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Oddities News Archive - March 18, 2009

A British man said photographs he took in London appear to depict four flying saucers in the sky over the city. Derek Burdon, 40, said he was standing on the roof of the 16-story Orion House early in the morning when he took the pictures, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday. Burdon said he didn't notice anything unusual while he was taking the pictures. We couldn't believe it when we came to look at the photo.

A survey of British women indicates that nearly 1-in-3 blondes have dyed their hair brown to be taken more seriously in the workplace. The survey of 2,500 women, conducted by health and beauty retailer Superdrug, suggests 31 percent of women with naturally blond hair have changed to brown locks in order to appear more professional, The Daily Mail reported Wednesday. Additionally, 38 percent of naturally blond respondents said they believe their hair color has in some way hindered them in the job market. The survey also indicates that 62 percent of those polled said they believe brunettes appear more professional than blondes in the workplace. The current economic climate is obviously making women take more care with their appearance at work, even down to their hair color, Superdrug official Dan Hadley told The Daily Mail.

A British school has canceled its prom for 13-year-old students after concerns that parents were using the event to show off their wealth. Administrators at the Alameda Middle School in Ampthill, England, said the end-of-summer term prom, which has been a tradition at the school for the past seven years, was canceled after parents and teachers raised concerns that some parents were using the event as a competition to show off their economic prosperity, The Daily Mail reported Wednesday. When the prom first started there were probably one or two stretch limos but there have been more turning up every year, said David Harvey, head of Year 8 at the school.

Experts said a walking catfish, a species rarely seen outside of Southeast Asia, was found washed up on the shore of the Thames Estuary in London. Birol Koca said he discovered the fish while he was fishing along the Woolwich Reach in East London, the East London Advertiser reported Wednesday. I instantly recognized it as a catfish, he said.

U.S. President Barack Obama has proven even he is not immune to March Madness, creating his own college basketball playoff bracket in the White House map room. Obama said he predicts an upset victory for No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth University over No.

A Details Magazine photo that seems to depict New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez preparing to kiss himself in a mirror has his teammates poised for teasing. The picture, which shows the third baseman nearly lip-to-lip with his reflection in a full-length mirror, had some of his teammates shaking their heads in disbelief while more mischievous colleagues said the photo leaves A-Rod ripe for razzing, Newsday reported Wednesday. Don't worry, we'll be sure to make fun of him for it, one Yankee said. A common sentiment among Rodriguez's colleagues was that they would never be caught posing for a similar picture. What was he thinking? another teammate wondered aloud.

An anti-gay marriage crusader in Florida says he is now aiming to prevent divorce by making it more costly for couples to marry. John Stemberger, head of the Orlando-based Florida Family Policy Council, said he wants the Florida Legislature to consider a bill that would add $100 to the state's marriage-license fee in the hopes that it would cause potential spouses to take their marriages more seriously and therefore decrease the number of divorces, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Wednesday. The fee would be returned if the couple attends at least eight hours of premarital counseling under Stemberger's proposal. Stemberger, who led last year's fight to pass the same-sex marriage banning Amendment 2, claims divorce is costly to the state because it creates poverty-stricken households led by single mothers.

A teenager who previously landed a record-setting shark says he caught another giant shark, weighting 340 pounds, during a Florida vacation. Aiden Medley, 13, said he landed an 8-foot-long, 340-pound shark after a three-hour struggle Tuesday while vacationing in Florida's Palm Beach County, the Palm Beach Post reported Wednesday. Medley, who hails from Connecticut, said his family's Florida vacation last year yielded an even larger catch -- a record-setting 551-pound bull shark.

More than 30 employees of New York's 21 Club claim in a lawsuit that the restaurant has been stealing a portion of their tips for years. The class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday in United States District Court claims the popular restaurant charges a 21.75 percent gratuity for private dining and banquet services, but pays only 18 percent of the bill collected to staff members, The New York Times reported Wednesday. D.

The company contracted to run the St. Louis Parking Violation Bureau said several payments may have been lost when its mailbox was closed over a lease charge. Allied Computer Services of Dallas, which has a contract to run the bureau with St.

Word of the Day
tessitura
  • The prevailing range of a vocal or instrumental part, within which most of the tones lie.
This word is Italian in origin and comes from the Latin 'textura,' web, structure.