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

Finns grab road safety by the fluorescent horns

RUDOLPH’S MAKEOVER

FINLAND: Rudolph the reindeer is having a glittering antler makeover — the latest attempt to halt some of the thousands of road deaths of the roaming caribou in the wilds of Finland.

The antlers of 20 reindeer have been painted with various fluorescent dyes to see how the animals react and whether the paints are resistant to the harsh Arctic climate, said Anne Ollila, of the Finnish Reindeer Herders’ Association.

If successful, animals with glittering antlers will be free to roam Lapland — a vast, deserted area in northern Finland where herders tend to some 200,000 reindeer.

Ms Ollila says reflectors and reflective tape have proven unsuccessful as reindeer have torn them off — and road signs warning drivers of roaming reindeer are often stolen by tourists as souvenirs.

TEA SUMMIT

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

ENGLAND: A man and woman who became embroiled in years of legal action over their children following a split have reached a consensus after a high court judge suggested they should “sit down around the kitchen table” and have a cup of tea together.

Mrs Justice Pauffley said she made “some practical proposals” after a “dismal decade of litigation” and each parent had “reacted positively”.

The judge said they had agreed to “share” the 12-year-old twin boys at the centre of the dispute and had accepted a return to litigation would be a “profoundly retrograde step”.

CHARITY DOODLE

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ENGLAND: An illustrator has transformed the headquarters of a charity with doodles of everyday objects.

Roderick Mills used black pen and paint to decorate rooms at the new base of Cardboard Citizens, which presents plays performed by homeless people, in London’s East End. Mr Mills worked with design agency Interabang and painted objects including a floor lamp, books, a vacuum cleaner and a telephone to customise rooms.

HOLED UP

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

USA: A woman and her dog were rescued unharmed after falling into a 20ft-deep sinkhole that opened up in her garden in Oregon, a fire official said.

The woman in her 30s was trying to find her small poodle mix in her dark Portland backyard when she fell into a sinkhole about 3.5ft wide, said Portland fire and rescue. A neighbour who heard her calls for help called 911.

Fire crews used rope and ground ladders to rescue them. Fire officials at the scene were amazed that both escaped unhurt. A spokesman added that a neighbour who shares a property line said both homeowners had been required to do some recent work on their sewage system.

VIDEO NASTY

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

USA: It was not a pile of late fees a woman got when a video store owner in South Carolina said she failed to return a video she rented in 2005. Instead, she spent a night in jail.

Kayla Michelle Finley, 27, was arrested last week and charged with failing to return a rented video cassette. Local law enforcement authorities said Finley rented the film Monster-in-Law from Dalton Videos.

The owner took out a warrant against Finley, who was arrested when she was at the sheriff’s office for something else and the warrant was found.

Police said Finley had been sent several certified letters at the time.

She told WHNS-TV that she never got the letters and that she will fight the charge.

SNOW JOKE

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

RUSSIA: Camouflage is meant to conceal military positions but it seems Russian forces did not count on the lack of snow in the mountains that overlook Sochi.

Sentry posts lining the roads to the mountain sports venues are covered in bright, white camouflage netting. But surrounded by bare, brown earth or concrete paving instead of snow, the posts are anything but concealed.


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