30.4.08

NICE SPRING COLOURS
OF THE DAY


TRUE LESBIANS

This is funny! They've got about
snowball in hell's chance
of winning this case!


Residents of the Greek island of
Lesbos have launched a legal action
to demand the exclusive right
to call themselves Lesbians.


The inhabitants of the island are
attempting to ban the Greek Gay
and Lesbian Union from bearing
the name "lesbian".


Residents of Lesbos now suffer "psychological
and moral rape" from the "seizure" of
their island's name by gays, according
to the complaint by Dimitris
Lambrou, a local activist.


He has set out his argument in
"The Misfortune of Being Lesbian",
published on his website.


Mr Lambrou, who has the support of a
member of a nationalist pagan association,
said that the case was likely to come
before a court in Athens in June.


Lesbos is synonymous with the love
verses of the poet Sappho (above),
who expressed her love of other
women in poetry written in the
early sixth century BC.

UPDATE 23.7.08: The islanders
rather predictably lost the case.


POUT OF THE DAY

FISHING STORY
WITH A DIFFERENCE


Apparently this poor tyke was swimming
two miles (3.2 km) off shore but
luckily the chaps in the boat caught
her and let her loose once back
on dry land so all is well
that ends well.

Please click on the image
to view a larger version.


29.4.08

NICE SPRING PIC
OF THE DAY


ROCK'N'ROLL

LATABE SCORES

An African elephant is proving a
league champion for her ability
to keep her keepers on their toes.

Fifteen-year-old Latabe is so adept
at dribbling a football she is more than
a match for her keeper at West Midland
Safari Park in Worcestershire and has
surprised everyone with her rather
unladylike pastime.

Keeper Lewis Hodson (above with Latabe),
23, is passionate about football and
the pair first started to kick a ball
around during playtime
four weeks ago.


A park spokesman said: "There is little
doubt that Latabe is honing her footy skills
to perfection and seems to enjoy every
minute that she is on the pitch.

"But while Latabe has added a few noughts
to her transfer fee, she is staying where
she is - at West Midland Safari Park."

The park is home to three elephants,which
were all rescued from an elephant orphanage
in 1998.
'Five' is the artistic talent among
the trio, while 'Jack' likes to help
with heavy duties such as
pulling vehicles.


FASCINATING

This new website is truly
fascinating.

Being a huge fan of English history, and
particularly the 17th to mid 18th century
I will be spending hours on here!


Thousands of Britons, Americans and
a fair few Australians began searching
an online archive yesterday for news of
the nefarious dealings of their distant
ancestors in Victorian London.


Records of trials at the Old Bailey
throughout the 1800s and early 1900s
have been placed online, from
infamous murders to bungled
bicycle frauds, all catalogued
into a searchable archive.


Accounts of The Proceedings of the
Old Bailey were originally collated and
circulated from 1674 in what became
a popular London publication.


By the early 20th century the readership
had declined and the authorities were
no longer willing to bear the expense.
The last edition rolled off the presses
in April 1913; thereafter the complete
record was contained in a handful
of rare leather-bound collections.

The new records include the indictment
for “acts of gross indecency” of Oscar Wilde
and Alfred Taylor in May 1895.

There is also the case of Dr Hawley Crippen,
who murdered his wife, a Camden music-
hall singer, and was arrested while
fleeing to America with his mistress.

But for all the affairs of the great and good,
the real value of the record for social
historians lies in the countless details
of London life and proof of emerging
and declining social trends.


PUZZLE

Volunteers worked together in attempts
to create the world's largest puzzle at the

Virginia Beach Convention Center
in Virginia on Sunday.


Families of Autistic Children of Tidewater
(F.A.C.T.) sponsored the fundraising
event, where 28,000 puzzle pieces
were put together over a space the size
of two-and-a-half football fields in
an attempt to break a world record.


28.4.08

NICE SPRING COLOURS
OF THE DAY


LEO'S CHUTE

It works!

A parachute designed more than 500 years
ago by
Leonardo da Vinci has been
used by a Swiss daredevil in a
successful jump.


