Friday, July 31, 2009

Rihanna Takes her appeal to Higher Court


Rihanna wore a set of stairs as a skirt at the MTV Music Video Awards in LA. The Big Question is; "Who put her up to it?"

Lady Ga-Ga and Big Pants

Lady GaGa performed at the BRIT Awards in February wearing her trademark high-waisted knickers.

The star has singlehandedly transformed the image of Bridget Jones pants – Debenhams reported a 25% jump in sales of oversized knickers this spring compared with last year, with sales in Birmingham leaping by 194%!

That aside, she is looking very Dutch in this picture. Decorated at Delft!

Something tells me the Chinese are behind it!

Kate Perry Wishes Ex-Husband a Happy Birthday

Crime Map of the UK: House Buying Guide?

Thinking of buying or renting another house in the UK. Take a quick look at the interactive map showing the heat profile of break-ins and burglary in that area. Enjoy!

Lost dog found in Australia - nine years later

"No Matter How Much I Try, I Still Look Guilty!"
A dog that went missing nine years ago has been found alive and well, 1,200 miles away from its home.

Inspectors from Australia's RSPCA were investigating a possible animal cruelty case at a home in Melbourne when they found the dog, called Muffy, sleeping outside on a scrap of cardboard. A Marmalade cat is helping Police with their inquiries!

Microchip your Pet
A microchip in Muffy's neck identified her owners and after a few days of searching for a current phone number, officials tracked down Natalie Lampard, who had not seen Muffy since she disappeared from her garden in Brisbane nine years ago.

Running with Dingos
"When the RSPCA described her, I told them her name; I knew immediately it was our Muffy," Ms Lampard said. "It was totally out of the blue - after nine years, I thought she was long gone."

Our Baby Took the Dingo
The owners of the Melbourne house where Muffy was discovered said they found the dog about a year ago wandering along a street. Where had Muffy spent the previous eight years? And how did she get all the way to Melbourne - about 1,200 miles from Brisbane? EasyJet?

Save the Planet Drive Green for Summer

There’s lots of talk about greener driving these days, and it has nothing to do with taking the more scenic route to work, which is very nice indeed.

Green driving means maintaining and handling your car in a way that makes it run more efficiently, which in turn could mean significantly reducing your impact on the environment.

The good thing about green driving is that it isn’t difficult to do. A few simple steps can mean lower carbon emissions - and lower fuel costs too. It really is a win-win for both the planet and your pocket, so here’s our straightforward guide to driving the leaner, greener way.

Buy a new car…
Yes, it is a bit drastic but if you do happen to be in the hunt for a new car, go for one with the good fuel economy. Car showrooms have fuel economy labels with band ratings from A – G, A being the most fuel efficient and G the least, just like your washing machine. If you don't know about washing machines then ask your wife, partner or gay friend to help you.

We know, you thought that the "G-rating" was something to do with the g-forces you felt when accelerating away from the lights. Not so!

Know your A-end
Remember, when you do come to replace your old car, think about choosing a new model at the greener, A-end of the scale. It'll probably increase your life expectancy too. Yes, sorry if that puts paid to your plans to buy a Porsche, Ferrari or V8 Monster truck, with your remaining pension money, Dreamer!

For Planet and Pocket
Believe me, Driving Green, it really is worth it, for both planet and pocket. Fuel efficient cars emit less CO2, and buying one of the top rated models could equate to a saving of three months’ worth of fuel over a year. Even if you do have to push it up some of the steeper hills and you don't see good old Greasy Bob at the gas station, as often.

Look after the one you have…
Many of us will be making do and enduring the cars we have, of course, especially during the recession but even gas-guzzlers can be made more fuel efficient. All you have to do is look after them better.

Remember the old song; "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you've got!" Even if it is a leaky old wreck that needs propping up and could do with a good makeover. Pimp my Trabant!

A Slick Response
A bit of oil and grease will go a long way, ask Bob. He's covered in the stuff, some of it dating back to the 60's. The happy couple were going caravan holidays again this year and I asked him; "What's in it for your missus, Bob?" and he said "Oil and Grease usually!" Then he spat playfully in my direction. He is a character!

A Good Big Servicing
Keep it maintained. We’re not talking about anything fancy, smancy - just the normal sorts of things you should be doing anyway. Get your car serviced regularly, it's really worth it.

Check and top up brake fluid, engine oil and engine coolant levels on a weekly basis. If you don't know anything about car bits and servicing then ask your wife, partner or gay friend to help you. Remember, 'The family that maintains together, remains together!'

Check your Tyres
Make sure your tyres are fully inflated to the pressure recommended by the manufacturer. The better maintained your car is, the more efficiently it will run. This is not just a ploy put about by shark infested garages, it is also true. Garages will rip you off. Its in their nature, like tigers kill and eat goats, big fish eat little fish, estate agents, lawyers, etc. It's a jungle out there!

Garage Facilities
The most cost efficient way of maintaining your car is to do-it-yourself or as much of it as is practical. There are lots of car classes at the college, day and night. There are also more and more garage locations where you can drive in and do your own repairs, you just hire the space and pay for the time taken. They even let you use there ramps and specialist tools, for small fee. You get to do the grunt work yourself.

Get Down and Dirty
These wonderful locations are manned by smartly-dressed, big butch mechanics that can provide very gripping technical advice, good broad sympathetic shoulders and raw rippling muscles to help you. If you don't know where to find these places then ask your wife, partner or gay friends to help you.

Drive green…
Being a greener driver is about far more than just dressing up in a fancy Kermit the Frog costume (Lady Ga-Ga!) and driving a greener car. The way you drive can make a huge difference to your car’s fuel economy and to your carbon footprint, whether it’s the latest diesel electric hybrid or the rustiest of old Trabant bangers, with a sail attached. My carbon footprint has fallen arches. Ouch!

