Charles Nevin: News from Elsewhere

Can you hear a strange, unearthly singing? Believe me, it's just the tip of the iceberg

Share

Well, well, is it Monday already? Great. There are some people, you know, who sit around willing the weekend to go more quickly so they can reach today and my renowned digest of the other news, the stuff that provokes a wry smile which is then replaced by the sensitive, musing look which accompanies pondering the human condition. Well, there must be some people, although something, modesty, I imagine, has prevented them from coming forward so far. Come on, don't be shy, we're all in this together, you know!

No? Very well, suit yourself. I've got a singing iceberg to cover. German scientists have found one operating on the 0.5 hertz frequency. "The tune even goes up and down, just like a real song," says Professor Vera Schlindwein. No details of the playlist yet, but I, naturally, have a few suggestions, starting, naturally, with "Ice Work If You Can Get It", by George and Ira Brrrshwin and "Summer Freeze" by The Icely Brothers.

All right, all right, but not before I speculate on it being signed by the Atlantic label and doing some Celine Dion covers before moving on to a meltingly lovely tearjerker about an over-ambitious iceberg, "Do You Know The Way To San José", by Berg Bacharach. There won't be any dry ice in the house.

Hang on, though: 0.5 is, apparently, undetectable to the human ear, which is something of a minus, marketing-wise. But if your dog starts acting strangely, and then the plates start sliding off the table, I'd take a look out of the window pretty quickly.

Which reminds me: there's been a spate of thefts of chihuahuas in Japan. There has. Police are, obviously, given the circumstances, leaving no stone unturned, but say that, so far, drum roll please, there are no leads. One called Beckham has been found abandoned by the thieves; sent off again, then. Or strayed.

Out of step

More cold weather news, now, and I'm absolutely delighted to report the first sighting of the season of a very old friend: that's right, in Austin, Minnesota, a 25-year-old man has been arrested carrying a television after police followed his footprints in the snow leading away from the house he had stolen it from. Marvellous, gets them every year, you know.

Perhaps we should also mention here the man in Poughkeepsie who was hit on the head again last week by a train pulling into the station, and the absconder in Springfield, Illinois, who attempted his getaway on a ride-on lawnmower.

Pull the other one

Remarkable species, aren't we? Two more top examples from last week: first, the Qigong Iron Crotch Grandmaster, Tu Jin-Sheng, pulled a furniture van several yards with his penis, which is stretching it a bit, if you ask me, while Mr Drew Tillotson of Windsor Heights, Iowa, donated his collection of 15,000 bricks to the town because he was uncertain what to do with them. The town is going to use them to build things with. Good thing Tu Jin-Sheng didn't hear about this, as it might have given him ideas.

Bit of a flap on about birds, too, I notice, at the moment, so I thought I'd better bring you some of the other avian announcements, starting with the meteorologists in Newton Abbot who have been issued with crash helmets as protection against the seagulls that keep attacking them on the roof of the council offices as they go about their business. I know we're having a cold snap, but that's going a bit far, surely.

Not as far as India, though, where in Assam they are appealing for dead animals for vultures. Vulture numbers are in serious decline, it seems. Splendid. I now look forward to Jackal Aid and Mice in Need. Elsewhere, there were a couple of parrot stories, but they are terrific publicity hounds, so I'll conclude in Northlake, Illinois, where Mr Mark Copsy has saved an elderly couple from a blazing car by smashing the windscreen with his frozen turkey.

Kippered

What else, what else? Well, you can imagine my feelings when I heard that there had been a shooting in a dance competition, and when it turned out to have been in Philadelphia rather than on Strictly Come Dancing. Pertinent piece of information bonus: W C Fields chose as his epitaph: "On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."

Oh, and there's a couple of health warnings. First, think carefully if someone asks you to kiss their fish. Mr Alan Binnie declined the offer in Falkirk and was then slapped in the face with it by Mr David Evans, who was given six months and told by the Sheriff that he had "reached the end of the line". Mr Binnie could not recall if the fish was a wet kipper but says better things have happened to him.

Second, after an unfortunate incident in Pittsburgh, female llama owners are being advised not to cuddle the young animals as in adulthood they are likely to treat men as competing llamas; this applies particularly to the ones who have not been castrated. Verb sap, Tu Jin-Sheng, I should have said.

Finally, something else to worry about, when you've got a second: the south polar ice cap on Mars has shrunk for a third successive year. The iceberg is reported to be humming pensively.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Labour's Jeremy Corbyn arrives to take part in a Labour party leadership final debate, at the Sage in Gateshead, England, Thursday, Sept. 3  

Jeremy Corbyn is here to stay and the Labour Party is never going to look the same again

Andrew Grice
Serena Williams  

As Stella Creasy and Serena Williams know, a woman's achievements are still judged on appearance

Holly Baxter
The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea