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Saturday, August 1, 2009

That was the week, that was!

First the good news: about 1,500 garden gnomes have been saved from the scrapheap. The collection of small cement people was left behind after the death of an elderly Cootamundra woman, with the new owners of her property not keen on keeping them hanging around. But a solicitor acting for the deceased estate in southern NSW contacted the Australian Gnome Convention seeking advice on how to dispose of the garden ornaments. The convention, established by the Lower Blue Mountains Rotary Club, is held annually in Glenbrook, west of Sydney, and has become the spiritual home for Australia's gnomes. Convention organiser and "gnome master" David Cook said he did not hesitate in organising a rescue party. "We didn't want to see them put in a skip and taken to the tip and all smashed up," Mr Cook said. The four-member rescue team joined with Cootamundra locals, working for almost four hours to load "every square inch" of two vehicles and a trailer. The gnomes will be fostered out to various locations across the Blue Mountains but will be reunited next Australia Day for the sixth annual Australian Gnome Convention. "Welcome gnome!"

In Romania, a teenage girl was electrocuted after dropping her laptop into the bath as she twittered in the tub. Police said they believed Maria Barbu, 17, had tried to plug in her laptop with wet hands after the battery died during a long session on social networking site Twitter as she took a soak at her home in Brasov, central Romania. Beware! Twitter is a killer app!

And here's another killer: recent evidence shows the human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer in women, is poised to become one of the leading causes of oral cancer in men because of changing sexual behaviours. Could somebody please explain this to me?

Remember that self-confessed 'total idiot' who claims to have got lost for twelve days in the Blue Mountains and allegedly lived off seeds and weeds to tell the tale? Afterwards he appeared on the Nine Network's 60 Minutes program, which paid him $200,000 for his story. The teenager and his father Richard Cass had signed with celebrity agent Sean Anderson, who said the pair intended to donate some of the money to his rescuers, however, not one of the many organisations involved in the extensive (and expensive) search have received a single cent. In fact, there are reports the teenager has cut his father out of the television deal and the pair apparently had a fall-out when the kid said he was keeping the money, UK newspaper The Sun reported. Some fathers do have them!

On the homefront, the Government is considering to lower the voting age, allowing 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote. Research has shown that handing out MARS bars is cheaper than $900-cheques.

And why not at the same time up the retirement age? Federal Opposition frontbencher Tony Abbott has urged his Coalition colleagues to support his call for the pension age to be lifted to at least 70. In the Budget the Government announced a plan to lift the pension eligibility age to 67 by the year 2023. But Mr Abbott says the Opposition should go further, and "give people the opportunity to work for longer". He's always been one with words!

As has been good ol' David Glasheen on Restoration Island who's back in the news again: they gave him a haircut and a wash and flew him down to Sydney to inspect some of the "Miss (Always) Right" candidates who want to join him on his tropical island.

Of course, Dave would need to start changing his underpants more regularly than did astronaut Koichi Wakata who is returning to Earth still wearing the same pair he had on when leaving a month ago.

And while on the subject of mad hatters and strange dress-behaviour, 335 years ago, Phillipe, Duke of Orleans, was born. He was brought up as a woman, and used to lead his troops into battle wearing high heels. But you knew that already, didn't you?