Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Daily: January 15

We scour the news so you don't have to

Written by Frieda Ford
Dogs on a Train!
Finally, what we all wish could happen as we sit inside with a dog jumping up on us and rain pouring down outside. This dog can walk itself to the park. Eclipse, a two year old black Labrador from Seattle, regularly takes the bus to walk herself at the local dog park, she gets on and off herself and then meets up with her owner later on for coffee, chats and sniffs, (no prizes for guessing who does what.) Her owner describes her as an "urbanised" dog and that Eclipse likes to stare meaningfully out of the bus window in tense excitement for her stop, therefore walk, to come. This sort of thing doesn't go unnoticed however and there have been many reports of regulars keeping an eye out for this, "bus-riding, sidewalk-walking dog," one who watches her from the shop window. Practical and entertaining, I would really love it if all dogs could take a little lesson from this one.

David Harsent wins TS Eliot Poetry Prize
5th time lucky for David Harsent who was first nominated for the TS Eliot Prize in 1998, but now, 17 years on he has finally achieved more than a nomination, an actual win. It was his eleventh collection of Fire Songs that scored him his first, proud win. The actual winnings of £20,000 are nothing in comparison to the honour and prestige that comes with the prize. Currently a professor of creative writing at the University of Roehampton and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature this is not, by any standard, his first prize. His previous collections include 2005's Legion which won the Forward prize for best collection and 2011's Night, which was shortlisted for the Costa, Forward and TS Eliot prizes and won the Griffin International Poetry Prize. His most recent literature victory has been described, "Fire Songs plumbs language and emotion with technical brilliance and prophetic power." As this year is the 50th anniversary of TS Eliot's death it is an extra special win and even more of an honour.

Rare Video Game nears $100,000
Would does the rich computer nerd type spend his well-earned cash on? Video games, in particular video games that are not opened and will remain in such a state for as long as until someone who isn't such a computer nerd comes across it. The game itself is a 1987 Nintendo Entertainment System game called Stadium Events and it has got to the point in the technological advancements that it can be described as, "historical," just a little fact to make you all feel a bit older than you actually are. This game was listed in 2008 as one of the 25 rarest for Nintendo by Computer and Video Games and although it is, "a terribly average fitness game, its value is due to Bandai printing a test run of the game that was sold in Woolworths stores for a very short period before Nintendo bought the rights." Since the 5th January there have been 32 bids placed on the said item and it has increased in price by roughly $95,000!

The Danes. Truly the Most contented people?
Voted as the happiest country on earth, yes, it is happier even than England, Denmark is a place of great colds, expenses and cheer. First and foremost, work. The Danish's work hours fall strictly between 8am and 4pm and staying late is even frowned upon, as a result of this, the workforce of Danish industries are the happiest and most content according to the latest Eurobarometer survey. Post 4pm, their time is theirs entirely to enjoy, eat Danish whirls, and observe the astounding scenery. However, this fantastical Nordic dream comes at a price and that price is £8 for a pint, if you get the jist. Denmark is ranked as the EU's most expensive country to live in and its inhabitants pay cripplingly high taxes at 50% with the foods and services also costing 20% more than in the UK. Even on top of all of this money spending the Danes, in general, think that it is, (and I personally don't doubt that it is) going to a good place and being spent appropriately. If you are minted enough and have the strength to withstand the cold Denmark is the dream destination for just about anyone who enjoys happiness.

Coca Cola it's history and mystery
Coca Cola, the mega giant product that has dominated the world for a century and a half. Whether you have it with ice or laced with run or even with a dash of cocaine, (if you are from a century ago) the chances that you haven't had when are very slim indeed. It was inspired by a popular drink from 1863 created by a Corsica based chemist, it consisted of Bordeaux red wine infused with a sizeable pinch of cocaine and was said to give an extreme energy boost. The actual drink was first created, however by another chemist called John Pemberton from Georgia, who put it onto the pharmacy shelves labelled as 'Brain Tonic.' In 1943 General Dwight D. Eisenhower dismissed the fears over wartime sugar shortage and placed a contract for six million bottles of Coke per month for the troops. Post war, the popularity boom of junk food helped coca cola climb the ladder of fame once more and by 2005 the average American drinks 11 gallons of fizz per year which is 11 pounds of high-calorie sweetener. Surprised?



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