Irony of ironies

February 5, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The London authorities have dutifully put up a blue commemorative plaque on the house where George Orwell lived. But, in a triumph of bureaucratic insensitivity, they have put up a surveillance camera beside it — very much the sort of thing Orwell warned about in his story of “Big Brother”

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Italian wife faces six years in jail for ‘mistreatment of her family’ because she doesn’t do enough housework: “An Italian woman is facing up to six years in jail after her husband took her to court for not cooking and cleaning enough. The 40-year-old from Sonnino in Lazio, south-central Italy, is being charged with ‘mistreatment of the family’, local media reports. According to her husband who brought the charges, this is due to her ‘poor management of the household chores’. She is due to stand trial later this year, and can face a substantial jail term, The Local reports. Court papers state that her 47-year-old husband feels ‘insulted’ by the way she has neglected cleaning their house. According to his statement, he has been forced to ‘live in conditions with poor hygiene’, The Local adds. He also says he keeps buying food for her to use, but that the produce ends up in the bin as his wife rarely cooks.”

IT worker sold his share in iPhone keyboard app SwiftKey for the price of a bicycle – now Microsoft have bought the firm for £174M: “Chris Hill-Scott, 29, gave away his stake in SwiftKey – a predictive text app- which yesterday was sold to Microsoft for the massive sum, in return for a bicycle. University friends Jon Reynolds, 30, and Ben Medlock, 36, have walked away with over £25million each after seven short years. Mr Hill-Scott, who now designs websites for the government, earning just above £50,000 per year, yesterday tweeted: ‘The biggest mistake I have ever made.’ Mr Reynolds and Ben Medlock founded the company in 2008 after leaving university. But despite them each nabbing a reported £25million each for their seven years work for the company, founder Mr Hill-Scott, 29. from Buckinghamshire, did not receive a penny. He gave up his directorship two weeks into the project to pursue a career in photography.”

Modern-day mouse dies after finding its way into museum mousetrap that’s 155 years old: “A freshly killed mouse found inside a 155-year-old mousetrap has left museum curators baffled. It was discovered yesterday after being caught in the unbaited Victorian trap on display behind impenetrable glass. The unlucky rodent had managed to sneak past security, exterior doors and museum staff, and somehow clambered its way up into the cabinet. The most common type of mousetrap today uses a powerful spring to trap and kill a mouse. It’s effective but has a major drawback – it can only catch one mouse at a time. The idea behind the ‘Perpetual Mouse Trap’ was to create a system that could catch lots of mice, and be ready to do so at any time. The trap was manufactured by Colin Pullinger & Sons of Silsey, West Sussex and aptly sold under the promise that it ‘will last a lifetime’. Researchers don’t know the exact date it was made, but the trap itself was patented in 1861 by Bognor-born Colin Pullinger.”

Car thieves pranked: “If something seems to good to be true, more often than not it is. A group of American men found this out the hard way and got a shock – both emotionally and physically – when they found an unattended Mantis Green McLaren 650S Spider and tried to drive it as part of a prank by YouTube star, Joey Salads. The 22-year-old from Staten Island, New York, had set up the driver seat with the exposed wires from a remote-controlled dog shock collar. Salads and his friend watch from a hiding place as men approach the vehicle – in which the keys are clearly left out – and then shocks them using his remote control when they attempt to drive it. Salads narrates from the side – ‘Does he even know how to drive that thing?’ – before pressing the buzzer. Inevitably the men convulse with the electric shock and swear and shout, before clambering out. Some simply jump out, too afraid to waste time by opening the Spider’s door.”

Collection of Chinese antiques bought by a British farmer for as little as £100 an item are to sell for £20MILLION at auction: “A collection of Chinese antiques bought by a farmer for as little £100 per item for is expected to make his family a £20million fortune when it sells at auction. Roger Pilkington of Aldbourne, Wiltshire, collected 100 pieces of exquisite Chinese ceramics in the late 1950s and early 60s. The late Mr Pilkington bought Chinese ceramics from the Tang, Song, Ming and Qing dynasties of China, which spanned from 618 to 1912 – paying sums of £100 (£3,000 today) right up to £5,000 (£140,000 today) for higher end items. But the value of Asian antiques has shot up in recent years as the Chinese set about buying back their heritage which was taken out of the Far East by westerners in the 19th century, and Mr Pilkington’s family are set to reap the rewards. Leading the sale is a 15th century Chenghua Blue and White ‘Palace Bowl’ that was made for an Emperor in the Ming dynasty and is estimated to sell for up to £6million alone.”

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

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