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Quick Takes


The vehicle carrying the mummy of Pharaoh Thutmose III advances in a parade to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. Mahmoud Khaled/AFP via Getty Images

Quick Takes
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Mummy moving day

Egypt showcased a parade of kings April 3 as officials moved mummified pharaohs and queens from their old resting place at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to a new home at the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization 3 miles away in Fustat. The mortal remains of 22 ancient rulers including Ramses II, the most famous New Kingdom pharaoh, as well as Hatshepsut, a well-known female pharaoh, traveled in nitrogen-filled boxes and specially modified vehicles to ensure a smooth trip. Egypt’s government broadcast the parade of 18 former kings and four queens and hired performers decked out in period costume to accompany the procession. Horse-drawn war chariots also took part in the spectacle. The authorities hope the new museum will boost Egypt’s tourism industry and help revitalize the economy.

Doctor dedication

A fire on the roof didn’t stop doctors at a hospital in Russia’s Far East from completing open-heart surgery on a patient. With the patient on the operating table and the building under evacuation, hospital employees switched to emergency power and raced to set up fans to keep smoke out of the operating theater. “There’s nothing else we could do. We had to save the person. We did everything at the highest level,” surgeon Valentin Filatov told REN TV. After two hours, surgeons successfully completed the operation and moved the patient to a safer location while firefighters battled the blaze.

Bees take the car

A New Mexico man returning to his car after a short grocery shopping trip in Las Cruces on March 28 found about 15,000 honeybees had swarmed his vehicle. The unnamed man didn’t notice the bees had entered his car through an open back window until he started his Buick and began driving away. Startled, the man stopped the car and phoned 911. Emergency officials contacted the fire department, which contacted an off-duty firefighter named Jesse Johnson who dabbled in beekeeping. The 37-year-old Johnson responded and safely relocated the swarming bees into a hive box within 30 minutes. One security guard and one firefighter were stung. “Luckily, when bees are swarming, they’re pretty docile,” Johnson said. “They don’t have a home to protect for a moment. It’s much more intimidating than it is dangerous.”

Ground-level dining

With coronavirus concerns still crippling airlines, Japan’s All Nippon Airways has gotten creative with revenue creation. On March 31, the airline began offering lunch and dinner service aboard a stationary Boeing 777 parked at a Tokyo airport. For nearly $550, customers can get a first-class seat for a three-hour fine dining experience. Business-class diners can pay about $270 for a similar experience. According to the airline, about 60 guests piled in for meals the first day.

Interactive art

Two visitors at an art exhibition in Seoul, South Korea, inadvertently vandalized a large piece of contemporary art when they misinterpreted the meaning of the paintbrushes left in front of the piece. On March 28, gallery staff noticed a painting by American graffiti artist John Andrew Perello had been defaced and began searching through security footage to discover what happened. The exhibit had displayed Perello’s abstract artwork with bottles of paint and brushes strewn in front of the canvas to reflect how the artist created the piece. A review of camera footage revealed a couple in their 20s had picked up the brushes and made a contribution to the artwork by splotching it with dark green paint. According to police who tracked down the couple, the pair believed adding paint to the display was what they were supposed to do. Perello’s management agency claimed the damaged piece was worth $440,000.

Bane of the block

Residents of an English town say they’ve had enough of a swan terrorizing a local neighborhood. According to residents, an aggressive male swan has made a habit of attacking front doors on one block in Northampton in the East Midlands. Homeowner Stephen Legg told a British news outlet the swan seems to enjoy attacking the mail flap on his front door. “He starts by rattling the letterbox then bashes the metal with its beak quite loudly. The racket reverberates through the whole house,” Legg told the South West News Service. “It doesn’t do any damage, but it’s extremely irritating. Sometimes it does it for three hours at a time, other times only once or twice.” Legg said he was able to stop the bird temporarily by covering his door—an untenable solution because it also prevented the postal worker from delivering his mail.

Bane of Costco

Shoppers at an Alaska Costco say birds are stealing their groceries. Anchorage resident Matt Lewallen told the Anchorage Daily News that ravens pillaged a short rib from his shopping cart as he prepared to load his groceries into his vehicle. “I literally took 10 steps away and turned around, two ravens came down and instantly grabbed one out of the package, ripped it off and flew off with it,” Lewallen told the paper. “They know what they’re doing; it’s not their first time.” Lewallen said he took the short rib back to Costco for a refund. Other Costco shoppers posted their experiences with the clever corvids on Facebook. “My parents were minding their business after a shop and made it home with one less steak!” Kimberly Waller wrote on the social networking site.

Open and closed enrollment

Half a million American high-school seniors got warm letters of acceptance via email on March 15 from the University of Kentucky. The problem: The letters welcomed all of them to a selective program for college freshmen that typically accepts only 35-40 students each year. Hours later, the school’s dean of undergraduate admissions sent another email apologizing, saying a technical issue caused the emails to be sent out by mistake. High-school senior Mary Dougherty of San Antonio, Texas, told NBC affiliate WLEX in Lexington, Ky., that she never applied to the University of Kentucky. “I was like, ‘Mom, I just got accepted into the University of Kentucky.’ And she’s like, ‘Oh, I didn’t know you applied to University of Kentucky.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, I did not.’” According to the university, most students receiving the email had expressed no interest in the school.

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