Skating Towards an ASBO

Anti-Social Behaviour Orders are not just reserved for teenagers and old people who have their televisions too loud.  In January

This can be what happens if your dog doesn't wear the proper safety gear when skateboarding...

this year Charlie the cockerel from Shropshire was issued with an ASBO when his early morning calls disrupted neighbours’ sleep.

The latest member of the animal kingdom to be threatened with an ASBO is Bodhi, a skateboarding Lakeland Terrier from Brighton.

Brighten Council issued Bodhi’s owner Jonathon Fell with an £80 fine for not having his pet on a lead after the freewheeling mutt knocked over a pedestrian, injuring her.  The Mail Onlinedescribed the council as “kill joy”.*  Apparently leaving scattered pedestrians in his wake is all light-hearted fun and games if it is a small dog causing the issue and not a teenage boy.

Mr Fell told the Mail’s totally unbiased reporter:

“Bodhi is always under control. He loves skateboarding and is not a criminal.  It’s something that makes people laugh. I never trained him to skateboard it’s just what he loves to do.”

The comment is situated directly below the photograph of a woman face down in the middle of the road having been hit by the amusing scoundrel.

In a frightening coincidence Graham, our man on the ground is actually based in Brighton.  He had a number of deep and meaningful insights on the subject.

“Dogs have more legs than skateboards and less wheels…” He then scratched his head thoughtfully and added.

Animal Welfare page on the Brighton & Hove website contain the following relating to Dogs:

The Dogs on Leads (Brighton and Hove) Order 2009

3.(1) A person in charge of a dog shall be guilty of an offence if at any time on any land to which this Order applies he does not keep the dog on a lead, unless— (a) he has a reasonable excuse for failing to do so;

Animal Welfare Act 2006

It makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met.

Including

5. To be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease

“Now I think that putting a dog on a lead and pushing it off down the road on a skateboard would very likely cause pain, injury and suffering (probably not disease unless it was a very dirty collar). Therefore this would be in contravention to the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and would be regarded as a reasonable excuse for not having it on a lead!”

*You can read the Mail’s full report here:   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1385958/Wheels-come-skateboarding-terriers-antics-owner-fined-having-lead.html#ixzz1M9k7BSFs

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Graham’s Spot the Difference

This week Graham has created a cunning Spot the Difference puzzle.   He has again ranked it as medium, and estimates that it should take the more keen eyed amongst you no more than an hour to complete.  As always winners will be announced with next week’s puzzle.*  Good luck.

 

 

A big congratulations to Albert Tonks from Wolverhampton who is the winner of last week’s word search challenge.  A signed photo of Milly the Wonder Dog will be winging its way to you.  For those of you who are still puzzling over last week’s challenge the answers are published below.

That’s right Nibblers,  the answer was DOG.  Don’t be disheartened if you didn’t get it.  Graham has been creating puzzles for literally days now and wants to make them challenging.

 

*Terms and Conditions.  The prize of our choosing will be dispatched to the winning entry within 8 years of winning.  Winners will be the first correct answer to be drawn from a hat.** Closing date 09/05/2011 17:00 GMT.

**In the unlikely event of us not being able to find a hat, another suitable container may be substituted.

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Burnt to a Crisp

On the 7thof May this year the BBC reported a fire at a potato factory in Norfolk.  Ninety fire fighters worked to tackle the blaze

This is not a photograph of the actual event, but a random hot potato snapped by our man on the ground.. Copyright Graham Holden 2011 (photos@gholden.co.uk)

which started at 18:00 hours on Friday.  Although around fifty five people were working when the fire broke out, they were all successfully evacuated.  No-one was injured in the fire, which is thought to have started in an industrial fat fryer.

In light of recent events, the question on everybody’s lips has to be, ‘what is a potato factory?’  We at Newsnibbles were under the

impression that potatoes were grown in the ground, and not produced in a factory.  Although the general consensus around the office was that this is the case, since we want to be seen as a serious cutting edge news reporting organisation we decided to approach an outside source.

Scientist, Jenny Walford had this to say on the subject of potato factories:

“I have played Farmville for over a year now.  As such I know that potatoes are in fact grown in the ground.  I understand that real potatoes take a little longer to mature than the three days that Farmville allows, but in all other aspects the game is accurate.  Therefore, in my view, a potato factory could be more accurately described as a field.”

As hardcore newshounds this inconsistency grabbed our attention.  If potatoes are not actually produced in a factory then what does this seemly innocent factory produce?  Potatoes must be a front for something more secretive.

