Sunday, November 05, 2006

Chewing Gum Menace!!! Aaaaaaarghhhh!!!

Taken from the wonderful BBC News website.

The five ages of chewing gum, from wrapper to stain on the pavement.

It costs at least 10p to clean up each piece of gum spat out on pavements and roads, and councils sick of this unsightly mosaic of trodden-in gum are desperate to find a solution.

Many and various ways have been tried to encourage people to dispose of their chewing gum more thoughtfully, but often to little avail.

Rare is the chewer who will carefully rewrap their masticated blob of gum and seek out a rubbish bin or, failing that, tuck it in a bag or pocket to throw away later. Instead, that spittle-ridden blob ends up on the pavement, along with germs and bacteria from the chewer's mouth.

And the hinted-at development of biodegradable gum still seems a long way off.

As part of a House of Lords debate this week on whether to tax chewing gum to help pay for cleaning it up, Lord Selsdon, a Conservative life peer, presented his research into the life-cycle of gum.

Stick: Gum starts life in a wrapper with a nice notice on the outside, asking the chewer to "please use this wrapper prior to disposal".

Blob: "It then enters the mouth where, mixed with saliva and often respiratory pathogens - and occasionally blood if you have recently been to a dentist for teeth cleaning - it is masticated and then given its exit in the form of excrement," Lord Selsdon told the house.

London's remains of the day
Projectile: "This excrement is either spat on to the pavement, or disposed of in other ways, and carries with it certain dangers. As it hits the pavement, it is colloquially known as a 'gum turd'. This may retain viruses and bacteria for as long as it is wet."

Flat: It is then squashed by passing feet and wheels and becomes a flat. Those that are cleaned up - at a cost of up to £250,000 for a small city centre - might be steamed, scraped, lasered or doused with chemicals out of existence. According to the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, councils in England alone spent £8.5m in 2005 cleaning up gum.

Stain: But long after its removal - whether by cleaning or erosion over three to four years - evidence of its presence remains as a stain. The result - speckled pavements.

But that is just half the time that it's said to hang around in the stomach if swallowed. Wrong. Gum is, by its nature, sticky, but it passes through the digestive tract just like any other foodstuff. It's more likely stick around longer in your hair. Or on your shoe.

Taken from the wonderful BBC News website.

See how the demise of tobacco and the rise of the 'chewing gum menace' is affecting the film industry.

More 'Chewing Gum Revelations!!'

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Another true story..............

The Smiths were unable to conceive children, and decided to use a
surrogate father to start their family. The day the proxy father
was to arrive, Mr.Smith kissed his wife and said,

"I'm off. The man should be here soon."

Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby photographer rang the doorbell, hoping to make a sale.

"Good morning madam. I've come to......"

"Oh, no need to explain. I've been expecting you," Mrs. Smith cut in.

"Really?" the photographer asked. "Well, good! I've made a speciality of babies."

"That's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat."

After a moment she asked, blushing, "Well, where do we start?"

"Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub,
one on the couch and perhaps a couple on the bed. Sometimes the
living room floor is fun can really spread out!"

"Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work for Harry and me!"

"Well, madam, none of us can guarantee a good one every time.
But if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or
seven angles, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results."

"My, my, that's a lot of .....of.....!!" gasped Mrs. Smith.

"Madam, in my line of work, a man must take his time. I'd love to be in and
out in five minutes, but you'd be disappointed with that, I'm sure.

"Don't I know it," Mrs. Smith muttered.

The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his baby pictures.

"This was done on the top of a bus."

"Oh my god!!" Mrs. Smith exclaimed, tugging at her handkerchief.

"And these twins turned out exceptionally well, when you consider their mother was so difficult to work with."

"She was difficult?" asked Mrs. Smith faintly.

"Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to the park to get the job
done right. People were crowding around four and five deep, pushing to get a good look."

"Four and five deep?" asked Mrs. Smith, eyes widened in amazement.

"Yes", the photographer said. "And for more than three hours, too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling; I could hardly concentrate! Then darkness approached and I began to rush my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling
on my equipment, I just packed it all in."

Mrs. Smith leaned forward. "You mean they actually chewed on your... um"

"That's right. Well, madam, if you're ready, I'll set up my tripod so that we can get to work."


"Oh yes, I have to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big for me to hold for very long.......Madam? Madam?...Good Lord, she's fainted....!"