“Vive le Différence”

I just finished this week’s Listener puzzle, “Vive le Différence” by Kevin. Well, I have the grid filled in, which is all I need to enter the competition. But I don’t really understand it. According to the instructions, “the resulting grid symbolically marks a milestone on a journey begun on March 23, 1991, as calculated from a slightly earlier departure”. I see what is formed by the replaced letters, but I don’t know what the journey is or what the milestone is or what is meant by the slightly earlier departure.

Later: Ah, just figured out what the milestone is and all the rest. Nice.

And We Thought We Had It Bad

According to an article in the Guardian, a couple of recent studies suggest that the amount of oil that has been spilled in the Gulf of Mexico so far from the BP explosion is spilled every year in the Niger Delta. But nobody makes any effort to clean those spills up. And that’s been going on for decades.

“There are more than 300 spills, major and minor, a year,” said Bassey. “It happens all the year round. The whole environment is devastated. The latest revelations highlight the massive difference in the response to oil spills. In Nigeria, both companies and government have come to treat an extraordinary level of oil spills as the norm.”