Quirky World: Now that’s a record - Vinyl album sales pass 1m-mark

ENGLAND: Annual sales of vinyl albums have soared past the million mark for the first time in 18 years —buoyed by veteran rock act Pink Floyd.

The format has been undergoing a renaissance with sales gradually increasing in recent years and it has now hit the seven-figure mark for the first time since 1996, only 11 months into the year.

Floyd’s first new release for 20 years, The Endless River, helped the figures sail over 1m as it topped the chart, according to figures released by music industry body BPI. And its vinyl sales of 6,000 in just a week are also the highest of any album since 1997.

PLAY ON

ENGLAND:

A goalkeeper played on after suffering a suspected broken neck in a collision with a team-mate.

Laura Wareham, 21, suffered the injury after only 15 minutes of Newcastle United Women’s FA Women’s Premier League North match against Bradford City after she and defender Kate Brooks combined to stop a Bradford forward scoring. She played on for five or six minutes of the eventual 3-2 defeat before being substituted — only because pain in her ribs had left her unable to kick the ball, she said.

She then collapsed twice, once after coming off and once in the dressing room at the end of the game at Northumbria University. Incredibly, in 2011, the sports science student also broke her neck playing in goal, returning to the side only after a year on the sideline.

TOUGH TIME

ENGLAND:

Staff at a rescue centre have seen a huge increase in the number of hedgehogs being brought through their doors.

Last month, 40 hedgehogs were admitted to RSPCA West Hatch in Taunton, Somerset, compared with 27 in 2013.The increase of almost 50% could be due to milder weather allowing people to spot more stricken hedgehogs.

There are currently 60 hedgehogs at West Hatch, with some so young they require feeding with a syringe.

PEACE TREE

FRANCE:

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has a Christmas tree this year thanks to an unusual donor — the Russian government.

Amid high tension between Russia and the West over violence in Ukraine, Russia’s ambassador to France, Alexander Orlov, said the tree “is a message of peace”.

DOG TIRED

USA:

The dogs of San Francisco are feeling more relaxed than ever thanks to the growing popularity of animal massage therapy.

Shelah Barr says she and fellow therapists are increasingly being asked to travel to homes, hotels, and even workplaces to perform treatments, as owners apparently become more willing to pamper their pets.

Practitioners say massage can be a preventive measure for younger animals and rehabilitative for older ones by boosting flexibility, circulation and immunity.

FEEL THE FORCE

USA:

Earth is wrapped in an invisible force field that scientists have compared with the “shields” featured in Star Trek.

A US team discovered the barrier, some 7,200 miles above the Earth’s surface, that blocks high energy electrons threatening astronauts and satellites.

Scientists identified an “extremely sharp” boundary within the Van Allen radiation belts, two large doughnut-shaped rings held in place by the Earth’s magnetic field that are filled with fast-moving particles.

Lead researcher Professor Daniel Baker, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, said: “It’s almost like these electrons are running into a glass wall in space.


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