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How animals around the world have taken a tip from us to cope with the hot weather | Mail Online


 

Cool of the wild: From sunhats to ice-cream, how animals around the world have taken tips from us to cope with the hot weather

By Nick Enoch

An ice lolly, a dip in the pool, deckchairs… when it comes to cooling off in the hot weather, these animals don’t play by the rules.

As Britain enjoys a heatwave, with the mercury hitting 27c (81f) today, these are just some of the cunning ways our furry friends cope.

And as the pictures below show, it’s not just those here who are feeling the heat – from China to Germany, Indonesia to the U.S., animals are scoffing at what they’ve seen in nature documentaries and trying something a little bit different…

Let sleeping dogs lie: Tara the dog opts for sunbed and parasol to see her through the blistering heat in Britain

Let sleeping dogs lie: Tara the dog opts for a sunbed and parasol to see her through the blistering heat in Britain

Bird bath with a difference: Jacquille the parrot cools down in a tea cup in Costa Rica

Bird bath with a difference: Jacquille the parrot cools down in a tea cup in Costa Rica

One cool dude: Dudu the walrus beats the summer heat in China, at Qingdao Polar Ocean World

May contain nuts: A squirrel gets stuck into a frozen treat in Swindon, Wiltshire

One cool dude: Dudu the walrus beats the summer heat in China, at Qingdao Polar Ocean World; right, a squirrel gets stuck into a frozen treat in Swindon, Wiltshire

I've got this licked: An African lion in Brookfield zoo, Chicago refreshes himself with a block of ice

I’ve got this licked: An African lion in Brookfield zoo, Chicago refreshes himself with a block of ice

Sealion solution: Keepers at Qingdao Polar Ocean World have come up with innovative ways to keep their animals cool

What a hoot: Eski the snowy owl could do with a towel in the New Forest, Hampshire

Sealion solution: Keepers at Qingdao Polar Ocean World have come up with innovative ways to keep their animals cool; right, Eski the snowy owl could do with a towel in the New Forest, Hampshire

Flew what a scorcher! A tufted titmouse suns itself in Massachusetts

Flew what a scorcher! A tufted titmouse suns itself in Massachusetts

Spread the whirred: This chilled dog has found himself a new fan

Chino the donkey enjoys an ice-cream at Pennywell farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon

Spread the whirred: This chilled dog has found himself a new fan; right, Chino the donkey enjoys an ice-cream at Pennywell farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon

Furry nice! A squirrel takes a dip in a swimming pool in San Antonio, Texas

Furry nice! A squirrel takes a dip in a swimming pool in San Antonio, Texas

Does it come in banana flavour? A baboon enjoys an ice lolly at Hangzhou wild animal centre in China

Chilling is seemples: A meerkat at Marwell wildlife conservation park in Hampshrie

Does it come in banana flavour? A baboon enjoys an ice lolly at Hangzhou wild animal centre, China; right, a meerkat at Marwell Wildlife Conservation Park, Hants

To hell with the diet... An orangutan at Ragunan zoo in Jakarta, Indonesia

To hell with the diet… An orangutan at Ragunan zoo in Jakarta, Indonesia

Just follow my lead: Harland the poodle on Southsea beach in Hampshire

It gets my seal of approval: A fur seal relaxes in Stromness, South Georgia Island

Just follow my lead: Harland the poodle on Southsea beach in Hampshire; right, a fur seal relaxes in Stromness, South Georgia Island

White tiger cubs Jeevan and Ashoka cool off in a paddling pool at a safari park in Germany

White tiger cubs Jeevan and Ashoka cool off in a paddling pool at a safari park in Germany

Trunks, glasses and parasol...this pooch looks good - and he knows it

Trunks, glasses and parasol…this pooch looks good – and he knows it

I'll be finished in about nine hours... A young gorilla chews on a block of ice containing fruit at Los Angeles Zoo

I’ll be finished in about nine hours… A young gorilla chews on a block of ice containing fruit at Los Angeles Zoo

Do I look like I want to share? A ring-tailed lemur at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, Herts

Do I look like I want to share? A ring-tailed lemur at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, Herts

