Quirky World: Snow joke as John Kerry hit with pavement fine


Boston’s mayor has slapped a $50 (€44) fine on US secretary of state John Kerry for leaving the pavement in front of his home buried in the white stuff.

Martin Walsh vowed to crack down on shovel-shy householders and businesses after a blizzard dumped two feet of snow on his city this week.

And he proved he was not kidding when former US senator and Democratic presidential candidate Mr Kerry joined the list of offenders after failing to clear the snow from the side of his Beacon Hill mansion.

In fairness, Mr Kerry could have claimed he was snowed under at the time – he was in Saudi Arabia attending the funeral of King Abdullah with US President Barack Obama.

But his spokesman Glen Johnson told the Boston Globe Mr Kerry would pay the fine and his pavement was later swept clear.


A group of pranksters constructed a home-made “ejector seat” with an airbag and videoed their friend being blown up on it — leaving him with a fractured spine, the Daily Mail has reported.

The men, from Haverhill in Suffolk, uploaded the video to YouTube, Facebook and LiveLeak and it has received more than 10,000 views. The video shows Hari Farlie, 19, sitting on two tyres with an unreleased airbag in between them, which is attached by a wire to a nearby car engine.

When one of the pranksters triggers the airbag, causing it to suddenly inflate, the teenager is violently thrown into the air and lands in a nearby bush.

The teenager will have to wear a brace for three months but has been released from hospital, the paper reports.



Nature lovers are being urged to forget Eurovision and possible EU referendum, and vote in the most important European poll of the year — for a tree.

Voting for the European Tree of the Year begins tomorrow, with England, Scotland and Wales all taking part in the competition along with 11 other countries. England is represented by the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest Country Park, Nottinghamshire, a tree which is thought to be between 800 and 1,000 years old and is famous for its associations with Robin Hood.

Scotland’s nomination is the Lady’s Tree, a 100-year-old Scots pine at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes reserve, near Dunkeld, Perthshire, home to a famous osprey, Lady, for nearly a quarter of century, from where she has fledged 50 chicks.

Close shave


A schoolboy who shaved his head to raise money for a cancer charity has been put in isolation for breaking uniform rules.

Stan Lock, 14, had a “number one” haircut to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support after playing rugby. He was placed in isolation on his return to Churchill Academy in Churchill, North Somerset, for “flouting” school policy.

Friends have since set up a Free Stan Lock petition and Facebook page, while his JustGiving page has raised around £2,000 in donations. He had aimed to raise £100.

Hopping mad


A kangaroo is on the loose in snowy Austria, hopping his way toward dispelling a famous slogan.

“No kangaroos in Austria” T-shirts and souvenirs have been big sellers for years in the alpine nation, since some people confuse Austria with Australia.

Anton the kangaroo bounded away from his owner several weeks ago and has been living rough since, disappearing into forested land every time someone tries to capture him. He is expected to be fit enough and to have enough food to make it through the winter.


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