THERE’S A LOT about smoke on the Interweb this weekend. For example, according to Reuters, Buenos Aires, which must mean something like good air, is suffering its fifth day of being engulfed by fumes.
Columnist India Knight, over at the Sunday Times, here, opines that the English smoking ban is wiping out the art of conversation, closing hostelries, and forcing everyone back into their homes, which have become fugged up places. Ms Knight reckons that putative London mayor Boris Johnson will hold a referendum on smoking in the capital, if he wins on the 1st of May next. Johnson apparently got some dosh for speaking to something called the “Tobacco Association” last year. Nothing to do with the sweet smelling plants, presumably. Of which, more, later.
Meanwhile, it seems that the authorities in Beijing, home to the Olympics, have backed down from banning smoking in the capital – one of the most polluted in the world – because the citizens just won’t have it. And China isn’t even a Western style democracy.
In other emission related news, the UK Independent on Sunday is attempting to explain why flowers have lost their scent, here. It’s nothing to do with ciggies, apparently, and everything to do with motor cars. Actually, bees used to like tobacco plants, but that’s before the type that delivered lovely scents have been displaced by varieties that don’t give off scent at all. Weird.
Bee-keepers, like honey bees, apparently a dying breed like tobacco smokers plants, used to use smoke so they could get honey out of the hives. Because bees originally nested in trees, the smell of smoke used to make the bees gorge on honey, which quietened them down a lot so they wouldn’t sting (much), while the bee-keepers took advantage of the honey induced torpor to raid the hives and plunder the honey.
BOGGARDS Rhododendron honey is poisonous. Wasps are not evil. They don’t get nasty until their hives start to break down, and the grubs refuse to feed them sweet secretions in return for the fresh meat the workers have delivered. That’s because the Queen has stopped producing grubs, and there are no grubs to feed the workers. Nature isn’t half red in tooth and claw. ♦