Attentive listener

July 19, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

European foreign office wants to fork out £2MILLION on a new silver dinner set for Brussels chiefs: “The European Union’s foreign office is planning on forking out £2million for a dinner set that can feed 3,360 people. The European External Action Service (EEAS) has sent a tender document listing the items it is hoping to acquire to potential bidders. It includes place settings worth around 2 million euros (£1.39m), as well as dinner plates, soup bowls and ice cream dishes. The plan was last night slammed by one Conservative MEP, who criticised the organisation for its money-handling skills. The tender not only lists how many of each item the organisation requires, but also sets out exactly how the service should look. It states the silverware, which includes cutlery for fish courses and dessert, should be ‘simple, with a discreet decorative element or a raised motif’. It must also be manufactured from ‘top quality, silver-plated metal’ and even states to what thickness the silver plating should be.”

Life inside a real-life ghost town: remote community where 120 ‘colourful characters’ live without electricity: “It’s the tiny town with a population of just 120 people where there is next to no power, internet, or jobs- where time almost stands still. Tucked away on the banks of the Mangaroa River in the South Island of New Zealand, more than 40 kilometres from civilisation and only accessible by a dirt path, is the town of Ohura. An enclave of low-cost truck homes and ancient shops that rarely open, Ohura has all but been abandoned by the government, leaving the dwindling town- and the people who live there- to their own devices. Many of the houses have no power, only a few have internet, and government benefits are unavailable because there are no jobs to look for- even the prison has closed down. According to government sources, coal mines were a major industry for the town from the 1930’s, developing into a major township over the next 40 years

Australian taste in hamburgers gets a spray from a Korean: “American celebrity chef David Chang has launched a meaty attack on the iconic Australian burger, claiming that Aussies ‘f*** up’ burgers more than any other country in the world. ‘They put a fried egg on their burger. They put canned beetroot on it, like a wedge of it. I am not joking you. This is how they eat their burger.’ Korean-American Chang, who opened his first restaurant outside of the US in Sydney’s The Star casino in 2011, somewhat unsurprisingly announced that the best burgers were made by an American burger chain, White Castle. He listed his ideal burger as containing a bun, cheese, and a burger, with the possibility of bacon and ketchup- on the side, of course. American cheese was the only acceptable cheese, and forget about any greens apart from iceberg lettuce. He labelled putting ingredients such a onion or tomato on a burger ‘idiotic’, declaring those who enjoy eating burgers with such toppings as likely to jump off a bridge if told to.” [Koreans think Spam is a luxury food so there’s no accounting for taste]

Supersized blackberry that’s also super-sweet: “Blackberries have often been shunned by shoppers who have long put strawberries, raspberries or blueberries on their lists instead. But the bramble is having a revival after a larger and sweeter variety hit the supermarket shelves. he new variety, the Driscoll’s Victoria blackberry, is almost twice the size of the regular fruit and is also much sweeter. Supermarket giant Tesco, which has started selling them in snack packs, has reported an increase in demand of nearly 60 per cent in the past four weeks. Berry grower Robert Pascall, who runs a 420-acre farm near Maidstone, Kent, said the success of Driscoll’s Victoria had encouraged him to plant more of the bushes. Production at his farm has soared from 30 tonnes in 2012 to 180 tonnes in 2014, and the annual tonnage is set to rise further this year with good weather. But it is hoped there will be a wider popularity for the new sweet treat, which is being sold in snacking packs for individual consumption.”

Green monster: “This is the moment a massive crocodile emerged from a lake in South Africa looking even more sinister than usual thanks to a layer of bright green slime covering its body. The huge reptile was swimming in the Kruger National Park when it emerged from the water caked in a layer of brightly-coloured algae. South African Armand Grobler took photographs of the crocodile near Lower Sabie rest camp in the popular safari park and was stunned to see it emerge from the water resembling the Incredible Hulk. Mr Grobler’s set of photographs shows the crocodile slinking along the banks of the lake after gliding through the water, which is where it picked up its unusual covering of blue-green algae.

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

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