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The story behind a giant shark crashing into UK roof

Bill Heine's home - with the shark crashing through the roof.
NICK MILLER/SYDNEY MORNING HERALD Bill Heine’s home – with the shark crashing through the roof.

A bit over a year ago my one-year-old daughter threw up all over both of us on a bus from London to Oxford.

We made a dripping, crying, unscheduled exit from the coach on the fringes of the university city, smelling strongly of banana puke. Passengers stared in unsympathetic horror as the bus pulled away for what would be a foul last stretch into town.

And I looked up and saw an enormous shark crashing into someone’s house. But, frankly, at that point I had other things to worry about.

Life went on. It lurked beneath the surface of my memory, this 8-metre-long shark smashing through a suburban home’s roof.

Then, the other day, in my Twitter feed came this: “Bill Heine, the man who in 1986 stuck a giant shark on the roof of his terraced house in Oxford, has died.”

Bill Heine hired a crane to lower the shark on the roof of his little terraced house, as a symbol of peace on the anniversary of the Nagasaki a-bomb in 1986.
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD Bill Heine hired a crane to lower the shark on the roof of his little terraced house, as a symbol of peace on the anniversary of the Nagasaki a-bomb in 1986.

And there was a picture of my spew shark, in all its spectacular enormity.

The shark is in Headington, a town absorbed into outer suburban Oxford. And the story of the man and his fish is legend.

This ordinary, semi-detached house belonged to Heine, an American who studied law at Balliol, ran an independent cinema and presented on Radio Oxford.

The sculpture is by John Buckley, who explained its inspiration on his website: “[In] Spring 1986 planes were taking off from [an RAF base in nearby] Upper Heyford dropping their load from the clear blue sky on Libya,” Buckley wrote.

“Our fears and vulnerabilities come this time from above.”

And so the £10,000 fibreglass sculpture Untitled 1986 was installed, witnessed by a small gathering of friends, neighbours, press, and a concerned council inspector, on the 41st anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb on Nagasaki.

Heine said the artwork was meant “to express someone feeling totally impotent and ripping a hole in their roof out of … anger and desperation. It is saying something about CND [nuclear disarmament], nuclear power, Chernobyl and Nagasaki”.

The council objected to the shark when it was first installed, but Bill Heine won his planning battle.
GOOGLE The council objected to the shark when it was first installed, but Bill Heine won his planning battle.

He had bought the house the day American bombs fell on Tripoli, and weeks before the Chernobyl meltdown.

“In both cases, ordinary houses that appeared safe and secure came under attack”, a council official later wrote.

“[Heine] wanted to ask people to look at just how safe they were, how isolated, how connected to each other … he wanted to encourage people to look at their hopes and fears.”

Heine’s son also reported his father wanted to “put up two fingers to bureaucracy and stand up for creativity”.

The local council hated it. First they sent engineers to check if it was safe (it was). They then ruled it in breach of planning laws and offered to put it in the local swimming pool.

Heine appealed all the way to Environment minister Michael Heseltine. The appeal rested largely on how dull Headington was, and explored the meaning and nature of art, taste and aesthetics, as you’d hope in an Oxford planning application.

It also cited precedent: a 1975 proposal to construct a 140m-high pyramid on Christ Church Meadow in the city centre. This was a construction that would have taken 3000 second-year undergraduates 24 years to build and required the Thames and Cherwell Rivers to be “frozen” for seven years. That application was refused.

The Secretary of State’s ruling, written on his behalf by a Miss A Gerry, is a masterpiece.

“[The] intention to shock people is irrelevant as far as planning issues are concerned,” she pointed out, going on to consider whether the shark’s “incongruity and lack of harmony” had harmed the visual amenity of the street.

The shark in 2018, as seen on Streetview. It became a tourist landmark.
GOOGLE The shark in 2018, as seen on Streetview. It became a tourist landmark.

“One must look at the relationship of the shark to the house,” Gerry said (tongue almost certainly in her cheek). “In the Secretary of State’s view, even though the shark is large, prominent and out of character with both the building and its surroundings, it is not gravely detrimental to visual amenity in this particular location.”

Quite the burn for poor old Headington.

But in the long run, of course, locals embraced the shark and its owner, an eccentric but lovable figure.

County and city councillor Roz Smith, who briefly lived opposite the shark and knew Heine for 20 years, said he was a “character” who would not be forgotten – not only for the shark but for his incisive journalistic skills on radio, and in his final years, chronicling his leukaemia in the local newspaper.

“He was a true one-off,” Smith said.

“He was witty, friendly and brilliant. It’s not going to be the same without him.”

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15 photos that proves that Japanese are ahead of the world

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Japan has always had a reputation for its distinctive culture and unique traditions. Anime cosplay, ancient shinto temples, and the elegant charm of geishas are just a few things that come to mind when thinking about Japan. But there are many other reasons why Japan is the most unique country in the world. Their inventions and solutions to everyday problems certainly prove that too.

We at Bright Side have collected our favorite innovations here to inspire and intrigue you. Maybe your next travel destination could be Japan.

An infant breastfeeding and sleep inducement device for fathers

15+ Photos That Prove the Japanese Are Way Ahead of the Curve
© Dentsu   © Dentsu  

A perfect travel buddy — self-moving suitcase and robot companion. It follows you wherever you go.

15+ Photos That Prove the Japanese Are Way Ahead of the Curve

In some panoramic places there are supports to hold your smartphone so you can take beautiful selfies.

