Wacky world - weekly offbeat travel and transport roundup - Chile, mice and 'Top Gun'

A roundup of this week's offbeat travel and transport stories: a presidential emergency landing, new ambulances in Britain and a whiffy debate in Malawi.

The president drops in

Chilean president Sebastian Pinera has been attacked by critics after video showing him making an emergency landing in his helicopter was leaked on the internet. The billionaire president was captured landing on a road before good-naturedly explaining to locals that he was almost out of fuel.
Watch the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RJUafnHihI

China proves it's top gun

Red faces at China's state broadcaster this week after it emerged that footage aired during a report on a People's Liberation Army Air Force training exercise was actually taken from 1980s blockbuster Top Gun. See the video at the Wall Street Journal.

Something in the air in Malawi

Visitors to Malawi might want to hold off on eating beans before they leave - reports suggest that the judiciary authority is currently debating whether a new bill can be interpreted as criminalizing flatulence.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12363852

Could TSA-trained mice replace body scanners?

High-tech and controversial body scanners could soon be replaced on the front line of airport security, according to New Scientist - by mice. A new explosives detector uses specially trained animals to sniff out explosives, which they can apparently do more effectively than dogs.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20927985.700-sniffer-mice-have-a-nose-for-explosives.html

Insurance mishap

In a coincidence which may have been more fortunate than unfortunate, a Florida woman accidentally drove her car into a familiar office this week - the one housing her car insurance firm. At the very least, the paperwork should have been minimized. http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/collision-coincidence-car-crashes-into-tampa-office-that-insures-it/1148840

Ambulance reinforcements

British ambulances are no longer wider enough to carry some patients, according to reports, forcing ambulance services to pay millions to upgrade the vehicles so that they can carry Britain's increasing number of obese people (currently 24.5 percent of the population).
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110203/od_afp/britainhealthobesityoffbeat_20110203165944

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Day In a Page

    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
    The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

    The ZX Spectrum is back

    The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
    Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

    Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

    The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

    If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
    The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

    The quirks of work perks

    From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
    Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

    Is bridge becoming hip?

    The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
    Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

    The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

    Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
    The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

    The rise of Lego Clubs

    How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
    5 best running glasses

    On your marks: 5 best running glasses

    Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
    Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada