He's got news for you

22nd February 2008 at 00:00
Alex Salmond owes more to higher education than most people realised - until he delivered the Cardinal Winning Education Lecture at Glasgow University earlier this month.

He was introduced by Andrew Nash, clerk of the senate, who explained that, some 10 years ago, his son had gone to work for one of the SNP MPs at Westminster - unpaid (the post was unpaid, Salmond quipped, because none of the MPs had any money left after paying all their relatives).

Young Nash was asked to do some research on the week's news and come up with some likely questions and answers to prepare Salmond for his appearance on BBC TV's Have I Got News For You?

One of the questions he came up with was: can you name all the Teletubbies? Furnished with the answers, Salmond was supremely well-equipped to be the star of the show when - astonishingly - the question duly came up.

Is Nash (jnr) still equipping the First Minister to be a star turn, we wonder?

A lousy job

Nit nurses are so last century. Teachers who are fed up watching lice-ridden pupils scratching their heads should consider following the example of Dina Shields. It could even prove a money-spinner.

Mrs Shields, who lives in the town of Rockridge, California, has left teaching to set up a high-class hair salon called NitPixies, which specialises in ridding children of nits. Parents pay $100 (pound;50) an hour, for three, hour-long sessions in which their children have their hair combed by technicians, then their scalp sprayed with a solution which stuns the bugs. The children are distracted during the process by being shown DVDs.

We wish her luck, although she faces stiff competition - a similar service is already offered to families by a few other Californian salons, including Love Bugs in Lafayette and Hair Fairies in San Francisco.

Well marshalled

Children's Commissioner Kathleen Marshall had a heart-stopping moment recently when she realised one crucial check of her office's Detective Kit initiative had not taken place. The kit - a ruse to get young sleuths looking for things to do where they live - includes a word search, but no one had checked whether anything of a less-than-wholesome nature had accidentally slipped in.

The commissioner immediately referred the matter to two experts in inappropriate vulgarities: her 10- and 12-year-old nephews, who gleefully agreed to root out offending content.

A huge collective sigh of relief was heard from the commissioner's office when the best the boys could find was "cac".

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