Don't Panic! Lighten Up!
Map


Wine

Do you want to improve your cows' milk quality? Play them Mozart

In an orderly fashion the 700 cows on the farm queue up for milking, with no fuss, no stress and very little mooing. The sharps and flats, bass and alto of Mozart's music have been found to be the perfect mix of tonality: enough to get the cows to relax but not too soothing that they fall asleep.
Heart

Mozart to put sharks in the mood

Scientists desperate for reluctant sharks to mate plan to pipe the romantic music of Mozart, Beethoven and Puccini into their north-west England aquarium tank.
Bizarro Earth

N.H. town fires 4 for gossip about boss

Can you be fired for gossiping about your boss? Four town employees here say they were, raising questions about fairness, free speech and a staple of life in the American workplace.

The employees were fired in April after speaking to a lawyer the town hired as a fact-finder to rout out chatterboxes.

They say questions about a close relationship between Town Administrator David Jodoin and a female employee, identified only as "A" in the lawyer's report, drifted into Town Hall sometime in March. They say they weren't the only ones who discussed the rumor, and dismissed it as untrue after briefly talking about it.

"We didn't start the rumor, nor did we say there was an affair going on," Joanne Drewniak said Tuesday. "We didn't have time like they think ... to sit around and just gossip. That is so untrue."
Take 2

Timeless exposure: 100-year-old colour photos discovered in attic

Just how much cash they might have raised no one can say, but for students of photography the three glass-plate images that Charlotte Albright found in her attic in Buffalo, New York state, last summer are little short of priceless. Happily, the pictures are not bound for an auction house but rather the venerable George Eastman House museum in Rochester, which will display them this autumn. They are remarkable in many ways, not least because they are by Edward Steichen and - though a century old - are in colour.
Magnify

Can You Identify Those Panties, Ma'am?

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Police are asking Colorado women a rather delicate question: Are these your panties? As part of an investigation into widespread underwear theft, police have invited women to view photos of about 1,300 undergarments stolen from laundry rooms near Colorado State University.
Coffee

N.J. woman, 60 yo, gives birth to twin boys

A 60-year-old woman became a mother, twice over, when she delivered a pair of boys Tuesday. Frieda Birnbaum gave birth to "Baby A" at 12:44 p.m. and "Baby B" a minute later by Caesarean section at Hackensack University Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Nancy Radwin said. The twins each weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces, she said.
Bomb

Who controls Lampedusa? Geography champ knows

Snaring's interest in geography is unusual for the United States. Just half of college-age Americans can find New York on a map and only 37 percent can locate Iraq, according to a National Geographic poll released last year.
Bizarro Earth

Politicians stymied by great stink of Naples

Life in Italy's second city threatened to grind to a standstill this week as the biggest ever Naples rubbish crisis came to an evil-smelling crescendo.

Huge piles of uncollected rubbish have accumulated across the city, more than 2,700 tons of it according to the city authorities. Hundreds of fires have been started in the rubbish by infuriated residents, only aggravating the problem.

Protests rage in five locations selected for emergency landfills; in one of them, the town of Serre outside the city, Italy's environment minister, Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, has come out on the side of the protesters as the planned dump is only a few kilometres from a protected beauty spot.

The rubbish remains uncollected because the city has run out of places to dispose of it, and by the end of this week the one remaining dump in active use, at Villaricca, will close because it is full to the brim. Then the city does not know what it will do.
Bizarro Earth

Fashion chain Zara apologises for selling 'non-kosher' clothing

Zara, the fashion retailer, was forced to apologise to ultra-Orthodox Jews after its Israeli stores sold a men's suit with a mix of materials that are considered non-kosher to some strict religious Jews. The Spanish clothing empire took out a series of adverts in Israeli newspapers to apologise for the error, which it said happened after a mistake in one of its factories. The suit contained a combination of cotton and linen which some rabbinical authorities class as an "unnatural" blend, known as shatnez to ultra-Orthodox Jews.

In a statement, the company said: "Zara regrets this mistake and would like to reassure its clients in Israel and particularly Orthodox Jews that it will do everything possible to prevent it happening again." Zara has also promised to refund the cost of scientific checks for shatnez, which Orthodox Jews routinely carry out when they buy clothes. They return those which test positive.
Bizarro Earth

German man busted while drunk driving in wheelchair

A wheelchair-bound German stunned police when they pulled him over for using the road and found he was 10 times over the legal alcohol limit for drivers.

"He was right in the middle of the road," said a spokesman for police in the northeastern city of Schwerin on Tuesday. "The officers couldn't quite believe it when they saw the results of the breath test. That's a life-threatening figure."

The 31-year-old told police he had been out drinking with a friend and was about 2 km from home when a squad car stopped him as he passed through the village of Ventschow.
Top