Tall Tales

Maskentrottel: Germany coins 1,200 new Covid words

And other stories from the stranger side of life

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More than 1,200 new German words have been created during the Covid era, among them coronaangst (anxiety about the virus), coronafrisur (corona hairstyle) and maskentrottel (mask idiot who wears a face covering leaving the nose exposed). “I can’t think of anything, at least since the Second World War, that would have changed the vocabulary as drastically, and at the same time as quickly, as the corona pandemic,” said a linguistics professor.

Climate change ‘means days could get longer’

Days could last longer than 24 hours if the ice caps in the North and South Poles continue to melt, according to a scientist. Earth expert Mathieu Morlighem says the planet would eventually spin more slowly in the universe thanks to the increased sea levels at its axis. “So the Earth is going to spin at a slower rate. It's hard to quantify, but probably 10, 20 seconds longer for a day,” he added.

Man bowls perfect game with father's ashes

An Illinois man has bowled a perfect, 300-score game of ten-pin bowling with a ball filled with his late father's ashes. John Hinkle said he and his brother decided to honour their avid bowler father by placing his ashes inside a ball. “I was talking to my brother and told him, ‘I’m shooting a 300 with this ball,’” said John. He said he had “goosebumps” and “chills’ afterwards. “He was there,” he said of his father.

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