The Null Device

2000/10/30

Obscure historical fact of the day: The voice reciting Winston Churchill's famous radio speeches is not actually his, but rather that of an actor.

0

Stranger than fiction: Driven from his German castle by neo-Nazis, the last surviving member of the Dracula clan considers moving to Whitby, North Yorkshire, where Bram Stoker immortalised his infamous ancestor.

0

A German professor of medicine claims that one minute of laughter is as good for the body as 45 minutes of exercise. Maybe it's time to cash in your gym membership and buy a season ticket to a comedy club instead?

0

When pigs fly: Two unidentified women managed to take a large pig with them on a first-class flight, by persuading the airline that it was a "therapeutic companion pet", akin to a guide dog. Towards the end of the flight, the pig became unruly, running through the aircraft, squealing and attempting to get into the cockpit, much to the annoyance of other passengers:

"Many people on board the aircraft were quite upset that there was a large uncontrollable pig on board, especially those in the first-class cabin," the incident report stated.

Could this be part of Operation Mindfuck?

0

Some updates on Neil Gaiman's film projects; Neil has apparently started working on the Death script, and will be executive producing a Books of Magic film (which everyone will probably dismiss as a Harry Potter clone). No updates on the Neverwhere movie; then again, there has mercifully been no news on the proposed Hollywood bastardisation of The Sandman either.

0

The new Bruce Sterling novel looks like it could be a fun read.

0

It looks like we're going to have more power outages this summer; if the fact that adding much-needed capacity would be less profitable than forcing customers away and sending out inspectors to fine anyone who runs an air conditioner doesn't do us in, then the firm that runs the generator declaring war on the unions just might. Of course, the shareholders in whose interest the company is run are all in Europe or the US, so they're not the ones who have to swelter, and so all is well with the world.

0

Shoot first, ask later: Responding to the obvious immediate threat of a black man in a devil costume waving a toy gun, the LAPD shoot dead a black actor at a fancy-dress party.

Lee's former girlfriend, Annie Esty, 40, described the actor as a compassionate, reflective person. "His biggest fear was getting killed by cops, because he's a tall black man," she said.

0

The many independent candidates for the US presidency; includes new-age hippies, cranky oldsters, religious fanatics, fascist UFOlogists and some real nutcases.

Alvarez, 40, says that "the world will honor and love me in no time because I am real." As for an occupation, he describes himself as "Liason to Christ's Father." ... Among his more unusual views: the mandatory "castration of all international drug traffickers who are convicted in a court of law" and the government distribution "of marijuana to all retired military personnel over the age of 35 if they so desire to smoke ... [because] it will quilt all the world harmoniously."

0