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StrangeSights: Feathers fly over pigeon’s fate in Australia; a tale of lost coins; and, inflatable ‘Trump Baby’ to live on…

Pigeons Thailand

DAVID ADAMS writes about the odder side of life…

Pigeons Thailand

We don’t think Joe is among them – pigeons photographed in Chiang Mai, Thailand. PICTURE: Duy Vo/Unsplash

Feathers were flying in Australia in the past week after news that a pigeon thought to have made an epic, 13,000 kilometre, journey from the US to the city of Melbourne would face the death penalty for its illegal incursion. The pigeon was discovered in the outer suburban backyard of Kevin Chelli-Bird and, because of a tag he was wearing, he was thought to have come from the US – last spotted at a race in Oregon several months ago. That news prompted authorities to request the bird’s capture and hand him over to be humanely killed due to the risks he had imported a disease (and even an intervention from Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack who said Joe could “either fly home or face the consequences”. But then came news the tag could be a forgery and that the bird was actually from Australia. News of the official reprieve was delivered to Mr Chelli-Bird on the weekend. “As long as he’s happy to stay there I’ll let him stay and if he chooses to fly off, he can do that too,” he told The Age.

Pity poor Stefan Thomas. An investor in Bitcoin, the San Francisco-based programmer had managed to stack up about $US220 million worth of the digital currency. But when he tried to log in back in 2012, he found he couldn’t remember the password. And, having lost the piece of paper on which he’d written it down, eight more attempts also proved fruitless. That means he now has just one more attempt which, if unsuccesful, would see the hard drive that contains his Bitcoin information, erase his data. The should-be multi millionaire, whose story went viral on the internet after it was recently revealed in a New York Times profile, said last week he was resigned to the fact he may never gain access to the money: “There were sort of a couple weeks where I was just desperate, I don’t have any other word to describe it,” he told ABC. “You sort of question your own self-worth. What kind of person loses something that important?”

The UK’s Museum of London has taken possession of a giant inflatable balloon depicting US President Donald Trump as a diaper-wearing baby. Created by British artist Matthew Bonner, the more than six metre tall ‘Trump Baby’ balloon was first spotted amid protests when the US President visited the UK in 2018 and has since been spotted multiple times. The museum said the balloon would form part of its protest collection which also features objects related to the Suffrage movement 100 years ago and other protestors. “By collecting the baby blimp we can mark the wave of feeling that washed over the city that day and capture a particular moment of resistance – a feeling still relevant today as we live through these exceptionally challenging times – that ultimately shows Londoners banding together in the face of extreme adversity,” Sharon Ament, the museum’s director, said in a statement.



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