Sunday, 13 October 2013

The living dead

In the news today, an American man has turned up from almost 20 years of being missing has been told he cannot have a driving licence because he is still legally dead.  Donald Miller Jr vanished from Ohio in 1986 after he lost his job and turned to drink and he was officially declared as deceased eight years after going walkabouts.

Mr Miller explained that he just drifted from place to place whilst living his life out of a bottle.  After getting his life back on track and returning to his home town, Donald decided to apply for a driving licence through the court.

The law as it stands in Ohio states that there is a three year limit to reverse a ruling of death and given that Donald had been adrift from the world for almost twenty, the judge refused to overturn the ruling.  This basically means that Mr Miller is, despite being very much alive, officially dead.

The judge stated it to be a "strange, strange situation". With Donald Miller standing in front of him in the court, the judge explained that he had no idea where this left him because as far as the law is concerned he is deceased.   

Apart from the obvious issues this leaves regarding legal documents, there is the other side of the problem to being dead.  Will he be accountable for any of his actions, illegal or otherwise?  He really does give new meaning to the saying, ‘Dead man walking’.

Whatever the outcome of Mr Miller’s dilemma, this is confusing, is he in some kind of twilight zone, stuck between the afterlife and death.  Or has he reached a dead end in his life/death.  

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

i Phone, i can't swim

In the news today, A fake Apple advert claiming the recent new iOS 7 software update makes iPhones and iPads waterproof has hoodwinked some individuals into believing these claims by testing them, resulting in some ruined devices.  

The bogus advert which had all the glossy look of a genuine Apple advertisement, seems to have tricked a few thoughtless people into literally taking the plunge by dropping their previous appliances into water. 

One of the claims was a "smart switch" that cuts off the phone's power supply when water is detected, would kick in when required. This, it was said, "prevents any damage to your iPhone's delicate circuitry". Shame the gullible i phone owners didn’t engage their smart switch before attempting to test out this bogus theory.

Not surprisingly there are now a few useless smart phones that have not fared too well after their non-smart owners tried to play sink the battleships with them.

One angry but naive owner wrote on social media site Twitter: "Whoever said iOS 7 was waterproof F*** you."  And another rash but equally stupid Apple fan wrote: "OK whoever said iOS 7 is waterproof GO F*** YOURSELF."

Clearly they wrote these comments on a different phone as theirs are still drying out. Good luck with your insurance claims chumps


Monday, 8 July 2013

Climbing the ladder of success

In the news today a TV journalist in India has been sacked after delivering a news report on serious floods in the north of the country where over 1,000 people died while sitting on the shoulders of a man with the flood water lapping around his knees.  

An employee of News Express in India stated that Narayan Pargaien was guilty of "grave misconduct".  Mr Pargaien is insistent that the man in the clip who had lost his home in the floods had been paid and was happy to be used as a human ladder.  The ace reporter was very keen to blame his cameraman too because he was only meant to film him from the waste up to avoid showing the destitute homeless man.

Whilst the report was not broadcast by the TV station, the video was anonymously uploaded onto YouTube where it has had thousands of hits.  Although the clip has been stated to have caused outrage it isn’t clear who is irate other than his now former employer.

One of the main attributes to be a successful news reporter is to be quick-witted and sharp to stay one step ahead of the opponents.  Mr Pargaien was doing just that, ‘How do I get a great shot in the middle of the flood stricken streets whilst my trousers remain dry?’  Maybe on reflection the use of a desperate displaced victim of the disaster wasn’t the best option, even if he did agree to it.

There is no news on what has become of Mr Pargaien, early indications that he is looking at becoming an optical illusionist are unfounded.  Given his poor behaviour he is unlikely to be awash with job offers and he best practice his stilt walking skills if he wants to do any more flood reports.  Oh and find himself a better cameraman too. 

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Escorting the Welsh

In the news today and after somewhat of a delay in writing, a Welsh Government scheme aimed at young people to help them potentially earn up to £48,000. The careers advice has been featured on the Business Wales website as “aspirational career opportunities”, the vocations suggested? Lap dancers, strippers and escorts.

Unbelievably the advice states that, "the escorts provide companionship to the client when attending events such as a formal dinner or the theatre". The site was quick to point out that it is an offence to “incite escorts to act as prostitutes”.

An investigation has been launched into how but most importantly, why; this was even considered as practical occupation advice.  Plaid Cymru AM Jocelyn Davies has described herself as ‘no prude’, but thinks it not acceptable to provide women with information on the sex establishment. I think Ms Davies that you may indeed be slightly straitlaced and also sexist, what about men exercising their right to become strippers or escorts?

She also goes on to say, "Stripping is degrading for women and the Welsh Government should not be promoting the view that sexually exploitative work is an acceptable career."  Now she is either excluding men totally from this or she derives that it is acceptable for them to be exploited.

While I’m on the subject of discrimination of the sexes, let’s not stop there.  Why is the advert aimed at young people?  There are thousands of unemployed older people, excluding someone from the running just because of age these days will land you straight in front of an employment tribunal.

There you are in the later stages of life, redundant, on the unemployment scrap heap, thinking there is no hope of another career and the Welsh Government throw you a lifeline. Even if you can’t corner the market as an escort for the over 70’s, there’s always the compensation claim for discrimination to top up your income support. (I am unaware of the current term for what was called dole money years ago, Heroin supplement, beer tokens, wide screen TV funding, take your pick).

 Lib Dem Miss Eluned Parrott said: "These are perfectly legitimate businesses”, but is surprised to find them on the Welsh Government’s website. But when you think about it, where else would you find out about these professions?  You can’t complain about the unemployment figures on one hand and then criticise young entrepreneurs for wanting to earn high wages.

I’m off now to see if I can upload my CV to potential employers, I wonder what the perks are. I’m guessing there will be a lot of night shifts, traveling and meeting lots of different people. I’ll get to see lots of shows at the theatre and eat in good restaurants, I think it’s only fair I make sure they get back to their hotel room safely.  Don’t you?  

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Ice cream inflated Lolly

In the news today, well, more last week but who’s bothered.  Consumer chiefs are investigating after four British tourists paid 64 euro (£50) or ($83) for four ice cream cones in the Italian capital of Rome.

Roger Bannister and his wife, along with his brother and wife were on a short break and stopped for an ice cream at the Antica Roma ice cream parlour.  Aware of prices becoming inflated if they sat down, they cunningly ordered the ices to go.

