Talk of the Town: All Blacks haka'd off in record attempt

SO Murrayfield won't, after all, be witnessing an attempt by the All Blacks to set a new world record number of consecutive international rugby victories when they play Scotland next week.

The bubble was burst when they suffered a last-minute loss to Australia last weekend.

That means the record remains safe in the hands of, er, Lithuania whose away win over Serbia in April was their 18th straight, surpassing the previous record set by New Zealand in 1965-9 and tied by South Africa in 1997-8.

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To think the Scots have been purring over four in a row unbeaten including last season's draw with England . . .

Wildlife chiefs owling mad with JK over numbers fall

A DRAMATIC fall in the owl population of India has been blamed on Edinburgh author JK Rowling.

Environment and wildlife chiefs across the country said there had been a notable drop in numbers.

Instead of blaming environmental factors, industry or any other reasonable explanation, government minister Jairam Ramesh turned his ire to Ms Rowling's most famous work.

"Following Harry Potter, there seems to be a strange fascination, even among the urban middle classes, for presenting their children with owls," he said.

Students learn a lesson

WITH their late-night parties, loud music and relaxed attitude towards tidying, students are often considered to be bad neighbours.

So residents across the Capital will no doubt welcome the news that students at Edinburgh University are being issued with a "community guide" which includes tips on how to be a good neighbour in a tenement flat.

Handy hints include keeping the noise down and tidying the stairwell, and students are also told how they can get involved in their local community.

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They are also advised to introduce themselves to their neighbours, so at least they will know who to complain to when the party starts at 2am.

Sir Sean art value laid bare

THE news that a rare nude painting of Sir Sean Connery has been discovered in a Scots artist's unseen collection is likely to cause a scramble amongst former art students in Edinburgh.

Painted in 1951 by unknown artist Rab Webster when the James Bond star, now 80, was working as an unknown nude model for Edinburgh students, the oil on canvas is thought to be worth thousands of pounds.

Former students who vaguely remember painting a nude model in Edinburgh in the 1950s might want to start rummaging through their attic.