All posts filed under: QUIRKY

Gourd of the Apes: Meet the Champagne Chimps

They are our closest cousins and it has now been proven they also share our propensity for a good bottle of red. Scientists who conducted the research study at Bossou in Guinea West Africa found wild chimpanzees had adapted their behaviour to consume palm wine, a local tipple fermented at the top of palm trees inside improvised plastic gourds. The study – published in the journal Royal Society Open Science –  also showed African apes and humans share a genetic mutation that enables them to digest alcohol. It had been once thought only humans engaged in the voluntary and social consumption of alcohol until this discovery. The scientists found evidence of the long-term and recurrent consumption of fermented alcohol from the raffia palm (Raphia hookeri, Arecaceae) by primates from 1995 to 2012. Chimpanzees at Bossou also consumed this alcoholic beverage, often in large quantities, despite an average presence of alcohol of 3.1% alcohol by volume rising to 6.9%. Raffia palms, which occur naturally in seasonally flooded areas are traditionally tapped by locals close to the crown of mature palms, …

£15m ‘Stripe House’ Makes Kensington Neighbours See Red

A house owner has got one over her neighbours after they scuppered her plans for a triple basement redevelopment in South End, Kensington, a cobbled west London mews. The woman said to be Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring then proceeded to paint the three-storey townhouse valued at £15m in red and white stripes after a protracted planning and legal battle with residents. The Royal Borough which recently outlawed certain basement conversions has been plagued by so- called ‘iceberg homes’ for many years until it finally moved to restrict their explosion. The plans studied by West London Today included a triple basement comprising a swimming pool, a gym and media room. It is believed Ms Lisle-Mainwaring who is at loggerheads with neighbours wants to demolish the present structure and expand it from three storeys to five storeys with four bedrooms. But it is her latest move that has brought a whiff of comedy into an otherwise bitter affair and with it throngs of amused visitors. Social media is already abuzz about the house described by locals as resembling a ‘beachside hut’ …