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Cape cobra. Picture: CHAD KEATES
Cape cobra. Picture: CHAD KEATES

1. Snake off a plane

A Cape cobra caught at the Nelspruit airport last week is believed to be the same one that had sneaked aboard a light aircraft in Wellington five months ago. When the snake was discovered during the flight, the plane made an emergency landing at Welkom. A search failed to find the reptile and the plane resumed its flight to the Nelspruit airport and has since made several, uneventful, flights.

2. Gas clue to alien life

Astronomers have hailed a “fundamental breakthrough” in the search for alien life after detecting signs on a distant planet of a gas that, on Earth, is produced only by living organisms. K2-18b is 8.6 times as big as Earth and 124 light years away. Data from the James Webb Telescope suggests it is totally covered in water and within the habitable zone of its star in the Leo constellation.

3. Simon’s sounds of silence

Singer-songwriter Paul Simon, 81, says he is “beginning” to accept his hearing loss and that he can no longer play all of his repertoire live. The comments came at the world premiere of In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon, a documentary on his life, at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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