Estate agent's ploy has sting in the tail
In an attempt to clear tenants from a building he was hoping to redevelop, a Shanghai estate agent released hundreds of scorpions into their homes.
Residents reported scorpions crawling around their flats, including one man who woke to find one on his body. Witnesses later reported seeing a man emptying a bucket into the windows of apartments after leaving the offices of the company that was hoping to demolish the building. Police were said to be investigating.
New tongue for Jagger
Mick Jagger is to sing in Sanskrit for his next release. The Rolling Stones singer has joined forces with the Oscar-winning Indian musician A R Rahman for the single Satyameva Jayate. Jagger is a guest with the group SuperHeavy, comprising of Dave Stewart, Joss Stone and Damian Marley.
Brief liberty for lobsters
Buddhist monks travelled to a fish market in Gloucester, Massachusetts, to purchase 534 lobsters that they then released back into the ocean.
The monks freed the lobsters after cutting the bands around their claws and sprinkling them with holy water. A local blog stated the crew of the fishing vessel Degelyse later laid traps at the release site, catching 534 lobsters.
Row threat to rare language
A rare Mexican language could soon disappear because the only two people who can speak it have fallen out.
Manuel Segovia, 75, and Isidro Velazquez, 69, are said to be the last people in the world to be fluent in Ayapaneco, an ancient language which predates the Spanish conquest.
However, following an argument, the two men are refusing to talk to each other.
Mr Segovia is described as "prickly" by Daniel Suslak, an American linguist who is trying to create a dictionary of Ayapaneco. Mr Velazquez is said to be "more stoic" but does not like to go out.
Tsunami split ice shelf
Large chunks of Antarctic ice have broken free as a result of the Japanese tsunami in March.
Satellite photographs now show giant icebergs from 125 square kilometres of ice broken free from a shelf that had been stable for almost half a century, a report in the Journal of Glaciology stated.
It reported that the tsunami "provided the fracture mechanism needed to trigger the first calving event from the ice shelf in 46 years".
Bid for meat-free Mars
Animal rights activists have called for Mars to become a vegan planet when it is colonised by humans.
The entrepreneur Elon Musk has pledged to launch a manned mission to Mars in two decades using his commercial SpaceX craft and establish a self-sustaining colony on the planet.
Now the organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling for Mr Musk to make the planet meat-free by insisting that his pioneers travel there with only vegan food.
Published: August 13, 2011 04:00 AM