Quirky World: Cameron's hum turned in Vader tune

Some of the stranger stories from around the world

England:

A composer has turned the tune that David Cameron casually hummed as he walked into No 10 after announcing his prime ministerial resignation date into an “evil anthem” fit for Darth Vader.

Chris Hollis, from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, was inspired after he saw the footage on Monday during which a microphone picked up Mr Cameron humming the tune.

But Mr Hollis has taken the tune to another level and transformed it into a composition similar to the Imperial March from the sci-fi movie Star Wars: A New Hope. It has been viewed more than 200,000 times.

England: A series of pictures drawn in the margins of a 700-year-old book are ancient children’s doodles, historians believe.

Child psychologists were brought in to help examine the drawings found in the 14th-century manuscript, which originally came from a Franciscan convent in Naples.

The drawings depict a horse or cow, a human figure and possible images of the devil.

Deborah Thorpe, a York University historian, believes they were probably drawn by children a couple of centuries later as the book found its way into the hands of the youngsters who took to sketching in the margins.

Dr Thorpe, a research fellow at the university’s Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders, said she came across the drawings by chance while carrying out research on a separate project.

She said: “I was looking through a database of medieval manuscripts online and I found images of these beautiful doodles in the margins and to me they looked like they were done by children. I thought ‘this is really interesting, has anyone written anything about this?’”

Dr Thorpe enlisted the help of child psychologists who confirmed they were probably drawn by children aged four to six years old.

She said: “The psychologists came up with a set of criteria for why we could say they were the work of children, for example the elongated shapes, the really long legs and the lack of a torso, the focus on the head.

“These are the things that are most important to children. If you compare them with the doodles that children make today, they are really similar. It was just a case of detective work really.”

The paper is published in the journal Cogent Arts & Humanities.

Great white shock

USA: “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”

That’s what Lars White told his six-year-old son, Blake, after the boy hooked a great white shark while fishing off Cape Cod.

The Houston resident told the Cape Cod Times that the 3.4m-long shark swam into the hook and spent an hour and a half trying to free itself. When the shark finally surfaced, White’s wife took some photos and then the family cut the fishing line to free it.

State shark scientist Gregory Skomal confirmed Blake had caught a great white. Great white sharks have been spotted in increasing numbers in recent years around Cape Cod.

Haven’t got a prayer

England:

A jewel-encrusted prayer book which once belonged to a French king is at risk of being exported from the UK unless a buyer can match the £8m price tag.

The Book Of Hours, which has an enamelled gold metal cover studded with gems and contains parchment painted with 20 religious images and prayers, was made in 1532.

The book could be lost from the UK after it was sold to a foreign buyer, prompting culture minister Ed Vaizey to place a temporary export bar on the item to give a UK buyer time to come up with £8m to save it for the nation.

Metal mix-up

USA:

Red Hot Chili Peppers bass player Flea said he ended up autographing some Metallica items following a mix-up at an airport in Belarus.

Flea posted a picture on his Instagram account of him signing his name on a Metallica album, a DVD, and pictures of the band. He wrote that the Chili Peppers tried to explain to the custom officials who asked for the autographs that they had the wrong band, “but they insisted that we sign anyway”.

Flea said he did play a song with Metallica once, but added that he is no Robert Trujillo, Metallica’s bassist.

Make America grape again

USA:

A Connecticut soft drinks company has released two sodas in honour of candidates in this year’s US presidential election. Avery’s Beverages in New Britain is offering Trump Tonic and Hillary Hooch — named, of course, after Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump Tonic comes with the slogan ‘make America grape again’. Hillary Hooch is a berry soda with ingredients that general manager Rob Metz joked are classified.

Robber is nailed

USA:

A 27-year-old woman is accused of stealing nail polish worth $700 from a New Orleans store — in one day. Raushawn Ford was charged with theft and possessing stolen property. Police said she had also stolen from two other shops.


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