Oddities&Endities

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hello, handsome!


Mirror makes elephants reflect
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
Last Updated: 2:22am GMT 31/10/2006

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the smartest pachyderm of all? Happy, the Asian elephant, according to an experiment that reflects well on their great intelligence.
Researchers exposed Happy, Maxine and Patty - all adult Asian females at the Bronx Zoo in New York - to a square eight-ft mirror and discovered that they were aware that they were looking at their own reflections.
And in the case of Happy, she also touched a mark on her head which she could not have otherwise seen.
In this way, elephants have joined a small, elite group of species - including humans, great apes and dolphins - that have the ability to recognise themselves in the mirror.
Daily Telegraph

When the strain is too much for the train


'Does anyone have nuts or bolts to fix this train?'
By Anil Dakar
Last Updated: 3:28am GMT 31/10/2006

If the Tannoy announcement had asked for a doctor to make themselves known on a London to Manchester train last Friday, passengers would probably not have been too startled.
But when Virgin Trains' leaning train pulled into Rugby station, the last thing the travellers were expecting was an appeal for help to get the locomotive going again.
After several minutes sitting silently at the station, a sheepish member of staff broke the silence with the announcement: "If anyone has some nuts and bolts with them will they come forward?"
The super-fast Pendolino had ground to a halt because the blades on the windscreen wipers had come loose and it could not pull away until they had been fixed.
"For want of a nut the windscreen wiper won't work, and for want of a windscreen wiper the train can't move. And, if the train can't move there are going to be loads of trains behind us that can't move either."
Daily Telegraph

Monday, October 30, 2006

Generous helpings


Town turns into sticky pudding
By Nicole Martin
Last Updated: 1:19am BST 28/10/2006

If the thought of semolina makes your stomach turn by reviving memories of sloppy school dinners, spare a thought for the people living in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. They woke up yesterday morning to find a dusting of the grains covering roads and pavements after a factory silo malfunctioned and blasted two tons of it into the air.
As staff from Great Yarmouth Borough Council tried to clean the semolina away with water, it became sticky and turned into the dessert loathed by school children across the country. John Hemsworth, the council's head of environmental health, said the grain was thrown out of the top of the Pasta Foods silo after a sudden release of pressure.
"It looked like there had been a heavy frost," he said. "Everywhere was just white, even the grass. We had 10-15 people trying to clear it up, but as soon as it got wet it became more of a problem."
Pedestrian access around the town's Haven Bridge was closed off while cleaners battled to get rid of the sticky pudding. Mr Hemsworth said: "We had to get permission from the Environment Agency to put it in the river, then permission from Anglian Water to put it into the drains. It was all very complicated."
Daily Telegraph

Getting the wrong signals...


Now condensation is to blame for train delays
By David Millward, Transport Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:19am BST 28/10/2006

Commuters have had to put up with the leaves on the line and the wrong sort of snow, but this morning the excuse given to passengers as they crawled towards London was "condensation".
The explanation was given to around 500 people on the 7.30 from Southampton to Waterloo service at the end of what has been a wretched few days for customers on South West trains.
They have had to put up with a derailment at the start of the week and late running engineering works. Any hopes they may have had of a smooth journey were dashed when the train was stuck at a series of signals around Winchester. According to passengers on the train, the guard told them that the sudden cold snap had led to condensation on signals, which had to be turned red as a precaution.
As a result trains had to be "talked through" each one, adding more than an hour to the journey.
Daily Telegraph

Friday, October 27, 2006

Priceless..if you don't want to pay!


