A British farmer came up with a jokey idea to rent out her goats to liven up video call meetings -- and found an unexpected source of lockdown income. The floppy-eared goats glance curiously as farmer Dot McCarthy holds up a mobile phone to film them eating hay and prancing around in a barn. The video of the goats appears on a Zoom call as three other participants smile and McCarthy tells them the goats' names. Meanwhile, a farm employee is filming another goat in a simultaneous call. Cronkshaw Fold Farm in Lancashire, northwestern England, offers a five-minute appearance by a goat on any video-calling platform for £5 (nearly $7.6 euros). Farmer Dot McCarthy films one of her goats for a Zoom call at Crankshaw Fold Farm in England on Feb 9, 2021. Photo: AFP Customers have their choice of seven different goats on the farm's website, from "highest-ranking nanny" Margaret to cute brown-and-white kid Lulu. "Say you're doing a video call with work or whatever, … [Read more...] about No kidding: video calls with goats boost British farm
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Naomi Osaka of Japan serves during her Womenâ€™s Singles fourth round match against Anett Kontaveit of Estonia on Day Seven of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York City. (photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP) Osaka, the fourth seed, powered past her 14th seeded counterpart 6-3, 6-4 in the late match in an empty Arthur Ashe Stadium at Flushing Meadows. The 2018 US Open champion said keeping her emotions in check was key to dominating the 1hr 12 min match. "For me it's very important because it's quite easy to get down on yourself, especially when you feel like you could have converted so many times," she explained. "But I just told myself that she's a great player she's supposed to hold her serve so yeah just keep pushing." Frustration had got the better of Osaka in the previous round when she threw her racquet during a tie-break. Osaka said she hadn't watched live the incident … [Read more...] about Japan’s Osaka into US Open quarter-finals
There’s nothing worse than a smug so-and-so telling me jokes about how cold it is. I hope they get murdered by a snowman. I hate it when foreigners say, ‘Oh, I’m used to it! I’m from (somewhere unspeakably cold and remote).’ Well! Good for you! Go stand up outside for an hour or so and let me know when to put the snow chains on the motorbike. Among my Western friends in Hoi An, the Irish think this is as cold as back home. The Canadians can’t see what all the fuss is about. The Australians are shocked twice over; once because they can’t get home and twice because they believe they are freezing to death as well. The Europeans are laughing and calling us all snowflakes and wimps. While the weather lately hasn’t been quite like that of Siberia, it has been chilly enough to break local weather records going back nearly forty years here in Vietnam. Sure, it’s winter and all but this is supposed to be the tropics. Fashionwise, natives have reacted by dressing for tea parties at the … [Read more...] about Is it cold enough for you in Vietnam?
Things are looking up for this year. We’re all, Vietnamese and foreigners, anticipating the arrival of vaccines and getting an injection (the ‘jab’) in the near future. Woo-ho! Sure, we’re not out of the woods as far as COVID-19 is concerned and certainly Vietnam’s economic recovery will take a few years more, I suspect. Yet the locals around my neck of the woods in Hoi An, central Vietnam are pretty upbeat and making plans. Whether any of the investment is justified in the present economic climate I don’t know, but that’s not stopping a zillion Vietnamese in my area building coffee shops all over the place, in the faith that domestic tourism, at least, is going to save everyone’s bacon. Strangely, more than a few foreigners have whizzed into the local beach scene with newly opened bars as well. With names that belong more in fantasy novels than in real life such as Comirnaty, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, CoronaVac, EpiVacCorona, and much more still to be bizarrely named, … [Read more...] about Who’s up for the COVID-19 jab in Vietnam?
Paris Saint-Germain's Italian midfielder Marco Verratti (L) is challenged by Brest's French midfielder Bandiougou Fadiga during the French Cup round-of-16 football match between Brest FC (Stade Brestois 29) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at The Francis Le Ble Stadium in Brest, north-western France on March 6, 2021.(FRED TANNEAU / AFP) Red Star, five-time winners of the competition now languishing in the French third tier, struck twice in the last seven minutes to eliminate top-flight Lens 3-2. In Brest, Mbappe returned from a one-match ban and fired PSG ahead on nine minutes, running from just inside the halfway line and drilling a left-footed shot into the top corner from the edge of the area. Julian Draxler set up Pablo Sarabia for a second goal before half-time, the Spaniard sweeping home for the second game in a row having hit the winner against Bordeaux in midweek. Angel Di Maria came off the bench for his first appearance in a month following a thigh injury, a timely … [Read more...] about PSG, Lyon advance in French Cup as third-tier Red Star shock Lens