Mr Bannister, who is a company executive from the West Midlands, said: ''They didn't even say thank you when we paid.” And added, “How can they get away with charging that much?”  The question I’m examining Roger is, how can you be that stupid?  Mr Bannister continued to be outraged by saying, “It's scandalous and should not be allowed to happen.” You allowed it to occur Roger; there was a choice you could have made other than paying the clearly inflated prices.

I’m not wishing to be unkind to Mr Bannister, as I’m the worse person for working out sums but even I would have questioned 64 Euros.  You also have to query how Mr Bannister managed to become a company executive; I can only assume that he doesn’t do his own accounts.

A staff member from the ice cream parlour, who has remained anonymous, said: ''The prices are clearly on display. They got what they asked for - four ice creams.”  Which is a fair point, a minute spent to look at the price list before proceeding with the acquisition would have saved Mr Bannister from making a national embarrassment of himself and family.

With today’s smartphone technology and internet access there is little excuse for not being able to work out the exchange rates.  The ice cream establishment and others are clearly preying on the British tradition of not complaining and charging extravagant prices. But the fact still remains that although life offers you many choices,  this was undoubtedly one of yes or no.  Simple.  

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Incredible night out

In the news today, an incredible event that took place in the city of York involving the Hulk.  North Yorkshire Police have issued a statement following an assault on a female that suffered a black eye after the green fictional monster struck.

The statement says, "At the time of the incident, the woman suspected of the assault was covered in green body paint with dyed red hair”.  It is however suspected that the green angry assailant was a female in her early 20’s around 5ft 8 in tall of a medium build.  This would immediately rule out the real incredible Hulk, as I’m sure he is much bigger and a man.

The incident took place in the early hours outside the local McDonalds restaurant and appears to have been an unprovoked attack.  Detective Constable Cheryl Hunter, who is investigating the crime said: "Thankfully the injuries were not too severe. However, the outcome could have been far more serious”.  It’s unsure from the victim as to what if anything was said during the beating, but if you’re like me you’d have wanted the words, “Don’t make me angry………” somewhere in there.

Police have asked that if anyone witnessed the occurrence and can identify the Hulk, to contact them.  I wonder how many calls they have had recognising her as the incredible Hulk?  I’m guessing her friends are keeping silent about this, maybe they were all dressed similar and to squeal on her would break the super hero’s code.

The target of this comic book attack should really think of herself to be lucky that she didn’t come up against any of the other super heroes instead of the alter ego of mild mannered scientist David Banner. The real Hulk had green hair if I remember correctly; the assailant had made the error of dying hers red, possibly down to a lack of research. If you’re going to be a gigantic, green, illuminated, mutated humanoid monster with incredible strength, and an inability to control your rage, at least get the costume right!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Company man, forever

In the news today, a New York company has offered its staff a 15% pay raise for being tattooed with the company's logo. The brokerage firm run by Anthony Lolli says that not only does it prove the employees loyalty to the company but they receive a healthy pay increase.

So far in the last two years around forty employees have taken the plunge and been branded with the everlasting reminder of who they work for.  The company, Rapid Realty, has a logo that isn’t too offensive in that it is made up from the letters of its name and most employees are sporting it on their forearms.  It might be a different story if they worked for a contraceptive firm.

The scheme was put into motion after one employee got the tattoo to prove his devotion to the company.  A corporation logo pen neatly tucked into the shirt pocket for all to see would be a less eternal display of dedication.

I’m just wondering what would happen if the company ever went under and there would be forty unemployed branded ex devotees wandering the job centre like cult members that have lost their leader.  Maybe they could incorporate the tattoo computer chip so that they can be tracked and take another step closer to the big brother state.

When you think on one hand that Mr Lolli has increased his wages bill considerably, if you have got the perpetual company brand with you at all time, you are less likely to leave the firm, thus increasing productivity and the fortune of the aptly named Anthony Lolli.

I’m unsure that this scheme will catch on elsewhere; it is after all an extreme measure to take. I can’t see workers from McDonalds rolling up their sleeves and proudly showing off their yellow M’s, or workers from the sanitary products factory. 


Friday, 3 May 2013

Name and shame

In the news today, New Zealand are having a clampdown on new parents with the banning of certain baby names. This comes after a string of 'unsuitable' submissions to the countries births and marriages department.

Some of the recently rejected names included, Queen Victoria and the symbol '\'. Strict officials told parents it would contravene tight rules on what are considered acceptable. Other rejects include stand-alone letters that are clearly initials but do not stand for anything. 'AJ', 'MC', 'VI', 'LB' and 'CJ' were all turned down. I'm a little disappointed not to see 'BJ' to be honest.

You really have to admire some parents efforts with proposed names for their offspring and at the same time question their suitability as role models. 'Lucifer' 'Anal' and 'Mafia No Fear', funny as they are, would not produce a normal child.

The department has recently produced a banned list of names which include, '4Real' 'King' and 'Duke', the last two making the list as they could imply the child has a title. Some hard of thinking parents even wanted to call their children '2nd' or '3rd' in order of their arrival.

The most popular rejected name is 'Justice' although my absolute favourite is 'Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii', which in 2008 a court ordered had to be changed. Stating that it made the girl look foolish and would cause her embarrassment. She could have just shortened it to Hula.

At the time, the judge criticised parents who gave their children bizarre names, citing examples such as 'Number 16 Bus Shelter', 'Midnight Chardonnay' and a set of twins that were called 'Benson' and 'Hedges'. All of which are highly entertaining unless you are one of those poor unfortunate siblings.

I think the underlaying issue here is not the bizarre names but the actual suitability for these people to bring life into the world. I'm sure a child called John will have a better chance of a stable upbringing than one called Mighty Duke.

Some of my own suggestions will possibly not get past the officials but may reflect some of the parents more accurately.
Dole money, Carlsberg, McD and Workshy? Maybe not.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Harpoon buffoon

In the news today, a Brazilian man has somehow managed to shoot himself through the eye with his harpoon gun.  The 12 inch harpoon pierced his skull, almost exiting through the back of his head.

Bruno Coutinho was apparently cleaning his gun at his home in Petropolis when he accidentally triggered it, sending the harpoon through his left eye and into his head.  Doctors are amazed that no lasting damage has been caused by the man’s evident display of stupidity.

In two operations resulting in the harpoon being finally removed after a staggering 10 hours embedded in his skull, Bruno is said to be recovering well in hospital, although he has lost the sight in his eye.
Dr Orlando Maria, who is the chief of neurosurgery at the hospital, said, “The harpoon came within millimetres of piercing a major artery”,clearly his brain was missed due to its below average size, little brain equals less chance of damaging it.

