x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

It's a bird ... it's a plane ... it's a really bad business decision

The worst decision Superman's creators ever made, plus an elusive subatomic particle is found, an unfortunate group of cows may meet an even worse end, and more of the week's strange stories in News You Can Lose.

The original cheque used to buy the rights for the comic-book character Superman has sold at auction for nearly Dh600,000.

When it was issued in 1938, DC Comics paid creators Jerome Siegel and Joe Shuster just US$130 (Dh477) for the rights to the superhero character.

It has been estimated that the rights over time to Superman have been worth several hundred million dollars.

 

Flash steaks

A herd of cows that froze to death after being trapped in a cabin in the mountains of Colorado may have to be removed using high explosives.

The stray cattle are believed to have died after taking shelter in the cabin near Aspen during a blizzard and then became trapped.

Forestry officials fear that if they are allowed to defrost as the weather improves, they may contaminate nearby hot springs.

One option is to blow the frozen animals to pieces and then set fire to the remains. About six cows are thought to be inside the cabin.

 

Fashion victim

The shoe designer Christian Louboutin says he does not care if his high heels cause women pain.

Louboutin called his creations "pleasure with pain" and told a magazine interviewer the he had "no sympathy" for women who found his stiletto heels uncomfortable after he watched the singer Tina Turner perform for three hours while wearing a pair.

The French designer also admitted that the height of his shoes meant women often appeared taller than men standing beside them. But he rejected the idea of high heels for men as "ridiculous".

 

Fermion found at last

An elusive particle that may also be its own anti-particle might have been detected in a laboratory.

Scientists have long speculated about the Majorana fermion, whose existence was first suggested by the Italian physicist Ettore Majorana in 1937.

Other examples of fermions are electrons and quarks, but the Majorana fermion differs in that it acts as its own anti-particle.

One practical application of the discovery could be the creation of quantum computers, which process information at an atomic level at very high speed.

 

Surrender for $100 reward

After spotting his photograph on a wanted poster, a Taliban commander turned himself in for the reward money.

Afghan officials said that Mohammad Ashan, described as a mid-level commander in Paktika province, arrived at a police station clutching a copy of the poster.

He then demanded the US$100 reward offered for his capture. Ashan, who was wanted for two attacks on Afghan forces, was handed over to American troops for questioning.

When asked to confirm his identity, he is said to have replied: "Yes, yes, that's me! Can I get my reward now?"

A US official described Ashan as "the Taliban equivalent of the Home Alone burglars".

jlangton@thenational.ae