28.5.10

OPA!

It's Eurovision time!

The 55th competition is being held in
Oslo tomorrow after last years
landslide win by Alexander Rybak.

Finland didn't make it to the final this year,
thank God, the song is is the Top Ten
of all time worst! And why sing in
Finnish, they know it's not going
to get them anywhere!

Another song not to make the final is by
Malta, a beautiful performance and a
decent song but they never get
past the semi's. Shame.

My favourites out of the finalists are Romania
(above top left) with a great little pop tune
including an glass shattering middle 8 (the
video doesn't do her justice, when she belts
it live watch out for falling chandeliers!)
and weirdly enough
Greece
(above top right).



I'm not normally a fan of "ethnic" sounding
tunes but this one has an almost primal
tribal quality to it. And the dancers
aren't bad looking either!


Germany (above bottom left) is tipped to win
but I don't really like the song. It's catchy
and all but the singer has an annoying
voice ala Diana Vickers.

Another annoyingly catchy number comes from

The Netherlands (above bottom right).
I wouldn't be surprised if "Sha-La-Lie"
does well. And the
UK entry?
Less said the better.

Weirdly enough Justin Lee Collin's song
"All I Ever Want Is You" recorded for a
programme about him
trying to enter
the competition is actually
really really good!

And he can sing, in fact he should record an
album! Penned by Ronan Keating this great
little
ditty would've made a great entry for
Ireland (the country country he managed
to try in) but alas, it wasn't to be.

EDIT 30.5.2010: Vorhersagbar!
Germany won, my favourites
Romania came third
and UK last!

PS: This years funniest comment came
of course from the ever witty Graham
Norton (the show's BBC host).

When seeing the Lithuanian presenter
reading the points in a black and white
spotty jacket ala 101 Dalmatians
he quipped:"Even I wouldn't
wear that."


22.5.10

A LOVELY
DAY

It's been absolutely gorgeous today, +25 C.
I sat in the garden reading a book and enjoying
the surprising silence: the idiot neighbours
who usually ruin every single sunny
day were actually quiet!

The garden is blooming, the rhubarb (middle
below) is getting bigger by the day so I'll
make a crumble soon. I just loooo-ve
rhubarb crumble and pie!


The cats came out as well and soon found
couple of shady spots to crash in
.


21.5.10

JOLIE AND THE
KITTEN

Today's aaaaah!

A mama Chihuahua in Hawthorne,
Los Angeles, is proving that there's
always room for one more.

The dog named "Jolie" - after actress Angelina
Jolie who is known for adopting children - has
taken
in a newborn kitten and is nursing
the tiny feline right along with her
own newborn pups.


Shelly Gomez adopted the Chihuahua mix from
a shelter called
Noah's Bark. About a week
after taking her home, the shelter called
and asked her to pick up some

newborn pups who needed care.


But when she went to pick up the new day-old
puppies, a tiny black and white kitten
started screaming as though she
wanted to come along, too.

The volunteer at the shelter asked if she wanted
to take the kitten and said she knew that if
Shelly didn't take it, the tiny thing probably
be put to sleep. So Shelly scooped up
the kitten and headed home.

"When I walked through the door, Jolie jumped
up and tried to grab the kitten from my
arms!", Shelly says. "She was so excited."


She was concerned at first that the dog would hurt
the kitten, so she let Jolie sniff it for awhile. "She
just kept cleaning it and cleaning it," she said.

"So I put the kitten in the box and the she
started nursing. The rest is history."

The tiny, blue-eyed kitten now fits right
in, suckling and sleeping alongside his
canine brothers and sisters.


YAP NAV

A Polish taxi driver has turned off his sat-nav
after discovering his pet Yorkshire Terrier is
better at getting him from A to B.

Andrzej Szymcakowi, 65, from Lodz, says
two-year-old Bobo has accompanied him in
his cab since he was a pup - and knows every
shortcut and rat-run in the book.

Now he barks instructions to his owner
whenever a customer gives
them an address.