I have conducted a little research into harpoons, intrigued as to how Bruno could have feasibly shot himself.  They seem to come in a variant of designs and methods for firing, the main common factor being that you need to pull atrigger. They are also fairly long so the gun itself is required to be so tooin order to accommodate the harpoon.

It isn’t like a barrel of a conventional gun, there is a big pointed harpoon sticking out and to place this anywhere close to your head does seen to me to be a monumentally unwise action. Bruno was said to have been cleaning the thing, perhaps the instruction manual doesn’t translate exactly into Brazilian and somehow interprets as, ‘Clean the incredibly sharp point of the harpoon by placing it in front of your eye taking care not to trigger the firing mechanism as this could result in injury or even death you dumb ass’.

I don’t know Bruno’s reasons for owning a harpoon but I’m sure he has a valid explanation, but his actions have placed him firmly into the realms of the institute for the colossal hall of fail.  This was being a failure on a World class level and it is no doubt this immense display of dumb that saved his life by not damaging his pea brain. Unbelievable.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Panda private parts

In the news today, Edinburgh Zoo's giant female panda has been artificially inseminated after attempts to get the UK’s only pair of the loveable endangered bears to mate naturally have failed.

Breeding season for pandas is between mid-April and May and there is a critical 36 hour window when the female can mate, made all the more difficult I would imagine by having an audience.  Given that the male and female are kept in separate enclosures throughout the year and only get together for mating, the female, who is called, Tian Tian, can’t be blamed for not being totally receptive.

The male, called, Yang Guang, had been introduced to the female a couple of times during the last week but the meetings clearly didn’t go well as Tian, Tian was not ready for that kind of commitment so early in their relationship.  Maybe Yang Guang should have started by taking her a bunch of bamboo to start things off gently. 

The move to step in and artificially inseminate Tian, Tian was taken after the Zoo’s Panda expert, Chinese colleague Professor Wang, decided that Tian, Tain ‘displayed signs that told him she would not be conducive to mating.’  In layman’s terms, she wasn’t putting out; you really need to be an expert to see that?

If the pregnancy is successful any cubs would be born around September time.  You can just imagine Yang Guang being informed that he is the father of Cubs, “What? We never did anything!  I want a DNA test”.  He really has had a rough deal, kept in isolation all year, given the chance to prove his Panda hood, gets rebuffed then slapped with a paternity suit.

Whatever the outcome, 500,000 visitors last year to the zoo will certainly increase should the tiny patter of panda paws be heard.  Yang Guang is back in solitary confinement working on his chat up lines and wondering why that Chinese man had been messing with his Panda parts.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Pain in the glass

In the news today, an ill-fated pigeon has left a lasting impression upon a Dunblane householder when it slammed into one of his windows.  The bird has surely been left in pain, after its close inspection of the pane, of the house in Scotland.

Stuart Milligan's kitchen window now has the perfect imprint of the pigeon after the bird, not renowned for its intellect, smashed into it.  The mark left by the bird is in such great detail that Stuart’s neighbours are keen to know where he got the decorative addition to his house.

Encouraged by the sudden interest in his previously plain and ordinary window, I wonder if Stuart is now hoping to lure other more exotic birds to embellish the remainder of his house. He could place various tempting bait on his windowsills to get the wildlife flocking to his house.

I’m sure cardboard cut-outs of provocative and teasing female birds cleverly placed on the inside of rooms will have the birds hurtling at full speed towards his windows.  He will of course need to keep his panes cleaned to enhance the ruse.

Before any bird lovers start reporting me to the RSPB, I am using my literary overemphasis and would of course never condone the needless suffering of our feathered friends in the pursuit of stylish window adornments. 

Friday, 12 April 2013

Zombie Fruit Truck

In the news today, California has reportedly been infested with zombies after a man driving a lorry crashed attempting to shake the living dead from his vehicle causing damage and injuring a number of people in the process.

Jerimiah Hartline, who is 19 told police that he swerved across the road out of control when the zombies hung onto the side of the vehicle, which Hartline had stolen.  The incident caused other motorists to crash putting one female in hospital with serious injuries.

Police said that when Hartline was found he was in an ‘altered’ state, really?  I didn’t see that one coming.  The stolen lorry which was full of strawberries had stopped on a weighbridge when the thief took the vehicle; it isn’t confirmed if he took the truck in an attempt to flee the zombies or if they appeared after he fled with it.

Hartline has actually pleaded not guilty to the six offences he has been charged with, including assault by a deadly weapon, i.e. the truck.  I’m guessing he is sticking with the zombie defence on this then.  You never know he might surprise the court when he calls his witnesses and several dead people drag themselves in, dropping rotten body parts onto the courtroom floor.

There was no mention of any drugs being found on Hartline upon his arrest, so we must assume that they were already within his system and had taken effect.  Given the lack of any other zombie related reports that day, I’m sticking with the hallucinogenic theory. Even the other people involved in the crash failed to mention seeing the undead.

It’s such a shame that British TV doesn’t show real courtroom cases; this is definitely one I’d tune in for, I can’t believe that he has even got a lawyer to take this on.  The case continues. 

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Definitely not a nice Beaver.

In the news today, a man on a fishing trip on Lake Shestakov in Belarus has been killed after being attacked and bitten by a beaver. The shocking incident took place when the man attempted to take a photograph of the mammal and it took a chunk out of his leg.

The man’s fishing companions attempted to stem the flow of blood from the wound but the animal’s bite had severed a main artery and the poor man bled to death.  It is not unheard of for Beavers, which are the second largest rodent in the World, to attack humans.  With a man attacked in New York & two girls badly injured last year in Virginia, these reports are all the more worrying as the mammals are usually rabid.

I’m just trying to picture the scene which provoked this oversized rat into striking out with such deadly force.  It was either incredibly wound up by the ill-fated fisherman or really, really didn’t want its photo taken.  Whatever happened, it has to be looked upon as an amazing unfortunate piece of luck that it hit a main artery.  I’m not going to be panicking about gangs of beavers hunting down humans just yet. 

Earlier in the week a video was posted on YouTube showing a man in Moscow, running away from a beaver who charged at him as he was filming.  Are we looking at some kind of payback for all the years of David Attenborough invading their lives? Such a shame that the deceased man, who has not been named, will be forever remembered as the guy killed by a beaver.  Not a claim to fame I’d aspire too.  

