Quirky World: New York to wake public up to subway crime

Some of the stanger stories from around the world
Quirky World: New York to wake public up to subway crime


In the city that never sleeps, New York’s police chief is instructing his officers to wake slumbering subway passengers in an effort to keep them safe.

The city’s rules for the 24-hour underground system do not prohibit riders from sleeping on the train unless they take up more than one seat or cause a disturbance, but commissioner William Bratton insists: “Subways are not for sleeping.”

A recent series of stabbings has drawn attention to safety — more than half of subway crime in the past year involved a sleeping victim.

“If you are sleeping on the subway, you make yourself a very easy victim,” Mr Bratton said.

On Kew for Rio


Kew Gardens is adopting a Brazilian theme in the run-up to the Rio Olympics with an exhibition of works by an artist who travelled deep into the Amazon to paint its plant life.

Paintings by Margaret Mee, a British explorer who made 15 trips into the Amazon rainforest, are being exhibited alongside engravings of plants from the country collected by Captain Cook’s first Endeavour voyage in 1768 and other works from Brazil.

This year’s orchid festival also aims to celebrate all things Brazilian in carnival season, with displays of orchids and other plants, from tropical Amazonian blooms to desert cacti.

Dad’s Van


The original butcher’s van featured in the Dad’s Army comedy series has been restored by a team of apprentices.The 1935 Ford BB Box Van featured in the first colour episode of the series on September 11, 1969, and went on to become a fixture of the show.

But although the two-tonne vehicle — marked with the logo of Corporal Jones’s family butchers — has undergone various cosmetic restorations over the years, it has only now been returned to its original state. The project, undertaken by Ford apprentices in the same Dagenham building that it would have left more than 80 years ago, coincides with the release of the new Dad’s Army film.

High art


A music video with more than 33m views online has inspired organisers of a Moscow art exhibit to offer free admission to women who turn up wearing high heels.

The video by Leningrad, one of Russia’s most popular rock bands, tells the story of a young woman going on a date with a man called Sergei to a show of works by Vincent van Gogh.

Moscow’s Art Play announced it will offer free admission to its multimedia van Gogh exhibition to women wearing high heels, and give a 50% discount to any man whose name is Sergei. Curator Kira Marinina said organisers decided that offering discounts in the current economic situation would offer an occasion “to laugh at ourselves”.

Long-lost daughter


An 82-year-old Florida woman finally tracked down her birth mother after 50 years of searching.

Betty Morrell, of Spring Hill, flew to Binghamton, New York, to meet 96-year-old Lena Pierce, who as a 13-year-old mother was forced to relinquish her baby girl for adoption in 1933.

Ms Pierce, now living in Hallstead, Pennsylvania, said it was a joy to meet the child she had called Eva May after all these years.

Ms Morrell also met her 65-year-old sister, Minnie Hawk, and says the two immediately clicked. She credits her own granddaughter Kimberly Miccio’s dogged persistence on the internet for connecting her with her birth family.

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