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N E W S Off the beaten news cycle by Toby Youell and Emma Craig


25 mph

Image: Bob Kerr



Norwich: The Final Frontier

Storms thwart survivalist

Chartered surveyor and adventurer Nick Hancock has abandoned his attempt to survive on Rockall for 60 days, due to poor weather conditions. He had been planning to live on the remote rock in the Atlantic — 230 miles away from the Outer Hebrides — throughout June and July, but was forced to abandon the effort because the sea was too rough for him to land. He travelled to the lonely outpost by chartered ship at the end of May, which then circled for several hours before deciding it was too dangerous to berth. He tweeted his disappointment to followers that evening. Hancock had been hoping to raise money for military charity Help for Heroes by smashing two previous endurance records for living on the outcrop. The most successful attempt so far was a pair of Greenpeace activists who stayed on the island for 42 days in 1997. They installed a solar powered beacon which was washed away in a storm two years later.


The speed your food will be delivered to your table by a flying gadget in a London branch of Yo! Sushi

55 mph

The top speed of a lavatory built by Stamford plumber Colin Furze. Powered by a 140cc engine, Furze claims the vehicle is the world’s fastest loo

330 minutes

The duration of a flight between Perth and Kuala Lumpur. Sir Richard Branson dressed in drag and worked as a stewardess on the flight after losing a bet with rival tycoon Tony Fernandes

Daleks v Stormtroopers may sound like a B-movie that never got made, but an inter sci-fi dispute in Norwich this May got so serious the police had to be called in. The altercation broke out at a Norwich Star Wars Club convention after the treasurer of a rival group, the Norwich Sci-Fi Club, was refused entry. A bitter exchange took place in front of the event at the University of East Anglia between members of the groups, several of whom were in fancy dress. Sci-Fi treasurer Jim Poole had tried to enter in order to get an autograph from the Doctor Who actor Graham Cole, but was intercepted by the convention’s organiser, Richard Walker. The hosts had apparently already warned the Sci-Fi club

to stay away via comments on their Facebook page. University security had to be called, who in turn contacted the police to prevent a fight from breaking out. Police described the incident as “very minor”, adding that the two groups were “advised to stay away from each other”. Journalists at the Norwich Evening News reported that there is a long history of rivalry between the two groups. However, the latest incident has galvanised the fans to resolve their differences. Aside from the disagreement, the convention was a great success with over a thousand people attending. Walker vowed to continue his good work. He told a local paper that “We will be back next year with an even bigger and better fair.”

50 kg

The weight of a sack of coal carried by contestants at the World Coal Carrying Championship in West Yorkshire


Diameter of the world’s smallest type of apple, which went on sale at Marks & Spencer in June


The Eccentrist  
The Eccentrist  

A new quarterly magazine that offers a ‘meander away from the mainstream’ by documenting the more unusual and offbeat people, places and ide...