The word faces a grave economic crisis, much of Europe is at a standstill unable to cope with unprecedented bad weather and Australia is raved by bush fires. Search the papers and you can find stories of people facing the most unimaginable circumstances that will wreck their lives forever and then you find this:-
Leeds university has apologised to a Daniel Bennett for throwing away his treasured collection of lizard faeces. It seems the unmarked bag that contained the specimens was thrown out during a laboratory clear out.
The graduate biologist claims to have spent seven years combing inhospitable jungles with a team of reformed poachers to amass this unique hoard. It was meant to help him in the pursuit of his doctorate at Leeds University on the rare Butaan lizard, a little-known species of Monitor lizard that is related to the fearsome Komodo dragon.
Mr Bennet told the Times Higher Educational Supplement, 'Its loss left me reeling and altered the course of my life forever'
The university says Mr Bennett will be awarded his PhD this year 'subject to minor corrections to his thesis unrelated to the loss of the materials'.
What comment can I make? It was an unfortunate mistake to make and I can sympathise with Mr Bennet's loss but to say that it will alter the course of his life forever may be just a tad melodramatic.
If he ever gets to collect more dung can I suggest that he takes the simple precaution of labelling the bag he puts it in.