All posts filed under: QUIRKY

Ryan Byrne Selfie

Fugitive Robber Taunts Police with Selfie

Wanted: Ryan Byrne did not complain about being let off early from jail A violent robber released in error from a nine-year sentence has posed for a selfie in front of a Police van in the West End mocking appeals to apprehend him. Ryan Byrne, 34, can be seen in the photograph grinning as he pointed to the van parked outside a casino in Wardour Street Soho. He was freed from Wandsworth Prison with up to 18 months still to serve of his original sentence. A prison source told The Sun: “Byrne was sitting in his cell having a cigarette last Wednesday when he was told he was free to leave. He couldn’t believe it. But he didn’t protest and has been enjoying his freedom.” Byrne was jailed after holding up a branch of Boots in Ruislip, west London, in 2007 making away with £3,800. Police have checked his mother’s house in Acton, west London but he still remains on the run.An HM Prison Service spokesman said: “Releases in error are very rare but regrettable occurrences. We are investigating …

carnival1

Oxford English Dictionary Gets a Little ‘Twerk’

We’ve been doing it at the Notting Hill Carnival every summer, even as far back as 1820 according to the wordsmiths at the Oxford English Dictionary. Twerk, that is, but it is only now that the word has finally ‘twitched’ and ‘jerked’ its way into the latest refresh of the OED. Researchers found the word, one of 500 new dictionary entries, was first spelt ‘twirk’, described as a ‘twisting’ or ‘jerking’ movement or ‘twitch’. The verb is believed to have resurfaced in 1848 and the twerk spelling was in wide usage by 1901. American pop singer Miley Cyrus brought the dance to mainstream consciousness in 2013 at an MTV awards show as she gyrated in skimpy attire on stage. The OED describes twerking as dancing “in a sexually provocative manner, using thrusting movements of the bottom and hips while in a low, squatting stance”. Twerk may have even been borne out of a combination of the words twist or twitch and jerk, the dictionary says. Fiona McPherson, senior editor of Oxford English Dictionary, said: “We are confident that it …

ANIMALS Chimps

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, …

Stripes: The house in South End Kensington has to be repainted white

£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’ …