Swiss Guards

Swiss Guards with the old helmets. PICTURE: © Pietro Naj-Oleari/European Union 2011 PE-EP (licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Vatican's colourful Swiss Guard - who have protected popes for more than 500 years - have swapped their metal helmets for plastic ones made on 3D printers. The new helmets were distributed last week in a measure aimed at ensuring not only that the guards have cooler heads (the new helmets don't heat up as much as the old ones) but also lighter burdens upon them (the new helmets only weigh 570 grams compared to the two kilograms the older ones did). The helmets are almost identical to the previous helmets but now bear the arms of Pope Julius II, who first used the guards - formed in 1506 - for his personal protection. The Swiss Guard number about 110 men and only wear their striped uniforms of yellow, red and blue at official papal services and during visits by heads of state.

It's cold in the US state of Indiana; so cold, in fact, that police in one town have declared crime off limits until the big freeze is over. Officers at the Noblesville Police Department wrote on the force's Facebook page that due to the "extreme cold temperatures for the next few days...[a]ll crime and illegal activities in Noblesville and the surrounding areas, will be prohibited until further notice". They added that those who fail to comply may face a fine or even jail time and added that "once the weather improves we will be sending out a formal notice via certified mail when illegal activies can resume". "If you do not receive your formal notice you cannot participate in any criminal endeavors. We appreciate your cooperation during this extreme weather." They added a couple of hashtags including #letsseeifthisreallyworks. We pray it does!

A Budapest cafe has some unusual waiting staff - robots. The Enjoy Budapest Cafe, which is reportedly owned by an IT company, features a fleet of robots which are tasked with various roles - everything from serving food and drinks to making small talk, telling jokes and entertaining children. 'Pepper', a receptionist robot, can even dance with customers. The aim of the cafe is reportedly to help familiarise people with advances in artificial intelligence.