Further investigation revealed that it in fact produced Aunt Bessie’s Home Roasts.  Perhaps they can capitalise on this unfortunate incident and recoup some of their losses by selling blackened, chargrilled or caramelised potatoes.

We would like to suggest, however, that the BBC think about more accurately representing things in order that we do not waste our time in the future.  “Fire at a factory which produces, packs and distributes Aunt Bessie’s Home Roasts” would have been just as catchy a headline.  More importantly it would have been accurate.  Here at Newsnibbles we pride ourselves on our journalistic integrity.  If nothing else we hope this article has been informative.

Original BBC report available here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-13320740

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Phantom Penguin Chaser Still at Large!

North Yorkshire Police are currently appealing for witnesses to an incident at the Sea Life Centre in Scarborough that occurred in the

This Stressed Penguin was snapped by our man on the ground. No penguins were harmed in the taking of this photograph. Copyright Graham Holden 2011 photos@gholden.co.uk)(

early hours of the morning on the 25th of April 2011.

CCTV images captured an intruder breaking into the penguin enclosure.  The centre manager, Mike Salt told the BBC that the trespasser chased the penguins around the enclosure for fifteen minutes.

“Penguins are very susceptible to stress, they like their routine and any change can prove threatening to them. This incident would have been really frightening.  They have been clearly upset and were off their food for several days.”*

Police are currently examining the CCTV images in an attempt to identify the culprit.  We attempted to ascertain if they had learnt anything from their website, but our search for “penguin” had no results.  We did find that it was very easy to access the sex offenders register, but that was not really relevant here.

Graham, our man on the iceberg had this offering on the subject:

“The intruders must have been dressed a leopard seals.  Penguins seem to have no special fear of humans, and have approached groups of explorers without hesitation. This is probably because penguins have no land predators in Antarctica or the nearby offshore islands. Instead, penguins are at risk at sea from predators such as the leopard seal.  But then, a leopard seal would be easy to spot on CCTV.”

Looks like Graham’s been reading the encyclopaedia this week, and has reached P for penguin…

Since she is from Yorkshire and regularly stressed over something (although strictly speaking not a penguin), we felt that Catherine Sykes was qualified enough to offer us a comment on the subject.

“How awful…” She managed to splutter between sobs.  “Poor penguins.  What on earth was the point of that, what possessed the idiot?  Was he stupid or drunk?  Probably both.  I can only console myself with the knowledge that he didn’t catch any of them.  They were too fast for him!  Hoorah!”

She then added “I’ve currently got an album out.  It’s very good even if I do say so myself.  You can get your copy from my website.”

Whilst we are not entirely sure of the relevance of this last statement, we are grateful that anyone is prepared to take us seriously enough to offer us any sort of comment.

Although our investigative report did not turn up any new information, we were able to eliminate one man from the suspect pool.  Matthew Scott from Huddersfield offered us this by way of a comment:

“It weren’t me gov, honest.  My alibi is water tight.”

We are glad that in our own small way we can assist the police in their enquiries.  If you have any slightly more useful information on the culprit then you can contact North Yorkshire Police.  We will of course keep you updated with any additional information.

*The BBC’s original report is available here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-13267797

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Get the Flock off My Cliff!

On the 3rdof May this year six sheep that had been stranded on a cliff in the Trossachs (Scotland) for a fortnight were finally rescued.

This is actually a cow on a cliff. We had no photos of sheep. Copyright The Grumpy Badger.

Farmer Alisdair Bain, (who also seems to have a band…) called in Trossachs Search and Rescue when it became clear the sheep were not going to rescue themselves.  The search and rescue team worked in conjunction with the Scottish SPCA and twenty three volunteers to rescue the stranded animals.

Lothian 4×4 Response provided Land Rovers to anchor the members of the rescue team as conditions recently have been too dry for anchoring spikes to be hammered into the cliff face, which just crumbled at the attempt.

All the sheep involved were successfully brought to safety after an eight hour co-ordinated rescue. They seemed none the worse for their ordeal.

Graham, our man on the cliff had this insight into the situation:

“I believe that the sheep are probably suffering from Delusional Disorder. If you combine this with the fact that they may have been able to view “Glacier Mountain Goats” (a Wildlife documentary looking at the mountain goats of Glacier National Park in Canada’s Rocky Mountains) through a local farmhouse window, it was almost inevitable that an incident such as this would occur. Alternatively it could just be that sheep are really, really stupid…”

We could not help but notice that the sheep in question were black and white, co-incidentally the same colour as badgers.  Here at Newsnibbles we find ourselves wondering whether this could be another stunt from BAG, but there is no evidence at this point.

 

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Badger Strikes Back!

