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Oddities News Archive - February 20, 2009

Customs inspectors say a Canadian truck driver attempted to enter the United States with 1,746 pounds of marijuana stashed under a load of cattle. Edwin Roy Fuller of Langley, British Columbia, was arrested Tuesday at the Sumas road crossing, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported Thursday.

An Illinois man approaching his 100th birthday says continuing to work five days a week well into his golden years is a good way for him to keep busy. Max Fabian, who will mark his 100th birthday March 9, said he has worked five days a week for more than 20 years at A-Z Industries Inc.

A suburban Chicago man said Chicago Heights, Ill., demolished his cluttered home after it was hit by two fires within the span of eight hours. Ralph Adams, 50, said the city south of Chicago declared his home a safety hazard after a space heater ignited a fire Feb.

A University of Michigan professor and a Texas teacher say cell phones are the future of classroom computers. Matt Cook, a teacher at Trinity Meadows Intermediate School in Keller, Texas, said a class of fifth graders have been using donated Verizon smart phones with specialized software to perform tasks including Internet research and using Microsoft Office programs Word and Excel, The Dallas Morning News reported Friday. Cook said he came up with the idea for classroom use of cell phones, which students in the district are banned from carrying in all other contexts, after attending a technology conference. To me, this is the new paper and pencil, Cook said to the newspaper.

An Islamic scholar in Saudi Arabia said using ethanol or other alcohol-derived fuels in vehicles may be a sin for Muslims. Sheik Mohamed al-Najimi of the Saudi Islamic Jurisprudence Academy told Saudi newspaper Shams that the prophet Mohammed banned alcohol for all uses -- including buying, selling,

A British businessman fed 2-day-old McDonald's burgers to partners after one complained about the food at a five-star hotel, sources told the Daily Mail. Damon Buffini, 46, the millionaire head of private equity firm Permira, allegedly purchased more than 100 burgers from a London McDonald's and presented the food to employees 48 hours later, the Daily Mail reported Friday. The Daily Telegraph said the incident took place at the Pennyhill Park hotel.

The Birmingham City Council in England has approved plans for the first British recycling center for used diapers. The plant, the first of five planned for Britain by Canadian firm Knowaste, is expected to have the capacity to turn 36,000 tons of soiled baby and adult diapers into roof tiles each year, The Times of London reported Friday. City Council planners said they approved the project for its environmental benefits and the 22 permanent jobs it is expected to create. Knowaste executives said they hope the plant will enter its second phase, which will allow it to extract methane from the diapers to generate energy, by the close of 2011, the newspaper said. Officials with the company, which operates plants in Canada and the Netherlands, said they hope to reduce the amount of trash being sent to British landfills by 4 percent. This stuff doesn't biodegrade, Roy Brown, chief executive of Knowaste, told The Times.

A British greenskeeper has discovered a golf ball encased inside a tree years after the ball apparently became lodged in the plant. Peter Johns, manager of the Eaton golf club in Norwich, England, said greenskeeper Richard Mitchell found the ball while cutting through the felled conifer, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday. It's an incredible find, Johns said.

The term Prawo Jazdy, which means driving license in Polish, appeared 50 times in a list of license-holder's names in an Irish police database. An Irish traffic division officer pointed out the mistake in a letter to colleagues.

Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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