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Oddities News Archive - August 24, 2009

The British Home Office has convened a team of designers to create an alternative to the traditional pint glass for beer in pubs. Home Office officials said the designers have been charged with creating several new drinking vessels within four months as alternatives to the traditional pint glass, which has been linked to a growing number of injuries in violent incidents at pubs, The Times of London reported Monday. Sebastian Conran, head of the Home Office's Design and Technology Alliance Against Crime, said pint glasses are involved in an estimated 87,000 injuries each year.

A British woman who confused a French town hall for a hotel was locked in the building overnight, town officials said. Mayor Paul Mumbach of Dannemarie said the tourist entered the building Friday night while officials were in a meeting and the officials left and locked the doors behind them while the woman was in the lavatory, The Times of London reported Monday. Mumbach said the woman attempted to attract attention by turning on the town halls' lights and leaving a note on the door in broken but comprehensible French reading: I am shut in.

A British man said he set a world record and raised money for a children's charity during his 18-mile walk on broken glass. Nigel Jardine, 56, of Leeds, England, broke the record for walking on glass in a single hour by traveling 1,159 yards in that time, besting the previous record of about 1,050 yards, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday. Jardine said he traveled the full 18 miles in 27 1/2 hours, with five minute breaks every hour for drinks, the bathroom and quick naps. The sports coach said his accomplishment, carried out at the Bageecha restaurant in Horsforth, England, raised money for Action for Children.

A pair of British men have announced plans to drive 4,000 miles in a 20-year-old Volvo nicknamed the sauna on wheels. Tom Sharrad, 23, and Chris Wilkinson, 24, of Sevenoaks, England, said they spent months covering the outside of the Volvo, which has driven more than 187,000 miles, with Scandinavian pine reminiscent of traditional sauna decor, The Daily Telelgraph reported Monday. The men, who will wear nothing but Turkish bath towels during their cross-Europe trek, said they are planning to visit 12 countries in 14 days during the trip, which was concocted to raise money for the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumor Trust, a research and support organization for people suffering from tumors and their families. The idea of going to Sweden came about because we wanted to take the car back to its spiritual home.

Authorities in California said no serious injuries were reported when a small plane landed on a highway, colliding with two vehicles. A Santa Barbara County Fire representative said the single-engine plane, which was carrying the pilot and one passenger, made an emergency landing Sunday morning on Highway 101 in Goleta en route to the Santa Barbara Airport, the Santa Barbara (Calif.) Independent reported Monday. The plane was struck by two southbound vehicles and one automobile passenger was treated at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for minor injuries.

Authorities in Minnesota said a goat in the trunk of a woman's car when she took it to a repair shop has been placed in the care of a veterinarian. James Prusci, an auto repairman with Tires Plus in Winona, said a woman came in to the store just before noon Friday and informed him there was a live goat in her trunk, the Winona Daily News reported Monday. Prusci said the woman told him she planned to butcher the animal but her car broke down en route to St.

Authorities in Cleveland said a barber who admitted to robbing a store two doors from his business was angry at the shop for selling him bad beef jerky. Police said the 28-year-old barber, who was known to the clerk at the party store, covered his mouth with a small cloth and demanded money from the clerk Thursday evening at the shop, which is two doors away from the barbershop, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Monday. The clerk told police the robber became irate at being recognized and ran out of the store with the cash register, which contained $98. The first police officer to respond to the scene was a customer of the barber, authorities said.

A pair of Michigan law students have hit the Internet big-time with a Web site allowing users to share their strange and amusing text messages. Ben Bator, 23, of Royal Oak, and Lauren Leto, 22, of Grosse Pointe Woods, both graduates of Michigan State University attending law school at Wayne State University, said the funny texts they received from their friends led them to create their Web site, textsfromlastnight.com, the Detroit Free Press reported Monday. Bator and Leto said they go through 10,000 to 15,000 submissions each night to decide what makes it onto the site.

Organizers of a National Go-Topless Day rally in New York said dozens of women bared their breasts and marched in the streets for the right to go topless. Event organizer Sylvie Chabot, 54, of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, said dozens of women and male supporters gathered Sunday in Central Park to shed their tops and march on Central Park South to mark National Go-Topless Day, the New York Daily News reported Monday. A 1992 ruling by the state Supreme Court made New York the only state where it is legal for a woman to go topless in public.

Auction house Christie's in New York said a London artist's bronze sculpture of a cardboard box is expected to fetch $30,000 when it goes on sale next month. The auctioneers said Brillo 5, a cardboard box created by artist Gavin Turk, is expected to sell for at least $30,000 during the postwar and contemporary art sale Sept.

Word of the Day
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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