Drive Smoothly
First of all, drive smoothly, without sudden and spontaneous movements. So tell your co-pilot to stop fooling around in your cockpit! Stop swerving in and out of those lines of cones, no matter how much fun it is.

Predictive Texting
Try to anticipate the traffic ahead to avoid heavy breaking and hard acceleration. I have a friend who can anticipate traffic so well, that she can provide you with a 3 day forecast. Amazing! She only has to fill her tank on the weekends. Ah well! Whatever relieves your stress!

Wear the Right Gear
For the fashion conscious, change your gears at the right time, too. Shift up at about 2500rpm for petrol cars and 2000rpm for diesel cars. If you don't know where your RPM Counter or Tacho is, ask your wife, partner and gay friends to help. Never ask a stranger because they will probably direct you to the nearest Mexican restaurant. Arriba!

Slip into it carefully
Talking of gears, make sure you use all of them especially the pretty, higher ones, whenever you can. According to the statistics, a vehicle travelling at 37mph in third gear uses 25 per cent more fuel than it would in fifth. Its worse if there is someone in it at the time.

This is a wild generalisation and varies from car to car. Check your car's manual for better advice and lots of nice pictures.

Idling Away
Try not to be as idle as your engine, if you can help it. When you’re waiting for your wife, partner or gay friends to come out of school, (Don't ask!) switch the engine off. Leaving it running is an easy way to use fuel unnecessarily and choke yourself and everyone in the street, not that you care! It also makes you look like a bank robber of kiddie snatcher of some sort!

Baby Buggy
You’ll be using even more fuel if you’re taking that baby buggy, golf bag and spare tyre everywhere with you, on the off chance of finding an abandoned baby, a golf course or you get a puncture. What are the odds?

Take heavy items out of the car unless you need them i.e. your wife, partner or gay friends. Take off that stupid Mary Antoinette costume and the roof rack, too. Both increase your drag factor enormously and you can always refit them when you need it.

Modern Cars
Finally, modern cars come fitted with all sorts of noise makers, electrical bells and whistles. Use them sparingly. In particular, turn off the air conditioning unless you really need it having it on will use 15 percent more fuel but don't wait until your passengers pass out with heat exhaustion before re-engaging it. You could consider having a coin-operated version fitted for greater economy.

Or don’t drive at all…
This is the best advice of all. You could leave the car at home but your family are so active and you need to fulfill your obligations as a leader by shuttling back and forward from every minor social even that has ever been imagined.

Just say No!
We know that saying 'no' just isn’t always possible, but almost 61 percent of car journeys are under two miles. So if we could give up at least some of these jaunts we’d do the environment, and ourselves, a lot of good. Now al lyou have to do is convinced your free-loading family!

Prepare, prepare, prepare
That said, many car journeys are simply unavoidable, and for those it pays to prepare.....

If you’re making a trip to somewhere for the very first time, make sure you research the route beforehand, use your GPS, so the authorities can track you, and take a good map and compass just in case.

Never ask locals for directions. If you want to know where you are ask your wife, partner or gay friends for help. Also there is no point on driving there the day before, that doesn't save you anything.

In Summary Tacit
As you can see, Driving Green is just common sense really. Always consider that Motorists produce tons of gaseous emissions every year, just by driving around lost and the CO2 from the car is almost as bad. If you doubt this, well you know who to ask!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Clown Dogs in China?

Colourful dog grooming boom sweeps China (Image © REUTERS/China Daily China Daily Information Corp – CDIC)

The current pet boom in China has prompted dog owners to flock to beauticians to pamper their pets with everything from basic shampooing and hair-trimming to nail care and hair dye.

Here a bichon frise and a poodle both coloured with various dyes are pictured walking with their owner in Wuhan, Hubei province.

Crazy, I know but at least they have stopped eating their 'pets'. Unless each colour is a different 'flavour', like M&Ms. For now, we would all be happy if they just learn to treat everything with dignity and respect.

Of course, the colouring could act as a natural defense for the dogs. It is not uncommon for small animals and insects to be brightly patterned to warn predators away. Maybe this picture is saying, 'These dogs taste bad! Put down your wok and chopsticks. Your Soy sauce and MSG will have no effect on them.'

I know what you're thinking, and I know what you're not thinking. You're not thinking, 'These dogs should not be pampered and should be left uncoloured' No! You're thinking 'This is dreadful!

These dogs look terrible! They should be more in Pastel shades, subtle tones and shading to better reflect their auras'.

Well, thankfully there's room for all levels of crazy in the world.

What's this? Another crazy painted dog from China?

No! It's Bjork!

Naked Cowboy runs for Mayor of NY - Nothing to Hide

Naked Cowboy runs for mayor (Image © AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Infamous but popular, American busker Robert Burck, better known as the Naked Cowboy, caused a stir in Times Square NY, when he announced his intention to challenge Michael Bloomberg in the 2009 election for mayor of New York City.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Amsterdam Political Establishment Supports Gay Pride 2009

Among the 80 boats taking part in this year's Gay Pride in Amsterdam, many of them will be filled with dancing, singing, scantily clad Police, Army and Political merrymakers, which testifies to the support of the Dutch establishment for the gay emancipation.

The parade will be led this year by a boat from the police gay network, followed by the boat of the Mayor of Amsterdam and his colleagues. The third boat represented the government, with the Ministers of Emancipation, Home Affairs and Development Co-operation and other politicians.

For the first year ever members of the Dutch Armed Forces will be allowed to wear their uniforms.

Hi Toots! You look a little tense. Let's you and I make up and be friends!

You're in the Army now soldier! Stand to attention when you talk to me!

