QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

Get Batman on the case! Joker strikes Gotham and makes off with road sign


ENGLAND: A thief who stole a road sign at the entrance to the village of Gotham in Nottinghamshire may have done so because it shares a name with Batman’s home city, it is reported.

The theft of the sign — which has a white reflective background and bold black writing saying Gotham, is being investigated by police, the Nottingham Post said.

Police community support officer Anthony Davies said: “It is of little scrap metal value, so it may be more to do with a prank, particularly given the name on it. But it is not a prank because it is going to cost Nottinghamshire County Council money to replace it, so I would ask anyone who knows where the sign is to let us know.”


CANADA: Toronto mayor Rob Ford is being roundly mocked on Twitter after mistakenly saying people should set their clocks an hour back instead of forward for daylight saving time.

“Rob Ford: The mayor who won’t even follow the dimensional rules of time,” Toronto sports writer Bruce Arthur tweeted in one response to the mayor’s gaffe.

Ford, who last year admitted he had smoked crack cocaine, continues to draw attention for his erratic behaviour, but has refused to resign and is seeking re-election.


BRITAIN: Winter holidaymakers lose an average of £219 (€264) of valuables on the ski slopes each year, a poll suggests.

A total of 143,000 UK holiday makers lost something on the slopes last winter, with glasses (32%) the most common item mislaid, the survey of 500 people for Post Office Travel Insurance found.

It seems skiers might be having trouble keeping their eyes on the piste, with many also losing mobile phones (25%) and money (15%).

Worryingly, 12% of holidaymakers may be risking frostbite after declaring that they have lost their socks while navigating the slopes, the survey found.


USA: A Michigan boy who said he didn’t want an 11th birthday party because he had no friends is savouring a celebration he will never forget.

Colin was the guest of honour at a surprise bash on the set of ABC’s Good Morning America in New York, where he learned that millions of people had sent him virtual well-wishes.

Colin has a condition similar to Asperger’s syndrome that makes it difficult to relate to peers. His mother created a “Happy Birthday, Colin” Facebook page that drew more than 2m ‘likes’.

The 11-year-old also received thousands of cards.


BRITAIN: Around 1m Britons can claim direct descent from Vikings, a DNA study claims.

Men from the far north of Scotland were most likely to provide a direct match, with 29.2% of the men from the Shetland Islands testing positive for Viking blood.

The study by BritainsDNA, commissioned to coincide with the launch of the new series of the US TV show Vikings on the Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming service, found around one in 33 men across the UK, or 930,000, were a direct match.

Researchers compared Y chromosome markers, which are inherited from father to son, from more than 3,500 men to six DNA patterns rarely found outside the Norse warriors’ native Norway and Sweden. Other areas that scored highly included the Orkney Islands (25.2%), Caithness (17.5%), and the Isle of Man (12.3%).


USA: Critics are raging after an energy giant offered pizza coupons to a Pennsylvania community near a natural gas well that exploded last month and killed a worker.

News stories, TV shows, and blogs have spread the word far and wide about the offer from Chevron. But not one resident of the hamlet of Bobtown has signed an online petition demanding that Chevron apologise.

A recent visit by reporters found that the talk of the town is more the furious response by outsiders. Several people noted the pizza offer was made to apologise for traffic after the fire, not to downplay the loss of life.

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