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Oddities News Archive - June 26, 2009

Canada's Supreme Court has agreed to hear a Toronto woman's $26 million class action suit against the city for fining her for not paying a frozen parking meter. Attorney Ken Arenson said his client was given a $30 ticket in Toronto for not displaying a parking ticket on her dashboard in the winter of 2007-08.

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A California-based Web site has ranked the Top Five Leaning Buildings and Monuments Not in Pisa, including a German church and an Estonian museum.

Police in Texas said a two-man robbery spree was interrupted when they were pulled over and arrested while fleeing their second crime scene. Keller police Lt. Brenda Slovak said the two men began their crime spree about 8 p.m.

Police in Dallas said a man accused of possessing nearly 100 pounds of marijuana was attempting to transport the cannabis in a casket. Investigators said they saw someone loading objects into the rear of a Chevy van at a suspected drug house at about 3 p.m.

A Swedish man said an enjoyable evening walk with his dog turned into a real stinker when they both fell through the ground into a feces-filled hole. Thomas Sundberg said he was walking with his dog, Rex, last week near the Kramfors-Solleftea airport when he felt the ground start to give way beneath his feet and soon man and dog were both nearly submerged in a sludge lagoon used by the city of Kramfors to store and dry sewage, The Local reported Friday. Sundberg said he and Rex were luckily able to quickly exit the pit of excrement. It stank something fierce and I took my clothes off immediately, Sundberg told Swedish-language newspaper Tidningen Angermanland.

The South Carolina Education lottery says time is running out to cash in an unclaimed $800,000 ticket from a drawing six months ago. The lottery said a MegaMatch 6SM ticket purchased at KMO #102 in Belton for the Jan.

A California animal services official said a yellow-bellied marmot was a little freaked out but uninjured by an eight-hour ride on a car bumper. Dan DeSousa, a spokesman for the San Diego County Department of Animal Services, said the marmot latched onto Karl Knoblock's bumper at the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness Area, northeast of Fresno, Calif., and he only realized there was a living animal clinging to his bumper when he arrived home in Encinitas, Calif., the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Friday. DeSousa said Knoblock drove to the San Diego County animal shelter in Carlsbad, where an animal control officer spent an hour gently coaxing the animal from the car's bumper, and later wheel well and engine compartment. DeSousa said the California Department of Fish and Game plans to return the burrowing ground squirrel to its natural habitat. We're trying to keep it as calm as possible, DeSousa said.

A Swedish man under investigation for burying 11,000 chickens in a mass grave without alerting authorities said he wasn't himself at the time of the incident. Jan Erik Einarsson, who formerly served as a municipal commissioner in Orkelljunga, said he was in a state of shock when he came home one day and found a fan had broken down in a building containing 15,000 chickens, and 11,000 of the birds had died while trampling one another for air, The Local reported Friday. Of course, I should have called.

Pennsylvania authorities said a high school secretary in Huntingdon has been charged with using school computers to change her daughter's grades. State Attorney General Tom Corbett said Caroline McNeal, 39, a secretary at the 800-student Huntingdon Area High School, has been charged with giving boosts to her daughter's grades on at least 193 occasions and lowering the grades of two other girls to improve her daughter's class standing, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Friday. McNeal, who was fired from the school, was charged with 29 felony counts of unlawful use of a computer and 29 felony counts of tampering with public records. Tampering with official records for personal or family gain is a serious violation of the public trust.

Multiple vehicle crashes took place on Interstate 29 near Grand Forks, N.D., after a moose wandered onto the highway, police say. An unidentified Highway Patrol trooper said the interstate mess began when a pickup truck hit the moose, resulting in the truck driving into a ditch and turning onto its side, the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald reported Friday. A minivan also ended up in the ditch after hitting the remnants of the moose carcass Thursday, leaving the driver with non-serious injuries. The trooper said another minivan then struck the moose carcass, prompting the animal's intestines to become wrapped around the vehicle's drive shaft.

Word of the Day
negawatt
  • A unit of saved energy.
Coined by Amory Lovins, chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute as a contraction of negative watt on the model of similar compounds like megawatt.