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A Humorous Look At News Events And Life Around The World

Archive for September, 2009

Dogs Banned From Park

Posted by Boghound on September 29, 2009

Southampton pet lovers set to march with pooches to Civic Centre

BARKING mad! That’s how dog lovers have described plans to ban their pets from parts of Southampton’s parks.

Owners say they will march on the Civic Centre with their pooches and armed with pooper scoopers to stop them introducing new dog control orders.

Under the new scheme city bosses would hold the power to add more restrictions to where dogs can roam free. Dogs are currently banned from 14 per cent of the city’s parks and open spaces.

The plans could be introduced as part of a green parks code to clarify the rules in the 49 parks and green spaces and Dot has already spread word to her customers.

Joy Donnell, from West End, was outraged by possible plans to install 1,000 warning signs for dog owners, costing £35 each, across the city.

Joy, 42, said: “Haven’t they got anything else better to spend their money on?

“Why don’t they spend that money on youth programmes or support for older persons or even more bins for dog mess.

“If all the council can do is be unclear on the decision to stop dogs being walked in parks, more dog owners will take to footpaths.

“That will mean there is more dog mess on pavements along with more dogs that are bored silly and not getting enough exercise.”

The council have said that they will not move to change any of the restricted areas in parks at this time, but would have the power to do so in the future should the plans get the green light on Monday.

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They’re At It Again!

Posted by Boghound on September 28, 2009


Pump down the volume, EU to tell MP3 makers

Tens of millions of people will be forced to listen to portable music at permanently reduced volume under European Commission proposals to be unveiled next week.

The plans, trailed ahead of talks between Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva and gadget manufacturers on Monday, are aimed at reducing health hazards but also nuisance complaints.

Brussels says the dangers arising from high volumes or long periods spent wearing headphones or earplugs means developers of MP3 players including iPods and mobile phones will have to lower permitted noise output levels.

According to a report issued by an EU scientific committee in October 2008, as many as 10 percent of listeners risk permanent hearing loss by listening to loud music every day for five years.

Brussels wants the maximum decibel level to be reduced from 100 to 80 decibels, with all new music players built to the new standards.

A normal conversation is held at around 60 decibels, according to medical charts, with a loud rock concert measured at about 115 decibels.

Kuneva has previously expressed her fears over “irreversible degradation” in the hearing of today’s youth.

Can’t these “Bunny Fucking Tree Huggers” keep their noses out of people’s business’s?

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Corks Do It for Orchids!!

Posted by Boghound on September 27, 2009

Bottle corks are being reused to help orchids grow

HERE’S a corker of an idea from north of the border…Steve Scott, a senior horticulturist at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is recycling bottle corks to help plants such as orchids that thrive in a dry growing medium.

The 43-year-old, who works as a barman by night, has already used thousands of wine and whisky bottle corks in the past 18 months.
“The hardest part of the job has been manually cutting all the corks into pieces using secateurs. However, it has been worthwhile because the plants are thriving,” he said. “Some of the corks are mixed in with soil and compost, but for plants that grow in dry mediums I have solely used cork.’’

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Go Organic – Grow Garlic

Posted by Boghound on September 26, 2009

Garlic is one of the most pungent and life-enhancing vegetables you can grow and it does surprisingly well in a soggy northern climate.

I have just finished lifting mine and nothing quite matches the heady whiff of garlic fresh from  the ground.

Garlic is a member of the allium family along with onions, leeks and shallots and like its cousins it is very easy to grow. It is generally disease free and one of the few things untroubled by slugs and snails.

The only disadvantage of growing your own garlic is that it needs to occupy the ground for a very long time – almost a whole year in some cases – but it has the good grace to take up very little space.

Garlic is usually planted in the autumn although some varieties can go in as late as February.

The bulbs are split into individual cloves which are planted 15cms or so apart and about 6cms beneath the surface of the soil.

Like nearly all bulbs they don’t like to sit in wet soil where they can rot. If your ground is very heavy dig in some bulky organic matter or grit and plant the cloves about 3cms deep.

