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Oddities News Archive - June 28, 2009

Council members in a North Carolina town barred its mayor from posting the town's newsletter on its Web site, citing what they call his negative comments. Indian Trail Mayor John Quinn countered that the ban -- the latest the council has taken against him -- was enacted based on misinformation that he was harassing some council members, The Charlotte Observer reported Sunday. Council members said the mayor's comments should reflect well on the town and should have focused on events such as Indian Trail's new farmers market and passage of the town's budget without a tax increase. It doesn't mention anything positive since the last newsletter went out, Council Member Dan Schallenkamp said of the mayor's newsletter comments. Banning Quinn from posting his comments on the town's Web site is the latest action the council has taken in its squabble with the mayor.

Antiques Roadshow appraisers valued a jade set as high as $1.07 million, the highest appraisal since the show started traversing the United States. The collection -- jade pieces from China's Chien Lung reign from 1736-1795 -- belong to an unidentified woman who arrived early at the Saturday taping in Raleigh, N.C., of the popular PBS show, The News & Observer in Raleigh reported Sunday. The woman told the appraiser the pieces belonged to her father, a military liaison to China in the 1930s and '40s, show officials said. Asian art appraiser James Callahan, who examined the four pieces, said the dealer steered her father to quality items.

A Welsh artist says she has gotten $33,000 to create plaster casts of women's buttocks in a bid to get to bottom of cultural attitudes about female fannies. Sue Williams, of Swansea, Wales, will use the money from the Arts Council of Wales to mould a series of plaster casts of women's bottoms, starting with her own, to examine the racial fetishism of the backside in African and European societies, The Times of London reported Sunday. The project is taking on the issues around the bottom and how it is viewed in contemporary culture and viewed by the male, she said.

A California mutt ran off Sunday with the title of 2009 World's Ugliest Dog Champion, besting a former Chinese Crested ugliness champ, officials say. The judges at the Sonoma-Marin County Fair in California gave the award to Pabst, boxer-mix shelter dog from Citrus Heights, over Rascal, whose breed has dominated the Ugliest Dog competition in recent years, contest officials said in a release. Pabst was given his name because he had a bitter beer face, said owner Miles Egstad, a first-time contestant.

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.