Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015
This is the winner of the 'Under Water' category.  It's a Bryde's whale ripping through a sardine 'bait ball' off the Transkei coast of South Africa.  The picture was taken by Michael Aw, of Australia.
In a world as wayward and as unpredictable as ours, things don’t always turn out the way we would have liked.  And sometimes, the world surprises us into laughter or rumination - or even both. 

Which is another way of saying that I reckon it’s about time we had some more….


* A bungling burglar has been jailed for 26 weeks after getting trapped in a petrol station’s security shutter.  Essex police received a 999 call from Paul Davies (47) saying he was stuck in the Asda petrol station in Basildon.  When the burglar alarm went off, the shutter came down and he was trapped under it when he tried to get out.  Ouch.

* Scotland has been found by language researchers to have historically used 421 words relating to snow, dwarfing the number famously used by Inuits.  Definitions listed in the online Scottish Historical Thesaurus include ‘small flakes of wind-driven snow’ - spitters - to ‘a ghostly figure in a blizzard’ - a snaw-ghast.

* A macaque monkey which took ‘selfie’ photographs should be declared the copyright owner of the photos, rather than David Slater, the nature photographer who positioned the camera - or so says the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in a lawsuit filed in San Francisco.

* The Royal Mail has fixed a large sign to a red postbox in Penzance, Cornwall, stating that dogs repeatedly urinating on it pose ‘a significant health and safety risk’.  The company said it would have to remove the postbox if urine continued to soil the letters inside.

* An Indian man who hasn’t cut his fingernails since 1952 has made it into the Guinness Book of Records.  Shridhar Chillal officially has the world’s longest fingernails ever on one hand, with a 2-metre thumbnail.  The 78 year-old’s obsession began when he was at school and a teacher beat him for breaking one of his nails.

* A stowaway kitten which arrived in Britain in the cargo hold of an Emirates jet is set to be re-homed after the airline offered to pay her quarantine fees.  The cat - named Cairo - was found at Birmingham airport in a shipment from Egypt.

* The UK is the best country in the world in which to die, followed by Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, according to The Economist’s latest index which measures end-of-life care.  The index uses 20 indicators to measure the effectiveness of care in 80 countries, placing the UK on top of the world.

And finally…

* An astrophysicist has won the coveted ‘golden spurtle‘ trophy at the world porridge-making championships.  Simon Rookyard, of Tyldesley, Manchester, beat 20 international competitors - including a Finnish biochemist, a Swedish doctor and a South African chef.  The contest was held in the village of Carrbridge, in the Cairngorms.
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