ODDS AND ENDS: Moving borders and other offbeat offerings

Tractor mowing green field, aerial view.


Opening borders is one thing, moving one is another.

A Belgian farmer raised some eyebrows recently after accidentally moving the country’s borderline with neighbouring France.

According to the BBC, the unnamed farmer grew annoyed that a stone marking the border between the two countries got in the way of his tractor, so he moved the marker 2.29 metres inside of France.

The disturbance went unnoticed until it was discovered by a local history buff who was walking into the forest and noticed the moved marker.

While messing with a border may anger some, it actually created some light-hearted emotions on both sides of the border.

“He made Belgium bigger and France smaller, it’s not a good idea,” David Lavaux, mayor of the Belgian village of Erquelinnes, said in an interview with French television channel TF1. “I was happy, my town was bigger. But the mayor of Bousignies-sur-Roc didn’t agree.”

“We should be able to avoid a new border war,” joked Aurélie Welonek, mayor of the neighbouring French village told media outlet La Voix du Nord.

Lavaux said the marker’s move did cause headaches between private landowners.

Belgian authorities are planning to contact the farmer to ask him to return the marker to its original location. If that doesn’t happen, the farmer could face criminal charges.

This file photo taken on March 12, 2011 shows collapsed houses and debris in a field in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture on March 12, 2011 after the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.
This file photo taken on March 12, 2011 shows collapsed houses and debris in a field in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture on March 12, 2011 after the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. Photo by STR /AFP/Getty Images


There’s no such thing as time standing still.

A century-old clock in Japan that stopped working after an earthquake in 2011 seemingly came back to life and started ticking again — ironically after another quake hit this year.

According to the BBC, the clock — located inside a Buddhist temple — stopped working after the building was hit by a tsunami in Japan’s northeast coast as a result of an earthquake in March 2011.

The clock’s owner, Bunshun Sakano, claimed he tried to fix the clock after it was recovered but to no avail. However, some 10 years later, Sakano said the clock started working again following a recent quake that hit Japan’s Miyagi region where the Fumonji Temple is located.

A day after the February 2021 quake, Sakano told the newspaper Mainichi Shimbun that he was checking a hall of a temple for damage when he heard ticking. He found the newly resurrected clock moving again.

The earth-shaking may have knocked the clock back into action. A spokesperson for Seiko — the clock’s manufacturer — told Mainichi Shimbun it’s possible the pendulum started moving after built-up dust had loosened following the earthquake.

Oxford Shirt Ralph, $45; Lauren Sporting Life.
Oxford Shirt Ralph, $45; Lauren Sporting Life. SunMedia


Does faithfulness to a brand lead to unfaithfulness with a partner?

According to a University of Michigan study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, men who wear luxury brand logos embroidered on shirts such as Ralph Lauren Polo are most likely to cheat on their partners.

The study suggests men who own clothing with larger brand logos have a higher interest in having brief sexual affairs. The same men are also less interested in being in long-term committed relationships, according to the study.

These cheaters are also less attracted to women who want committed relationships compared to other men who own shirts with smaller logos, the study noted.

So why is this study needed?

According to psychologist Dr. Daniel Kruger, it was created to determine whether men who wear flashy clothing were more attracted to women, or if women liked men who are rich.

The study focused on the brand Ralph Lauren and its famous polo shirts with the iconic mini horse logo and shirts that contain its larger version of the logo.

A Japanese company has invented a tank in which people can carry their pet fish wherever they go.
A Japanese company has invented a tank in which people can carry their pet fish wherever they go. Photo by Screenshot /Instagram/katsugyo_bag


You’ve heard of dog and cat carriers, but can you picture one for a fish?

Japanese company Ma Corporation is looking to produce the “katsugyo bag,” a portable fish tank that allows people to take their fish BFFs with them on the go.

The “katsugyo bag” is shaped like a long tube with a glass centre filled with water where the fish can swim. The carrying device is meant to be a more elegant and environmentally-friendly way to transport fish compared to the traditional water-filled plastic bags.

On its Instagram page, the Ma Corporation showcases the prototype tanks with people carrying various fishes in them.

According to the company, its constantly improving the carrying tank as they test it with more types of fresh. Support for the project has been positive.

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