ENGLAND: A man who changed his name to Buzz Lightyear for charity has won a year-long battle with the DVLA to have a driving licence in his new name.
Mr Lightyear, formerly Sam Stephens, changed his name by deed poll to raise money for CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity for children and young people.
Letters sent from the DVLA claimed his name could bring the company into disrepute as Buzz Lightyear was a “fictional character”, he said.
The 27-year-old, from Bideford, Devon, appealed over the decision and was issued with a new licence in the name of Buzz Lightyear two weeks ago.
“I changed my name this time last year in April and at first the DVLA refused a driving licence,” said Mr Lightyear.
“It has taken a year but two weeks ago they issued a driving licence in my name. I have been driving with my other licence but it has been hard doing official things because I haven’t had photo ID.
“My bank and banking details are saved as Buzz so that was causing problems.”
Mr Lightyear claimed he checked with the DVLA before deciding to change his name and was assured it would be accepted.
“I was disappointed when I submitted my application and they said I couldn’t have a license in that name,” he said.
“The official reason given by the DVLA was that because it was a fictional character it would bring the company into disrepute if I went abroad.
“I said it wasn’t their decision, it is my name by deed poll — it is not up to them to accept or reject that.
“There are plenty of Harry Potters in the world so they had no right to tell me I couldn’t have a driving licence in this name.”
Inky the octopus waited until it was dark and the staff had gone home from the National Aquarium of New Zealand before making his move.
He squeezed and pushed his way through a tiny gap in the mesh at the top of his tank and slithered 2m to the floor. Then he made a beeline across the room to a drain hole.
With a body the size of a rugby ball, Inky managed to stretch out and squeeze into the 15cm hole. From there, he shimmied down the 50m pipe until he was back in the Pacific Ocean.
All he left behind three months ago was a slimy trail, allowing staff at the Napier aquarium to recreate his amazing escape. He has not been seen since.
Inky’s story begins on Pania Reef, several hundred yards out to sea from the aquarium. He was pulled up by a fisherman in a lobster pot and wasn’t in good shape. He’d been attacked, probably by an other fish, and a couple of his tentacles were half their normal length.
After a year recuperating at the National Aquarium, said manager Rob Yarrall, Inky was once again in good health. And he’d been delighting the staff with his intelligence.
“He used to come up and you could hand-feed him,” Mr Yarrall said. “He’d grab hold of you with the suckers on his tentacles, or squirt water at you. And he worked out how to screw the top off a jar.”
Mr Yarrall said that since they have no bones, octopuses can squeeze through almost any hole that’s larger than their beaks, so the drain hole, 15cm wide, was no great challenge.
Not up to sniff
A team of sniffer dogs set up at a British airport at a cost of £1.25m have proved adept at discovering small amounts of cheese and sausages but not so good at finding smuggled drugs, a report said.
An inspection of border security at Manchester Airport Found that during a seven-month period, the six dogs had failed to find any illegal class A drugs.
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