QUIRKY WORLD ... Our look at some of the world’s stranger stories

Exhausted pigeon in deep-sea rescue

A racing pigeon which got lost at sea is tobe reunited with her owner after she was saved 300 miles (483km) out in the Atlantic by the crew of a Royal Navy frigate.

The exhausted bird was wrongly named Paul by crew members when she landed on the deck of HMS Somerset. Since then she has been fed and watered and received much attention from the 185 men and women on board.

Leading seaman William Hughes, an ex-pigeon fancier, caught the bird, checked it over, and discovered that it was in fact female. He said: “It was a stroke of luck that Paul found Somerset. She will certainly have a few sea stories to tell her fellow pigeons.”

German lads attach pool to car to cool off

GERMANY: A car caught cruising the streets of a sleepy east German village on a sweltering summer’s day sported a decidedly unorthodox feature: a pool filled to the brim with water.

A motorcycle cop was stunned to see four men, including the driver, splashing about in the open-top BMW as they passed him near Blauenthal, about 155 miles (250kms) south of Berlin.

The men pulled over and jumped into a nearby river as soon as they saw the officer, but one later returned to claim his clothes. Police are investigating which of the men drove and whether he was drunk. Officers said the vehicle itself “probably didn’t have a road permit”.

Couple who were married for 75 years die just one day apart

USA: A Southern California couple who were born on the same day and celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary last year have died just a day apart.

The couple’s son, Les Brown Jr, said 94-year-old Helen Brown died on Jul 16 and 94-year-old Les Brown died on Jul 17. They were born on New Year’s Eve, 1918, and met in high school and eloped in 1937 aged 18 because their parents thought the marriage between a wealthy man and a working-class woman would never last.

He was a photographer, she was an estate agent. They will have a joint memorial service tomorrow in Long Beach, their son told the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

The couples’ remarkable desire to be together, even in death, comes just six months after a Michigan couple, who were married for 76 years and who raised six children together, died within a few hours of each other.

Apology for disabled woman warned not to use mobility scooter in drive thru

ENGLAND: A fast food restaurant has apologised to a disabled woman who was told she could not take her roadworthy mobility scooter through the drive-through lane because of “health and safety”.

Kate Legg, a retired police matron, visited the McDonald’s restaurant at the Asda store in Bedhampton, Hampshire, to buy a milkshake.

But because of the angle of the doors, she decided to use the drive-through on her mobility scooter which is permitted to travel on the roads.

When she arrived to buy her drink, she was informed by a staff member that she would not be served again at the drive-through because of the company’s health and safety policy which forbids mobility scooters from using the lane dedicated for vehicles.

As the video below shows this is not a problem that is restricted to British drive throughs!

Magnet makes marathon journey

USA: It’s 50 ft wide, weighs more than 15 tonnes and has taken a month to transport 3,200 miles (5,150km) from New York to Illinois. It’s a gigantic electromagnet and is about to end its journey to its new home outside Chicago.

Batavia’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory will use it to study blazing fast particles. What’s not blazing fast is the magnet on the last leg of its journey. This week, it’s moved by truck at between 5 and 15mph.

En route from a federal laboratory in New York, it was floated down the East Coast into the Gulf of Mexico, then up river to Illinois. The used magnet cost $3.5m (€2.6m) to transport. But it would have cost far more to construct a new one.

‘Orgy’ donor loses

ENGLAND: A professional man registered as a sperm donor on a website and advertised his willingness to participate in a “breeding party, ie a male-dominated orgy designed to get a woman pregnant”, a High Court judge said.

The man also said he “engaged in sexual activity with both members of a lesbian pair who had approached him via the website”, said Mr Justice Peter Jackson.

His prolific sexual activity with recipients amounted to a “brazen flouting” of the rules of the website, said the judge.

The judge said the man was “bound in his professional life by a clear code of ethics”, which made the risks he took “the more surprising”.

Lottery couple fish winning ticket out of rubbish

USA: A Massachusetts couple have won $1m (€753,330) on a scratch card that they dug out of the bin after inadvertently throwing it away.

The state lottery commission says Joseph and Joanne Zagami of North Attleborough bought the $5 ticket from a vending machine while doing their shopping.

They stuck the ticket into one of the shopping bags and forgot about it. The next day, Joseph asked his wife if she had scratched the ticket. She said no. They dug through the bin and found it mixed in with the discarded shopping bags.

The couple claimed their prize on Wednesday. They opted for the one-time lump sum payment of $650,000 before taxes. They plan to pay off their mortgage and other bills, and to take a vacation.

Breaking in

USA: A convicted sex offender has pleaded guilty to repeatedly using fake credentials to gain entry into New York City jails.

The New York Post reports that 36-year-old Yonkers resident Matthew Matagrano pleaded guilty on Thursday to posing as a correction officer and sneaking into the Manhattan Detention Center.

During one of those visits, on Feb 27, Matagrano assaulted an inmate and stole a $2,500 walkie-talkie. He also handed out cigarettes to inmates.

It’s not clear why the former inmate, whose rap sheet includes a conviction for sodomy and sexual abuse, wanted to get back into jails.

He faces 10 years behind bars at sentencing.


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