QUIRKY WORLD ... Jelly palace doesn’t have the steadiest foundation

ENGLAND: A jelly replica of Buckingham Palace made from Pimm’s — complete with jelly corgis — has been unveiled in the run-up to the street party marking the Queen’s official 90th birthday.

About 10,000 guests will gather on The Mall in London on Sunday in celebration of the monarch’s milestone anniversary.

Pimm’s created the wobbly tribute — which took more than 200 man-hours to make — as the drinks brand prepares for its role as the official tipple of the ticketed celebration, The Patron’s Lunch.

Force strong in auction

ENGLAND:

A collection of Star Wars toys, described as the best ever to come up for public auction, could fetch over €600,000 when it goes on sale.

The private assortment from Europe is said to contain some of the Holy Grail pieces for fans of the famous film franchise.

Vectis Auctions, in Thornaby, Stockton, said the star piece is a prototype rocket-firing Boba Fett, which has an estimate of €19,000-€25,500.

Balloon blow-up

SCOTLAND:

A lifeboat crew was called out to a report of an aircraft ditching only to find it was sparked by a balloon shaped as a giraffe.

South Queensferry lifeboat was sent out after a member of the public called in to report a possible aircraft ditching in the Firth of Forth.

The team reached the object and found it was a giraffe-shaped helium balloon. A Coastguard spokesman said the call at 9.50am was made in good faith.

Rangers go airborne

USA:

A Denver teenager who visited a national park in Rwanda last summer has built a drone to make the rangers’ job easier.

Rangers protecting the lions, elephants, and leopards at Rwanda’s Akagera National Park often patrol on foot, and venture only with difficulty into its swamps to keep an eye on rare birds.

Max Alger-Meyer, working with fellow Denver high school student Nathan Lepore, applied lessons of frugality and ingenuity learned in east Africa.

They made the drone themselves because it was cheaper than buying one. As they designed it, they also thought carefully about how rangers would be able to improvise parts if anything went wrong.

Sleepover stealing

USA:

A man suspected of stealing sweets, energy drinks, and razors from a Massachusetts pharmacy did not have to break in.

Police said the man simply slept in the Stoughton CVS store, then slipped out unnoticed the next morning after it reopened.

After reviewing surveillance video, police determined that he entered the store at about 11.30pm on Sunday. The store closes at midnight.

When an employee opened the store at 7am on Monday, the man, who was still inside, fled.

It was not until Monday afternoon that store employees noticed that items were missing and called police, who reviewed surveillance video and determined the sequence of events.

It’s in the name

ROMANIA:

In a Romanian town, Vasile Cepoi defeated Vasile Cepoi and Vasile Cepoi in a mayoral election. The middle name made all the difference.

The victor said: “I added my middle name, and ran as Vasile Lica Cepoi. Anyhow, residents knew about the confusion before the vote.” He was also the incumbent, who secured his fourth term as mayor of Draguseni.

He said the coincidence of three candidates having the same name was an attempt by political parties to confuse residents in the north-eastern town of 2,500 people. Both names are common in Romania: Cepoi means “big onions”.

The mayor won 1,200 votes, Vasile Cepoi won 100 votes and Vasile Cepoi trailed with 10.

The three are not related.

Reindeer alert

FINLAND:

In efforts to cut road kill, Finnish reindeer herders have painted Rudolph’s antlers in fluores-cent colours, hung reflectors round their necks, and even used movable traffic signs.

They’ve not been successful, so they’re turning to drivers with a reindeer warning app hoping it will reduce the annual 4,000 reindeer road deaths.

In a pilot project, drivers of heavy transport vehicles are being given 1,000 free apps that warn of nearby reindeer and allow them to register their own sightings with a tap on the screen.

If successful, the app will be available for download on all phones later this year.

Monkeying around

KENYA:

A nationwide blackout was caused by a monkey tripping a transformer at a hydropower plant, leading to the loss of more than 180 megawatts from the grid, according to power producer Kenya Electricity Generating Company

“A monkey climbed on the roof of Gitaru Power Station and dropped onto a transformer, tripping it. This caused other machines at the power station to trip on overload resulting in a loss of more than 180 MW from this plant which triggered a national power blackout,” the company said.


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