In Brief

Missing the office? Have the sounds of the workplace in your home

And other stories from the stranger side of life

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Help is at hand for office workers who are feeling lonely as they work from home during the coronavirus pandemic: websites and apps offering the recorded sounds of busy offices. So if you are missing the sound of keyboards, photocopiers and background chat, then head to soundofcolleagues.com or YouTube. 

Israeli jeweller produces $1.5m face mask

An Israeli jeweller is working on what he hopes will be the world’s most expensive coronavirus mask - a gold, diamond-encrusted face covering with a price tag of $1.5m. Designer Isaac Levy says the 18-carat white gold mask will be decorated with 3,600 white and black diamonds and fitted with top-rated N99 filters at the request of the buyer.

New Zealand wizard to retire at 87 

A New Zealand man is hanging up his pointed had after decades as his city’s official wizard. Since 1998, Ian Brackenbury has been paid $10,400 a year for “wizardry” in Christchurch. His successor is expected to be a 39-year-old man called Ari Freeman, who teaches guitar and fronts a psychedelic funk band.

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