Pass the oinkment, dear: Some pigs tan themselves in Cambridgeshire

Pass the oinkment, dear: Some pigs tan themselves in Cambridgeshire

It's bacon hot! A piglet falls asleep in a doll's house deckchair at Pennywell farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon

It’s bacon hot! A piglet falls asleep in a doll’s house deckchair

How animals around the world have taken a tip from us to cope with the hot weather | Mail Online

May 23, 2012 Posted by | Animals, Art, Awards, Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Entertainement, Food, Funny, Health, Holiday, Holidays, Internet, nature, Weird | , | Leave a comment

Live Below the Line BzzCampaign


The Live Below the Line BzzCampaign is a charity campaign and will not have a kit; it’s all about YOU spreading the word and participating if you can. Read the recipes to see if you’re up for the challenge — with the right menu, you shouldn’t have to go hungry! If you decide the challenge isn’t for you, that’s ok — you can still participate in the activities below to spread the word and help make a difference.

 

What is Live Below the Line ?

 From 7th – 11th May, join us living on £1 a day for 5 days to change the way people in the UK think about extreme poverty – and make a huge difference. 

 

  • How to Participate
  • Suggested Foods and Recipes
  • Jono is Living Below the Line

What is Live Below the Line ?

Live Below the Line is an campaign that challenges individuals and communities to eat and drink on £1 per day for 5 days. By exposing participants to a glimpse of some the daily difficulties experienced by the 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty every day, for everything, the campaign provides a unique window into understanding the realities of life for so many.

Through the insights gained over the 5 days, Live Below the Line is assembling a movement of people passionate about making a difference in the lives of those who desperately need it. Through partnerships with various charities, the campaign raises both awareness and fundraising.

If you don’t think you can live off £1 a day yourself, pass on the information and the Live Below the Line website to friends and family who you think will be up for it.

How to Participate

Ready to Take the Challenge?

Are you ready to take the plunge and live off of £1per day? First, eat a giant cheeseburger. All finished? OK, now follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Live Below the Line partner pageand choose one of the 22 partner charities to support, including -Enter your profile details, making sure to add BzzAgent as your network so you can compare yourself to other participating BzzAgents, including Jono.Here are some choices:

 Here are some things you can do to prepare:

 

 

May 5, 2012 Posted by | Art, Awards, Blog, Blogroll, Charity, Food, Health, Money, nature, People, Politics, pollution, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

She rose from Co-op cashier to become the TV star everyone – including the Queen – adored. So why has English Heritage refused Thora Hird a blue plaque?


Come on English Heritage wake up….She was a Star someone to look up to….pity we do not have more people like her today….she was a star for a long period of time not like people today who think they are famous,have no talent and are paid vast amounts of money which they squander very quickly….where are the true stars of today? we live in a society of the 5 minute star…how sad….let us not forget people like Thora Hird true stars of stage and screen…jboy2244

She rose from Co-op cashier to become the TV star everyone – including the Queen – adored. So why has English Heritage refused Thora Hird a blue plaque?

Thora Hird was more than just a national treasure — she was one of the British crown jewels, a walloping great diamond on a firmly knotted headscarf.

When she died in 2003, aged 91, one obituary summed her up perfectly as a cross between the Queen Mum and a Donald McGill saucy seaside postcard.

But she was also a superb character actress and, for many, as host of Praise Be!, the real face of Sunday worship.

Treasure: Thora Hird's 90-year career was not enough for English Heritage

Treasure: Thora Hird’s 90-year career was not enough for English Heritage

So a decision by English Heritage to deny her the honour of a blue plaque isn’t just stuffy and pompous — it’s downright incomprehensible.

When the advisory panel, which includes Stephen Fry, former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion and former Arts Council chairman Sir Christopher Frayling, ruled that Dame Thora’s contribution to theatre might be forgotten in 20 years or less, they betrayed their total ignorance of a career that stretched across an incredible nine decades.

She was eight weeks old when she made her first stage appearance in her mother’s arms. ‘It was the first and only job I ever got through influence,’ she said. (Her father James ran the Royalty Theatre in Morecambe.)

