‘Tis surprisingly clementish at the Castle this morn, sunny, calm and almost tepid, the study is now a quarter full of non working thingies, the garden is still in need of fettling, his Maj has been de-wormed and de-fleaed and is not a happy bunny, and I couldn’t be arsed to take a snap of the new bollards.
I see that more than four out of 10 secondary schools have axed key subjects from the curriculum as a result of the Government's new English Baccalaureate, a conference was told yesterday. Drama, arts, religious education and information technology have all suffered severe cutbacks with teachers in these areas being made redundant.
In addition, teenagers are being told to switch GCSE subjects in mid-year to help their schools do well in exam-league tables. In most cases, it has been to slot in a languages GCSE – one of five subject areas demanded by the new qualification. Youngsters have even been enrolled on "twilight sessions" after school to try to ensure a top grade pass in the new subject area.
Since when have drama, arts, and religious education been “key” subjects?
Allegedly Aviva, formerly known as Norwich Union, has discovered a raft of claims from the 1860s to the early 1900s, which indicate that consumers were paid out considerable sums of money for small and sometimes comic accidents.
A merchant from Glasgow was paid £42 in 1895, the equivalent of £2,575 in today's money, after he was injured while jumping out of bed to catch his wife who had fainted. Meanwhile a Lancashire grocer received £15 in 1878, or £724 in today's money, after he slipped "while playing Blind Man’s Buff".
The trawl through the archives, ahead of an exhibition in Norwich, found a vicar from Shropshire who fell while playing a game of Leap Frog and a gentleman from Mold in Wales who missed a dog while trying to kick it and struck a sofa instead, injuring his big toe.
A Bank Clerk slipped on orange peel £156 paid in 1900 (modern equivalent: £8,901), an innkeeper from Handsworth, Birmingham, took poisonous potion in mistake for a sleeping medicine – £1000 paid in 1878 (modern equivalent: £48,310), A travelling salesman from Belfast hit his head on a pole while watching an accident from the top of a tram – £7 paid in 1904 (modern equivalent: £401), A shipbuilder from Great Yarmouth swallowed a fishbone – £1000 paid in 1900 (modern equivalent: £57,000) and An artist from Swansea blown down by gale of wind – £30 paid in 1886 (modern equivalent: £1,796).
It seems that “times, they aren’t a changin”....
Niko Alm has won the right to be photographed wearing a pasta strainer for his driving licence on grounds of religious freedom.
A self-styled "pastafarian", Mr Alm said he belonged to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which lampooned religion. "Today I was able to get my new driving licence, and in it you can clearly see that I'm wearing a colander on my head to demonstrate my allegiance to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster," Mr Alm wrote in his blog.
"My headwear has now been recognised by the Republic of Austria."
The spaghetti church was founded in 2005 in opposition to pressure on the Kansas school board in the United States to teach the theory of intelligent design in biology class as an alternative to evolution, and since then it has engaged in a light-hearted campaign against religion.
Smelly socks-attract four times as many of the deadly mozzies as the scent of a human body.
By spraying a similar reek into special traps outside homes, they stopped the bugs going inside and biting people.
Dr Fredros Okumu, who is developing the traps, said: “The disease has claimed so many lives, including those of people close to me, and my hope is this will be part of the solution.”
Bed nets and indoor spraying have already cut malaria cases. But scientists have not been able to combat mozzies outdoors.
Experts at the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania found smelly socks were the most effective bait.
I wondered why there were no mozzies at the Castle......
A US restaurant has sparked controversy by banning children under the age of six - because their volume can't be controlled.
"This is not a kid-oriented place," said Mike Vuick, owner of McDain's, a restaurant and driving range in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.
The restaurant sent an email to regular customers to inform them of the policy change, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"We feel McDain's is not a place for young children. Their volume can't be controlled and many, many times they have disturbed other customers," it said.
On its website, McDain's advertises itself as a place for "cocktails and fine casual dining" and calls its atmosphere "upscale, quiet and casual".
"Nothing wrong with babies," added Mr Vuick, "but the fact is you can't control their volume.
I find that a plastic bag over the head works quite well......
After 15 long years of collecting Canadian Tire money, a local man can cash in his collection to buy the lawnmower he began saving for as a teen.
At 14 years old, Brian McPherson - now 29 - received his first 10 cents of Canadian Tire money after buying a hockey stick. That 10 cents was the start of McPherson's road to becoming a "Canadian Tire thousand-aire."
"I thought it'd be a good idea to save up all the money and buy what at that time was the most expensive thing in the store, which was a riding lawnmower," said McPherson.
Over the course of 15 years, McPherson saved $1,053 in Canadian Tire money through purchasing gas, repair items and "pretty much anything you can buy at Canadian Tire," to reach his goal.
McPherson plans to claim his prize - a rider lawnmower - Wednesday night.
Great! Err, what is “Canadian Tire”
A rejected wild lynx kitten has found an unlikely new mum - a spaniel.
Kraska the nine-year-old spaniel took six-month-old Mis under her paw when owners at a wildlife park in Kadzidlowo, Poland, found the lynx had been rejected by its mum.
"Kraska had just given birth to a litter of puppies so we decided to introduce Mis to the litter," said owner of the wildlife park, Marta Kowalska, 35.
"And she immediately accepted her as one of her own. Now they are inseparable and love playing with each other. Mis is a true part of Kraska's family," she said.
Pippa Middleton's world famous bum has been immortalised in crumpets.
The giant mosaic, along with another of Pippa's face, took more than 24 hours to complete using 15,000 crumpets and more than 100 jars of spreads, including butter, jam and Marmite and was commissioned to celebrate Beefeater Grill's new breakfast menu.
One of those love it or hate it things....
That’s it: I’m orf to track the space shuttle.
And today’s thought: Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of.