Sula and Fingal apparently have so unnerved their neighbors that an electric fence and surveillance cameras had to be installed so "the living daylights" won't be beaten out of them. Why? Are they a nosy couple? Loud and obnoxious? Neither. In fact, they aren't even people; they're otters. More to the point, they're imported Canadian otters that were brought to the National Sea Life Sanctuary in Oban, Scotland, a year ago to live among their indigenous cousins. Alas, the interlopers, it seems, have a "foreign accent" that confuses the feisty local critters. Said wildlife expert Matthew Evans: "Dialects are common in animal communications." Thus it's difficult for the Canadians to make themselves understood by "the native ones."
In an admitted bow to political correctness, a new adaptation of a classic Victor Hugo novel has undergone a name change even though as "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" it has been been translated into 20 languages for publication and been enjoyed by generations of audiences around the world on stage and screen. Still, after consultations with a "disability adviser," Oddsocks Productions, a British theater company, is calling its version "The Bellringer of Notre Dame" to "cause less offense" to physically challenged people.
First lady Laura Bush is highly popular among Americans, garnering a 69 percent approval rating up from 58 percent last July in a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. A low 8 percent of respondents disapproved of her. (By contrast, President Bush had 70 approval and 20 percent disapproval.) She tied for third place, however, on which recent first lady came closest to the "ideal." The Pew poll's tally:
Hillary Clinton 30%Barbara Bush 26%Laura Bush 19%(tie) Nancy Reagan 19%