Oddities News Archive - June 10, 2009

An Israeli woman says she purchased a new mattress for her mother's bed and chucked out the old one without realizing it contained $1 million. Details of the incident were first published Wednesday in the Yedioth Aharonoth daily, and showed a photo of the woman sifting through mounds of rubbish in a dump outside Tel Aviv. The woman told the newspaper only after the old mattress had been thrown out did her mother confront her and reveal her life savings had been stashed inside the mattress. She immediately raced outside the house to search for the mattress, but the garbage had already been collected, she said.

A religious ruling permits ultra-orthodox Jews to operate their mobile phones on the Sabbath and religious holidays with their teeth. Many of the ultra orthodox volunteers and workers at Israel's Magen David Adom emergency services work on the Sabbath and were confronted with the dilemma of how to activate their mobile phones without violating religious rules, Ynetnews.com reported. Recently, the agency began replacing workers' paging systems with modern mobile phones equipped with GPS technology that locates workers and volunteers closest to the scene of an accident, shortening the response time, the report said. MDA asked the Scientific Technology Halacha Institute to come up with a solution.

Police in Nebraska said a toddler who plummeted three stories and landed partly on his face suffered only a minor injury. Jacob Bettin, a police spokesman, said 1-year-old Dennis Nimely was playing on the third-floor balcony of an apartment in Omaha's Wentworth Townhomes when he fell through a small opening, KETV, Omaha, reported Wednesday. The toddler was taken to Nebraska Medical Center for treatment of his injury.

A pole dancing studio in Lake Orion, Mich., has neighbors concerned the establishment could have a negative moral impact on the town. Elona Gano, proprietor of the Wonder Woman Pole Studio in Orion Township, said many people have misconceptions about her business, which opened May 25, the Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday. Gano said that while some of the moves she teaches are sensual, the women are dressed during the classes and the aim of the workouts is to gain strength and self-confidence, not to train strippers. I know some people aren't sure what I'm doing here, said Gano, who previously taught pole dancing for about 18 months at a Ferndale, Mich., studio.

Police in Pennsylvania said a man arrested for drunken driving was seen speeding through a police parking lot before parking in a police-only spot for a nap. Chief Dennis McMaster said an officer in the East Pennsboro Township police parking lot saw Michael Wagner, of Mechanicsburg, speed through the lot at about 10:32 p.m.

Authorities in Florida said a man who blew .228 on a Breathalyzer told a deputy that his car did not know what it was doing. The Bay County Sheriff's deputy wrote in a report of the incident the man was seen driving at high speeds at about 2 a.m.

An Ohio man who allegedly dressed in a women's bathing suit and harassed several people during the span of a week has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Kevin Miller, 41, of Sugarcreek Township, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to five misdemeanor counts of public indecency and three misdemeanor counts of menacing, the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News reported Wednesday. Xenia Prosecutor Ron Lewis said the menacing charges stem from allegations he chased two women in a canoe and a pair of juveniles leaving an ice cream shop on separate occasions and the public indecency charge resulted from Miller partially exposing himself to people as a result of wearing the swimsuit designed for different anatomy. He said he just wanted to harass people to get a response because, to him, it was the thing to do, Sugarcreek Police Sgt.

Firefighters said a blaze at a small Florida home got more complicated when Africanized bees swarmed the house. St. Petersburg Fire Department Lt. Joel Granata said the blaze started with a gas water heater on the back porch of Robert Porter's house at about 9:38 a.m.

A Welsh couple returning home from a five-year stay in North America said they discovered a black widow spider stowing away in a garden hose. Mike Newman, 53, said he and his wife, Trish, has just returned from San Francisco when a mover helping them unpack at their Kinnerton house found the venomous spider and a sack of its eggs in a hose they brought back from the United States, WalesOnline.com reported Thursday. The woman from the removal firm was very calm to be fair, Newman said.

Alaskan officials said they are willing to pay $50,000 for the removal and safe keeping of a 59-year-old Anchorage bridge. Jim Amundsen, a project manager in highway design at the state Department of Transportation, said the cost of moving and maintaining the 100-foot-long Peters Creek bridge, which weighs about 50 tons without its asphalt deck and about 150 tons with it, will likely be far more than the state's offering, the Anchorage Daily News reported Thursday. Rich Pratt, chief bridge engineer with the department, said the bridge, which runs over Peters Creek on the Old Glenn Highway, is considered structurally deficient due to rust eating away at the steel.

Word of the Day
  • A handkerchief.
  • Specifically— The legendary sweat-cloth; the handkerchief of St. Veronica, according to tradition miraculously impressed with the mask of Christ; also, the napkin about Christ's head (Johu xx. 7).
  • In general, any miraculous portrait of Christ.
The word 'sudarium' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a handkerchief'.