Police 'banned picture of thief to protect her human rights'
By Amy Iggulden
Last Updated: 2:33am BST 27/10/2006

A jeweller targeted by a prolific thief was told by police not to put up warning pictures because it would infringe the woman's human rights, it was claimed yesterday.
Isabel Kurtenbach, a jeweller in Kensington, west London, lost £2,000 worth of gold and silver this week to a woman posing as a wealthy visitor from Dubai.
The thief, who apparently targets the same row of shops once a year, chooses her jewellery before claiming she has to get her credit card from her driver. She then disappears with the goods.
Mrs Kurtenbach, 38, who captured the woman on CCTV, wanted to give other traders her picture to display.
Police told her that it would be against the Human Rights Act and suggested she wait for the thief to strike again so she could grab her and call 999.
Daily Telegraph

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Eye, eye


The latest fad ? eyelash transplants, a snip at £3,200
By Catherine Elsworth in New York
Last Updated: 1:13am BST 26/10/2006

Not content with lifting faces and boosting breasts, cosmetic surgeons in America have developed a "plug and sew" hair graft technique to give women longer, thicker eyelashes.
The surgery is the latest cosmetic fad to sweep the United States, with customers paying $6,000 (£3,200) to have treatment similar to that developed to treat balding men, which involves grafting hair from the head on to the upper eyelid.
The hairs then take root and start to grow, so the new lashes must be trimmed regularly and curled.
People with straight hair are advised to get their transplanted lashes permed to achieve a more realistic look.
Daily Telegraph

No fire without smoke


Fire station wrecked in blaze had no alarm
By Stewart Payne
Last Updated: 1:33am BST 26/10/2006

A fire station destroyed in a blaze did not have a smoke alarm fitted, an embarrassed brigade spokesman admitted yesterday.
The retained fire station at Arundel, West Sussex, was found to be ablaze when its part-time firemen arrived for work yesterday morning.
Smoke was belching from the unmanned building and they had to call on colleagues from neighbouring towns to put it out.
Crews in six fire engines arrived from Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Worthing and East Preston but were unable to prevent the destruction of the building and the appliance inside.
It emerged that the fire station was not fitted with any form of fire or smoke alarm.
Daily Telegraph

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ship Ahoy - prepare to be blasted!!


Nato warship on the wrong wavelength gives Clyde ferry a warning
By Auslan Cramb
Last Updated: 2:10am BST 25/10/2006

A tiny passenger ferry was unwittingly caught up in a war games exercise when a US warship threatened to blow unidentified vessels out of the water.
The skipper of the 70-year-old MV Kenilworth received a sinister message broadcast on Channel 16, which is used for routine communications, as the ferry crossed the River Clyde.
The warship had already spoken to the ferry and requested it kept a 1,000-yard clearance. But the US radio operator then failed to switch back to the frequency designated for a Nato exercise.
As a result, the ferry heard the operator say: "Unidentified vessel approaching on my starboard side, please identify yourself. If you fail to do so, we will open fire on you with live ammunition".
The message was intended for Royal Marines who were "attacking" the warship in inflatable boats.
A source in Gourock, the ferry's home port, said the skipper radioed back saying "he was just a wee ferry".
Daily Telegraph

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Lifestyle budget


Patients 'should have own budgets'
By Celia Hall, Medical Editor
Last Updated: 2:52am BST 24/10/2006

Alan Milburn, the former health secretary and architect of many of the health service changes, called yesterday for patients with long-term conditions to be given their own budgets.
His idea could mean that patients with asthma or heart problems could choose to take an NHS package or decide how to spend the money themselves.
A similar scheme has been introduced in social care in which disabled and older people buy their own support rather than relying on the local council.
"The Department of Health is currently piloting individual budgets for a wider range of services," Mr Milburn said.
The Government aims to cover 100,000 patients through the scheme by 2012.
Daily Telegraph

Monday, October 23, 2006

Soaking the public...


