Following is a summary of current odd news briefs.
"Disrespectful" IKEA ad touches nerve with Thai transsexuals
BANGKOK (Reuters) - A Thai man and his girlfriend are shopping at a furniture store. She sees pillows on sale and gets excited, her feminine voice falls suddenly to a deep male-like tone. Shocked and horrified, her boyfriend runs off.
German court rules internet "essential"
BERLIN (Reuters) - A German court ruled on Thursday that people have the right to claim compensation from service providers if their Internet access is disrupted, because the Internet is an "essential" part of life. The Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe made the ruling after hearing the case of a man who was unable to use his DSL connection, which also offered a telephone and fax line, for two months from late 2008 to early 2009.
Thousands of crocodiles on the loose after South Africa floods
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Some 15,000 crocodiles escaped from a South African reptile farm in flood waters this week and were on the loose in and around one of southern Africa's biggest rivers, a newspaper reported on Thursday. "There used to be only a few crocodiles in the Limpopo River. Now there are a lot," Zane Langman, whose in-laws own the farm in the northern part of the country told Beeld newspaper.
Belgian trainee teachers fail in basic general knowledge
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A large number of Belgium's future secondary school teachers struggle with basic concepts of geography, politics and history, a study published on Wednesday has shown. Among final year teaching students involved in the study, one in three could not identify the United States on a map and almost half did not know where the Pacific Ocean was.
Smallest house in Brussels up for auction
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Cosy might be the best word to describe the smallest house in Brussels, which is about to go up for auction. The centuries-old former furniture workshop and creperie a stone's throw from the Belgian capital's picturesque central square is just 2.75 meters wide and has a ground floor only 1.75 meters (5 foot 9 inches) across.
Racy Victorian divorces online at genealogy website
LONDON (Reuters) - The original Mrs Robinson's diary and scandalous suggestions about a former heir to the British throne are all part of the latest ancestral revelations to go online. British genealogical website Ancestry.co.uk said on Tuesday it has put the transcripts of thousands of Victorian divorce proceedings online, which reveal the racy details of an era that most modern Britons consider to have been dominated by imperial duty, a stiff upper lip and formal familial relations.