Royal Mail postbox

PICTURE: Courtesy Royal Mail Group

Think your postbox is singing at you? That may well be the case in the UK where the Royal Mail is introducing four "singing mailboxes" to mark the Christmas season. The special postboxes - where are adorned with snowflakes - burst into a preprogrammed "ditty" when someone posts a letter including the sound of sleigh bells and a greeting from Father Christmas. The boxes are located in Greenwich, London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast and will be in place throughout the Christmas season.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is straightening up. One of the engineers charged with monitoring the restoration of the 845-year-old Italian monument has reported that the 57 metre high tower has straightened by four centimetres over the past 17 years. It had previously been closed for 11 years over safety fears when its tilt had reached 4.5 metres - it's since been straightened by more than 40 centimetres. 

Odder world records this week included that awarded to a US school for assembling a chain of pipe-cleaners measuring some 18 kilometres long. Guinness World Records said the Las Vegas-based Eileen Brookman Elementary School set the record in March when more than 700 of the students helped create the chain. The school had previously set the record for the longest continuous chain of glow sticks. We also have to mention the setting of a new record for the largest scrambled eggs ever cooked - 2,466 kilograms - and one set by a Nepalese teenager who performed a solo dance routine for 126 hours. Whew!