Besides the conundrum of Great Britain’s extended exit or Brexit from the European Union, they manage almost daily to come up with harebrained happenings that certify our colonists’ belief that breaking away from the “Mother Country” was the right decision.
Scientists at the University of Portsmouth (England) joined with counterparts in the Ukraine to demonstrate the safety of agriculture in areas around Chernobyl. Gone, but not forgotten, is the 1986 meltdown and fire at the nuclear plant that caused the largest release of radiation and radioactive material ever.
Professor Jim Smith, a professor of environmental science, has spent years studying the long-term effects of radioactivity in the region. He believes that the area needs a “shot in the arm” to show it is capable of sustaining rich agricultural production.
The “Plan,” using grain from a less-contaminated zone, is to produce hundreds of bottles of labeled “Atomik Vodka” and to contribute 75% of the profits to the community. The World Health Organization has predicted that radiation in the area might cause 4,000 cancer deaths. According to The New York Times, about 6,000 people have been treated for thyroid cancer since the explosion 33 years ago.
Perhaps, Professor Smith might better put his talents to work at a Scotch distillery in Scotland.
The Church of England has taken questionable steps to correct its loss of membership – down to 14% from 31% in 2002. The church is endeavoring to pull in people by projecting a more-inclusive, less-forbidding image to, in effect, “celebrate” the whole of humanity.
But does a 55-foot-high Helter Skelter amusement slide inside the Norwich Cathedral do the trick? The attraction offers riders a view of medieval carvings in the ceiling that heretofore could only be seen at ground level. The ride winds around a base as it traverses its downward spiral, letting patrons see scenes from the Bible as well as the carvings.
Litchfield Cathedral in the West Midlands has a space theme installed in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing in its interior. At Peterborough Cathedral in the Midlands, large models of the moon and Earth are hanging from the rafters.
From Aug. 1 to Sept. 1, visitors to the Rochester Cathedral in southeastern England could play mini golf in the church’s medieval nave. Some of the inspiration for the “ornate” happenings came from Michaelangelo’s handiwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Well, fun is fun, but as for me, I’ll go to Six Flags or Disney World and pray that I can survive their best roller coasters.
Elsewhere in news from Britain, Leonard Durkin, 71 of Leeds, England, was a huge fan of Burger King. He got his dying wish on his homeward-bound drive when the hearse carrying him stopped at his favorite drive-thru and a double bacon cheeseburger was placed upon his coffin where it remained until his cremation, both well done.
The heading of a number of newspapers in England and Wales in August was a message that Britain intends to fight “Knife Crime” with takeout chicken. Say what? More than 300,000 chicken boxes from over 200 outlets are carrying printed messages from reformed knife offenders in an effort to reduce the number of young people carrying knives.
The incidence of guns is extremely low in Britain, but there were approximately 43,000 offenses committed with knives in the year ending in September 2018, according to newly published reports.
In fact, it has become a political problem for newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Conservative and Labor parties are at each other’s throats. The Labor Party calls the “Box Plan” racist because they say, “Black people love fried chicken” and that is who they say Johnson is aiming the message at.
It reminds me of the comment made May 1, 1992, by Rodney King in Los Angeles who was severely beaten by white Los Angeles policemen. King said, “Can’t we all just get along?” I guess we can’t.
Robert D. Campbell lives in Newburyport.