Be informed. Be challenged. Be inspired.

StrangeSights: NYPD…in Brazil; blowing out candles safely; and, heavy metal rocks French presidential palace

Brazil NYPD fans

DAVID ADAMS looks at the odder side of life…

Brazil NYPD fans

Brazilian fans of New York Police Department (NYPD) Mariani Morandi, Michelle Grasso and Jhonny Brito, whose hobby is to recreate NYPD’s cars and motorbikes, stand in front of Pacaembu Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on 16th May. PICTURE: Reuters/Amanda Perobelli

Stunned by the swirl of red lights and blaring sirens, confused pedestrians who spot a New York City Police Department motorcade screaming down the streets of Brazil’s biggest city may need a second to get their bearings. Behind the spectacle is a group of Brazilian fans obsessed with one of the world’s most recognisable police forces, whose hobby is refurbishing NYPD cars and motorcycles, inspired by nostalgia for cop movies and shows such as Law & Order. “To tell you the truth, it creates some confusion sometimes,” said Fabio Denzin, who owns not just a Ford Crown Victoria painted as a NYPD car, but also a van and motorcycle, told Reuters. “People even think that it is the real police from New York on patrol, as if they came to Brazil to help the local police.” While impersonating a police officer is a crime in Brazil and many countries, Denzin and fellow NYPD fans say they are in the clear because they are not impersonating Brazilian police. 

Blowing out candles on a birthday cake is among those activities curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic and the danger it poses to spreading the virus. One US man, however, has come up with a safe way to blow out the candles: Virginian Mark Apelt has invented a small tubular device that when blown into, activates a sensor which switches on a small fan providing enough air-flow to extinguish the candles. Apelt said he came up with the idea of the ‘Blowzee’ when at a children’s party before the pandemic but that, “once the pandemic hit, we had a lot of time to think about it and a reason to work on the idea”. Apelt is now selling his invention online.

France Elysee Palace

General view of the Elysee Palace, the President’s official residence, is seen in Paris, on 3rd May, 2012. PICTURE: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer/File photo.

• Millions of people tuned in on Sunday to watch France’s Emmanuel Macron at a private heavy metal gig in the gardens of his Elysee presidential palace, part of a YouTube video by two comedians. Macron pledged in February to welcome McFly and Carlito, two French YouTubers followed by 6.5 million people, to the Elysee if they succeeded in garnering more than 10 million views for a video promoting social distancing measures during the pandemic. McFly and Carlito won the bet and were allowed to shoot a 36 minute video, which within hours of release on Sunday morning had been viewed almost 2.7 million times. The French President and the YouTubers exchange stories during the show, which ends with a stroll in the Elysee gardens, where French band Ultra Vomit perform a hard rock version of the French lullaby A Green Mouse (Une souris verte).

– With LEONARDO BENASSATTO, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and, BENOIT VAN OVERSTRAETEN, Paris, France/Reuters



sight plus logo

Sight+ is a new benefits program we’ve launched to reward people who have supported us with annual donations of $26 or more. To find out more about Sight+ and how you can support the work of Sight, head to our Sight+ page.



We’re interested to find out more about you, our readers, as we improve and expand our coverage and so we’re asking all of our readers to take this survey (it’ll only take a couple of minutes).

To take part in the survey, simply follow this link…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.