Mystery tiles link Kubrick, Toynbee
INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Tiles with a message linking historian Arnold Toynbee and Stanley Kubrick's classic film "2001: A Space Odyssey" have turned up from Indianapolis to Brazil.
Indianapolis had at least two "Toynbee" tiles, the Indianapolis Star reported, but one vanished after it was featured on a Web site. The surviving tile appears to be linoleum pressed into street asphalt.
The tiles carry the message "Toynbee ideas in Kubrick's 2001 resurrect dead on planet Jupiter."
In the movie and the novel by Arthur C. Clarke, astronaut David Bowman undergoes death and rebirth after encountering a mysterious monolith in the orbit of Jupiter. The connection between the movie and the work of Toynbee, who saw history as the rise and fall of civilizations, is obscure.
The first recorded appearance of the tiles was in Philadelphia in 1983, 15 years after the movie's release. Justin Duerr, a house painter and musician in Philadelphia, tracks the tiles on his Web site, www.resurrectdead.com.
"As far as I know, no one has ever seen anyone lay one down," Duerr said.
British Mozart lovers pick their favorite
LONDON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- More than 100,000 British classical music lovers have voted Mozart's 1791 "Clarinet concerto in A Major" as his greatest work.
Listeners of London's Classic FM, 103,000 of them to be exact, voted "Requiem" second and "Ave Verum Corpus" third in the survey taken to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth, the BBC reported.
Next on the list was the "Piano concerto No. 21" and "The Marriage of Figaro."
"Mozart's music has connected with more people through the years than any other composer before or since," Classic FM Manager Darren Henley said.
The clarinet concerto was Mozart's last completed instrumental work, the BBC noted. He died two months later.
Shoplifter's sprain on silly claims list
LONDON, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- A list of the silliest insurance claims against local governments in Britain includes a shoplifter who sprained her ankle while running away.
Others on Zurich Municipal's annual list are a man who claimed he dirtied his trousers because a municipality failed to provide enough public toilets and another man who sued the Archbishop of Canterbury and local authorities "on behalf of all the homeless people in Britain," the BBC reported. Then there's the sanitation worker who claimed he was "startled" by a dead badger that fell out of a bag while he was making a pickup.
Zurich Municipal, which is part of the Swiss-based Zurich Group, one of the world's largest insurers, provides insurance for local government authorities in Britain. The company says that spurious claims are on the rise.
"We are constantly amazed at some of the excuses people use to try to claim against public bodies," said claims director Iwan Borszcz. "It just goes to show that working in insurance is more interesting than people may think."
Beckham's boots raise money
OSLO, Norway, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- A Norwegian telecommunications tycoon has paid thousands of pounds for a pair of international soccer star David Beckham's boots.
The price paid by Idar Vollvik, 85,600 pounds or $148,000, is to be donated to victims of the Kashmiri earthquake, the BBC reported. Vollvik, founder of Chess, a computer telephone company, bought the boots in a Norwegian television auction.
Norske Kvinners Sanitetsforening, a Norwegian charity, acquired the silver boots in January when they were sold to raise money for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.
Vollvik's money will be used to buy tents for people made homeless by the earthquake.