QUIRKY WORLD: What a boss... tycoon sends 6,400 staff on trip to France

FRANCE: The billionaire CEO of the Chinese conglomerate Tiens has given 6,400 of his best salespeople a holiday that started in Paris and ended with a parade on France’s Cote d’Azur.

CEO Li Jinyuan said he was celebrating the company’s 20th anniversary by rewarding his staff and aimed for the world record in spelling out a phrase in human bodies.

As their holiday wound down, the employees massed on the coastal promenade in Nice and, dressed in identical sky blue hats and T-shirts, spelled out the words “Tiens’ dream is Nice in the Cote d’Azur.”

Jinyuan was greeted by France’s foreign affairs minister, Laurent Fabius, mid-week in Paris.

French media estimated the trip’s cost between €13m and €20m.

Biting the bullet


An Arkansas vet has kept a dog from going out with a bang after the animal ate 23 live rifle rounds.

Benno, the four-year-old Belgian Malinois, had surgery last week to remove the .308 caliber ammunition from his stomach, The Baxter Bulletin reported.

Owner Larry Brassfield said Benno has eaten socks, magnets, and marbles, but he didn’t expect the animal would bother a bag of bullets by his bed. Brassfield and his wife realised Benno needed medical attention after the pet vomited up four rounds.

Vet Sarah Sexton at All Creatures Animal Hospital removed 17 rounds from Benno’s stomach but left two in his esophagus, which the dog was allowed to discharge on his own.

“This is something they certainly did not cover in school,” Sexton said. “I’ve had dogs eat things before, mostly stuffed toys. Once I had one swallow a hearing aid, but I think this takes the cake.”

Boarish behaviour


A Hong Kong shopping mall received a visit from a ham-fisted customer when a wild boar wandered in and got trapped inside a children’s clothing store.

Video aired by local TV stations showed the boar, which had apparently climbed up a ladder in the shop’s back room, punching a hole through the showroom’s false ceiling with a hoof. News reports said the animal was a 25kg, metre-long juvenile female.

A crowd of shoppers, watching from behind a line of police, squealed in amazement as the boar clambered down onto the top of display case, jumped to the floor, and skittered around the shop, knocking over mannequins and signs.

The boar was eventually tranquillised by a vet and taken to an animal rehab centre, the South China Morning Post reported.

Sunny seal


A sunbathing seal has been spotted in a river 40 miles (64km) from the sea.

Nathaniel Gore, 33, was out walking near his home in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, when he spotted the animal splashing around in the water. The editorial project manger stopped to film the seal and said it was not put off by the attention.

He added: “I’ve heard stories of seals being found inland before and he seemed perfectly happy so I wasn’t too concerned.”

In 2013 another seal was found 80km from the sea in Fen Drayton Lakes, near St Ives.

Brought to book


A motorway lorry driver was caught reading a book at the wheel .

Police secretly filmed the driver on the M60 around Manchester with his book open and resting on the steering wheel.

He was one of 71 motorists stopped for traffic offences during a crackdown by Greater Manchester Police called Operation Tramline. He was given a graduated fixed-penalty notice.



SECOND Captains is one of the long-running success stories in Irish podcasting. Ostensibly a sports show led by Eoin McDevitt, Ken Early, and Ciarán Murphy, the former Off The Ball team from Newstalk launched the podcast in mid-2013. two Monday shows are offered for free, with Tuesday-Friday behind a Patreon subscriber model and dubbed ‘The World Service’. It has more than 11,500 subscribers.Podcast Corner: First-class podcasts from Second Captains

The incredible life of Ireland’s first celebrity chef has been turned into a play, writes Colette SheridanHow Maura Laverty cooked up a storm

Their paths first crossed on the top floor of the library at University College Cork in October 2010 when both were students there so Amy Coleman and Steven Robinson were delighted to retrace their footsteps on their big day.Wedding of the Week: College sweethearts open new chapter

Peter Dowdall reveals why all roads will lead to Tullow in County Carlow on February 1Snowdrop patrol: Why all roads will lead to County Carlow

More From The Irish Examiner