Another groaner . . .

By e-mail from Tom G.: California vintners in the Napa Valley area, which primarily produces Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio wines, have developed a new hybrid grape. It acts as an anti-diuretic, and is expected to reduce the number of trips older people have to make to the bathroom during the night. The new wine will be marketed as Pinot More. Peter

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Doofus Of The Day #97

My, but this week’s producing Doofi like no other! Today’s Doofus award is a collective one, to Australia’s Environmental Protection Agency. They seem to have forgotten, in their collective environmental enthusiasm, that humans need protection too! A crocodile which has caused beaches to be closed at a north Queensland tourist mecca has gone missing as authorities admit the reptile was deliberately moved to the area. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said yesterday that the 3.5m crocodile had been trapped near the Cape York community of Bamaga earlier this year and released more than 1000km south, in a creek near Townsville,

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The bureaucrat is quicker than the eye . . .

I have to laugh at this report from Sweden. Officials with Sweden’s Road Administration (Vägverket) have denied a driver’s request for a licence place with what at first glance appears to be a completely innocent combination of characters. Recently, the agency received a request from an individual who wanted a licence plate reading X32IARO. Despite no obviously offensive reference in the desired combination, Vägverket nonetheless rejected the application. “It looks like something completely different when seen through a rear-view mirror, and on the road, many end up reading things through the rear-view mirror,” said Vägverket spokesperson Mikael Andersson to the

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Some spectacular images!

The BBC and the Natural History Museum in England jointly sponsor an annual Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Competition. The winners of the 2008 competition have just been announced, and the 2009 competition is open to entrants. Winner overall was this amazing image of a snow leopard in the mountains of Central Asia, taken by Steve Winter (a very appropriate name, given the season depicted in the photograph!). David Maitland took this picture, which he called ‘Deadlock’, in the forests of Belize. According to the BBC: “The snake had failed to get its jaws around the whole of the frog’s

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Revenge was sweet – but was it worth it?

I have to confess a sneaking sympathy for a man in Hartington, England. When Martyn Wright discovered his girlfriend was having an affair with one of his own employees, the plant hire boss was determined to have his revenge. And with a fleet of heavy machinery at his disposal, the businessman knew just how to strike back. Yesterday a court heard how Wright crushed love-rival Anthony Simpson’s 4X4 with a 13-ton digger after discovering risque text messages from the worker on girlfriend Linda Kirkham’s mobile phone. The father of two walked free from Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court in Derbyshire with a

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Wild weather!

I’ve always been interested in how a sudden and highly localized weather system can develop. These are reported from all over the globe. In a very specific, concentrated locality, the weather can turn extreme, even life-threatening, while only a couple of miles off in any direction, things are calm and peaceful. It’s unusual, but happens often enough to keep things interesting. The latest example hit a village in England last night. Ottery St Mary, in Devon, was plunged into chaos by the storm in the early hours yesterday. First, the area was battered by an astonishing 12in of hail in

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A real groaner!

Via e-mail from Fred M.: Two brooms were hanging in the closet. After a while, they got to know each other so well, they decided to get married. One broom was, of course, the bride broom, the other the groom broom. The bride broom looked very beautiful in her white dress. The groom broom was handsome and suave in his tuxedo. The wedding was lovely. After the wedding, at the wedding dinner, the bride-broom leaned over and said to the groom-broom, ‘I think I am going to have a little whisk broom!’ ‘IMPOSSIBLE!’ said the groom broom. ‘We haven’t even

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Doofus Of The Day #96

Yes, the parade of Doofi continues . . . Today’s is the (incredibly lucky) idiot who decided to race a $166,000 Ferrari 360 Modena through the suburbs of Adelaide, Australia. Reports differ on whether it was the owner driving it, or his teenage son. If the latter, one suspects the kid is grounded for life! A householder, who gave his name only as Vlado, said: ‘I was outside my house talking when we heard something fly up towards us and it was this black Ferrari. ‘It sounded just like “zing-zing” as it roared past. ‘I have never seen anything travel

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World’s worst boxer?

From the Daily Mail in England: The world’s worst boxer has finally thrown in the towel after 256 defeats. Peter Buckley, 39, has lost more fights than any other boxer and says that his next, number 300, will be his last. ‘I’ve had my eye on the 300 mark for a while, and it’s a little milestone I want to achieve, but I don’t want to fight on,’ he said. The Birmingham-born Welterweight was honoured with a special ringwalk and presentation before his 200th fight in April 2003 at the MEN Arena in Manchester. His final fight will take place

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Internet censorship in Australia

My friend Julie D. in Australia e-mailed me to alert us to a new threat to freedom of speech on the Internet in that country. On her blog, she writes: THE Federal Government is planning to make internet censorship compulsory for all Australians. When the idea was first mooted, there was the concept of an “opt out” option, where users could contact their ISP and say “no, thanks” to this filtering. This option has now been REMOVED. When the plan comes into effect sometime next year ALL internet access through Australian ISPs will be censored. As far as I am

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