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StrangeSights – ‘Holy grail’ of Lego pieces found; Beer Party makes a splash in Austria; and, metal detecting pays off…

DAVID ADAMS provides a round-up of some stories on the odder side of life…

A 13-year-old boy has found what he called the “holy grail” of Lego pieces – a small black octopus – after a two year hunt on a Cornish beach. Liutauras Cemolonskas, who reportedly found the piece on a beach in Marazion, regularly trawls beaches near his house looking for Lego pieces washed up on shore after almost five million pieces were washed into the sea when a container filled with them was among 62 which fell off a ship in February, 1997. While there were tens of thousands of some pieces among the cargo, only 4,200 of the octopus pieces were on board, making them a rare find. Liutauras has found almost 800 piece since he started looking with the rare octupus among his latest finds. “We’ve been looking for that octopus for two years, it’s not easy to find,” his father Vytautas Cemolonskas, reportedly said. “We were not expecting to find it at all because it’s very rare.” In a Facebook post, the Lego Lost at Sea project, run by Tracey Williams, said that just two days after Liutauras’ find, another octopus was found just 16 kilometres further up the coast in Porthleven.




The leader of Austria’s Beer Party, Dominik Wlazny, speaks during a press conference on this year’s parliamentary election in Vienna, Austria, on 30th April, 2024. PICTURE: Reuters/Elisabeth Mandl

Austria’s Beer Party will run in this year’s parliamentary election even though it’s still well short of its own funding target, its leader said on Tuesday, buoyed by growing support and choosing to see the glass as half-full. The party, founded largely as a joke in 2015 by medical doctor and rock musician Dominik Wlazny, now poses a real threat of siphoning off votes from other parties, particularly those also on the left, at a time when the far right has a clear lead in the polls. “Yes, the Beer Party will run in the coming parliamentary election. The support we have received is massive. That gives us the motivation to go through with it,” Wlazny, 37, said in a statement to the media. In January, he said entering the race would depend on whether it had gathered enough funds, which it planned to do by increasing its membership to 20,000 from “around 1,300 active members” at the end of 2023. On Tuesday he conceded it was still far short of that, with the election due to be held by October. “We have fulfilled more than half of our funding goal. Our glass is half-full, so to speak, and more is being poured in constantly,” said Wlazny. The party ran in the last parliamentary election in 2019 and secured just 0.1 per cent of the vote, but Wlazny came third in 2022’s presidential election with 8.3 per cent. Recent opinion polls have put its support between five per cent and seven per cent. To enter parliament, a party needs four per cent. The party has previously campaigned on serious issues and those that are less so, ranging from improving the public health system to installing public beer fountains in Vienna. In contrast to the relaxed and iconoclastic style he projects, Wlazny’s recent appearances have been carefully stage managed. He took no questions from reporters after his brief statement on Tuesday. – FRANCOIS MURPHY, Vienna, Austria/Reuters


Luis Alvarez, a metal detector enthusiast, told Reuters on Thursday (25 April) how he bought a new television using only coins collected from Chilean beaches and parks.

Luis Alvarez, a metal detector enthusiast, told Reuters how he bought a new television using only coins collected from Chilean beaches and parks. “It took me about seven days to collect the coins,” said Alvarez. “As I said, it’s the amount I usually collect every week, between 200,000 and 250,000 pesos ($US210 – $US263) in coins alone, and because I had to buy a television because of an unfortunate event with my daughter. I put them together, I spent a whole night cleaning them. It was very late and I couldn’t go to the bank. So I took all these coins and put them in little bags of 100 ($US0.11), 500 ($US0.53), 50 ($US0.053) and set off to find a store that would take them.” Alvarez said all of the coins were found in parks or on the beach. – Reuters TV


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