No singing in the shower? Strewth
By Mark Chipperfield in Sydney
Last Updated: 1:31am BST 23/10/2006

Australians may want to celebrate England's latest cricketing disaster, but they shouldn't do it by singing in the shower.
EnergyAustralia, one of the country's largest electricity suppliers, says exercising the vocal cords in the bathroom adds an extra 9.08 minutes to a normal scrub.
Singing, daydreaming, shaving and other "non-essential activities" in the shower are adding to the average family's power bills and also contributing to global warming, it says.
With the nation in the grip of its worst drought in 100 years and state governments warning of harsh water restrictions in the summer, the shower has become the latest target for energy and water-saving ideas.
"You use enough electricity during one minute of showering to run your television for four hours," said Paul Myors, the company's energy efficiency expert. "If the average family cut their showers by two minutes they would save just over $100 (£40) a year."
Daily Telegraph

What's the time, mister...?


Public invited to be speaking clock
Last Updated: 1:32am BST 23/10/2006

A competition is being launched today to find a new voice for the speaking clock after 21 years.
The public will be invited to submit telephone recordings, with the proceeds of each call going to Children In Need.
The result will be announced during BBC1's Children In Need night on Nov 17. The winner will become only the fourth person in history to land the job.
Current "clock" Brian Cobby, 77, who is retiring, says judge will be looking for a voice with clarity and warmth.
Daily Telegraph

Model behaviour


The art of flight
By Amy Iggulden
Last Updated: 1:32am BST 23/10/2006

As an artist, Mark Clews may go down as one of the greats. But when it comes to aviation, his pioneering work is more likely to be compared to the eccentric British achievements of someone such as Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards.
Six months after beginning work on a life-size model aeroplane powered by a giant elastic band, Clews expected to reach up to 3,000ft on yesterday's maiden flight.
Understandably then, tension mounted on the rain swept airfield in Surrey, as Clews clambered into the waterlogged cockpit, clenched his jaw and nodded to ground crew to release the propeller.
With cameras rolling and even the wind briefly falling in anticipation, the 20ft toy replica certainly moved. Unfortunately, it moved only a sedate six feet backwards.
The project began when Clews, who has a fascination with making children's toys adult-sized, was asked in March to create an art exhibition for his university.
"It was spectacular, everything I hoped it would be, apart from actually flying," said Clews, a 24-year-old artist-cum-aviator from Stourbridge who once tried to launch a life-size paper boat on the River Severn (it sank).
He went on: "We are taking a step in the right direction just by moving. I mean, technically it is a step in the wrong direction I suppose, but at least it's a step."
Daily Telegrph

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stand Firm, Men


Beach statues get marching orders ? on safety grounds
By Nigel Bunyan
Last Updated: 2:28am BST 20/10/2006

Art lovers reacted with dismay and fury yesterday at a decision to remove Antony Gormley's celebrated installation, Another Place, from a Merseyside beach.
Construction workers are due to descend on Crosby, near Liverpool, a week on Monday with orders to uproot each of the 100 cast-iron nudes that make up the panoramic artwork.
Planners at Sefton council demanded the installation's removal on the grounds that it was a health and safety risk.
Sailors might founder if they struck one of the so-called ''tin men", they said, while children, trying to swim out to the most far-flung statues, were in danger of being cut off by incoming tides.
Daily Telegraph

What's in a Name?


Dingle battles for its English name
By Tom Peterkin in Dingle
Last Updated: 1:53am BST 20/10/2006

A resort famous for its friendly dolphin and as the setting of the film Ryan's Daughter is suffering an identity crisis that has pitted commercialism against Gaelic's struggle for survival.
To American tourists who flock to Co Kerry, the name Dingle is synonymous with a picturesque coastal town renowned for its music, craic and the antics of Fungie the dolphin. But the name is in danger of disappearing thanks to an edict from Dublin, which insists that Dingle be translated into its Gaelic equivalent, An Daingean.
The name has been changed because the town lies in the Gaeltacht, the official Irish-speaking area where most of the 60,000 remaining speakers live.
All road signs were translated into Gaelic as a result of a language Act introduced last year by Eamon O'Cuiv, the Fianna Fail Gaeltacht minister and the grandson of Eamon De Valera, one of the founders of modern Ireland.
Daily Telegraph

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Out on a limb...


