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Odd News Archive - September 2005

formerly Revelations from the Webjockey

Note: Stories from some news services expire after a few weeks. If you click on a link to the original story it is possible that you will be re-directed to an archives page with the option to access the news item for a small fee.

September 29, 2005

Mouse empties airplane. A crew member spotted a mouse while a Qatar Airways plane was on the ground at Manila airport in the Philipines. All 243 passengers were asked to leave the airliner while a search was conducted. All luggage was also unloaded and the plane fumigated. After a delay of twelve hours no mouse was ever found, dead or alive. The chief of airport operations, Octavio Lina, said a similar incident had occured previously involving a cockroach. Seems they have some serious security issues at the Manila International Airport. (Fox News)

September 28, 2005

Swazi King picks 13th bride from among 50,000 bare-breasted virgins. King Mswati III, 37, of Swaziland has taken a 17 year-old Phindile Nkambule to become his next wife. The King apparently first spotted Phindile at the National Reed Dance earlier this month. Ms. Nkambule was chosen at a later regional Reed Dance in which the participants wore only beaded mini-skirts with the buttocks exposed. Fending off critics of polygamy, Mswati III stated that having more than one wife is part of Swazi tradition. Swaziland is located between South Africa and Mozmabique. For those of you men ready to jump on a plane and do a king impersonation keep in mind that Swaziland has the world's highest known rate per capita of HIV/AIDS. (The Australian)

September 27, 2005

This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer. That's the warning label that California attorney gerneral Bill Lockyear would like to see on french fries and patato chips, along with warning signs in restaurants and grocery stores. Fries, chips and a few other food products contain a chemical called acrylamide, which is formed when starchy food is heated at high temperatures. Acrylamide has been found to cause cancer in laboratory rats and mice (It would be interesting to know what doesn't cause cancer in test animals). Scientists aren't sure that the chemical is harmful to humans at normal levels in everyday food. Perhaps a study should be done to determine how rats and mice have survived in record numbers throughout the ages in light of the fact that everything tested on them results in a disease. (IHT)

September 26, 2005

In something that could have come straight out of the movies, a 20 year-old woman drove a car into a swimming pool in the Bellevue suburb of Seattle. While test driving a used car she never managed to get out of the Racquet Club Estates condiminium complex . First running into a phone box the woman then clipped a tree, whizzed through two chain-link fences and then landed in the condiminium's swimming pool. Trapped in the car, firefighters rescued her with seconds to spare before the car completely submerged. (Fox News)

September 25, 2005

Parking meters are going high-tech in Los Angeles. Solar powered meters that will text message the parker when time is about to expire are being installed along a stretch of Sunset Boulevard in a six-month experiment. The parking meter was invented by Carl Magee, of Oklahoma City in 1935. The first person "caught" overparking was the Reverend C.H. North in Oklahoma City. (The Australian)

Police had to rescue a burglar at the Long and Short of It hair salon in Concord, N.H. last Wednesday night. After finding a bonanza of $15USD in the cash register Thomas Dufield tried to jump through a rear window after spotting police and became stuck. Firefighters had to cut out the window frame to release him before he could be hauled off for medical treatment and jail. (Fox News)

September 23, 2005

Emory University in Atlanta and Washington University in St. Louis have declared war on each other. Dressed in military uniform, Emory student government president Amrit P. Dhir dissolved the student legislature and proclaimed himself "Supreme Leader" following a purported "ground attack" by Washington U. forces. The Washington U. student paper followed suit and included Harvard in it's declaration of war for good measure. Both schools, which are a 10-hour drive apart, have experienced a recent rash of vandalism and grafitti. It is believed that the whole "crisis" was manufactured to boost Emory school spirit. (Fox News)

Want to have a third child but lack the time and money? Well, if you live in France you're in luck. To combat a declining population, the French government will pay $916 a month to parents who take a one-year unpaid leave from work after the birth of a third child. The program begins July 2006. -This program would make for some interesting public service advertisements! (AP: Link RIP)

September 22, 2005

In what may be the most bizarre news story so far this year an Idaho weatherman has said that the Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) has been using a Russian-made electromagnetic generator to direct devastating hurricanes to the U.S. mainland. Scott Stevens, a meteorologist at KPVI-TV in Pocatello, Idaho, explains this is in retaliation for the atomic bombing of Japan in World War II. "A battle in the skies is waged daily. Some battles are won and others lost. We yet know not which," Stevens stated. He also predicts an earthquake or volcanic eruption in the U.S. before the end of the year of 7.5 magnitude. (Fox News) To read more about this iminent threat you can visit Scott Steven's website at:
UPDATE: Scott Stevens has left his job to pursue his weather theories full time. (Idaho State Journal)

September 20, 2005

Here's one of those truth is stranger than fiction items. Rumors were that house flies are purposely etched in urninals at the airport in Amsterdam. The fly look-alikes were said to reduce poor aiming by 80 percent. Airport authorities when contacted confirmed this to be true, adding that it saves a lot of money on cleaning. (Full Story)

Those of you that drink beer in cans may or may not want to read this story. It has to do with the "cleansing" of the cans prior to the brew being inserted. This also applies to soda pop and other canned goods as well. Anyway, here's the full details straight from an old article in Notre Dame magazine.