Dutch Royals undercover Assassination Plans

Peter Janssen, the animal liberationist popularly known as the 'Vegan Streaker', is under suspicion of planning an attack on Queen Beatrix. Janssen was arrested on Monday and will appear before the examining magistrate today.

A statement by a witness alleges that Janssen was planning an attack on the Queen because she wears fur. The Department of Public Prosecutions is investigating the matter.

Janssen came by his nickname when he disrupted a TV programme wearing only his underpants. He had already been remanded in custody in April on suspicion of freeing 2500 minks from a farm in Zeeland.

Delft To Sell off its City Wall

The Archeology Department of the Municipality of Delft is planning to sell off stones from the city wall as souvenirs. I think they got the idea from Berlin.

The stones, described by the archeologists as ‘historically uninteresting’ (they certainly are not going for the hard sell!) will be excavated during the construction of the rail tunnel through Delft, which will begin next year.

I would normally call that 'builder's rubble' and throw it away but not the frugal Dutch. 'Where there's muck there's brass'
the old saying proclaims.

In total, 750 metres of the medieval city wall will be exposed, and archeologists will be granted time to carry out research. It is hoped that some of the stonework can be built into the tunnel walls.

The archeologists say it is unnecessary to preserve the stones, so some of them can be sold to tourists. Our man inside Delft reports that the rocks will be sold off as they become available at prices, described as being between 'Moon Rock' and a hard place.

There is also no truth in the rumours that David Hasselhoff will be singing at the break up of the wall, although he did offer to do so.

Free Petrol for Gnomes in The Hague

Not sure if this is technically a Gnome but it looks a bit like Donald Sutherland to me.

Anyway 'Good news for Gnomes!' This weekend, anyone brave enough to dress up as a gnome is entitled to fill up their car free in Zoetermeer.

On 31 July and 1 August, gnomes will have an hour-and-a-half to take advantage of the offer. This is part of an advertising stunt by Shell to promote its new brand 'Fuelsave'.

This campaign started last weekend in Heemskerk, where a hundred brides and bridegrooms queued up at local petrol stations.

A week after the gnomes, doctors and nurses will be welcome elsewhere in the country, and a week later, cowboys and Indians. I am standing by with my Spiderman and Flash costumes at the ready.

There is no information on whether there will be some adjudication taking place or what happens if your costume is not suitable, or 'good enough' i.e. it lacks the 'essence' of a Gnome or is not truly representative. A silly hat and an Irish accent doesn't count.

There is also no information on what happens if you turn up dressed like a 'cowboy' on Gnome day or worse on Indian day. It's also not clear if West Indians and Bangladeshis are excluded. I don't think they have thought this one through at all.

I believe that Shell's Three Marketeers (plus the token Dark Tan Yin') were all a bit 'intoxicated' when they thought this up. After all there is no mention of Pirates, Trekkies and Superheroes either but I will dust off my costume anyway and boldly go. 'It's Marketing Jim! but not as we know it!'

Spiderman Jnr meets Catgirl Power Ranger

What do you mean there's nothing in the papers? We have just saved the known Universe from certain Doom and we still get upstaged by ' Michael Jackson's hair!'

Kwikfit lands on the Moon

Hey Buzz! What do you mean the whole exhaust is needing replaced. I only brought it in for a car wash!

Buzz, can you give us a lift back to Earth? and don't say 'The sky's the limit', cause that is the worst slogan I've ever heard! It doesn't work here Buzz, believe me, I'm an astronaut.

Flash Programmer Seeking New Challenge

Flash! Aha! Saviour of the University!

If I am qualified as a Flash Programmer, I am going to dress like a Flash Programmer!

What do you mean it's an Opel car Badge!

My mother was up all weekend making this costume. I love the feel of it on my skin! I just need to get her Marigold gloves back to her tonight!

Sorry, what did you say? I can't hear very well unless you are standing behind me!

Blind Dates: Mixed Marriages: Alien coupling

Isn't he cute! Can I take him home?

I know you say he is inherently evil and he kills and eats human flesh but I can change him!

Darth Vader and the New Age Buskers

When I am in Power again, I will crush these pesky New Age busker types!

I will produce a 'Death Star is Born!' These puny humans will tremble in fear and applaud loudly! Ahaaa!

Mixed Marriages at Sea: Amorous Dolphin finds Mermaid irresistable

A swimmer was rescued exhausted and freezing after a playful dolphin refused to let her return to the shore.

The woman was clinging to a small buoy being circled by the creature, which has become a local celebrity since taking up residence at the beach in New Zealand more than two years ago.

Nicknamed Moko, the dolphin regularly seeks out swimmers and people in boats to play with at Mahia on North Island.

Moko, whose fame has grown with the saving of two stranded whales, plays with a swimmer at Waikokopu Bay. Unlike normal lifeguards, the dolphin swam to shore and dragged the whales out into deeper water.

The distressed mermaid said, 'I've spent quite a bit of time swimming with Moko and I'm a strong swimmer, so I wasn't worried at first,' said the swimmer, who did not want to be named. Perhaps her boyfriend is the jealous type.

'I went out by myself quite late at 4.30pm, which probably wasn’t the wisest thing to do. I was wearing a wetsuit but when I wanted to go back, he just wanted to keep playing. Well, we can all understand that feeling. Once your girlfriend is all wet and slippery, the night has just begun.

'I became exhausted and started to panic. I was out in the ocean with a wild animal and no people around.' One woman's nightmare is another's fantasy. 'I told him we came from different worlds, and it could never work between us but he just kept spinning on is tail and leaping out of the water,

People on the beach heard her screaming, this only seemed to excite the dolphin more and it squealed back at her. Eventually the other bathers realised she was not having that much fun and rowed out to fetch her.