On the 29thof April 2011, BBC Sussex reported the successful rescue of a badger from an empty swimming pool on a farm in Hailsham.

The successful rescue of the badger from the pool was carried out by East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service using a dog

Note that the badger has chosen to wear an eye mask in order to avoid identification...

catcher (a long pole with a loop on the end, not the creepy guy from Disney’sLady and the Tramp).  Trevor Weeks, who co-ordinated the rescue told the BBC:

“Badgers are never easy to catch at the best of times and this location was not easy – especially the nettles.”*

There has been some speculation about how the badger came to be in the pool in the first place.  Badgers, unlike otters are not natural water dwellers.  Although, as with almost all animals they are able to swim it is not a hobby for them.  Badgers and synchronised swimming do not go hand in hand.  Our man on the ground or in this case in the pool had this offering on the subject of badgers and swimming:

“I would imagine the badger is somewhat annoyed as he was training to swim the channel… he appreciates that the RSPCA had his best interests at heart but he felt he was being discriminated against.  If he were a whale they’d be pushing him into the water!  He probably also feels that it’s stereotyping like this that is holding young badgers back from fulfilling their full potential… and that he quite likes a swim… washes the dust from the fur…”

While we always appreciate Graham’s thoughts, we do wonder whether he has a tad too much time on his hands.

Our sources tell us that there may be a more calculated motive behind this latest badger disturbance.  Although only whispers in the trees at the moment a creature with their ear to the ground tells us of the possible emergence of a dissident group of badgers calling themselves BAG (Badgers Against Guns).  This is a peaceful, yet well organised group of badgers said to be opposed to being shot.

Recent government proposals to allow the legalisation of farmers shooting badgers as part of the “Big Society” are the speculated reason behind badgers getting organised.  One source from the woods who preferred to go unnamed told us:

“Big society, but not big enough for us badgers.  There’s no proof we spread anything and we’ve been queuing up for the National Trust vaccinations.  It just got too much for some of the guys, sick of being persecuted on the grounds of speculation they got organised.  Demonstrations like this are getting us attention.  Hopefully people will see a cute badger stuck somewhere and rush to help rather than rush for their guns.  Of course there is a chance we’ll be shot, but we are determined to raise awareness for our plight peacefully. ”

So, can we expect to see more demonstrations such as this drawing attention to BAG’s cause?  We will keep you informed, as it seems badgers are striking back.

*Original BBC report available here:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-13239606

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Graham’s Word Search

Graham assures us that all serious news reporting sites have puzzles.  As such he created this nifty word search.  He has classified it as medium, and has estimated that it will take the average reader no more than an hour.  As an incentive to persevere we are offering a signed picture of Milly the Wonder Dog as a prize to the first correct answer to be pulled out of a hat*.  Good luck.

*Terms and conditions.  Entries must be submitted by 5pm GMT 02/05/2011.  The organisers reserve the right to replace the prize with one of equal value (0.01p) and winners will be announced in next week’s edition.

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Say Cheese!

Unless you are into your cheese in a big way then you might not even realise there was a National Cheese Awards.  If you are cheese savvy enough to be aware of the awards themselves, it might still be news to you that this year there is a competition to make cheese fashion at The Royal Bath and West Showground.

Fear not though, here at Newsnibbleswe have our ear to the ground and will keep you informed about any developments, no matter how cheesy.

The competition has strict rules.  Competitors must make their offerings out of “cheese, or associated items”. We presume these include cows, sheep, any dairy products (excluding eggs), the moon etc.  In point of fact, the list is whey too extensive to continue here.  If you are thinking of entering, then you would be better off contacting the organisers for a comprehensive list of rules.

Students from Bath Spa University have played with the idea of Jimmy Choo shoes, to produce “Jimmy Cheese”.  These trendy, yet edible editions to your feet will be a good way of explaining away embarrassing foot odour.

Not to be outdone by students, Graham, our man on the ground has provided us with a picture of his design (see image).  The latest in Canine head wear, entitled Camembert-Wear was actually designed for Milly to wear to “The Wedding”.

“I hand Krafted it and it turned out to be very popular.” He tells us.  “She was dogged by the press all day.”  Graham was going to enter his creation in this year’s Cheese Awards but unfortunately Milly was made nervous by all the press attention and stress-ate her hat.  Nonetheless, we are pleased to have a picture of it to display his talents to the full.

Potential entrants will be relieved not to be up against such professional Kraftsmenship.  Milly offered this by way of a comment:

“Woof.”

So, if cheese is your thing, or you think that it may conceal your cheesy odour, check out the latest in edible fashion at this year’s National Cheese Awards. The fashion show runs from the 1st to the 6th of June at the Bath and West Showground near Shepton Mallet.

