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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Things in February [2]

More news nuggets from February's news headlines:

FebruaryA digest of news headlines in February*
  1. Young dinosaurs were prey to a giant frog.
  2. Double-income families are not a modern invention - in prehistoric times, they were the norm.
  3. Lourdes is a massive Roman Catholic pilgrimage site with more hotels than any other French city, except Paris.
  4. Religious police in Saudi Arabia banned the sale of Valentine's Day gifts including red roses.
  5. A Swiss national is serving a four-year jail term in Dubai after three poppy seeds from a bread roll he ate at Heathrow airport were found on his clothes.
  6. A Rio Carnival float which portrayed the bodies of naked victims of the Holocaust was banned after Jewish leaders in Brazil sought an injunction.
  7. A US lawyer has been charged with assault for over-vigorously shaking the hand of a fellow attorney in Florida.
  8. Harry S Truman, former US president, has no middle name - his advisers insisted he insert an initial between his first and last names if he was to have any credibility with US voters.
  9. The mayor of a small town in Texas has resigned after secretly keeping her neighbour's dog while pretending it had died.
  10. Allowing a nine-year-old captive elephant to become pregnant is the equivalent of allowing a 12-year-old girl to become pregnant, animal rights groups say.
  11. A leading US inventor has predicted that machines will achieve human-level artificial intelligence by 2029.
  12. Longevity of life may be influenced by diet, genes and faith.
  13. The age at which we are most vulnerable to depression is 44, while a 70-year-old who is physically fit is, on average, as happy and mentally healthy as a 20-year-old.
  14. Compared to most other western European countries, English pupils are extremely early starters in the classroom.
  15. The Super Bowl, the championship game of America's National Football League (NFL), is the world's richest single sporting event.
  16. Astronomers believe there may be hundreds of undiscovered worlds in outer parts of our Solar System.
  17. Only about 4% of the world's oceans remain undamaged by human activity.
  18. Sewage systems and water mains were one of the great achievements of the nineteenth century.
  19. Every year, the world's deserts produce 1,700 million tonnes of dust.
  20. Australia has apologised for the treatment of the native Aboriginal people.

* (Pictures from left to right) 1. Fidel Castro, the target of many CIA assassination plots, has officially stepped down as Cuba's president; 2. Some 15% of people in the UK seeking help over forced wedlock are male; 3. A detailed map highlighting the world's hotspots for emerging infectious diseases; 4. A rare white stag has been observed on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands; 5. A material that is able to self-repair even when it is sliced in two has been invented by French researchers; 6. The Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who is credited with introducing the Beatles and other stars to ancient Hindu meditation methods, has died.

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