QUIRKY WORLD ... Salad store’s promotion gets Spartan reception as police get fresh with Western models

CHINA: A salad store paraded dozens of half-naked Western men dressed as Spartans through China’s capital as a publicity stunt, causing a stir and drawing a crackdown by police who were photographed restraining some models the ground.

QUIRKY WORLD ... Salad store’s promotion gets Spartan reception as police get fresh with Western models

About 40 mostly blond and brown-haired men wearing bronze shorts, arm and leg guards, and capes styled after the attire of people in the ancient Greek city of Sparta marched in Beijing’s central business district and an upscale shopping area.

Bearing plastic tubs of salads, the bare-chested men attracted crowds of onlookers and posed for photos with women that circulated widely on social media.

Police were less amused. They dispersed the parade at the Sanlitun shopping area, and photos in state media showed police on top of two Spartans who apparently had been wrestled to the ground.

Police said they had to control some “foreigners in short pants” to restore public order. It said the matter was still under investigation.

The store, Sweetie Salad, said the stunt to celebrate its one-year anniversary generated far more interest than expected. It said i store representatives spoke with police to clear up any “misunderstanding”.

“We chose Spartans and invited foreign models who are physically fit simply because we wanted to encourage our customers to pursue the beauty of being healthy,” the store said.

The incident follows on the heels of another that drew attention from social media users and police — a home-made sex video supposedly taken in a Uniqlo fitting room, also in Sanlitun.

In the deep end

ENGLAND: A university hopes to build the world’s deepest and largest swimming pool — to recreate the conditions of outer space.

The University of Essex has begun initial discussions to build the research, training and development pool in Colchester. The pool would be 50m long and 50m deep and would be the UK and Europe’s leading marine and space research facility.

The project, which could cost £40m, would simulate outer space and deep sea environments which could be used in space-flight programmes. The university’s registrar, Bryn Morris, said it was a “very exciting proposal”, adding the university had already carried out work with robotic fish and had specialisms, including marine conservation, which could complement the pool.

Nuisance calls

ENGLAND: A sandwich-stealing seagull and missing man found in his own bed were among the thousands of calls to a police force in a 24-hour period.

One caller dialled 999 to speak to Queen Elizabeth, while a woman rang police to complain about the airport losing her luggage and delivering it to her neighbours. In another call a woman reported the owner of a guest house she was staying in for refusing to cook breakfast.

The calls were highlighted by Avon and Somerset Police as examples of “inappropriate” use of the 999 emergency service, as part of a 24-hour tweetathon by officers showing what they deal with every day. They dealt with 3,119 calls, both emergency and non-emergency, through the day and had 35 people in their custody cells by the end of the day.

In hot water

USA: A brewer in Maine is offering a quicker way to consume two of the state’s summer staples — beer and lobster.

Oxbow Brewing is serving up beer brewed with live Maine lobsters and a dash of sea salt.

Brewmaster Tim Adams says that the lobsters were placed in a mesh bag and suspended in a kettle full of boiling wort during the brewing process, and they add a subtle brininess and sweetness to the flavour. The lobsters used in the process were later eaten.

Ferrari windfall

ENGLAND: Two multi-million-pound Ferraris have been left in a businessman’s will to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The two 1960s cars, valued at £2m and £6m, were a bequest from Northamptonshire-based Richard Colton, a prominent member of the Ferrari Owners’ Club. They will be sold at auction in October to raise funds for the coastal search and rescue charity.

Guy Rose, legacy manager at the RNLI, said the charity was “humbled” to receive the two vehicles — a Ferrari 250 GT SWB and a Ferrari 275 GTB/4 chassis.

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