September 19, 2005

A Victoria, Australia man accidentally turned himself into a "power dresser" by wearing a woollen shirt and a synthetic nylon jacket. As Frank Clewer was walking his combination of clothing rubbing together built up a 40,000 volt charge of static electricity. He unknowingly set the carpet on fire in an office building that he briefly visited, causing an evacuation and leaving firemen bewildered. Frank finally noticed something was amiss when he scorched a piece of plastic on the floor of his car. He then summoned the help of firefighters who removed his jacket which tested at 40,000 volts, a few shy of spontaneous combustion. The jacket was then placed in the fire station courtyard where it was still giving off a strong electrical current. (The Australian: Reuters)

September 16, 2005

Did you think that exorcism was just something in the movies? Well, the folks at the Vatican seem to take it seriously, and have for many years. This year's exorcist convention will be held next month at the Regina Apostolorum, a university in Rome, and is also available via videoconference. The exorcists, also known as Beelzebub-busters, will attend a four week course which includes the medical, psychological and religious aspects of Satanism and exorcism. Kinda spooky. (The Australian: Reuters)

On a lighter note, don't feel alone if you think you're the only one in the world with a bunch of worthless household gadgets collecting dust in a cupboard, closet, attic, etc. British online insurance firm Ensure estimates that Britons have spent £9.4 billion ($22 billion) during their lifetime on gadgets. Top ten items were: sandwich toasters, bathroom scales, coffee machines, foot spas, electric knives, tin openers, breadmakers, vegetable preparation devices like potato peelers, soda streams and face saunas. Most were reportedly purchased as gifts. (The Australian: Agence France-Presse)

September 13, 2005

A German brewer is said to have topped The Boston Beer Company's claim to have the world's strongest beer. Bavarian brewmaster Harald Schneider says his beer has an alcohol content of 25.4 percent (a little over 50 proof) and is served in a shot glass. "People will only be able to drink two or three glasses, otherwise they'll drop like flies," he said. (

In other beer news a Frenchman has invented a beer made from fermented milk. Former dairy farmer Marcel Besnard of Britanny, France, came up with the idea after a decline in milk prices. The beer, called Lactiwel, is 75 percent milk and 25 percent malt, brewed in an experimental brewery, and sold in wine size bottles at shops and festivals. (Herald Sun - AU)

September 6, 2005

NEW ORLEANS - There's still signs of life in the French Quarter. Newly arrived paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division on their first patrol were surprised to find three men in front of a jazz club drinking beer. The men welcomed the soldiers to Bourbon Street and wished it was a little livlier for them. Later, a woman on a balcony flashed her breasts in the traditional New Orleans greeting as the patrol passed by. Some employees of businesses in the district stayed behind for lack of anywhere else to go, along with a few business owners who stayed to protect their property. One popular gathering point for those who had holed up in the Quarter was Johnny White's Sports Bar & Grill. The manager of the bar, Marcie Ramsey, was first seen by soldiers as she was yelling at a drunk woman to go home. It's nice to know that not even a major diaster can totally dampen the New Orleans spirit. (Fayetteville Observer: Link RIP)

September 4, 2005

A woman in Zuelpich, Germany, managed to burn her house down while trying to exterminate spiders with a can of hair spray and a cigarette lighter. She started by spraying the invading pests with hairspray. When that ran out she went after them with a cigarette lighter, which ignited the hairspray residue, burning down her house. Firefighters were able to save her neighbor's house, which sustained minimul damage. Repair costs were estimated at over 100,000 euros (US$125,460). (Reuters: Link RIP)

A 52 year-old Dutch man was found adrift in the English Channel after two days. His only provisions? Beer! He took off in his half-built boat after having an argument with his wife. Authorities gave him a good tongue lashing before he took off to the nearest pub. ( The Australian)

September 2, 2005

Mourners who had just attended the funeral of an 80 year-old friend in England were quite shocked to see him walking through town shortly afterwards. As it turned out, there were two men named Frank Hughes of the same age living in Darlington, England. Many of his pals had read the obituary in the morning paper and headed directly to the funeral, not knowing of the name duplication. By the end of the day Frank was reported to be tired of being informed that he was still alive. (The Australian)

A South African man may hold the world's record for having his car stolen, but when contacted Guinness said that they had no category for vehicle theft. The white Toyota, nicknamed Bakkie, has been stolen 15 times. (Herald Sun - AU)

Note: Stories from some news services expire after a few weeks. If you click on a link to the original story it is possible that you will be re-directed to an archives page with the option to access the news item for a small fee.

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