"He yaps and raises his right paw to show we
should turn right, his left paw for left, and
barks and wags his tail for straight on,"
said proud Andrzej.
"He recognises
all the routes and tells me
which way to go before
the GPS does."


SYNTHETIC

It seems we're step closer to the science
fiction of Blade Runner, The Island,
I, Robot and Surrogates.

Scientists in the US have succeeded in developing
the first living cell to be controlled entirely by
synthetic DNA. The researchers constructed
a bacterium's "genetic software" and
transplanted it into a host cell.

The resulting microbe then looked and
behaved like the species "dictated"
by the synthetic DNA.

The advance, published in Science, has been
hailed as a scientific landmark, but critics
say there are dangers posed by
synthetic organisms.

Some also suggest that the potential benefits
of the technology have been over-stated. But
the researchers hope eventually to design
bacterial cells that will produce medicines
and fuels and even absorb greenhouse gases.


So we might be a long way away from replicas
of ourselves but who know what they'll
come up with in the future?

More on the subject
in HERE


LE WHIF

This is a good idea but it's not going to be
like the real thing! It's not about the
smell, it's about the taste!

An inhaler that allows chocoholics to submit
to their cravings without putting on weight
is to be released in British stores.

Le Whif, dubbed the world's first breathable food,
lets consumers suck in the taste of chocolate
or coffee while taking on less
than one calorie.

The lipstick-style tube contains hundreds of
milligrams of tiny food particles which are small
enough to become airborne, but too large to
enter the lungs. Each Le Whif contains
enough flavour for about ten puffs and
costs £1.99 on its own, or £4.99 for
a pack of three.


The inhaler is available in chocolate, raspberry
chocolate and mint chocolate models as well
as coffee flavour, which gives a dose of
caffeine equivalent to a small
shot of espresso.


It was invented by David Edwards, professor of
biomedical engineering at Harvard University,
with the help of Michelin-rated chef Thierry Marx.

Prof Edwards said Le Whif was not designed
to replace food but could be used to
enhance dining experiences, by allowing
people to sample a variety of dishes
before ordering their meal.

And talking of the brown stuff the world's largest
chocolate maker says it may have come up with
a chocolate bar that could fight wrinkles
and slow the aging process.


Eating 20 g (0.755 oz) of specially developed
chocolate
packed with antioxidants, or flavanols,
each day may make skin more radiant by
boosting elasticity and improving
hydration, studies carried
out showed.


NINJA'S TO THE
RESCUE

I love this story!

Three muggers in Penrith, Australia, got the
fright of their lives when their attack was
interrupted by five black-clad ninja warriors.

The thieves were assaulting a 27-year-old German
medical exchange student but the alleyway
where they struck was next to
Senshi Ryu Ninja school.

One of the pupils raised the alarm after noticing
the commotion. Police say they have arrested
two men and charged them with
robbery, and are still looking
for a third suspect.

"We just ran outside and started running at them,
yelling and everything," said ninja master
Kaylan Soto (above middle) who instructed
his students to take action. These guys turned
around and saw five ninjas in black
ninja uniforms running towards
them. They just bolted."

The victim suffered minor injuries, and the men
stole his mobile phone and iPod, according
to police. Mr Soto said the man could have
escaped the assault with some training in
ninjutsu - a Japanese martial art. As for
the attackers, "They just picked the
wrong spot," he added.


HALFALOGUE

American researchers say they've found
the answer why it's no annoying
listening to other people's
mobile phone chats.

Whether it is the office, on a train or in a car,
only half of the conversation is overheard
which drains more attention and concentration
than when overhearing two people talking,
according to scientists at Cornell University.

"We have less control to move away our attention
from half a conversation (or halfalogue) than
when listening to a dialogue," said Lauren
Eberson, a co-author of the study that
will be published in the journal Psychological
Science. "Since halfalogues really are more
distracting and you can't tune them
out, this could explain why people
are irritated."

The findings by Eberson and her co-author Michael
Goldstein are based on research involving
41 college students who did concentration
exercises, like tracking moving dots, while
hearing one or both parties during a cellphone
conversation. The students made more errors
when they heard one speaker's side of the
conversation than when overheard
the entire dialogue.


