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Oddities News Archive - August 20, 2009

(Editor's note: Sometimes it's hard to tell whether you're tackling motherhood in the 21st century -- or being tackled by it. This is the latest in a series of reflections by UPI writers.) SKOKIE, Ill., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- I asked my kids whether I'm a helicopter mom.

Several West Midlands police officers say they were shocked to find criminals doing community service using their station cafeteria in Erdington, England. A police officer, who wished to remain anonymous, said the recent appearance of convicted criminals at an Erdington station canteen ruffled the feathers of police staff as they were expected to rub elbows with those they arrested, IHS Jane's said Thursday. There were some female staff who felt like they could not go down and get a drink and a snack.

Two street musicians who played the same two songs endlessly in a Birmingham neighborhood have been banned from begging in England and Wales. A two-year anti-social behavior order was imposed on James Ryan and Andrew Stevens, The Daily Telegraph reported.

An apparently amnesiac man who has puzzled doctors at a Seattle hospital for three weeks was identified Thursday from a newspaper photograph. The man, who had been going by the name Jon Doe, acknowledges that he is the person depicted by photographs of Edward F.

The owner of a South Jersey candy store says she found the answer to mysterious disappearances when someone posted a video of a break-in on Facebook. Police in Pitman showed the video to Elissa Eystad, owner of Ladybug Candies, on Saturday, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

A man in the Welsh county of Flintshire says county workers refused to pick up his garden waste bin since it contained some bruised apples. John Mason of the town Connah's Quay said he was surprised to find his trash bin had not been emptied because Flintshire Council workers claimed the bin was facing contamination because of the apples, The Daily Mail said Thursday. I scratched my head and wondered what on earth the contamination could be at first.

Toymaker Hasbro transformed San Fransisco's famed Lombard Street into a life-size rendition of its classic children's board game Candyland, the company said.

An 8-year-old London boy has become the youngest person in the world to walk on the wings of an airplane in mid-flight. Tiger Brewer broke the record set eight years ago by a then-11-year-old by wing-walking on his grandfather's biplane Thursday, 1,000 feet above Rendcomb Airfield in Gloucestershire, England, The Times of London reported Thursday. On take-off I was scared.

Former Pennsylvania state Sen.

About 1,000 ukulele players gathered in London to simultaneously play Ode to Joy from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. The eight members of the ukulele ensemble that organized the event said they had expected about 200 people to turn up with ukuleles at Albert Hall Tuesday. Instead, the venue was so packed

Word of the Day
callithump
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'
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