The dolphin is now undergoing therapy and is continuing to sulk. The ocean has grown just a little more bitter for him but I am sure the tide of true love will turn again.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rat Catchers and Despatchers Wanted! Urgently!

Say Hi! to Saxmo! He is a very special kind of Fancy Rat, with great talent for music but not all rats have the social skills to make it big in the human world.

The bad news for Rats, Cats and everyone is that we humans have yet to invent a humane way of dispatching unwanted rats, mice and other alleged vermin.

This collective failure is the main focus of a new report from the UK Universities Federation for Animal Welfare reviewing current methods of pest control. "All the methods that are currently available have some fatal flaws and drawbacks. The world could do with more humane methods," says James Kirkwood, the federation's scientific director.

A Speedy departure
So, what would a perfect trap entail and how would it work? The humane ideal is that the animal is killed instantly, or that unconsciousness is induced without any fear or distress. This is a global issue because, as you can imagine, so many pest species are killed using less-than-perfect methods.

The optimal solution is to reduce their nuisance or pest rating, mainly by excluding the animals from human habitation in the first place. How can we do this? Well, both by securing premises physically and through the adaptation of proper cleanliness and hygiene regimes. This will deny rodents and vermin access to all food, water, shelter or nesting sites.

Call in the Experts
What if the worst comes to the worst, what do we do then? The report says that the faint-hearted and inexperienced, are always best advised to call in professional pest controllers. You can very quickly determine how humane the pest controller is by asking a few simple questions.

Revealing Responses
If they respond with emotive terms such as 'smash', 'pulverise', 'stomp', etc and decorates their response with expletives and an aggressive but bizarre mime, re-enacting a life and death struggle with a particularly difficult small rodent, then you can probably assume that 'humane despatch' is somewhat low on their list of priorities.

Having determined that you have inadvertently selected a minor psychopathic personality in the form of an exterminator, someone who makes a living out of snuffing the life out of small animals, you now have to remove them from your home without triggering their 'attack' response. Hopefully, they will have killed something earlier in the day and will have a low level of 'blood-lust', when you tell them to leave your house. You are now thinking that the rodents are less threatening.

Also avoid any exterminator that displays dead animals on his truck's bonnet as a hood ornament or has them hanging from his rear-view mirror. 'At first, I thought they were fluffy dice but then it winked at me!'

Do it Yourself
For those of a stronger constitution and prepared to tackle the problem personally, the emphasis has to be on checking their traps regularly (twice a day, at least) to see if the traps or baits have worked.

The second, more onerous burden is to be prepared to despatch, as quickly as possible, any caught or poisoned but still living animals. As the report dryly notes: "Dealing with live trapped animals, especially rats, is very challenging" and not without serious risk.

Running around the house and garden screaming hysterically does not help, it simply tires you out and distresses the neighbours, again.

Brush with death

The most humane method of dispatch, says the report is the "destruction of the brain by a strong and accurate blow to the head with a suitable implement". Although a toilet brush may be close to hand, a hammer or shoe heel will be more definite and work much better. Don't use your Jimmy Choo's! unless you kept the receipt and are prepared for a long argument at the 'Returns' counter.

However, the report notes that carrying through this distressing task is neither physically simple, nor necessarily safe, the animal will struggle and bite. The report states: "Not everyone is suited temperamentally to these procedures for killing live-caught rodents." I think we can only be thankful for this fact.

Procedures for Despatch
Drowning might seem a better option, since the animal need not be removed from a trap, but the method is ethically problematic. The report cites research from Japan which found it took an average of 2.6 minutes for rats to drown, concluding they must suffer considerably until their demise.

"The consensus view of the UFAW Working Group is that drowning is not a humane method, and should be avoided." Also be aware of this if your local exterminator is of Japanese descent and carries a stopwatch with him. Remember, they are a very competitive nation and will want to set their own record, rather than lose face.

Check Vital Signs
Even if the animal appears dead, "it is very important to confirm death", says the report. So be prepared to check for breathing or other movement, blink reflex when you touch the animals' eye with a cotton-bud, reactions to a sharp pinch a paw, and heartbeat.

Non-lethal Traps
Even animal lovers who use non-lethal traps face awful dilemmas. Release the animal too close to home and it will be streetwise enough to simply find its way straight back. It'll probably be home before you, waiting at the door.

Release it in some remote forest and it will almost certainly suffer terribly through unfamiliarity with its new environment. "In the wild, it's tough," Kirkwood said. "People who set them free may not be doing them any favours, and it's unwise to assume they will be just fine," he said.

I have also heard of animals getting loose in people's cars on the way to being released. This is normally a prelude to a traffic accident or sudden stop and rapid evacuation.

Termination Methods
So what methods are currently available, and which ones are most humane? One, the "stretched rubber ring strangulation system", has been passed as humane in New Zealand. Basically, it garrottes its captor instantly with a rubber ring that closes around the animal's neck, causing death within 2 minutes.

Glue boards
are non-toxic, but as with all physical traps, the animals can become injured and suffer serious pain trying to escape. At least the method of dispatch is simple: turn the board upside down and hammer it.

Gas traps that asphyxiate animals with carbon dioxide are seen as pretty convenient, killing the animals within 2 minutes without having to handle them. Some companies even include transmitters in them that notify pest controllers when an animal is caught, but these can only be used by trained pest controllers, and are likely to cause pain before the animal final passes out, according to the report.

Explosives ban
Electrocution devices are also available, but they sometimes don't provide an instantly lethal shock, so the animal suffers severe pain from a heart attack prior to death. "We are not aware of much information about the efficacy and humaneness of these devices," says the report.

Poisons can take a lengthy time to kill, as long as 9 or 10 days for rats, even after they've had a lethal dose and there's always a worry that the poison will also kill predators or family pets consuming the contaminated animals.