On a personal note I had to endure a
fat moron on his mobile on a bus to
Wimbledon the other day.

It was bad enough that every other word was f***ing
this or that but the running commentary of everyone
on the bus, getting on or off and where the bus was
and how long the driver was taking (he was
in a hurry to meet his wife in the pub!)
just made my day.

I glanced over at one point to see the dickhead
and oh boy, that just gave him ammo to go on
about me for the next ten minutes! "Giving me
the evils for swearing - well if you don't like it
love, you can get off the bus!" Oh, OK. So 30
people have to get off the bus so you can
sit there like the cretin you are
and carry on swearing.

Then he went to tell his wife in a mock posh
accent "Yes, I know that, dear, and you know
that but we have to put these jokers
into their place." So funny! NOT.

His wife had obviously told him to give me
what for for looking at him. When I finally got
off at my stop he carried on "Oh here we go,
getting off now." Sadly I didn't hear what
wisdom he parted with after that.

What a pleasant individual. Got to love those
free minutes as well so these simpletons can
blather to their heart's content! I'm
just glad it was a bus ride, not a
12 hour flight sat next to
him and his missus!


20.5.10

WENLOCK AND
MANDEWILLE

I truly don't know what to make of the new
London 2012 mascots Wenlock
and Mandeville.

The official logo for the games is the worst of all time
(there were so many other brilliant designs) and
these two ... not as bad but I think their
school report would say "could do better".
Ah well, I suppose the kids
will love them.


FINALLY

At last! The summer is here! It's been ridiculously
cold for the time of year, we had the bloody
heating on til last week!

The sun is finally coming out to warm our
winter weary bones. Just hope our dickhead
neighbours don't ruin the weekend with
another barbecue party. Oh yeah ... Look!
there's Miss Piggy just whizzing past!


ROUTEMASTERS
RETURN

I was happy to learn that the Routemaster style
buses are returning to the streets of London.

They are just much more convenient, you can
get off where you want, for instance when the
bus is stuck in traffic and the next stop is
in sight but it's going to take ten
minutes to get there.

But I can guarantee as soon as there is an accident
on the hop on/off platform the health and
safety brigade are going to make the third
door at the back, which is suppose be open
at peak times, permanently shut.


EXPENSIVE

If you've ever wondered how cinemas make
their money, here's the answer: popcorn that
costs £1 less than the to see the film.

Went to see Iron Man 2 yesterday and
medium popcorn was £5.10.

The film itself was good, excellent special effects
and very funny in places. Look out for the Ex Wife,
she steals the show! Nice to see Mickey Rourke
making a comeback as well, he's always
been one of my favourites.


WONDERFUL

Every now and then you stumble across
something so wonderful on the net it
makes your whole week.

This week I discovered likepunkneverhappened.
blogspot.com, an online Smash Hits magazine
(not be confused with the Smash Hits radio
station) archive (thanks to Davie!).

Those not familiar with this publication
let's just say that it kept generations of
teenagers from going mental with
boredom, including myself, all the
way through from 1978 to 2006.

Back in Finland I used to have to drive about
10 km to get it from the neighbouring town's
only kiosk and it was always about three
weeks behind (it was a weekly mag).

But that didn't matter. As soon as I had
it in my hands it was like heaven.

I'd drive home and disappear into my own little
pop world for hours. My room was plastered
with pictures and adverts from the mag, I
totally destroyed them ... in hindsight
I wish I'd kept them intact. One day
when I'm rich enough I'll buy the
whole collection off
someone on ebay!

When I moved to England permanently in 1987
I used to get it weekly and finally stopped
buying it round about the middle 90's.
By that time pop had gotten bland
and boring and the magazine held
no interest to me anymore.


17.5.10

GIRLY MOAN

It's such a girlie thing to moan about ones
lipstick not staying on/wearing off
quickly but today I found a
miracle cure: Lipcote.


