Long legs of the law fail to slow traffic

A bid to slow down traffic by installing life-sized cardboard cut-outs of mini-skirted policewomen has backfired.

The scheme, in the Czech Republic, has actually doubled accident rates by distracting male motorists.

The cardboard cut-outs were installed at busy junctions throughout the country to save cash on installing new traffic lights.

But local police say the accident rates have soared as men take their eyes off the road.

Motorist Petr Lederer – who complained to the country’s Interior Ministry after driving his car off the road – said: “The cut-outs are distracting. I mean, mini-skirts? In this weather?”

But a police service spokesman explained: “The cardboard WPCs are a way of saving money during the austerity cuts.”


Robots wait tables at new restaurant

Robot waitress /Quirky China News

A new restaurant where all of the waitresses are robots has opened in China.

The Dalu Rebot Restaurant, in Jinan, northern China’s Shandong Province, has six robot waitresses and can cater for up to 100 diners.

The 21 tables are set in circles and the robots follow a fixed route to serve diners in rotation.

After serving, the robots return to the kitchen to refill their cart for the next round.

Restaurant spokeswoman Wang Xianwei said that all of the waiting on tables was done by robots.

However, the food, mainly the Chinese version of fondue, was prepared by humans in the kitchen.

And people were also employed to welcome customers and explain to them how the restaurant worked.

The restaurant was developed by the Shandong Dalu Science and Technology Company which plans to further develop the concept.

Spokesman Zhang Yongpei said: “Next, we’ll develop robots which can climb stairs and help with kitchen chores like washing the dishes.

“And our waitresses will become more sophisticated so they can go direct to a customer’s table and even refill diners’ drinks.”


Stradivarius snatched from sandwich shop

Stradivarius /PA

A world-famous violinist had her £1.2m Stradivarius violin stolen when she stopped to buy a £2.95 sandwich for her lunch.

Internationally acclaimed violinist Min-Jin Kym was on her way to catch a train when opportunistic thieves struck, reports the Daily Telegraph.

They stole her 314-year-old Stradivarius violin along with a Peccatte bow worth £62,000 as she bought a sandwich at London’s Euston station.

Miss Kym, 32, had put her prized instrument – one of only 450 in the world – down as she chose her lunch at a branch of Pret A Manger.

Pret worker Hafid Salah told of Miss Kym’s panic when she realised her violin had vanished.

He said: “She and her friend were on computers and iPhones and not looking at their bags.

“She came up to me at the counter and said: “Have you seen my bag? Call the police. Can you get the CCTV? You have to do something”. She was really upset and panicking.”

Det Insp Andy Rose said: “These items hold enormous sentimental and professional value for the victim but although they are extremely valuable, it would be very difficult to sell them on as they are so rare and distinctive.”

South Korean-born Miss Kym has performed with some of the world’s leading orchestras and released Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major on the Sony label.

Insurers have offered a £15,000 reward for information leading to recovery of the violin and bows. It was on long-term loan to Miss Kym and it is not known who owns it.


Fancy dress bid to save the panda

Costume-clad keeper with cub /PA

Conservationists are dressing up in fluffy panda costumes to help prepare captive-born cubs to live in the wild.

They are anxious to ensure the endangered animals have as little contact with humans as possible, reports the Daily Mail.

So rather than being hand-reared, they are being brought up by their mothers in a piece of protected woodland.

Human help is always on hand, as their every move is monitored by CCTV. Their keepers can see in a moment if they need medicine or a health check-up.

But they make sure to slip into their panda suits before venturing anywhere near, as they are anxious their charges don’t become used to humans.

Keepers at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Centre in western China believe the costumes are vital if the cubs are to survive when finally released into the wild.

In 2006, Xiang Xiang, a five-year-old male, was freed after spending three years being taught survival skills such as foraging for food and marking his territory.

After initially appearing to be adjusting well, he died after getting into a fight with a group of wild pandas.

They are thought to have sensed something different about the human-reared interloper.

With fewer than 2,500 giant pandas living free in China, conservationists are desperate not to take any chances with the next group facing life in the wild.


Great gran’s a kung fu master at 82

Kung fu gran /Europics

An 82-year-old great grandmother has amazed fitness fans in China with her astonishing feats of kung fu.

Zhao Yufang performs her eye-watering feats of flexibility every day in a park near her home in the Chinese capital Beijing.

She is a master in Shaolin kung fu and T’ai Chi, and has also studied yoga for more than 70 years.

“I have always led a simple life. I gave up eating meat so long ago I cannot remember what it tastes like and I exercise for three hours a day,” she explained.

“When I was a girl no master would teach me kung fu so I taught myself – and then I went back to the school and beat the master until he apologised.”


Police: Woman bit off hubby’s tongue

SHEBOYGAN, Wis., Dec. 7 (UPI) — Police in Wisconsin said they arrested a woman who bit her 79-year-old husband’s tongue off during a kiss.Investigators said the Sheboygan man called 911 at about 11 p.m. Monday and an ambulance and police were dispatched to the home when operators had difficulty understanding the man, the Sheboygan (Wis.) Press reported Tuesday.

Officers said they arrived to find the man and his wife, 57, singing Christmas carols outside of their home. Sgt. Doug Teunissen said the man revealed half of his tongue had been bitten off by his wife while they were kissing inside shortly earlier.

The man was initially taken to the Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center and later transferred to Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Wauwatosa.

The man requested his wife not be arrested, but she was taken into custody on suspicion of mayhem-domestic violence.


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