QUIRKY WORLD ... Agony and ecstasy: Losing keeps fans on the ball

ENGLAND: Loyalty to a football club is heightened by defeat as well as victory, a study has found.

The shared pain of losing binds fans together as disciples of their team as much as the euphoria that comes with winning, say psychologists from Oxford University.

Despair and joy can be so intensely felt that both emotions cause fans to identify strongly with the club they support.

A-level mayor

ENGLAND: The country’s youngest mayor celebrated receiving his A-level results at a council planning meeting.

Teenager Terence Smith secured the grades to study sociology at the University of Hull — but will skip Freshers’ Week for the Labour Party conference.

The 19-year-old, who is mayor of Goole, Yorkshire, achieved C grades in media studies and film studies, a U in law, and a D in AS Level sociology.

Mile-high engagement club

ENGLAND: A loved-up plane passenger sent his partner’s spirits soaring after popping the question in mid-air.

Matthew Hedges, 32, was on an easyJet flight to Majorca with his girlfriend Zosia Katnik, 30, when he drafted in the help of the cabin crew to ask for her hand in marriage.

He first sought to help his partner — a nervous flyer — to relax with a special message from the flight’s captain, which he knew would put her at ease.

Police dolled up

USA: A lifelike baby doll prompted police in New Hampshire to smash a car window in a rescue attempt that turned out to be a false alarm.

Police in the town of Keene said someone called them to report an infant left in a car at a shopping plaza on a hot day. Lieutenant Jason Short shattered the window with his baton. He said he thought he was looking at a lifeless child but noticed something was wrong when he began to breathe into the baby’s mouth.

The lifelike doll belongs to a Vermont woman who collects them as a way to cope with her son’s death. She said police told her they would pay for the broken window.

‘Sacrifice’ at CERN

SWITZERLAND: Officials at CERN, home to the world’s largest particle accelerator, have launched an internal investigation over a “spoof” video filmed on its campus appearing to mimic a human sacrifice.

Shot from a building at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, the video shows hooded people in a courtyard before the cape of one woman is lifted off her shoulders. After she lies down, a hooded person approaches and appears to stab her with a knife. An off-camera voice reacts with an expletive.

On its website, CERN called the video “a work of fiction showing a contrived scene”.

It said sometimes accredited personnel “let their sense of humour go too far”.

Bee careful in hospital

WALES: It was a sticky situation — a hospital discovered it had become home to more than 100,000 bees when patients noticed honey dripping down the walls.

Beekeepers were summoned to Rockwood Hospital in Cardiff after the discovery and found a large colony of bees in the roof above a ward.

Abigail Reade of the Tree Bee Society charity said honey was “dripping through the ceiling tiles, it was dripping down the walls”. She said the hive had gone unnoticed for up to five years. It is thought warm weather melted some of the wax, releasing the honey.

Beekeepers from the society removed some 70,000 bees by cutting a hole in the roof. A second colony was also removed from another part of the hospital.

Out of the ashes

USA: A Maryland woman who won widespread praise for publicly scolding her teenage son during last year’s riots in Baltimore was made homeless by a house fire, but a flood of donations had poured in to help her.

Video of Toya Graham’s reprimand of her 16-year-old son Michael for joining the riots went viral after it was captured by a local news station.

Graham was hailed by the city’s police commissioner and heralded on social media as “mom of the year” for the incident, in which she chased her son, smacked him around the head, and pulled him away from a group of young rioters.

On Saturday, Graham and her family were displaced by an accidental fire at their home. Michael, now 17, was frying a snack when a grease fire started in the pan.

The teenager, who was home alone at the time, mistakenly threw water on the flames, which intensified the blaze.

No one was hurt in the incident, but a large area of the home was destroyed.

A GoFundMe page for the Grahams was launched with the goal of raising $5,000. By yesterday it had received over $30,000 in donations.


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