March 21, 2015

Top News Stories –

Australia unveils 35-year plan to save Great Barrier Reef –
Australia has released a long-term blueprint to try to stem the decline of the Great Barrier Reef following warnings that the famous 1,500-mile stretch of delicate coral reefs could be wiped out by extreme weather and pollution. The 35-year plan is designed to improve the poor water quality and prevent the loss of coral cover in the area, which received a world heritage listing in 1981 and is regularly listed as one of the seven wonders of the natural world. But the area’s deterioration has worried scientists and led to warnings by the United Nations heritage body that it may downgrade the reef’s heritage status to “in danger”. [Daily Telegraph]

Photoshop disaster over a disappearing umbrella in Burma –
Ridicule is raining down on government spin doctors in Burma after they released a publicity shot of a top government minister in which an umbrella had been photoshopped out but a telling shadow gave away their dastardly intervention. The picture is question showed Su Su Hlaing, the country’s deputy minister, disembarking from a plane on Tuesday afternoon at Kaw Thaung airport in the country’s south. It was posted on the Ministry of Information’s official Facebook page in an apparent attempt to boost the minister’s profile. However, internet users almost immediately spotted a glaring mistake. An umbrella-shaped shadow around the minister’s toes suggested she had been standing in the shade of a parasol, yet there was no parasol to be seen in the photograph. The reason for the deletion of an apparently harmless umbrella was not immediately clear. However, the most likely explanation was that a man shielding a woman with his umbrella was something “considered embarrassing for the former in male-dominated Burmese culture,” the The Irrawaddy website speculated. [Daily Telegraph]
copyright  ‏@JonahFisherBBC Twitter ‏@JonahFisherBBC

Six Nations 2015: Ireland title glory delights coach Joe Schmidt –
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said he is “delighted and relieved” after his side retained the Six Nations title. A 40-10 win over Scotland gave Ireland the title on points difference ahead of England and Wales on a thrilling final day of the championship. Wales briefly led the Six Nations standings after hammering Italy 60-21 in Rome, resulting in Ireland needing to defeat the Scots by 21 points to go top. England required a 26-point winning margin over France to deny the Irish back-to-back titles for the first time since 1949, but they came up just short in a 55-35 victory to complete a dramatic triple-bill of action. See List of the Day. [BBC]

Video of the Day –

Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron – TV Spot 2


March 19, 2016

Top News Stories –

Bruce Springsteen signs late note for schoolboy –
As excuse notes go, it is a step up from the “dog ate my homework”. But not all teachers would be impressed with a letter explaining a nine-year-old’s late arrival in class was down to being at a rock concert the night before. So Xabi Glovsky had it signed by Bruce Springsteen. He went to the concert in Los Angeles with his father, Scott, a life-long fan of the Boss. They went armed with a homemade sign. “Bruce, I will be late to school tomorrow. Please sign my note :-)” it said. At the end of the three-and-a-half-hour show, and well after Xabi’s bedtime, Springsteen sent a security guard into the crowd at the Los Angeles Sports Centre to invite father and son backstage. He asked Xabi for the name and spelling of his teacher, before whipping out pen and paper for the note. It read: “Dear Ms. Jackson, Xabi has been out very late rocking & rolling. Please excuse him if he is tardy.” [Daily Telegraph]
Bruce_SpringsteenBruce Springsteen

Six Nations 2016: England win Grand Slam with France victory –
England have their first Grand Slam in 13 years after holding out to secure a historic victory in Paris. First-half tries from Danny Care and Dan Cole had given them a five-point half-time lead, only for the relentless penalty precision of Maxime Machenaud to keep France within touching distance. But a third try in three matches from Anthony Watson calmed rising nerves before a brace of late penalties from Owen Farrell allowed the travelling support to sing their heroes home. It marks a remarkable turnaround for new head coach Eddie Jones, coming just six months after the humiliation of a home World Cup exit at the group stages before he took control. [BBC] See List of the Day

Video of the Day –

2084 from Taz Goldstein on Vimeo.

List of the Day –

Winners of Grand Slams in the Five Nations (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France) and Six Nations (Italy added in 2000) Championship

Nation Grand Slams Grand Slam winning seasons
 England 13 1913, 1914, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1957, 1980, 1991, 1992, 1995, 2003, 2016
 Wales 11 1908*, 1909*, 1911, 1950, 1952, 1971, 1976, 1978, 2005, 2008, 2012
 France 9 1968, 1977, 1981, 1987, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2004, 2010
 Scotland 3 1925, 1984, 1990
 Ireland 2 1948, 2009
 Italy 0


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