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I’ve just been browsing the newspaper, and the internet, for some news.  I confess, I haven’t kept up-to-date as much as I should lately, mostly because I’m spending too much time writing to have any time left over for reading. I find I’m just tired of the same old news, day after day, re-hashed and re-packaged.  I did manage to find a few items of interest that you may not have caught up with.  What looms large in the Hobart Mercury may not command  priority space all over the world. 

Turn That Damn iPod Down!

Have you heard, for example, that tens of millions of people will be forced to listen to music on their iPods and other MP3 players at permanently reduced volume!  Apparently the European Commission wants all new MP3 players, iPods, and cell phones to have lower maximum volume levels.  

 High-Tech Vegemite

And speaking of iPods and the like,  those of you who read my articles on Dining Out in Australia will recall my mentioning Vegemite.  Well, the American-owned Kraft company, makers of Vegemite in Australia, have recently conducted a quest for the perfect name for their “new-look” spread, which is said to resemble regular Vegemite with cream cheese.  (I wouldn’t know.)  Anyway, the winning entry, out of nearly 50,000 submissions, is . . .  are you ready for this?  iSnack2.0  I’m not kidding.

Guests Behaving Badly

Be warned: if you behave badly in a hotel room  here, your name could go onto a blacklist and be published on the internet.  The news item says that “guests who trash rooms, throw TVs out of windows, hold wild parties, run naked down corridors and disturb  other guests” can have their details listed on a new website, www.guestsbehavingbadly.com.au.   . . . hold wild parties, run naked down the corridors?  I’m not staying at the right hotels.

Sale Now ON!

This is a little local item, from the want ads.  In Australia the dumps, or landfills, are generally called Tips.  And at many tips, they have what is called a Tip Shop, which sells stuff scavanged from the tip face by workers before it is covered, or more commonly, stuff that is donated.  The Tip Shops often provide jobs for disadvantaged people.  I often take things to the Tip Shop that I no longer want, but don’t want to throw in the trash, like kitchen things that still work . (not clothes)   Items sell for a pittance;  let’s just say, it’s a notch down from Goodwill.  Anyway, I noticed an ad proclaiming “Margate Tip Shop Sale  Everything must go! White goods/electricals 50% off  Books and Toys from 50 cents.  Sale starts Saturday ends Wednesday.   Now Really.

Under Pressure

I just read an article from Reuters “Oddly Enough” about a campaign in London to convince young women to not carry weapons for their boyfriends.  Fair enough.  But I found the following statement a bit alarming:

“Vulnerable young women are sometimes pressurized into storing or transporting the weapons by men they know, or sometimes willingly do so.”    (Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison)

Once I got the image of young women being stuffed into sucky bags and “pressurized” out of my head, I turned my attention back to the article.  I couldn’t help wondering who took the unusual step of naming the person who did the editing.  No doubt it was someone who had a grudge against him.

Brain Food

I expect a lot of you, like me, got a bit excited at seeing the report from Harper’s Index that “The estimated amount of glucose used by an adult human brain each day, expressed in M & Ms is 250.  Well, I can tell you now, I have been neglecting my brain’s health.  Right when I’m using it more than usual!  I’m going to get a plastic box, with dividers, like the ones you put your pills in every day so you don’t forget whether you’ve taken them.  The normal pill boxes are way too small, so I was thinking of something from the hardware store, like what nails or fishing lures are kept in.   And just to be safe (given the high use my brain is getting at the moment) I think I’ll increase the dose to 300 M & Ms a day.  I think my blood chocolate might be a tad low, too.                             MM