News flashes that overtake and tackle you


News flashes that overtake and tackle you

ALI VAN WYK looks at the arbitrary side of your week in memes, videos and obscure news stories.

DR Mpho Rabada, father of ace Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, had a unique way of celebrating his son's boundary from the second-last ball of their match against the West Indies in the T20 World Cup. The Proteas won by three wickets.

How does the saying go? If you want to be a toffee apple, don't complain if you get licked. Jamie Bhatti, loosehead prop of Glasgow Warriors and Scotland, celebrated a smug message to visiting teams at Loftus. The Warriors surprised the Bulls 21-16 last Saturday in the URC final at Loftus, 1,350m above sea level.

Financial Times journalist Edward Luce posted this photo as a comment eight years after the Brexit referendum (June 23, 2016). It is uncertain who the clever photographer was, but the image has been shared millions of times on social media. The Museum of Modern Art part is just a bit of fun.

In anticipation of the British general election on July 4, political comedian John Oliver (if you don't know who that is, ask Dan Roodt) has reached new heights of levity.

Remaining on the British political agenda, here's a golden oldie of Nigel Farage talking to a caller…

2024, a space oddity?

A mysterious, shiny metal monolith of just under two metres was removed by the Las Vegas police from a mountain range near the neon city in Nevada. The monolith was discovered over the weekend near Gass Peak in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, a reserve where bighorn sheep and desert tortoises roam. The police removed the monolith to head off a rush of curious people who might have polluted and trampled the environment. Similar structures have appeared around the world since 2020, including in the Red Rock desert in Utah, Central California, Romania and on the famous Fremont Street in Las Vegas. The monolith is in safe keeping.

Tree hugger

An environmental activist and forestry student from Ghana, Abubakar Tahiru, has set a new Guinness World Record for hugging the most trees in an hour. Abu hugged 1,123 trees in Tuskegee National Forest in Alabama, US. He is pursuing his master's degree in forestry at Auburn University. What makes the feat even more special is that Abubakar did it during the month of Ramadan, which prevented him from drinking water during the attempt. The purpose of the exercise was to make people more aware of the critical role of trees in our ecosystem. — Modern Ghana

Trunk tips

French researchers from Sorbonne University have studied the tip of an elephant's trunk as a model to build better robotic “hands" with a gentle grip — the field is known as bio-inspired technology. Building “soft pincers" for robots to work with fruit, perform medical operations or handle fragile items on production lines is one of the biggest challenges of robotics. An elephant's trunk, consisting only of muscles and nerves, is at once one of the strongest and one of the most sensitive animal limbs. The tip consists of two “fingers" that can change shape and are highly versatile. They are powerful (squeezing at 86.4 Newtons, much more than a human hand), accurate and delicate.The Conversation

Like the old farm schools

A new educational idea, the micro-school, has taken hold in the US. The National Microschooling Centre reckons there are about 95,000 micro-schools in America, with more than a million pupils. These statistics have roughly doubled since the Covid pandemic. There are typically fewer pupils in the whole school than there are in a classroom in a state school. The schools are largely unregulated and operate under the same kind of legislation that allows home schooling. Many of the schools are, in fact, home schools of more than one family together. Most of them are connected to Christian or conservative political communities but children with special needs, such as autism, also benefit in many cases. The New York Times

Is it you, Rasta?

A fresh uproar broke out around the singer who was chosen to sing South Africa's national anthem before the Springboks' Test against Wales last Saturday at Twickenham in London. Herculus Smith, from Pretoria, struggled through Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika with questionable intonation, was at times out of step with the soundtrack, and his style was a mixture of opera and R&B. He also seemed to forget the words. He attracted sharp criticism and commentators referred to his “pimp outfit". Christiaan le Roux commented on Facebook: “I don't know, but I swear it's a Thaba ’Nchu Sun doorman jacket". Smith defended himself by saying he was caught off guard when a different soundtrack started playing than the one he had rehearsed with.

♦ VWB ♦

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