Now, where did I put my keys?

This has to be one of my favourite stories today: a student who wanted to avoid being taken home from a party swallowed his room key. To make matters worse, the next morning he didn’t know anything about it and started looking for it.

Does it sound too unbelieveable? Well, he has the X-ray photo to prove it.

Don’t try this at home!

How would like your rat, sir?

It has to be said, that although I haven’t tried these things myself, I’ve read and seen quite a bit about different animals being eaten in other parts of the world.
Being a fan of Bolivia, I’ve heard a lot about cuy, or guinea pigs, even though I never saw them offered for sale during my time there.
I also vividly remember Michael Palin on this 80 days trip travelling through China and eating snake.
But today an article caught my eye, that I just had to write about: eating rats.
It’s the sort of thing that I normally associate with starvation – eating rats as a last resort.  The siege of Stalingrad comes to mind.
So why is a popular tourist destination like Thailand suddenly serving up so many of the things?  The article doesn’t really offer much of an answer to that question – but there must be one.  How else could someone sell 100kg of rat meat in one day?  Come to think of it, that must be a large pile of rats to start off with.
They may say that it tastes better than chicken, but at the moment I’d rather not find out.

The Mediterranean cable break

I can still clearly remember the days when calling Australia from the UK meant avoiding peak times to try to get a free line, and then the delay in the conversation because the copper wires only relayed the speech at a particular speed. You had to wait for the reply from the other end, much like talking on a CB radio.

With the increase in the number of phone calls being sent by satellite, the number of lines increased and the delay disappeared. These days I even use Skype to call far-flung parts of the World.

But wait a moment, Skype is internet-based- does that go by satellite too?

Probably not. The internet communications around the World are relayed from one country to another, with undersea cables playing an important part.

So having an undersea cable go wrong can be a disaster (see this article). It’s amazing to think that so much is still relies on these cables – or in this case how much relies on a single one. The technology has advanced so much in recent years – the cables may now carry fibre-optics and not copper and they are better protected against the salt water, but at the end of the day they are still being laid in the same way around the globe and are still susceptible to the same problems.

I wonder how much disused cable is down there?

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