It is reported that Facebook blamed a technical problem after its Burmese to English translation program translated Chinese President Xi Jinping’s name as Mr S***hole.

It’s known that Winnie Pooh is banned,
In China, right across the land,
Because he looks a bit too much,
Like Xi Jinping in Greek or Dutch.

But maybe Xi should look elsewhere,
Because Facebook, despite its care,
Translated from the Burmese tongue,
The name of Xi and got it wrong.

Not only wrong but it was rude,
So bad that it could get them sued,
And Mr Xi, when he was told,
Was cross and could not be consoled.

Now Chinese miscreants expect,
It’s likely they will be subject,
To beatings or repeat arrest,
And Chinese jails are not the best.

But Facebook lives in cyberspace,
So even when it’s in disgrace,
There’s nothing there to put in jail,
And so the state cannot prevail.

So Mr Xi, who’s doctrinaire,
Can now forget the cuddly bear,
By day and possibly at night,
Till his name gets translated right!



It is reported that owing to increased use of mobile phones with their digital clocks children and teenagers are having difficulty learning to tell the time.

To tell the time was, as a rule,
A thing that people learnt at school,
But now it seems the mobile phone,
Has made our children much more prone,
To reading just that type of clock,
And not the one that goes ‘tick tock’.

“It is old-fashioned,” they might say,
“And there’s no point in it today;
I have no time to learn such stuff –
To learn my phone is bad enough!”



It is reported that Chinese police have arrested over one hundred people involved in producing and selling fake Loctite glue.

If you want glue to do it right*,
One brand you might try’s called Loctite;
It’s sticky; it sticks like … well … glue,
And there’s no end that it can do.

But Chinese copies have been seen,
Have caused police to intervene,
And those who had the glue possessed,
Were all then subject to arrest.
The glue was seized, they checked it out,
That it was fake was not in doubt;
The glue was really just too thin,
And would not do as said on tin**.

And so these men who have been caught,
Will likely find themselves in court,
Where they’ll be dealt with pretty quick,
If they can make the charges stick!

* With apologies to the makers of Polycell
** And to the makers of Ronseal



It is reported that a farmer in Shropshire is rounding up his sheep by tricking them into following a drone which they have learnt to associate with food.

A Shropshire farmer’s trained his sheep,
By giving them some nuts to eat,
So when he flies by them a drone,
They’ve learnt to follow it back home.

This makes it easy, I suppose,
But still is pretty tough on those,
That make a living from these sheep,
By herding them if not asleep.

I mean the sheepdogs on the farm,
To whom this might cause mental harm,
Because with nothing else to do,
And no sheep that they need pursue,
They might be made redundant and,
Find their skills no more in demand.

But since they will come on the cheap,
They should find their friend Shaun the Sheep,
Will hatch a plan these drones to stop,
So they might still come out on top!



It is reported that a Qantas flight has flown non-stop from London to Sydney in 19 hours 17 minutes.

If you are green this is bad news,
But Qantas may not share your views;
They’ve put green people in a strop,
By flying ’cross the world non-stop.

It is exciting, though, I’d say,
To do it in less than a day,
And though it is a nice record,
The fliers might have been quite bored.

Perhaps they slept most of the time,
Or took time out to pen a rhyme,
Which is what I’d have done if there –
A thing for which I have some flair.

But those awake did have a treat,
And I don’t mean the food to eat,
For they would see along the way,
Two sunrises within one day.

That is a treat, you must agree,
Not something people often see,
And maybe watching these unfold,
Their green credentials went on hold.

So take your pen and work it out,
See if you can say whereabout,
The double sunrise would occur,
On this flight headed down under.

To start you off it left Heathrow,
Exactly 6 AM and so,
It likely went the shortest path –
The rest of it is down to math.



It is reported that GCHQ is recruiting people with dyslexia as they make good analysts.

GCHQ – you know the name –
It’s full of spies, the very same,
And they’re recruiting people who,
All sorts of clever things can do.

They’re needed to decode the words,
A job you might think’s for the nerds,
But while that’s true they also need,
Ones to a coded message read.