We do know that blowing up rodents by pumping explosives into their burrows is completely out. "This is NOT a permitted killing method", says the report (their emphasis). So think again on that one.

Michael Jackson's Hair to be made into Diamonds

This is Saxmo's impersonation of Michael Jackson

If Michael Jackson's
fedora or a swan boat from Neverland don't properly convey your adulation for the King of Pop, you may want to consider buying diamonds made from his hair.

Yes, diamonds made from Michael Jackson's singed hair may soon be available, according to a press release from a firm that specialises in manufacturing the precious stones from the remains of loved ones.

"We specialise in creating diamonds from locks of hair. Our plan is to give people an opportunity to own a diamond made from Michael Jackson's DNA," said Dean VandenBiesen, founder of LifeGem. "We are currently evaluating Jackson's hair sample to determine how many diamonds can be created. This will be a limited collection and we anticipate great interest."LifeGem says that the hair sample comes from an ill-fated Pepsi commercial filmed 25 years ago, in which Jackson's hair caught fire. This video captures the incident.

The executive producer of the video saved the scorched locks, and LifeGem bought them recently from a collector, John Reznikoff.

Joanna Lumley given a Hero's welcome in Nepal

Joanna Lumley has received a well-deserved hero's welcome from hundreds of Gurkhas and their families when she arrived in Nepal.

The actress, who played a pivotal role in a campaign to allow those who fought for Britain to settle here, was mobbed by well-wishers and the media as she flew in from London.

To the delight of the crowd, some of whom had queued for hours to catch a glimpse of the star, Lumley issued the traditional Gurkha war cry to her waiting fans.

She was draped in garlands and colourful scarves and presented with bouquets of flowers as she made her way through Kathmandu Airport.

People thronged the building's exit waving banners praising the actress. One sign read: "Ayo goddess Joanna," or "Here comes goddess Joanna".

Lumley told the noisy crowd: "My friends of Nepal, I am your family coming to Nepal for the first time. I want to thank you so much. I want to say in the time-honoured cry, 'Ayo Gurkhali!'"

Lumley, whose late father was an officer in the Gurkha regiment, said a great injustice had been righted when the Government finally relented in May and said all Gurkha veterans with four years' service would be allowed to move to the UK.

Chinese Lanterns Spark Alarms in UK

The Chinese Lantern, they provide an inexpensive way of bringing wedding celebrations and parties to a spectacular and memorable close. They also appeal to the spiritual and romantic side of our nature, in the absence of religion.

However, the increasing popularity of flying Chinese lanterns is also triggering emergency searches costing up to £10,000 because they are being mistaken for distress flares.

Coastguards have appealed to revellers to think again before launching the candle-powered lanterns, which can rise to 10,000ft, after 12 incidents this weekend alone.

They include three dealt with by Forth Coastguard, with one involving a lifeboat being launched to search the coast near Cockenzie in East Lothian.

In another incident, coastguard teams were scrambled following multiple reports of red and white flares at Bamburgh Castle, south of Berwick-upon-Tweed, on Saturday night.

Do you think they have the same problems in China, Hong Kong and Singapore? Where these lanterns are regularly used to mark birth, deaths and marriages.

Perhaps the Emergency Services should ask their Chinese colleagues what they do. Perhaps the Chinese have a better way of determining between a paper balloon, with 1 candle power and a genuine distress flare, allegedly.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chocolate Research needs Volunteers

Volunteers will be required to eat chocolate every day for a year. Wow! Tough Job!

A university study of potential health benefits of dark chocolate is looking for new volunteers.

Forty post-menopausal women with type 2 diabetes are needed to test whether flavonoid compounds in chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease.

Chocolate Every day - No Change There!

The study's first volunteers ate chocolate every day for a year and will soon be tested for any health benefits.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich said its research had now entered a "really exciting stage".

Health Checks

Dr Peter Curtis, of the UEA's School of Medicine, said: "Our first volunteers are about to return for their final visit to see if the markers of heart health - such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels - have changed.

"A successful outcome could be the first step in developing new ways to improve the lives of people at increased risk of heart disease."A chocolate coated Pill indeed!

Girl struck by falling tortoise: Suffers Amnesia!

A Chinese girl lost her memory and had to be taken to hospital after she was hit on the head by a pregnant tortoise (Image © AP Photo/Ventura County Police Department)

A Chinese girl has lost her memory after being struck by a falling pregnant tortoise as she walked with her aunt along a street, (the girl that is, not the tortoise)

Wrong Headgear
Unsuspecting and un-protected, 12-year-old Cheng Cheng was struck by the plummeting creature as she walked with her aunt Ling Lang in Chongqing, central China.

Those grass woven coolie hats, so beloved by the Chinese, are a good protection against the strong sun but they don't stand up well to a head-on collision with a tortoise, turtles or shell encased reptiles of any kind.

The owner of a nearby grocery store who witnessed the incident said, Cheng was hit by a falling black object (ninja tortoise?) travelling at speed and she fell to the ground unconscious. When he ran over, he realised the object was a tortoise.

The Gravity of it all
A police spokesman said: "Given the force of the blow, this tortoise must have been thrown from a reasonable height. We have questioned 16 flat owners all of whom have denied responsibility."

Shell shocked
After being taken to a local children’s hospital, Cheng was diagnosed with concussion. Zhuo Xuan, the doctor treating Cheng, said "she does not have any memory of what happened to her or anything about her. We believe the amnesia will only be short lived but at the moment she can't remember anything".

Father's outcry
The injured girl's father, Liu Xingbing, said: "I am furious at this irresponsible behaviour. If I do not have a confession from the guilty tortoise thrower I will sue everybody in the building."

