Caught on camera
"Road workers have been caught on camera towing a car away in Tel Aviv – after painting a disabled parking space around the vehicle," reports Orange Co. U.K. "Hila Ben Baruch was ordered to pay [$265], plus towing costs, after being accused of illegally parking in the Israeli city. The angry motorist, who had parked near her apartment, later uncovered surveillance footage of the shocking incident and posted it on Facebook. 'You just see it and can't believe it,' she wrote on the social network where the video received hundreds of likes. 'Within five minutes they turned me into a criminal.' … Ben Baruch has since received an apology from the local city hall who waived the fine after admitting it was a 'serious error.'"
Aged albatross is a mom again
"The oldest known wild bird in the United States has hatched a chick – for the sixth year in a row," says NBCNews.com. "The Laysan albatross, named Wisdom, thought to be at least 62 years old, hatched a healthy-looking chick on Feb. 3, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of the Interior. Wisdom and her young chick inhabit Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge." She was first banded in 1956 while incubating an egg. At the time the albatross was estimated to be at least five years old. "This is the youngest these birds breed, though they more typically mate at age eight or nine after an involved courtship lasting several years. So she may be even older than 62 and is still breeding, according to the release."
Saved by bubble wrap
"Emergency responders in Boston said a construction worker who fell 30 feet (about nine metres) was spared serious injury when he landed on bubble wrap," reports United Press International. A spokesman for the Boston Fire Department said the 38-year-old worker fell off a building and landed in a pile of bubble wrap taken from the construction site's scaffolding. He said the worker became lodged in the bubble wrap and had to be cut free. The man suffered back and shoulder injuries from the fall, but they were not considered serious.
Get moving, boomers
"Listen up baby boomers: 'It's never too late to get off your duff and get moving,'" reports the New Scientist. "So says Dana King of West Virginia school of medicine in Morgantown, who has found that Americans born in the wake of the Second World War are less healthy than the previous generation. His team analyzed data from … 6,000 people who were around the age of 54 between 1988 and 1994, or 2007 and 2010. They found key differences in the health of the two groups. Over half of the later group [of baby boomers] didn't exercise at all, compared with 17 per cent of their forebears. Likewise, 39 per cent of baby boomers were obese, compared with 29 per cent of the previous generation."
Vulgar or plain-spoken?
"It commands your attention like … well, a swiftly directed boot to the rear," writes Jon Kelly of BBC News. "There are those who might consider the phrase obscene. But in the United States, the verb to 'kick ass' – like the adjective 'kick-ass' – is widely considered appropriate for general conversation. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in Kentucky, where a high-profile campaign has been launched to change the state's official slogan from 'Unbridled Spirit' to 'Kentucky Kicks Ass.' And why not, when both the current American president and his predecessor have happily gone on the record deploying the term?"
Thought du jour
"Language is a city to the building of which every human being brought a stone."
Ralph Waldo Emerson, American author (1803-82)