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TOM UTLEY: If it’s true dogs grow to resemble their owners I yearn for mine to turn into Tom Muttley

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tom utley if its true dogs grow to resemble their owners i yearn for mine to turn into tom muttley

By an unhappy chance, Minnie spotted the horse a moment before I did — and before I could reattach her lead she was off like a bolt from a crossbow, racing across the park towards this strange animal as fast as her little legs would carry her.

I lumbered along behind, puffing and panting, pleading with her to stop and see sense.

But it was no good. While I saw the horse as a mighty beast that could kill her stone dead with a single kick, she viewed it only as an exciting new playmate.

By the time I caught up with her, she was dancing around it, yapping and jumping as high as she could, which was no farther than its knees.

For 60 seconds or so, all seemed well. The enormous, sleek, black horse was remarkably placid. It just stood there snorting, waiting patiently for somebody to get rid of this infuriating little animal — half Jack Russell terrier, half miniature dachshund — barking at its ankles and wagging her tail like a metronome.

But there’s only so much provocation a self-respecting equine can stand. As I struggled vainly to grab our wretched dog, the giant began kicking out. Indeed, for a terrifying two minutes on Tuesday morning, it looked as if Minnie was not the only one whose life was in danger.

How long, Tom Utley asks, will it take before his dog Minnie exhibits more of a resemblance to himself... and becomes Tom Muttley

How long, Tom Utley asks, will it take before his dog Minnie exhibits more of a resemblance to himself... and becomes Tom Muttley

How long, Tom Utley asks, will it take before his dog Minnie exhibits more of a resemblance to himself… and becomes Tom Muttley

The horse might also kick me in the head and unseat its rider, sending him tumbling and possibly breaking his neck. Before we knew it, our idyllic autumnal walk in Dulwich Park, South London, could turn into a bloodbath.

And such might have been the outcome, had it not been for the kindness of a formidable woman who happened to be passing. She was carrying a huge bag, which she swung around to shoo Minnie away from the horse’s hind legs.

‘You little idiot!’ she boomed, and I couldn’t have put it better myself. ‘You’re just a tiny little dog and that’s a colossal horse. It could kill you in an instant!’

Though Minnie had ignored the commands and entreaties of her master, she responded to the authority of this passer-by, stopping in her tracks for just long enough for me to seize her and put her back on the lead.

With profuse thanks to my saviour — and profound apologies to the horse’s rider, who took the incident far more philosophically than Minnie or I deserved — we went on our way, my heart thumping. By the narrowest of margins, disaster had been averted.

But, my God, I could do with fewer of these excitements as my 67th birthday approaches.

So I draw great comfort from this week’s study, led by Eotvos Lorand University in Hungary and published in the journal Scientific Reports, which found that the personalities of dogs and their owners evolve in similar ways as time passes.

Just like human beings, say the researchers, dogs go through distinct phases in life, becoming less excitable, less inquisitive and less fascinated by new experiences as they grow older.

After studying 217 border collies aged between six months and 15 years, they concluded that ‘middle-aged’ dogs were far less interested in exploring a strange room, while puppies would inspect every cranny or bound off to investigate the slightest noise.

The report’s co-author, Dr Lisa Wallis, of Liverpool University, says: ‘People and dogs are more alike at different ages than people might think.

Minnie, Tom Utley's dog, is half Jack Russell terrier, half miniature dachshund. A study this week found that the personalities of dogs and their owners evolve in similar ways as time passes, much to the relief of Tom

Minnie, Tom Utley's dog, is half Jack Russell terrier, half miniature dachshund. A study this week found that the personalities of dogs and their owners evolve in similar ways as time passes, much to the relief of Tom

Minnie, Tom Utley’s dog, is half Jack Russell terrier, half miniature dachshund. A study this week found that the personalities of dogs and their owners evolve in similar ways as time passes, much to the relief of Tom

‘Middle-aged dogs may be less excited about novel objects and environments because they have lived a bit, like we have, and know that things which seem exciting at first don’t lead to much.’

Intriguingly, the study finds that dogs even go through a ‘teenage’ period, becoming less active between the ages of one and two, while the over-twos tend to look for their owners and follow them far more often than puppies. Owners of hyperactive, super-inquisitive puppies can rest assured, say the scientists. Their pets will calm down, given time.

Well, here’s hoping. I long for the day when Minnie will come to me when she’s called and trot obediently at my heel, instead of darting off every couple of seconds to annoy picnickers or chase joggers and squirrels, sometimes disappearing for what seems like hours as she investigates an interesting new smell.

