x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Perfume claims to capture the scent of a well-read person

Plus running helps fat people stay drier in a rain shower, Venezuelans being encouraged to give up soda for grape juice and more of the week's strangest stories in News You Can Lose.

Described as "for book lovers", a new perfume recreates the scent of new books.

Paper Passion takes as its inspiration a remark by the fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld that "the smell of a freshly printed book is the best smell in the world".

The fragrance, which sells for Dh385 on various websites, comes in a box that resembles a hollowed-out book.


Heavy? Take a dry run

Fat people should run if they want to stay drier in a rain shower, while thin people should walk, a physicist has calculated.

The reason is that thinner people are less exposed to rain drops, according to an Italian professor, Franco Bocci.

However, the theory only holds good when the rain is blowing from the side, when larger pedestrians present a bigger target.

Writing in the European Journal of Physics, Professor Bocci admits at other times the best thing for everyone is to take shelter.


Old pearl of wisdom

A giant fossilised oyster dredged from the seabed off England may contain a prehistoric pearl the size of a golf ball.

Fishermen pulled up the oyster in their nets, with tests later showing it to be 145 million years old.

The oyster has since been put through an MRI scan, revealing what seems to be a huge pearl inside.

However, there are no plans to open the fossil because doing so would likely destroy the pearl.

One jewellery expert said: "To have a pearl the size of a golf ball would be exceptional, and the biggest that have been recorded are about half that size.

"However, if this shell were opened I think the beauty of the pearl would have gone."


Chavez: grape is great

Venezuelans have been told to give up Pepsi and Coca-Cola in favour of grape juice.

The calls comes from the country's left wing president, Hugo Chavez, who says that his people should consume Uvita, produced by a state-run company, rather than drinks made by global corporations.

In a televised speech, President Chavez told the nation that the switch would be better for their waistlines.


Army shelling, sort of

A contract for 4,000 bushels of empty oyster shells has been issued by the United States Army.

The military says that the shells, which would fill four lorries, must be "shucked and air dried". The successful bidder will be paid US$15,000 (Dh55,000).

The army's corps of engineers wants to use the shells for a wetlands restoration project in North Carolina.


No more mates

Australian male flight crew are to be retrained to stop them calling passengers "mate". Virgin Australia has introduced etiquette classes that will also teach the stewards not to fold their arms when facing passengers.

The changes are intended to give the airline a more refined image and help it compete in the international business market.

In future, flight crew will only be able to use the world "mate", if it has been specifically requested by passengers on the airline's frequent flyer database.