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Mayor says the decision to reopen Amity’s beaches after 2020’s shark attacks will be based on data, not dates.

Great to talk to you from sunny Amity! And may I give a big Amity Island welcome to anyone watching who has visited our wonderful beaches in the past. I have great news for you!

First, here’s a recap. The first shark attacks were nearly a year ago now, and when Hooper and Quint lost their lives in pursuit of what turned out to be the wrong damn shark, ex-Police Chief Brodie pushed for the beach to be closed for the rest of the summer. The results have been terrible for the town’s businesses: not an ice cream sold or…

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Plan your post-lockdown museum and gallery visits with these government-sanctioned shows!

Museums and galleries around the UK are set to reopen on 17 May under plans recently revealed by the Government.

Of course, this same Government wants to “defend our culture and history from the noisy minority of activists constantly trying to do Britain down.” And it has written to museum and gallery heads to remind them of their ‘responsibility.’

Never fear, though. You can still take advantage of your new-found freedom post-lockdown while adhering to the Government’s cultural prescriptions with this list of acceptable exhibitions and shows!

  1. Keep Calm and Carry On! This much-hyped blockbuster at the V&A brings together…

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Photo: Netflix

What an excavated yoga mat says about the Covid Era.

Well, this is fascinating! In 2120 we archaeologists are finding more and more examples of these objects, as our topsoil recedes and the landfills where previous generations used to dump their waste are detoxified.

This item is of course a yoga mat, and carbon dating puts this example back to the year 2020, the start of the Great Lockdown. And what a tale it has to tell…

Bringing history to life

For the younger students among you, the Covid-19 pandemic is probably just another one of those dinner table subjects that elicits eye rolls and groans when grandparents suggest that kids ‘have it easy…

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Messing with Amazon’s algorithms is one of the few remaining sources of pleasure in the third lockdown.

Admit it. Forget alcohol or exercise: you have a troubled relationship with Amazon.

On the one hand, it’s great. Overnight — sometimes same-day — delivery. Pretty much everything you could want. Low prices. On the other hand, the wracking guilt at being a willing accomplice in the slow death of the High Street. And all that cardboard.

As non-essential shops have been forced to close, Amazon has played an increasingly important role in my lockdown retail experience.

Such is my dependence on the ubiquitous retailer I expect one of its first Prime delivery drones is being readied for flight as…

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Today’s lockdown timetable for students at the (mask-) Free School of covid denial and libertarianism, St Bores.

From the desk of Headmaster Fox, Bachelor of Arts summa cum loudmouth.

  • All lessons will be hosted on YouTube, unless shown otherwise.
  • Mr Farage’s Politics lessons have been cancelled indefinitely.
  • The common room, living room and kitchen — indeed all areas apart from a pupil’s bedroom — are strictly out of bounds.
  • Today’s timetable is as follows.

8.00am Online assembly / Reboot the router

8.10am Class time — CANCELLED due to the late-night, live-streamed staff meeting held around the kitchen table. Self-directed learning should be undertaken instead. Resources: Facebook and Parler.

09:00am Maths, with supply teacher Ms Hopkins. …

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The first lockdown saw nature returning. Now it’s revolting.

A few decades ago, during the giddy long days of the first lockdown, I wrote about how nature was returning as the skies cleared, the roads emptied and McDonald's suspended its hedgerow sponsorship programme, under which it is contractually obliged to pepper every road, path or pavement with its rubbish.

Now, in the middle of a third lockdown, leaving the WFH kitchen table or downtime sofa for a walk doesn’t seem to offer up the same sights and sounds of nature in all its glory.

I appreciate we are in the depths of winter, but it’s one of the warmest…

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‘Lockdown 3.0?’ No thanks. To manage the pandemic, we must find a better way to describe our predicament.

To understand something, one must first give it a name. So if we are ever to get on top of the pandemic, basic agreement around terminology is required.

I’m not talking of the mass confusion between ‘antigen’ or ‘antibody’. Nor am I surprised that nearly half the UK population is unaware what an ‘epidemiologist’ is. Frankly, I’m amazed that one in five can explain a PCR test, given the apparent interchangeability of the words ‘Covid-19’, ‘Coronavirus’, ‘SARS-CoV-2’, or simply ‘The Bug’, in public discourse.

No, the effectiveness of international responses to the Covid-19 pandemic is revealed as much in the…

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How a tech disrupter is helping the newly appointed Minister for Stable Doors to keep the horses from running wild.

The recent decision to close the UK’s borders to control the spread of Covid-19 has been dismissed as ‘closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.’ Having found itself on the back foot and at the wrong end of a well-loved idiom, the Government has turned to the private sector once again, this time to support the work of the newly appointed Minister for Stable Doors.

Of course, the Government’s reliance on private firms to help with everything from Covid-19 testing to track and trace procedures has been controversial. To this end, Maximilian ‘Max Impact’ St John Reason, head…

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To the surprise of its native speakers, English is one of the hardest languages to learn.

It’s odd. English doesn't offer the multiple declensions that students of German must master. Nor does it have an additional nine, hard-to-pronounce letters, like Polish. There is a common belief that the English language has more words than any other, but that's simply untrue: its 500,000 words fall way short of the 1,100,000 words that Koreans have to deal with, or the 800,000 that Finns can muster.

(Indeed, Finns have so many words they can devote one in particular — Kalsarikänni, or ‘pantsdrunk’ —…

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It’s that time of year again. Those lazy days between Christmas and New Year when newspaper space is filled with meaningless lists of films you have already seen, TV shows you have already forgotten and books you will never get around to reading.

This year – this grinning dumb bastard of a year – the lists seem more pointless than ever. Let’s face it: in 2020, fear of missing out has been well and truly trumped by fear of dying out.

While we of course miss our previous social lives, not having visited all the top new restaurants in London

James Tate

A pick and mix of words; now online, better packaged and more expensive, like everything post-COVID. The sour cherries are best. The opinions are my own.

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