British news

July 23, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

A Japanese zoo is putting on an exhibition of one of the world’s most hated insects: “A JAPANESE zoo is trying to do the impossible — improve the image of cockroaches, putting on an exhibition of one of the world’s most hated insects. With a whopping — and disgusting — 4,000 species around the planet, the hardy creature can survive almost anywhere, but is most commonly encountered by city-dwellers in grubby corners of the kitchen, or roaming around the floor at night. Staff at Shunanshi Tokuyama Zoo in Yamaguchi, western Japan, say the cockroach gets a bad press and actually performs a vital job. Important, but not very pleasant-sounding: eating rotting carcasses and dead plants on forest floors. One highlight of the exhibition will be a five-way race among cockroaches, where visitors can watch the worryingly speedy bugs whiz down a track. If that’s not entertainment enough — hard to credit — the zoo is offering the chance to get your hands on a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, which can grow as long as 7 centimetres. No need to worry about this, though, assures the zoo — Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches can’t fly. But they can hiss.”

The big picture: “A huge 143-year-old painting that had been rolled up in storage for 70 years has been restored and put on display for the first time. The artwork – which weighs half a tonne in its huge frame – spent several decades in storage on the same custom wooden cylinder artist John Rogers Herbert used to transported it from London in 1878. The painting, titled Moses bringing down the Tables of the law, took 10 weeks and a team of 25 people to restore it to its former glory. Its six metre by four metre frame made it impossible to fit through any doors or lifts in the National Gallery of Victoria. It had to be rolled in on large cylinders and the heavy frame was pulled apart into six pieces. The restoration required specially made equipment to stabilise, clean, repair and reattach the artwork. The painting was commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria in 1872, but it took Herbert another six years to complete the artwork. This is the first time Moses bringing down the Tables of the law will be displayed in the National Gallery of Victoria.

Aging sex symbol defends wild cats: “She may have been called a sex kitten in the 1960s, but Brigitte Bardot is now better known as an animal rights activist and she’s got her claws stuck into an Australian plan to cull two million feral cats. The government proposal is aimed at stopping the cats from harming native animals, and although stressing that the cats purge will be carried out humanely, Bardot urged the government to reconsider the plan which she said was ‘appalling’ to the international community. ‘Your country is sullied by the blood of millions of innocent animals so please, don’t add cats to this morbid record,’ the 80-year-old said in the English translation of the open letter to Environment Minister Greg Hunt. Feral cats have been identified as the main culprit behind Australia’s high rate of mammal extinction, with more than 10 percent of species wiped out since Europeans settled there two centuries ago.

Golfer hits a real birdie: “This is the horrible moment a golfer killed a seagull when the bird was hit with a wayward shot. Footage shows the bird landing on the fairway moments before the man hit a tee shot that went directly for it. The bird doesn’t have enough time to react and is struck by the ball, which delivers a fatal blow. The clip, posted to YouTube by user Jordan Wright, of Fayetteville, Arkansas, begins with the man getting into position for his tee shot as a friend records the moment. It hits the bird head on and rather tragically causes it to explode into a ball of feathers upon impact. The golfer reacts by recoiling and turning his head away in horror before backing off towards the videomaker, who can also be heard voicing his shock.

‘Walkie-talkie’ building blamed for creating wind tunnels in London city: “AN ICONIC building that has melted the metal on cars is now being blamed for producing ferocious wind gusts that have knocked people off their feet. The ‘Walkie-talkie’ at 20 Fenchurch St, London cost $345 million to build but earned the nickname the ‘walkie scorchie’ after it melted the wing mirrors and panels of a Jaguar parked underneath it for an hour in 2013. Driver Martin Lindsay said he was “gutted” at the time, while developers were forced to investigate how the unique design produced such dazzling beams of light. Now locals and workers have complained about huge draughts created by the 34-storey building that have bowled over pedestrians and blown trolleys out of the way. Earlier in the year locals told City AM they were “scared to go back” to the site and had to keep the doors closed to avoid clothes being blown off the shelves in retail stores. Architect Rafael Vinoly has admitted his design, which contains a rooftop garden and city views, has “a lot of mistakes””

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.


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