It's been a good week for ...
house-hunters with £300 million to spare
It's got 45 bedrooms, a view of Hyde Park and bullet-proof windows. It covers roughly the same ground as a football pitch. And it could be yours for £300 million.
Actually, it's not quite as simple as that. The former residence of Rafiq Hariri, the late prime minister of Lebanon, 2-8a Rutland Gate in London's Knightsbridge is only for sale to those and such as those. Instead of being put on the open market, the exclusive pied-a-terre is being offered by agents to a select handful of potential buyers.
The building, which is said to contain millions of pounds worth of gold leaf decoration, is on the site of the old German consulate general's office. It was redeveloped in the 1980s and turned into four separate flats before it was turned back into one house by Hariri.
According to Halifax, the average house in the UK costs £160,250, meaning that whoever buys the mansion would be buying the equivalent of 1872 standard homes.
It doesn't sound very cosy. If an agent comes chapping, I think I'll give it a miss. How inconvenient, having to polish all that gold leaf.
It's been a bad week for ...
male killer whales
Their scary reputation goes before them, but it turns out that the male orca is just a mummy's boy.
Scientists have discovered that mother killer whales have the longest menopause of any non-human species. The reason? It's so that they can look after their adult sons.
Female orcas stop reproducing in their 30s or 40s, but can live beyond the age of 90. The reason for the creature's long menopause has long been a mystery. A team of British and Canadian scientists analysed 36 years of records from two killer whale populations in the North Pacific and found that the length of time a female lived after she stopped reproducing strongly influenced her offspring's survival chances. For an adult male over the age of 30, the death of his mother increased 14-fold the likelihood of him also dying within a year.
It has not been confirmed that the demise of these big soft boys is linked in any way to the shock of having to make their own tea.
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