British rain turns Isle of Wight pop music festival to mud

June 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Cockroaches are good guys after all? “Unpleasant though they are, according to biologists the humble cockroach is essential to the survival of the planet’s delicate ecosystem. According to Srini Kambhampati, professor and chair of the biology department at the University of Texas at Tyler, the disappearance of cockroaches would play havoc with the nitrogen cycle. Professor Kambhampati, a leading expert on roaches, told the Huffington Post: ‘Most cockroaches feed on decaying organic matter, which traps a lot of nitrogen. ‘Cockroach feeding has the effect of releasing that nitrogen (in their feces) which then gets into the soil and is used by plants. ‘In other words, extinction of cockroaches would have a big impact on forest health and therefore indirectly on all the species that live there.'” [I think I’d rather rely on legumes and nitrobacter]

Boy, 8, survives after he is swept a MILE underground through drain tunnel during Minnesota floods: “An eight-year-old boy has miraculously survived being swept into a drain tunnel filled with surging water and travelling a mile underground – before popping up in a creek in a nearby neighbourhood. Kenny Markiewicz, who only suffered scrapes and bruises in the freak accident, was playing with his cousin in Proctor, Minnesota – eight miles from Duluth, which has suffered record rainfall this week. They went outside to play in the street, which was not severely flooded, and went over to ‘a mud puddle, a big one’, Kenny told ABC News. ‘He just was going across by the puddle and, apparently, there was a culvert or a pipe there and he fell in,’ his mother, Amber, said. ‘We heard my niece scream and we opened the door, ran down the hill and dialed 911.’ But Kenny knew what he was doing. As he was swept through the pipe, he pinched his nose ‘so my air stays in’, he said. After travelling through the pipe – being flung from side to side and sustaining bruises and cuts to his face and limbs – he popped out in a creek a mile away.”

Big British bank won’t give customers their money: “Millions of people were unable to access their money for a third day yesterday after a computer meltdown at one of the country’s biggest banks. Customers have been left unable to pay bills, do their grocery shopping or make essential transfers since Wednesday as a result of IT problems at NatWest. Some were left homeless after the computer problems meant house purchases fell through. Others were stranded abroad, unable to access funds which should have been in their account. As the chaos continued last night, NatWest – owned by taxpayer-funded RBS – said it would keep branches open today and tomorrow and ‘work round the clock’ to fix the issues. But angry customers said the response was not good enough, with some vowing to leave the banks as a result of the chaos. The problem arose after staff tried to install a software update on RBS’s payment processing system, but ended up corrupting it. The problems have hit 7.5million personal customers, many business customers and 100,000 customers of Ulster Bank.”

Nasty British bank blames customer for stolen money: “Rachel had £1,150 stolen from her account in more 30 transactions, but the bank claimed her PIN was used and so accused her of being negligent. In a letter from Barclays to Rachel, Jon-Marie Powney, a customer relations manager, said: ‘The very fact that the card has been misused clearly indicates that the PIN was not adequately protected against misuse.’ This is Money asked Barclays to review the case one more time. Its fraud team discovered that the transactions were actually authorised by signature and not PIN, and that the signature was clearly not Rachel’s. ‘We have since reviewed the case and discovered that the transactions were authorised by a signature which was not the customer’s. We apologise to Ms Addison and have refunded the money to her immediately.’ Barclays have also given Rachel £300 in the way of compensation.” [Sad that you have to get newpapoer publicity for justice to be done]

British girl’s blog shames her school into providing better meals: “A nine-year-old whose internet postings about her school dinners became an international hit said the meals have shown a “big improvement” since she started the blog. Martha Payne has built up an audience of more than six million people after she started posting pictures and marking her meals out of 10 last month. Her popularity was helped when the local council banned the blog, claiming that it could lead to some of the catering company’s staff losing their jobs. They were forced into a U-turn after it led to a storm of protests from the public and celebrities such as the chefs Jamie Oliver and Nick Nairn. Now Martha, who is quitting the blog called NeverSeconds when the summer holidays start, said when she started the meals were often small and unappetising but that they had improved a great deal. “They have got nicer and they have got much bigger and that is a big improvement,” she told the Daily Telegraph.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

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