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Oddities News Archive - February 28, 2009

Fundraisers in Wisconsin say drag queen bingo and bar bingo with shots is helping recharge a game waning in popularity. Charities trying to raise cash in a poor economy are trying to change bingo's reputation as a stodgy senior citizen's game, The Wisconsin State Journal reported Saturday. Bingo is trying to ...

A 21-year-old American says he spent his $14,275 life savings to travel to Britain to try out for the next Harry Potter movie. Brent Klovstad of San Clemente, Calif., said after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows producers failed to respond to his written requests for a part in the film, he boarded

A former firefighter in Maryland rendered mute by a car accident says a pair of talkative pet parrots helped him regain his speech. Brian Wilson of Damascus, Md., gives credit to the birds for their determination to keep talking to him, eventually prompting his damaged brain to respond in kind.

A billboard advertisement near a school in Illinois that touted a musical as being intoxicating as the drug ecstasy has been removed, school officials say. The billboard, sitting across from Nettelhorst School in Lakeview, promoted the Broadway musical Xanadu saying It's Like Taking Ecstasy, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday. School officials joined parents in contacting city officials to have the ad removed Friday by Clear Channel, the advertising company whose name appears on the billboard. It advertises the use of drugs, and it's right across the street from a school, said school Principal Cindy Wulbert.

Kennedy Center officials in Washington say they're in a dilemma over a pipe organ that makes embarrassing noises but costs too much to repair or replace. The center's organ, installed in 1972, emits loud whining noises of its own volition, which is embarrassing during concerts, The Washington Post reported Saturday. The thing is non-functional, really, said Julian Wachner, music director of the Washington Chorus. The organ was poorly constructed and renovations moved it 15 feet back, technically putting it outside of its original room and further hampering sound quality, said Irving Lawless, who is charged with keeping the organ going. This one has been giving me gray hairs all along, Lawless said of the organ, noting a new organ would cost $3 million to $5 million. The organ likely will remain as is.

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An Austrian scientist says he has discovered a type of body hair that traps stray pieces of lint and draws them into the navel.

Three men were in custody in Hong Kong Saturday, accused of smuggling lizards, police said. Marine police said they found the men loading crates of lizards from a vehicle onto a high-speed boat, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported Sunday.

Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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