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Updated: 02/06/04

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Friday, 06 February, 2004

You just can't trust anyone these days. Not even livestock shows are sacred anymore. (Via Farmaccidentdigest.com)

State Fair officials say outfitting cows with hairpieces is cheating

COLUMBUS (AP) — Three livestock exhibitors at last year’s Ohio State Fair have been disqualified for allegedly outfitting their Holstein cows with hairpieces. State Fair inspectors said the three glued or painted hair from another part of the animal or from another animal to create straighter backs on the cows and enhance their appearance in the show ring.

Wilt said state inspectors at the fair discovered the fake hair when the cows were leaving the show ring on Aug. 10. Inspectors often check the cows, run their hands over the animals and watch for unusual and illegal fitting and grooming, she said.

First fake hair, then what? Udder implants??


Hay! Here's another cow story:

BERLIN (Reuters) - A Friesian cow took a detour from a wedding where she was meant to be a guest of honour, wandering into a German bank where she was caught on security cameras sidling up to the tellers.

Top German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Friday published four robber-style photos of the cow, named Paula, strolling into the Sparkasse savings bank in Wunstorf, a small rural town in northern Germany.

Don't nobody mooooove

"The cow entered, made an elegant turn and walked right back out," a bank spokeswoman said. "It was an extraordinary experience, but it was over very quickly."

The cow was supposed to be taking part in a nearby wedding ceremony when it wandered into the bank. When farmers in the rural region marry, the new bride traditionally milks a cow to prove her skills in the homestead economy.

I think the bride has some 'splaining to do. Pretty poor cow-tending skills there.

While on the subject of animals, researchers have discovered an interesting fact about homing pigeons - they find their way home by following the roads.

LONDON (Reuters) - The secret of carrier pigeons' uncanny ability to find their way home has been discovered by British scientists: the feathered navigators follow the roads just like we do.

Researchers at Oxford University spent 10 years studying homing pigeons using global positioning satellite (GPS) and were stunned to find the birds often don't navigate by taking bearing from the sun.

Instead they fly along motorways, turn at junctions and even go around roundabouts, adding miles to their journeys, British newspapers reported on Thursday.

"It is striking to see the pigeons fly straight down the A34 Oxford bypass, and then sharply curve off at the traffic lights before curving off again at the roundabout," he said in The Times.

Guilford said pigeons use their own navigational system when doing long-distance trips or when a bird does a journey for the first time. But when they have flown a journey more than once they home in on an habitual route home.

"In short it looks like it is mentally easier for a bird to fly down a road...they are just making their journey as simple as possible."


I can understand respecting one's privacy, but I think this is taking things too far:

Man Lives with Dead Brother for 18 Months

LONDON (Reuters) - A British retiree did not notice his brother had been dead for 18 months despite sharing a mobile home with him.

When Herbert Silver, 72, finally called police and told them his brother George, 75, had died, they went to the bachelors' home expecting to find a body. Instead they found a skeleton, British newspapers reported Thursday.

"I admit that I didn't go into his room for a few hours, a few days...well quite a while actually," Herbert Silver told the Daily Telegraph.

Silver said he had thought it a "bit odd" when his brother failed to emerge from his bedroom in the tiny home they shared in Blissford, southern England, but told the Daily Mirror:

"George liked to keep himself to himself, and to be honest so do I." A postmortem indicated George Silver had been dead for up to 18 months.

[Christmas must have been fun at their house.]

Finally, I ran across an interesting list of things one is not allowed to do in the House of Commons. Here are a few of my favorites:

Smoking is not allowed in the chamber and has been banned since the 17th century. Members may take snuff though and the Doorkeeper keeps a snuff-box for this purpose.

Members are also not allowed to have their hands in their pockets, this offence was committed by Andrew Robathan MP (Con) on December 19th 1994.

Swords may not be worn in the chamber and each MP has a loop of ribbon in the cloakroom where their weapons may be left. Nowadays the loop is more often used to hold an umbrella.

Members must not die on the premises! This is because the Palace of Westminster is a royal palace where commoners may not die. Any deaths on the premises are said to have taken place at St. Thomas' Hospital - the nearest hospital to the palace.

Members may not eat or drink in the chamber. One exception to this is the chancellor who may have an alcoholic drink while delivering the Budget statement.

[Well, that's normally when one might want a drink - when talking about the budget.]

Quote du jour:

"Never base your budget requests on realistic assumptions, as this could lead to a decrease in your funding."

-- Scott Adams (1957 - ____) US cartoonist, author

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