QUIRKY WORLD ... Driver feeling fiery as recall notice left a little late

ENGLAND: A Vauxhall Zafira owner received a letter telling him his car would be recalled on the same day it burst into flames.

QUIRKY WORLD ... Driver feeling fiery as recall notice left a little late

Damian Fisher, 43, was driving in Bromley, south-east London, when he noticed smoke coming from an air vent next to the dashboard. He stopped the car, got out, and was inspecting the vehicle when the fire began.

“It literally took five minutes from start to finish,” said Mr Fisher.

“I went into hysterics. The fire brigade turned up and said I was in shock so they got me some oxygen. To make matters worse when I got home there was a letter on my doorstep from Vauxhall recalling the car because it might catch fire.”

A bridge too far

USA:

We know it is wrong but we are not changing it.

That is the attitude of New York state officials towards a more than 50-year-old error in the name of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It is spelled with one Z but should actually be spelled with two Zs after the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, who discovered New York Harbour in 1524.

Despite a new petition drive by a Brooklyn college student to make things right in deference to Italian-Americans, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials say it would simply be too expensive. Renaming the Triborough Bridge after Robert F Kennedy in 2008, for example, cost $4m.

Brooklyn college student Robert Nash called the error a “travesty”. He has started an online petition to add the other Z to North America’s longest suspension bridge.

Attack of the moths

England:

People are being urged to look out for hummingbird hawk-moths in their gardens this summer, to see if a striking moth is attempting to colonise the UK.

The moth, whose wings beat 80 times a second to allow it to hover like a hummingbird over flower heads as it feeds, is usually only a summer visitor from the continent.

But the warming climate has seen the day-flying moth successfully spend the winter in greenhouses and sheltered spots in south-west England in recent years, according to wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation. The experts are asking members of the public to look out for the brown and orange moths for its Moth Night events.

Hunt for Hastings

England:

A hunt for 1,066 arrows hidden at castles, forts, stone circles, and stately homes has been launched to mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

English Heritage has hidden the red-tipped and red-feathered arrows for visitors to find at sites from the Isle of Wight to Hadrian’s Wall, as part of its commemorations of the events of 1066, one of the most important dates in English history.

History buffs who find the arrows will win one of 1,066 prizes, including a castle sleepover and a private tour of Stonehenge.

Fishy solution

India:

Tens of thousands of asthma sufferers swallowed live sardines or murrel fish smeared with a yellow herbal paste in a ritual that they believe will cure their breathing problems.

The Goud family that administers the traditional treatment in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad said its ancestors received the secret formula from a Hindu saint about 170 years ago. They refuse to reveal the mixture’s ingredients, and doctors say it is unproven.

Kitchen warrior

USA:

A restaurant worker’s husband chopped a suspected armed robber with a cleaver to get him out of the shop.

Police records say 19-year-old Jabrie Brown entered Crazy Wings in Virginia with a gun and demanded money from a cashier and customer.

Records say the cashier tried wrestling the gun from Brown as he was putting the customer’s money in his pocket. That’s when police say the cashier’s husband came from the kitchen and chopped Brown’s shoulder with the cleaver, leaving two deep wounds.

Brown fled with the money but was later found and taken to a hospital.

Cat nabbed

USA:

Police have rescued and found a home for a kitten found stranded in the middle of a Louisiana bridge.

Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou says a commuter called the bridge authority this week to report seeing the kitten on the northbound span of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.

Dufrechou says Officer Shenandoah Jones rescued the kitten, which seems to be OK except for a small bruise on its chin.

Dufrechou thinks the animal must have been hiding in the engine compartment of a large car or SUV and fell out, or someone tossed the kitten from a moving car.

Gone with the wind

USA:

A wind-driven beach umbrella struck and killed a 55-year-old woman in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Lottie Michelle Belk, of Chester, Virginia, was hit when a strong gust of wind tossed the anchored umbrella across the sand on Wednesday afternoon.

Belk was struck in the torso and went into cardiac arrest. Emergency personnel transported her to a hospital, where she died.

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