Weekendish: The best of the week's reads

George Mel with his light aircraft Image copyright Mading Akech

A collection of some of the best reads from the BBC News website this week, with an injection of your comments.

Many tweeters and Facebook commenters thought our story of George Mel, the man who built a plane in his back yard was an inspiring example of determination. Not least, the famous Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who tweeted George's comment: "I stuck to my dreams and I started doing them practically." Moving slightly closer to Earth, pilot Tim Byatt promised that next time he's heading to or from East Africa and flying over South Sudan he'll spare a thought for George. George won't be airborne as he hasn't got permission to test-fly his plane, which is made from aluminium picked up in South Sudan's metal workshops, with a garden chair as the pilot's seat. Drew Gardner was among many who were crying out: "Will someone please give him a job?" George does have a job already - when he took his work to the South Sudan Air Force, officers were so impressed they gave him a position in their IT department. Sally Prescott went one further and urged military plane maker BAE to employ him. They replied, saying he's got until the end of the month to apply for an apprenticeship. Yukon Mutetwa says on Facebook that George is not the first to build his own aircraft. Zimbabwean Daniel Chingoma put together a homemade helicopter using the engine of a Datsun Pulsar car. Not everyone was awe-struck though. Thulani Ncube says on Facebook that there is nothing impressive about reconstructing something that was invented more than 100 years ago - to which Mrah Bostanc─▒ responds: "You have a computer and best thing you are capable of is just leave a comment. If you give your computer to that man he may design a space ship."

The plane-builder of South Sudan

First born

"How can anyone see an innocent newborn and feel any hate?" asked reader Chris Phillips. It was a reaction to Rikardo's story. Rikardo was the first baby born in 2015 in Hungary. His picture was taken for local and national press. The deputy leader of the far-right Jobbik party posted that picture on Facebook and mentioned that Rikardo was the third child of a 23-year-old Gypsy mother, adding: "The number of Hungarians is not just falling disastrously, but soon we will become a minority in our own homes. When will the day come when they decide to change Hungary's name? And when will we finally tackle our country's biggest problem?" An avalanche of both condemnation and approval followed, and Rikardo became Hungary's most famous Roma at only a few days old. Our correspondent Nick Thorpe says the problem is many people don't seem to realise that Roma, some of whom prefer to be known as Gypsies, are Hungarians too.

The baby that divided a nation

Splitting up

Image copyright Jurgen Schadeberg

"We must remember what happened in Sophiatown. Not to reopen old wounds, but to stop new ones being opened," tweets Clark Nida. Sophiatown was home to black, white, mixed-race, Chinese and Indian people, but 60 years ago the neighbourhood was destroyed and the residents sent to live elsewhere, segregated according to their race. Victor was 10 years old when he was forcibly removed. He remembers being woken up early one morning by the sound of horses' hooves. When he eventually went outside he realised that 2,000 police had descended on the area. Quouar says on Reddit this is also the story of where the ANC chose to fight its battles and where is chose to back away. Nelson Mandela had given a speech saying the time for passive resistance was over but when he realised how heavily armed the police were likely to be, he advised residents not to resist. What amazes Reddit user The Falconator is how South Africa was much more brutal during apartheid than Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) was, yet was able to integrate better afterwards.

The town destroyed to stop black and white people mixing

The Bantams

Image copyright Pen and sword books

Mary Souques emailed us to to tell us when she was searching her family tree, she found out that her great uncle was in the Bantams in the Cheshire Regiment. That would mean that he was under 5ft 3in (160cm). Shorter soldiers felt left out so the War Office gave its blessing to battalions exclusively made up of men between 5ft and 5ft 3in. More than 30,000 were enlisted. Sadly, she explains, her uncle was killed in action on the Somme. His body was never found. But his name is on the Thieval memorial, which Mary has visited. Her grandmother never forgot her brother and named her son (Mary's father) after him.

Bantams: The army units for those under 5ft 3in

No ticket to ride

Image copyright ALAMY

Jack Chrichton is angry. He tweets: "I deprived Merseyrail of £1.65 and the police now have my DNA and fingerprints. Not once was I given the chance to pay the cost. I got a caution from the police, just for going one stop." Rail companies in the UK have right to prosecute people who don't have a ticket. But this assumption that people are dishonest might be counterproductive. There's one theory that when people feel they have been wronged in some way they're more likely to rebel against the system. So some thinking is going into changing the system. One reader came up with a change that could actually happen - Simon Monger suggests rail companies should put the seat reservation information on the ticket. At the moment it's a separate ticket and you can be fined if you lose one.

Are train travellers without the right ticket treated fairly?

Know your onions

Image copyright Thinkstock

"Imagine being allergic to onions," says @TheBFK. Adam Spencer Young doesn't need to imagine. "Today is a very important day," he tweets, "today I realised I'm not alone in the world... other people are allergic to onions." It comes after reading Father Gary Donegan's account of his own allergy. He has more or less given up on eating out. Anna Hill, who is also excited to find out she is not the only one with an onion allergy, tweets that she wishes more restaurants took this seriously. They are pretty much everywhere, as we mentioned previously. Even so, a restaurant directory for people with allergies, @CanIEatThere tweeted that onions are not one of the 14 allergens which caterers in the UK are legally obliged to highlight. Catering consultants @WhatsInMyDish ask whether they should be added. The problem is, Trisha Snowling said on our Facebook post: "We are a rare breed and so understandably we are, unlike those with peanut allergy for example, not catered for." Trisha has a useful tip for anyone who has found it difficult to eat out - she suggests finding a restaurant that caters specifically for the Jain community. "It is heaven as their religion prohibits the use of any root veg."

Why onions can cause more than tears

Here are some things we've enjoyed this week from elsewhere around the web:

The white dress that changed wedding history forever - Time

We know why you're always late - Wall Street Journal

How one stupid tweet blew up Justine Sacco's life - New York Times

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