Me want cookie and $2

In the news today, the cookie monster has been arrested!  Yes that lovable furry blue munching biscuit lover from Sesame Street has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child along with aggressive begging.

This shocking revelation is said to have taken place in New York’s Times Square when a family from Connecticut stopped to pose for a photo with Osvaldo Quiroz-Lopez who was actually dressed as the character.  Osvaldo is accused of pushing a two year old child & shouting obscenities at the family when they allegedly refused to tip him $2.

Apart from bringing the very name of the cookie monster into dishonour, Osvaldo has possibly left a two year old child with lifelong mental scars when it was assaulted by a giant version of a personality that they had previously only seen harmlessly consuming cookies on the TV in the sanctity of her own home.

There does seem to be a pattern emerging here when a performer dressed as a Super Mario Brother was accused of groping a woman in Times Square. Although Osvaldo has no previous convictions for this kind of behaviour, it is concerning that the very name of the cookie monster, whose real name is Sid, is being associated with the poor conduct of street performers. 

Sid, aka the cookie monster criticised of eating so many cookies has since 2006 stated that they are a ‘sometimes snack’ and that he also likes fruit and eggplant.  I’m sure he doesn’t and that the folks at Sesame Street are trying to be seen to be promoting healthy eating in children.  He wouldn’t really have the same appeal as the melon monster or the banana beast. 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Magic researchers

In the news today, the treatment for depression using magic mushrooms has been delayed due to legal problems.  The illegal class A drug has been linked to helping in the fight to combat the condition.

The highly amusingly named study leader professor Nutt has stated that he has been prevented from giving suffers an opportunity to receive relief from the illness by red tape. Despite being handed a £550,000 research grant, they are not allowed to pick the mushrooms as it is illegal to do so.

The law states that academic researchers are not allowed to manufacture their own Class A drugs and must obtain them from external sources. Companies need to obtain the necessary Home Office licence; this can take up to a year and triple the cost.  This is without the EU becoming involved with their guidelines on Good Manufacturing Practice which just about makes it impossible to progress.

Professor Nutt was sacked from his position as the Governments chief drug adviser in 2009 and also was asked to step down from his role as chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in the same year after claiming that alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than LSD, ecstasy and cannabis.

Given the professors previous & the fact that he states that trials with magic mushrooms have already indicated that they can work for easing depression, you have to ask how has this conclusion been reached if they are illegal to use? I can just picture the professor and his team at the Imperial College in London off their faces. “Hey I don’t feel at all depressed, in fact I feel amazing!”

 With a £550,000 grant I’m sure the problem of supply can be overcome, they’re in London, I’m sure dealers are not that hard to come by. They could always try some other more easily obtainable drugs, I’m confident that pretty much any narcotic will combat the effects of depression, for a while anyway.
I wonder how they find volunteers for this kind of research?  Ads in the local classifieds?

WANTED: Individuals required for Government backed research, candidates must be manic depressive and or have suicidal thoughts or at the very least be feeling slightly down.  Class A drugs supplied free of charge.  Food not supplied but we have lots of cash so we could send out for pizza should anyone get the munchies.

Researchers discovered that when healthy volunteers were given the drug it shuts down a region of the brain known to be over-active in depression.  So if I understand this correctly, they gave someone a class A drug known for its mind-altering effects similar to those of LSD and once they were given this, they no longer felt depressed.  Genius, that’s £550,000 worth of anyone’s money well spent. 

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

High wire act

In the news today, a good reason not to consume alcohol when a drunken man endangered his life in downtown Linfen, in north China's Shanxi Province by hanging from power cables.

The man, who had scaled a utility pole & climbed onto the cables 30 feet above the ground, had given his reasons for the foolhardy stunt as being in a bad mood.  I tend to opt for the throwing something across the room or swearing choice myself, much safer.  

After the electricity was switched off to prevent him from being crispy fried and fire-fighters attempted to coax the inebriated sulking man down, he fell from the cables onto a lower set of wires before finally dropping into an inflated bed supplied by the fire- fighters.

As is often the case with intoxicated people, he was unharmed and left only with an excess of alcohol in his body.  It’s odd that accidents that befall you in a drunken state very frequently leave you uninjured, when a simple sober trip on the pavement can break an ankle.  It must be something to do with the bodies relaxed and more limp standing when under the influence of liquor. 

My own father tripped at the top of the escalator in the underground at Westminster station whilst returning home from a few ‘sherbets’, as he referred to it.  The distance from the top to the bottom being over 100 feet.  After several rolls and knocking other commuters over like pin balls he arrived at the bottom in a crumpled drunken heap with nothing more than a few bruises.  An event that would have undoubtedly have broken his neck along with several other bones had this happened whilst sober.

There’s no further news on our oriental high wire act, after causing disruption to power supplies and the financial cost of the emergency services he appears to have disappeared to sober up.  If you want to see his inebriated antics they were captured on video and can be found on the following link:

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Dead as an egg

In the news today, the femur bone of a dodo and the giant partially fossilised egg of an elephant bird are being put up for auction at Christie's.  The bone of the extinct Dodo is expected to fetch up to £15,000 & the egg, which is around 100 times larger than a chicken’s egg, anticipated to attract around £30,000.

Now I can see the appeal in a massive egg, very topical too at Easter time, but just a bone that is around a few inches in length? I’m not convinced.  Where’s the rest of the poor Dodo anyway?  You can imagine showing off at a dinner party with your Elephant egg which is 21 cm in diameter, the size of an adults head, impressing your guests with the specifics that it comes from an extinct 11 foot tall bird from Madagascar.  Then you whip out a decaying old piece of bone. 

Somewhere out there on this weird & wonderful world are people just hoping to have a Dodo bone in their collection, a collection that you have to wonder at its contents if they get off on old bones.  I’d be more inclined to be impressed it was a complete skeleton; I dread to think what a whole one would cost.

The bone from the ill-fated Dodo is believed to have been excavated in 1865 & is a rare example from the famous flightless bird from the island of Mauritius.  Looking at the drawings that there are of the bird, it does look as if it had a fair amount of meat on it & seemed as if it would have made a tasty treat for most predators.  The dodo, being earthbound, rather weighty & unable to climb, had its fate sealed really even without man having taken a liking to its pretty feathers.

It’s amazing to see what cash people are willing to part with for a slice of history, when conceivably a fraction of that money would help save most of the Worlds endangered species.  The Dodo has been tarnished with a hapless, almost dumb personality over the years.  But I’m reasonably influenced that it wouldn’t have killed animals for fun & keep the bones as trophies, slaughter great beasts for their ivory, fur or oils.