Undertakers in corpse stealing case plead guilty
(Filed: 19/10/2006)

Seven funeral home directors have admitted to plundering corpses and selling the body parts for transplants, which may help to expand an investigation into human tissue harvesting.
Working from at least four different funeral homes in New York, the group took body parts from thousands of corpses without the consent of relatives and then sold the human tissue and bones to biomedical supply companies, Brooklyn prosecutors said.
Charles Hynes, the Brooklyn District Attorney, said in a news conference that the seven funeral directors who pleaded guilty agreed to surrender their licenses and face prison time.
Daily Telegraph

Saved by the Bells


Locked-in vicar rings for help
By Nigel Bunyan
(Filed: 19/10/2006)

A vicar who inadvertently locked himself and his wife into his church used the bell to send out a "morse code" distress call to his parishioners. The Rev Steve Rathbone, 45, spent 20 minutes pulling on the rope before neighbours in Rainbow, near Maccl esfield, Cheshire, realised something was amiss.
Mr Rathbone and his wife, Jo, might have been freed earlier had their son, Jake, 16, who was in the vicarage next door, not been playing on his drum kit.
Daily Telegraph

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wholesale Art


Picasso seller puts hole in canvas

Steve Wynn, the American casino mogul and briefly proud owner of the world's most expensive work of art, has decided to keep and restore the Picasso painting that he accidentally damaged shortly after he sold it for a record price.
Mr Wynn had agreed to sell Picasso's Le Rêve (The Dream) to Steven Cohen, an art collector, for $139 million (£74.7 million). But as he was showing it off in his Las Vegas office this month to guests including the screenwriter Nora Ephron, he struck the 1932 portrait of Picasso's mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter with his right elbow, leaving a 2in tear.
'There was a terrible noise,' Ms Ephron wrote in her blog. Mr Wynn, who suffers from an eye condition that affects his peripheral vision, exclaimed: 'Oh, s***. Look what I've done. Thank God it was me.'
The world's most expensive painting remains Gustav Klimt's 1907 portrait Adele Bloch-Bauer I, sold in July for $135 million. (AP)
Times Online

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Poles Apart


Explorers pay tribute to Sir Wally and his 'polar first'
By Ben Fenton
(Filed: 17/10/2006)

Britain's most distinguished explorers are to argue the case tomorrow for Sir Wally Herbert, the Yorkshire-born polar pioneer, to be recognised as the first man to reach the North Pole by muscle power alone.
They say Sir Wally's achievements have been hugely underestimated.
Record books currently show that Robert Peary, an American, was the first to reach 90 degrees North on April 6, 1909, but at a testimonial gala in honour of Sir Wally, 71, the explorers Pen Hadow and Robin Hanbury Tenison will argue that Peary missed his mark.
Many historians now agree that Peary may have only got within 100 miles of the Geographic North Pole, the point at which all the lines of longitude on the planet meet.
But nobody disputes that Sir Wally reached the Pole with his dog-teams on April 6, 1969, precisely 60 years later.
Daily Telegraph

Monday, October 16, 2006

Wotta notter


London's first wild otter found
By Peter Law

CENTRAL London's first ever wild otter has been found - a discovery which scientists say is as significant as the return of the salmon to the River Thames.
The body of one of the River Thames' most mysterious inhabitants was found on a riverbank last Friday.
Measuring 122cm and weighing 9.7kg, the male otter was found on The Highway, in Wapping, about a mile from the Tower Bridge.
Scientists believe the notoriously shy mammal had traveled to London down the River Lee.
LocalLondon

Feeling sheepish?


