January 22nd, 2006

Postbox Fairy

(no subject)

We are currently having sewerage problems. It's a cliche, but it's one of those things you really don't think about until it goes wrong.

We first had problems flushing the toilet a fortnight ago, and called out a plumber, who said the problem was in the main sewer, and advised us to call the waterboard, which I did, and they came and did stuff and the toilet flushed properly again and that was fine.

Then it went wrong again on Friday, so I called the waterboard again, who came on Saturday morning and we left them to it. We got back Sunday afternoon to find the thing still not fixed, and our patio awash with brownish gunk. Got a call from the waterboard who said they were still trying to sort the issue.

Experimentation showed that the overflowing water level is now sufficiently high that the bath won't drain (and, as our shower is over the bath, that won't either).

I am in need of a wash. Aha! I thought, I will search the internet and find out the most efficient way of strip-washing using a bucket. Never has the First-world bias of the internet been more apparent to me. My searching has turned up links about how to wash your car, links about how to save water by taking a shower instead of a bath, a few links about hand-hygiene in case of a natural disaster, one or two on how to give a bed-bath, a few diaries of people's gap-year experiences that mention it in passing. No practical links at all. I mean, okay, it's not as if I won't be able to figure out something relatively effective by myself, it's just interesting when something equally basic in its way like "how to cook pasta" hits several times on the first page.
Postbox Fairy

(no subject)

www.mosnews.com is an independent English language Moscow news site.

It is obviously run on a fairly tight budget, which means they cannot always afford a photographer. This does not, however, stop them illustrating their stories, either with images grabbed randomly from anywhere on the internet, or when they have a little more time, with a quick hack-up in photoshop.

Consider the following examples
Monkeys go on Hunger Strike in Siberian Zoo
Stray Elephant Reported Wandering St Petersburg Streets
Russian Police Hunt Syringe Stalker
or even
Russian Tire Producer Amtel Plans $250M London IPO (which, to be fair, is a tough one to illustrate)