News round-up: September 13 – 20


Reporter Jack Crone tells us what’s been hitting the headlines this week.


By Jack Crone

It has been a strange and unprecedented week. A woman survived a ‘savage attack’ from an angry tree, suckling Disney sensation Zac Efron entered rehab for cocaine addiction and an MP actually called for the death of national treasure Sir David Attenborough.

Further still, it was reported this week that a primary school teacher gave birth inside her own classroom. After expressing her delight at her new arrival, Mrs Krish-Veeramany stated:

“I’m grateful because otherwise I would have had it in the back of a car.”

With comments like these, questions must once again be asked of the failing NHS.

In other ground-breaking news, Monday night saw footballer John Jo Shelvey play a part in all four goals in a 2-2 draw with his old club. Perversely, it seems the midfielder is actually better for Liverpool when playing against them.

“You just want to get into a hole where nobody can see you,” Shelvey said in a post match interview.

Wise words for such a young man – Joey Barton take heed.

These events aside, there are perhaps two bigger stories to emerge in the last seven days. The first of course – the resurrection of the Costa Concordia, although the term may not be entirely accurate. In truth, the scene closer resembled someone turning over giant road-kill. Apparently, the correct term is ‘parbuckling’. And in the world of parbuckling, this was the equivalent of an 80-year old Japanese man climbing Mt. Everest.

An emotional Nick Sloane, the South African engineer leading the recovery, stated:

“We have done parbuckling before but never like this.”

One can only agree Nick. On Monday night the Concordia, a beastly ship twice the size of the Titanic, weighing nearly 115,000 tonnes, was titled 65% degrees after 18 months stranded off the coast off Giglio. This small Italian island, not to be confused with a much celebrated Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez film, became base-camp for Operation Parbuckle.

Amazingly, at £500 million, the cost of the clean-up job exceeded that of the actual ship. That’s quite a bill for Captain Roberto Bosio, who will reportedly have his wages docked for the next 10,000 years. The clumsy captain is said to have ordered the ship off course so that passengers could wave at people on the shore. Ironic that an order intended to show-off the ship’s splendour led to its very demise.

The operation took engineers from 26 countries working together to successfully turn the boat. Apparently, the rescue may have taken place sooner had it not been for the Russian engineer’s close alliance with the Mayor of Giglio. Indeed, the only loser of this long-awaited haul is surely the island’s tourist board, for whom the ship really has sailed.

What then could be more significant than this?

A week ago, it was reported that Voyager-1, a spaceship launched by NASA in 1977, became the first man-made object to leave the Solar System. The probe, which has now travelled around 12 billion miles from Earth, registered a significant change in its molecular environment suggesting it had indeed entered interstellar space.

If this information sounds like tedious trekky talk – think of this. It is highly likely that this machine will still be travelling through space when humanity has ceased to exist. NASA’s John Grunsfield had this to say:

“Voyager has boldly gone where no probe has gone before, marking one of the most significant technological achievements in the annals of the history of science.”

Despite his interesting choice of words, he is absolutely right. Arguably mankind’s greatest legacy to date, Voyager is evidence of our existence in the Universe. Forget Jesus, forget the Queen, and forget Miley Cyrus swinging naked from a wrecking ball. This is how humankind will be remembered by any race lucky enough to intercept this flying heap of metal.

Photo courtesy of Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer, with thanks.

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