TATLER'S NEW issue nominates the 250 most wanted party guests on these shores (Pandora, 7 July). That makes you wonder whom the least desirable are... and why?
MORE ABOUT the International Olympic Committee's commercial moves with its famous five rings logo. IOC's new trademark registration covers not just pharmaceuticals - but sponsorship and licensing deals on tobacco and alcohol products too. The IOC may be registering the logo to stop others exploiting it. Or will Sydney's 2000 Olympics be livelier than expected?
CHINESE WHISPERS? First it was I-Ching, then feng shui - now the next cult heading our way from the East is Falun Dafa. Its Hoddleistic premise is that bad karma generates poor health; devotees believe its five meditative exercises create vitality and enlightenment. Falun Dafa now claims more than one million practitioners worldwide. It has been popularised by Li Hongzhi, a 47-year-old former Chinese civil servant. He claims to have learnt qigong (pronounced chi-gung, an ancient Chinese folk tradition that underpins Falun Dafa's belief system), from mountain monks when he was four. Followers are encouraged not to drop out of the rat race "but merely to transcend their ratness." Spirituality Lite as the supplied accessory to an over-extended life? Falun Dafa's organisation has begun posting on the web: this may be one to watch.
THE NATIONAL Association of Ted Heath Burners names 5 November as the day to torch effigies of its hate figure. But its website suggests he should be "tried and hanged for treason, deception and fraud". Is this one for the CPS and Scotland Yard's Cyber cops? Or maybe the flamers would gain more from some compulsory Falun Dafa...
MIKE MYERS is supposedly driving through the English countryside in Austin Powers II. He says to Heather Graham: "You know what's remarkable? That England looks in no way like Southern California." This was filmed on a sound stage in LA using back-projected footage of Kanan Dume Road - in Malibu.
AMERSHAM'S CROWN Hotel has a claim to fame. Four Weddings and a Funeral's crew shot footage in one of its bedrooms (the scene where Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell spend their first night together). The hotel fixed a brass plaque to its door, and the British Tourist Authority put the Crown on the map of UK film locations. But last month the plaque vanished. Staff were mystified. The other day an unidentified male returned the plaque to a receptionist. He claimed "it had become stuck to the back of his folder during a business meeting held in the hotel courtyard." Staff are now really mystified.
A NEW survey of MPs shows that the intake of 97 find Parliamentary IT the worst aspect of working at Westminster. With the passport office's techno troubles now happening elsewhere in Whitehall, perhaps it's coincidental that Parliament's Anorak-In-Chief recently attempted to explain a hideous 72 hour period of Westminster computer chaos in a 283 word e-memo. It blames hardware, software, cable disruption, Dragon switches, air-conditioning, corruption in the dynamic routing table... It's so recondite some recipients suspected a spoof. Guys, next time try this haiku, courtesy debut Panda Point winner Michelle Varney: "Yesterday it worked/Today it is not working/Windows is like that."
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