Odds & Ends
A bride’s romantic plan to have a barn owl swoop in on her wedding ceremony carrying the rings laid an egg when the bird took to the rafters and fell asleep. The Daily Telegraph reports that the couple were getting married in the 900-year-old Holy Cross Church in Sherston, Wiltshire. The nuptial stunt went awry, however, when the trained owl named Darcy, who was carrying the couple’s wedding rings, flew into the roof of the church, above guests’ heads and stayed there for over an hour. “It would have been absolutely superb if it worked,” said Rev. Chris Bryan, who was officiating the ceremony. “It was a lovely idea and it was supposed to be really stunning. But instead of landing on the arm of the man by us and delivering the rings, it went up over our heads and landed in the roof space.” Unable to coax the bird out of the rafters, the reverend decided to proceed with the ceremony using substitute rings. After the ceremony, Darcy was brought down from the rafters using a long ladder and the actual wedding rings were recovered.
A parking company with lots in Leeds and Manchester is currently accepting chestnuts in lieu of actual currency. Town Centre Car Parks has announced it is accepting the dark brown seeds that fall from horse chestnut trees at a rate of 20 pence (32 cents) apiece. So far the company has collected 1,500 of the nuts—known in England as “conkers” after the schoolyard game in which kids try to smash one another’s chestnuts. Town Centre Car Parks’ “Bonkers for Conkers” campaign was due to end earlier this month, but the company said it has been so successful the campaign will be extended. The project is aimed at raising awareness of carbon emission from automobiles. The company plans to sponsor a tree-planting drive to offset carbon emissions. Chestnuts are only being accepted at manned parking lots, not automated ticket machines. “You can’t put conkers into coin slots,” said company spokesperson Matthew Williamson.
A woman in northern China was allegedly bitten by a snake that had been pickled in wine for three months. The Global Times reports that a woman named Liu, from Shuangcheng, Heilongjiang Province, opened a bottle of snake wine to add more alcohol. That’s when the snake jumped out and bit her on the hand. Liu said she purchased the snake live in June and placed it in the bottle to create snake wine in order to treat her rheumatism. Liu was rushed to a nearby hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. Snakes preserved in wine are a traditional part of Chinese medicine, thought to alleviate a variety of illnesses.
A Brazilian soccer club has been removed from the fourth-division playoffs after it was determined that the team’s masseur took to the field and made two key saves near the end of a crucial match. A sports tribunal also suspended masseur Romildo da Silva for 24 matches and fined him about $250 for helping out the Aparecidense soccer club earlier this month. The masseur’s intervention took place during a match against Tupi in which the score was tied 2-2. Silva allegedly lurked behind the net and slipped onto the field when it appeared that a Tupi player had slipped past the goalkeeper and was about to score on an empty net. Silva successfully blocked two shots on the goal in this manner, allowing his team to advance to the quarterfinals. Enraged Tupi players chased the massage therapist from the field. He was eventually taken into police custody for his own protection. Tupi will now replace Aparecidense in the quarterfinals. Team officials say they plan to appeal the tribunal’s decision.
A Tokyo resident who was forced out of his home to make way for the 1964 Olympic Games is being evicted once again—for the 2020 Olympic Games. “Fate has not been kind to me,” 79-year-old Kohei Jinno told Reuters News Service. “It may be great fortune for the nation, but having to leave this place fills me with sadness.” Back in 1964 Jinno’s family home—and about 100 others nearby— was demolished in order to construct the National Olympic Stadium, which housed the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1964 games. That historic site is set to be demolished in 2014, and Japan is planning on building a brand new Olympic Stadium. Unfortunately the site of the new stadium is on top of the public housing complex in which Jinno and his wife now live. Jinno, who turns 80 next month, has no idea where he and approximately 200 other residents in his complex will move to next. “I can bear getting evicted if it’s just the once in a lifetime,” said Jinno. “But twice? It’s ridiculous.”