Quirky World... George Harrison tree killed — by beetles

USA: A tree planted in Los Angeles to honour former Beatle George Harrison has been killed — by beetles.

Councillor Tom LaBonge says the pine grew to more than 12ft before succumbing to a bark beetle infestation. The tree was removed and will be replanted in the autumn.

After Harrison’s 2001 death in Los Angeles, the pine was planted near Griffith Observatory. A small plaque at the base commemorates the guitarist and songwriter, who had a deep appreciation of gardening.

Several trees at Griffith Park have been killed by the beetles.

ENGLAND: A British inventor has undertaken his biggest project yet — firing a fart across to France.

Colin Furze, an engineer and inventor, has more than 500,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel where he superpowers vehicles such as mobility scooters and bicycles, and generally makes a lot of noise and explosions. Taking inspiration from people who say they would hate to be his neighbour, he came up with a “brilliant idea” of making some noise that could be heard by Britain’s cross-Channel neighbours.

He has constructed a loud pulse jet which, because the noise it emits sounds like a fart, he hopes to install in a giant model of a bottom, before taking the whole thing to the Cliffs of Dover and pointing it towards Calais.

USA: New Yorkers awoke to find two white flags hung in place of the American flags that traditionally flutter atop the Brooklyn Bridge, baffling officials, police, and onlookers.

Two US flags usually decorate the towers of the iconic bridge, which opened in 1883, but on Tuesday morning on they had been replaced with stark white flags that, on closer inspection, appeared to be the stars and stripes with all the colour bleached out.

The white flags have since been taken down, and the red, white, and blue ones restored.

“This may be somebody’s art project or may be somebody’s attempt at making some kind of statement,” John Miller, deputy commissioner for intelligence and counter-terrorism, said, “but it’s not clear what that statement is.”

Video camera footage shows several people, including some four or five people in a group, crossing the bridge at about 3.30am, Miller said.

A few minutes later, the light illuminating the flag on the bridge’s Brooklyn tower flickers and then goes out. Soon after, the sequence repeats atop the Manhattan tower.

ENGLAND: Small children could be at risk from a missing 8ft boa constrictor snake.

The reptile was reported missing from an address in Skelmersdale. Lancashire Constabulary said boa constrictors are not venomous and are not usually aggressive but the snake could pose a risk to small children or pets by wrapping itself around them to seek warmth.

Experts have advised that the boa, which does not like noise, is likely to have gone to ground to find somewhere to sleep.

USA: Officials in Alaska’s largest city are considering outlawing Gothic-style metal fences after five moose were gored to death in recent years.

The Anchorage Assembly will hold a public hearing on August 5 to consider regulating metal palisade fences with spiked pointed tips.

The fences stand 4ft-6ft high and are usually found around private residences for security and aesthetic reasons.

State wildlife biologists say moose get caught up, or gored by the tips when they try to jump over them.

The proposal would outlaw such fences shorter than 9ft, unless the tips are removed orthe spikes capped.


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