News Round Up

THE Daily Express tells us that an 'astronaut' has been discovered 50 days after plummeting back to Earth!

Major William Wilberforce was a teddy bear which was part of a primary school project and was found by Richard Thompson, ironically a former pupil at the Pocklington Prep School, in a barley field in Raywell, west of Hull.

Richard told the paper: “I spotted the little teddy bear and his parachute as I was about to go over it with the combine.

“When I read the labels and realised he was from my old school, it was quite a surprise."

Major William was blasted into space by pupils as a science educational project. He rose 22 miles above Earth beneath a helium weather balloon, before plummeting back down at an initial acceleration of 32 feet per second once the balloon had burst.

But because of a failure in his GPS tracking system, he lay unnoticed in Mr Thompson's field, which was 16 miles away from the launch site.

Major William lost a leg and had the stuffing knocked out of him during his ordeal but has now been patched up.

Read more: News Round Up 213

HERE'S another example of how dog-crazy we Brits are.

According to the Daily Star, Helen Turner (44) from Burnley in Lancashire, spent £4,000 for a first birthday party for her Chihuahua dogs Salvador and Purdy.

She hired a clown and the event also included face painting, three birthday cakes and even a dwarf.

Helen said: “I wanted to celebrate in style. I chose a Mexican theme because that’s where they originate from. I’d planned all the party games, booked señoritas to serve doggy canapes, planned out the decorations and ordered three cakes.”

Read more: News Round Up 212

APPARENTLY more and more of us want popular songs to be played at our funeral, says the Daily Express.

Research compiled by Co-op Funeralcare, who quizzed 300 funeral directors and 2,000 adults, showed that increasing numbers of people are drawing up their own playlists.

They compiled a funeral song chart which had Frank Sinatra's My Way at the top followed by Time To Say Goodbye by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman, and Over The Rainbow by Eva Cassidy.

Some of those questioned said that they wanted to "raise a laugh" so Monty Python's Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life is a regular choice as well as The Jam's Going Underground.

Read more: News Round Up 211

TELECOMS company BT is running a nationwide competition to find the new voice of the speaking clock.

The BBC reports that the contest will mark the 80th anniversary of the telephone service, which receives 12 million calls a year.

And whoever wins, they will be only the fifth person to give the time "at the third stroke" when people dial 123.

Previous voices have included an actor and a London telephone exchange supervisor.

The speaking clock service, which began on July 24, 1936 and is now called Timeline, provides the precise time, announced every 10 seconds at any time of day or night.

Read more: News Round Up 210

IT seems we Brits prefer to be cremated rather than buried when we die.

The BBC reports on an online survey carried out by YouGov which says 58 per cent prefer cremation compared to 17 per cent of those who would opt for burial.

The survey also showed that 79 per cent want their ashes to be scattered and seven per cent want them to be kept.

Wearing black was seen as a requirement by 22 per cent but 45 per cent said wearing other colours was acceptable, so long as they were "dark and sombre".

A further 29 per cent thought it was acceptable to wear any colour of clothing to a funeral.

Read more: News Round Up 209