Around the world, it’s the silly season for news

It’s summer in Geneva, Switzerland, and with the annual office drain and fewer press releases the serious news takes up less space, and the lighter news around the world is keeping us all a little happier:

  • One of the most cheering bits of news to come out of Gaza in years occured 30 July when children in Gaza appear to have broken a Guinness world record for the number of kites flown at the same time: the old record was 713 and the new one, still being calculated, may be as high as 4,000, thanks to an event organized by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Al Jazeera
  • British women turned a cold shoulder on an attempt to beat the world record for the most women wearing bikinis in the same place, when only 42 of the 1,924 needed showed up; sunshine prevailed but a forecast for cloudy, cool weather in Southend-on-Sea, Essex was blamed. UK Telegraph
  • Almost half of post-secondary students in a recent survey in Canada said they pass along their old tech toys – iPods, for example – to their less tech-savvy parents. The Globe and Mail, Canada
  • At a music festival in North Germany featuring Anthrax and Napalm Death, organizers asked concert-goers not to kiss and share bottles of beer to reduce the spread of A/H1N1 swine flu. Reuters
  • Scottish pride is on the line with new claims by a researcher that haggis, considered a national dish north of the English border, was actually an English dish 132 years before it was mentioned in Scotland (haggis, for the uninitiated, is made with oatmeal, liver, heart and lungs – and Wikipedia updated its entry on this today, based on the news). The Scotsman
  • A “career shoplifter”, age 86, was arrested for the 61st time in Chicago, in a career that began with her first arrest in 1956. Chicago Sun-Times