x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

News You Can Lose: Football team fires off festive faux pas

Quirky news items from around the world.

A Canadian football team's attempt to bring some seasonal cheer by playing a video of a burning Yule log on its giant scoreboard has led to reports that the stadium was burning down.

After seeing the video at night, passers-by called the emergency services to report either that the stadium of the Saskatchewan Roughriders or nearby homes were in flames.

After talks with the fire chief in Regina, the team has agreed to replace the log to avoid more false alarms. "Maybe some snowflakes or Santa or something like that," a fire service spokesman suggested.


Villages for villains

Antisocial elements in Amsterdam are to be rehoused in special communities dubbed "scum villages".

The project is part of a plan to tackle the 13,000 complaints muncipal officials receive every year. A team of "harassment directors" will assess complaints and decide who will be sent to the communities.

A spokesman for the mayor's office said the scheme was an attempt to stop law-abiding citizens being driven away by bad behaviour.

"The aim is not to reward people who behave badly with a new five-room home with a south-facing garden," he said. "This is supposed to be a deterrent."


Lego's likely collapse

A tower of single Lego bricks could be built to a height of 3,591 metres before it would collapse under its own weight, tests have revealed.

Researchers at Britain's Open University made the calculation after compressing a single Lego brick to destruction.

They found that the brick could support more than 350 kilograms, equal to 375,000 single bricks. It could create a theoretical tower taller than Mount Olympus in Greece.


Navy fires dolphins

Trained dolphins used by the US Navy to hunt mines are being laid off because robots can do the job better.

The underwater squad, which also includes sea lions, will be phased out in five years to make way for a new underwater robot.

The navy says the robot is easier to train than the dolphins, which also look out for enemy divers. However, a navy spokesman said most of the jobs in the underwater squad, which includes 80 bottle-nosed dolphins and 40 California sea lions, would be safe because they would still be used for security patrols.


"Sexist" sign gripe

Construction at a college in Ohio was halted after a female administrator complained that a "men working" sign was "non-inclusive" and "sexist".

The builders were forced to remove the sign and stop work at the Sinclair Community College in Dayton.

The employee also suggested other ways to word the sign, such as "construction zone".

A spokesman for the college admitted that ordering the work to stop might have seemed unnecessary, but said the incident stemmed from a "deep commitment to diversity", while adding the institution took the matter "very seriously".