Oddities News Archive - February 24, 2009

Police in New York state said they arrested identical twin brothers after they allegedly robbed a Mobil gas station. Investigators said Justin Dangelo, 22, entered the station at about 5:10 a.m.

Tasha Gallegos covered a 415-yard, S-shaped course in a record 57.5 seconds Tuesday to win the annual pre-Lenten International Pancake Day Race in Liberal, Kan. Her time was 57.5 seconds, a record, said Jo Ann Combs, executive secretary for the event.

A St. Louis man was sentenced to eight years in prison after he admitted in court to forging judge's signature on fake court documents. Daniel Schaefer Jr.


A British man said the worm that caused his computer to crash turned out not to be a form of computer virus but an actual 5-inch earthworm. Mark Taylor, 45, of Yeovil, England, said repairmen told him that the worm had crawled into his laptop through an air vent and coiled itself around a cooling fan, causing the computer to overheat and break down, The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday. Taylor said the worm itself had been cooked by the overheated computer. He said the creature was likely taken into his home by his two cats, which have a taste for worms. The worm was obviously looking for a hiding place and must have crawled in through the air vent to get away from the cats, Taylor told The Daily Telegraph.

City officials in Miami Beach, Fla., said an artist's 10-foot tall metal heart sculpture was not stolen from a street corner; it was removed by city workers. Artist Tomy Trujillo, 30, said Monday that the 300-pound sculpture went missing Thursday from a street corner across from Miami Beach Senior High School, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday. Trujillo said the heart had been in place since Valentine's Day. I'm hoping I can find it again, or at least get whoever took it to pay me for it, he said at the time. However, city officials revealed later in the day that the heart had not been stolen, it had been removed by city employees. It was placed in the right-of-way without a permit and was removed, city spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez said. The artist estimated the value of the metal heart at about $20,000. It was my gift to the city, he said.

A family moving from North Carolina to Pennsylvania said a Diet Coke can rode for more than 300 miles on their U-Haul truck's bumper without falling. The driver of the truck said a member of his family had left the half-empty can on the rear bumper of the truck before they left their former home and they noticed after about an hour on the road that the can was still in place, the Raleigh (N.C.) Telegram reported Tuesday. He said the family decided to leave the can on the bumper to see how long it would last and it astonishingly remained on the truck's bumper all the way to their new home. We were shocked, the man said.

Lawyers for a 102-year-old Italian woman said she has won a 12-year-old property dispute with her family but she still faces two appeals. Basilio Cupaiolo, a lawyer for Amalia Cuccioletti, 102, said a Macerata judge ruled to allow her to tear down buildings on land once owned by her great-grandfather, but Italy's three-tier justice system means it could be several years before his client can obtain final permission -- years she likely does not have left, ANSA reported Tuesday. It's only the first-level sentence, Cupaiolo said.

Monks reassembling an 800-year-old building in Tehama County, Calif., said the structure could be completed by the end of this year. The Abbey of New Clairvaux monks said they have been slowly rebuilding the Spanish pre-Gothic meeting house, which was dismantled and brought to the United States in 1931 by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, for the past five years using funds from private donations, KCRA-TV, Sacramento, Calif., reported Tuesday. The monks said they have received $5.5 million in donations and the structure could be completed by the end of the year if they obtain a further $1.5 million. Brother John Cullen said about a quarter of the monks working on the project are well into their 80s and may not live to see it completed. As long as it's finished and we had a start in getting it begun ...

A New York auctioneer said it is handling the sale of a complete dinosaur skeleton, one of only two known complete sets of dryosaurus bones. Josh Chait, director of the I.M.

A New York man estimated to weigh 700 pounds was trucked from his home to court to be arraigned on drug charges. The Cayuga County Circuit Court judge and his staff held court on a Post Office loading dock to arraign Stephon A.

Word of the Day
  • A woman chauffeur.
  • A woman who operates an automobile.
The word 'chaffeuse' comes from French, and is the feminine form of 'chauffeur'.