Year-long probe to find council heckler
By David Sapsted
(Filed: 14/10/2006)

It has taken more than 12 months and cost about £10,000 but a council is finally on the verge of discovering the identity of a man who kept saying "baa" during a planning meeting.
After a wide-ranging investigation, Havering council, based in Romford, Essex, has prepared a 300-page report, according to the Romford Recorder newspaper.
Unfortunately, the downside is that the prime suspect is no longer a councillor and is, therefore, beyond the scope of any punishment that it might want to mete out.
Daily Telegraph

Charged by the Dog


Force muzzles dogs to protect suspects from bite injuries
By Ben Leapman, Home Affairs Correspondent
(Filed: 15/10/2006)

Police dogs are being muzzled to prevent them from biting criminals. Instead of clamping their jaws around the legs of suspects, the dogs are trained to leap at their targets and disable them with a flying butt.
Senior officers claim that the new "muzzle-strike" tactic is effective and has led to a reduction in injuries.
The technique, pioneered in North Wales, may now be adopted by other forces. However, critics have accused the police of bowing to political correctness and human rights concerns.
Daily Telegraph

Friday, October 13, 2006

Nurse, pass the scalpel, forceps, hammer...


Surgical problem solved with screwdriver
Oct 13 2006
By Kate Mansey Daily Post Staff

A MERSEYSIDE hospital trust last night defended the decision to use a Halfords screwdriver on a patient during an operation.
It happened when surgeon Peter Mobbs was removing a metal plate from a patient's arm at St Helens Hospital.
Half way through the operation, he realised that he did not have the right tool to undo the screws, which had been fitted abroad.
So the surgeon made the unusual decision to send someone to the local Halfords DIY store to buy a £2.50 star-head screwdriver while the patient was still under general anaesthetic.
It was then sterilised and the operation went ahead as planned.
ICLiverpool

Thursday, October 12, 2006

No smoking, no drinking, no joking...


Firm halts office cards for fear of 'ageist' comments
By Richard Savill
(Filed: 12/10/2006)

An insurance firm has stopped the circulating of birthday cards for staff to sign amid concern that light hearted "ageist" comments could unwittingly breach the new age discrimination laws.
Teasing remarks such as "It's better to be over the hill than under it" or references to bus passes could cause offence, the company said following legal advice.
Under new laws that were introduced this month, staff can take action against their company if they feel they have been harassed or victimised due to their age.
Daily Telegraph

Blast from the Past


Maori claim British pensions
(Filed: 12/10/2006)

A campaign has been launched to earn British pension rights for the Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.
The claim is based on the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi, the document that handed sovereignty over New Zealand to Britain, ruled at the time by Queen Victoria.
Article Three of the treaty guarantees Maori "the same rights and privileges as British subjects."
The campaign is being led by David Rankin, a direct descendant of Hone Heke - the first of dozens of Maori chiefs to sign the treaty.
Mr Rankin, leader of the Matarahurahu hapu or sub tribe, said that he would also investigate Maori entitlement to other perks of British citizenship.
"We may expand the claim to include British passports, unemployment benefits, and other entitlements," he said.
In return for British protection, the Treaty of Waitangi granted the Maori the rights of British subjects.
They were also allowed to retain control of their lands, forests, fisheries, culture and language
Daily Telegraph

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Och, awa' the noo - right awa' !!!


To rent: two cottages among the puffins and dolphins
By Kate Devlin
(Filed: 11/10/2006)

An isolated Scottish island has been inundated with applications after it advertised for new families to boost its 15-strong population.
Canna, in the Hebrides, is connected to the mainland by a ferry service just four days a week and has only one pupil in its school.
Despite the island's remoteness, its owner, the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), has had more than 100 requests for information since it advertised for new residents at the weekend.
John Hollingsworth, of the NTS, said: "We have had people from all over the world calling to enquire about Canna. The idea of living in this remote part has proved incredibly popular."
Canna, the furthest west of the Small Isles, is four and a half miles long by one mile wide. The island's population has been dwindling for generations, from a high of more than 400 in the early 1800s.
Daily Telegraph

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

See Naples? I can smell it from here!


