You couldn't make it up: offbeat stories from 2010
Saturday 25 December 2010
Some weird, wild and wonderful stories from 2010:
- A Copenhagen bus company has put "love seats" on 103 of its vehicles for people looking for a partner. "Even love at first sight is possible on the bus," said a spokesman for the British owned Arriva company to explain the two seats on each bus that are covered in red cloth and a "love seat" sign.
- Shoppers at an international luxury fair in Verona, Italy, found a cell-phone-equipped golden coffin among the items on display. The phones will help "the deceased" contact relatives if they have been buried alive by mistake.
- Inmates at an infamous Moscow prison where a lawyer died last year in a case that sparked global anger will get a full suite of new creature comforts including sunbeds. "Is Butyrka turning into a sanatorium?" a sceptical mass-circulated Komsomolskaya Pravda daily asked in a headline.
- Paul the octopus, who shot to fame during this year's football World Cup for his flawless record in predicting game results, died peacefully in his sleep in an aquarium.
- Delhi authorities deployed a contingent of langurs - a large type of monkey - at Commonwealth Games venues to help chase away smaller simians from the sporting extravaganza.
- A Mozambican prisoner who had been released on parole broke back into jail after discovering he didn't like life on the outside.
- A British church held an unusual ceremony when a vicar blessed the mobile phones of 80 workers in the City of London financial district. The idea came from a historic tradition where workers would bring the tools of their trade, like ploughs, to be blessed on the first Monday after people return to work after Christmas.
- A robber in New York came up with a disarming way to pull off his latest bank heist, approaching the teller's window with a large bouquet of flowers and handing over a hold-up note.
- A Kuwaiti MP proposed state-aid for male citizens to take second wives, in a bid to reduce the large number of unmarried women in the oil-rich emirate.
- Shanghai officials hope to curb the growing popularity of man's best friend in the city with a one-dog policy.
- A Frenchman who lost all his limbs in an electrical accident successfully swam across the Channel, a challenge he had been preparing for two years.
- A set of dentures made for Britain's war-time prime minister Winston Churchill known as "the teeth that saved the world" sold for nearly 18,000 pounds (21,500 euros, 28,000 dollars) at auction.
- The strongest and most expensive beer ever created sold out within hours, a Scottish brewery said, as they courted controversy by packaging the bottles inside the bodies of stuffed squirrels and stoats.
- A British woman sparked an Internet hate campaign after she was caught on camera dumping a cat in a rubbish bin. She was fined 250 pounds (400 dollars, 280 euros) after pleading guilty.
- Two Australian men needed surgery after shooting each other in the buttocks during a drinking session to see if it would hurt.
- Even Hong Kong's dead cannot escape the Internet. In Chinese culture, relatives are expected to visit the cemetery at least once a year to pay their respects. But now, mourners can simply visit memorial.gov.hk set up by the government and set up a page free-of-charge.
- The BBC apologised "unreservedly" after a radio presenter jokingly announced that Queen Elizabeth II had died.
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