Amateur parachutist Olivier Vietti-Teppa
said his 2,130-foot (649 m) drop
from a hovering helicopter
was "a perfect jump".


The parachute, which opened at 600m,
was made of modern fabric but followed
designs drawn by Da Vinci in 1485.


It consists of four equilateral triangles,
seven metres on each side, with a square
mosquito net at the base of the
pyramid to enable it to open.

Vietti-Teppa, 36, was the first person to
have made it safely to the ground
with the Da Vinci model (below).

The parachute cannot be steered but
Vietta-Teppa said he "came down
smack in the middle of the tarmac"
at his chosen destination -
the Swiss military
airbase in
Payerne.


MOCKSTARS

Never saw Nirvana when Kurt was alive?
Secret desire to see Gun'n'Roses live?
Or T-Rex? Or how about
Freddie Mercury?

Don't want to fork out hundreds of
pounds to see your favourite acts
who are still alive?


Well, Glastonbudget at Turnpost Farm
in Wymeswold, Leicestershire is the
answer to your prayers. The three days
of "mockstars" strutting their stuff starts
on May 23th and you can join
the fun for a mere £47.50.


The festival is Europe's largest tribute
& new music festival with 22
bands,
including Ded Hot Chili's, Crowded
Out and Kaider Thiefs, on
the tribute stage alone.


BAD MANNERS

No, not the band but something a load
of people on this island seem to have.
And I totally agree, the manners
have gone totally down the toilet.

Britons are ruder than they were a
decade ago, according to a survey that
showed almost three-quarters of people
think manners should be
taught at school.

A third believe bad manners are the
catalyst for much of the anti-social
behaviour in Britain,
the
ITV poll found.

Experts interviewed by the network blamed
a lack of respect for authority.
More than 90
percent of respondents believe parents are
failing to ensure their children learn proper
manners and that bad behaviour of
celebrities and footballers are setting
a poor example for impressionable
youngsters.


Spitting and swearing were the most
offensive behaviours, it found, while
queue-jumping and not saying "please"
or "thank you" were other main gripes.


Almost 75 percent of the 3,000 people
surveyed believed manners should
be taught at school.


The head of the Campaign for Courtesy,
broadcaster
Esther Rantzen (above),
said a lack of discipline
was also to blame.

"I think my generation has a lot answer
for because I think the youth culture in the
60s and early 70s threw out every rule book
and thought it was really clever to use
four letter words," she told the programme,
which airs later on today."


"But I think things should go back, not
to the old deference, not to grovelling,
not to any of that but just to feeling
respect, because I think that would
make everyone's life more pleasant."


FROG-DOG

Meet Mondex, a chihuahua in a
scuba suit who has won a
canine fashion show
in the Philippines.


The five-year-old frog-dog wore
a four-legged wetsuit, air bottle,
four little flippers and
goggles for the day.

Mondex was joined by other pampered
pooches in the annual PetsCapade pet
fashion show held in
a mall
in suburban Manila.


Rumours that he is now set to pursue
a career as a police frog-dog are
understood to be wide of the mark.


CAKE!

Well, a flattish chocklaty
thing anyway!


I was dying for a bit of choc cake today
and looked at some of the prices in the
supermarket...£4.99, £5.99, £8.99...

Then wandered over to the "do-it-
yourself" bake shelves and et voilà!

Total cost of flattish chocolaty
thing...89p! Yay!


Melted some choc on top and nicked
hundreds and thousands out of
KB's cupboard to decorate it with.


27.4.08

YE OLDIE
MEMORIES


In honour of Her Madgesty's new
album release tomorrow and the fact
that I watched a 3 and a half hour
Madge video marathon today
(whilst reading the Sunday papers!)
on
TMF, I decided to dig
out some old photos.

As it happens me and
KB once won first price
at a fancy dress party with me dressed as
Madge (below) circa the
"Papa
Don't Preach" period.

The actual record was released in 1986
but I dressed up for a NY's party at
our local pub The Edinburgh
in Brighton in 1991.

