Following is a summary of current odd news briefs.
Dung beetles look to the stars
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A species of South African dung beetle has been shown to use the Milky Way to navigate, making it the only known animal that turns to the galactic spray of stars across the night sky for direction. Researchers have known for several years that the inch-long insects use the sun or moon as fixed points to ensure they keep rolling dung balls in a straight line - the quickest way of getting away from other beetles at the dung heap.
Obama the fly swatter strikes again
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There was a buzz at the White House on Thursday when President Barack Obama announced the nomination of two top financial regulatory officials. A large fly interrupted the president as he presented his picks to head the Securities and Exchange Commission and a watchdog for financial consumer products.
South Africa police join hunt for 10,000 escaped crocodiles
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa has called out the police to join the hunt for as many as 10,000 crocodiles on the loose after escaping from a farm during floods and being washed into one of southern Africa's biggest rivers, officials said on Friday. Crocodile farmers, locals and police have trapped thousands of the reptiles, using plastic bands to tie their legs behind their backs and then piling them into pick-up trucks.
"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.
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.