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Another Good Reason Not to Exercise

In local news this week we see that West London Council has introduced a £350 tax for fitness instructors to use any number of parks and open spaces within the council’s remit.

 

This controversial decision has caused mixed feelings amongst park users who question the practicalities of enforcing such a fee.  One person told the BBC:

“If people are running around, I really can’t see how the council can install a tax like that.  How many people will say they are friends rather than personal trainers?”

The Conservative Council perhaps unsurprisingly defended its decision to impose the tax telling the BBC:

“Taxpayers do not expect businesses who are trying to make money out of our parks to get a free ride on the back of their taxes and these businesses do need to pay for the necessary licence. This is about ensuring residents using the park are safe, as there are issues surrounding insurance and liability should anyone be injured, and also the parks have to be maintained.  If trainers were to hire space elsewhere in a club, for example, they would spend much more than if they bought a licence.”*

As a fully neutral, (totally unsarcastic) news-reporting blog, here at Newsbites we felt unqualified to form any opinion on this cunning money making scheme.  Therefore, in order to offer you, the reader a fully rounded view we turned to Graham, our man on the ground, always happy to give us an opinion on any subject.

Graham scratched his head contemplatively before coming up with this offering on the subject:

“I think the National Rivers Authority want a cut, due to the grass being watered by rain, which has come from water vapour that has risen, cooled, etc… some of which has come from rivers!  It has put me off exercise for life, and photography… might be charged for taking pictures of the trees… If I exercise Milly in a park will she have to pay too?”

We presume Milly is his dog… but think he is kept entirely more interesting the less we know about him, so do not ask.

An opposing view from one member of the public we asked was:

“Well, I can’t see the harm.  The council gets money, the trainers raise their fees and they get money.  It’s win, win.  Does anyone actually lose?”

Well, we did a bit of investigative reporting into how much it would cost to buy a field in and around London.  You can purchase a six acre woodland in Kent for £45,000.  So, if 129 personal trainers wanted to get together and make a one off payment of £350, instead of an annual one they could purchase their very own six acre wood to train in.  Alternatively, an extremely antisocial fitness instructor could pay off their own field for 129 years, and feel like they were investing rather than being taxed.

In the mean while, however, anyone hoping to use the parks of West London for anything other than recreation had better have their licences ready to flash the park patrol.

BBC article available here:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13195576

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Wow, Gorillas!

If you go down to Bristol City Centre next summer you’re sure of a big surprise.  A series of five foot gorilla sculptures are set to be appearing around the city as part of Bristol Zoo’s 175th birthday celebration.

Left to right: Charles, Dr Bryan Carroll, Steven

The white gorilla sculptures are being sponsored by different businesses, charities and schools who will then get to decorate them before having them displayed across the city.  The event, called Wow Gorillas, is not only a fun and different way for the zoo to mark its birthday and raise funds, but also aims to raise awareness of gorilla conservation projects around the world.

Dr Bryan Carroll, Director of Bristol Zoo Gardens, (pictured between two gorilla sculptures) said in a press release: “We want our birthday year to be a city-wide celebration of all that is great about Bristol and its people.  Our exciting Wow! Gorillas project will showcase the creativity of Bristol while attracting visitors to the city thus stimulating the local economy, and will be the highlight of the year. We hope the colourful sculptures will be enjoyed by thousands of Bristolians and visitors to the city.  As well as being great fun, these gorillas will help convey vital messages about the extinction crisis facing gorillas and the other apes in the wild, and will help support our work to save gorillas and other apes in Cameroon.”

Wild apes, including gorillas are under the constant threat of hunting, disease, and deforestation.  When the Wow! Gorillas display is finished, the decorated gorillas will go up for auction, proceeds going to a local  charity, as well as raising funds for a gorilla conservation project.

Lucy Parkinson, PR Manager for Bristol Zoo told us:

“We have received a great deal of interest from local businesses interested in sponsoring our ‘Wow! Gorilla’ sculptures. They recognise the benefits and returns they will get from being involved in this exciting city-wide project. Since the project launched eight days ago we have received payment from sponsors for four gorillas, and have had a verbal commitment from several other organisations. Dozens more businesses and charities are very interested and we are keen to take this project forward with them, and any other organisations interested in getting involved.”

For more information about Bristol Zoo’s Wow! Gorillas project and on how to sponsor a gorilla please visit www.wowgorilla.org.uk.  As always we will keep you informed as to how the project is progressing, and hopefully show you some of the weird and wonderful designs popping up around the city.

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