Elspeth Lodge February 16, 2011 – 2:16 pm
French president Nicolas Sarkozy is using his wife’s singing voice to try and boost his approval ratings, which are hovering just above 30%, the Telegraph reports.
Carla Bruni is trying to help Mr. Sarkozy win a second term in office during next year’s general election by recording the 1943 classic ‘Sweet France’ by Charles Trenet.
Mr. Trenet’s song was written during the Second World War Nazi occupation of France and many of France’s younger population are unconvinced that the recording will help Mr. Sarkozy: Firstly, Mrs. Bruni plans to record the song in her native Italian —probably not such a hot idea when trying to bring people back to the days of French patriotism — and secondly, the 1943 classic was adored by many Nazi officers, and that’s just bad karma.
The French language newspaper that broke, Midi Libre, has published a poll showing that 56% per cent of those 18-to-34-years-old in France don’t like the song.
Currently, the French first lady is in the midst of recording a fourth album of pop songs in Paris; an Elysée Palace source told The Telegraph she isn’t sure whether her husband’s new patriotic chanson will appear in the new mix.
A French grandmother survived for 20 days in her bathroom due to easy access to water.
Elspeth Lodge November 24, 2010 – 11:00 am
French firemen busted down the front door of a 69 year-old grandmother’s second-floor flat on Friday, after neighbours noticed something at the pensioners door had gone unclaimed for ten days.
The woman had become stuck in her windowless bathroom in the town of Epinay-sous-Senart, a suburb of Paris, for 20 days, after the doorknob broke off in her hand, reported CNN.
When the rescuers entered her apartment they heard noises coming from the bathroom — so they broke down that door too.
Inside the bathroom they found a woman lying on the ground, said BBC, in a “very weakened” state. She had survived for three weeks by drinking warm tap water.
She kept up her morale by brushing her teeth and taking showers, reported Coventry Telegraph.net.
The pensioner banged on the wall with one of her shoes by day and on the bathroom pipes by night — but neighbours confused the sounds with DIY construction work, which they quickly struck up a petition to halt.
“You could hear banging sounds, like a hammer, even at night, but we thought they were doing work at night. We said: ‘They are going too far! They are preventing us from sleeping!’ If we had known…,” said a neighbour to local media.
Elspeth Lodge February 25, 2011 – 12:11 pm
Breast milk ice cream is London’s latest food double dare: the breast-milk-infused flavour “Baby Gaga,” is now available at the Icecreamists restaurant in London’s Covent Garden.
Icecreamists founder Matt O’Connor is confident that his take on the “miracle of motherhood” will catch on, even at at £14 pounds, or $22 a serving. “The Baby Gaga tastes creamy and rich,” he told the Daily Mail. “No-one’s done anything interesting with ice cream in the last hundred years. We’ve came up with a method of infusing ice-cream with breast milk. We wanted to completely reinvent it. And by using breast milk we’ve definitely given it a one hundred percent makeover. It’s just one of a dozen radical new flavours we’ve invented. We want to change the way people think about ice cream’.
“A costumed Baby Gaga waitress serves the ice cream in a martini glass filled with the breast milk ice cream mix. Liquid nitrogen is then poured into the glass through a syringe,” reports the Daily Mail. And the restaurant will serve the the concoction with whisky and other cocktails as well, making it a bit more of an adult-oriented treat.
So what flavours complement breast milk? The restaurant mixes in Madagascar vanilla pods and lemon zest with the baby milk before the mixture is churned into ice cream.
The breast milk was provided by mothers who answered an advertisement on online mothers’ forum Mumsnet. Victoria Hiley, 35, was one of 15 women who sold milk to the restaurant.
“It wasn’t intrusive at all to donate – just a simple blood test. What could be more natural than fresh, free-range mothers milk in an ice cream?” she said.
When Ms. Hiley first saw the advertisement she thought it might be a joke, but when she found out it wasn’t, she provided the first 30 fluid ounces of milk, enough to make the first 50 servings. Women get paid £15 for every ten ounces of milk.
“Some people will hear about it and go, ‘yuck’ but actually it’s pure, organic, free-range and totally natural,” said Mr. O’Connor. “I had a Baby Gaga just this morning and I feel great.”
With files from Reuters
Elspeth Lodge February 25, 2011 – 3:23 pm
School authorities in England’s Oxfordshire have banned swimming goggles, relenting only for children with medical notes.
What exactly the council believes is so dangerous about goggles remains mysterious — a spokesman for the Oxfordshire County Council refused to give a specific reason why goggles have been banned.
