BASIC BLACK: I read the news today, oh boy

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Arthur Black

"Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities.  Truth isn’t." - anonymous.

And that’s the truth.  If anyone tried to tell my granddad that in a couple of generations folks would be toting a computer, a camera, a calculator, a calendar, a library and a couple of thousand of their favourite tunes, all in the same shirt pocket, he’d…well, my granddad was never far from his shotgun.  You didn’t want to startle him with stuff like that.

Just a glance at the front page would give Gramps the vapours.  Here’s what I found in my newspaper this week:


Seattle police arrested a man rolling down the street in an office chair last week.  Nothing illegal in that, but he was holding a set of drumsticks, had a hubcap strapped to his arm and was wearing motorcycle goggles as well as, according to the police report “several scarves and purses”.

I am not making this up.  And speaking of makeup:


There’s a story out of England concerning Charlotte Tilbury, a makeup artist for luminaries including Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Lopez and Kate Moss.  Ms. Tilbury knows her job first hand.  She never takes her makeup off.  Ever.    

Well, okay, maybe when she bathes – but that’s the only time and the bathroom door is always locked.  She says her husband of six years has never seen her…naked, as it were.  She gave birth to her son wearing full makeup and she didn’t hold her new baby until she had ‘applied’ her face.

I am still not making this up.  


The Supreme Court in Iceland is locked in heady debate over whether a highway project will be allowed to proceed.  The problem:  the proposed highway threatens to cut through a community and perhaps even destroy a church.

A church for elves.

Icelanders – many of them at any rate -- take their elvishness seriously.  They call their elves ’Huldufolk’ (“hidden folk”) and protection of their habitat has affected national planning decisions in the past.

If we could only encourage elves to take up residence in the Northern Gateway pipeline…


And from elfies to selfies, meet Mick Hobday, a 33-year-old footloose Brit who’s spent the past ten years (and an estimated $64,000) travelling to 63 countries around the world.  Purpose: to take photos of himself eating bowls of cornflakes in exotic settings.  Mick reckons he’s downed about 4,000 ‘brekkies’ in this fashion.

Warning:  If you get an invitation from Mick to come over and look at his travel slides – don’t go.

Organizations: THE MAX, Supreme Court

Geographic location: England, Iceland, Northern Gateway

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