Talk of the Town: Orhan's ecological effort cut short

AS THE Gulf of Mexico oil spill continues, frantic attempts are being made to protect the coast.

One of the ideas floated by San Francisco charity Matter of Trust was the use of human hair stuffed into stockings. The fibre-recycling organisation uses these natural "booms" to float on the water and absorb oil, and said it would dedicate most of its resources to the current disaster.

Hairdressers across the US began collecting their offcuts to add to the pile, and they weren't the only ones. Orhan Nesvat of City Barbers on Queensferry Street also decided to help out: "I saw the news on TV and I thought I'd keep it in boxes, and I'm trying to find an address to send it to," he says.

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Orhan already has three kilos, but sadly it seems his efforts may be in vain. BP now says it doesn't need the hairy help, as it is doing the job with something called sorbent boom, which is in plentiful supply.

Alternative uses for 3kg of human hair trimmings on a postcard...

Franchitti races to smash his fundraising target

BATHGATE'S Dario Franchitti might have become the first Scot to claim two Indianapolis 500 wins on Sunday, but his younger brother Marino also enjoyed a recent victory in a slightly slower pursuit. Marino, also an Indycar star, has smashed his fundraising target at April's London Marathon after finishing with a respectable 3:46:04 on the clock. Marino and his team from the British Racing Drivers Club raised more than 87,000 for children's cancer charity Clic Sargent, three-quarters more than their target.

Grow your own cash

GRASSROOTS projects always struggle for funding, and get very good at making a big difference on a small budget.

So when locals in Wardieburn decided to get together to create a community garden out of wasteland on the corner of Wardieburn Road and Granton Medway, they knew it would have to be low-cost.

With volunteers young and old coming to turn the soil and plant flowers, veg and herbs, they certainly succeeded in their aim, in fact, if they'd gone on much longer they might have turned a profit, according to organiser Tom Kirby: "The total budget was a tenner and we dug up 1.43 in change!"

Going off the rails

AMID the millions of pounds currently being thrown around and argued over for Edinburgh's trams it's easy to forget the pocket change. A recent planning application to display the new tram on Princes Street was initially rejected by city planners, because they forgot to pay the 160 application fee.