Don't Panic! Lighten Up!S


Flashback 'Where have all the bloody teaspoons gone?' The case of the disappearing teaspoons

In January 2004 the authors of the research found their tearoom bereft of teaspoons. Although a flunky (MSCL) was rapidly dispatched to purchase a new batch, these replacements in turn disappeared within a few months. Exasperated by our consequent inability to stir in our sugar and to accurately dispense instant coffee, we decided to respond in time honoured epidemiologists' fashion and measure the phenomenon.

A search of the medical and other scientific literature through Google, Google Scholar, and Medline using the keywords "teaspoon", "spoon", "workplace", "loss" and "attrition" revealed nothing about the phenomenon of teaspoon loss. Lacking any guidance from previous researchers, we set out to answer the age old question "Where have all the bloody teaspoons gone?" We aimed to determine the overall rate of loss of teaspoons and the half life of teaspoons in our institute, whether teaspoons placed in communal tearooms were lost at a different rate from teaspoons placed in individual tearooms, and whether better quality teaspoons would be more attractive to spoon shifters or be more highly valued and respected and therefore move and disappear more slowly.


Wolf-beast pacified!

Like most three-week-old babies, Hugo has a dummy to suckle - the only difference is his is a solution to a dog of a problem.

Staff at Wellington SPCA gave the little labrador-cross pooch and his sister, Lottie, baby pacifiers because they were becoming ill from sucking on each other.

©ANDREW GORRIE/Dominion Post
Hugo the three-week-old Labrador Cross puppy gets his teeth into a baby pacifier at Wellington SPCA.

Arrow Down

Bush In Line of Fire

ABC's Ann Compton reports: An outdoor news conference in perfect spring weather, with birds chirping loudly in the magnolia trees, is not without its hazards.

As President Bush took a question Thursday in the White House Rose Garden about scandals involving his Attorney General, he remarked, "I've got confidence in Al Gonzales doin' the job."

Simultaneously, a sparrow flew overhead and left a splash on the President's sleeve, which Bush tried several times to wipe off.


Burger bosses want ban 'McJob' from UK dictionary

Bosses at fast food giant McDonald's chose Canterbury to launch a nationwide bid to get rid of the term 'McJob', which they say insults thousands of honest workers across Britain.

The company has organised a national petition calling for UK dictionaries to drop the existing definition of the word "an unstimulating low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector".

The term "McJob" was invented by Canadian author Douglas Copeland in his 1991 novel "Generation X: Tales Of An Accelerated Culture".


Cairo customs prevents snakes on a plane

Customs officers at Cairo's airport on Thursday detained a man bound for Saudi Arabia who was trying to smuggle 700 live snakes on a plane, airport authorities said.

Magic Wand

Man claims new sleepless record

A Cornish man says he has broken the world record for sleep deprivation by staying awake for 11 days and nights.

Tony Wright, 42, from Penzance, was trying to beat the Guinness world record of 264 sleepless hours set by Randy Gardner in the US in 1964.

He fought off tiredness by drinking tea, playing pool and keeping a diary.

The Guinness Book of Records has since withdrawn its backing of a sleep deprivation class because of the associated health risks.


Where do your shoes live?

Stylish shoes receive zip code. Handbags demand equal recognition.

©Stonyfield Farms
Shoes stop to chat before touring their new home.

Comment: A representative for the Handbag's commented on the lack of respect given to purses around the world. "Who do those shoes think they are? We're the ones who hold the money. Those shoes are nothing without a matching bag to hold the credit cards for shopping."

The shoes declined to comment. However, a pair of open toed, gold lame, two inch spiked sandals were reported to have whispered, "We're doomed".

Bizarro Earth

Naked U.S. tourist shocks German city

A naked American tourist raised eyebrows when he went for a walk through a German city and told police he thought this was acceptable behavior in Germany.

"We have been having unusually hot weather here lately but, all the same, we can't have this," a spokesman for police in the southern city of Nuremberg said Tuesday. "The man said he thought walking around naked was tolerated in Germany."

Many Germans enjoy nude sunbathing which is allowed in public parks. The 41-year-old was carrying his clothes in a bag when police stopped him Monday evening after complaints from pedestrians.


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.


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.