All I can say, as we look forward to her second birthday in a couple of weeks, is that she shows not the slightest sign of calming down or growing up. Indeed, despite our tireless efforts to train her, she still gets me into trouble, time after time, as she has ever since we adopted her from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, where she had been taken as a stray when she was five months old.

It’s not that I don’t love her. On the contrary, as Mrs U will testify, I’m besotted. It’s just that at my age, I’m growing tired of retrieving her from neighbours after she has squeezed through the tiniest gaps in our fence, and apologising to parents in the park when she has leapt up to lick their children’s faces or steal their ice-creams.

How much longer must I wait, if dogs and their masters really develop in similar ways, for Minnie to adopt one or two character traits of my own?

Tom Utley: When will Minnie develop my sense of self-preservation — call it cowardice if you must — instead of challenging Rottweilers to games of tag, squaring up to vast foxes or nibbling at the fetlocks of gigantic horses in the park?

Tom Utley: When will Minnie develop my sense of self-preservation — call it cowardice if you must — instead of challenging Rottweilers to games of tag, squaring up to vast foxes or nibbling at the fetlocks of gigantic horses in the park?

Tom Utley: When will Minnie develop my sense of self-preservation — call it cowardice if you must — instead of challenging Rottweilers to games of tag, squaring up to vast foxes or nibbling at the fetlocks of gigantic horses in the park?

When will she becomes lazy, like me, instead of fizzing with energy all day like the Duracell bunny on speed? It exhausts me just to look at her, tearing around the garden at 100 mph, imploring me to play tuggy or throw her squeaky ball for her, a thousand times a day.

How much longer must I wait before she grows world-weary, content just to veg in front of the telly or lie quietly at her master’s feet in the pub, as other dogs do, instead of ecstatically greeting everyone who walks in, tangling her lead around chair legs and demanding attention from all?

When will she develop my sense of self-preservation — call it cowardice if you must — instead of challenging Rottweilers to games of tag, squaring up to vast foxes or nibbling at the fetlocks of gigantic horses in the park?

I know, I know, I should have realised what a handful we were taking on when I surrendered to Mrs U’s pleas for a puppy to replace her beloved Matilda, our Jack Russell-Springer cross, who lived to nearly 18.

I acknowledge, too, that daily walks with Minnie have been good for my waistline. Through her, I have also met scores of fellow dog-owners. Indeed, I have probably had more pleasant conversations with strangers since we acquired her than in all the years before my semi-retirement put together.

She has made lockdown far more endurable than it might otherwise have been and I wouldn’t part with her for the world. So, yes, I understand the current huge surge in demand for canine companions.

Just one word of warning to readers approaching my advanced years who may be tempted to adopt a puppy: if you dream of a peaceful, drama-free retirement, think again. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Finnair is selling business class meals in a local supermarket

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finnair is selling business class meals in a local supermarket

Finland’s national carrier, Finnair, has started selling its business class meals in a supermarket to prevent job cuts at its catering unit due to Covid-19.

The airplane meals have quickly turned into a hit, Finnair said, with 1,600 meals sold within days at the supermarket, which is located near Finnair’s main hub – Helsinki Airport. It plans to sell in more outlets.

‘There are redundancies and layoffs going on already at Finnair and we are trying our best to find new innovative ways,’ head of Finnair Kitchen Marika Nieminen told Reuters.

Finnair has started selling its business class meals in a supermarket to prevent job cuts at its catering unit due to Covid-19. Pictured is the carrot and cheese mousse starter (€5.90) and smoked char main €12.90

Finnair has started selling its business class meals in a supermarket to prevent job cuts at its catering unit due to Covid-19. Pictured is the carrot and cheese mousse starter (€5.90) and smoked char main €12.90

Finnair has started selling its business class meals in a supermarket to prevent job cuts at its catering unit due to Covid-19. Pictured is the carrot and cheese mousse starter (€5.90) and smoked char main €12.90

The meals are currently being sold at the K-Citymarket Tammisto in the city of Vantaa. 

For €5.90 (£5.36/$6.97) customers can buy the roasted carrot and blue cheese mousse with hazelnuts starter. 

There are two main dishes on offer, a smoked char with chanterelle risotto and beef with teriyaki-radish sauce, spring onion and rice. Both are €12.90 (£11.71/$15.24). 

The two main course options are available throughout the week from Monday to Sunday, with the appetiser available from Friday to Sunday. The menu will change every two weeks. 

‘We have had very much positive feedback from our customers and this product has become one of the best-selling products in our store,’ Kimmo Sivonen, a shopkeeper at the supermarket said. 

While Mika, a customer at the store, added: ‘In this desperate remote work environment this is a small, nice taste of normal life.’  

