Oddities News Archive - August 16, 2009

A Colorado car dealer got a shock when a man drove in with a trade in the cash-for- clunkers program, a 1985 Maserati BiTurbo. The car is in almost pristine condition, KUSA-TV, Denver, reported.

Moon-the-balloon in Ontario was something of a bust, with only 200 Canadians showing up to drop their trousers to protest a U.S. surveillance balloon. And the balloon was a no-show. The balloon, which has been hovering over Sarnia of late, is being flown by Sierra Nevada, a company seeking a U.S.

New Hampshire authorities told a mountain hiker Saturday an injured thumb didn't qualify him for a helicopter rescue. The 50-year old Texan injured his thumb while hiking with a group on the 3,251-foot Mount Crescent in the Icy Gulch area. Authorities, who did not release the man's name, said members of his hiking party were headed to help him, The New Hampshire Union Leader reported. The Gorham Fish and Game office got a cell phone call from the man.

A Firefest spokesman says the annual competition in the Canadian city of Windsor gives firefighters a chance to show off their unique skill sets. Firefest spokesman David Bellamy said festival participants are required to don their heavy firefighting gear and attempt to set record paces while carrying a fire hose up a five-story building, The Windsor (Ontario) Star said Sunday. Participants are also required to pull a separate hose to the roof of the building, before moving a heavy steel beam with a sledgehammer, hitting a target with water from a fire house and carrying a mannequin across the finish line. Bellamy said the grueling event not only gives firefighters an opportunity to show off their skills, but also allows members of the public to witness firsthand the tiring actions such workers deal with on the job. Their job is not easy to do.

A 1,145-pound pumpkin from the Kentucky Pumpkin Mafia came in first place at the Giant Pumpkin Contest at the Indiana State Fair Sunday, officials said. The Indianapolis Star reported John Van Hook, 42, of Somerset Kentucky grew the winning pumpkin.

A man who allegedly threw a slice of pizza at his daughter's head after hurling a racial slur at her in Gaineville, Fla., was arrested, police said.

A 10-year-old girl in New York says she received a $50 ticket from parks department officials for operating a lemonade stand without a permit. Clementine Lee and her father, Richard, opened their lemonade stand in Riverside Park on Saturday to take advantage of the hot summer weather and within 20 minutes they sold 10 glasses of ice-cold lemonade, the New York Post reported Sunday. It was such a hot day I figured people would want a cold drink, Lee said. Lee's father said when he and his daughter were initially approached by the parks department agents, the city officials were less than friendly. They approached us nonchalantly but then surrounded us, the elder Lee told the Post.

A retired Cincinnati firefighter says his pet Shih Tzu loves to sit on his riding lawnmower with him when he cuts his grass. Former firefighter and paramedic Bill Rinear said he bolted a wicker container to the top of his lawnmower so Minnie the Shih Tzu can enjoy taking part in the outdoors chore, The Cincinnati Enquirer said Saturday. But the sight of a dog sitting atop a moving lawnmower apparently draws it fair share of attention. People get out of their cars and just stare at us, Rinear said.

A New York City businessman stepped outside an off-track betting facility, lit a cigar, and fell through a rusted-out metal sidewalk plate, officials said.

Word of the Day
  • Stoppage; cessation (of labor).
  • A standing still or idling (of mills, factories, etc.).
The word chomage comes into English from French.]