Quirky World: Toilet-splashing tenant will get his deposit back

GERMANY: A court has ruled that a tenant who likes to pee standing up does not owe his landlord money for damages caused by splashing or missing his target altogether.

The Duesseldorf administrative court rejected the landlord’s claim of €1,900 for alleged damage to the bathroom’s marble floor, the DPA news agency reported.

While accepting expert evidence that urine had damaged the marble, Judge Stefan Hank ruled the man’s method was within cultural norms, saying that, “despite the increasing domestication of men in this context, urinating standing up is still common practice”.

God and aliens


A couple who broke into a theme park that was closed for the off-season near the South Carolina-North Carolina line have said God and aliens led them there.

York County sheriff’s deputies said Francis Greene and Jason Lee were arrested after a security officer at the Carowinds theme park found their truck abandoned in the parking lot. The officer also found an 8-month-old boy alone in the truck.

The guard said the couple returned to the truck 20 minutes after leaving it.

They were charged with child neglect and trespassing and the baby was taken into protective custody.

Dog has his day


A dog whose owner abandoned him in a skip two days before Christmas has found a new home.

Beaux, who was very thin and nervous of everything around him, was taken into Wood Green, The Animals Charity, in north London on December 23 after a member of the public found him in a skip in Cambridge.

Dog rehomer Kirsty Phillips said: “When he came in to us, Beaux was so nervous, he would hide in the back of his kennel, and was obviously undernourished. But he’s a fantastic, friendly boy and he’s just come on in leaps and bounds.”

Deadly beauty


Eerie fluorescent blue patches of water glimmering off the seashore are magnificent, disturbing, and potentially toxic, marine biologists have said.

The glow is an indicator of a harmful algal bloom created by something called Noctiluca scintillans, nicknamed sea sparkle. It looks like algae and can act like algae but is a single-celled organism which technically can function as both animal and plant.

The blooms are triggered by farm pollution that can be devastating to marine life and local fisheries, said University of Georgia oceanographer Samantha Joye.

Fear of flying facts


An app for people who are nervous about flying will help calm their nerves — by giving them statistics on how unlikely it is their aircraft will crash.

Fear of flying is very common — in the UK, as many as one in five people experiences anxiety about flying at some time.

Developer Nic Johns said: “The inspiration for ‘Am I going down?’ came from my co-founder and wife, Julie, who for many years has suffered from a fear of flying. I wanted to present the fact that the vast majority of flights are incredibly low risk and our app is meant as tool to help reassure fearful flyers.”

Medal returned


A medal awarded to a soldier who lost both arms during the Battle of Waterloo has been discovered nearly 200 years later.

Inniskilling Regiment Private Peter McMullen from Co Down was saved when his pregnant wife Elizabeth dragged him from danger.

The badge of honour will be returned to the Inniskillings Museum in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, in a special ceremony on May 30.

Cheeky cartoons


In socially liberal Sweden, an educational animation for children featuring dancing genitals has become an online hit and even drawn criticism for not being progressive enough.

The video by public broadcaster SVT, promoting a TV series about the human body, has been seen by more than 4m YouTube viewers. Producers say many parents found it a great way to explain about private parts to children, though some called it inappropriate for a programme aimed at three- to six-year-olds.

Programming director Peter Bargee said the clip also drew “unexpected” criticism from some Swedes, who said portraying the penis with a moustache and the vagina with long eyelashes reinforced gender stereotypes.

Lunch money


A US man who bought a pair of lottery tickets to break a $100 bill has ended up winning millions.

Lottery officials said Richard Noll and his wife claimed the prize at lottery headquarters in Braintree, Massachusetts, this week. He chose a one-time payment of $6.5m after taxes.

Noll said he needed to break the note to get lunch, so he bought two $20 tickets at Lanzilli Groceria in East Boston.


This season textiles trend large, full of colour and exotic pattern, and applied in new ways to make a personal design statement from the living room to the bedroom, writes Carol O’CallaghanTextile trends that can help you make a personal design statement

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