Finnair says it plans to introduce new dishes, including reindeer meat from Finnish Lapland and Japanese-style pork shoulder, for supermarkets. 

Finnair Kitchen head of product development, Juha Stenholm, said the food’s high quality justified the relatively high price for a packed takeaway meal.

Finnair, Finland's national carrier, said last Tuesday it would cut around 700 jobs by March 2021

Finnair, Finland's national carrier, said last Tuesday it would cut around 700 jobs by March 2021

Finnair, Finland’s national carrier, said last Tuesday it would cut around 700 jobs by March 2021

‘Our unit is focusing on business class food so … premium raw materials,’ he said. 

In 2017, the airline stopped outsourcing its catering services by buying LSG Sky Chefs, a company that operated at Finland’s main airport, from a Lufthansa subsidiary and renamed it Finnair Kitchen.

A year later, Finnair Kitchen produced some 12,000 meals a day, but the numbers collapsed when the Covid-19 pandemic hit air travel.

Finnair said last Tuesday it would cut around 700 jobs by March 2021. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Coronavirus UK: Student fined £6,600 for failing to quarantine

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coronavirus uk student fined 6600 for failing to quarantine

A student has been fined £6,600 after being caught breaching self-isolation rules by posting a picture of herself eating out on Instagram. 

Carys Ann Ingram, 22, failed to quarantine on arrival to Jersey from Manchester, visiting a restaurant, a friend’s house, and shopping, a court heard.

She was seen in the seafront area of First Tower of the island and then at El Tico restaurant in St Ouen’s Bay, where she shared a pictured to her social media.

Ingram flew into Jersey on a flight from Manchester to visit family on October 12 and failed to isolate until she had received a second negative test, which was due to be taken on day five.

Carys Ann Ingram, 22, failed to quarantine on arrival to Jersey from Manchester, visiting a restaurant, a friend's house, and shopping, a court heard

Carys Ann Ingram, 22, failed to quarantine on arrival to Jersey from Manchester, visiting a restaurant, a friend's house, and shopping, a court heard

Carys Ann Ingram, 22, failed to quarantine on arrival to Jersey from Manchester, visiting a restaurant, a friend’s house, and shopping, a court heard

Three days after arriving from the city, which at the time was an amber zone, she was caught shopping in St Helier in her first breach.

It was later found that someone sitting near her on the flight had tested positive, and so she was contacted and told she must self-isolate and would have to undergo a further test eight days after her arrival.

The authorities made a number of attempts to contact her at her home address but they got no answer.

The El Tico restaurant in St Ouen's Bay, where Ingram shared a pictured to her social media

The El Tico restaurant in St Ouen's Bay, where Ingram shared a pictured to her social media

The El Tico restaurant in St Ouen’s Bay, where Ingram shared a pictured to her social media

Locals and tourists in pavement cafes and artisan shops in Halkett Street by St Helier Central Market in Jersey, Channel Isles (before covid-19 times)

Locals and tourists in pavement cafes and artisan shops in Halkett Street by St Helier Central Market in Jersey, Channel Isles (before covid-19 times)

Locals and tourists in pavement cafes and artisan shops in Halkett Street by St Helier Central Market in Jersey, Channel Isles (before covid-19 times)

She was caught breaching the regulations four times – when out shopping, out for a meal at a restaurant, visiting a friend’s house, and not being at home when the enforcement team visited her. 

Ingram, of Salford was finally reached by phone by the Contact Tracing Team and subsequently arrested.

She pleaded guilty to two counts of breaching self-isolation regulations and was fined a total of £6,600, a fine of £600 for the first breach and £6000 for the subsequent three – with the alternative of 24 weeks imprisonment.

First Tower, Jersey, where Ingram was seen breaching the covid-19 quarantine rules

First Tower, Jersey, where Ingram was seen breaching the covid-19 quarantine rules

First Tower, Jersey, where Ingram was seen breaching the covid-19 quarantine rules

The Strategic Lead for Contact Tracing, Monitoring and Enforcement, Caroline Maffia, said: ‘It is regrettable that someone should endanger the health of other Islanders after being informed of the need to self-isolate.

‘This fine demonstrates that we will pursue prosecution for those found flouting the law. Anyone identified as a direct contact of a COVID positive person must understand the importance of following public health advice and abiding by the law.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Apple iPhone 12 drop test shows it’s ‘most durable smartphone ever’

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apple iphone 12 drop test shows its most durable smartphone ever

Apple’s new iPhone 12 boasts a Ceramic Shield that the tech giant says is ‘tougher than any smartphone glass’ – and Allstate put this claim to the test.

The American insurance company dropped both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro on a rough sidewalk from six feet in the air.

