You have to feel for the editors of online, print and broadcast news on days like today. Faced with a seemingly insatiable demand for ever-more unique content, it must be a nightmare when there’s just not enough news to fill the available space. It seems that today was one of those days, at least if these three stories are anything to go by.
Venice ‘bans’ wheeled suitcases
This is a fantastic (literally, it subsequently transpires) story that has been quietly gaining traction on a number of internet news outlets, and was finally picked up by the BBC over the weekend (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30151781). It appears that sleep-deprived Venetians are being kept awake at all hours of the day and night by tourists wheeling noisy suitcases over the city’s
historic pavements. Not only are these insomniac tourists keeping residents awake, however, but they’re also doing irreparable damage to the ancient paving stones with the constant wheeling of their suitcases. The report suggests that the city authorities were proposing a Eu500 (£390) on-the-spot fine for any tourist found wheeling a suitcase around the city following the introduction of new laws that would come into effect in May 2015. The most intriguing aspect of some of the reports was the suggestion that suitcases with liquid-filled wheels would be allowed under the new regulations, as they would be quieter and less disruptive to the delicate sleep patterns of local people. The only problem is, such wheels haven’t been invented yet (and would presumably only be allowed if the liquid was less than the 100ml allowed to be taken onto a flight in the first place)!
The Politically Correct Christmas Jumper
The Christmas Jumper has become a phenomenon in its own right over recent years, with all the main high street chains (and many independent retailers too) seeking to outdo one another in the gaudiness and gaucheness of their seasonal creations. Now though, one company has taken the Christmas jumper into hitherto uncharted territory by seeking to create something that is both uttely tacky AND religiously, politically and spiritually fully-inclusive! (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/news/oh-come-all-ye-multifaithful-the-christmas-jumper-is-in-fashion-but-should-you-wear-your-religion-on-your-sleeve-9877873.html)
Truly, the only thing that is offensive about this jumper is the colour scheme! (Don’t forget to wear your favourite, awful Christmas jumper with pride on National Christmas Sweater Day, 12th December 2014, and raise some money for a deserving cause even while causing migraines in your fellow-workers!)
Finally in this round up of the wild and wacky news of the day, the Guardian reports on research from the US that should be a warning to us all (especially you – yes, you – reading this on your iPhone!). Apparently, the added burden that we place on our neck and upper spine through spending large parts of the day staring at smartphones and other similar devices risks leaving us all in terrible danger of causing permanent damage to the bone structure and muscles in those areas. (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2014/nov/24/text-neck-how-smartphones-damaging-our-spines)
On the plus side, though, there’s a good chance that the cancer that we contract from the radiation exposure from the devices will kill us before our necks snap*.
*I may have made this last bit up…