Tortoise DOA
Although the tortoise initially survived the fall, it later died from its injuries. It has been frozen and is being examined while police continue to question residents in a nearby apartment building.

Possible Explanations

  • It was a bit depressed, at the thought of being a single mum
  • It was reaching for a bit lettuce when it slipped and fell from a balcony
  • It was sunning itself on the roof when the wind got under it and lifted it into the air
  • It was used by children as an alternative to a discus, frizbee or bommerang
  • It was seeking an evolutionary leap for all tortoises everywhere
  • His mate said 'Trust me, the bungy rope is secure. I tied it myself!'
  • His mate said 'If you fill up on fizzy gassy drinks, you will float harmlessly to the ground'
  • Other....Suggestions please!

Willard Wigan - Miniaturist Sculpture

How would you like to see Marilyn Monroe on the head of a pin or skating on an Ice diamond, a girls best friend.

What about an entire model house on a pinhead. Step carefully into the art, craft and miniature world of a huge artist
Willard Wigan.

Resomation - Re-cycling the dead: Corpse Composting

While we’re on the subject of compost… how can the extreme eco-warrior ensure that he remains eco-friendly even from beyond the grave?

Well a glossy board casket and chemical embalming are certainly out - and cremation also creates a woefully large carbon footprint.

Given the option of being turned into a nutrient-rich green-brown sludge that may be used as fertiliser, would you take it? You would if you were really serious about re-cycling, allegedly.

The process of resomation is a new, more energy-efficient means of disposing of human remains gaining popularity among the environmentalist community. It sounds like a very self-destructive philosophy but it makes for sensible science.

Fat reduction
It works by dissolving fat and tissues in alkali and hot water, leaving only a sprinkling of powdered bone behind. I know we are looking for practical solutions but this sounds macabre! Ah well, out with the old and in with the new!

Get Naked for Ecology

Green Technology and Eco-Warriors abound. Here we find, the unapologetic approach of the Econudes.

This unconventional organisation argues that clothes – particularly their manufacture, transportation and maintenance – are a major cause of global warming.

Nude Protests
Take them off, they say, and you reduce the effects of climate change. Next, join a nude protest such as the World Naked Bike Ride in Brighton, (isn't it always Brighton?)

Emission Control
These threadless two-wheelers are protesting, amongst other things, against vehicles emissions.

I wonder what the people at the back of this group think, following a group of vegetarians, who believe in eating lentils and a high fibre diet? I hope they remember to take their emissions home with them!

Lady GaGa goes ga-ga for Kermit the Frog

Her assault on the pop charts has been relentless since she marched into the spotlight in her spangly pants and a series of outrageous outfits but last night's must surely rank along one of the most bizarre.

Lady GaGa - real name Stephanie Germanotta - wore a coat made out of Muppet Show character Kermit the Frog.

The green furry creation by designer Jean Charles de Castelbajac was hung with dozens of the famous frog's head as the eccentric singer interviewed for a German television show.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Good Humoured; Mainly Scottish

Trog's advice: Never drink Dirty Martinis on an empty stomach.

Freakin' Happy Meal anyone?

Do you want Paracetemol with that Trog?

A Kronick illness
READER Elaine Morgan in Ottawa, Canada, tells us: "I'm being sent to see a lung specialist named Dr Kronick. "I was really hoping to see his colleague, Dr Itll-pass-ina-few-days."

The Artist's Dilemma (Truth or Interpretation)
A couple in Portugal were having their nightly stroll, enjoying the buskers and street entertainers. One local was sketching portraits, and as he was studying the face of his next customer, admittedly not the bonniest, an unmistakable Glasgow accent came from the chap standing behind him studying the canvas who loudly announced: "He's got his work cut out there."

Resigned to the Fall
A READER tells us he was attending a fracture clinic where he got into conversation with a chap having his leg plastered, or 'put in a stookie', in Glasgow speak. The man said he was a former window cleaner.

Our reader asked him when he'd given up the job, which allowed the chap to give his prepared answer: "Halfway down."

Men and their Ball Games
TALKING of the Open, Ronnie Kelly in Oban heard BBC commentator Wayne Grady remark about how cold it can be on links courses, and that in the old days Ken Brown used to warm his balls up in hot water before he went out to play.

"Surely," says Ronnie, "a pair of thermal long-johns would do the same job?"

...and also
Colin Adams of Radio Clyde, had to censor a recorded feature on learning to play squash. Says Colin: "The instructor began, You may have noticed that when I came on court, you couldn't see my balls'.

"Indeed, the eager young reporter had not. Nor it seems, was he surprised by the explanation,

You never play squash with cold balls, so I had them tucked under my armpit'.

"Good trick if you can do it! Would love to see his warm up routine"

Printing money
A customer came in at the weekend who wanted a shirt printed for his wife who had recently been to New York with friends on a shopping trip, and had brought back a hefty credit card bill.

He asked for a shirt with the usual "I love NY" on the front, and on the back "Veni, Vidi, Visa" roughly translated as "I came, I saw, I spent".

Pluck of the Irish
ALSO abroad, but on business not holidays, was the Wishaw lorry driver who was approached at the queue in France for the Channel ferry by a character waving a fistful of Euros, offered in return for allowing illegal immigrants to slip aboard his trailer.

Our man told him to beat it, but at that an Irish driver walked up, took the money, and undid the ties on the canvas sides of the truck next to the Wishaw driver, and the waiting travellers eagerly jumped aboard.

The Irishman then pocketed the money and jumped in the cab of his lorry - which was much further down the queue from the one he undid.

Then there were four
ONE way of trying to make money is to register domain names on the internet in the hope that they will become valuable in the future.

