Quriky World: Jumbo rolls: ‘Dung’ director pushes envelope with elephant poo paper

Some of the stranger stories from around the world

Quriky World: Jumbo rolls: ‘Dung’ director pushes envelope with elephant poo paper

Czech Republic: At first, their elephant dung was sold to gardeners as fertiliser. Now Prague Zoo has come up with a new use for it: making paper.

The zoo has joined forces with the country’s famed hand paper mill in Velke Losiny to process the manure to be used in traditional paper-making techniques.

Petr Foucek, a director from Velke Losiny, says the 420-year-old mill has made paper from all sorts of materials but elephant dung “is something new for us.”

Visitors will be able to make their own paper at a new zoo facility starting Friday. The announcement comes almost five years after the zoo began selling elephant dung in 1-kilogram (2.2-pound) containers.

The brains behind the project is zoo director Miroslav Bobek, whose surname literally means “dung” in Czech.

Never too old

USA: An 80-year-old man who ran a sprawling marijuana-dealing operation that covered several states, with records going back to 1992, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Marshall Dion pleaded guilty last year to drug and money-laundering charges, and this week’s sentencing in Massachusetts was the latest chapter in a long, colourful history with law enforcement.

In 1985, he crashed a single-engine plane he was piloting in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, breaking both his ankles. When sheriff’s deputies arrived, he was crawling along a muddy field as money floated in the air. The government was allowed to keep nearly $112,000 in cash recovered from the crash scene after a judge found it was likely drug proceeds, but Dion was not charged criminally.

When police in Junction City, Kansas, stopped him for speeding in 2013, they found about $828,000 in cash in his pickup truck. A federal investigation led authorities to Massachusetts and Arizona, where they found about $15m in cash, nearly 400 pounds of marijuana and ledgers detailing drug deals going back to 1992.

Dion has been in custody since his arrest in 2013, so he has already served 2 1/2 years of his sentence.

Dion’s lawyer, Hank Brennan, said Dion was non- violent and lived a simple life, despite the large quantities of cash his business made.

“He didn’t have that lure of greed and power and oppression. He is a simple man who lived a very routine and habit-filled life,” Brennan said after the hearing.

Happily wed

Britain: Married people are more likely to be satisfied with their lives, new figures show.

A higher proportion of married Britons report a “very high rating” of life satisfaction compared to others, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found.

More than a third (34.7%) of people who are married or in a civil partnership rate their life satisfaction as either 9 out of 10 or 10 out of 10, according to data from the ONS’s measure of national wellbeing in the UK in 2016.

This compares to 28.9% of those who were widowed or those who lived with their partner.

People who were separated or divorced are the least satisfied, with only 19.5% rating their life satisfaction as very high.

Single people were slightly more likely to be “very” satisfied with their lives, with 21.9% reporting this level of satisfaction.

At the other end of the scale, just 2.8% of married people had “low” life satisfaction compared to one in 10 divorcees.

“There is a saying, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ — so having someone to turn to for company and support in times of need is essential for a person’s wellbeing,” the ONS report states.

Researchers found that 84.1% of people aged 16 and over in the UK had a spouse or partner, family member or friend to rely on if they had a serious problem in 2014 — a fall from three years earlier when 86.4% reported they had this level of support.

Snakes alive

USA: Los Angeles police say diners scattered when a man dropped a 13-foot python on the floor of a sushi restaurant.

Officer Drake Madison says the man had argued with an employee and stormed out of Iroha Sushi of Tokyo in Studio City on Sunday evening. Madison says a short time later, the man returned with the giant snake, threw it into the dining room and walked out again.

Police responded, and the man was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats. Nobody was hurt.

The python was taken by animal control officers.

Madison says it wasn’t immediately clear where the man got the snake but that he likely was the owner.

The man has not been identified.

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