And this task which is hard, you see,
Needs some new creativity,
To which end – and it’s not a joke –
They’re looking for dyslexic folk.

That may seem strange but wait a mo,
If such a person has a go,
At reading messages in code,
She might exclaim, “Well, I’ll be blowed!”
As all the letters rearrange,
And though it might sound rather strange,
They’ll sometimes go then reappear,
As words which make the message clear!



It is reported that Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge has run a marathon in under two hours but special arrangements were made to make it possible.

Remember the four minute mile?
Since it was run it’s been a while,
And since then lots of other men,
Have beaten it time and again.

So far so good but now is here,
Achievement in a different sphere,
And it is the new paragon –
I mean the two hour marathon.

It’s been said it could not be done,
That no-one could so quickly run,
But now the feat can be believed,
Because it has now been achieved.

I have to say, though, on the day,
Some help was needed on the way,
With relay runners crowding round,
Because this way it has been found,
That in their slipstream Kipchoge can,
Run faster than a normal man.

As well as this he was supplied,
With water by stewards who ride,
On bicycles because that way,
He gets his drinks without delay.

So though the two hours was achieved,
By running at a higher speed,
The exercise was not quite fair,
And neither was it all that square!



It is reported that James Dyson has abandoned his quest to develop electric vehicles. Not much demand for electric road sweepers perhaps?

He has been dubbed The Cyclone King,
And his life’s work has been to bring,
The best of hoovers to your home,
But you must push – it’s not a drone.

And then he said some time ago,
He planned to make his business grow,
By making vehicles for the street,
No matter tarmac or concrete.

But now a few months further on,
His plans for this are almost done,
Because he’s found it looks as though,
The uptake may be rather slow,
And though he’d set his face like flint,
He’d very likely end up skint.

But maybe there’s another cause,
Encouraging Sir James to pause,
And that is it occurs to me,
In towns as far as I can see,
These electric road sweepers are,
Between you and me few and far!



It is reported that the Labour Party’s policy is to reduce the average working week to four days (thirty-two hours) with no loss of pay. Magic. And where are the extra 25% of workers going to come from?

The Labour Party likes to say,
That life will be improved one day,
And all you have to do pro-tem,
Is cast your poll and vote for them.

They will destroy fee-paying schools,
By changing tax and other rules,
And then because they are so wise,
A lot of stuff they’ll nationalise.

But now the one that caps the lot,
Which might be popular – or not –
Is telling you you cannot seek,
To work more than four days a week.

Your salary will not go down,
But in the country or the town,
It’s likely you’ll be unemployed,
Which might just make the wife annoyed.

She’ll not be happy now that you,
Sit round with nothing much to do,
Just drinking beer and gin and tea,
Just like the Royle Family.

This family, as well we know,
Does not too much to work now go,
So working then four days each week
Would be for them a new technique!


concrete mixer

It is reported that Donald Trump has signed his name on a newly constructed section of the famous US–Mexico border wall, boasting that this ‘Rolls-Royce’ wall is built of steel filled with ‘very powerful concrete’.

The wall, the wall, if you recall,
Is planned to be so very tall,
That migrants, climbers, all of those,
And others, too, I would suppose,
Will find that it is pretty hard,
To break through this, Trump’s new façade.

I thought it had dropped from the news,
Along with Donald Trump’s own views,
For I just hadn’t heard him say,
A great deal more until today.

But now it seems the wall is back,
And building it could be on track,
But as to who for it will pay,
The bit I’ve read just doesn’t say.

We learn, though, that it’s very high,
To make it difficult to try,
To scale the wall first up then down,
And it will be a rusty brown.

More to the point, though, it’s been built,
Quite vertical, without a tilt,
With steel façade some six feet wide,
And powerful concrete inside.

What ‘powerful’ means used this way,
It is quite difficult to say,
But Trump has said it so we could,
Assume it means the concrete’s good.

But maybe he was trying to,
Do what most writers like to do,
Which is to have a choice of words –
That has for him been for the birds!

So what if he was not quite right?
His error here was rather slight,
But listen for his next tweet when,
He’ll doubtless mangle words again!