Oddities News Archive - March 26, 2009

A 90-year-old Toronto-area man who won a $4.4 million lottery jackpot says he suspects his late wife and mother had something to do with the win. Maurice Ducharme, a retired autoworker and World War II veteran, told the Toronto Sun he's been playing the Lotto 6/49 game since it started in June 1982 but never won anything substantial. He said while the win felt magnanimous, it made him miss his wife more.

Chicago's hotels are going to the dogs. At the Hotel Burnham, Dillon, a 4-year-old bulldog named serves as the hospitality site's director of pet relations, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday.

An official in the British town of Mansfield says pink fluorescent lights are being used to stop suspected gang activity by highlighting gang members' acne. Marianne Down of the Layton Burroughs Residents' Association said fluorescent lights have been installed at two underpasses in the Mansfield neighborhood to stop youths from gathering together in those sites, the Mansfield (England) Chad reported Monday. We used to have quite a problem with large groups of young people hanging around in the underpasses drinking, which felt quite intimidating, but the pink lights have really made a difference, Down said. The groups aren't there as much and it feels safer walking through there now, particularly at night. The lights are apparently making a difference by highlighting the youths' acne and other blemishes.

Students at a high school in Plantation, Fla., better pull up their sagging pants or be prepared to get a belt, the school's assistant principal says. Plantation High School Assistant Principal Brougher Bass said Thursday is Pull Up Your Pants Day at the school and any students found with sagging pants will be presented with a complementary belt, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel said. We want our students to have the ability to express themselves, Bass said, but we want them to have dignity, too. Pants Day represents the culmination of an effort by Plantation High teachers Diana Carter and Dona McKenzie, who became frustrated by the sagging pants fashion trend. The two reading teachers convinced an area Wal-Mart to donate an unspecified number of belts to the school and Pants Day was created, the Sun-Sentinel said. The newspaper said the Plantation High effort isn't the first time sagging pants have been targeted in Florida.


Kentucky Fried Chicken says it will move beyond filling up patrons' stomachs, by providing pothole repair for residents of Louisville, Ky.

The principal of a highly rated New York City school is reported under investigation for leading hate chants in school. Principal Philip Scharper, of the A-rated Public School 24 elementary school in Riverdale, N.Y., was accused of leading staff members in chants against eight teachers on his hate list, the New York Post said. Sharper also allegedly handed out Buddhist cards as an invitation to join his spiritual circle, officials told the newspaper. One teacher said she and others would get together on weekends for chants and sometimes would be called into the principal's office for more chanting.

A Texas commission says the state should be involved in a legal fight for the possession of a potential treasure trove spotted through Google Earth.

A shoplifting suspect in Zephyrhills, Fla., confessed she used the U.S.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue says an 80-year-old longtime smoker owes the state nearly $92 for unpaid taxes on her cigarettes. Fran Dalton said despite a threat from the state agency to apply interest and penalties to her tax debt, she has no plans to pay the $91.58 revenue officials claim she owes as a result of mail-order cigarette purchases, The Boston Globe said Thursday. I don't have much money but it's really not about the money.

The headmaster of a Boston private school says contrary to rumors her prestigious institution is not home to so-called vampires. Boston Latin School administrator Lynne Mooney Teta said in a notice Thursday that despite recent rumors of so-called vampires being present at her school, Boston Latin is free of any of the fictional blood-sucking undead, The Boston Globe said. I seek your cooperation in redirecting your energy toward the learning objectives of day.

Word of the Day
  • Growing in low tufty patches.
The word 'cespitose' comes from a Latin word meaning 'turf'.