Mystery miasma

On thursday I spent the day checking the soles of my shoes for unpleasant dog-related substances as everywhere I went it seemed that I could smell a faint tang of excrement. But before you start emailing me with smart remarks, it turns out that I wasn’t the only one plagued by the smell – Polly told me the next day that she had noticed it but hadn’t mentioned it in case no one else had, and on Friday our local paper, the Bristol Evening Post, ran a report on page three about the “nasty nif” hanging over the city centre. One interviewee descibed the smell as “rather like when they muckspread on farms”, which was pretty much spot on if you ask me.

Although Wessex Water, the local water utility company, claimed that nothing in their system seemed to be amiss, they agreed to send someone in to investigate. Although some kind of trouble with the sewers seems like a fairly likely explanation, there’s fun to be had thinking up alternative explanations. Perhaps some incompetent terrorists attempted to poison the city only to find out too late that their arms dealer was having a bt of a laugh and instead of Sarin he’d flogged them several cylinders of joke fart gas. Who knows – send me any better ideas, if you have ’em.

One interesting thing that came of the smell was the reference in the Evening Post article to the delightfully Fortean “Bristol Hum”, a low-frequency noise heard in Bristol and other places in the world allegedly the result of noise pollution by traffic and factories, but is still viewed by many as a mystery. Let’s hope that the “Bristol Stench” doesn’t persist for quite so long.

Atlantis in Andalusia

Missed this story on the BBC website the other day: A journal called Antiquity has published a paper by a Dr Rainer Kühne in which he makes a case for the culture which inspired Atlantis having been in Southern Spain.

Dr Kühne argues that some satellite photos of the area show structures similar to Plato’s description of the legendary city. In addition, he compares historical accounts of conflict in the mediterranean between the Sea Peoples and the eastern countries with Plato’s accounts of the Athenian-Atlantean war and Plato’s descriptions of Athens during this period with the archaeolgical record.

For information; I’m not qualified to comment.

Puma(s) loose in Ulster (2)

Following up on my earlier post, my friend Gavin (who happens to hail from the part of the world in question) provided some remarks in the comments and pointed me towards coverage in the Belfast Telegraph:

Despite air searches by the RAF spotter planes and police marksmen attempting to track the beast through forests in rural north Antrim, the wild cat has so far evaded capture.

Moulds taken from prints left by the animal in a field outside Portrush were examined by experts at Belfast Zoo, who have confirmed that there is a wild cat running wild on the north coast.

There have now been more that 20 positive sightings of the dark brown big cat, which has been described as a cougar, a puma, a panther or a mountain lion.

So it appears that there really is an ABC prowling around up there. Not only that, but it seems there’s some concern that the animal in question could turn on a human with little compunction, and there has been no luck in catching the beast thus far. So watch out if you’re planning on taking a walk through any lonely stretch of north Antrim over the next few weeks 🙂