Sadly The Edinburgh on Buckingham Street
is no more but we are left with fond
memories of the friendly and funny
landlord and lady, Vic and Joy.
It was their dream to retire under
the Spanish sun so I hope
they got their wish.

And talking of old photos I just had to put
this in here as well: my first car in 1984.

The hair, the jeans, the shades, the belt.
Oh my days. Obviously I didn't
own a mirror back then! Hehe!


26.4.08

SUNSET OF
THE WEEK


TULIP WATCH IV

It's a lovely +22 C today and so
bright you can hardly see them!

Here's some lovely colours...

And the Grey One came for
his usual daily biscuits.


GRAVITY

Somebody...turn down
the gravity!


25.4.08

PRICEY TREES

A tree in central London has been valued
at £750,000 under a new system that
puts a "price" on trees. How?

Apparently by considering its size, unit
value, number of people living nearby,
its benefits and problems
and its life expectancy.

Size is the biggest factor, followed by
population density of the surrounding
area (how many people enjoy the tree),
the size of the canopy, its life expectancy,
its impact (does it flower or drop annoying
honeydew) and any special factors,
such as Queen Victoria planting it.

"Ultimately the purpose (of pricinf) is
that more trees are saved, because you can
say 'this tree has a relative value to this
community'," says Mr Jon Stokes
of the Tree Council.


TOO WET FOR
BUTTERFLIES


This is sad news.
I love butterflies!


If weather conditions do not improve
this summer some British butterflies
could become extinct, experts
have warned.

The persistent rain last year meant that
butterflies were unable to move, feed or
mate. Some species had their lowest
ever recorded numbers, according
to the
UK Butterfly Monitoring
Scheme in East Lulworth, Dorset.


Eight butterflies were the worst affected,
with the population of the Lulworth
Skipper down by 81 % and the common
blue butterfly (below) population
decreasing by 78 %. Experts hope that
there will be more settled conditions
in the crucial coming months.

Many species are also suffering because
their natural habitat is being lost. Sir
David Attenborough, the president
of the
Butterfly Conservation Trust,
which helps to run the monitoring
scheme, is promoting a
Stop
Extinction Appeal to
restore their habitat.


24.4.08

COLOURFUL
LAST TRIP

First there were internet funerals,
now you can
decorate the coffin!


Death is big business it seems.
Wonder when they'll allow ads on
the corpse so that when it's an open
casket people can make informed
decisions about their mobile
phone rate, for example.

PS: I want the pink daisy one.




FUNNY CAT PIC
OF THE DAY


SWEET DREAMS

I've always slept with two pillows and
always suffered from neck pain.
And yes, I've tried sleeping with
one pillow but I just can't do it!

The pain is part and parcel of my fibro
anyway so I'm kind of used to it.

However yesterday when I popped into
our local Lidl I found a neck support
pillow for £10 and thought
I'll give it a try.


It was really weird at first as it's quite
hard but as I got used to it
I found it quite comfy.

And no neck pain this morning!
I've only got a cheapo version,
the next step would
a
memory foam one.


23.4.08

SO BUSTED!

His love for his feline companion
didn't stay a secret for long...


HAPPY
ST GEORGE'S DAY!


Woof! Today is St George's Day.

I live at Dogs Trust and I'm
called
George.

I'm looking for a home.
Can you help me?


NO PHOTOS!

This is just silly. But unfortunately in
this PC world it's just going to get worse...


Misplaced fears about terror, privacy
and child protection are preventing
amateur photographers from enjoying
their hobby, say campaigners.


The last time I encoutered overzealous
security guards was in
Lisbon: the
supermarket we frequented had a really
nice Easter egg display and I wanted to
take a shot but as soon as I got my
camera out the guard rushed
over to tell me off.

Same in a shopping mall when I was
trying to take a picture of KB . Yeah, I'm
sure Al-Qaeda could've used both of those
pics to make a bomb. Please!



RENT-A-DOG

It's not a good week for
animals.

First people are keeping
hedgehogs as pets
and now this!

