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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

April 5, 2013 at 5:00 PM   |   Comments

Website: Mavis, Thor hot baby names

WILMINGTON, Del., April 5 (UPI) -- Delaware website Nameberry said baby names attracting increased interest during the year so far include Marnie, Nelly, Bruce and Thor.

Nameberry's list of 13 names garnering significantly higher views during the first three months of the year include Marnie, Marlowe, Christian and Nellie, NBC News reported Friday.

The list also included Bruce, Mavis, Wilder and Finnigan.

The site said interest in Thor, the Norse god of thunder, was likely inspired by Chris Hemsworth's portrayal in "Thor" and "The Avengers," while Severine's popularity was likely boosted by the Berenice Marlohe's character in "Skyfall."

The list was rounded out by Phaedra, Mingus and Linnea.


Chicago bridge liftings to begin Saturday

CHICAGO, April 5 (UPI) -- Chicago officials said spring will hit the city's bridges this weekend when boating season begins with the first lifting of the 27 bridges.

The officials said the bridges will be lifted sequentially every 8-to-12 minutes to allow access for recreational boats starting Saturday and will continue on Saturdays and Wednesdays until June 29, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.

The city said the bridges will not be lifted from April 26 through May 5 due to work being performed on the Wells Street Bridge.


Chicago declares 'Potholepalooza'

CHICAGO, April 5 (UPI) -- The Chicago Department of Transportation has declared this weekend "Potholepalooza," a three-day festival of reporting potholes.

Officials encouraged motorists to report as many potholes as possible Friday, Saturday and Sunday via the website cityofchicago.org/311, texting "Chicago'' to 311311 with the location of the potholes, or using smartphone apps including SeeClickFix and ChicagoWorks, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

CDOT said nearly a quarter of a million potholes have been filled this year and crews will begin work Monday on those reported during the weekend.

"In March, Men at Work gave Blood, Sweat and Tears to fill more than 116,000 holes with more than 1,200 tons of patching material, creating Nirvana for many drivers, and in the first week of April have addressed nearly 20,000 more, making roadways fit for the Queen," CDOT said in a statement playing on the usage of "palooza" in rock music festivals.


PAC to back bearded political candidates

WASHINGTON, April 5 (UPI) -- Talk about a potentially hairy situation. The U.S. election watchdog has received paperwork from a political action committee that supports bearded candidates.

The Federal Elections Committee received documents Wednesday from the non-partisan Bearded Entrepreneurs for the Advancement of a Responsible Democracy -- or BEARD -- founded by Jonathan Sessions, 30, a member of the Columbia, Mo., school board, The Hill reported Thursday.

"With the resurgence of beards in popular culture and among today's younger generation, we believe the time is now to bring facial hair back into politics," Sessions said in a statement posted on the PAC's Facebook page.

Sessions said there hasn't been a bearded major-party presidential candidate since Republican Charles Evans Hughes' unsuccessful bid in 1916 and noted the retirements of bearded congressmen, including David Obey of Wisconsin and Steve LaTourette of Ohio.

"Our hope is that we can start to reverse this disturbing trend," he said.

"It's been 125 years since our last bearded president, Benjamin Harrison, was elected," BEARD PAC Communications Director Andy Shapero said. "We're hoping that, with our support, bearded individuals will shrug off over a century of political irrelevance and start running for office again."

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