The Daily: December 5
Friday, 05 December 2014

The Daily: December 5

We scour the news so you don't have to

Written by Octavia Sheepshanks
Mysterious green Bulgarian cat explained
A beautifully emerald cat has been strolling the streets of the Bulgarian town of Varna for some time now, but until now nobody knew how the cat got his colour. It was first believed by locals that vandals had attacked the cat and painted it the unusual shade, and a Facebook group was even set up to catch the perpetrators of this intriguing crime. But new light shed on the situation has revealed that the feline has in fact been sleeping on top of an abandoned pile of synthetic green paint in a garage. Over time, the paint has spread to cover the entire cat, giving rise to his remarkably vibrant exterior. The colour shows no sign of wearing off as each nap the kitty takes further enhances his bright green coat. Though the story has been widely reported, it is as yet unclear whether the cat has an owner or is just another stray on the streets of Varna.

Elgin Marbles released for first time
One of the famous Elgin Marbles has been lent out to Russia by the British Museum. It is one of a number of relics acquired by Lord Elgin in Athens in the early 19th Century, now known collectively as the Elgin Marbles. The statue, a headless depiction of the river god Ilissos, has been in the Museum since 1816. It is the first of the Marbles to be loaned out of the UK, and will be on display in St Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum until mid-January. The move is controversial, as the rightful ownership of the Marbles is still being disputed by Greece, which claims that Britain 'stole' the sculptures, once part of the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple. It maintains that Lord Elgin removed them illegally while the country was under Turkish occupation as part of the Ottoman Empire. However, Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that he hopes the Greek government will be "delighted" and "very pleased that a huge new public can engage with the great achievements of ancient Greece".

National Trust teams up with Google with thrilling results
For the first time, iconic National Trust properties will be viewable from computer screens in all their glory. The Trust has joined together with Google Street View to offer full 360 degree panoramic tours of 13 of their historic houses and outstanding landscapes. So now you'll be able to appreciate the full glory of their most famous sites from the comfort of your own home. The sites that can be toured include Montacute House, which will represent Greenwich Palace, Henry VIII's main London seat and the site of Anne Boleyn's arrest, in the forthcoming BBC Two series Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. Stourhead House, the inspiration for Lady Penelope's residence in the original Thunderbirds puppet series in the 1960s and Formby, one of the only places in the UK where the rare red squirrel can be spotted, will also feature.

First snowfall could be today
Snow could be imminent as wet and wintry showers sweep across the UK, forecasters have said. The first snow could fall today and the Scottish mountains could see several centimetres by the end of the weekend, according to MeteoGroup. Other areas could experience hail and sleet as chilly winds bring daytime temperatures down to near freezing and plunge them below 0C overnight. The Met Office has issued a yellow snow warning for much of north-western Scotland, telling residents to expect snow and dangerous driving conditions today and Sunday. "Icy stretches are likely to form on surfaces, as well as strong winds leading to reduced visibilities and poor driving conditions," a Met Office statement warned.

Giant Lego man washes up on Japanese beach
In a departure from the traditional accompaniments to driftwood such as litter and perhaps the odd message-in-a-bottle, an 8 ft. Lego man has washed up on a beach in Japan. The yellow plastic figure was spotted by a surfer at dawn on Yuigahama beach in Kamakura, south of Tokyo. The giant toy was attired in blue trousers and red T-shirt emblazoned with the cryptic message 'No real than you are' on the front, and the name 'Ego Leonard' written on the back. There is a Dutch artist who works under the pseudonym of this name, and it is thought that whoever is behind his or her artworks is also responsible for this mysterious happening- and others, as it's not the first time this has happened. The huge plastic man appeared in Zandvoort in the Netherlands in 2007, Brighton in 2008 and Sarasota in Florida in 2011. These sightings occurred in areas which were currently hosting exhibits by the artist, so it's very likely his appearance is part of a marketing stunt.

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