To my readers who drive off-road . . .

. . . do, please, be extremely careful if your vehicle gets stuck, and you have to pull or tow it out (or be pulled or towed by someone else). An acquaintance got into difficulties in a muddy patch yesterday, and didn’t know enough about towing, winching, etc. to get his vehicle out safely. He’s ended up in hospital with a broken hip, broken ribs, a broken arm and internal injuries after a steel cable snapped and whiplashed into him. Fortunately, his injuries are survivable, for which his wife and children are duly grateful: but with the pins the doctors

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Your taxes at (stupid) work

I’m sure you’ll be as irritated as I am to find out how the National Institutes of Health are spending our tax money. Lawmakers in Washington are calling on the National Institutes of Health to explain why millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent on seemingly ridiculous research projects, including: – how dragon boating can help cancer survivors; – how canoes can help cultural identity; – how snorting cocaine creates anxiety. In a letter to NIH director Francis Collins, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) on

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He should buy a lottery ticket!

This is one lucky guy! A roadsweeper today told of his relief at being alive – after a commercial plane crash-landed on top of him. A BAe Jetstream 41 airliner of SA Airlink, similar to the crashed plane Abraham Mthethwa, 48, was working outside at 8am yesterday when the 29-seater jet hit difficulties after taking off from Durban International airport in South Africa. As the stricken plane crashed it ploughed straight into the father-of-two from behind – breaking both his legs and leaving him with serious head injuries. The Jetstream aircraft eventually came to a halt at a nearby school.

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Sometimes the little guy wins after all!

Congratulations and kudos to Ann Minch, who mounted a one-woman crusade against Bank of America for its treatment of her, and called for a consumer’s revolt against it and other banks like it. On September 8th, Ms. Minch posted this video on YouTube. Within days it had ‘gone viral’, with tens of thousands of views. On September 11th, she posted this follow-up video. It seems Bank of America couldn’t take the heat. The Consumerist reports: A BoA executive contacted Minch to talk about her situation, her video, and her debts, and negotiated a 12.99% interest rate. The executive explained to

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Sex rears its ugly head

I don’t know why these things happen in multiples, but over the past couple of days there have been a rash of wacky stories about sex and the complications it can cause. They’re from all over the world, and all of them are weird. I’m tempted to say that sex is the undertone that links them all, except that in these cases it’s not the undertone at all – it’s the whole damn symphony orchestra! First, from Austria comes the news of a woman who set the usual builders-wolf-whistling-at-girls cliché on its ear. Burly builders fled when a naked blonde

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The only woman in the French Foreign Legion

The BBC has published a fascinating article about a woman who served during and after World War II with the French Army, including as a Legionnaire. Here’s an extract. Born in southern England as the daughter of a Royal Navy admiral, but raised as a young tennis-playing socialite in the south of France, [Susan] Travers was among thousands of women who joined the French Red Cross at the outbreak of the Second World War. Trained as a nurse, she spurned that as being “far too messy” for the more exciting role of ambulance driver, joining the French expeditionary force to

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Newsreader FAILS!

I was delighted to come across an article in the Telegraph, London, entitled ‘Newsreader Fails: the 30 most baffling onscreen errors‘. Some of them didn’t kick my giggle box, but here are nine that did. You’ll find more at the link, if you’re interested. Peter

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The bureaucrats have done it again

As regular readers may have noticed, I tend to steam around the neck and emit loud screams of outrage at the antics of bureaucrats who get too full of themselves, and make our lives miserable as a result. The latest example of their stupidity comes from Wales in the UK. Regulations are forcing a Welsh steam train to use coal shipped 3,000 miles from Siberia rather than from a mine three miles away. Planning conditions on the Ffos-y-Fran mine in South Wales mean that coal has to be transported by rail rather than via local roads. However there is no

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Doofus Of The Day #272

Our title today is shared between the Mayors of Levallois-Perret and Clichy-la-Garenne, neighboring suburbs of Paris in France. French commuters ran head-on into a local political standoff Tuesday after feuding towns redirected road markings to leave two busy one-way streets facing off against each other. The Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret and its conservative council lies next door to middle-class and Socialist-run Clichy-la-Garenne. Daily, thousands of motorists pass between the two, heading into and out of the capital. This week, after deciding that the D909 route brought too much congestion to his town, Levallois mayor Patrick Balkany declared his portion of

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An invention too far?

I think I’ve heard everything now. An Irish company has produced a novel environmentally-friendly instrument for the Third World. Environmentally conscious women are getting a buzz out of a new hand-cranked vibrator that makers say could help save the planet. The eco-sex toy – dubbed the Earth Angel – uses a small wind-up handle to power up rechargeable batteries inside the casing. It had originally been planned as a sex aid for the Third World where batteries and electricity supplies are unreliable. But Irish manufacturers Camden Enterprises have been swamped with interest from Green followers after displaying the vibrator at

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