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Oddities News Archive - August 27, 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.) WILMETTE, Ill., Aug.

Canada's University of Manitoba is looking for a home for three endangered fish, seized from smugglers, that can grow to 13 feet and 100 pounds in a century. The fish are young Black Russian sturgeons seized two years ago by the Canadian Wildlife Services from smugglers trying to sell them as aquarium

A Virginia man publicly displaying a sign confessing his adultery said the message is a punishment chosen by his wife. William Taylor of Centreville held his sign on a street corner near Tysons Corner Mall for most of the morning commute Wednesday and said he would be back Thursday, Friday and possibly more days in the future, WTTG-TV, Washington, reported Thursday. I cheated and this is my punishment, Taylor's sign reads. He said the sign was his wife's idea. I thought she was kidding, but she was serious.

Police in Florida said a man arrested for misuse of 911 called the emergency line several times to report losing his house key. Investigators said Lin Xu, 27, called 911 several times early Saturday from a pay phone outside of a Walgreens store in Boynton Beach, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Thursday. Xu told responding officers he called the emergency line because he lost his house key.

A British magazine says lecturer-submitted gaffes by university students include a comment about Internet use by the French Resistance during World War II. The Times of London's Higher Education magazine said submissions to its annual exam howlers competition include a sentence from a student at London's

Police in upstate New York said they tracked down a bank robbery suspect using a traffic ticket left behind at the scene. Irondequoit police said Damien Ponder, 27, of Rochester, N.Y., allegedly used the back of the traffic ticket Saturday to write a note demanding money from a teller at the First Niagara Bank, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reported Thursday. Sgt.

A Houston Salvation Army thrift store is auctioning off some unusual donations -- Salvador Dali originals given by an anonymous donor. Assistant store Supervisor Carl Roberts said a wealthy Houston woman donated the pieces, including a bronze crucifix, a drawing of Don Quixote and several prints, with the only condition being the money must go to the Salvation Army's adult rehabilitation center, KTRK-TV, Houston, reported Thursday. Dali experts said the certificates of authenticity issued by a California gallery do not guarantee the pieces are not forgeries, but Roberts said he is convinced they are genuine.

Police in Florida said they arrested a woman for attacking a smoker with air freshener sprayed from a can. Niceville police allege the woman was waving the can of Glade Potpourri Air Freshener around the other woman's head while dispensing its contents at a Niceville apartment complex Friday, the Northwest Florida Daily News of Fort Walton Beach reported Thursday. The woman then allegedly pointed the can at the back of the other woman's head and sprayed it for nearly a full minute.

A Cuban retiree says the country's toilet paper shortage has created a lucrative business for seniors -- buying and reselling newspapers as an alternative. The Havana retiree said he and other seniors line up before dawn to buy surplus newspapers from distribution points for factories and offices that have closed for economic reasons and shortages of electricity and raw materials, The Miami Herald reported Thursday. The man, who requested anonymity to prevent trouble with authorities, said the seniors buy the newspapers, including the Communist party's Granma, for 20 Cuban cents -- about .007 U.S.

A British planning official has praised plans to transform a historic hotel into a daytime restaurant and nighttime adult sex club. Mystique, the company that submitted the plans to officials in Gloucester, England, said it wants to transform the city's 170-year-old New County Hotel into a restaurant with a strong vegetarian/pescatarian theme by day and a private members-only club at night that would include a fetish room for adult enjoyment, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday. The company said the sex club would be aimed at the gay community, swinging couples and those following alternative sexual lifestyles. Mike Gethin, Gloucester City Council's top planning officer, backed the sex club plans. This application has been carefully assessed, and it is considered that its determination cannot be based on moral issues because they are not planning matters, he said.

Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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