Oddities News Archive - June 13, 2009

A janitor at a department store in downtown Melbourne survived a bite by a deadly snake lurking in a dumpster, medical workers say. Paul Bentley, a spokesman for Ambulance-Victoria, said the 29-year-old told emergency workers he was throwing out trash in an alley behind the Myer store when he felt a bite on his finger, The Age reported.

An audacious gang of thieves used stolen cars, a stolen trailer and a stolen mechanical digger to steal an ATM machine from a bank in a quaint Irish village. The Bank of Ireland branch, which was heavily damaged by the thieves, is only a few yards from the police station in Graiguenamanagh, the Irish Independent reported.

A businessman in England has discovered he has had a broken leg for nearly three decades. The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday that Steve Webb, 49, plans to undergo surgery on the leg so he may grow back a chunk of dead bone. Webb broke his left leg in a motorcycle crash when he was 20-years-old.

A New York researcher says dogs that appear guilty when being scolded by their owners can be innocent and simply responding to owners' verbal attacks. Researchers such as Barnard College assistant professor Alexandra Horowitz insist they found that dogs appear to have a guilty look after being accused of misbehaving due to being scolded and not always due to actual guilt, The Daily Telegraph (Britain) said Saturday. The study involved researchers informing participating dog owners their animal had misbehaved despite the fact the canines were completely innocent. The researchers said informed owners claimed to notice a look of guilt in their animals while reprimanding the dogs, the Telegraph reported. Horowitz, whose study was published in Behavioral Processes journal, said such an act represented owners projecting their values onto the innocent dogs. Merely uttering a dog's name with a rising, accusatory tone is often enough to elicit pre-emptive submissive behavior, Horowitz said.

Officials at a New York City high school say there wasn't much permanent damage after a raging food fight resulted in 10 arrests and a campus lockdown. Most of the students busted at Richmond Hills High in Queens were charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct in the wake of Friday's fracas that started with eggs flying in the hallway and eventually spread to the cafeteria. They threw rice, barbecue sauce, flour, baby powder, Silly String, shaving cream - everything you could imagine, sophomore witness Jose Dominguez, 16, told the New York Daily News. The newspaper said Saturday that while the mess had been cleaned up, disciplinary action was pending against the participants. The incident stemmed from the school's annual senior prank day, which witnesses said was advertised on the Internet and even included pre-event intelligence work to determine which areas would not have security guards present when the event kicked off at 10 a.m.

A virtual charter school in Wisconsin is providing a virtual graduation this year, although students can show up in person for their diplomas if they like. Rick Nettesheim, principal of Wisconsin iQ Academy, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he expects about two-thirds of the 128 graduating seniors to be at the ceremony.

Queen Elizabeth has put in a vegetable patch on the Buckingham Palace grounds, much as U.S.

A cooperative supermarket in San Francisco has discovered that a coupon program offering steep discounts is working a bit too well. The Rainbow Grocery's coupons, printed in local phone books, offer 20 percent off on Wednesdays and Thursdays, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday.

A Saudi princess reportedly paid what she owed a Paris store after a bailiff showed up at her hotel with a court order allowing him to seize her luggage. Maha al-Sudairi owed more than $120,000 to Key Largo, a clothing chain, the BBC reported Saturday.

Word of the Day
  • A person or thing gazed at with wonder or curiosity, especially of a scornful kind.
The 'stock' of 'gazingstock' comes from an Old English word meaning 'tree trunk' or 'wood'.