Oddities News Archive - March 16, 2009

A Canadian bus driver faces no criminal charges after getting out of his bus and beating a toy seal used by anti-seal hunt protesters in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The incident happened Saturday during an international protest against the seal hunt, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

An Ohio court says it won't accept new civil, small claims, criminal and traffic cases because it has run out of money for paper. Judge Lee McClelland said the Morrow County Municipal Court that handles the cases has only enough paper left to print hearing notices and other documents for cases already pending, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported Monday. Basically, unless they want to provide paper, we can't process anything, McClelland said.

A primary school in Britain has begun treating its pupils like prisoners, searching their lunches to remove any offending junk food items, two parents say. Magdi Cullen, whose daughter Maria attends Danegrove Primary School, said the actions by workers at the London school are comparable to those employed at the U.S.

Score another first for Italian women -- two female cops Monday became the first women to direct traffic from the prominent pedestal in Rome's busiest square. The traffic officers, identified only as Alessia and Alessandra, took turns directing vehicles traveling through Piazza Venezia, ANSA reported. From 1898 until Monday, the white-gloved cops whose animated performances have become a tourist attraction in their own right have always been men, the Italian news agency said. It took both drivers and the officers some getting used to, apparently. ''Your head spins a bit at the start,'' Alessia said. ''It was hard to get through to the drivers, although I suppose they were a little taken aback to see a woman in front of them,'' said Alessandra. They called their new duty ''a big thrill." ''It's the most visible position in Rome,'' Angelo Giuliani, head of Rome's traffic police, told ANSA.

An Illinois professor says those who want to win their NCAA basketball tournament office pool should ignore a team's seeding in later rounds. Sheldon Jacobson, a professor of computer science and the director of the simulation and optimization laboratory at the University of Illinois in Champaign, says that when the NCAA tournament gets down to the Elite Eight, seeding is a statistically insignificant predictor of a team's chances of winning, the university said in a news release.

A Houston man was arrested for drunken driving and spent the night in jail after he was pulled over following his own wedding reception, records show. Harris County criminal records state that Billy Puckett, 26, had just left his wedding reception with his new bride when he was pulled over during a drunken driving crackdown by local law enforcement and the Harris County District Attorney's Office, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday. Puckett was charged Sunday with driving while intoxicated and was released after posting $500 bail. Friends of the couple said the new bride was also detained by police but it was unclear whether she was charged with any crime, the Chronicle said. Attorney Joe Gutheinz, who has been friends with Puckett for 10 years, told the Chronicle that while he believes drunken driving laws should be enforced, he thinks the police showed a lack of discretion by arresting Puckett. If it were a police officer and his new bride or a judge and his new bride, they would

A pair of married chefs in London said their confections that combine chocolate with Japanese foods, including wasabi, have proven to be a hit with customers. Suzue Curley, who moved to England from Osaka, Japan, and her British-born husband, William, said their London patisserie features chocolate treats that contain traditional Japanese foods, including wasabi, black vinegar, green tea, toasted sesame seeds and citrus fruit yuzu, Kyodo News reported Monday. We had lots of ingredients around us and they are not necessarily always for use in savory dishes.

A 90-year-old tailor coming out of retirement in China says he can make a hand-made bra that fits perfectly just by looking at a woman's breasts.

Archaeologists in Wales said they used Google Earth to identify an underwater rock formation as a fish trap made more than 1,000 years ago. The nearly 1,000-foot-long contraption was initially spotted by an aircraft near Cardigan, Wales, and was subsequently found on Google Earth by archaeologists called in to investigate, The Daily Mail reported Monday. The trap is comprised of huge rocks on the riverbed arranged in a v-shape to snag fish with the outgoing tide so they could be easily removed with nets, the archaeologists said. Ziggy Otto, who is leading the effort to investigate the ancient trap, said divers are being sent down to study the object up close. It would have taken a number of fishermen to work on a structure of this size, Otto said.

Word of the Day
  • Large; stout; burly.
The word 'bowerly' is an alteration of 'burly'.