In Brief

Vampires are real and gather at S&M parties

And other stories from the stranger side of life

An academic researcher at Louisiana State University says the US city of New Orleans is home to at least 50 vampires. John Edgar Browning, who claims he has met several vampires, says they enjoy “social gatherings” including “bondage and S&M events”. He insists that “vampire feeding – whether on blood or psychic energy – is always consensual”.

Town called Asbestos to change its name

A town in Canada called Asbestos is changing its name because it does not have a “good connotation”. The cancer-causing mineral was once used as an electrical insulator, until it was discovered that it can lead to various serious lung conditions, including tumours.

Researchers find that rats can drive cars 

Rats can drive cars, according to researchers at the University of Richmond in Virginia. The team put the rodents into small electric cars made of plastic food containers and found they were able to steer the vehicles toward their prize; Froot Loops cereal.

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