We are equally appalled, yet admiring of the fact that the day after singer Michael Jackson died, someone registered the site There is still time to register; the Jackson Three, Two and One, allegedly.

World Diving Champion thrown out of Bar performs spectacular back flip

GREAT HEIGHTS: Teenager Tom Daley is the UK's first world diving champion.

The 15-year-old claimed the 10-metre platform title at the World Championships in Rome last night. Daley was rendered almost speechless afterwards and said: “I don’t know what to say. I don’t believe it. It’s amazing. “Today was never the day when I thought I would become world champion.” Picture: AP

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First Moon Landing

Remember that the first Moon Landing before the US Apollo mission was carried out by the Clangers. A strange but friendly co-operative society that also established the first lunar habitation. Many recordings have been made of their exploits but these have been archived and possibly lost, allegedly.

Monday, July 20, 2009

No Tax on Artist Royalties in Amsterdam

Do you want to save tax money on your Royalties as an artist or musician? The Rolling Stones went Dutch a long-time ago because Holland does not tax artists' royalties. This is just one of the reasons it's very popular among musicians.

The band saved millions in taxes by channeling their money through Amsterdam, but it's far from the only place to escape the greedy claws of the Treasury. Ireland has similar policy on 'royalties' from art and music, whereby the artists are exempt from tax. This is one reason that U2 and others like to call it home.

For the rest, well if you earn over 40,000 Euros per annum you are looking at paying at least 55% tax in the Flatlands. Ouch! That's enough to make you lose your voice!

Cloned Sniffer Dogs Start Training

The Korean customs service has unveiled a group of seven cloned Labrador retrievers that are being trained to sniff out explosives and drugs at ports and airports.

The cloning was carried out by Seoul National University scientists, who in 2005 created the first known dog clone.

The team is led by Lee Byeong-chum, a former aide to Hwang Woo-suks. Recently Hwang's reported breakthroughs on stem cell research turned out to be false (you think his name would have given them a clue), but independent tests proved that dog cloning was genuine. This is like saying that you didn't climb Everest but that the mountain does exist.

The dogs were born five to six months ago after being separately cloned from an experienced drug-sniffing dog. For now, they all share the name "Toppy" - a combination of "tomorrow" and "puppy." Their father 'Yesog' - a combination of 'yesterday' and 'dog', is said to be very proud but was too high to be interviewed.

"They have a superior nature. They are active and excel in accepting the training," said Kim Nak-seung, a trainer at a centre near Incheon airport, who was putting the dogs through their paces yesterday.

In February all the dogs passed a behaviour test to see whether they are genetically qualified to work as sniffing dogs. Only 10%-15% of naturally born dogs pass the test. The paws of the others are too small to hold the pencil, allegedly.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Woman swallows Mobile Phone during an Argument

'Hello! Is that the Police? Can you put me through to the Desk Sergeant, please?'

In the US, the Blue Spring Police are investigating an incident in which it is said that a young lady purposely swallowed a mobile phone
during an argument with her boy friend.

Apparently, she did not want to give the mobile phone to her boy friend. Police got a phone call from her boyfriend, probably from another mobile phone, saying that his girlfriend had swallowed the mobile phone and that she was having trouble in breathing, and texting.

A hospital spokesman said; 'Her vital signs are good and we still have a strong signal but we don't have a complete picture yet. She's on 'Call Back' so we will know more later.''

Police are not sure why the 24 year women swallowed the mobile phone. Whether there was an assault by her boyfriend or she had purposely swallowed the mobile to retain possession of it, at least for 24 hours.

The police haven’t made any arrest regarding this case because they are not sure whether the incident is an accident or a planned assault. A spokesman said; 'We will let it pass, this time but if it happens again, we will look further into it.'

The victim refused to comment on the whole incident but did say that it had left a bad taste in her mouth. I guess we just have to wait on Nature to call!

Lookout! Lookout! Pickpockets about! The Dutch Wooden Hand Warning

The Dutch Council of the city of Rijswijk has thought up an imaginative scheme to warn locals about the risk of pickpockets.

What's interesting is that the good burgers have 'developed' and produced 'Wooden hands' bearing the slightly sinister message ´This could have been the hand of a pickpocket.´
(In Dutch, obviously!)

These wooden hands are being slipped into the bags of shoppers, by stealthy Council employees. The text on the wooden hands also includes details of the Council's website, which contains tips on how to make theft more difficult for pickpockets.

Prior to this incentive, the Rijswijk Council had seen the number of reported cases of theft by pickpockets, double in 2008. Hopefully they will see a huge reduction in 2009. Whatever happens they certainly deserve a big Hand for trying! Applause!

Dutch man arrested for 3GBH! iPhone weapon confiscated by Dutch Police

A man in the Dutch city of The Hague was charged with 3G BH, after hitting a colleague with his mobile phone. A police spokesman said that he had never heard of an iPhone being used in this way before and hoped it was not going to be a repeat call.

He went on to say; 'We've been hearing a lot about high tech crimes in the police station lately but I think this can only be classed as a low tech crime carried out by a low brow, with a high tech device'.

The irony was that the perpetrator had the Police emergency number programmed into his speed dial and accidently hit the 'hot key' when attacking his 'friend'. So he not only committed the crime but also reported himself too. A Police spokesman said that a man is helping the Police with their enquiries and a rather tricky crossword puzzle.

Court Judgement
In court, the judge let him off with a caution and sentenced him to 1 month of community service. This involves helping the over-60's program their iPhone's. He has to teach them how to use all of its extensive facilities and explain predictive text to them! Good Luck! The poor man was taken away screaming and sobbing hysterically begging to be locked up instead!

Russel Crowe threw a Tantrum and his iPhone
The most famous perpetrator of this crime recently was Russel Crowe the Hollywood actor who damaged a member of the hotel staff where he was staying, by throwing his phone at him.

