Mark Hodgson takes a look at the lighter stories from the month gone by …
Quidditch takes off in the UK
Ever fancied playing quidditch like Harry Potter? Well now you can, sort of. The first official match in the UK took place last month – as Keele University beat Leicester University 2-1.
Teams of seven have to get “quaffles” through hoops while avoiding dodge balls known as “bludgers”. The flying snitch is a neutral player dressed in yellow with a tennis ball attached to them.
As no one has mastered flying on broomsticks yet, the players have to run around with sticks or brooms between their legs.
And although this may be the first game in the UK there are more than 400 teams playing in the USA.
Poo’ve been caught!
We all know how annoying it is to stand in dog mess. Now one council is considering using DNA testing to find the dogs and owners responsible.
The Lancashire council is in talks with a forensic vet about the idea to try and deal with the problem of dog fouling on pavements and in parks.
The idea has been used in America and Europe successfully. But there might be practical problems with the plan as to get dog DNA – which you would in a database to be able to identify the culprits – you would need DNA from all the dogs in the area. To do this you would need the owner’s consent.
It’s not the first time the council has taken a hard line on dog mess. Last year they tried to get the government to raise the maximum fine for it from £75 to £1,000.
Strange campaign strategy
Sunderland University’s students union held elections last month, but thankfully none of them made the same mistake as one Oxford University student who tried to win votes by boasting about her breasts.
The former model, who was trying to become Oxford Union Librarian, wrote on one of her flyers: “I don’t hack, I just have a great rack.”
In a draft manifesto for the position she also wrote that she was committed to helping students “pull” after organising a sell-out event for Valentine’s Day.
The campaign was widely criticised by students at the university.
Punished for poor grades
We all know that nerve wrecking moment of picking up exam results, but how would you feel if your parents were going to make you go out in public wearing a sign saying how you had done.
Well that is the punishment one seventh grade pupil in the USA had to endure after he took a report card home to his parents which said he was failing three subjects – it also said that he liked to be the class clown.
The front of the sign said: “Hey, I want to be the class clown. Is it wrong?” While the back said: “I’m in 7th grade and I got 3 F’s. Blow your horn if you think there’s something wrong with that.”
Cream if you want to stop
Researchers in America say that craving for ice cream can be as bad those experienced by drug addicts.
The study found that people eating ice cream in the same way a drug addict would use cocaine were left wanting more.
They found that “high-fat” or “high-sugar” foods changed the way the brain responded.
The survey was conducted by giving teenagers milkshake with ice cream and they those who had eaten the most ice cream enjoyed the milkshakes less.
This article was published in the April 2012 edition of Spark Magazine – you can see it here.