15+ Photos That Prove the Japanese Are Way Ahead of the Curve

A shop where disabled parking access is remotely controlled to prevent incorrect use

15+ Photos That Prove the Japanese Are Way Ahead of the Curve

A bedside lamp that can be half lit

15+ Photos That Prove the Japanese Are Way Ahead of the Curve

Why not have a foot bath while enjoying the scenery on the Yamagata Shinkansen line?

15+ Photos That Prove the Japanese Are Way Ahead of the Curve
© JR EAST  

This automatic vending machine distributes free umbrellas during the rainy season.

JS Business & Policy@JS_BizPol

Japanese soon to offer free umbrellas for the rainy season, sourced from umbrellas left behind in trains and stations @japantimes http://ow.ly/DzNm30ko8M0 

See JS Business & Policy’s other Tweets

Koi fish also live in some drainage canals in Japan which is evidence of their cleanliness.

A toilet in Japan with an information system that shows the occupied and free bathrooms.

Refrigerated lockers in a shopping center keep your perishable foods cool while you shop.

Smartphone wipe dispenser, to keep your phone’s screen clean

Child seats attached to the wall in the bathrooms are really useful for moms.

When you buy this gum in Japan there are pieces of paper included to spit it in when you have finished chewing it.

In some elevators there are seats that can be used as toilets in case of emergency.

There’s a magic button to slow down the taxi in case you prefer a slower speed.

Useful instructions in the dressing rooms prevent you from staining your clothes with makeup.

The Japanese have an enormous respect for rules, which can also be seen by watching people climb the stairs.

Have you ever been to Japan? What do you think of these innovations? Which one is the most useful? Share your opinion with us in the comments!

Preview photo credit Dentsu

Woman moulded to death by her own dog,while visiting them at the shelter

A woman, Johana Villafane, has been mauled to death by her pitbull dogs while visiting them at O’Connor Animal Hospital on Saturday.

Woman mauled to death by her own dogs while visiting them at a shelter

The dogs had earlier attacked another person and were scheduled to be tested for rabies when the incident happened.

The 33-year old mother of two was walking and feeding the male dog when the dogs suddenly attacked her. Workers at the shelter were prevented by the dogs from getting close to her body to rescue her.

When police arrived the scene, they had to shoot the dogs so they could get close to her body.

The woman died after she was rushed to a local hospital for treatment. The severity of the injuries suffered made her give up the ghost.

Johannesburg father Drawn in KZN beach trying to save daughter

A Johannesburg man died at a KwaZulu-Natal south coast beach on Friday while trying to save his daughter who was caught in a rip current.
A Johannesburg man died at a KwaZulu-Natal south coast beach on Friday while trying to save his daughter who was caught in a rip current.

A Johannesburg man has died at at a beach on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast while trying to save his daughter from drowning.

The National Sea Rescue Institute’s (NSRI’s) duty controller in Port Edward, Alan Stilwell, said the daughter encountered difficulties while swimming at Peter Pan beach near Port Edward on the KZN south coast.

A NSRI team, together with lifeguards from a neighbouring beach, police search and rescue members and paramedics arrived at the beach after being alerted.

“It appears that a young female was caught in rip currents while swimming. Her father went into the surf to assist, followed by her mother who also entered the surf to assist,” said Stilwell.

The three family members got caught in strong rip currents.

“The mother and the daughter were swept on to rocks, where a surfer helped them.”

They managed to reach safe ground and were not injured.

But the 40-year-old man, who was recovered by lifeguards from the surf, was not so lucky. Stilwell said despite efforts by paramedics to resuscitate him, the man was declared dead on the scene.

“Police have opened an inquest docket,”  said Stilwell.

Latest picture of lulu Menziwa the KZN Bootilicious teacher

#WCW Latest pictures of Lulu Menziwa the KZN b00tilicious teacher. If you remember very well we had an article on this teacher after her sexxy pictures went viral on the internet and spend almost 2 days trending on Twitter. If you have forgotten below is a catch up of what I’m talking about.

Okay, so there are pictures that are circulating and have gone viral on all social media platforms. Yesterday the Twitter streets were on fire due to these pictures. The pictures are of a teacher who has got an awesome body structure that has caused social media to melt down.

Not much is known about this teacher at the moment but we promise to tell you more about her as soon as we get the information. For now, we are just going to show you the pictures that made her trend on Twitter and went viral on Facebook and other social media platforms…

Now she is back and we have some information about her. We now know that she goes by the name of Lulu Menziwa a teacher at one of KZN schools. The name of the school is not yet known.

Lulu Menziwa

She is goals for days. this kind of teachers will make you wanna go back to school and start learning again. And if you see the type of clothes she wears it only shows the good taste she has in fashion. Nike, Puma and Fashionnova..etc.

Lulu Menziwa

Did Addidas make that tracksuit specifically for her? The way it is fitting on her is just marvellous, out of this world.

Lulu Menziwa

She might not be hitting the gym but she possesses a fine body. From what we have gathered through her Instagram account it seems as if she is a clothes designer too. She refers to herself as Madam B and tagged one of the pictures this message: Madam B wearing @speletepta t-shirt 💃.. #madambclothing

Madam B

Which made us think maybe she is a part-time designer. Well only time will tell but for now, we just keep admiring her stunning pictures.

Are you thinking of testing the waters or a change of career, we are here for you with all the latest job listing from all over South Africa. Now is the time to get that amazing dream job and we have you covered – SEE MORE

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