported. The mother bear and the baby bear then entered the kitchen and enjoyed ice cream, chili and their favorite -- leftover barbecued chicken wings from Moe's Barbecue, Rebehn said. The ice cream was too cold, the chili too spicy, but the Moe's barbecue was just right, she said -- borrowing the famous phrase from the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Rebehn lives with her son, Brian Hoyt, and his family.


A Canadian man who shot his television with a handgun was placed on probation and ordered to undergo psychological counseling in Prince Edward Island.

Italian police said they used e-mail information to track down a burglar who used a victim's computer to check his Facebook account. Investigators said Friday the 26-year-old man sent Facebook messages to friends during an April break-in at a home just outside of Rome, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Friday. The man was tracked down using his e-mail information by computer experts and arrested by police.

A Dallas strip club owner said she was disappointed when Newt Gingrich canceled a business award weeks after it was offered. Dawn Rizos, owner of The Lodge, said she received a letter last month from the former Georgia congressman and speaker of the house last month saying his think tank, American Solutions, had chosen her bar as one of its 2009 Entrepreneurs of the Year representing Texas, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday. This tremendous honor is a testament to your success in building your business and recognition of the risks you take to create jobs and stimulate the economy, said the letter, which invited Rizos to attend an Oct.

Officials of a Florida school district said they have banned high school students from dancing provocatively at school events. David Lewis, director of high schools for Polk County Public Schools, said principals were told during a September meeting to be on the lookout for bump-and-grind dancing at school shindigs and students who are warned but continue the practice will be asked to leave, The (Lakeland, Fla.) Ledger reported Friday. There is an appropriate decorum, Lewis said. Lakeland High School Principal Tracy Collins said sexually explicit dancing, commonly called booty dancing, has been an issue at past school dances. Some (female students) look like they are in a three-point stance getting ready to hike a ball, Collins said.

The Texas-based Global Language Monitor said its 2009 Top Politically (in)Correct Words include swine flu, black sheep and politically correct. The Austin-based organization said its sixth annual survey of the English Language picked swine flu as the politically incorrect list-topper due to multiple governments and agencies referring to the virus as H1N1 to protect pork producers from losing business. The list also included saint, which was cited after the Oxford University Press pulled it and related words bishop, chapel and Pentecost from its Junior Dictionary. The group said black sheep and Oriental were placed on the list due to racial sensitivity issues while senior citizen made it onto the list after Britain's Loughborough University suggested replacing the term with older person in the name of inclusiveness. Politically correct was itself dubbed politically incorrect on this year's list as some now consider the term derogatory. Once again, we are seeing that the attempt to remov

A teacher with political ambitions who apparently fabricated threats against himself and staged an abduction was found in Maryland, Philadelphia police said. Investigators said Bismark Agbemble, 29, who reportedly was planning a run against U.S. Rep.

A British computer expert who used fake train tickets to take more than $19,000 worth of free rides was spared jail by a judge. Jonathan Moore, 27, who rode the rails free of charge for two years using fake tickets created with his laptop computer, was sentenced in Brighton Crown Court to a nine-month suspended jail sentence and a 240-hour unpaid work order, The Times of London reported Friday. Moore, who pleaded guilty to 11 counts of fraud, was also ordered to pay $19,859 for his free rides and $824 in costs. Judge Richard Hayward said that it was very sad that you should use your skills for a fraudulent purpose. You are a computer expert who had a good job but you struck upon the idea of using your skills to scan and then produce rail tickets between Brighton and London, the judge said.

The mock Noble Prizes given out at a Massachusetts ceremony included an award for determining why pregnant women don't tip over. The 19th annual Ig Noble Prize ceremony Thursday at Harvard University saw tongue-in-cheek honors given to scientists who studied the ability of pregnant women to remain upright, chemists who used tequila to create diamonds and a Swiss team that investigated whether it is safer to be hit on the head with a full bottle or an empty one, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. Dr.

Word of the Day
  • A person in a secondary role, specifically the second most important character (after the protagonist).
The word 'deuteragonist' comes from a Greek word meaning 'an actor of second-class parts'.