Oddities News Archive - February 14, 2009

An Italian prankster appears to have placed at least 13 fake organizations on the European Commission's register of lobbyists. One of the faux outfits -- Fares Bank Ltd., which has an address on Harley Street in London -- would be the biggest spending organization on the Register of Interest Representatives if it existed, the EU Observer reports.

A U.S. researcher says the sweet first kisses of courtship may provide important information on mating to both men and women. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said for men the kisses appear to provide data on a woman's estrogen level, The Daily Mail reported.

Guards at the 101st Chicago Auto Show say visitors steal whatever they can fit in their pocket and sometimes leave a little something -- like a dirty diaper. The show opened to the public Friday with security keeping an eye on antennas, side mirrors, stereo knobs, dip sticks and fuse-box covers, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Saturday. Anything that's not screwed down, they'll take it, said one exhibitor, who declined to be identified. Most of the culprits are probably children, said James M.

Relationship experts say the U.S.

Police officials in New York say they'll test the use of Velcro handcuffs on out-of-control children in 22 schools in the city borough of Queens.

Speechwriters say U.S.

Barack Obama license plates are now available to Illinois residents who can't get enough of the new U.S.

Public kissing is legal again in a Mexican city famous for its so-called Alley of the Kiss after a law outlawing it drew the public's wrath, officials said. The city council in Guanajuato, which means Hill of Frogs, had recently approved an ordinance banning offensive language and obscene touching in public, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. The council is led by the socially conservative National Action Party, or PAN, the newspaper noted. Mayor Eduardo Romero Hicks said the law banned agarrones de olimpiada, which translates roughly as Olympic fondling.

A British judge used 12,000 words to issue a legal ruling that, when it comes to what constitutes a tree, size does not matter. Justice Ross Cranston, a High Court judge, concluded in a challenge to tree preservation orders that even a tiny sapling is a tree for legal purposes, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday. The lawsuit was brought by Palm Developments Ltd., which planned to build a commercial wharf on the River Medway in North Halling, Kent.

Plans to re-enact the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec have been modified, which may be a polite term for canceled, an official said Saturday. The battle in 1759 ended French hopes of an empire in what is now Canada.

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.