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On crack-addicted squirrels, healthy grizzlies, a spa in the Himalayas, Malibu bacteria and stellar tourism

Crack-addicted squirrels
Brixton squirrels are said to have given up nuts for crack, or so the urban myth has it in South London. The police are not aware of the issue, but residents speak of rodents with blood-shot eyes desperately looking for small chunks of cocaine supposedly hidden in flower-beds by dealers and addicts.

Sources: "South London Squirrels after Different Kind of Stash" The Guardian 8 October 2005; "Squirrels Go Nuts on Crack" The Sun 26 October 2005.

Healthy grizzlies
Growing by 4-7% a year, the grizzly bear population in Yellowstone National Park (Montana) is now approximately 600, the healthiest it has been in the last 30 years. The Federal Fish and Wildlife Service intends to remove the bear from the list of threatened species, amidst widespread local criticism.

Source: "As Population of Yellowstone Grizzlies Grows, Further Protection Is Up for Debate » The New York Times 26 September 2005.

A luxury spa in the Himalayas
The Ananda health spa, 260 kilometres North of New Delhi, was voted the World's Number One Destination Spa in the Condé Nast Traveller 2005 Readers' Travel Awards held in London.

Source: "Chasing a Real Ananda" The Hindu 24 October 2005.

L.A.'s bacteria bath

This summer, Los Angeles coastal waters contained the highest levels of harmful bacteria measured in the last five years, The blame lies in sewer spills, pet waste, fertilizers, oil and other pollution washed off lawns or pavements and ultimately into the sea.

Source: "L.A. County Beaches Were State's Most Unhealthful This Summer" The L.A. Times 27 October 2005.


A not-so-rough guide to stellar tourism
Eric Anderson, President and CEO of the world's only operating space travel agency, Space Adventures Ltd., will publish the first travel guide to the stars in November.
So far only three private citizens have become space travellers but Mr Anderson hopes his handbook will be of interest to future candidates and armchair astronauts alike.

Sources: AFP, "Guide out of this World" The Washington Times 17 October 2005; "A Millionaire Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" USA Today 13 October 2005.

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