QUIRKY WORLD ... Animal rescue from pipe to go down in hissstory

ENGLAND: An 8ft long boa constrictor had to be rescued by firefighters from the inner workings of a gas heater after refusing to come out.

Billy the Boa had coiled itself so tightly into the mechanism that a crew from Gainsborough in Lincolnshire had to dismantle the machine.

Crew manager Dave Brierley said colleagues had already joked it would “go down in hiss-tory” as the brigade’s most unusual animal rescue.

Test of time

USA: In a glass box in a private school in Maine sits a 40-year-old chemistry experiment still going strong: A decades-old Twinkie.

ABC News reports the experiment started in 1976 when Roger Bennatti was teaching a lesson to his high school chemistry class on food additives and shelf life.

After a student wondered about the shelf life of the snack, Bennatti sent the students to the store with some money. When they returned with the treat, Bennatti ate one and placed the still-surviving Twinkie on the blackboard.

Bennatti has since retired, but the snack now resides in the office of George Stevens Academy’s Dean of Students Libby Rosemeier.

Rosemeier told ABC News she isn’t sure who will inherit the Twinkie when she retires, but joked the Smithsonian hasn’t called yet.

Search for love

USA: The father of a Salt Lake City businessman who placed an Idaho newspaper ad seeking women interested in marrying his 48-year-old son has received about a dozen inquiries.

Arthur Brooks had planned to meet potential candidates at a Coeur d’Alene resort, but son Baron Brooks told the Spokesman-Review that its managers asked his father not to conduct interviews there after getting barraged with media requests.

The younger Brooks previously called the $900 (€814) ad in the Coeur d’Alene Press “embarrassing” but said he’d let his 78-year-old father go forward.

He says about 12 women expressed interest in the ad. Arthur Brooks will interview them in the coming weeks. Baron Brooks says his father wants a grandchild to carry on the family name.

Lone rider

USA: Traffic came to a near halt on a bridge connecting Staten Island and New Jersey as a man on horseback wearing a cowboy hat led another horse behind him cross the span.

A spokesman for the Port Authority police said a police car escorted the man over the bridge as cars trailed behind. A video showed the rider sporting a brown vest and red kerchief galloping toward Staten Island.

It is believed the man is Doc Mishler, a cancer survivor, raising money for childhood hunger.

Shakespeare at Selfridges

ENGLAND: Selfridges is launching a commercial theatre within its flagship London store as part of celebrations marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

The theatre, which the retailer believes is a world first for a department store, is part of its Shakespeare Refashioned event, which is fusing fashion and drama in homage to the playwright.

The Oxford Street store’s display windows have also been bedecked with designers’ interpretations of Shakespeare plays, while more than 120 product collaborations continue the theme for shoppers.

Sleepy judge

GERMANY: A court had to restart the trial of two men suspected of robbing a shop because a judge kept nodding off during the proceedings.

A Muenster state court official said the presiding judge decided it was better to start things over from scratch than provide immediate grounds for an appeal.


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