x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Woman not monkeying around about banana peel lawsuit

Woman in California slips on banana peel and sues store, plus other oddities from around the world

After slipping on a banana peel, a woman is suing for damages and her medical expenses.

Ida Valentine has brought the action against the 99 Cents Only store in Ventura, California, where the accident took place.

Mrs Valentine, 58, says she suffered tissue damage and a herniated disk needing US$9,000 (Dh33,000) in medical bills. She also wants compensation for her suffering.

The image of slipping on banana skins is believed to date from the 19th century when they became a popular street food.

An editorial in Harper's Weekly in 1879 complained: "Whosoever throws banana skins on the sidewalk does a great unkindness to the public, and is quite likely to be responsible for a broken limb."

Peugeot with provenance

An anonymous buyer has paid US$2.5 million (Dh9.2m) for a 1977 Peugeot 504 once owned by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran.

The white, four-door saloon was put up for sale by auction, with the proceeds going to a project to build homes for poorer families.

Iran's State Welfare Organisation says the car attracted bids from around the world, including Europe, Asia and the United States, but was eventually sold to an anonymous buyer.

A lawyer for the purchaser said his client "bought the car because of a personal interest in President Ahmadinejad and his spirit of anti-arrogance and anti-Zionism".

A tractor for short hauls

Tractor beams that pull objects or people towards them could soon move from science fiction to reality, according to researchers in China and Hong Kong.

A particular form of laser, known as Bessel beam, would exert a backward force when pointed at an object head on, the group of physicists believes.

However, the beam would probably only work over short distances.

UFO pilot needs translator

Russian air-traffic controllers say they have encountered an unidentified flying object piloted by an alien who spoke to them in a "cat language".

The craft was said to have burst onto the radar at a speed of more than 9,000kph over the Siberian city of Yakutsk. It changed direction rapidly at an altitude of 19,000 metres before vanishing.

A controller told a passing Aeroflot plane: "I kept hearing some female voice, as if a woman was saying miaow-miaow all the time."

Rocky the boulder for sale

A man whose house was badly damaged by a boulder in the recent New Zealand earthquake has put the giant rock up for sale.

Weighing 30 tonnes, the boulder, nicknamed "Rocky", is lodged in the living room of Phil Johnson's home in Christchurch.

Mr Johnson has offered the boulder on a local internet trading site and says he has already received a bid of NZ$1,000 (Dh2,375). His advert notes that Rocky "is in pristine condition [just a little bit of concrete dust]. Suitable for garden feature, or as in our case a magnificent addition to your living area."

All proceeds will go to earthquake relief charities, but the buyer will have to remove the boulder.