In LA, Mr Crowe was charged with assault with a cool weapon i.e. the phone but was let off with a caution, when he promised to pay off the hotel clerk with a load of cash. The US justice system comes through again for the little guy. Woo! Woo! Hi Five everyone!

NB: We are all too familiar with the term GBH in the UK but this may not be as clear to people from outside the UK. Let me explain a little more. In police and criminal terms, GBH means an assault that causes Grievous Bodily Harm. So, 3G BH is Grievous Bodily Harm with a 3G phone but now I'm giving away the plot! Call me!

Cosmetic Surgery & Butchery - Citikliniek Complaints

Police in The Hague have received at least 80 complaints about the cosmetic surgery clinic, Citikliniek, in The Hague, which was closed down just over a week ago by the Health Inspectorate.

It remains to be seen whether charges will be brought for assault or grievous bodily harm. The Health Inspectorate visited the clinic after complaints had been received of serious infections, inadequate aftercare and the incorrect placing of breast implants(!).

The inspection revealed poor hygiene, with a toilet next to the operating theatre, damaged packaging on implants and no facilities for cleansing and disinfecting. Yuck!

We make better faces for a living! Cosmetic Surgery while you wait! 2 Tables! No waiting, no queueing and definitely no banker's cheques!

Warning about the French - Eco-Friendly Petrol

The ANWB, the very efficient Dutch Automobile Association, (who's good service I would truly recommend), has issued a warning on its website about E10, the new French eco-friendly petrol.

E10 is replacing Euro unleaded 95 at more and more French petrol stations. However, cars dating from before 2000 could suffer damage, according to the ANWB.

The name E10 stands for Ethanol 10 percent. The French government decided to mix ordinary petrol with the biofuel Ethanol for environmental reasons. Most European countries have chosen for a mixture of 5.75% ethanol with petrol in order to protect older vehicles.

Questions Please
The questions are; How much Ethanol can you make from a vineyard full of grapes that normally makes an inferior but drinkable wine? Is this just a good tactic to save the ailing French grape growers? What does it taste like? How many bottles to the mile do you get? and Where can I get some for tonight's party?

Answers you Seek, Hmm!
For answers to some of these questions and more, the French government has set up a user friendly website (in French, of course) where drivers can check whether the new fuel is suitable for their cars or not;

One does not have to be a detective to suspect that if you drive a Citroen, Renault, Peugeot, or any other French make of car, you will be OK but all US makers of cars, could have a problem, allegedly. Fortunately the European car 'industry' are sharing resources when it comes to engines and running gear. So those cars should also be OK. Bon chance!

Save Hedgehogs from Drowning

The Dutch Hedgehog (Egel) Centre in The Hague has issued an appeal to anyone constructing pools and ditches to provide escape routes and 'gangplanks' for hedgehogs.

Clearly, some hedgehogs like to imagine themselves as 'pirates' and these will head up the 'gangplanks.' The others, of course will seek the more conventional but less imaginative 'escape route.'

Although they can swim very well, hedgehogs do need something to help them get out of the water because the banks of these water traps, are normally too steep to climb.

Inflatable rubber dinghy's don't work either. Let's face it, inflatable rescue devices of any kind, are not going to work with these guys!

A Dutch Hedgehog rescue spokesman said: 'In the last week, two exhausted and half-drowned hedgehogs (egels) were saved and brought into the shelter.'

See! So its not just the English that are crazy for the Hedgehogs!

How do Hedgehogs make love, I hear you ask? Very carefully, comes the hilarious reply.

Visually Impaired Surf School Clinic

Fifteen blind and visually impaired children and teenagers between the ages of 8 and 19 were given surfing lessons yesterday in Scheveningen, the beautiful beach resort for The Hague.

Dutch and American professional instructors first gave them specific safety lessons and instructions, then accompanied them out to sea.

This is only the second time that a surfing clinic for the visually impaired has been held in Scheveningen but we hope it continues. Everybody should be free to, and have the right to, enjoy the beach life. It's one of the great experiences of being human!

Cocaine Washed Up On Dutch Beaches

A large package of cocaine and packets of materials for cutting the drug were washed up on beaches in Kijkduin, Scheveningen, Wassenaar and Katwijk on Saturday.

According to the police, there was about 2.3 kilograms of cocaine left in the package when they got there.

As yet, no one has come forward to claim the package and the police have no idea where it came from. It was thought possible that smugglers had fixed the drugs to the underside of their boat and it had come loose. I think we are talking about 'really shoddy' smugglers here.

Meanwile peace and tranquility has returned to the sun scorched beaches of Holland but who knows what mysteries lie behind the wooden doors of the brightly painted beach huts that adorn the Dutch coastline.

Be sure to tune in next week to hear more nonsense!

Which Brand Spanking New Shoes do you Prefer?

Bad men are full of Repentance - says Aristotle - but bad women are always popular!

Shock, Horror Journalism!

A World War Two bomber (Image © PA)

WORLD WAR 2 BOMBER FOUND ON MOON screamed the Sunday Sport in 1988. A few weeks later came an equally startling exclusive: WORLD WAR 2 BOMBER FOUND ON MOON VANISHES (just above the headline: Horror Hubby Turns His Wife Into A Coffee Table).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

High Tech Pets, Geek Toys & Gizmos for Big Sad Boys 'n Girls

Slow 'Net to China - China Internet Users gotta be the most Patient

Due to congestion on China's backbone networks and the time it takes for communications to travel across undersea cables to the United States and Europe, travelers find a noticeable difference in the responsiveness of the Internet in China compared to the rest of the world.

Source: James Fallows, "The Connection Has Been Reset."

10 iPhones Games - You Gotta Gotta Have!