x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Uhh ... how come this mummy says 'Made in China'?

The offbeat news of the week, from gift store loot mistaken for antiquities to a restaurant entering the handbag business with its beef.

Dumbest looters in Cairo

made off with cheap copies of the treasures in the Egyptian Museum because they failed to realise they had broken into the gift shop.

Taking advantage of the removal of police from the area, the thieves climbed over walls and forced open doors to the museum shop.

With priceless artefacts just a few metres away, they made off instead with tourist souvenirs.

Zahi Hawass, the head of Egypt's antiquities department, said: "I'm glad that those people were idiots. They looted the museum shop. Thank God they thought that the museum shop was the museum."

 

Bag a steak and a bag

A restaurant chain in New York has begun selling handbags made from the hides of cows that provide its steaks.

Prices range from US$300 (Dh1,100) to $400 and the bags are sold exclusively to customers who have eaten the animals at Marlow & Sons.

The owners say the range of bags is to "honour" the animals. Kate Huling, the designer, who is married to the one of the owners, said:

"You can eat a burger, and that animal sacrifice for you is just gone. Whereas with the bag, that's something that can last for generations and generations."

There are now plans to expand the range to belts, wallets, rabbit fur hats and lambswool sweaters.

 

Very confined in a cell

A prisoner described as "a giant" has been refused permission to move out of his Dutch cell because it is too small.

The inmate, named as "Angelo MacD", had asked to serve the remainder of his two-year sentence for fraud under house arrest.

Weighing 230kg and 2.07 metres tall, he had complained of problems sleeping and using the toilet. His lawyer, Bas Martens, said his client is a giant straight out of the comic books "a metre wide and a metre deep".

But a Dutch appeal court ruled that although the cell conditions were cramped they were not "inhumane".

 

Wikipedia for robots

Scientists in Europe say a new network, called RoboEarth, will allow robots to update data as soon as they complete a task.

The idea is to help the machines learn from the experiences of others, according to Markus Waibel of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

"Wikipedia is something that humans use to share knowledge, that everyone can edit, contribute knowledge to and access. Something like that does not exist for robots, " he said.

 

Sainsbury's is all heart

The British supermarket chain Sainsbury's has grown cucumbers in specially shaped moulds to create a heart shape when sliced.

A spokeswoman for the supermarket said: "Valentine's Day carries such an element of surprise we hope this year's 'fun love' cucumber will get hearts racing, whether it's in a romantic packed lunch or a lovingly prepared salad."

jlangton@thenational.ae