VIDEO: TOPICS - Magpies deadly infamous

SO. Newcastle’s magpies might star in a show about the world’s deadliest animals. Take that, readers who said our maggie fear was irrational. 

Maybe now you’ll accept our theory about nippers being a well-disguised pickpocket gang who are behind every car theft at the beach. But that’s another story.

A YouTube video of swooping magpies at New Lambton, filmed and produced for the Herald by staff photographers Darren Pateman and Dean Osland, has caught the eye of the people at National Geographic.

The footage does include an interview with an expert, who says magpies aren’t so scary. But take our word for it. They’re up there with piranhas.

Nat Geo Wild channel’s World’s Deadliest is a Monday night fixture in the US, and features predators from the anaconda to, um, whichever one starts with Z.

Their researchers have expressed interest in the clip, and we’ll keep you posted on whether the New Lambton maggies make primetime.

This all gives us the perfect excuse to show the magpie video again.

You can see it at theherald.com.au. Now be vigilant. Swooping season is only eight and-a-half months away. 

Bowing or crashing

BEEN watching the tennis? And reading about it? Here’s something to look out for in media reports.

With a bit of imagination, you could possibly devise a drinking game around it (not that we condone the irresponsible consumption of alcohol beyond recommended daily limits).

When an Australian player gets eliminated from the Open, often a first-round occurrence, they ‘‘bow out’’. As in, ‘‘a brave Lleyton Hewitt bowed out last night in straight sets’’.

Overseas players, especially eastern European ones who’ve underperformed, ‘‘crash out’’.

‘‘Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov failed to live up to the hype once again as the 21-year-old crashed out of the Australian Open in the first round.’’

We wonder if an early exit by Bernard Tomic would be a bow or a crash.

Hat-trick umpire

WE like an umpire with a sense of theatre, but we’re not sure a young batsman at Newcastle University on Saturday did.

The third grade fixture between Uni and Wallsend had drifted between drinks breaks on a day when the roads shimmered and everyone’s boots filled with sweat before play.

After tea, it came to life. The visitors lost three wickets quickly, including two in two balls, which brought to the crease a lad who couldn’t have been older than 14.

The lad took guard. The fielders crowded close enough that he could smell them. 

The bowler turned at the top of his mark, and the umpire stuck out an arm.

‘‘The bowler’s right arm over,’’ the umpire called down the pitch. ‘‘There are two balls to come and, no pressure, but it’s a hat-trick ball.’’

The lad, to his eternal credit, nodded, and strode forward and blocked it back down the pitch.

Scorching activities

THE next one of those soul-sappingly hot days, we promise to put down our mojito, sit up in our hammock and spare a thought for Branxton.

Nancy, from East Branxton, has given a harrowing account of what Branxtonians went through last Saturday as the mercury topped out at 44 degrees.

The power at Nancy’s house blacked out at 5.45pm and didn’t come back on until 12.45am. Ouch.

Nancy said: ‘‘I wondered, do I go to bed and roast or do I sit up and roast and hope for a breeze?’’

Nancy’s household was deprived of aircon, TV and even the mundane privilege of doing the ironing.

‘‘It makes you realise how dependent you are on electricity,’’ she said.

 We should be ready for the next time the power goes. 

Which activities that don’t require electricity (stop smirking) can you turn to in a blackout?

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