Roll up, roll up!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dedicated To Serve

A couple who were waiting for their gas supply to be reconnected after a leak, awoke to find that an engineer had called at their home at 3:35 in the morning.

Michael and Catherine Hopcroft had waited at their Bristol home the night before for an engineer to call.

In the morning, they found a card from Wales & West Utilities on the doormat.

A company spokesman said they operate on a 24-hour basis.

The Future Is Now

Japanese company NEC has developed a lightweight, flexible battery that is less than a millimetre thick and can be recharged in half a minute.

It is called the Organic Radical Battery (ORB) and is based on a type of plastic that exists in a gel state.

The gel allows the battery to be extremely pliant, with a thickness of 300 microns.

ORBs could eventually be embedded into devices such as smart cards, wearable computers and intelligent paper.

My Country, My Rules

Venezuela has given the world's biggest oil company, ExxonMobil, until the end of this year to enter a joint venture with the state.

Failure to do so will almost certainly result in Exxon losing its oil field concessions in the country.

Venezuela's socialist government has now signed new agreements with almost all foreign petroleum companies, and after months of pressure from left- wing leader Hugo Chavez most foreign oil firms working there have caved in.

They have agreed to hand over a controlling stake of their oil interests to the Venezuelan state. This means that Venezuela, which has the world's largest petroleum reserves, now calls the shots in what the foreign guests can and cannot do.

In addition, the companies which have signed the new contracts - such as Chevron, BP, Shell and Total - will in future be presented with much higher tax bills by the government.

Much of the oil revenue in Venezuela goes into social projects in shanty towns and poor rural areas.

But the US oil giant, ExxonMobil, is digging in its heels and is so far refusing to agree to the terms of the new deal.

Exxon risks losing Venezuelan operations if it fails to comply.

There is growing unease among foreign energy companies based in Latin America that they may be forced to become junior partners by a string of left wing governments.

In the case of Bolivia and the apparent shift to the left there following elections on Sunday, it is possible that the new government will decide to follow Venezuela's example and renegotiate oil and gas contracts with foreign investors.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Science Is Easy

"If indeed 2005 is the warmest northern hemisphere year since 1860, all this proves is that 2005 is the warmest northern hemisphere year since 1860,"

Fred Singer of the Science & Environmental Policy Project, Washington DC, a “climate sceptic”.

Better Left Unsaid

A computer has been used to decipher the enigmatic smile of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, concluding that she was mainly happy.

It concluded that the subject was 83% happy, 9% disgusted, 6% fearful and 2% angry.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Third Person Quote Of The Week

“That was not vintage Audley Harrison”

Audley Harrison on Audley Harrison

Dollars And Scents

A 500 ml bottle of the world's most expensive perfume costs £115,000 and has a five-carat diamond and an 18-carat gold collar.

Imperial Majesty is made by the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie and is on sale at Harrods department store.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Six Feet Under

China's mining industry is one of the most dangerous in the world, with more than 6,000 miners dying last year.

The booming economy has pushed up coal prices, putting mines under greater pressure to step up production, with mines often found to be operating illegally.

Monday, December 05, 2005

No Title Needed

A south Wales bus driver has spruced himself up for Christmas by having a mini fir tree woven into his hair.

Don’t Believe The Hype

"When it comes to human rights, there is no greater leader than the United States of America, and we show that by holding people accountable when they break the law or violate human rights,"

White House spokesman Scott McClellan

Friday, December 02, 2005

Niche Market

easyWatch is the 15th easy branded business launched by Stelios and the easyGroup in the last 10 years. easyWatch is a partnership with premier watch makers, Zeon Ltd. and will attempt to revolutionise the way consumers use the Internet to buy watches. A great value range of 16 watches from £9.95 pounds are now available exclusively from our website.

There are ranges for men, women and children in many colours, not just our trademark colour orange, for today's consumers who travel and enjoy life whilst being smart about the use of the internet to cut out the expensive margin of the high street watch retailers...

Slippery Slope

The largest indoor snow park in the world opens on Friday in the Gulf Emirate of Dubai.

Built on what was previously desert sand, the slopes are to be covered with manufactured snow all year round.

The area under snow is the equivalent of three football pitches, with runs built inside a giant, slanting metal tube around 25 floors high.

The snow is made by shooting water at high pressure into an atmosphere maintained at around freezing point by coolers both below and above the slopes. This is in comparison to the harsh exterior conditions, where temperatures can reach well above 40C.

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