The Null Device

2001/11/15

Scene from a bus on a Thursday evening, at about 11pm:

A group of about four TEENAGE GIRLS is seated on the seats facing each other towards the front, and talking loudly amongst themselves; one is standing, leaning towards her friends. They are dressed in colorful clothes and several have brightly coloured hair. Across the aisle, an ELDERLY MAN, perhaps of Italian or Greek extraction, is growing annoyed at the amount of noise they're making.

MAN: Shut up.

The GIRL who is standing turns to glare at him; her expression says "no, I will not", or perhaps "fuck you and the horse you rode in on". A moment of silence passes.

MAN: This is bus.
STANDING GIRL: "Kiss this bus"? Why would I want to do that?

The OTHER GIRLS burst into giggling. The MAN glowers at them, irritated.

5

Wildlife experts are concerned that the Harry Potter fad may encourage children to keep owls as pets. Owls can be bought reasonably cheaply, but are not suitable household pets, requiring a lot of attention; as such, we may soon see a plague of feral owls in the suburbs after all the real-life Dudley Dursleys who got owls for Christmas get sick of them and let them go.

harry potter owls unintended consequences 0

Work has been quite busy; I've got a huge pile of exam papers to mark. Getting through them is like cleaning out the Aegean Stables; in some cases, in more ways than one.

1

Several Britons arrested for spying near a military airfield in Greece may have been practitioners of a quaint British hobby: plane spotting:

"I've never seen doctors or judges train spotting," says Mr Richardson, "but people from the highest ranks and best professions spot planes."

espionage plane spotting 0

Details have emerged of Britain's anti-terrorism bill, revealing that it contains draconian new police powers and restrictions on protest activity. The bill makes it a criminal offense to publish details of the movement of nuclear waste trains (which sounds like an echo of China's state secret legislation), and gives the police power to jail demonstrators who refuse to remove masks or face paint, as well as including surveillance powers which have previously failed to pass parliament. Various voices in the wilderness have strongly condemned the new bill, which is expected to be passed into law shortly.

civil liberties surveillance the long siege uk 0