Sheffield Cathedral

Sheffield Cathedral in England. PICTURE: grassrootsgroundswell (licensed under CC BY 2.0)

A library book borrowed from a British cathedral some 300 years ago has finally been returned - not that there's still a library to return it to. The book, a 1704 reprinting of The Faith and Practice of a Church of England Man, arrived in the mail last week along with a note from a woman explaining its origins, according to Rev Canon Keith Farrow, vice dean and canon missioner at Sheffield Cathedral. "It has come back to us because a lady in Wales, whose godmother passed away, found it amongst her belongings. In her will was the bequest that it should return to Sheffield Cathedral," he told Sheffield newspaper The Star. He said the cathedral's library was dismantled in 1800 and went on to note that the late fees from the book - which have been waived - could buy the cathedral "a new roof".

A man in the US state of Michigan made a rather ununsual discovery under his home's back stairs - more than 150 bowling balls. David Olson was reportedly taking apart the stairs behind his home in Muskegon early this month when he noticed a spherical object in the sand. "That was one of the bowling balls," he told the Detroit Free Press. "I didn't think a whole lot of it. I was kind of assuming maybe there were just a couple in there just to fill in. The deeper I got into it the more I realised it was just basically an entire gridwork of them making up the weight in there." The house was built in 1959 during a period when the Brunswick Bowling Products factory was still operating in the community (it since relocated to Mexico). Former employees at the plant told Olson that it was common practice for workers to take unusable balls home to use as a substitute for gravel or sand in construction projects. Mystery solved.

This is no plastic spade and bucket job. A group of artists in Denmark built what's believed to be the world's tallest sandcastle in the coastal city of Brokhus. Led by Netherlands artist Wilfred Stijgerk, the team of more than 30 artists used 5,000 tons of specially prepared sand (not to mention some heavy equipment) to create the elaborately decorated sand castle. It reportedly stood a monumental 21.16 metres high, 3.5 metres higher than the previous record of 17.66 metres set in Germany in 2019.