Just who are the most intelligent species on our fragile planet anyway? 

Monday, 25 March 2013

Groundhog weather

In the news today, an Ohio prosecutor has called for the death penalty for a rodent after the groundhog wrongly predicted the weather. Calling it an ‘unclassified Felony against the peace and dignity of the State Of Ohio’, County attorney Mike Gmoser issued the official looking indictment.

The ‘World famous’ Punxsutawney Phil the weather predicting groundhog has got himself into trouble for getting the forecast wrong.  Those of you reading this & having no idea of Phil’s celebrity, don’t worry you are not alone. 

The Butler county attorney also added, "The people further find and specify that due to the aggravating circumstances and misrepresentation to the people that the death penalty be implemented to the defendant, Punxsutawney Phil."  Although the indictment is very tongue in cheek, Phil’s owner John Griffiths retaliated & declared the groundhog was innocent & blamed it on spring-like temperature spikes since February. I’d put the fault on people relying on an oversized rat to tell us the weather forecast.

There seems to be no indication as to how Punxsutawney Phil delivers his predictions, if it’s standing in front of a massive map of America waving his paws to illustrate sweeping winds & cold fronts, I for one will be very impressed. Not sure his little claws could operate the little button to change the picture though.

Groundhogs are accomplished swimmers, burrowers & excellent tree climbers & hibernate for the winter from around October until March or April. Although a wild animal they can be raised in captivity but are renowned for their aggressive nature, possibly when they are woken from hibernation & asked to give a weather forecast. 

The death penalty in the state of Ohio is either by electrocution or lethal injection, the inmate choses, that should be interesting. They'd have to make a tiny chair from matchsticks & hook it up to a car battery. 

I have a couple of guinea pigs that sit around just eating & sleeping mainly, think it’s time they earned their keep, plus if they get it wrong, the worse sentence in the UK is life imprisonment, so they're on to a winner whatever. 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Hello my Deer

In the news today, Kalamazoo police in Michigan had a fright when they spotted a suspicious vehicle that was parked behind a motel at night.  The driver of the car informed officers that he had hit & killed a deer whilst driving & was taking the road kill home for food.

When the driver was asked to pop the boot, or trunk dependant on your location in the world, a startled deer leaped from the car & made a dash for freedom into the nearby woods.  The officers on board camera caught the moment that the mammal escaped its metal tomb.

A couple of questions immediately spring to the forefront of my mind.  The first being, what was this man doing parked at a motel with a deer in his boot/trunk?  The second being, what else was in is car?
If I was one of those police officers, being the instinctive mistrustful person that I am, I’d want to be establishing the following two facts:

1.      Was there a motel room booked in the name of Mr & Mrs Fallow?
2.      Were there any surgical gloves, plastic sheeting & lubricant in the car?

I’m not totally acquainted with the ways of the state of Michigan, maybe this is normal behaviour of that part of the world. “Howdy officers, just out for a drive with my special lady Muntjac, it’s our second wedding anniversary, going back to the motel where it all began”. 

It’s amusing that the city has Zoo in the name, given what the yet unnamed man was potentially discovered doing.  He claimed that the deer would be food for his family, but I’d put money on his household containing straw on the floors & pretty lace deer shaped dresses in the wardrobes.

All’s well that ends well with the deer making it away from its weird captor & back into the wild where it belongs.  It’s probably telling its entire herd about his bid for independence & the promise of a better life over the border.  “I met a man he promised to help me in exchange for special favours but the feds busted us & I had to run into the woods”.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Political muscle

In the news today, the parliamentary debate in the Ukraine that had MP’s involved in an alternative deliberation.  The president’s party & the far right opposition took the discussion a step further by attempting to punch out their differences.

In a scene that resembled a late night bar fight in the House of Commons, members of the Ukrainian parliament started to get physical when one of them was booed when he made a speech.  Several spontaneous scraps broke out with MP’s climbing over benches in an attempt to thump members of the opposition.

This is unfortunately not an unusual sight in the Ukrainian parliament, with violence often erupting when verbal discussions fail.  Only last May things got ugly when they attempted to debate giving Russians equal status.  Watching the video footage of the fracas does make you appreciate our rather genteel British approach to politics.

No matter how much we moan about our MP’s, watching the Prime Minister pulling the hair out of back benchers for shouting at him would horrify us, despite the publicity it could attract.  It would however, be an alternative question time if it was resolved by three falls or a knockout.  ‘The honorary member for Finchley South wins the debate on points’.

Oddly enough, Vitaly Klitschko who is the Ukraine’s heavyweight boxing champion is also the head of the UDAR party.  If they do decide all their parliamentary business by a mass brawl, Vitaly has got to be in with a great shot at being President.

In a so called civilised & democratic society run by elected individuals to speak on our behalf for the benefit of the country & in turn for a better World, nothing evokes more interest of the ordinary electorates in dreary politics that a damn good dust up!  

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Stunning technology

In the news today, as the battle for mobile phone supremacy hits the headlines with Samsung launching its latest handset, the ever imaginative illegal trade in stun guns is trying to match their genius by disguising them as mobile phones & even phone covers.

Border staff in Australia discovered 88 of the banned weapons in 2012 but have stated that the amount getting through could be much higher as the i phone brand is now being used to conceal the guns. With many other brands of phones & covers being used, as well as i pad cases, the officials are up against a wave of cunning criminals.

The stun guns are being mainly made in Hong Kong, China & the US, with company, Yellow Jacket developing the idea after one of the founders of the business was attacked in his own home.  The establishment are planning to produce popular smart phone covers in the future to keep up with the smart phone market.

There could be a whole host of little stalls in shopping centres & motorway service stations selling mobile phone Tasers, every colour you want in diamante or with fluffy ears.  The possibilities are endless, personalise you stun gun cover with your own photo.

They could utilise other household items into the guns also, the stun TV remote, the 50,000 volt electric shaver.  Oh hang on, thinking about that one, that could be flawed somewhat. But you get the idea. The fact that they are banned in this country too, could be a stumbling block as well.

With technology becoming even more futuristic practically on a daily basis, the gadget market offers us fascinating prospects ahead.  When you think that all the items we take for granted packed into your smartphone would have previous taken up most of your living room, the World is indeed a scary place.

I’m told that one day, apart from being able to watch TV, videos, surf the internet, play games, put 50,000 volts through intruders, take photos, listen to music, shop, write & read books, you will be able to make phone calls.  Old school or what?!

