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How bizarre! How bizarre!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-09-02 07:19:56
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Rembrandt lost in post by gallery in Norway

bizar001_400A Norwegian art gallery has admitted losing a Rembrandt etching worth up to £5,400 in the post, after trying to save money on a courier and insurance.  The Soli Brug Gallery in Greaaker, 80 km south of Oslo, bought the Dutch master's Lieven Willemsz, van Coppenol, Writing-Master from a British dealer. The etching, made around 1658, is now lost in the Norwegian postal system.

The gallery's chairman Ole Derje said they had used regular mail as couriers and insurance were "quite expensive". He said he received notice to collect the piece. When he arrived, though, it was nowhere to be found. "It is worth around 40,000 to 50,000 krone (£4,325 to £5,405)," he said, claiming that the postal service was only offering compensation of between 500 and 1,000 krone.

Mr Derje declined to name the seller, citing confidentiality concerns. The Soli Brug Gallery already displays works by Rembrandt, Goya, Munch and Dali. "We are sorry that this has happened," said Hilde Ebeltoft-Skaugrud, a spokesman for the Norwegian postal service. "We have advised him to use a more appropriate form of mail when sending items that are worth as much as this with the appropriate insurance connected."


Italian woman sues husband for seven years of 'slavery

bizar002An Italian woman who signed up to a bizarre contract promising total sexual and mental submission to her husband is now suing him for divorce and mistreatment after seven years of "slavery".  In a pact reminiscent of the eroticism featured in the best-seller Fifty Shades of Grey and the notorious novel The Story of O, the saleswoman from Padua signed the explicitly-worded agreement with her then boyfriend in 2004, when she was 24. They married in 2006 but the relationship eventually fell apart and the couple separated last year.

The woman, now aged 31, has shown the two-page contract to her lawyers to support her demands for a divorce and accusations of physical abuse. She also accuses her former partner of stalking her since their split. The contract stipulated that she be considered a "slave" to her husband, a property manager who was 10 years older than her. He was referred to throughout the contract as her "padrone" or master. Neither has been named publicly because the case is before the courts.

"The slave agrees to obey and to offer herself for the satisfaction of the desires of her master," the contract read. "The slave agrees to place her body at her master's disposition, to be used at his pleasure." Any "infraction" would be punished, the contract stipulated, with the woman expected to accept the penalty with "humility". As part of the unusual accord, the husband agreed that he would not subject his wife to "coprophilia, bestiality, asphyxia/restriction of breathing, branding by fire, any activities involving weapons and any acts in general which could permanently mark her physically". It also stipulated that if, during their sadomasochistic sex sessions, the husband went too far, the woman could call a halt by using two agreed signals – either saying the "safe word" Mario or banging her hand three times against the nearest surface. The husband, now aged 41, argues that she signed the pact entirely of her own volition and that their activities were always consensual. It is now up to a prosecutor, Sergio Dini, to rule whether the wife has grounds for her claims of physical abuse, or whether her accusations should be dismissed out on the basis that she apparently consented to her husband's extreme tastes in the bedroom.


Serving a Bacon Coffee

bizar003Subsidiary Starbucks brand Seattle’s Best have combed state fairs across the country and are officially gearing up to release a bacon coffee drink. The new flavour, a melding of Level 5 Seattle’s Best Coffee, caramelized bacon and subtle hints of pumpkin pie spice, comes by way of a country-wide search for the most “imaginative new coffee drink.”

The winner of the chain’s Red Cup Showdown was Des Moine native Eileen Fannon, who calls her concoction the “How to Win a Guy with One Sip.” There you have it; the key to America’s collective male heart is apparently coffee with a hint of bacon.

According to a Starbucks press release, Eileen “will have the chance to see her coffee drink featured in participating Seattle’s Best Coffee locations across North America.” Unless our comprehension skills have utterly failed me, that means we could be seeing a bacon-flavoured coffee at a major coffee chain in the near future.


Police take call about prostitution price dispute

Police in Ann Arbor say they took a call from a man who was upset that the price he agreed to pay for prostitution services had increased unexpectedly. Police were called to a home late Wednesday on a report of a robbery. Police say the 45-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman he had contacted online agreed on a price, but the man claimed that she upped the cost after taking his money.

Police say the woman was arrested and the man wasn't taken into custody. According to investigators, the man and woman gave vastly different accounts of what happened. The case is under investigation and prosecutors will determine any possible charges.

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