x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Latest war weapon is perfume that masks the smell of gunpowder

Plus the best cat video on the internet, emus' tiny brains thwart plan to save them and more sweepings from the cutting room floor of the weekly news cycle.

Iranian scientists have reported the invention of a perfume that can disguise the presence of their troops on the battlefield.

The spray, called "Deceit Perfume", masks the smell of gunpowder and comes in four fragrances, according to the Iranian semi-official news agency, Fars.

It can spray the odour over "vast areas" and is a "strategic project of the armed forces", according to the news agency.

The perfume comes in four fragrances, depending on combat conditions, including "fresh air", "rainy weather", "tea" and for the navy, "seaside weather."

According to inventor Mohammad Sadeh Pir-Tavana, the spray is a "highly effective and strategic weapon for civil defence, and for pushing back enemy threats, surprise attacks and offences."


A-cat-emy awards

Selectors had to choose from around 10,000 internet cat videos, divided into categories that included comedy, drama, art house, documentary and lifetime achievement.

Organisers of the festival, held in Minneapolis last week, say it is: "for fans of the online phenomenon of cat videos."

The winning entry, in black and white and in French with English subtitles, features Henri, a cat in the grip of an existential crisis about the meaning of his housebound life.

Henri's owner, William Brandon, said:"This is a great honour. I don't think I've ever purred this loudly!"

Brandon's video, chosen by online voting, faced competition from other titles that included Cat Mom Hugs Baby Kitten, Two Talking Cats and Dubstep Cat.


Wrong carat to eat

After visiting a gem exhibition in Sri Lanka, a visitor was arrested on suspicion of swallowing a diamond worth Dh48,000.

Police say the 32-year-old Chinese man opened a display cabinet at the exhibition in Colombo on Wednesday and popped the diamond in his mouth.

"He appeared to be appraising it and suddenly put it in his mouth," a spokesman explained.

The man was taken to hospital and given laxatives, but it is not known if the diamond has been recovered.


Too dumb for doors

A proposal to build an underpass for emus to cross a busy highway has been abandoned because the flightless birds are too stupid to use it.

Australian engineers hoped the tunnels would stop the birds running across a new road in New South Wales.

Emus, which can run at up to 48kph, are endangered and there were fears that the new road would cause further losses.

But environmentalists have ruled out the plan, saying emus lack the intelligence to use the underpasses.

Gary Whale, who heads a local conservation group, said farmers would have problems when they open gates to let the birds pass.

"Five metres away the emu is butting at a five-strand fence, but can't work out that there is an opening there that it can get through."

He added: "Emus are big birds with little brains."