See Naples and cry at the piles of rubbish
By Malcolm Moore in Rome
(Filed: 10/10/2006)

A sea of smelly waste is swamping Naples and rubbish is piled 20 yards long and one-storey high since the city's waste-processing stations were overwhelmed last week.
The city is on the brink of a refuse emergency, with 2,500 tons of detritus left in the street because it cannot be burnt by the incinerators. The crisis developed after seven of the 14 incinerators were closed by magistrates because they did not meet environmental standards. At the weekend, one of the remaining seven plants closed for maintenance and the rest could not cope.
The situation is so serious that residents have taken to setting the waste alight. Over the weekend, the fire brigade said it had been inundated by hundreds of emergency calls about burning refuse.
Although they resumed work yesterday, the waste disposal company said it did not have enough lorries with cranes to dismantle the enormous piles that have built up.
Daily Telegraph

Monday, October 09, 2006


£308,000 for Starship Enterprise model after warp-speed bidding
By Catherine Elsworth in New York
(Filed: 09/10/2006)

A model of the Starship Enterprise from the cult science fiction series Star Trek was sold for £308,000, 20 times the expected sale price.
The 78in model, which made its television debut in 1987 and was also used in the pilot and title sequences of Star Trek: The Next Generation, was part of a collection of sets and props from 40 years of the screen franchise that attracted a frenzy of bidding from trekkies, as fans of the show are known.
The three-day sale of around 1,000 items from CBS Paramount Television Studios made more than £3.8 million, twice the expected takings. The buyer of the Starship Enterprise, which Christie's auction house had expected to fetch between £13,000 and £18,000, was a determined American collector who bid by telephone and kept his identity secret.
Hundreds of fans, dressed as characters from the series, packed Christie's main salesroom in Manhattan for the sale while staff donned Trek-style costumes to take telephone bids. Among the items sold were pointy Vulcan ears, elaborate masks and a model of a Klingon "Bird of Prey" ship, which made £214,000, more than 30 times the estimate.
The most paid for a costume was £104,000, for a Dr McCoy space suit used in the episode The Tholian Web.
A replica of Captain James T Kirk's command chair fetched £33,300.
Daily Telegraph

Friday, October 06, 2006

When the ---- hits the fans...


Film stars could face a visit in hunt for the Malibu leaker
By Catherine Elsworth in New York
(Filed: 06/10/2006)

The pollution police are homing in on one of California's most star-studded communities to discover exactly who is contaminating sea water.
Environmental investigators believe that the septic tanks of Malibu's rich and famous could be leaking into creeks that flow into the Pacific, making surfers sick and threatening wildlife.
Residents, who include Pierce Brosnan, Robert Redford, Tom Hanks and Sting, blame the neighbourhood raccoons and coyotes.
To resolve the matter, DNA testing will be used to trace the source of the contamination back up through creeks to particular homes.
Mark Pestrella, a Los Angeles county public works official, predicted: "This is going to get messy."
Daily Telegraph

Can't fly, won't fly


US no-fly list bungled
(Filed: 06/10/2006)

Fourteen of the 19 September 11 hijackers and the president of Bolivia have been included on a new American "no fly" list designed to stop terrorists boarding planes, it has emerged.
The secret list, produced in March and leaked to the 60 Minutes programme, lists the hijackers ? all dead ? and the democratically elected Evo Morales among 44,000 people. The schedule also contains Saddam Hussein, at present locked in a high-security jail in Baghdad and on trial for genocide during his time as the president of Iraq.
Daily Telegraph

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Every Man an Island...


Sark vote brings end to last feudal state in Europe
By Richard Savill
(Filed: 05/10/2006)

The tiny Channel Island of Sark, Europe's last feudal state, has voted to introduce a fully democratic government.
After 450 years of feudalism, the law-making body, the Chief Pleas, voted unanimously to adopt the change that ensures the island's parliament and electoral system complies with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Sark has been governed by the Chief Pleas, headed by the Seigneur, Michael Beaumont, which comprised 40 landowners. But now the Chief Pleas is to be made up of 28 elected deputies or conscilliers, as they are to be known.
The island agreed in March to change its centuries-old system of government, which could trace its roots directly back to Queen Elizabeth I, who granted the ruling Seigneur a fief on the island.
The unelected descendants of 40 families brought in to colonise Sark, after the French abandoned it in 1553, have governed life on the island ever since.
The Seigneur will remain as the public figurehead of the island. But his powers to all intents and purposes have been removed. Once the new constitution becomes law, elections will follow shortly afterwards. It is expected they will take place next year.
Daily Telegraph