The smartphones were landed face-down, back-down and side-down to see if the shield actually provides up to four times the drop protection, as Apple has stated.

The tests reveal that the improved display helped the iPhone 12 withstand the drop ‘significantly better’ than the iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy S20 families, and Allstate says the ‘iPhone 12 is the most durable smartphone’ they have tested.

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The tests reveal that the improved display helped the iPhone 12 (pictured) withstand the drop ‘significantly better’ than the iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy S20 families, and Allstate says the ‘iPhone 12 is the most durable smartphone’ they have tested

The tests reveal that the improved display helped the iPhone 12 (pictured) withstand the drop ‘significantly better’ than the iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy S20 families, and Allstate says the ‘iPhone 12 is the most durable smartphone’ they have tested

The tests reveal that the improved display helped the iPhone 12 (pictured) withstand the drop ‘significantly better’ than the iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy S20 families, and Allstate says the ‘iPhone 12 is the most durable smartphone’ they have tested

Apple revealed the new iPhone 12 family on October 13 during an livestreamed event, saying the smartphones has a new design with rounded edges and a Ceramic Shield that ‘increase drop performance by four times.’

The shield adds more protection using a new high temperature crystallization step that grows nano-ceramic crystals within the glass matrix.

Allstate set out to see just how durable the new design is with a series of Breakability Drop Tests, which dropped the devices three different ways onto a sidewalk.

The iPhone 12 landed face-down for the first test, which caused a few small cracks and scuffed the edges.

Allstate dropped both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro on a rough sidewalk from six feet in the air. The smartphones were landed face-down, back-down and side-down to see if the shield actually provides up to four times the drop protection, as Apple has stated

Allstate dropped both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro on a rough sidewalk from six feet in the air. The smartphones were landed face-down, back-down and side-down to see if the shield actually provides up to four times the drop protection, as Apple has stated

Allstate dropped both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro on a rough sidewalk from six feet in the air. The smartphones were landed face-down, back-down and side-down to see if the shield actually provides up to four times the drop protection, as Apple has stated

‘This is significantly better than both its predecessor, the iPhone 11, and the Samsung Galaxy S20,’ Allstate shared in a press release.

The iPhone 12 Pro, which is 25 grams heavier, cracked across the lower half when dropped in the same manner.

However, the device was still functioning as normal – and the insurance company said it still outperformed the iPhone 11 Pro.

The iPhone 12 landed face-down for the first test, which caused a few small cracks and scuffed the edges

The iPhone 12 landed face-down for the first test, which caused a few small cracks and scuffed the edges

The iPhone 12 landed face-down for the first test, which caused a few small cracks and scuffed the edges

The iPhone 12 Pro, which is 25 grams heavier, cracked across the lower half when dropped in the same manner

The iPhone 12 Pro, which is 25 grams heavier, cracked across the lower half when dropped in the same manner

The iPhone 12 Pro, which is 25 grams heavier, cracked across the lower half when dropped in the same manner

The next portion of the study dropped the smartphones back-down.

The iPhone 12 was ‘virtually unscathed,’ but the iPhone 12 resulting in loose glass because it is not designed with the shield on the rear.

‘The damage was not catastrophic, and the iPhone 12 Pro functionality did not appear to be impacted,’ Allstate shared.

The next portion of the study dropped the smartphones back-down. The iPhone 12 was ‘virtually unscathed

The next portion of the study dropped the smartphones back-down. The iPhone 12 was ‘virtually unscathed

The next portion of the study dropped the smartphones back-down. The iPhone 12 was ‘virtually unscathed

The iPhone 12 resulting in loose glass because it is not designed with the shield on the rear. ‘The damage was not catastrophic, and the iPhone 12 Pro functionality did not appear to be impacted,’ Allstate shared

The iPhone 12 resulting in loose glass because it is not designed with the shield on the rear. ‘The damage was not catastrophic, and the iPhone 12 Pro functionality did not appear to be impacted,’ Allstate shared

The iPhone 12 resulting in loose glass because it is not designed with the shield on the rear. ‘The damage was not catastrophic, and the iPhone 12 Pro functionality did not appear to be impacted,’ Allstate shared

The final experiment dropped the devices on their sides and both only suffered minor scuffing along the edges after hitting the rough sidewalk.

Jason Siciliano, vice president, and global creative director at Allstate Protection Plans, said: ‘The Ceramic Shield front is a huge improvement.’

‘That said, both phones were damaged when dropped on a sidewalk.

‘Given their hefty repair costs, we encourage everyone to use a protective case and treat their new iPhone 12 with the care you would give an expensive camera.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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