As always happens when I find a product I like, L'Oreal
stopped making the only lipstick that I've ever been
happy with, so I had to find a replacement.

I like Rimmel's shades but they don't tend to
stay put. Don't even get me started on
Maybelline ... (I'd like to change
their theme song to "Maybe
it's her, maybe it's crap!"

At the weekend I saw Lipcote being praised by
someone or other in one the Sunday paper
magazines so I thought I'll give it a
bash. And lo and behold, it works!

It's a top coat you put on top
of your normal lipstick.
Recommended.


16.5.10

DISASTER GALORE

Last night I watched last year's "the end is nigh"
epic
2012 starring my favourite John Cusack
and the wonderful
Chiwetel Ejiofor (who is
also the star of one of my all time
favourite films "Kinky Boots")

The film is so huge, everything is done in a BIG
scale and most of it is obviously
CGI.

The story is interesting enough to keep you at the
edge of your seat though and luckily it's
not too soppy when they take
a break from the action.

And you know the good guys are going
to survive so no surprises there
.

I also ended up watching the ever brilliant (first)
Die Hard that happened to be on the telly.

I've seen it probably 58 times but it never
gets boring! Plus the young Brucie
is ... oh so easy on the eyes and Alan
Rickman is perfect as the baddie.


15.5.10

WORRIED ABOUT
THE BOY

Another visual feast apart from the summer
blockbusters I'm looking forward to is tomorrow
night's Worried About The Boy, on BBC 2.

It's the story of the Culture Club singer
Boy George as part of the
channels' 80's season.

I'm a huge Boy George and 80's fan so this will
be interesting. Apparently the real Mr
O'Dowd
has given the show his seal of approval,
telling newcomer Douglas Booth (above)
"not to camp it too much".


Looking at the rest of the weeks offerings I must
say I'm disappointed because BBC 2 have chosen
to show a Heaven 17 docu and a concert and
nothing else. Heaven 17 was one the crappiest
and least influential bands of the decade ...
why not show a Duran Duran or a Spandau
concert and a docu instead? Or
almost any other band!

Tut tut BBC! Whoever has been charge
of this 80's programming needs
to check their facts!


14.5.10

SISÄÄN!

My favourite geek comedy Big Bang Theory
returned onto our screens last night with
the last few episodes of Season 3 (why
they couldn't show the whole season
back to back in the first place
is a mystery!) and Sheldon
is learning Finnish! (video)

His pronunciation is almost spot on except
with the word "rypäleet" (grapes)!


13.5.10

CAT WALK

Cute alert!

Since 2008 two French hikers William and
Laetitia have chronicled their trek from Miami
to the tip of South America, a journey
of 15,000km (9,320 miles) through
13 countries.

But what elevates this trip down a hemisphere
straight into the
Cuteosphere is the third
member of the team: A
stray kitten
(whom they called Kitty) who
joined them in Louisiana.


TEDDY'S
HOLIDAY

Well, now I have seen it all!

Is your favourite teddy bear or stuffed
animal worn down by the daily grind
and desperately in need of a vacation?

Finnish firm Teddy Tours Lapland Oy has
come up with a solution: holidays in The
Arctic Circle for that special stuffed
friend costing between 110 euros
and 170 euros (£ 93-144).

The "Standard Journey" includes a trip around
the town of Rovaniemi and a visit to see Santa
Claus. The holidaymaker will also receive
a gift, send a postcard to its owner and
be sent home with holiday photos.


The "Luxury Journey" also includes a trip
to a reindeer farm where the bear can
feed Santa's faithful companions.

"This is followed by a snowmobile safari.
Teddy will go ice fishing on the frozen lake
and savour hot chocolate by the campfire,"
the firm says on its Web site. The whole
trip will also be recorded on videotape.


They can also provide the bear, should you
not want to send your own abroad or don't
own one yet. The company is planning
summer trips as well if your furry pal
is not too keen to go when it's cold.


NEW
FAVOURITE

I love listening to net radio stations while I'm
here at the PC and I have a new favourite,
Flashback Alternatives.