You can have a dog for a limited time -
for a price - as part of a new service
renting out canine companions.

No no no no! I'm not surprised animal
behaviour experts worry that shunting
a dog between multiple owners
will cause it distress.

"There will almost certainly be an emotional
impact for the dogs as they are moved
from owner to owner, from home to home,
and then back again until someone decides
they want them again," says veterinary
adviser David McDowell.


"Most dogs need the security of a proper
routine with one owner and without this
they could become stressed and unhappy."
Instead of renting a pet, he advises that
anyone desperate to spend time with a
dog could volunteer or their local
RSPCA branch or animal centre.

My message to true animal
lovers is do not do this.


LE WHIFF OR
DER STINK?


There's been a quite a bit of debate who's
to blame
for the stink that wafted
over the channel last week.

For a while it was the French (of course!),
then the rest of Europe but apparently
it was the Germans!

The smell wasn't too bad round here,
thankfully, just a bit more
"manurey" than usual...


NICE SPRING COLOURS
OF THE DAY


CRASH BANG

This morning I was in the kitchen and
heard an almighty bang from the front
of the house so obviously I
went to have a look.


Turns out someone crashed into the lamppost
outside our house and just drove off!

I called the council Highways maintanence
department and they came round to remove
the fallen post. As yet we don't
have a replacement.


TULIP WATCH
PART III

The warm sunshine (today is +19 C)
has finally arrived and
the tulips are enjoying it!


20.4.08

TULIP WATCH
PART II


OPERATION
POTATOES


Today the weather gods decided to smile
on us, it's a lovely +16 C out there, so
me and KB got the shovels, forks etc
out and finally planted the spuds.

Here's a couple of pics
and more in KB's
blog.

All that's left to do now is to plant the
toms, spring onions and other bits
when they're big enough to move
outside into the veg patch.


18.4.08

COPYCAT

OLD

The world's oldest living tree on record
is a nearly 10,000 year-old spruce
that has been discovered
in central Sweden.

Researchers from Umeå University had
discovered a spruce with genetic
material dating back 9,550 years in
the Fulu mountain in Dalarna,
according to Leif Kullmann, a
professor of Physical Geography.

That would mean it had taken root in
roughly the year 7,542 BC.
"It was a big
surprise because we thought until (now)
that this kind of spruce grew much later
in those regions," he said.

Scientists had previously believed
the world's oldest trees were 4,000
to 5,000 year-old pine trees
found in North America.


Spruces, which according to Kullmann
offer rich insight into climate change,
had long been regarded as relatively
newcomers in the Swedish
mountain region.

The discovery of the ancient tree had
therefore led to "a big change
in our way of thinking," he said.


HEDGEHOGS
ARE NOT PETS


I don't care what anyone says,
hedhehogs are not pets and they
should not be kept cooped
up inside like hamsters!


People have been buying hedgehogs,
whose nocturnal habits make them
appealing to the modern worker
because they wake in the evening
when their owners arrive home
after a day in the office.

Although Britain has its own wild breed
of hedgehogs, the latest pet craze focuses
on
African pygmy hedgehogs (above) -
a cross between Algerian and
white-bellied hedgehogs.

Initial costs for the animal and accompanying
equipment can run to £300 pounds. But
hedgehogs, who can survive on cat food,
are cheaper to feed because they eat
a third of the household cat's daily diet.


Animal conservationists said the trend
poses a serious threat to the declining
population of Britain's native wild
hedgehogs, which last year made the
government's species protection list.

British Hedgehog Preservation Society
trustee Kay Bullen said the expense
of buying rare types of hedgehog could
tempt people to lure a British
cousin in from the garden.


The impact from poaching on the wild
hedgehog population could be greater
in the next month if mothers are
removed from their litters during
the Spring breeding season, Bullen said.
"The babies will die without their mum,"
she said. "They're completely
dependent for four weeks."

Bullen also said that the introduction of
a foreign species could cause secondary
wildlife problem if pet owners who tire
of their hedgehogs attempt to release
them into the wild. "People will probably
think they can exist in our country,
but I don't know if they can."