killed on birthday, shock. Or so reports yesterday's Independent newspaper. Having spent the previous half a millennium scratching beneath the cold Atlantic waves off Iceland Ming the Clam died in a pan surrounded by his friends. Chief Scientist Bill Chowder told the waiting press, "Ming gave his life for the advancement of both science and a good lunch. Some think it cruel to eat such aged creatures but we know from previous experience that hot crusty bread and a robust Chardonnay deadens any guilt. And let's not forget that Ming died knowing how old he was. So, another plus there then. Thank you all for coming. There'll be time for further questions after the second course."