Scottish egg heist

In the news today, a giant 2ft high fibreglass egg has been poached from a street in Glasgow. The brightly Painted ovum is part of collection of giant eggs which have been placed around the streets & shops of the city. 

Some of the eggs feature designs by leading artists & the missing one, entitled A Thousand forests, is reportedly valued at £10,000.  I can immediately see two massive but fatal errors in this idea, one being that it’s valued at £10,000 & the other being Glasgow!

It’s a little unclear as to where the egg was placed, but it appeared to have been in the street somewhere. Andrew Harris, who is the director of fundraising at Action for Children, has pleaded for the pilferer to return the egg which is part of an oversized Easter egg hunt than has spanned London, Birmingham & Manchester, with Glasgow being the only location where thieves have cracked the security & stolen one.

Strathclyde police have now joined the Easter egg hunt, whisking up extra officers & say that they are taking this seriously as this is not a poultry matter.  The painted egg which is one of 101 other huge eggs will be very recognisable as it has yellow & red trees on it. 

Trying desperately to avoid any yolk quips, but the organisers really have been left with the yellow stuff on their faces.  It is believed that the heist took place on Fry-day & that security staff have beaten themselves up over it.  (It’s an egg story, what do you egg spect?).

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Twitter your money away

In the news today, Labour MP Fiona Mactaggart has made the fatal error of combining twitter, (possibly some wine), and fund raising for comic relief with a drastic outcome for her bank balance.  The Member of Parliament for Slough foolishly posted on her twitter account that for anyone that re tweeted her pledge she would put up the cash for each of them. 

This blunder was posted just after 8pm & she gave a cut off time of 9pm, but after just 35 minutes she called a stop to it as it had amassed a total of £14,268.  The MP who confessed to being twitter na├»ve, was asked if she could afford the pledge, with some joking that she would claim it back on her Parliamentary expenses.

Also denying that she was using the charity event to boost her own profile, Fiona stated that she was “Glad to remind Twitter folk to give”.  The 59 year old has previously worked as a primary school teacher, clearly not with Maths as her chosen subject.

Whatever her reasons, be it a naivety towards social media or a clever marketing exploit, being the daughter of the late Baronet Sir Ian Mactaggart & her fifth of a share of his £6.5million estate will help.  Bet she worked the Maths out on that one.  

Thursday, 14 March 2013

A tall order........of Giraffe

In the news today, supermarket giants Tesco in their bid for World domination have moped up another company to add to their ever expanding empire.
Along with its recent acquisitions of the 49% share of Harris & Hoole coffee shops & an investment in the Euphorium bakery chain, Tesco are another step closer to global supremacy with the purchase of restaurant chain Giraffe. The takeover has cost the store £48 million which should equate to a week’s takings in a couple of shops.

Given that the whole horsemeat scandal started with Tesco burgers, how ironic that they are now buying Giraffes.  They are said to want to ‘Implant’ the restaurants into its larger stores where there is an excess of retail space, possible the in vast expanse left by the burger freezers.    
Don’t rule out seeing Giraffe meat on the shelves either, celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has confessed to eating it & saying it’s delicious too.  After all it wasn’t that long ago that you would never dream you’d been eating horse.

The move to buy Giraffe is seen as the retail goliaths putting their necks on the line in an ever increasing endeavour to own every company in the World.  In the future we will be shopping at ‘The Company’ & one person will own it all sat in a space ship orbiting the globe so they can view their realm whilst stroking a white cat.

As the country’s eating habits have changed as a direct result of the horsemeat scandal, Tesco will want to do everything that it can to deflect any attention away from this hot potato.  Their answer appears to be throwing their cash around & buying things, we all feel better after a good spend up. 

They should really look at buying the Nairobi restaurant called Carnivore; this will actually cook & serve along with other wild beasts, Giraffe.  They could attach a chain of them to the shops, they could get the ingredients straight off the shelf.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Libyan rocket fuel

In the news today, Libya.  No not the anticipated reports that you would expect from that troubled part of the World, but the report that 60 people have been killed & 700 are suffering the effects of alcohol poisoning.

The information follows reports of a homemade brew, known locally as Boukha; being sold illegally that was laced with methanol.  The consumption & sale of alcohol in the North African country is banned but prohibited drink is available on the black market.

A quick science lesson regarding methanol; Methanol ingested in large quantities is metabolized to formic acid or formate salts, which is poisonous to the central nervous system, and may cause blindness, coma & death. Those facts alone should be enough to make you slightly nervous of drinking any homemade hooch.

Such was the extent of the amount of casualties from this domestic made venom that the hospitals in the capital city of Tripoli were unable to cope & sent stricken victims to clinics in other parts of the country. The sufferers, including 10 women are said to be from Libya & other Arab states.

As a result six people have been arrested in relation to concocting the deadly beverage, who very wisely knowing its contents didn’t drink it.  Two others are on the run following being named for their involvement in the blending of the lethal potion. 

Methanol has also been used in adapted motor vehicles, so our two Boukha fugitives from justice could have the means for a potent getaway. 

Brazilian Fingered!

In the news today, a Doctor in Brazil is facing fraud charges after being caught signing in absent work colleagues to the hospital where she works in the town of Ferraz de Vasconcelos.

The hospital has a sophisticated biometric attendance devise for signing in to work using the employee’s finger to gain access & clock them in.  When Doctor Thaune Nunes Ferreira was arrested following suspicions that she was covering for her absent co-workers, she was found in possession of six prosthetic fingers, three of which bared the fingerprints of fellow associates.

Subsequent to the discovery of the fingers, five other employees have been asked to step aside by the town’s Mayor Acir Fillo.  Mr Fillo has stated that the police investigation into the doctors extra digit activity, has exposed that there are around 300 public employees in the town who he has described as “An army of ghosts”. The indication is that these ‘ghosts’ receive regular wages without even turning up for work. 

The dishonest Dr Ferreira at the centre of this fiasco, far from being prosecuted for her crime should receive recognition for her genius.  It resembles something from Hollywood; there clearly has been a lot of thought & effort gone into this scam.  Credit where credit is due I say, there is certainly a career outside of medicine for her when she gets struck off.

Just thinking what if the entry system to the hospital had been a retina system.  Eyes could be slightly easier to conceal than fingers, in a bag of sweets or mixed in with marbles? But then a low paid employee sat in the entrance to the hospital could have saved all the deceitful behaviour as you’d hope they’d notice one person signing in six others! Unless someone scanned him in, this could be never ending. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Skeleton Staff

In the news today, Adam Roberts the 24 year old from Illinois who is charged with burglary in relation to property discovered in 30 storage units & is accused of selling the ill-gotten gains to unsuspecting members of the public.