At the other end of her life, she played a centenarian in a Talking Heads play by Alan Bennett, called Waiting For The Telegram. Talk about a lifetime devoted to theatre: Dame Thora packed enough into her career for two whole lifetimes.

It is baffling that English Heritage can’t see this. It’s not, after all, as if accolades weren’t forthcoming during her lifetime. Thora was made a dame in 1993, back when the honour was reserved for theatre heavyweights such as Edith Evans and Sybil Thorndike.

Staying power: Thora Hird and actor Freddie Frinton at the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition at Olympia in 1965

Staying power: Thora Hird and actor Freddie Frinton at the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition at Olympia in 1965

It helped, of course, that she played the Queen’s favourite character in the Royal Family’s favourite TV show, Last Of The Summer Wine.

Thora was Edie Pegden, the hectoring, house-proud president of the local ladies’ coffee morning. Thora’s artful performance delighted in Edie’s snobbish side — when there was company, her voice would lose its coarse edge and turn quite snooty.

Hugely amused, writer Roy Clarke was inspired to base a whole sitcom on the trait — and Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances was born.

Edie’s character was inspired by the socially anxious, lower-middle-class women whom Thora had observed during her early years working behind the till at the  Co-op in Morecambe.

She spent ten years as a cashier, working by day, acting in the evening and learning lines deep into the night.

Potential: This publicity picture of 'actress Miss Thora Hird' was issued in November 1953

Potential: This publicity picture of ‘actress Miss Thora Hird’ was issued in November 1953

She never lost her sense of those humble roots. ‘I scrubbed my mother’s doorstep when I was a young woman,’ she liked to tell reporters. ‘Now go and fetch me mink!’

She married James Scott, a drummer in the theatre orchestra, in 1937, after a four-year courtship, and their only child, a daughter called Janette, was born a year later.

Thora always claimed that, because there were no forceps handy, the midwife used a pair of fish knives.

In later life, her son-in-law was the crooner Mel Torme, and she visited her daughter’s family in Beverly Hills at least two dozen times. She was never tempted to make a home in California, though.

‘There’s no corner shop, love,’ she would say.

Surely the English Heritage committee cannot be prejudiced against her Lancashire accent and working-class humour?

Legends: Thora Hird in June 1970 with comedian Tommy Cooper who collapsed on stage during a live televised show in 1984 and soon after died

Legends: Thora Hird in June 1970 with comedian Tommy Cooper who collapsed on stage during a live televised show in 1984 and soon after died

It’s true that Thora was salt-of-the-earth, while recent blue plaques have been awarded to the sprinkling-of-chopped-tarragon- and-a grated-truffle type: Sir Terence Rattigan, playwright of the drawing room, for example, or the aristocratic Indian poet Rabindrinath Tagore.

Her rejection has provoked outrage among fans. Maureen Lipman, herself a sitcom actress with strong claims for national treasuredom, called the decision ‘imbecilic snobbery’. Tory MP David Morris immediately announced he would table an Early Day Motion in the Commons to force the committee to reconsider.

But it seems unlikely to succeed: there’s a rule applications cannot be reviewed for at least ten years.

The most puzzling aspect is that Dame Thora’s case met the criteria of English Hidebound (sorry, Heritage). The rules state that to be considered blue-plaque-worthy, a person has to have been dead for 20 years or the centenary of their birth has been passed.

The centenary of her birth was reached last year, on May 28: she would be 101 this month.

She had lived and worked in London, moving there when the musical hall star George Formby asked her to audition for a film with him at Ealing Studios, during the Blitz in 1941.

She didn’t get the part, but the test led to a 1942 film called The Black Sheep Of Whitehall, opposite comedian Will Hay. Incidentally, Hay has got a blue plaque, so has the film’s producer, Michael Balcon. And she died at Brinsworth House, a retirement home for actors in South-West London.

Hird is so much a part of her adopted city that she is one of the few actors to have inspired a piece of Cockney rhyming slang.

Popular: Thora Hird pictured in 1987 when she was starring in long running British sitcome Last of the Summer Wine which went for 31 series

Popular: Thora Hird pictured in 1987 when she was starring in long running British sitcome Last of the Summer Wine which went for 31 series

University students who scrape through their exams are said to get a Thora Hird — or third, as in third-class degree.