Parents of the county in the country have branded the ruling “nutty” and “extreme,” reports the Telegraph.
“This local authority, like others throughout the UK, reflects to schools the national guidance provided by various governing sport bodies on this issue,” said a spokesman for the council.”These organisations include The Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), the Swimming Teachers Association (STA), the Association for Physical Education and the Institute of Sport and Recreation Management.”
In June of 2009 Teachers and governors at Ysgol Bryn Coch junior school, in Mold, north Wales, banned goggles. Parents told the Telegraph they thought the rule was “bonkers.”
The headmistress Lynne Williams said “It has been recognised by the British Association of Advisors and Lecturers in Physical Education that goggles can pose a real risk to children, and this has been accepted by the governors.”
Another school, Sidwells Primary school in Exeter, Devon, also banned goggles in 2009. Tracy Brock, the mother of a St. Sidwells student responded to the incident on Parent Dish: “Children are being wrapped up in cotton wool now. If it carries on like this we are going to be breeding a generation of namby pambies. As a kid, I spent every waking moment of summer vacation outdoors swimming in the deep end, climbing trees and jumping on trampolines without a safety net. As long as we got home before the streetlights came on, it was all good. I don’t advocate bringing back all the crazy things we were allowed to do back in the day. Some of them were seriously dangerous (eating candy in secrecy on the roof of my house comes to mind). But banning swim goggles is a slippery slope.”
In opposition to the parental argument, BAALPE advice states: “Head teachers should inform parents carers that goggles can be a hazard and cause permanent eye injury. Wet plastic is very slippery and frequent, incorrect or unnecessary adjustment or removal of them, by pulling them away from the eyes instead of sliding them over the forehead, can lead to them slipping from the pupil’s grasp with the hard plastic causing severe injury.”
Elspeth Lodge January 26, 2011
A British soldier in Afghanistan apparently left a marriage proposal on an answering machine he believed belonged to his pregnant girlfriend, Samantha. Instead, he’d dialled 44-year-old Diane Potts, who is now trying to find the woman and deliver the message, reports SkyNews. According to Ms. Potts, the soldier sounded no older than 18 and spoke with what she believed was a Sunderland (in northeastern England) accent. “I love you so much,” he said. “I love you with all my heart and I was going to ask you… don’t answer… obviously you can’t answer. But, will you marry me?” “I just felt really quite emotional when I heard it,” said Ms. Potts.”It was just so lovely. I got a bit of a shock actually. I felt like I shouldn’t really be listening, it was such a personal message so I just had to do something about it. I emailed the media to see if anybody could pick it up and do something about it. He had a regional accent but we’re not sure if he lives up here so it’s great to get coverage and find her. We just really want to find her.” .Posted in: Posted, World Tags: Afghanistan, U.K., marriage . … Read more: http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/01/26/search-is-on-for-soldier-who-proposed-to-girlfriend-on-the-wrong-answering-machine/#ixzz1CFrXUi5e
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko gives a press conference in Minsk on Dec. 20, 2010.
Elspeth Lodge January 13, 2011 – 4:25 pm
Autoradio‘s general director, Yury Bazan, claims that National Commission for Broadcasting officials never explained the decision to shut down the station:
“We scanned all the recent airtime and found and just one single phrase … that the fate of the country is decided not in kitchens but on the streets,” he said, the Associated Press reports.
Belarusian pro-democracy website Charter’97 reports that in December’s presidential election, Autoradio was the “only” station agreeing to air ads for Mr. Lukashenko’s opposition, Andrei Sannikov. They also report that campaign materials of Sannikov had been aired during only two days on Autoradio when the the authorities began to pressure them to stop broadcasting the ads.
The station plans to attest the ruling in court, given that during the time of broadcast neither the Central Election Commission nor the Ministry of Information voiced objections to the ads.
Mr. Lukashenko is continuing his 14-year hold over the presidency in Belarus after a disastrous election day on Dec. 19 — 700 people in Minsk were taken into custody as violent protests erupted from opposition who insisted the election results were flawed, AP reports.
The U.S. has called Belarus Europe’s last dictatorship.
A breakdown of the phrase’s significance:“the fate of the country is decided not in kitchens but on the streets”
- The words were broadcast by presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov during the presidential campaign over Autoradio.
- The comment draws attention back to the night of the presidential election on Dec.19., when Mr. Sannikov gathered together thousands of his supporters to take the streets and protest fraudulent vote counting, reported the AP.
- Kitchens are often used for the purpose of late-night political conversations with friends and relatives.