x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Artist creates the world's smallest engraving on a razor's edge

Plus, the human body contains even more bacteria than previously thought, a record-breaking Ferrari sale, puppies to deter homeless from panhandling and more of the week's strangest stories in News You Can Lose.

Etching the words "Nothing is impossible" on the edge of a razor blade has created the world's smallest engraving.

Graham Small, 64, from England, took 150 attempts to complete the task in letters one tenth of a millimetre high that can only be read with a medical microscope.

Small, who is selling the blade for £47,000 (Dh268,000), worked only at night to reduce the effect of traffic vibrations and strapped his right arm to a chair to avoid movement.

He also cut each letter between heart beats, using a stethoscope.

In the past he has engraved The Lord's Prayer on the head of a pin and written Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage: And all the men and women merely players" on the pointed end of a paper clip.

 

Body is a playground

The first census of microbes living on the human body has discovered more than 10,000 different organisms.

A survey of around 200 people took samples from the nose, mouth, skin and intestines of volunteers.

However the researchers concluded that many of the microbes could be beneficial to humans, helping absorb vitamins, reduce inflammation and boost immune systems.

Dr Bruce Birren, of the Human Microbiome Project, said: "When I get up from my chair, ten times more bacterial cells get up than human ones."

 

Towering cheat sheet

Caught cheating in a high school exam, a pupil in Kazakhstan was found to have a 10-metre roll of paper wrapped around his body on which he had written 25,000 answers.

It was detected before the test started, when examiners noticed the student was fiddling inside his clothing.

Bolatzhan Uskenbayev, a spokesman for the education authority, said: "If he'd put half as much effort into studying as he did into cheating, he would have sailed through the exam with distinction."

 

Beggars, puppies unite

In an attempt to stop begging on the street, the city of San Francisco is offering free puppies to the homeless.

The dogs will be given to hostel residents who can prove they can look after them, along with US$75 (Dh270) to help with food and veterinary bills.

Calling the scheme Wonderful Opportunties for Occupants and Fidos (WOOF), the city says that anyone caught begging will have the puppy taken away.

A spokesman for the city said that studies had shown most panhandlers in hostels were not doing it for the money but: "just don't have anything else to occupy their time."

 

Ferrari sets record

With a price tag of Dh126 million, the world's most expensive Ferrari has just been sold to an American collector.

The 1962 GTO is one of only 39 ever built, and was originally built for Sir Stirling Moss to compete in the 24 Hours LeMans race.

Although Moss was unable to drive the car after a serious accident, it did take part in the race and was then retired.

The seller was Eric Heerema, a Dutch entrepreneur. The buyer was Craig McCaw, who sold his mobile phone company in 1993 for US$11.3 bn.