QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

Mugger flips out over victim’s ‘old’ phone

USA: A disgusted mugger rejected his victim’s mobile phone when he realised it was a three-year-old flip model.

Kevin Cook, 25, was walking with a friend in New York’s Central Park when they were approached by the man and an accomplice, who threatened to kill them if they did not hand over their valuables.

Mr Cook told the New York Post: “Once he saw my phone, he looked at it like ‘What the fuck is this?’ It’s like a three-year-old Windows phone. I guess he didn’t think he could get anything for it. It’s kind of humorous.”

ALARMING NEWS

USA: The alarm clock could become a thing of the past thanks to smartphones.

It tops a list of the devices most likely to become obsolete as smartphones take their place. Next in the “Top 10 endangered technologies” list compiled by pixmania.com is stand-alone sat navs, then iPod docks, Flip cameras, Blu-Ray players, DVD players, watches, BlackBerrys, TV remote controls, and portable TVs.

BABY BETS

ENGLAND: A bookmaker is predicting another baby announcement for William and Kate in 2014.

Coral is offering odds of just 1-2 that the royal pair announce they are expecting in 2014 and 13-8 that a brother or sister to George is born next year.

Other predictions for the next 12 months include 7-2 that Scotland votes for independence, and 500-1 that Rihanna is not photographed on a beach in a bikini some time in 2014.

GIANT TV

SOUTH KOREA: Samsung says a 110in TV that has four times the resolution of standard high-definition TVs is going on sale for 160m won (€110,000) in South Korea.

The launch of the giant television set reflects global TV makers’ moves towards ultra HD TVs as manufacturing bigger TVs using OLED proves too costly.

Last year, Samsung and rival LG Electronics touted OLED as the future of TV but they are still struggling to mass-produce larger and affordable TVs with OLED. Japanese media reported that Sony and Panasonic decided to end their OLED partnership.

Samsung’s 110in U-HD TV measures 102in by 70in. It will be available in China, the Middle East, and Europe.

STAMP OF APPROVAL

USA: A collector has credited a hunch with helping him land a rare sheet of newly issued stamps featuring a corrected version of the famous 1918 “inverted Jenny” stamp.

Art Van Riper bought the stamps in Waverly, New York, after reading that the US Postal Service had printed a new batch of inverted Jenny stamps celebrating the 95-year-old edition that, by mistake, featured an upside-down biplane.

He also read that as a way to draw more people into stamp collecting, the postal service randomly distributed 100 sheets featuring the plane right-side-up.

Mr Van Riper said he had a feeling he would find one at the Waverly post office. His is the fourth sheet to turn up. Mr Van Riper said one of the other sheets is selling online for $25,000 (€18,105).

CAROL TRIBUTE

USA: Hundreds braved cold and rainy weather to honour a Pennsylvania girl serenaded by thousands of Christmas carolers just days before she died of cancer.

Many wore bright colours at the request of Delaney Brown’s family, to honour the eight-year-old’s “fashionista style”. Delaney, whose nickname was Laney, died on Christmas morning from a rare form of leukaemia.

One of Delaney’s last wishes had been for a huge Christmas singalong. Thousands appeared outside her family’s home on Dec 21 to sing Christmas carols. Family spokesman Chris Winters said Sunday’s viewing was about Laney’s “indomitable spirit” and her impact upon the world.


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