Police in the town of Godfrey are asking for the public to help out by notifying them if Roberts has approached them with items that he was selling. After the $1,000 worth of property that was recovered, police are still looking for TV’s & other items that people may have bought from the thief.

Given Roberts’s chosen career path you may think that having a distinctive tattoo of a skeleton might just be a tiny mistake that helps him to be identified.  Well if you’re careful you could always keep it covered up, or if you’re a total dumb ass, you could have the tattoo completely covering your face!

Yes Mr Roberts has possibly the most individual ink design ever seen, a skeleton style marking that covers his entire face.  Apart from a few small gaps where his skin can be seen, Roberts has possibly branded himself as the most well-known burglars in history.  He may as well have had his name, address & occupation tattooed on his face.

Madison’s County Sheriff’s Captain, Mike Dixon has urged the public to come forward if they have been approached by Roberts as they are going to remember him.  Described as, “Just odd”, the Captain explained that the tattoo is one of the strangest things he has seen in over 20 years’ service.

Most of us have a regrettable tattoo hidden away as the result of a drunken day out, but this guy has taken it to a whole new level.  Try arguing being identified by everyone that he has ever tried to sell hooky goods too, “Er yeah, it was the dude with a skeleton on his face”. 

Here is a list of occupations that Mr Roberts should not consider given his facial handicap:

1.      Burglary (Doh, too late on that one).    
2.      Working in a nursing home. (He could have a direct effect on the mortality rate).
3.      Undertaker (Speaks for itself really).
4.      Undercover agent (See above).
5.      Anything involving children or people easily frightened.
6.      Guidance councillor

Here is a list of employment opportunities that Mr Roberts may be more suited to:

1.      Circus clown (Supplies own mask).
2.      Skeleton actor (Might be slightly limited on that one).
3.      Halloween costume salesman (Seasonal work only).
4.      Haunted soul wandering theme parks (See above).
5.      Motivational speaker on the negatives of tattoos (Won’t even need to speak)
6.      Extra in any new horror film (Supplies own mask).

Given his adverse celebrity, Roberts will need to consider his next career move carefully & may wish to contemplate some of my options.  That is after he comes out of prison, because there’s no way this guy isn’t getting recognised!  Massive fail. 

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Short fat & angry

In the news today, the war on obesity has taken a different twist with Vietnam banning short fat traffic police officers.  Local media has reported that officers who are short, (height unspecified), obese, (again no lower weight limit given), or abusive are to be removed from the streets of Hanoi the Vietnam capital.

I’m unsure as to the connection between abusiveness & being fat & short, but possibly by default your nature is such if you are rotund & of a certain weight. Much to say, officials are attempting to improve the public perception of the police who have a reputation for corruption & abuse.

The Hanoi police chief has actually been quoted to say, “Little officers or those with too big a belly will be moved to work in offices so they do not come into contact with the public”. I’m not sure that the Vietnam people are that tall on average anyway, so I’d be interested to see what they regard as ‘Little officers’.  This does invoke all kinds of mental images that I’d best not comment on for fear of offending below average height persons.

Maybe some equipment that resembles the baggage size checkers at airports but for humans.  If your chubby police officer doesn’t fit into the designated shape, it’s a desk job for them.  Bulky officers can rectify their extra weight by dieting but they are going to struggle if they don’t meet the desired height requirements.  Are high heeled shoes the answer?

In attempts to change the view of the Vietnamese public where the police are ranked as the most corrupt officials in the country, the officers have also been placed on a regular physical training programme.  Perhaps this will involve some stretching exercises to help the under height ones.

In 2011 the police were banned from wearing sunglasses & hiding behind trees to ambush motorists to extract fines from them & this year saw female officers placed onto the streets to win over the public.  All of which indicates that short fat angry cops in mirrored glasses are not to be trusted.

I know that removing these unsightly officers from the streets will please the Chief of police, but most of the oversized police in this country work in an office!  What’s the recruitment policy going to like?  Join the Vietnam police service for a rewarding career, (Fat males under 5ft in height need not apply).  

Baby on the line

In the news today, the 18.18 Southeastern train from London Victoria to Ashford in Kent was delayed due to a woman giving birth on it.  This news story was brought to the world via the global media application Twitter.

Instead of the usual excuses for a late timetable, National rail tweeted that there would be a delay due to a birth on the train, which beats leaves on the line hands down. They congratulated the mother who gave birth to a girl, who I’m guessing would have been totally mortified at having to perform this natural but private act on a packed commuter train. She was probably standing up too, or swashed into the small compartment between carriages with her nose under a builders armpit.

The normal protocol for medical emergencies on a train is for one of the staff to perform first aid.  I’m guessing the guard took one look at the poor stricken female & went into panic mode, it’s not known who if anyone assisted the woman in her hour of need as passengers were busy tweeting as it was going on.

One ‘tweeter’, who is called @thumper—111, said, “Baby girl just been born on 18.18 Victoria to Ashford at West Malling. Marvelous grats to parents hope all well”.  I’m not sure I’d want any help from @thumper if I’m honest, they seem unable to string together a coherent sentence & can’t spell, I’m guessing their first aid skills would be sadly lacking too.

Another tweet update from National Rail later stated that the baby is doing ok & has been named Phoebe.  Just a shame it wasn’t a boy as the temptation to call him Thomas would have been overwhelming.

It does make you wonder regarding the use of technology today in that people actually would think they were helping by announcing to the World on social media about what is going on in front of them rather than get hands on, or worse still, film it.  With virtually everyone having connection to the internet, video & the ability to send information instantly to millions on a small hand held device, the words of Albert Einstein never rang more true.

“I fear that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots”.  Of course he would tweet that today. 

Friday, 8 March 2013

Dead end road

In the news today, a man sat dead in his car on a busy road unnoticed for five days.  The man, Alvin Singh was reported missing from Auckland in New Zealand. 

The road was a busy major intersection & Mr Singh had parked his car in clear sight after presumably feeling unwell.  He had reclined in his seat & expired but sat there unobserved for five days in the sweltering New Zealand heat.

After checking the CCTV of the area which covered the poor deceased man’s car the entire time it was parked there, police found that Mr Singh had stopped his car, got out for a brief period & then sat back in the driver’s seat.  The death is not being treated as suspicious because the whole event was recorded by the cameras & no one else was seen near the car for the five days before someone finally raised the alarm.