This American station does exactly what it says on
the tin: they play alternative 80's tracks that
were never huge or in the charts but were
still loved by millions. They've even
played some Toyah! Good stuff!


LOOKING
FORWARD
TO

Very rarely there is more than one film, that
I'd actually like to see, in the cinema
at the same time.

Now there is three!

Jake Gyllenhaal is flexing his new muscles in
Prince Of Persia, which I know nothing
about but the trailers look good!


The gorgeous Robert Downey Jr. (it really
should be illegal to look that yummy!) returns
in
Iron Man 2 with another all time
favourite of mine, Mickey Rourke.


And of course, last but not least, the
ultimate bit of girlie fluff,

Sex And The City 2.

The outfits are as outrageous as ever, I
mean for instance check out this
dress Sam is wearing!



PS: Make that four! I totally forgot about
Robin Hood! Just hope it's not too violent,
not a great fan of the big battle
scenes ala Braveheart...



12.5.10

NETBOOK

KB bought herself a new netbook to take on
her travels so I inherited the old one.

It's perfect for checking email and general net
surfing in bed, especially when I have a bad
fibro day and sitting here at the PC is
literally a pain in the arse.

And even better than that, when my friend Pirjo
visited earlier in the year she gave a nice little
Moomin bag as a present which wasn't quite big
enough to use as a handbag but is absolutely
spot on for the netbook. Sorted!


11.5.10

PRIME MINISTER
DAVE

After a nearly a week of toing and throwing
have a new Prime Minister.

Call him Dave.

I for one am pleased after years of listening to His
Tonyness and the rest. Let's just hope it's not the
same old shite in a new package and the Bromance
of Dave'n'Nick actually do something about ...
well, everything, because as far as this country
is down the toilet with the right attitude
they might just be able to save it.

Yes, it will take a miracle
but let's hope so.


SCAR

ART?

An art exhibition featuring a brush propped
against a wall and pieces of wood strewn
across the floor has been branded
the
worst in Britain.

Discarded nails, a bucket and an empty laundry
bag also make up the display at Birmingham's
Ikon Gallery by artist Susan Collis.

Art lover Graham Whitehouse, 40, from Sutton
Coldfield, Birmingham, said: "Conceptual art
is one thing but this is just ridiculous. I just
think it's a big con, I walked in and I thought
'this isn't finished yet' - I felt cheated. I just
cannot believe money is spent
on this kind of thing."

Describing her work, entitled 'Since I Fell For
You', Ms Collis says: "Often a work that looks very
careless, as if it hasn't taken any time to make,
like a random mark, ends up being something
that takes a long time to produce."

PS: People moaning about this particular exhibition
have obviously never been to the Tate Modern!

Last time I went there were some glass jars
on a a shelf with mould growing in them and
bricks on the floor ... but yet both of those
were considered art along with countless
other piles of crap including pieces of
wood nailed together by someone I can
only imagine is three years old!


SHIVER ME TIMBERS,
IT'S A RECORD

More than 1,700 people with the instructions
to dress in fancy dress including a pirate style
hat, an eye patch, an accessory like a sword,
hook, musket, skull and crossbones flag or a
parrot, have set a new world record for
the largest ever gathering of
pirates in one place.

The record was set by 1,722 men, women
and children in Brixham, Devon.

The previous record of 1,651 was set in
Portland in America last year.
A
spokesman for Guinness World
Records said the British
record would be verified
in the coming weeks.


Karen Barnes, a spokesman for the Brixham
pirates, said: "We feel wonderful. I am
thrilled the town has beaten the record
by 250. Everywhere you went
there were pirates."


RARE

Britain's rarest wild flower is to be protected
by extra police patrols and possibly even
CCTV in an attempt to stop it being s
tolen when it flowers this month.


The Lady's Slipper orchid at Silverdale
Golf Course in Carnforth, Lancashire,
is the last remaining flowering
plant in the country.

Although experts have tried to re-introduce the
purple and yellow bloom in other areas, none
of them have flowered. Cuttings from
the plant can fetch up to £5,000.


