Why 1,100 Dolly Partons gathered in an Irish town

And other stories from the stranger side of life

Dolly Parton

More than 1,100 people wearing Dolly Parton costumes have gathered in an Irish town. The Dolly Day event in Listowel attempted to set a world record for the largest gathering of people wearing a full head-to-toe Dolly Parton costume. The event raised money for Kerry Hospice and Comfort for Chemo Kerry. Officials told UPI that evidence from the gathering is being submitted to Guinness World Records and they expect to hear whether a record has been broken in 12 weeks.

Student may give up after 27 exam attempts

A 56-year-old student is considering “calling it quits” after 27 attempts at a college entrance exam, reported CNN. When Liang Shi took the two-day exam, known as the “gaokao”, in early June it was his 27th attempt because he had been unsatisfied with his score each time since he first sat the exam 40 years ago. However, his score this time was lower than his results the previous year. “I’m so disappointed now, so disappointed,” he said.

Dolphins use baby coos with young

Dolphin mothers use ‘baby talk’ with their babies, a study has found. Researchers recorded the signature whistles of 19 mother dolphins in Florida when accompanied by their young offspring and when swimming alone or with other adults. They found that the mothers adjust their tone when addressing their calves, using “a kind of high-pitched baby talk”, said The Guardian. An expert said “this is unprecedented, absolutely fantastic data”.

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Chas Newkey-Burden has been part of The Week Digital team for more than a decade and a journalist for 25 years, starting out on the irreverent football weekly 90 Minutes, before moving to lifestyle magazines Loaded and Attitude. He was a columnist for The Big Issue and landed a world exclusive with David Beckham that became the weekly magazine’s bestselling issue. He now writes regularly for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Metro, FourFourTwo and the i new site. He is also the author of a number of non-fiction books.