Anthology

Tokyo’s 1964 Olympic flame went out four years ago

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The “sacred” flame from Tokyo’s 1964 Olympics was meant to burn forever… but an embarrassed official has revealed that it actually went out four years ago.

Before the 1964 Games, the flame, lit in Olympia, Greece, wound its way through 10 countries before landing in Okinawa.

It was then divided and sent to the cities of Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Chitose.

The flame in Kagoshima was kept in a a sports training facility where it remained without incident for many years.

But the flame found its way back into the spotlight in September 2013, when Japan’s capital was awarded the right to host the 2020 Games.

An official, who – perhaps understandably – asked to remain anonymous, has admitted to AFP news agency that the flame actually went out a few months later, in November 2013.

“At that time, I could not say something that could destroy (people’s) dreams,” said the man, who had been in charge of the facility at the time.

“I saw with my own eyes that the flame went out on 21 November.

“We re-lit the fire and kept it going for about two weeks but I thought that was not good.”

This was only a few months after Japan had won the right to host the 2020 Games, and the flame’s fame was at its peak.

Olympic flame torchbearer Yoshinori Sakai mounts the steps to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympic Games at the National Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, 10th October 1964
Image:Sakai mounts the steps to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympic Games

He said: “We kept receiving a number of requests from various people to use the sacred flame for town festivals and weddings.

“I decided to come clean.”

Mitsuru Horinouchi, an official in Kagoshima, also confirmed to AFP that the flame went out for good in November 2013.

There is now a different flame in its place, lit by a magnifying glass and sunlight in December 2013 and kept in a camp site.

Nearby is a panel that explains the sad fate of its predecessor.

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Chocolate teacake travels to space

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Terry, a Tunnock’s teacake made of marshmallow and chocolate, was lifted into the atmosphere and reached a peak altitude of 37,007 metres.

Around 33,000 people watched a livestream of the event on Facebook.

They witnessed the teacake gliding over the curve of planet earth, the sun peeking from the darkness of space, before falling back through the atmosphere.

It landed in a tree in Galloway Forest Park and was described as “pretty intact” on impact.

The teacake was attached to a weather balloon for its journey, which was made possible by the Glasgow Science Centre.

“We are delighted by how many people joined us at GSC, and online, to watch Terry’s space adventures,” GSC chief executive Dr Stephen Breslin said.

“We engage people with space science every day, and we thought what better way to spark people’s imaginations and interest in STEM than for us to launch something into space ourselves.”

To demonstrate the conditions of outer space, scientists subjected teacakes to several training exercises.

The snack was placed in liquid nitrogen to simulate freezing temperatures, kept in an airless jar similar to a low-pressure, high-altitude environment, and melted with a blowtorch.

Glasgow Science Centre described the variety of teacake as “Scotland’s favourite snack”.

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Man saved after fish jumps down his throat

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The 28-year-old angler went into cardiac arrest after the Dover sole, which he had just caught, jumped into his mouth on Boscombe pier in Dorset on 5 October.

Joking with friends, he had put the fish over his mouth but it wriggled free and jumped in, blocking his throat completely.

Paramedics arrived within minutes to find the man’s friends giving him CPR after he had collapsed and stopped breathing.

“We were told he had a whole fish stuck in his windpipe,” said Martyn Box, from South Western Ambulance Service (SWAS).

The paramedics managed to restore his pulse after discovering his heart had stopped, but despite using artificial ventilation could not get oxygen into his lungs.

SWAS paramedic Matt Harrison said they knew time was very short.

“It was clear that we needed to get the fish out or this patient was not going to survive the short journey to Royal Bournemouth Hospital,” said Mr Harrison.

He used a laryngoscope to fully extend the mouth and a pair of forceps to “dislodge the tip of the tail”.

“Very carefully, so as not to break the tail off, I tried to remove it, although the fish’s barbs and gills were getting stuck on the way back up,” explained Mr Harrison.

“I was acutely aware that I only had one attempt at getting this right, as if I lost grip or a piece broke off and it slid further out of sight then there was nothing more that we could have done…

“Eventually after six attempts the fish came out in one piece and to our amazement it was a whole Dover sole, measuring approximately 14cm in length.”

The patient – who has not been named – suffered no lasting effects and has made a full recovery.

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Angler ‘kissed’ fish that ‘swam down his throat’

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The 28-year-old angler went into cardiac arrest after the Dover sole, which he had just caught, jumped into his mouth on Boscombe pier in Dorset on 5 October.

Joking with friends, he had put the fish over his mouth but it wriggled free and jumped in, blocking his throat completely.

Paramedics arrived within minutes to find the man’s friends giving him CPR after he had collapsed and stopped breathing.

“We were told he had a whole fish stuck in his windpipe,” said Martyn Box, from South Western Ambulance Service (SWAS).

The paramedics managed to restore his pulse after discovering his heart had stopped, but despite using artificial ventilation could not get oxygen into his lungs.

SWAS paramedic Matt Harrison said they knew time was very short.

“It was clear that we needed to get the fish out or this patient was not going to survive the short journey to Royal Bournemouth Hospital,” said Mr Harrison.

He used a laryngoscope to fully extend the mouth and a pair of forceps to “dislodge the tip of the tail”.

“Very carefully, so as not to break the tail off, I tried to remove it, although the fish’s barbs and gills were getting stuck on the way back up,” explained Mr Harrison.

