The Rugby World Cup started this morning in Sydney, and as ever, the Australians made a great spectacle of it with fireworks, drumbeats and kids moving in formation to create Rocky, the event mascot.

But the strange thing was that when their prime minister, John Howard, got up to make his opening speech, he was roundly booed by the crowd. Read more ›››

Rio Grande

The row about Rio Ferdinand's 'forgotten' random drugs test is getting out of hand. I think his excuse is pretty lame, and you do have to wonder at why Man United didn't make sure he took the test, but the FA have been totally incompetent. Read more ›››

Mrs P forwarded this to me:

A Charlotte, NC, lawyer purchased a box of very rare and very expensive CUBAN cigars, then insured them against fire among other things. Within a month having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the lawyer filed claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires." Read more ›››

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed down from generation to generation, says "that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount." In business and government, however, more advanced strategies are often employed, such as: Read more ›››

The Tory party announced their new 'big idea' for the NHS at their conference in Bournemouth today. The Patient Passport. The idea is that if someone pays for private treatment, they should get 60% of what it would have cost the NHS to put towards it. The example used was a hip-replacement. This would cost the NHS £5,000, so they would get £3,000, while the NHS would still have £2,000 to treat those who can't afford it. Ten people treated privately and enough to treat 94 on the NHS. Voila, everyone's happy. Wrong. Read more ›››

They're always giving something away at Piccadilly Station. On Friday, it was Bailey's Glide which is a sort of thinned down version of the famous Irish Cream (be prepared to prove that you're a responsible drinker to enter this site - tight security, I don't think). They say that it's longer and not as strong, but then it would have to be if you drink it by the bottle, rather than by the glass. I passed on that one. Read more ›››

The Kiss

The long trailed and much hyped, Todd Grimshaw's smackeroo on whatisname in Corrie was more than a let down. I carry no flame in either direction, but what was the point? A fleeting brush of lips, whatisname all offended? What does it tell us?

Not a lot. Not when compared with the church's debate on homosexuality. That great bastion of morality that is collapsing around its own ears on the subject. And does anyone care? No. Read more ›››

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