News Round Up

by Patrick O'Connor

FANCY wearing a pair of 'green' jeans?

The Daily Mail reports that a chemist and a fashion designer have created environmentally-friendly denim which removes harmful emissions in the air.

Apparently, the jeans are coated with particles of titanium dioxide, which reacts with light and air to neutralise nitrogen oxide – the pollutant emitted by vehicles and factories.

The by-product – harmless, water-soluble nitrates – wash away when the trousers are laundered.

Professor Tony Ryan, a chemist at Sheffield University, and Professor Helen Storey, of the London College of Fashion are the brains behind the new idea.

Professor Ryan said: “If thousands of people used the additive, the result would be a significant improvement in air quality.

“In Sheffield, for instance, if everyone washed their clothes in the additive, there would be no more pollution caused by nitrogen oxides.”

Shock! Horror!

When children trooped into the Cineworld cinema in Nottingham they were looking forward to enjoying the cartoon antics of characters from Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.

But what they got, according to the Daily Mirror, was something entirely different for the projectionist had accidentally loaded the gruesome horror flick Paranormal Activity 4!

The film opened with a flashback to the first Paranormal Activity – featuring a woman’s bloodied corpse being hurled at the big screen.

The petrified kids dropped their popcorn and fled the cinema in tears.

A spokeswoman for Cineworld said: “There was technical error with the projector. We apologise sincerely. All the customers were offered refunds and complimentary tickets.”

I see the health and safety meanies have struck again.

The Sun reports that children attending a fancy dress Halloween party in Treuddyn, North Wales were banned from bringing toy broomsticks, scythes and devil tridents.

Community group leaders told parents the youngsters — aged five and under — might hurt each other if they brought along pointed objects.

A note publicising the two-hour disco at a primary school I read: “Spooky disco in the school’s hall. Fancy dress optional. Under fours must be accompanied by a parent. For safety reasons there will be no broomsticks, devil tridents, scythes etc.”

One parent said: “Health and safety is becoming a nightmare, overtaking everything.”

There is a saying that dog is man's (or woman's ) best friend and a tale in the Mirror backs that up.

When 18 year old Aysha Perry, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire choked on a piece of chicken, Sheba, her four year year old five stone Japanese Akita dog, came to the rescue.

Aysha was choking so badly in her home that she was struggling to reach for her phone to call an ambulance but Sheba, who had been sleeping in the kitchen, bounded in to save the day.

Aysha said: “She whacked me on the back with one of her huge front paws and the piece of chicken flew out.”

Get out of our town!

Coffee giants Costa have withdrawn plans to open up a shop in the Devon market town of Totnes.

There are already 41 independent coffee shops in the area and the residents of Totnes rallied round in protest.

The town has a population of 8,336 and the Daily Mail reports that a petition attracted nearly 6,000 signatures. Protest marches and meetings were also held and now Costa has abandoned plans for a 70 seat cafe.

In a statement on their website, the campaigners said: “We are impressed Costa has taken the time to understand our town, its economy and the 5,700 people who signed the petition asking Costa to reconsider.

“This is a major milestone for local communities and is a day when the value of localism comes into its own.”

Costa managing director Chris Rogers said: “In making this decision Costa has recognised the strength of feeling in Totnes against national brands and taken into account the specific circumstances of Totnes.”

Glad to be back....not!

When TV presenter Fiona Phillips went back to her old school to help celebrate it being rebranded as an academy she didn't quite follow the script.

Instead she launched into a blistering attack, claiming that Millbrook School in Southampton had

transformed her from a promising pupil into a “vile teenager”. She said it crushed her aspirations and left her with just one O-level.

The Daily Express story reveals that Ms Phillips added: “I went in and said I wanted to be a doctor and they said ‘Have you thought about hairdressing?'”

She continued: “It was a school rampant with hormones and no discipline, no aspiration and no encouragement. I can remember being in classes throwing furniture around. We locked a fashion teacher in a cupboard and threw one over a bush, and that was normal behaviour.” Ouch!

You could be excused for thinking you're seeing double if you visited De Aston School in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire.

The Daily Mirror says the school has 20 twin brothers and sisters. Twelve of the sets are identical and six are in the same year.

Head of Year 7 Victoria Davies said: “I have managed to tell the difference between four of the six – but I’m still working on the other two.”

She added: “We’re looking to get name badges for their blazer lapels so we can tell who is who.”