Weird news of the week (Jun 13-18)

PM Lee bumps into Merlion in Japan, Orange Is The New Black author calls prison pop-up "repulsive", and more of this week’s oddest news.

PM Lee meets a familiar face in Japan - the Merlion
PM Lee meets a familiar face in Japan - the Merlion
18 Jun 2016

PM Lee meets a familiar face in Japan - the Merlion

It is not uncommon for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to meet Singaporeans during his travels but this time, he bumped into a familiar face in Japan - the Merlion. In a Facebook post on Saturday (Jun 18), PM Lee posted a photo of a Merlion statue he saw at a kimono shop in Karuizawa. The owner of the shop told him that he used to visit the little red dot and liked the Singapore icon so much that he brought one back some 35 years ago to display in his shop. Mr Lee added that the shop has since passed to his descendants. “The business has been in the family for 18 generations (the signboard says 17, because it has not been updated)!”

Photo: PM Lee's Facebook 

Also read:
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Orange Is The New Black author calls prison food experience “repulsive”
Orange Is The New Black author calls prison food experience “repulsive”
17 Jun 2016

Orange Is The New Black author calls prison food experience “repulsive”

While Singaporeans were digging in to “prison grub” and immersing themselves in jail life, author of Orange Is The New Black, which the hit Netflix series is based on, has slammed the pop-up prison dining experience in Singapore, calling it “repulsive”. Piper Kerman told online magazine Jezebel that she was “not aware of this being Netflix, but you should ask them.”

On Thursday and Friday, OverEasy restaurant was transformed into Litchfield Penitentiary Cafeteria, where “inmates” had a taste of prison food such as Nutraloaf, an unappetising “disciplinary loaf” cooked up by Singapore chef Bjorn Shen – except this version, which was made with mushrooms, truffle oil and quinoa, was tastier than it looked. Known as the Litchfield Penitentiary Cafeteria experience, the free pop-up event, which was organised by Netflix to promote the fourth season of the series, was fully booked when it opened for reservations online earlier this month. 

Photos: Instagram/@xiaxue, @gloryngim, @soniachew, @paulfosterrr
 

Job title gaffe leaves IDA red-faced
Job title gaffe leaves IDA red-faced
18 Jun 2016

Job title gaffe leaves IDA red-faced

The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) was left red-faced after it posted the name of an employee who is vacating a position as the job title on major job search sites like Monster and JobsDB. A day after the ad titled “Replacement for Kenneth Yeo Wee” was posted, the Authority on Friday (June 17) apologised. “It was a mistake made by one of our HR team members, who was new to the recruitment publishing tool and accidentally published the employee’s name instead of the job title,” said IDA on its Facebook page.

“IDA has since apologised unreservedly to the employee concerned for this error, and we regret any unhappiness caused.”

IDA added that the HR staff officer who committed the error has been counselled. “We are reviewing our procedures to ensure that this does not happen again,” said the Authority.

This story first appeared on TODAY
Story by Wong Pei Ting

Germany coach apologises for ‘scratch and sniff’
Germany coach apologises for ‘scratch and sniff’
18 Jun 2016

Germany coach apologises for ‘scratch and sniff’

Germany's coach Joachim Löw apologised Wednesday after a video of him putting his hand down his pants and sniffing his fingers during his team's opening Euro 2016 match became an Internet sensation. He was also seen reaching down the back of his trousers and smelling his hands. “I saw the pictures as well and obviously sometimes you do things subconsciously. It happened and I am sorry,” said Joachim. “It was adrenaline and concentration. I will try to behave differently in the future.”

This is not the first time the 56-year-old’s gross antics have been caught on camera. During the 2010 World Cup, he was filmed picking his nose and then putting it in his mouth.

Video of driver deliberately causing hit-and-run on AYE goes viral
Video of driver deliberately causing hit-and-run on AYE goes viral
17 Jun 2016

Video of driver deliberately causing hit-and-run on AYE goes viral

A video of a car deliberately knocking down a motorcyclist on the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) on Monday has gone viral. The 34-second clip showed a grey Toyota Camry applying its brakes several times and straddling two lanes near the Clementi exit. When a motorcycle pulled up alongside it, the driver deliberately slowed down, swerved and struck it before speeding off. 

The video, which was posted on Thursday afternoon by Facebook user Zufar Khan, along with the vehicle’s license plate number - SKA1713J - has since been shared more than 5,000 times. According to a Channel 8 news report, a netizen who witnessed the incident said the driver had been playing the “braking game” since Clementi Avenue 6. A Singapore Civil Defence Force spokesman said the motorcyclist, a man in his 20s, had sustained minor injuries and refused to be taken to hospital. Police investigations are ongoing.

