Grave charges

French mayor’s grave warning: ‘You’ll be better off not dead’

By Nick Drainey

The mayor of a village in south-west France has threatened residents with severe punishment if they die, because there is no room left in the overcrowded cemetery to bury them.
In an ordinance posted in the council offices, Mayor Gerard Lalanne told the 260 residents of the village of Sarpourenx that “all persons not having a plot in the cemetery and wishing to be buried in Sarpourenx are forbidden from dying in the parish”.
It added: “Offenders will be severely punished.”
The mayor, who turned 70 on Wednesday and is standing for election to a seventh term, said he was forced to take drastic action after an administrative court in the nearby town of Pau ruled in January that the acquisition of adjoining private land to extend the cemetery would not be justified.

New Scotsman


March 11, 2008 at 8:50 am 2 comments

Loss of face


PC overkill for school’s internet newsletter

Last Updated: 7:56am GMT 06/03/2008

A school has been accused of taking political correctness too far after it replaced the heads of pupils in a school newsletter with smiley faces to protect their identities.
All the children in the internet newsletter, including those in sporting and presentation pictures, have been obscured on safety grounds.

Daily Telegraph

March 7, 2008 at 11:08 am 2 comments


A hexapus, not a six-legged octopus

By Tom Chivers and agencies : Last Updated: 2:39am GMT :  04/03/2008

It would of course be technically nonsensical to describe this creature as a “six-legged octopus”.
“Octopus” meaning “eight-legged”, it would be similar to talking about a “three-wheeled bicycle”.
Henry the Hexapus – as he has been christened by his keepers – is a resident of Blackpool Sea Life Centre in the north-west of England.
Found two weeks ago in a lobster-pot off the coast of north Wales, Henry was one of eight “lesser octopuses” that Sea Life took delivery of from Anglesey Sea Zoo.
His shortage of extremities is the result of a genetic defect, rather than an accident, and he is believed to be the first of his six-legged kind known to humanity.

Daily Telegraph

March 5, 2008 at 4:10 pm 2 comments

Hot Shot

Man asks friend to shoot him to avoid work

By Megan Levy and agencies
Last Updated: 2:25am GMT 03/03/2008

A 21-year-old man in the United States asked his friend to shoot him in the shoulder so he could skip work, sheriff’s detectives in Washington say.
Not content with faking a cough or sniffle, Daniel Kuch took the bullet in the right shoulder allegedly to avoid taking a drug test at his place of employment.
It is unclear where Mr Kuch works, or whether he still has a job.
Daily Telegraph

March 3, 2008 at 3:57 pm 2 comments

Vanity, thy name is …..

Men seek a perfect body through surgery

By Nic Fleming, Medical Correspondent

Last Updated: 1:52am GMT 04/02/2008

Increasing numbers of men are turning to cosmetic surgery in an attempt to hold back the years.
An audit by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons shows almost a fifth more men had surgery last year compared to 2006.
There was a 61 per cent rise in the number of men having tummy tucks while breast reductions for men increased by 27 per cent.
The numbers of men having nose jobs increased by more than third, while male liposuction increased by 18 per cent in 12 months.
Experts believe that plastic surgery is becoming more acceptable and popular among men because modern culture places a greater emphasis on bodily perfection and youthful appearance.

Daily Telegraph

February 6, 2008 at 12:05 pm 2 comments


Hold onto your helmets, cowboys

By Tom Leonard in New York

Last Updated: 3:55am GMT 31/01/2008

Rodeo riders, the last surviving champions of America’s Wild West spirit, are being told by health and safety experts to swap their stetsons for protective helmets.
The governing bodies are reluctant to comply. Under association rules, helmets remain optional for children as young as five. Just under 40 per cent of adult riders wear helmets, up from 10 per cent five years ago.
But some experts say that is not enough. They are pushing the sport to encourage all bull and steer riders to wear hard hats, and to make it compulsory for those under 18.
Luke Haught, a 23-year-old Texas bull rider, summed up the feelings of many. He said: “I’m sure it could save on some dental bills, but I don’t think it would feel right. I like my hat.”
Some refuseniks argue the helmets are heavy, block their vision and prevent only superficial injuries.
Rodeo’s macho attitude to health and safety is illustrated by the fact that its governing bodies keep no real data on accidents.
A study published last year claimed bull riders were about 10 times more likely to get injured than American football or ice hockey players.

Daily Telegraph

February 1, 2008 at 3:35 pm 2 comments

Safety Cones

Ice cream sauce deemed ‘too risky’ to pour

By Sophie Borland

Last Updated: 1:13pm GMT 31/01/2008 —Daily Telegraph

An upmarket ice cream parlour is refusing to pour chocolate sauce over its cones because of health and safety fears.
Morellis Gelato, which has bars in Selfridges and Harrods, has taken the decision in case customers slip on spilled toppings.
The family-run Italian company, which was founded in 1932 on a seafront in Broadstairs in Kent, says it is just not “common sense” to pour toppings on top of ice cream cones as they are highly likely to spill onto the floor.
Instead, staff give customers separate containers containing their flavoured sauce, chopped nuts or fruit so they can decide for themselves whether to risk pouring them onto their ice cream once they have been served.

February 1, 2008 at 11:59 am 2 comments

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