As long as you keep it weed-free and well watered in dry weather garlic will look after itself.

It is possible to grow supermarket garlic but much better to buy some seed from one of the specialist suppliers.

Like all alliums, garlic is sensitive to day-length and garlic grown in Spain or the South of France will sulk at northern latitudes.

So all you “budding” vampires in northern latitudes…..Watch out!

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Dog Toys!!!!

Posted by Boghound on September 24, 2009

The ‘Hot Doll’ sex toy for dogs

It is billed as the “must have” accessory for lonely dogs, the first ever canine sex toy.

Dog owners need never be embarrassed again by their lovelorn pets as they mount the legs of guests, the postman and even stuffed toys.

The makers of ‘Hot Doll”, which costs £350 and is the first sex toy for canines, claim the toy will make it easier to control and improve a dog’s behaviour.

A spokesman for Feel Addicted, the French design firm who came up with the idea, said: “Dogs have sexual needs or domination problems, which push them to climb on various object such as cushions, teddy bears, and worst case on legs of you neighbours, guest, postman or your own.

“Hot Doll is designed to control this problem. Designed for dog needs, it’s easy to teach them to use it.

“Its shape and materials allow the product to be stable, to grip on the floor, to be resistant and to have a soft touch.

“We want to introduce to dog owners and his companion finally a world adapted to their needs. ”

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Monkeying Around!!!

Posted by Boghound on September 23, 2009

Can you ape gorillas and help raise cash?

Little and large monkeys can do-oo-oo their bit to save endangered gorillas with the help of a Bracknell adventure centre.

Staff at Go Ape in Nine Mile Ride are urging people to take part in the Great Gorilla Run, taking place in London on Saturday.

Runners have to run wearing gorilla suits and Go Ape has already enlisted 60 people to take part in the race.

Last year’s race raised £250,000 for the Gorilla Organization but the organisers want to beat that this year.

Anyone wanting to take part can visit

For more information on the charity visit

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Paris Bees

Posted by Boghound on September 22, 2009

Paris rooftops abuzz with beekeeping

Common sense says it is better to keep hives of stinging insects in the countryside, away from city centers packed with people. Yet on storied rooftops and public gardens in the urban jungle of Paris, the bee business is thriving.

Bees are disappearing from fields across France and elsewhere in the world, victims of a slow decline in number because of loss of habitat compounded by a recent and mysterious catastrophe variously blamed on disease, parasites and pesticides. The most recent science research points to a combination of interacting diseases for new collapses of bee colonies.

But in the heart of the French capital, Nicolas Geant is preparing to sell off his honey. It comes from hives on the edges of the soaring glass roof of the Grand Palais exhibition hall, just off the Champs-Elysees.

“Paris has many balconies, parks and avenues full of trees and little flowers that attract many bees for pollination,” said Geant, who has 25 years of experience under his belt.

The Grand Palais beehives went up in May. They also sit in the Luxembourg Gardens, on the gilded dome of the 19th Century Palais Garnier and the roof of the ultramodern Opera Bastille.

“In Paris, each beehive produces a minimum of 50 to 60 kilograms (110 to 130 pounds) of honey per harvest, and the death rate of the colonies is 3 to 5 percent,” said Henri Clement, president of the National Union of French Beekeepers.

“But in the countryside, one beehive only gives you 10 to 20 kilograms (about 20 to 40 pounds) of honey, and the death rate is 30 to 40 percent. It is a sign of alarm.”

The Luxembourg Gardens’ hives alone produce more than half a ton of honey per harvest. It is sold to the public during the last weekend in September, and the income funds beekeeping classes and the facilities.

A “buzzing” good idea then!

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A Good Vintage?

Posted by Boghound on September 21, 2009

French winemakers hope for a fine vintage

Wine lovers rejoice. The weather gods have smiled on French winemakers, raising hopes in the country’s vineyards that, after two years of dismal sales, 2009 will produce an outstanding vintage.