Photo: Channel8news.sg 

Could your USB fan be damaging your phone?
Could your USB fan be damaging your phone?
17 Jun 2016

Could your USB fan be damaging your phone?

Miniature USB fans, which can be plugged into smartphones for instant respite from the heat, are all the rage in Hong Kong thanks to their size, convenience and low cost. However recently, many netizens have taken to the Internet to slam the device, warning that it could damage one’s mobile phone. Some complaints include phones restarting on their own and unresponsive touchscreens. In addition, HK01 also reported that mobile phone repair shops are also seeing an influx of customers complaining about their phones slowing down or becoming prone to freezing after using the fans.

Though convenient, an expert has advised against plugging them into mobile phones, which are not equipped to provide the power needed by the portable fans and could short circuit. Instead, he recommended using external batteries such as power banks.

Photo: Oriental Daily

Ostrich disrupts traffic on KL highway
Ostrich disrupts traffic on KL highway
17 Jun 2016

Ostrich disrupts traffic on KL highway

Traffic came to a halt on Thursday afternoon after a runaway ostrich dashed down Kuala Lumpur’s Federal Highway. The roadrunner, named Chickaboo, caused a stir when it jumped out of a truck through an opened window while it was being transported, and sprinted towards the highway. According to an eyewitness, some curious drivers slowed down to take a closer look but the bird ran afowl and ended up blocking five lanes as it kept switching lanes. After about an hour, Chickaboo was cornered by two rescuers and reunited with its owner Darren Chow. Darren said he was taking Chickaboo back to the farm where he purchased her when she escaped and thanked good Samaritans who helped recapture her.

Photo: Instagram/@jeffsandhu
 

Man falls in love with birth mother after reuniting
Man falls in love with birth mother after reuniting
17 Jun 2016

Man falls in love with birth mother after reuniting

A UK teen who tracked down his mother after being separated for 14 years, has fallen in love with her. Shane Burke, 19, reunited with his mother, Rose Bestall, who was forced to give him up for adoption when he was five, after contacting her via Facebook. However after staying with her for a few weeks, Shane developed romantic feelings towards Rose and eventually confessed his love for her. Though Rose acknowledged that Shane’s feelings were “inappropriate”, she didn’t want to push him away. The pair are now working on a normal relationship but Shane has yet to call her mum.

Photo: INGimages/CLICK PHOTOS

Visitors outraged when man jumps into pond to collect lucky water
Visitors outraged when man jumps into pond to collect lucky water
17 Jun 2016

Visitors outraged when man jumps into pond to collect lucky water

Visitors at the 1,200-year-old Kiyomizu shrine in Kyoto were outraged when a Chinese tourist leapt into the pond in the main hall of the temple to fill up on sacred water last Friday. According to Macau Concealer, while tourists were queueing to take a sip of the water, the middle-aged man jumped straight in to fill his bottle. The water, which comes from three separate streams and flows into the pond, is said to have therapeutic properties and aids the drinkers in their love life, studies and longevity. But like everything else, it should be taken in moderation – in fact the more water you take, the less it helps with your luck. Guess things will not be going so smoothly for someone this year. 

52 monkeys crushed to death after tree falls
52 monkeys crushed to death after tree falls
17 Jun 2016

52 monkeys crushed to death after tree falls

More than 50 monkeys were crushed to death after a huge tree, which was in the lawn of a school in the Chanthaburi province of Thailand, fell on Tuesday morning. The bodies of 52 long-tailed macaque, which were found dead on the ground, were taken away for burial, while the school has sought help from provincial officials to care for the injured monkeys.

While the school’s director, Rangsan Kumtrakul, was saddened by the sudden death of so many animals, he noted that it was lucky that the incident happened in the early hours of the day or students could have been hurt too. As for the cause of the collapse, he suspects that recent heavy rains might have softened the ground where the tree stood, causing it to topple.
 

Huge 2,000-year-old butter discovered in Ireland – and it is still edible
Huge 2,000-year-old butter discovered in Ireland – and it is still edible
17 Jun 2016

Huge 2,000-year-old butter discovered in Ireland – and it is still edible

A huge 10kg ball of butter, believed to be some 2,000 years old, has been found buried underground in a bog in Ireland. Discovered 3.6 metres underground by a turf cutter, it is believed that the mound of butter, which was considered a luxury item then, was buried as an offering to the gods. Though it smells a little funky, like “very strong cheese”, experts believe it is still edible, though it would advise against it. The prehistoric butter has been handed over to the National Museum in Dublin where it will go on display.

Photo: Twitter

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