Quirky World: Black Country pub crawlers hoping to hit the 300,000 mile pint

Some of the stranger stories from around the world

BRITAIN:

Britain’s most committed pub crawlers are confident 2016 will see them smash the 300,000 mile (482,800km) barrier — after an epic 32-year tour of more than 18,000 boozers.

The West Bromwich-based Black Country Ale Tairsters (local dialect for tasters) began visiting about 300 ale houses listed on a map issued by Wolverhampton brewer Banks’s in 1984.

The organisation’s co-founder, Pete Hill, said that hitting a 19,000th pub will be out of reach in the coming year, but the retired engineer is confident the 300,000-mile marker will be passed.

Ashes ban

USA:

A rule change is keeping a group of female US pilots who flew non-combat missions during the Second World War from having their ashes laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

The women, known as Wasps, served in a special unit called Women Airforce Service Pilots.

During the war, the women were considered civilians. However since 1977, federal law has granted them status as veterans. Since 2002, they have been eligible to have their ashes placed at Arlington. But in March, the secretary of the army ruled Wasps should never have been allowed in and revoked their eligibility. The family of a Wasp who died in April is pushing to have the eligibility restored.

Cheers!

BRITAIN:

Britain’s most committed pub crawlers are confident 2016 will see them smash the 300,000 mile (482,800km) barrier — after an epic 32-year tour of more than 18,000 boozers.

The West Bromwich-based Black Country Ale Tairsters (local dialect for tasters) began visiting about 300 ale houses listed on a map issued by Wolverhampton brewer Banks’s in 1984.

The organisation’s co-founder, Pete Hill, said that hitting a 19,000th pub will be out of reach in the coming year, but the retired engineer is confident the 300,000-mile marker will be passed.

Old friends

USA:

Facebook is making some of its users feel a lot older than they really are. The social network sent automated messages inviting some users to celebrate “46 years of friendship on Facebook” with one or more of their online friends.

That’s odd, since Facebook only started in 2004. And some people who got the message are in their 20s and 30s. Facebook blamed a software bug. It said its engineers were fixing the problem.

Newly minted

ENGLAND:

Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter, the army, and the Great Fire of London will be appearing in pockets, purses, and piggy banks in 2016 as they are set to feature on new coins.

The Royal Mint said each of the new coins gives a snapshot of Britain over the last 1,000 years.

The histories, comedies, and tragedies of William Shakespeare are represented on £2 coins marking 400 years of the Bard’s legacy.

A 50p coin honours Beatrix Potter, the author and artist whose illustrated tales about Peter Rabbit and his friends have delighted generations of children worldwide, on the 150th anniversary of her birth.

Stuck up the chimney

USA:

Phoenix firefighters rescued a 13-year-old boy who got stuck in a chimney while playing with his friends on a roof.

The boy’s friends called 911 and their parents after he fell into the chimney, Captain Ardell Deliz said. The boy tumbled about 2m into the opening, and the parents had no luck pulling him out. Shortly afterwards, the fire department arrived, and crews lowered a rope to him and got him to wrap it around his arms, Deliz said.

The boy suffered just minor scrapes and bruises.

Violent anti-violence demo

USA:

An anti-violence demonstration in Newark, New Jersey, devolved into a physical altercation between two activists.

The small crowd began arguing on the steps of Newark City Hall about the city’s attempts to curb violence. The demonstration was organised by two anti-violence groups.

They say they wanted to urge Mayor Ras Baraka to put his “quality of life plan” into action to help address violence in the city. A group of Baraka supporters appeared and an argument ensued. At one point, one man put his hands around another’s neck and pushed him to the ground.

Organisers and other participants said the skirmish lasted only a few minutes, and there were no serious injuries. Baraka says police are investigating and called it “disheartening”.

Action on falling female Japanese imperial family ranks

JAPAN:

The Japanese government is to set up a panel of experts to deal with an expected further decrease in the number of female members of the imperial family.

The government plans to establish the panel after the House of Councilors election next summer in the hope of preventing the problem from developing into a political issue.

The Imperial House Law stipulates that a female member of the family loses her status as imperial family member if she marries a person outside the family.

The family has seven unmarried female members. All of them are adults except Princess Aiko, 14, the daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito and a granddaughter of Emperor Akihito.

If female members marry, imperial family members will decrease. Such a situation would significantly affect the activities of the imperial family.

The planned panel is expected to discuss the idea of allowing female members to head branches of the Imperial family and continue performing their official duties after marriage as national civil servants.


Lifestyle

It turns out 40 is no longer the new 30 – a new study says 47 is the age of peak unhappiness. The mid-life crisis is all too real, writes Antoinette Tyrrell.A midlife revolution: A new study says 47 is the age of peak unhappiness

More From The Irish Examiner