Gulls, chimps and dolphins were among the many creatures to make headlines this week – not to mention the ostriches at Westminster who seem to think widespread worker discontent will simply go away.
The strikes situation has now reached the point where we’ll soon have a day of action – about action.
February 1 has been designated “national right to strike day” by the TUC with protests planned across the country in response to the government’s anti-strike legislation.
In the midst of all this sound and fury, guitar legend Jeff Beck died at the age of 78 with tributes flooding in from the likes of Mick Jagger, Robert Plant and Paul McCartney.
Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page once said of Beck: “He’d just keep getting better and better. And he leaves us, mere mortals.”
Earlier in the week, a baby of the world’s rarest type of chimpanzee was born at Chester Zoo.
The zoo has a tradition of naming its chimps after pop or rock stars and already has a Dylan (Bob), Alice (Cooper) and Annie (Lennox) but it had yet to reveal its new addition’s name, although the choice seems obvious.
Flights grounded after glitch
Towards the end of the 1940s, around about the same time Jeff Beck heard an electric guitar for the first time and told his mum “that’s for me”, the Notice to Air Missions system was invented.
Notam, which went down on Tuesday causing all domestic US flights to be grounded, can warn of anything from volcanic ash to a flight being taken by a head of state.
So if, for example, Rishi Sunak decided to fly to New York for private healthcare treatment, Notam would know about it.
The investigation is ongoing but police said there was no threat to the public.
Detection systems were tightened up following the use of polonium to poison Russian defector Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.
It’s a case lots of us now think we’re experts in thanks to the ITVX drama Litvinenko which stars David Tennant doing a funny voice.
Shouting to be heard above the noise
Dolphins are having to do funny voices of their own to be heard above the racket of man-made underwater noise pollution.
A study has found that they turn to face each other and ‘shout’.
I have to do a similar thing in our house when the NutriBullet is on full blast as the January health kick starts in earnest.
One person who probably didn’t spend the festive holidays binge-watching Gavin and Stacey and munching Matchmakers was Sporty Spice Mel C who announced that she’ll be starring as one of the lead dancers in a Sadler’s Wells show in London.
Out in the cold over grit bins
She will certainly be more graceful than “Bambi on ice” which is how residents of Martin Brae in Inverurie described themselves after Aberdeenshire Council refused to give them their own grit bin because the road is “too flat”.
The council explained it gives careful consideration to these matters and that grit bins are provided on roads with a gradient of between 5% and 10% as long as there is no other grit bin within a 200-metre walking distance.
That seems like an awful lot of calculations over a box of gravel but I suppose if they made an exception for one street it would just become a slippery slope… or not.
It’s all very technical, as is a new gadget to reduce the gull population in Elgin.
The town is plagued by large numbers of birds, some of which have attacked people.
Now the loutish gulls have met their match in the form of a sonic device on top of the St Giles Centre.
A trial to reduce the gull population is showing positive results after the number of nests fell from 100 to six.
Elgin Bid are now looking to install another device with each costing around £5,000.
That’s roughly the price of 833 stolen fish suppers, so it’s probably money well spent.