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August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26

News Quirks

Roland Sweet
Published Thursday March 19, 04:28 pm
London’s cocktail scene just got a million times better

Photo Credit: Illustration by Myron Campbell

More than 35,000 people entered a lottery for tickets to sip cocktails at London’s Annie the Owl pop-up bar while owls fly around and perch on their shoulders. Professional falconers join the patrons, who pay $30 for two cocktails and two hours of “unique owl indulgence,” according to Sebastian Lyall, CEO of start-up app company Locappy, which is sponsoring the weeklong event. He said a maximum of 12 patrons will be allowed to sit around each owl, and background music will be kept to a moderate level so as not to upset the birds. Annie the Owl, which pledged to donate proceeds to a U.K.-based owl charity, resulted from a blog post by the event guide Time Out London that encouraged London to follow Japan, where at least five owl cafés have opened. Tokyo’s Fukuro no Mise (“Shop of Owls”) cautions customers that its birds are tame but “can’t be potty trained.” (CNBC and Associated Press)


Dumb, Dumb-Dumb Dumb

Police looking for the man who beat up a woman in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, and held her captive for 12 hours, found him trying to flee town by bus. An hour after the victim called 911, suspect Donald Harrison, 22, posted the Facebook message, “IT’S TIME TO LEAVE PA.” The next day, she told police she spotted Harrison’s selfie on Facebook, announcing, “OMW TO SPARTANBURG SC.” The Spartanburg bus had just left, so officers caught up to it and arrested Harrison. “We like it when dumb criminals assist in our investigation,” said police Chief James Mann. (Beaver County Times)



Japan’s 15th annual hole-digging championships awarded 100,000 yen (US$830) to a team from Saitama that dug down 11.4 feet in the allotted 30 minutes. A record 305 teams entered this year’s event, tournament official Ai Okazaki said, adding, “It takes about a week for our staff to gradually refill the holes.” (Agence France-Presse)


When Guns Are Outlawed

A court in Northern Ireland convicted Morrison Wilson, 58, of assaulting a neighbour with his belly. Wilson, described as “heavy-set,” told Belfast Magistrate’s Court he was trying to get the retired woman off his lawn when he “bounced her back” with his “big belly.” (Belfast Telegraph)


I’m Moving To Belarus

While delegates at a United Nations disarmament forum in Switzerland were discussing ways to improve transparency, the delegate from Belarus warned that opening meetings to the public posed a threat to security. “What if there were topless ladies screaming from the public gallery throwing bottles of mayonnaise?” the diplomat asked. (Reuters)


Prospering From Cheaters

Shares of contraceptive companies soared in South Korea after the country’s highest court ruled that a law banning adultery was unconstitutional. The law was enacted in 1953, but the five-judge Constitutional Court decided the law “infringes people’s right to make their own decisions on sex and secrecy and freedom of their private life.” After the ruling, shares of latex-maker Unidus Corp. rose 15 per cent. Hyundai Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., which makes morning-after birth control pills, saw its stock rise 9.7 per cent. Prosecutors said the ban had resulted in 892 people being indicted on adultery charges last year, although none went to jail. (Reuters)

Grand Dupery

Two convenience store employees almost destroyed the premises after receiving a call from someone claiming to be the store’s security company. Police in Globe, Arizona, said the caller told the workers the silent fire alarm was going off and that to stop it, they had to discharge fire extinguishers in the store, throw the extinguishers through the windows and then destroy merchandise, computers, registers and security televisions, all while customers were shopping. It was when they were told to destroy the computers that the pair suspected the call was a prank. Damage amounted to $30,000, and the store closed for 12 hours to clean up the mess. “They thought they were acting righteously,” police Sgt. A.J. Castaneda said. (KSAZ-TV)


So Sue Me

The Utah Court of Appeals ruled that Barbara Bagley could sue herself. The case involves the wrongful death of her husband, Bradley Vom Baur, in a car crash near Battle Mountain while she was driving and lost control of the vehicle. As the designated representative of her husband’s estate, Bagley is suing Bagley the driver for negligence. “She has to look out for the estate,” said Reid Tateoka, one of the attorneys representing the widow as plaintiff. Her attorneys as defendant moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing, “The jury will be highly confused. It cannot order a person to compensate herself.” (The Salt Lake Tribune)


The Last Burger In Iceland

Hjortur Smarason, 28, bought the last McDonald’s hamburger and fries to be sold in Iceland before the chain closed there in 2009. “I realized it was a historic occasion,” Smarason said. He stored it in a plastic bag in his garage for three years before donating it to the National Museum of Iceland. After a year, the museum returned the “hamborgarinn” to him, following complaints calling it an inappropriate exhibit. “I regard it as a historical item now,” he said. “I think it’s incredible that it seems to show no signs of decomposition, although apparently the fact that there were fewer chips returned to me was because some museum visitors had eaten some of them.” Smarason subsequently donated the souvenir to Reykjavik’s Bus Hostel. (Daily Mail)


Guns Make Everyone Safer

A four-year-old boy was shot in the leg in Wasilla, Alaska, when his mother’s .357-caliber handgun accidentally fell out of its holster, struck the pavement and fired. State troopers said the bullet went through the boy’s leg. (Associated Press)


Funny Money

British police reported that a Manchester bar accepted a 20-pound note that was “just two paper photocopies of banknotes stapled together.” Inspector Phil Spurgeon called it “probably the worst forgery we have ever seen.” (Manchester Evening News)

Compiled from mainstream news sources by Roland Sweet

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