If that seems disrespectful, you should hear the stories Thora liked to tell about herself.

Alan Bennett noted one of her favourites in his diary — she claimed that when she was a girl growing up next-door to the theatre in Morecambe, an alley ran along the back where the seaside town’s only lady of the night, Miss Nellie Hodge, would take her clients.

One night, Thora heard a man’s complaining voice: ‘Ee Nellie, I wish you’d stop nodding your head.’

‘I can’t help it,’ Nellie replied. ‘You’ve gone and got tangled in me scarf.’

It’s not the sort of tale Thora would have told on Praise Be! — the Sunday evening collection of viewers’ favourite hymns she hosted, which ran for 17 years on BBC1 in the teatime ‘God slot’. Like former Goon Show entertainer Harry Secombe who presented Songs Of Praise, she became an unofficial symbol of the Church of England.

Varied: Thora Hird also appeared in the TV show In Loving Memory, set in an undertakers business, which ran from 1979 until 1986

Varied: Thora Hird also appeared in the TV show In Loving Memory, set in an undertakers business, which ran from 1979 until 1986

It was no stretch to imagine Thora reading her Bible at home and being comforted by familiar verses, or being moved to tears by the plain poetry of well-loved hymns.

Each week, five million people tuned in. She had a wisdom in her voice that was rooted in common sense, something that audiences could recognise and cherish.

It was that quality which Bennett captured in his 1988 short play, A Cream Cracker Under The Settee,  written for Thora.

She played an elderly widow who had suffered a fall. Gradually, in a monologue that becomes mumbled as her life slips away, Thora revealed her fall was the consequence of climbing up on to the furniture, trying to do the dusting.

It was a portrait of abandonment and loss, depicted with such heart-rending pathos that Thora’s postbag was bulging for days after the broadcast with letters from people begging her to come and live with them.

How can English Heritage fail to see how beloved this woman was? And why would they think she might be less warmly remembered in a couple of decades?

A look at recently approved names on plaques provides a clue: they are largely male. So, too, is the committee: seven of the ten, including the chairman, historian Professor Sir David Cannadine, are men.

Glamour: This picture taken in 1966 shows Thora Hird enjoying a night at the fashionable Dorchester Hotel in London's Park Lane

Glamour: This picture taken in 1966 shows Thora Hird enjoying a night at the fashionable Dorchester Hotel in London’s Park Lane

Plenty of plaques have been granted to actors in the past few years. Alastair Sim, a star of Ealing comedies, was honoured with a blue plate at his Hampstead home.

Sim was a lovely, lugubrious comic, but he is hardly a household name — never the star of TV’s longest-running sitcom, for instance.

To test the theory that there’s a sexist bias at English Heritage, I suggested a couple of candidates — both actresses. One was Hattie Jacques, the matron of the Carry On movies. The other was Diana Dors, the only bona fide sex-bomb of British cinema’s golden era.

Both were younger than Thora. Both have been dead for more than 20 years. Both lived and worked in London. In other words, they meet  the criteria.

A spokeswoman for English Heritage admitted last night that neither Hattie nor Diana had ever been considered.

That’s a disgrace. But for a committee that is incompetent enough to deny an honour to the Queen’s favourite actress, it’s probably not surprising.

Or as Dame Thora might have said: ‘Them’s too numb to know they are numb!’

CHRISTOPHER STEVENS compiled The Masters Of Sitcom: From Hancock To Steptoe (Michael O’Mara Books).

Friends: Thora Hird arriving at the memorial service for entertainer Sir Harry Secombe at Westminster Catherdral in October, 2001

Friends: Thora Hird arriving at the memorial service for entertainer Sir Harry Secombe at Westminster Catherdral in October, 2001

She rose from Co-op cashier to become the TV star everyone – including the Queen – adored. So why has English Heritage refused Thora Hird a blue plaque? | Mail Online

By Christopher Stevens

May 1, 2012 Posted by | Art, Awards, Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Charity, Entertainement, Film, Funny, Health, Internet, Just Wrong, nature, People, Star | | Leave a comment

   

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