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The skinny

The skinny

The skinny: Brits look at what has made them laugh

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha

brits look at what has made them laugh

Some countries overthrow their politicians. Some endure them. In Britain, they just laugh at them. Here's proof: The British sense of humor is on display in a new London exhibition that charts 300 years of sticking it to the high and mighty, from the biting political satire of William Hogarth to the sheer silliness of Benny Hill. "Rude Britannia," which opens Wednesday at the Tate Britain gallery in London, is not just for laughs, though. On the serious side, the feast of irreverence and bad taste asks whether there is a distinctively British sense of humor. Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair will be happy to know that Robert Walpole, a politician widely regarded as Britain's first prime minister, also suffered the humor of cartoonists.

Birds of a feather

My, that country club looks inviting

Maybe it had something to do with the grass looking greener. When the famous cliff swallows of Mission San Juan Capistrano made their annual return from Argentina to the historic Southern California church, they flew right past it this spring, choosing to make their nests at the ritzy new Vellano Country Club in Chino Hills, about 50 miles away. "I saw a few one day and then it's like they went and told all their friends, 'Hey, I found the spot,' " facility director Travis Blaylock said. The accompanying sudden rise in bird droppings has meant a quick response by Blaylock: He keeps six extra shirts in his office.

Ah, the Nightlife

Casual stroll, with police in pursuit

On a lovely night in Zurich, Switzerland, Sabu the elephant decided to take a break from the circus and go for a stroll, which set off a bit of chaos. She was chased through city streets for an hour by police and animal specialists before being captured unharmed Sunday night. Along the way, she took a dip in a lake, ambled along a posh shopping street and passed the headquarters of financial giants Credit Suisse Group and UBS. Admiring onlookers recorded the unusual scene.


Police website now enemy of police

Computer network designer Brian McCrary was quite upset when he got a $90 speeding citation after he was captured by a traffic camera in Bluff City, Tenn., this year. So when the police department let its website expire, there was McCrary to grab it. He paid domain provider Go Daddy for the rights to and now shows a smiling cartoon police badge clutching green currency. The website also posts gripes from others who've been cited. Police Chief David Nelson says the force slipped up.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources

The skinny: Brits look at what has made them laugh 06/07/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:11pm]
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