Lancashire Police is now mounting a security
campaign for the flower amid concerns thieves
may strike in May or June when it flowers.

Officers have been ordered to 'ensure the safety'
of the orchid by including it in their routine foot
patrols every hour. They will also tag the
100-year-old rarity with a coded security
mark so that anyone who tries to sell
a cutting to wildflower collectors
can be caught.

Last June a thief took a cutting from the plant,
leaving it with just six flowers, and in 2004
a collector tried to dig it up entirely by
its roots, but managed to get away
with just a part of the plant.

PC Duncan Thomas, wildlife officer for
Lancashire Constabulary, said the orchid -
whose Latin name is Cypripedium
calceolus - was "incredibly
important".

"The Lady Slipper orchid is an incredibly
important plant, having survived for over a
hundred years. It is iconic to many people
who enjoy wildlife in Britain. People travel
from all ends of the country on what is
almost a pilgrimage to view the plant
in bloom and are often overcome
with emotion at the sight."


Rob Petley-Jones, of Natural England, said:
"It is completely illegal to even touch
this plant, you would need a
special licence for it."


SILHOUETTE OF
THE DAY

Mira the cat was indulging in her favourite
hobby of checking out birds from the
top bedroom window so I took a
photo of her silhouette.

Also this photo of an Irish wolfhound on
a beach in 1934 (on the BBC website)
made me chuckle ...

THINGS YOU
FIND

Remember the chairs I found in the loft
and painted ready to go in the conservatory
once we get the shed and there is
space in there for a sitting area?

Well, today on the way back from supermarket
I found this table on a nearby pavement
(somebody had chucked it out)
so I brought it home.

All I have to do is paint it and it will
go perfectly with the chairs!


7.5.10

HUNG

And it's the worst possible result.

What's even worse is that Brown, should he stay
in power if there is a coalition government,
would be Prime Minister twice without
winning an election!

Democracy indeed.

Surely who ever gets the most votes should win
but oh no, let's have this really complicated
ancient voting system so that everything
is as complicated as possible! Hmph!

2.5.10

GOOD FOR THE
GARDEN

After an unexceptionally long dry spell
the heavens opened last night. And
boy did it pelt down!

But I don't mind, "it's good for the garden",
I always say, as I hate using tap water.

Not that it costs any more as we don't have a
meter but it's just such a waste. I usually use
watering cans and get the hose out very
rarely, normally when the garden
is absolutely parched.

And in fact the plan is to install a
waterbutt this summer so turning
on the tap will will be thing
of the past.


1.5.10

FIRST

IDDY PIDDY
HORSES

This is Oberon (below, top pic), a spring
arrival at the Original Miniature
Pony Centre on Dartmoor.

The foal, who is only 20 inches (50.8 cm) high,
was named after King of the Fairies, a character
in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, because he
arrived just before Shakespeare’s birthday on
April 23. He is one of 17 foals due to be
born at the center this spring.

However a pint-sized horse called Einstein
(above, bottom pic) from New Hampshire,
U.S, could be a record breaker as
the world's smallest foal.

The pinto stallion is just 14 inches (35.6 cm)
high and weighs an incredible 6lb (2.7 kg).
The diminutive pony was born in
Barnstead, New Hampshire, on
Friday at
Tiz Miniature
Horse Farm.

Dr Rachel Wagner, Einstein's co-owner, says
the Guinness Book of Records lists the smallest
newborn horse as weighing just 9lb. Breeders
say that unlike the current record holder,
Thumbelina, Einstein shows no signs of
dwarfism - he is just a tiny horse.


CHARLES' EIGHT
MONTH TRIP

A tabby cat named Charles somehow managed
to make his way 1,300 miles (2092 km)
from his home in New Mexico
all the way to Chicago.

The feline's eight month odyssey ended when he
was picked up by a rescue shelter in Chicago and
he is now being given a free flight home by
American Airlines to be reunited
with his owner.

Charles vanished when owner Robin Alex was
away in New Orleans working for an
anti-poverty charity. She had left
a friend to look after the cat.

