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Oddities News Archive - April 27, 2009

A man in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir paid nearly $1,700 at an open auction for the right to use a license plate reading AK-47, an official says. Ramesh Chander Sharma, the regional transport officer at Jammu, said Mohmmad Rafiq Mir offered a top bid of $1,694 at an auction during the weekend,

Convicted felon Howard O.

Naked hikers are not welcome in Appenzell Innerrhoden, residents of the mountainous region of Switzerland have proclaimed by a show of hands. The 15,500 people who live in the pastoral Swiss canton decided at a recent town square meeting to slap a $175 fine on anyone found walking about sans clothes, the BBC reported Monday. I think it's disgraceful, one elderly gentleman said of nude hiking.

Authorities in Colorado said Jefferson County sheriff's deputies delivered a baby at the side of a highway during a snowstorm. The sheriff's office said a couple dialed 911 early Monday morning and told the dispatcher that they were traveling toward the hospital on Highway 285 because the woman was

British firefighters say a man set fire to the front of his house trying to kill a spider with a lighter. Firefighters said they arrived at the Portsmouth, England, home and found the man attempting to put out the flames with a garden hose, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday. The whole thing had clearly scared the life out of him, watch manager Steve Pearce said of the man.

A New York woman has sued her bank for letting slip to her husband that she had $800,000 in an account in her own name. Nazita Aminpour, a dentist, says in legal papers that the Chase bank branch in Kew Gardens, Queens, violated federal privacy laws, the New York Post reports.

Police in Wisconsin allege a teenager burglarized cars to get money to help pay for a lawyer. Investigators said Jason Leigh Markham, 19, of Beloit was arrested about 4:30 a.m.

A man received an eight-month suspended jail sentence Monday for rolling a half million or so colored balls down Rome's famed Spanish Steps. Graziano Cecchini, 54, was convicted of disrupting bus services with his January 2008 stunt, which he described as a protest against dishonest politicians of all parties, ANSA reported Monday. Cecchini criticized the outcome of his trial, the Italian news agency said. What sort of interruption of service could there possibly have been? The Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps) is a pedestrian area.

Organizers of the 44th annual Mangum Rattlesnake Derby in Oklahoma said the event was aimed at educating people about the venomous snakes. The organizers said the three-day derby, which ended Sunday, annually draws an estimated 35,000 visitors to Magnum to catch, kill and learn about Western diamondback rattlesnakes, USA Today reported Monday. Kerry Kendall, co-director of the event, said every attraction is something you can bring your 4-year-old to. It's a wholesome, clean weekend, Kendall said.

A White House official has apologized for the confusion caused by military aircraft flying over New York as part of a Department of Defense photo shoot. Residents and workers reported seeing the aircraft -- which the Federal Aviation Administration said included two F-16s and a Boeing 747 that resembles Air Force One -- flying at low altitudes Monday over the Statue of Liberty and portions of the city's Manhattan borough, WCBS-TV, New York, reported Monday. Louis Caldera, director of the White House Military Office, apologized for the confusion and panic caused by the planes. Last week, I approved a mission over New York, Caldera said in a statement released late Monday.

Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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