Vintners this week expressed optimism about the prospects of producing a highly desirable vintage .

The grapes, they said, had benefited from a severe winter that killed off harmful bugs and allowed the vines to rest. A wet spring had also replenished a depleted water table, helping to produce a bumper crop.

Most important, summer has been unusually fine, warm and dry yet not too hot. Nights were noticeably cooler than in the heatwave vintage of 2003, for example, when many grapes turned to raisins on the vine.

Frédéric Engerer, who straddles two regions at Chateau Latour in Bordeaux and Domaine d’Eugénie in Burgundy, eastern France, said this year’s grapes were very good and reminded him of the 2000 vintage, another standout year for red bordeaux.

In the far east of the country, 12th-generation Riquewihr vine grower Etienne Hugel reports that 2009 “looks to be a great year in Alsace”, while in the Rhône Valley, Jean-Luc Colombo describes this year’s growing season as “exceptional”. He began picking as early as September 1, a week ahead of usual, a sign of unusual ripeness.

The mid-August holiday in France is traditionally associated with a break in the weather and potentially dangerous storms that can precipitate rot in underripe grapes. But this year, the weather held in all significant French wine regions right through the month, resulting in healthy grapes with relatively thick skins.

Unusually, the weather in September has so far stayed dry. Eric Boissenot, the famous oenologist and consultant winemaker, described 2009 as “magnificent with very, very healthy grapes. July was good and August was great. The quantity will be a bit more than in 2008 and 2007 but it won’t be a massive vintage”.

The Bordeaux wine trade, bellwether of French wine, will be relieved that after two vintages that have been difficult to sell, the 2009 vintage looks highly desirable.

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Dangerous Biscuits

Posted by Boghound on September 20, 2009

Crumbs: half of Britons injured by their buscuits on coffee break, survey reveals

More than half of all Britons have been injured by biscuits ranging from scalding from hot tea or coffee while dunking or breaking a tooth eating during a morning tea break, a survey has revealed.

An estimated 25 million adults have been injured while eating during a tea or coffee break – with at least 500 landing themselves in hospital, the survey revealed.

The custard cream biscuit was found to be the worse offender to innocent drinkers.

It beat the cookie to top a table of 15 generic types of biccy whose potential dangers were calculated by The Biscuit Injury Threat Evaluation.

Hidden dangers included flying fragments and being hurt while dunking in scalding tea through to the more strange such as people poking themselves in the eye with a biscuit or fallen off a chair reaching for the tin.

One man even ended up stuck in wet concrete after wading in to pick up a stray biscuit.

Custard creams get a risk rating of 5.63, the highest of all.

This compared to 1.16 for Jaffa cakes, which was the safest biscuit of all in the evaluation.

Research company Mindlab International were commissioned by Rocky, a chocolate biscuit bar, to conduct the research.

It found almost a third of adults said they had been splashed or scalded by hot drinks while dunking or trying to fish the remnants of a collapsed digestive.

It also revealed 28 per cent had choked on crumbs while one in 10 had broken a tooth or filling biting a biscuit.

More unusually, three per cent had poked themselves in the eye with a biscuit and seven per cent bitten by a pet or “other wild animal” trying to get their biscuit.

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Beam Me Aboard!

Posted by Boghound on September 19, 2009

Jedi ejected from Tesco for wearing hood

The founder of the Star Wars-inspired Jedi faith has accused Tesco of religious discrimination after he was banned from wearing a hood in one of its stores.

Daniel Jones, 23, who created the International Church of Jediism, claims he was “victimised over his beliefs” by staff at the supermarket in Bangor, North Wales.

The religion, inspired by the sci-fi films, is practised by 500,000 around the world and requires believers to cover their heads in public places. But Mr Jones, from Holyhead, said that staff ejected him from the store over security fears when he refused to remove his hood.

A Tesco spokesman said: “Jedi are very welcome to shop in our stores although we would ask them to remove their hoods.

“Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all went hoodless without going to the Dark Side.

“If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they’ll miss lots of special offers.”

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