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Flood Rained Off


Poole, Dorset
A service to bless a Noah's Ark wall hanging had to be abandoned in Poole when the heavens opened flooding part of the youngsters' school.
Pupils from Baden-Powell and St Peter's Middle School created the 11ft by 9ft work of art for St Peter's Church, where it was due to be blessed by the Bishop of Sherborne, Rt Rev Tim Thornton.
However three inches of water flooding into the school meant head teacher Geoff Pike cancelled the service, but classes carried on while the water was pumped out.
Rev Roger Bayldon said: "It's quite ironic that the hangings depict Noah's Ark."
Daily Echo

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Irish Atlas


British Isles is removed from school atlases
By Tom Peterkin, Ireland Correspondent
(Filed: 03/10/2006)

The British Isles is to be wiped off the map by the Irish publishers of a school atlas after complaints that the term was no longer applicable in a modern Ireland.
Although the British Isles is a geographical term, it is resented by some Irish people who believe that it is redolent of empire and colonial occupation.
Folens, the Dublin-based publishers of school textbooks, will remove the words when it prints its next run of the atlases for secondary schools in January.
Folens will retain the British Isles in its atlases produced for children in the United Kingdom, which includes Northern Ireland.
Daily Telegraph

By Numbers...


Aborigines back to original total number
By Nick Squires in Sydney
(Filed: 03/10/2006)

After enduring two centuries of disease, displacement and violent death, Australia's Aboriginal population is back to the level it was when Britain first settled the continent.
A high birth rate and reduced infant mortality have boosted the indigenous population to an estimated 500,000. "This brings us symbolically full circle in terms of original numbers," Dr John Taylor, from the Australian National University's Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, wrote in a paper.
Aboriginal people inhabited the continent for 50,000 to 60,000 years before the arrival of the First Fleet of British convicts in 1788.
Daily Telegraph

Mean Gun


Typhoon wins gun dogfight
By Neil Tweedie
(Filed: 03/10/2006)

The RAF has been forced into an embarrassing U-turn on its policy of not allowing pilots of the new Eurofighter Typhoon to fire their gun.
The service has decided to issue ammunition to future Typhoon squadrons and train pilots in using the fighter's single German-made 27mm Mauser cannon, reversing its cost-cutting edict.
But Typhoon is designed to such fine specifications that the loss of the gun created a weight imbalance and it was finally realised that the cheaper and easier option would be to fit a real cannon.
Daily Telegraph

Monday, October 02, 2006

Several Degrees of Separation


V&A brings family together after 400 years apart
By Nigel Reynolds, Arts Correspondent
(Filed: 02/10/2006)

A husband, wife and their children, separated for more than 400 years, have been reunited for a spectacular exhibition on the art and culture of domestic life in Renaissance Italy.
Paulo Veronese, one of 16th century Venice's greatest artists, painted a pair of double portraits of the wealthy da Porte Thiene family, of nearby Vicenza, in 1551. They were to hang in the hallway of their new palazzo, built for them by Andrea Palladio to demonstrate their importance.
The young Veronese, a contemporary of Tintoretto, divided the family along gender lines in his portraits.
In one, he showed Count Iseppo da Porto, a knight of the Holy Roman Empire, with his eight-year-old son, Leonida.
The other was of his wife, Livia Thiene, wearing a marten's pelt with a jewelled head and gazing devoutly at her husband, standing with their daughter, Porzia, aged about four.
They go on show, side by side as Veronese intended, for the first time in four centuries at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington, west London, from Thursday.
Daily Telegraph