In Brief

Did a 1981 horror novel predict the coronavirus?

And other stories from the stranger side of life

A horror novel written in 1981 by Dean Koontz features a partial prediction of the coronavirus. In The Eyes of Darkness, which tells the story of a grieving mother investigating the mysterious circumstances of her son’s death, there is a reference to a killer virus known as “Wuhan-400”, the name of the city where the coronavirus originated.

Fibre-glass skeleton and president's dagger pinched from libraries

President Harry S. Truman’s diamond-studded swords and daggers, President John F. Kennedy’s rocking chair, and a fibre-glass skeleton are among the strangest things to have been stolen from libraries. A dagger owned by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, has also been swiped from a library.

Ohio man gives up everything but beer for lent

A man in Ohio is giving up solid food for Lent and switching to a beer-only diet in a bid to set a world record. Del Hall, who lost 44 pounds in 46 days last year on his beer-only Lent diet, said he is planning to extend his fast to 50 days this year to set a world record for the beer diet. “I don't think the extra days are going to be a struggle,” he said.

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