Paris is Selling Its Love Locks, and Donating the Proceeds to Refugee Organizations

iStock
iStock

Paris officials have turned an urban problem into a public service: They’re selling the city’s “love locks” as souvenirs and donating the proceeds to refugee groups. The Guardian first reported the news back in December, and now—beginning on Saturday, May 13—the locks will be auctioned off online.

For traveling couples, the padlocks they affixed to the iron grills of the French city’s bridges, initials scrawled on the surface, were a symbol of romance. But to Parisian officials, they were a civil danger. Fearing that the locks would weaken overpasses like the Pont des Arts, the city began dismantling the metal trinkets in 2015.

Left with 1 million padlocks (which totaled 65 metric tons of scrap metal), authorities needed a creative way to repurpose the waste. So they decided to sell 10 metric tons of locks to members of the public, marketing them as relics of the city’s bygone history.

“Members of the public can buy five or 10 locks, or even clusters of them, all at an affordable price,” Bruno Julliard, first deputy mayor of Paris, said in a statement quoted by The Guardian in 2016. “All of the proceeds will be given to those who work in support and in solidarity of the refugees in Paris.”

The locks will be sold in a variety of lots, some of them just as a single souvenir, others in groups. Smaller lots are expected to sell for anywhere from $100 to $200, while pieces of the padlocked railings could go for as much as $5000 to $9000 apiece. Proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army, Emmaus Solidarity, and Solipam.

Wizarding World Gold, a Magical New Harry Potter Subscription Service, Has Arrived

The Potter Collector, YouTube
The Potter Collector, YouTube

For Potterheads, Christmas just came early. There’s a new Harry Potter subscription service on the market, and it’ll make you feel like you plunged face-first into one of the magical books—not unlike Harry’s frequent forays into the Pensieve.

Engadget reports that Wizarding World Gold is a 12-month commitment, and includes access to all seven Harry Potter ebooks through the Wizarding World app, collectible pin badges, merchandise discounts, and more.

That’s really just the tip of the iceberg-sized rock cake. After signing up, you’ll receive a pin, a print of J.K. Rowling’s sketch of Hogwarts, and a personalized journal called Keys and Curios, designed by the graphic design team behind the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film franchises. It features your name, Hogwarts house, and “enchanted keys” that “unlock hidden secrets” when scanned with the Wizarding World app.

You can also watch Wizarding World Originals, an exclusive video series that delves into the mysteries of the world of Harry Potter; gain early access to collectible merchandise and priority bookings for events like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and enjoy magical quizzes and puzzles. You’ll also make the guest list for festivities like the Wizarding World Gold Christmas Party in the Great Hall at Warner Bros.’s Studio Tour London.

If you register now, your welcome gift with the pin, print, and journal will arrive in about two weeks, and your first official subscription box will follow later this autumn. It’s $75 for the entire year, which is quite a bit cheaper than flying off to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

If you have any funds left in your Gringotts vault, you can supplement your fantasy-filled subscription with a Harry Potter pop-up book, sock Advent calendar, bathrobe, or even Pandora jewelry.

[h/t Engadget]

LEGO Dinosaur Fossils Bring Three Species Back From Extinction

Courtesy of LEGO
Courtesy of LEGO

If LEGO paleontology sounds like a hobby worth pursuing, you’re in luck. On Wednesday, LEGO announced the pending release of the LEGO Ideas Dinosaur Fossils set, a 910-piece package that resurrects Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops in skeleton form, with an articulated Pteranodon also in skeleton form. Fittingly, the T. rex looms largest at 7 inches tall.

The kit was based on a suggestion gathered by LEGO Ideas, the crowd-sourced platform that gives LEGO collectors a voice in future sets. In addition to the three dinosaurs, a Homo sapiens skeleton is also included for scale comparison. All have a display stand to cultivate a museum-quality atmosphere. You’ll also get a paleontologist minifigure to complete the scene.

A LEGO Ideas Dinosaur Fossils 'Tyrannosaurus rex' is pictured
Courtesy of LEGO

A LEGO Ideas Dinosaur Fossils 'Triceratops' is pictured
Courtesy of LEGO

A LEGO Ideas Dinosaur Fossils 'Pteranodon' is pictured
Courtesy of LEGO

This isn’t LEGO’s first foray into dinosaurs. The company has produced sets based on the Jurassic Park film franchise as well as kid-friendly sets, but this marks the first time dinos have gotten the deluxe treatment.

Technically, it's a two-dinosaur set, as Pteranodon is classified as a flying reptile in the order Pterosauria.

The Dinosaur Fossils set retails for $59.99 and will be available at the LEGO online store on November 1. You can preorder it here.

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