Yesterday was a ...

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Bad Day for Garry Kasparov, the world chess champion, who was among half-a-dozen celebrities named by Russian tax authorities as suspected income tax evaders for having not yet filed their tax returns for 1995. The ITAR-Tass news agency quoted an official of the Taxation Police as saying that the time for requesting extensions had passed: "no excuses regarding insurmountable obstacles would be accepted."

Bad Day for a piano, as a concert in Sydney, Australia, was held up when a pencil fell into the Steinway grand. As the audience collapsed in giggles, the conductor banged the keyboard in an attempt to dislodge the pencil, while another musician probed inside the piano with a branch from a floral array on the stage. Finally a member of the audience solved the problem after unscrewing the front cover of the piano with his penknife.

Bad Day for Mr Edward Pimlott, whose letter to the Grantham Journal led to this apology: "In a letter printed in our July 25 issue, Mr Edward Pimlott apparently described himself as a pillock of the community. This was our error. Mr Pimlott described himself as a pillar of the community."

Good Day for robots, as the "First Robot World Cup Initiative" (informally known as "Robocup") opened in Nagoya, Japan, as part of the 15th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. The contest features 40 teams of football-playing robots competing, without human intervention, in a series of football matches on pitches ranging from full-size to tabletop. Names of the entrants include "Hierarchical Fuzzy Controller-Based Autonomous Soccer Player" and "Omni-Directional Soccer Robot with 360-Degree Vision".

Good Day for Malaysia, as a giant Malaysian flag made out of 10,430 floppy disks was hoisted at an exhibition centre in Penang in honour of the country's 40th anniversary of independence. The "Cyber Flag" includes 4,195 red, 4,338 white, 1,620 blue and 277 yellow diskettes, glued together to form a 14-pointed star and crescent. "This is the first ever Malaysian flag made from diskettes, an event Malaysia can be proud of," the Deputy Education Minister said.

Hot Day for penguins, as Edinburgh Zoo applied sun cream to birds which had moulted excessively during the recent unusually hot weather.

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