“I was acutely aware that I only had one attempt at getting this right, as if I lost grip or a piece broke off and it slid further out of sight then there was nothing more that we could have done…

“Eventually after six attempts the fish came out in one piece and to our amazement it was a whole Dover sole, measuring approximately 14cm in length.”

The patient – who has not been named – suffered no lasting effects and has made a full recovery.

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Van wedged into cottage wall after crash

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The vehicle flew over a hedge after coming off the road on a bend.

The driver, a 34-year-old man, has been arrested and is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Val Fossey, who has lived in the house for 14 years, told the BBC she heard a noise “like an earthquake” when the van smashed into her property.

“This van came flying over a hedge and crashed into our hall and kitchen,” she said.

“If I had (not) left the room I don’t know what would have happened.”

The thatched cottage – in the village of Maulden – is a listed building.

Luckily, it has been found to be structurally safe and nobody was hurt, but Mrs Fossey and her husband are yet to learn when they will be allowed to return home.

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‘Shark’ cautioned under Austria’s burka ban

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The worker had donned a furry suit with a shark’s head for a hat to advertise the opening of a branch of computer store McShark in Vienna.

The Anti-Mask Act, prohibiting full-face coverings including headwear worn by some Muslims, came into force on 1 October.

The law states faces must be visible from the hairline to the chin in public places.

Off-piste ski masks, surgical masks outside of hospitals and party masks are included.

But the law, which is popularly known as the “burka ban”, is mostly seen as aimed at the conservative Islamic clothing.

A page from the McShark Facebook page showing the man in the shark costume
Image:A page from the McShark Facebook page showing the man in the shark costume

Those who break the law can be fined €150 and police are allowed to use force to make people show their faces.

The man arrested was apparently dancing outside the store at the time police arrived, according to Heute newspaper.

He is understood to have refused several requests to take off his shark’s head.

Heute said he told police he was only doing his job.

The managing director of the advertising agency responsible for the campaign, Eugen Prosquill, told the newspaper he was not aware the new law applied to mascots.

“It would be a pity if there were no mascots left,” he said.

Austria’s “burka ban” came after similar restrictions were brought in across France and Belgium and partial bans introduced in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

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Pumpkin air freshener prompts school evacuation

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A hazardous materials response team was called to Cristo Rey Jesuit School in Baltimore, Maryland, after two students and three adults were taken to hospital with upset stomachs.

Several people also reported difficulty breathing.

Firefighters sourced the offending stench to a classroom on the third floor and, specifically, to a pumpkin spice plug-in air freshener.

Fire spokesman Roman Clark confirmed that five people had been taken to hospital for stomach ailments.

Panic over, classes resumed the next day.

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Holey cow: Animal gets stuck down sinkhole

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Writing on its Facebook page, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said the animal had reached an “inescapabull position”.

A specialist technical rescue team was called to the Norwood Green area, near Bradford, to help with the re-moo-val.

Pic: West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image:Fire crews working to rescue the animal. Pic: West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

The service said: “Crews and the farmer managed to dig a hole around the trapped cow and once the hole was big enough they used a lifting sling to cow-ordinate the animal out of the hole.

“The cow was rescued unharmed.”

Social media users praised the firefighters for their work.

One said: “Good work everyone. Heroes without a cape. I can see why my son wants to be just like you one day.”

Pic: West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image:The cow was rescued unharmed. Pic: West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

Another said: “Well done to you all, what kindness there was to save this cow.

“My heart goes out to you all. Thank god we have folks like you that care.”

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Tin of soup – 46 years old – donated to foodbank

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The “Ready to Serve” Heinz kidney soup still bears its original price sticker and would cost 10d, meaning it was sold before decimalisation in 1971.

The Green Giants niblets corn cost eight pence, according to the package design.

Charity workers believe people wanted to be generous by donating items but may not have realised they were out of date.

Helen Bull, from Cardiff Foodbank where the tins were handed in, said: “Probably what’s happened is that it is harvest time and lots of people clean out their cupboards and donate items that they have never used and don’t really look at them.

“Unfortunately what sometimes happens is that when an older person dies the family will clean out the cupboards and they want to donate and don’t necessarily realise that it was out of date.”

Cardiff Foodbank, which handed out 14,189 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis in 2016, tweeted about the find: “It’s a record!! Never had a donation to @CardiffFoodbank with 10d on before! @HeinzUK”

Heinz responded by saying: “Wow! That soup was discontinued over 35 years ago. Should be in a museum rather than a food bank! :)”

Ms Bull, who said it costs between £80,000-£100,000 to run the foodbank each year, added the charity had to waste a lot of food which was out of date.

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Giant python fried up after fight with villagers

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Robert Nababan almost lost his arm when he attempted to catch the 25.6ft (7.8m) snake after discovering it on an oil palm plantation in the Batang Gansal district of Sumatra.

Undeterred by its huge size, police say he tried to capture it and stuff it into a sack.

However, the snake fought back and sunk its fangs into his left arm, nearly severing it from his body.

His life was saved when another guard and locals intervened, with one person clubbing the snake with a log.

The snake. Pic: AFP PHOTO / BATANG GANSAL POLICE
Image:Security guard Robert Nababan was treated in hospital being bitten. Pic: AFP/ Batang Gansal Police

Mr Nababan was taken to hospital for treatment after the attack on Saturday.

“The python was 7.8m long, it was unbelievably huge,” said local police chief Sutarja.

Locals later strung up the snake between two trees, before chopping it up and frying it for food.

Giant pythons are common in Indonesia and in March the body of a farmer was found whole inside one of the snakes when police sliced it open.

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