Five Lessons Learnt This Week

Happy Friday! Time for another round-up of the most strange, unusual, hilarious and just plain odd news in Five Lessons Learnt This Week. This time around, we’ve learnt why to always keep on top of mowing your lawn, to get out of Waterstones before closing time and why trying to climb down your ex’s chimney is never going to be a good idea…

1. You could go to jail for not mowing your lawn

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.09.09We know, it’s getting cold out there and it’s tempting to neglect your garden for a few months and sort it out in the spring. But here’s a word of warning for you all: East Tennessee resident Karen Holloway served time in jail this week – just for letting her lawn become overgrown.

Officials in Lenoir City decided her yard was too untidy and needed to be mowed back in June. But Holloway failed to take action and served six hours in jail as punishment (it might have been quicker, and easier, just to mow the lawn).

Unsurprisingly, Holloway was unimpressed with her punishment, commenting that her busy life meant she was unable to keep up with her duties, and this shouldn’t have caused her to be treated like a criminal and locked up with people who had “done real crimes”. But it seems she got off lightly, as the judge had originally planned to keep her inside for five days, but he changed his mind and decided six hours would suffice. We bet her lawn will be immaculately manicured from now on…

2. Be careful who you meet online

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.10.29Online dating sounds like a good idea… until you get home to find your ex-partner (of a whole six dates) stuck in your chimney. Lawrence Fernandez found this out the hard way this week, after meeting Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa online. The pair went on six dates before Fernandez called things off: but what he didn’t know was that Nunez-Figueroa wasn’t going to take no for an answer.

He arrived home one day to a team of firefighters attempting to extract a soot-covered intruder from his chimney. His neighbours had alerted authorities after she started to scream for help after her Santa Claus-inspired mission failed. It took a team of firefighters two hours (and a lot of soap) to get her out of the chimney, and she was immediately arrested on grounds of illegal entry and providing false information to an officer.

Fernandez remarked: “She seemed totally cool until the first flag was her actually being on my roof two weeks ago. You have to be careful who you meet online.” Quite…

3. Waterstones close at 9pm

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.12.26…and it’s up to you to make sure you’re out! Otherwise you could be in for a long night, as American tourist David Willis found when he became trapped in Waterstones in Trafalgar Square last week. He walked in just before 9pm, unaware of the closing time, and headed upstairs to use the internet. But when he came back down, he found that the store was dark and the doors were locked.

He set off the alarm in a bid to be freed, but it took 3 hours before he was finally released from the store. And he didn’t read a book while he was stuck: instead, he spent the time tweeting about his adventure, with several Twitter users tweeting back to express their jealousy at his predicament. @VWorkhouse commented: Trapped in my #Waterstones – jealous! Books galore, free run of the coffee shop and a view of #London I could never afford.

Waterstones have taken advantage of the situation by offering 10 guests the chance to win an in-store sleepover. The gathering will take place at Waterstones Piccadilly, and the winners and a guest each will get to choose a book before spending the night on an airbed in-store.

If spending the night in a bookstore doesn’t appeal, stay at home instead and enjoy one our top trading books from our Book Club – in the comfort of your own home.

4. You can charge your mobile with blood

It’s sounds like some kind of Halloween joke, but it’s actually true. We know it can be frustrating when you run out of charge at a crucial moment in the charts – but surely using blood to charge your phone is a little desperate? Apparently not, as student Naomi saw a gap in the market for a product to allow you to do just that.

The unusual (okay, just plain weird) device has three parts: the Blinker, the e-Pulse and the Blood Bridge, and each part draws energy from a different part of the body. The Blinker extracts energy from the eyelids, while the e-Pulse takes energy from the spinal cord, and the Blood Bridge from lower-arm blood flow.

Fortunately, you don’t have to opt for this unconventional device – there are plenty of mobile charging devices on the market that don’t require you to give blood to power your smartphone. Good news for the squeamish (or anyone, really…)

We’ve got the most mobile charging devices and other cool gadgets for when you’re on-the-go in our guide to Travel Gadgets.

5. A beer a day will get you pregnant straight away

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 10.40.53…okay, sorry, rhyming isn’t our strong point. Moving on (swiftly), studies this week have revealed good news for any men trying to become daddies – drinking at least a pint and a half of beer a day increases a couple’s chances of becoming pregnant by up to 50%.

The study was carried out on 100 men whose partners were undergoing IVF treatment, and proved that the aspiring fathers who drank beer every day were twice as likely to have children. The study also showed that drinking more than two cups a day of coffee reduced the chances of pregnancy to just 1 in 5. So it might be worth investing in some decaf if you really can’t start a day without it.

It’s unclear whether the results will be the same in natural pregnancies, but any study that encourages beer consumption can only be a good thing, right?

To kick things off, here’s our pick of 10 New Beers to Try. Cheers!