Quirky World: Young gorillas’ enthusiasm bubbles over in animal park



Conservators at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo say the blue and gold braided beard on a mask of famed pharaoh Tutankhamun has been hastily glued back on with epoxy after it was detached during a cleaning.

The museum, which many archaeologists and restorers say is not run to professional standards, is a major tourist site. Tutankhamun’s mask and contents of his tomb are its top exhibits.

Conservators gave differing accounts of when the incident occurred last year, and whether the beard was knocked off by accident or removed because it was loose. They agree however that orders came from the top to fix it quickly and that an inappropriate adhesive was used.

Mouse resurrection


Young gorillas at a zoo have been transfixed by a new toy — a bubble machine.

The plaything has been entertaining young western lowland gorillas at Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury, Kent, as they try to pop bubbles belched from the device.

The bubble machine was donated by a supporter of the park after keepers drew up an Amazon wishlist of useful items that would help enrich the animals’ lives. Lorna Wanless, head of the gorilla section at Howletts, said: “We couldn’t resist filming the youngsters’ reactions to the bubbles.”

No will, no way


Four out of five people who started a diet for the new year will have given up by today, according to a report.

A survey of 2,000 adults also showed that one fifth failed to continue with a new year resolution on healthy eating within just a few days. The main diet-breaking foods were chocolate, bread, crisps, and takeaways, the study by V8 juice found.

Another survey, of 2,000 adults showed that more than half of British drinkers who vowed to have a dry January had failed after only two weeks. Almost one in 10 adults had planned to remain alcohol-free throughout this month, according to research commissioned by the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service.


A rare rodent has enjoyed a resurgence after more sightings were made than in the previous 100 years. The harvest mouse is seldom seen in the North East, but a recent survey by the Durham Wildlife Trust found nine new records. This was more than was seen in the whole of the 20th century.

Home repairs


A man demolished his home in upstate New York without telling his wife he planned to tear it down, according to police.

When officers arrived at the property owned by 48-year-old James Rhein’s wife they found him knocking down the house. He did not remove any household items, such as furniture, food, and belongings and instead dumped everything into large construction bins.

Rhein told police he was demolishing the house because it had a bad foundation. He was charged with criminal mischief and was released on bail.

Meeting mix-up


The first commissioners’ meeting of 2015 was adjourned after 15 minutes in one Pennsylvania county because the government had not placed legal advertisements listing the time and dates of this year’s meetings.

Fayette County chief clerk Amy Revak said she emailed commissioners Vincent Zapotosky, Angela Zimmerlink, and Al Ambrosini on January 13 seeking authorisation to place the ads, but got no response.

However, Zapotosky said Revak also did not place the ads last year, forcing the cancellation of a meeting in May. He argued that she should know to place the ads without authorisation.


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