QUIRKY WORLD... Norwegian TV threatens to hit rock bottom

SLIDING RATINGS
NORWAY:
Norway, which has previously provided TV viewers with five hours of live knitting, a fire burning itself out and minute-by-minute salmon fishing, has found a new attraction — a rockslide on a mountain — but no-one knows when it will happen.

For days, local media have focused webcams on an isolated, rubbly mountainside in Mannen, western Norway, and national broadcaster NRK is streaming it live on its website in anticipation of the big event. Last week, 11 people were evacuated from the area, now declared a no-go zone.

But the webcams cannot guarantee a good show. The slide might happen at night, and a daytime slide could be hampered by rain and mist.

SKATING TO SAFETY

ENGLAND: A skatepark dating back to the sport’s 1970s peak has become a protected heritage site in recognition of its cultural importance.

With its half-pipe, moguls and special skating pool, the 1978 concrete Rom skatepark in Hornchurch, east London, is distinctly unlike most listed buildings.

As it became the first facility of its kind in Europe and only the second in the world to achieve listed status, heritage bosses said the construction was an important example of youth culture in the UK.

It has been granted Grade II status, meaning it is nationally important and of special interest, by the Department for Culture Media and Sport on the advice of English Heritage.

MOUSE HUNT

NORWAY: Norwegian Air Shuttle, already plagued by costly flight delays on its long-haul routes, was forced to delay a flight to New York by five hours because of a hunt for a mouse in the cockpit.

“The pilots discovered a mouse on flight deck,” spokeswoman Charlotte Holmbergh said yesterday.

“We had to make sure that no cables or wires had been chewed.

“This does not happen very often, but it does happen from time to time.”

BOY OR GIRL?

USA: A western Michigan couple with 12 sons is expecting baby No 13, and even though they’re sticking to their tradition of not finding out in advance whether they’re having a boy or girl, they said they’d be shocked if their streak is broken. Jay and Kateri Schwandt’s baby is due on May 9, The Grand Rapids Press reported. Even though they expect it will be another boy, the couple said they would welcome either into the family.

“If we were to have a girl, I think we would go into shock,” Kateri Schwandt said. “It would probably be disbelief.” The couple welcomed their twelfth son, Tucker, to the world on August 4, 2013. Their oldest son is now 22 years old.

HALLOWEEN ALERT

ENGLAND: Armed police swooped on a Halloween event after a passer-by saw people being bundled into the back of a van by men holding guns and wearing balaclavas.

But the 20 men and women were in fact participants in a “physical horror” survival event, called Outbreak, in the village of Albourne, West Sussex, organisers said.

Outbreak spokesman David Parker said: “Most of the participants thought the police were part of the event.”

Organisers were “given strong words of advice”, a force spokeswoman said.

DIY ROBOTS

USA: US DIY chain Lowe’s is testing whether robots can improve its customer service, like helping a shopper find a match for something as simple as a nail.

Four robots, being tested at Orchard Supply Hardware in San José, California, are equipped with 3D cameras so they can scan and identify items, and customers can research items they want to buy on the screen.

The robots have a database of what inventory is in stock so they can confirm if something is in stock, and can lead customers to the aisle where an item is located.


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