The Odd Side – May 26, 2015

British Public Asked What Creative Person Should Be On Next 20-Pound Note

LONDON – The British public will for the first time be able to help decide which historic figure — in this case a creative one — appears on the next version of the country’s 20-pound note, the Bank of England said on Tuesday.

The Bank of England regularly changes who appears on British currency.

One of Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s first public acts after he took office in July 2013 was to announce that writer Jane Austen would appear on the 10-pound note beginning in 2017. Making the Bank of England more transparent has been one of his main goals.

Carney said on Tuesday that the Bank of England would invite the public to nominate British artists, craftsmen, designers or directors who they would like to see on the 20-pound note, which currently shows economist Adam Smith.

“The design of these notes must command respect and legitimacy, and should inspire,” Carney said at London’s Victoria and Albert design museum.

The public can nominate British artists who are no longer living until July 19, and a decision will be made by a committee of Bank of England officials and art experts early next year.

Norwegians Hunt for Stolen Baby Penguins

OSLO – Norwegian police searched for three baby penguins stolen from an aquarium in a suspected student prank, with time running out for the tiny chicks that cannot survive long outside a nest.

Police charged five or six youths on Friday for endangering animals by breaking into the aquarium, based on video surveillance evidence, police investigator Rita Thoresen told Reuters.

“None of them admits taking the penguins,” she said.

More than 100 volunteers turned out to help the police search for the flightless birds in the countryside around the aquarium, Tor Erik Standal, head of the Aalesund Aquarium, said. The chicks are about three weeks old and weigh only around 300 grams (10 ounces) each.

“They will not be able to survive for much longer,” he said. “They should have been in their nest for maybe 2-3 more weeks before they go outside.”

South African Cyclist Hits Dead Buffalo in City Suburb

JOHANNESBURG (AP) – Cyclists in South Africa’s biggest city usually worry about getting hit by vehicles. But one cyclist rode into an unexpected obstacle in Johannesburg’s suburbs: a dead buffalo.

Andrew McLean said Friday that he damaged a ligament on his collarbone and broke his hand when he hit the buffalo carcass while riding downhill at up to 60 kilometers (37 miles) an hour in Fourways, a suburban area in northern Johannesburg. McLean said he didn’t have time to brake before the pre-dawn accident on May 6. Two cycling companions also crashed but were not seriously injured.

“It just looked like a huge shadow,” said McLean, a veteran cyclist who runs a chain of cycling stores. “At the last minute, I suddenly realized that this was more than a shadow.”

“I think the buffalo had been running and had died within a couple of minutes of us getting there,” McLean said.

A farmer or wildlife owner had reported weeks ago that a buffalo was missing from a property, but it was unclear whether it was the same buffalo, said Roleta Lebelo, spokeswoman for the provincial department of agriculture and rural development. She said her department checked for the threat of disease from the buffalo carcass, concluding there was no need for worry.

McLean said he had sometimes trained in rural areas where warthogs are common, and had expected he might collide with one at some point. But not a buffalo.

McLean described the episode as his “only in Africa” accident.