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Oddities News Archive - February 23, 2009

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Police said a 70-year-old Missouri man was so upset by the switch to digital television broadcasting that he opened fire on his TV set.

Authorities in Birmingham, England, said a woman was sentenced to two months in jail after she attempted to avoid a speeding ticket by lying to police. Investigators said Sema Ali, 43, initially told police that she had been speeding -- an offense which carries an $87 fine -- because four men had attempted to run her Renault Megane off the road, The Times of London reported Monday. Police said Ali then convinced her husband, Mohammed Nawaz, to lie and tell police that someone else was behind the wheel when the speed camera photographed the vehicle in April 2007. Ali and Nawaz both pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Organizers of a festival honoring Canada's fur-trapping forefathers called it a fitting tribute after 2,500 bowls of pea soup disappeared in 90 minutes. It is in the spirit of the voyageur tradition, declared Festival du Voyageur manager Colin Mackie after the hot soup was gobbled down on Sunday. That's what they ate, Mackie added.

Approximately 9,000 scantily-clad Japanese men scrambled in the dark for two pieces of sacred wood to mark the 500th anniversary of the tradition. The men gathered at about 10 p.m.

Officials with Boston's Simmons College said the school is employing the services of a border collie to drive Canada geese away from the campus. The officials said Finn, the 5-year-old dog, was recruited after a flock of Canada geese began using the women's college's new quad as a restroom, The Boston

A pair of police officers in Canterbury, England, said they were on their early morning patrol when they came across a giant white rabbit. Officers Matt Jackson and Yasmin Mossadegh said they spotted the dog-sized bunny at about 2:20 a.m.

A New York Santa has lost his challenge against a ticket he was issued for double-parking while delivering toys to children. Chip Cafiero, 60, said his Chevy Suburban received the $115 ticket while it was parked near his horse-drawn carriage during his toy delivery in the Bay Ridge neighborhood, the New York Daily News reported Monday. I'm surprised the city found Santa guilty, Cafiero said.

A Seattle man who collects celebrity-autographed yarmulkes said 32 of his signed Jewish skullcaps will be displayed at the University of Washington. Jonathan Chalett, 52, said yarmulkes bearing signatures from public personalities including President Barack Obama, his former rival for the Democratic presidential nomination John Edwards, Sen.

An Oregon woman said she was shocked to receive a mailed invitation to her nephew's high school graduation 22 years after it had been sent. Theresa Schlossarek said she received the already-opened envelope -- which bore a June 2, 1987, postmark -- last week.

Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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