Every month I wonder if there will be enough alternative news on which to blog; each time I am pleasantly surprised.
Firstly, follow up from last month. Over a thousand coffee-house owners in Turkey protested about the ban on smoking in public places. One reader suggested Turkey would win the Smoking Olympics hands down. Evidently 48% of Turkish men smoke. Remember Geoffrey Spicer, marooned on a Scottish island in order to give up smoking. He gave up, living on the island that is, citing inhospitable weather, though he claims it has cured his smoking habit.
And in case tobacco smokers are thinking of switching to the herbal mixture Spice, too late, it is to become a Class B drug in the very near future.
The animals kingdom always figures in the news. a farmer in Hertfordshire was served with a noise abatement order because his cockerels would not shut up at night; the equipment in Sturminster, Dorset set up to measure a cockerel crowing on an allotment cost £5,500.
Whilst in Australia amorous tree frogs have had to raise the level of their croaking to combat increased traffic noise. (Another costly scientific study, no doubt.) To cap it all, insects called thrips are setting off smoke alarms in Cambridgeshire costing thousands of pounds. Thripping hell! One last little snippit of animal news. An elephant has had an artificial foot fitted in Lampang. (The result of a landmine.) Guess how much anesthetic is needed, in human terms, to knock out an elephant. (answer at the end of the blog.)
Whilst we are in a guessing mood, how many potholes have the Leicester City Council promised to mend in Netherall Road, and at what cost? And I bet you can't guess which county used the Taser-gun most in Britain last year. (And it wasn't London.) How much do you think the US owes in London congestion charges. (It regards the charge as British taxes, therefore claiming its Embassy staff are exempt.) Finally how long do you think Frederick Chiluba of Zambia's trial has taken on a charge of corruption.
Talking of London, I notice a deputy mayor for policing (whatever that means) has suggested blocking the mobile numbers on prostitutes cards left in telephone boxes. Contrast the German attitude. Brothels in Berlin are advertising discounts for customers who arrive by bicycle! How very green of them!
One final incident in the news that I personally found ironic. I once wrote a short story (see blog dated 21st July 2009) concerning identical twins with one tiny, subtle difference. In August's news was a young US lady in bed with her lover, an identical twin when she noticed her bedmate was missing a buttock tattoo. Whoops!
Concerning the guessing games.
The anaesthetic needed to knock out the elephant would have knocked out seventy humans.
Northumbria used the Taser-gun most. I wonder why.
Leicester City Council have promised to repair more than one hundred potholes in the one street cost £50,000.
The US owes £3,478,200. As Queen Victoria would say, I am not amused.
And Mr Chiluba's trial has taken six years. The verdict is expected any day now. But don't hold your breath!