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Oddities News Archive - August 06, 2009

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Officials at an Idaho zoo said they nearly had to X-ray an entire flock of pelicans when visitors reported one of the birds had swallowed a cell phone. Zoo keepers at the Tauphaus Park Zoo in Idaho Falls said visitors reported seeing the pelicans tossing a cell phone back and forth until one of the birds eventually swallowed the object whole, KIDK-TV, Idaho Falls, reported Thursday. Luckily the bird regurgitated it so it wouldn't harm him.

A 26-year-old Michigan man was arrested for allegedly barking at a police dog, authorities said. The Three Rivers Police Department said in the statement that, Anija, a police K-9, had been left in a patrol car by its handler and the officer returned to find the suspect had started to torment the police

Authorities in Florida said a reported gun that sparked the evacuation of two court buildings was later discovered to be a cigarette lighter. Officials said they are investigating why the sheriff's office was not notified and the evacuation begun until nearly three hours after Hillsborough County Courthouse security staff noticed the suspected semi-automatic weapon on an X-ray screening machine at 9 a.m.

Police in Missouri said a life-sized anthropomorphic M&M's candy dispenser was stolen from a gas station by a man who initially offered to purchase the object. Lt.

Residents of an Illinois neighborhood that has hosted a pair of peacocks for the past six weeks said the birds were recaptured and taken home by their owner. Andy McLaughlin, a resident of the 1300 block of Crestview Drive in Springfield, said the owner of the mated peacocks, which have been roosting in the neighborhood since June, trapped the birds Monday, the Springfield State Journal-Register reported Thursday. McLaughlin said the owner, who refused comment to the Journal-Register, used the female's sister to lure the peacocks to a cage in a neighbor's garage.

An Oregon auto mechanic said he pulled a 3-foot diamondback rattlesnake out of a car belonging to a woman who complained about a strange hissing sound. Marvin Schenck, a 28-year veteran of auto service, said his friend and employer, Dave Prewitt, called him to his Klamath Falls home July 30 to examine his wife's Geo Tracker, after she complained it was making a strange hissing sound and said she noticed a rope dangling from the car's undercarriage, the Klamath Falls Herald & News reported Thursday. Schenck said he identified the problem when he caught a glimpse of the venomous snake slithering between engine components. It didn't take too long to figure out that sticking our hands in any part wasn't a good idea, Schenck said. He said the snake was initially resistant to exiting the vehicle, but he was able to yank the animal out of the car when its tail fell to the ground in front of a tire.

Houston police say a man weighing nearly 600 pounds concealed a 9mm handgun in his layers of fat for more than a day while in custody. Police said George Vera, 25, was arrested for an unspecified reason Aug. 2 and held in the city jail for a day before being taken to the Harris County Jail.

Authorities in Ohio say a black bear is the prime suspect in putting a huge hole in the wall of a home and smashing out a basement window. The Ohio Division of Wildlife said the damage to Steve Lenart's home in Streetsboro this week included a hole ripped through an outside wall that extends through the inside drywall to expose the motor of the home's kitchen dishwasher.

Organizers of the Wisconsin State Fair said memorabilia from the event's history, including an 1859 visit by Abraham Lincoln, is on display at the fair. Jerry Zimmerman, 81, who has been accumulating programs, badges, fliers, pennants and postcards dating as far back as the fair's first year in 1851, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the display opened with the fair Thursday in the event's horticulture building at the fairgrounds in West Allis. I find it fascinating, Zimmerman said.

Guards chasing an errant jackdaw in the royal palace in Stockholm damaged a portrait of the founder of the current Swedish royal family. The jackdaw is believed to have infiltrated the royal cabinet meeting room through a chimney, The Local reported, citing TV4.

Word of the Day
swell-mobsman
  • A member of the swell-mob; a genteelly clad pickpocket. Sometimes mobsman.
Use of the word 'swell-mobsman' dates at least to the early 1800s.