Quirky World: Millennium Falcon versus camper van for shed of year

Some of the stranger stories from around the world

Quirky World: Millennium Falcon versus camper van for shed of year


A re-creation of the Millennium Falcon, a restored nuclear bunker and a converted camper van are among the designs shortlisted for the 2016 Shed of the Year.

Committed enthusiasts have lovingly put time and patience into creating some of the most eye-catching sheds in the UK. Their finest efforts have been whittled down from 2,825 to a shortlist of 32, which will battle it out to be named the Cuprinol Shed of the Year.

Among them is a Star Wars shed, owned by Stephen Gee in Nottinghamshire, inspired by Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon, complete with its own flight deck.

3D-printed building


Dubai has opened what it said was the world’s first functioning 3D-printed office building, part of a drive by the Gulf’s main tourism and business hub to develop technology that cuts costs and saves time.

The printers — used industrially and also on a smaller scale to make digitally designed, three-dimensional objects from plastic — have not been used much for building.

This one used a special mixture of cement, a Dubai government statement said, and reliability tests were done in Britain and China.

The one-storey prototype building, with floorspace of about 250sq m (2,700sq ft), used a 20ft by 120ft by 40ft printer, the government said.

“This is the first 3D-printed building in the world, and it’s not just a building, it has fully functional offices and staff,” said the United Arab Emirates minister of cabinet affairs, Mohamed Al Gergawi.

“We believe this is just the beginning. The world will change,” he said.

The arc-shaped office, built in 17 days and costing about €125,000, will be the temporary headquarters of Dubai Future Foundation — the company behind the project — is in the centre of the city, near the Dubai International Financial Center.

Gergawi said studies estimated the technique could cut building time by 50%-70% and labor costs by 50%-80%. Dubai’s strategy was to have 25% of the buildings in the emirate printed by 2030, he said.

Why woman punched horse


A Honduran woman arrested in a drug-smuggling bust in southern Arizona also is facing an animal cruelty charge for allegedly punching a border agent’s horse.

Border patrol agents were conducting enforcement operations near the tiny town of Why.

Late that night, they spotted nine people in the desert with seven large backpacks.

The backpacks contained 374lb (169.7kg) of marijuana with an estimated street value of $500,000 (€450,000).

Authorities say 29-year-old Karla Banegas-Banegas was part of the group and allegedly struck a border patrol horse in the face with a closed fist.

Banegas-Banegas was booked into jail on suspicion of drug possession and transport plus animal cruelty to a work animal.

Her bail was set at $20,000 at her initial court appearance on Tuesday.

Rescue ruckus


The New York police department says a melee that erupted at a charity match between police and firefighters just shows that American football is a competitive sport.

Video of the aftermath of the game at Coney Island shows dozens of players brawling and yelling curses. Blood can be seen dripping down the face of one firefighter.

The NYPD said in a statement that football “is a competitive sport whether it’s the NFL Super Bowl or the annual NYPD-FDNY challenge”.

The departments have a history of brawling at charity sports events. Multiple fights broke out at a 2014 hockey game between the departments on Long Island.

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