Scottish penguin promoted to Brigadier in Norwegian Army

Of course.

An inhabitant of Edinburgh Zoo has received an honour from the King of Norway’s Guard.

King penguin Nils Olav has been awarded the status of Brigadier and began his new post by inspecting the regiment who are in Edinburgh for the Tattoo.

This is not the first time the battalion’s mascot has been honoured.

Sir Nils was awarded a knighthood by King Harald V in 2008.

Video at the story shows the Brigadier inspecting his troops.

World Beard and Moustache Championships

From a recent edition of the print-only publication Coffee News:

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See also the following post from one year ago today, with some pictures from last year’s contest:


Funny; I did a post a year ago today on ‘Movember‘, as it happens…

But this isn’t about that; it’s about a beard contest, the World Beard Championships, held recently in Germany.

Though there was at least one fellow with no beard but an awesome ‘stache.

Here then, just for fun, are some pics of some contestants. Manly AND eccentric; rock that facial hair! 🙂






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Norway goat cheese fire closes tunnel

Oh no!

A road tunnel in Norway has been closed – by a lorry-load of burning cheese.

About 27 tonnes of caramelised brown goat cheese – a delicacy known as Brunost – caught light as it was being driven through the Brattli Tunnel at Tysfjord, northern Norway, last week.

The fire raged for five days and smouldering toxic gases were slowing the recovery operation, officials said.

The tunnel – which is said to be badly damaged – is likely to remain closed for several weeks, they added.

“We can’t go in until it’s safe,” geologist Viggo Aronsen told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

Police officer Viggo Berg said the high concentration of fat and sugar in the cheese made it burn “almost like petrol if it gets hot enough”.

Norway to rent Dutch prisons to cut convict queue


(Reuters) – Norway plans to rent prison space in the Netherlands as the queue of convicts awaiting cells is growing and renovation work at Norwegian jails is expected to cut capacity, the justice ministry said on Monday.

“At the moment, the queue is at 1,300 custodial sentences, and there is a great demand for detention space,” it said in a statement. “The Netherlands has already leased prison capacity to Belgium for several years.”

Norwegian prisons are known for their relatively humane treatment of inmates, with non-violent offenders often held in open prisons with some free personal movement, jobs, recreation facilities and focus on rehabilitation.

A deal for several hundred prison places would allow Norway to avoid overcrowding and maintain its standards while prison renovation work costing up to 4.4 billion crowns ($700 million) is carried out.

The Nordic country’s incarceration rate is around 72 for each 100,000 people, about a tenth of the level in the United States, and its re-offending rate of around 20 percent is among the lowest in the world.

“In Norway there is a capacity shortage, and right now we have a surplus,” Fred Teeven, the Dutch state secretary with responsibility for prisons, said in a letter to the Dutch parliament.

Big in Oslo: A Reality Show About Celebrities Planning Their Funerals

Oh, those wacky Norwegians!

Norwegian television has come up with yet another radical concept in reality TV: celebrity funerals. Kisten (“The Coffin”), a TV show from broadcaster NRK that’s currently screening in Oslo and other major media markets in Norway, asks celebrities to prepare their own burial for the benefit of the cameras. The stars don’t actually get buried, of course. The show acts instead as a dry run for the big day, giving its subjects a chance to decorate their own casket, pick a funeral playlist, and reflect on their lives and beliefs.