Americans can't count seats either
Three American exchange students did little to enhance the credibility of their country's voting system by failing miserably to count the number of chairs in the auditorium on a German television game show.
In a less-than-subtle dig at the United States' failure to produce a president-elect after almost a week of recounts, host Thomas Gottschalk Saturday gave the three students an hour to count the seats—and got answers ranging from 1,860 to 2,077.
The mass-circulation daily Bild could not resist reminding readers how Republican candidate George W Bush accused his Democratic opponent Al Gore of using "fuzzy math" in his campaign assertions.
Swallowed whole and stuffed
An otter swallowed whole by a 90-pound anglerfish will be mounted in a display at a Norwegian museum along with the gaping-jawed sea denizen that consumed it. The otter, a land mammal which usually does quite well diving for fish, more than met its match in the anglerfish, caught in turn by a fisherman who found the dead six kg (13 lb) otter in the belly of the beast netted near Aalesund, west Norway.
"Both anglerfish and otters are great hunters...But this fish was almost over-qualified as a fish," Jan Einarsen, director of the Atlantic Sea Park in Aalesund, west Norway, told Reuters on Thursday.
He said the otter—intact since the fish was trapped shortly after gulping down the mammal whole—and the fish would be stuffed and made into an exhibit at the park.
Pulling Off a sock
Food connoisseurs looking for a new Nordic dish will be tasting reindeer tongue this winter, although fans of Santa Claus may find the delicacy hard to swallow. Finland's game chef of the year, Jyri Hanninen, Thursday recommended that enthusiasts of the meat cook up his latest recipe for reindeer tongue toast.
"When the tongue is cooked right, the skin slides off like you were pulling off a sock," he told Reuters.
"It's a very soft and fatty meat and needs to be seasoned well, but at its best it tastes even better than steak."
Hungary will make it blatantly clear to the EU that the country wishes to become a member state as soon as possible—by sending a giant letter to European Commission President Romano Prodi! The eight-by-four metre letter, which would requires a rather large stamp if posted, will be delivered with a special truck.
George W Bush is more impulsive than Al Gore and will not be as good a partner for Russia if he becomes US president, a Russian astrologer said Wednesday. "He is not able to be versatile in the same way as (Russian President Valdimir) Putin or Gore in building relations with those around him," Alexander Zarayev wrote in the weekly Argumenti i Fakti.
He said Bush had a desire to achieve results quickly, which could lead to conflict with Russia's plans. He also said Bush's astrological chart showed him to be a person prone to being impulsive and not always thinking through his actions.
The astrologer also said serious changes in the global arena, with regard to America in particular, would force Putin to operate more dynamically. "In general, in 2001, we will see another Putin—he will be more decisive and focused."
Robert L Salvato, 18 November 2000
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