Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shcools with no pupils

Two more primary schools in Wales are technically open despite having no pupils. Last week Education Minister Leighton Andrews said Carmarthenshire council's decision to keep Capel Iwan, near Newcastle Emlyn, open was "bonkers."

Now Gwynedd and Ceredigion councils have confirmed they each have a primary school without pupils.

The councils said both would now be closed after parents had withdrawn their children. Although Ysgol Abergynolwyn near Tywyn in Gwynedd and Mydroilyn Primary School near Llanarth in Ceredigion were earmarked for closure in the future, they were due to welcome pupils back in September. But parents have decided to send their children elsewhere.

Both councils said the statutory process to close them was now underway. Most staff at the schools have been redeployed, although a caretaker is still employed at Ysgol Abergynolwyn for an hour each day.

Both authorities, however, will still need to fund maintenance of the schools. Ceredigion council said the costs were "relatively minimal - but difficult to quantify precisely, at this stage".

Carmarthenshire Council came under fire recently after it emerged Ysgol Capel Iwan would open next term even though it had no pupils. Parents of the five children due to return to the school in September withdrew their children amid concerns it would be closed the following year.


Workers have misspelled the word school on a road approaching a high school in North Carolina in the US.

Crews painted "shcool" on the approach road to Southern Guilford High School.

The road had been recently repaved and crews were working to mark out the school zones.

The company that was responsible said it had "made a mistake" and it would be fixed. A spokesperson said the paint was "interim paint" used before the final paint is applied.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Korean Soccer fans are Chinese actors

The paranoia of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il seems to know no bounds. Case in point – in Brazil’s 2-1 win over North Korea today, ESPN analyst Martin Tyler made a rather odd observation.

Tyler claimed that a group that appeared to be North Koreans, weren’t actually North Koreans, but rather “handpicked Chinese Actors.” Reports have said these “fans” were Chinese actors, acting on behalf of China as a way to support its long-time ally. Roughly 1,000 Chinese citizens, “including musicians and actors, to cheer for the North Koreans,” the report said.

They were conspicuously missing from the North Koreans match against Nigeria last Sunday. But they made it to today’s match.

One can only speculate why the North Koreans have to borrow fans, but can the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il really be so paranoid not to allow any real North Korean to come and support their own athletics teams, fearing they might want to move to South Africa?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fat ambitions

A New Jersey woman is waging a campaign to become the world's heaviest living woman, admitting that she is as hungry for attention as she is for calorie-rich food.

Donna Simpson, 42, weighs more than 600 pounds (272 kg) and aims to reach 1,000 pounds (455 kg).

The mother of two children, ages 3 and 14, models on a website called, where admirers and the curious can pay to watch videos of her eating greasy foods or walking to the car.

She has appeared in television interviews and said she welcomes media coverage.

A Guinness World Records spokeswoman said Simpson has submitted a claim for the title of world's heaviest woman to give birth, a claim that is being reviewed.

Among the heaviest women ever recorded was one who reportedly weighed 1,800 pounds (816 kg) and another who reportedly weighed 1,200 pounds (545 kg) at the time of their deaths.

Simpson said she has received a book offer and wants her own reality show, partly to give plus-size women more confidence. She wears size XXXXXL clothing, which she buys mostly online, and calls herself a member of the "fat acceptance community."

World's biggest burger

An Australian cafe is claiming a world record after cooking a giant hamburger with an 81 kg (178 lb) patty that took 12 hours to cook and four men to flip.

The monster burger cooked up by Sydney cafe owners, Joe and Iman El-Ajouz, weighed in at 90 kg in total, eclipsing the previous record of 84 kg, set in Michigan in the United States.

"Just flipping the patty was the main challenge for us, but it all went well," Iman El-Ajouz told Reuters.

"My husband had to prepare special metal holders and a metal plate, he had one at the bottom one at the top, locked them together and they flipped the burger with that," she added.

The giant burger contained the giant beef patty, 120 eggs, 150 slices of cheese, 1.5 kg of beetroot, 2.5 kg of tomatoes and almost 2 kg of lettuce all topped off with a special sauce on a giant sesame seed bun. It was eaten by employees at the cafe.

The variety of burger will be on the menu at the cafe for the next year in order to meet the conditions for a Guinness world record, but will set hungry patrons back around A$1,500 ($1,220).