Oddities News Archive - March 25, 2009

New York's Empire State Building was lit up in Japan's flag colors Tuesday night in honor of the country's win in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. The upper reaches of the iconic Manhattan skyscraper were bathed in wide swathes of white, red and white to resemble the Japanese flag, Kyodo news service

The percentage of British people tabbed with names that would easily offend their fellow citizens has decreased during the last 120 years, experts say. University College London geography Professor Richard Webber said an analysis of British names during the last 12 decades found that unusual names such as Shufflebottom, Cock, Death and Daft have declined significantly in popularity, The Times of London said Wednesday. By comparing the population of 2008 with Britain's initial census in 1881, Webber found the number of people named Daft has decreased by more than 50 percent.

A man in the British town of Hungerford says he and his wife were unaware their teenage son had painted a 60-foot phallus on their home's roof. Andy McInnes, 54, said the first time he learned of the phallus adorning the roof of his home for the last year was when members of the media asked him to comment

While Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City was released 15 years ago, U.S.

A Chicago commuter says he has set up a system in which Twitter users can receive updates regarding Chicago's Metra railway system. Veteran commuter Tony Zale, who works as a software developer, said he created code that allows the social networking service to be used as a Metra update service for cautious

Police in Largo, Fla., said Wednesday they have identified the man tabbed Plasma Pat who has been conning area Wal-Mart customers. Largo Police Lt.

A man found on an ice slab in Oshkosh, Wis., refused a rescue attempt on the grounds his location was ideal for fishing, a would-be rescuer says. Lt.

A 72-year-old man who hoarded all he could onto his property in the British town of Poole for the last 34 years has been evicted, his neighbors say.

Margaret Gillan says she and her husband, Mark, have received a letter from their dead daughter's school in Britain complaining about her recent truancy. Gillan said Macclesfield High School sent a letter to her family complaining about the lack of recent class attendance of her 15-year-old daughter Megan, who died Jan.

A man in the British city of Lincoln was cited for speeding after posting online a video of himself participating in a drag race, a prosecutor says. Prosecutor Tom Irwin said Benjamin Ryan allegedly admitted to posting the video, which showed him and his enhanced Volkswagen Golf racing an Audi RS4 on the A46 Lincoln bypass, The Sun said Wednesday. Ryan's attorney, Mark McNeil, admitted his client had taken part in the race but informed the court Tuesday that Ryan had made sure the roadway was clear beforehand to ensure the safety of any bystanders. It was never Mr.