Sunday 21 January 2018

Tellers raid bank

Staff at a branch of Afghanistan's central bank in southern Kandahar province may have got away with as much as 81 million Afghanis ($1.4 million) when they robbed their own bank and ran, an official said. Security cameras showed the bank's vault had been cleaned out, but investigators were waiting to gain access before confirming the total missing, he said.

Knockout price

The boxing gloves worn by Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston during their infamous 1965 rematch fight have fetched nearly $1m (€850,000) at an auction in New York. The gloves from the bout in Lewiston, Maine on May 25, 1965 - which Ali famously won with a first-round knockout from what some saw as a "phantom punch" - were picked up by George Russo, the boxing commissioner for Maine, and later sold on to a collector in California.

Chants of a lifetime

Saying "Om" actually does help you feel calmer.

Researchers who studied 21 men listening to a mantra found that, as the chanting progressed, the parts of the brain used in day-to-day activity slowed while those involved in emotional awareness took over. Uttam Kumar of the Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow, India, said: "Listening to the 'Om' sound... activates areas of the bilateral cerebellum, left middle frontal gyrus and right precuneus."

Biting back at bugs

Bugs in a gourmet kitchen are usually something to be squashed or swatted - but at esteemed French cooking school Le Cordon Bleu, chefs and food scientists have been simmering, sauteing and grilling insects to extract innovative flavours they say could open a new gastronomic frontier.

As a finale to their research, the school's Bangkok branch held a seminar called 'Edible Insects in a Gastronomic Context', which booked up weeks in advance and offered a tasting menu which included a vial of ant-infused gin, a shot glass of warm cricket consomme, then an hors d'oeuvre of beetle butter and herb crisp.

Hard cheese

Cheese lovers are already lining up to secure a nibble of a 20-year-old cheddar set to be released for sale early this summer. Hook's Cheese in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, created a stir in the cheese world in 2009 when it debuted a 15-year-old cheddar. It sold for £135 per pound.

Irish Independent

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