She said: "I found out while I was away
volunteering. I was so upset because
I was in New Orleans so there was
nothing I could do."


This week she received a call that Chicago
Animal Care and Control had picked
Charles up as a stray and identified
him from a microchip.

The agency's executive director, Cherie Travis,
said: "He needs a good brushing. He's got
a little bit of a cold but otherwise
he's in great condition."


Miss Alex, from Albuquerque, New Mexico,
said she had no idea how he could have made
it to Chicago. She said: "I've moved around
a lot. It seems kind of destined that my
cat would be a travelling cat."


FENNEC FOX

Cute alert!

This little fellow is one of three rare fennec
foxes which have been born at Drusillas
Park in East Sussex.

The arrival of the cute canines is a real achievement;
not only is this the first time that fennec foxes
have been successfully bred at the zoo, they are
also believed to be the first litter born in
Europe in 2010 and the only surviving
cubs in the UK since 2008.

The triplets, which are not yet named, were born
on March 19 and are thriving under the watchful
guidance of proud parents, Mali and Tabari.
They have now taken their first steps and
are just starting to explore the
environment outside
their nest box.


Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate commented: “I am
absolutely thrilled with the new arrivals. To
successfully rear one fennec fox is an
achievement; to rear three
is truly exceptional.”


In the wild, fennec foxes inhabit the Sahara desert
of North Africa, where they are threatened
mainly due to hunting and the pet trade.
They are the smallest member of the dog
family and have distinctive oversized
ears which can grow up to 15 cm long.


The cubs have been bred as part of a European
breeding programme, launched because
of the significant mortality of
newborns within this species.



MEERKAT
POST & LOVE

The general election might be turning a little
“katty” but that’s not going to stop London
Zoo’s meerkats from placing
their postal vote.

With forms arriving on doormats from Friday
the Zoo’s meerkats have been posting their
own to remind the British public
how“simples” it is to vote.

Eleven meerkats who live in the Zoo’s Animal
Adventure exhibit were given their very
own red postbox so they can get
involved in the election.

The postbox was there to stimulate the meerkats
natural curiosity, as unusual objects are always
worth investigating and the group love
having the chance to be nosey.

Zookeeper Robert Harland said: “Meerkats all
work for the good of the group and often make
decisions together so they will probably
all vote for the same party.”


Some meerkat facts: Meerkats, a member of the
mongoose family, originate from the south of the
Kalahari Desert in Africa. The animals live
in extensive burrow systems. They feed
on insects, small mammals,
scorpions and snakes.

In a mob of meerkats one of the group acts as
sentry on a high vantage point, while the others
forage for food. Black hair around their eyes
enables them to scan the bright sky for
predators and a variety of calls warns
the group to hide when danger is near.

Also in the meerkat news this week: Lilly the lonely
meerkat has finally found love after staff at
Twinlakes Park set up meerkatmatch.com,
an online dating site for meerkats.

Staff at the park in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire,
set up the site after failing to find a male
mate for the single meerkat.

The site describes the three-year-old as an
'alert, dark-eyed, inquisitive, free spirited
lady with a good sense of humour who enjoys
fine dining, digging and cosy nights in.'

The site drew in over 74,000 visitors before
a breeder offered a match for love struck Lilly.
Named Mr Darcy, the two-year-old from
Cambridge has since joined Lily at the
park, where the pair are said to
be settling in well.

Emma Roe, office manager, said: "We are delighted
to have found Lilly a partner. Meerkats live in large
social groups and within the group there is only
one dominant breeding pair. He was an
underdog in a mob of nine and the ideal catch
for Lilly. Having no name we felt 'Mr Darcy'
was appropriate for our romantic hero."

Park manager Sandy Gyorvari added: "He's lovely,
he's very nice mannered, and they're getting on
really well.With her being on her own for a while,
we were worried she had become a bit humanised
and how she would react to another meerkat -
she was either going to accept him or not -
but it's worked out really well. She's actually
become quite possessive over him."