x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

The case of the man with one footprint

One-legged man caught in burglary after police follow footprint ... and other news you can lose.

A man with one leg was tracked down and arrested after leaving a series of single footprints at the scene of a burglary.

David Philips, who has one leg amputated at the knee, had stolen computers and jewellery during a series of robberies in Dundee, Scotland. Police were able to identify him by the lone prints next to indentations left by his crutch.

One detective said: "By the time he left a trail in the mud, even Inspector Clouseau might have managed to collar him."

Mr Philips's lawyer said his client was "hoping a prosthetic leg will be available soon which will enable him to lead a more active life".

 

Make mine a Caesar salad

After excavating more than 700 sacks of excrement from the sewers of an ancient city, archaeologists have concluded that the Romans liked their vegetables.

The team of scientists were investigating the digestive habits of the citizens of Herculaneum, which was destroyed by the same volcanic eruption as Pompeii, 2,000 years ago.

The excrement was found in an 86-metre-long tunnel and is thought to be the largest heap of dung ever discovered from Roman times.

The results show that the Romans ate a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables. They also discovered 60 coins, a lamp and a gold ring with a precious stone that appeared to have been lost in the sewers.

 

Man takes Mazda for a ride

After stopping a small white van because it was driving erratically, police officers in Germany discovered a Mazda 626 saloon car that was wedged sideways in its interior.

The driver, Konstanty Krol, from Kazakhstan, explained that he was trying to take the car to his home country and wanted to save costs.

With the help of friends he had pushed the car into the van, wedging a mattress underneath to protect the paintwork.

Police impounded both the car and the van until the owner could arrange for a proper car transporter.

 

Asterix and brain trauma

An analysis of the violence subjected to characters in the Asterix comic books has shown more than 700 traumatic head injuries likely to cause severe brain damage or even death.

A paper in the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies reports that most of the victims appeared to recover quickly and with no apparent serious consequences.

The majority of the victims were Romans, the team from Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, says, with 402 attacks perpetrated by just two characters, the Gauls Asterix and Obelix.

Using the standard Glasgow coma scale, the researchers estimate that 390 victims suffered severe trauma while nearly 200 exhibited hypoglossal paresis as shown by "an outstretched or sideward pointing tongue".

The longest time to recover was taken by the druid Getafix, after suffering a "massive force" when a ceremonial stone known as a menhir fell on his head.

jlangton@thenational.ae