x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Losing your phone can lead to a serious mental hang-up

Plus more of the week's strangest and most offbeat stories from around the world with News You Can Lose.

Up to two-thirds of the population may be suffering from "nomophobia", or a fear of being without their mobile phone.

A survey of 1,000 people found that 66 per cent worried about losing their mobile.

Women were more concerned about losing their phones than men, with seven out of 10 young adults, from the ages of 18 to 24, admitting to some form of nomophobia, according to the survey.

SecurEnvoy, a mobile phone security company, carried out the survey in Britain, and said the numbers were up by 13 per cent in four years.

The survey found that four out of 10 respondents admitted they were carrying two phones just to stay better connected.


What the bleat is he saying?

Goats develop a regional accent depending on where they are brought up, research has concluded.

A team from Queen Mary University in London discovered that a goat's bleating would change as they left their family groups and moved to other surroundings.

Until now it has been thought that only a select group, including dolphins, elephants and, of course, humans, were capable of developing distinct accents.

Now the scientists think this may apply to all mammals.


Calling Barney Rubble

A town in rural America is having water problems because of an event that took place 74 million years ago.

Attempts to drill a new well in Manson, Iowa, have been thwarted by rubble from a meteor strike.

The area was hit by a giant meteor estimated at 10 billion tonnes, which pushed up rocks from eight kilometres below the surface of the Earth.

Drilling teams looking to supplement dwindling supplies from Manson's two existing wells say this makes it hard to locate any reliable water source.


A tactless tweet too far

Railway operators in England have apologised for "insensitive" tweets to passengers after services were delayed when a man fell under a train.

London Midland sent out messages on Twitter saying that they should "go to the pub - services will be rubbish for at least the next hour" after the suspected suicide.

When one passenger asked if the victim had survived, the company responded by tweeting "nope", adding, "can't stop someone jumping off a platform in front of a train, I'm afraid".

A spokesman for the Samaritans, which offers counselling to people contemplating taking their own lives, said it would talk to London Midland about "how to best communicate information to their passengers within difficult and sensitive situations".


Aussie's odd ode to ore

An ode written by Australia's wealthiest person has been described as "the universe's worst poem".

Critics are united in their condemnation of the verse, penned by Gina Reinhart, a mining magnate estimated to be worth about Dh75 billion.

Mrs Reinhart composed a series of rhyming couplets in praise of iron ore, which she had cast in a plaque and fixed to a large boulder as an outdoor artwork.

The polemical poem, called Our Future, includes the lines: "Is our future threatened with massive debts run up by political hacks

Who dig themselves out by unleashing rampant tax?"

One professor of literature said: "As a poet she's about as good as I am at mining."