It has since been established that Mr Singh had a pre-existing medical condition that is likely to have been the cause of his death.  The other down side to sitting deceased in a burning hot car for a long period of time is that it the body’s decomposition process is vastly accelerated. 

The question has to be posed as to why no one even noticed him in the car, I understand that he was reclined in his seat, but it would appear that not even the police stopped by to check on what may have appeared to be just an abandoned vehicle.

Sad that today almost everyone seems just focused on their own little World, incapable or just reluctant to extend out a helping hand to their fellow man because it just might make them late for work or inconvenience them in some way.  Such a shame that many are out for their own gain; kindness is a selfless act with no expectation of reward. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Forgive me, I have conned

In the news today, that a fake Bishop has fooled red faced Cardinals in Rome.  The cheeky chappie dressed in a Bishops outfit, but a very implausible Fedora hat, has chatted to the humiliated holy men outside the Vatican.

The Cardinals were all attending a meeting at the Pope Paul VI hall as the process of electing a new leader continues.  The bold religious pretender is seen shaking hands & posing for photographs with Cardinal Sergio Sebiastiana.  

It is thought that the con man has managed to extract information regarding the up and coming election of a new Pope.  However in true Vatican tradition a spokesman has stated that they know nothing about the incident in which the comical character has deceived the senior clerics.

The divine Cardinals failed to notice that the imposter, who has been identified as German born Ralph Napierski, was wearing a purple scarf as a sash, that his black cassock was far too short & that his crucifix was on a short metal chain.  If they weren’t obvious enough, his Fedora style hat made him more like Del Boy than Bishop Basilius, who he claimed to be, from the Italian Orthodox church, which doesn’t even exist.

He was only rumbled when observant Swiss Guards noticed his vestments were wrong & then started to take a closer look at his costume which looks as if he hired it from a cheap high street fancy dress shop.  After the incident it has also been discovered that Ralph has his own web site where he claims to be a Bishop with the Catholic Corpus Dei.  The site is as unconvincing as his attire, littered with spelling mistakes & depicting images of the devout fraudster dressed in robes.  He also describes himself as a “Slave & apostle like St Paul”.

Whatever the reasons behind this individual’s righteous stunt, questions need to be raised as to how a man clearly dressed as a comedy TV Priest has managed to scam the Cardinals in Rome.  Maybe it’s their general holiness & trusting all mentality that makes them see only the good in their fellow man.  Or maybe they’re just dumb.  Forgive me cardinals for that previous remark. (Was fairly apparent however, duh!).    

Monday, 4 March 2013

Batman bounty hunter

In the news today, Batman has moved from Gotham City & is on secondment to Bradford police.  The caped crusader has already made a difference by handing in a wanted man to the cops.

A 27 year old man was wanted by police in Bradford for burglary, Fraud & breach of a court order.  The criminal was handed into the police station by a man dressed in a full batman outfit, including mask to hide his true identity.  It would appear that the crime fighter presented the felon to officers & then left without revealing his identity.

The stereotypically dressed criminal can been seen in a picture taken in the custody block at Trafalgar House police station in Bradford, Yorkshire in his hoody & tracksuit bottoms along with the superhero stood next to him.  There are no details as to how the man was apprehended by Batman, but there must have been a certain amount of disbelief from the felonious individual.

Rumours that this is a government led initiative in order to introduce more cuts to the already cash strapped police forces has been denied, along with the report that Ministers are using unemployed bounty hunters to massage the true jobless figures. The costumes are of course to avoid them being recognised by their local jobcentre & risk any cuts to benefits.

Whatever the true story behind this adventure, it looks to be kept as secret as the identity of the masked crime fighting campaigner. However he is available for any security work, children’s parties & weddings to help cover the cost of the costume hire.  

Friday, 1 March 2013

A lions heart in a box

In the news today, that Richard I had his heart preserved with creosote. Modern day forensic testing on the Lionheart Kings remains have shown that it was embalmed using a mixture of mercury tar – like Creosote. This after his remains, (well some of them), were removed from a church in France where part of him was laid to rest.

What with the recent excitement & public interest with Richard III being discovered, it looks as if his ancestor is getting in on the act too.  Richard I died in 1199 fighting the French after reportedly being shot in the shoulder with a crossbow fired by a boy.  As the now part of France was British owned at the time, his internal organs were buried there as was the custom & the rest of his body was buried in Fontevraud Abbey in the Loire Valley & his entrails in Chalus.    

Although his heart was discovered in a lead box at the Rouen Cathedral in 1838, the contents had reduced to dust, but modern day technology has allowed scientists to establish the contents & from that exactly how the King died.  Which was from septicaemia or gangrene caused from the infected crossbow wound which he reportedly died from 12 days after the injury.  This was discovered using a technique known as gas chromatography.

The 12th century embalmers were said to have usually been butchers & cooks, which is a little alarming, bit like letting a taxidermist cut your hair.  

Thursday, 28 February 2013

What's that I can hear?

In the news today, a tumbleweed invasion that has buried a man’s house in Texas, America.  The free rolling plant has covered one side of Josh Pitman’s house after strong winds of over 60MPH.

Of course, the ‘buries’ house statement isn’t completely true as only one side was covered but with all stories, a punchy attention grabbing title always helps.  The plants had rolled on top of each other causing a walled effect that blocked doorways to Josh’s house.

Josh informs us that his wife sent him a text with a photo of the left side of the house enclosed by the plants.  Firstly Josh, why didn’t your wife just tell you or if she wasn’t talking to you, just point at them?  Texting really has taken the art of conversation away hasn’t it!  Secondly, Josh you stated, “I didn’t even know this many tumbleweeds existed”.  I confess to not having a fantastic knowledge of tumbleweeds, but I could have given it a good shot at estimating that there are enough in the World to cover your entire house Josh!

Tumble weeds are formed when the plant dries & breaks from its roots & utilises the wind to blow it across the ground for it to be able to spread its spores.  The plants are not native to the US but are famously portrayed sweeping along the dusty streets of the old Wild West in cowboy movies.  It is often used in connection with the death of a conversation after one participant unwittingly says something unfunny, the sound of tumbleweed!

Ironically poor Josh only recently tore down a fence to the side of his house that would have prevented the clinging weeds preventing him exiting from the house.  Josh stated, “It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen”.  In 1989 the town of Mobridge in South Dakota spent a week and $8,500 digging out from under 30 tons of the dry prairie weeds!

Now that’s ridiculous Josh, what’s that sound?