July 2008 Archives

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An 'exercise pill' could signal the end for treadmills and spin classes, scientists claim.

Boffins have created a drug which tricks the body into thinking it has been exercising without you lifting a finger.

Describing it as 'exercise in a pill' the creators say it could help battle the frailty of old age ... or help lazy couch potatoes get a six-pack.

Biologist Ronald Evans of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, said that tests on 'couch potato' inactive mice resulted in boosting their fat burning and increasing stamina.

"It's tricking the muscle into believing it's been exercised daily," Evans said. 

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Wine experts are known for their flowery use of language when describing the odd bottle of red ... but can tap water from Birmingham really be like "a mountain stream of freshness"?

According to a panel of judges including a Michelin-starred chef and some of the biggest wine buffs in the UK, it can and does.

Water supplied by Severn Trent has been named Britain's best tasting tap water at an event held in London.

The tasting of tap water from 10 UK regions took place in Tom's Kitchen in South Kensington yesterday to find the Britain's best.

The samples were given a mark out of five for clarity, smell and taste.

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One in four women would bat their eyelashes and show a bit of cleavage in a bid to get out of penalty points, a survey has found.

The flirty female drivers even said they would give a traffic warden the come-on in the hope it got them out of a ticket.

YouGov quizzed 2,181 women across the country finding that younger drivers were more likely to try it on with police and wardens.
Those from Yorkshire had the most temptress tendencies – 25% said they’d turn on the charm if faced with potential penalty points, while 7% of Londoners admitted to already used it to out of trouble.


A spokesperson for Diva Insurance who commissioned the research said: "I'm not sure guys realise just how shrewd women are when it comes to getting themselves out of trouble. 

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A pair of 100-year-old Levi jeans found in a California goldmine have sold on eBay for $36,099 (£18,229.)

The seller says the vintage blue jeans bear the original "Levi Strauss & Co" label and were discovered while exploring the Rand mining district in the Mojave Desert.

The 34 waist 33 leg jeans were found next to a paper bag from a local shop used by miners which stopped trading in 1898.

Though the jeans have not been verified by Levi, the seller (who has a 100 percent rating on the auction site) will allow the buyer to return them within seven days if they turn out to be fake.

On the site he described the jeans saying: "They are covered in candlewax from the candle's the miner was using to light the tunnel he was working in. 

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Blondes may have more fun, but brunettes earn more and are luckier in love, research has found.

A study of 3,000 women discovered that on average brunettes earn £4,250 more each year than blondes.
 
And it's not only in their chosen careers that brunettes will be more successful - they are also luckier in love too
 
Almost half (44 per cent) of those with dyed or natural brown hair said the shade gave them the greatest success with the opposite sex - a 10 per cent better hit rate than blondes.
 
Camila Lobo-Guerrero, of hair colour specialists Schwarzkopf & Henkel, who commissioned the report, said: "It's always assumed blondes have more fun, therefore had more success in their love lives and careers too.

Dicey adventure for yachtsman

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A yachtsman plans to sail around the world by rolling a dice to select his route.

Rob Clark says he will also let members of the public pick which way he should go by voting on his website.

The 36-year-old has quit his job, sold his house and now plans to make the solo voyage in his new 42ft Canasta yacht

He will set sail on September 21 having planned a possible six first leg routes which people can vote for on his site - he will go with the majority, making incidental decisions with the throw of the dice.

"I’m going to sail single-handed around the world but will be embarking on my voyage with absolutely no idea at all where the adventure will take me," said Rob.

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A previously unseen portrait by Vincent van Gogh has been revealed using a new X-ray technique.

The image of a peasant woman's face can now be seen for the first time since 1887 when it was painted over with the work 'Patch Of Grass.'

It has been known for some time that van Gogh painted over previous works to save on canvas costs - some experts claim up-to one third of his paintings have 'hidden' images underneath.

But now European experts have developed a new technique based on synchrotron radiation induced X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy to reveal hidden paintings.

The painting was subjected to the high-tech two-day X-ray which was able to recognise the atoms behind the layer of paint.


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An Arab Sheikh sent his Lamborghini on a 6,500 journey ... just to get the oil changed.

It is understood the flash motor - a £190,000 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 - was put on a plane in the Middle East and shipped to the UK for the service, before being flown back.

The car, which averages only 10 miles per gallon is not the most eco friendly at the best of times, but this journey could even make Jeremy Clarkson twinge with guilt.

The shipping would have cost more than £20,000 and environmental groups claim it would have created a carbon-crater rather than footprint.

Qatar Airways confirmed it carried the vehicle, the same model as one which features in the latest Batman movie The Dark Knight.


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The world's first practical jet pack has been quite literally been launched in New Zealand.

Makers say the James Bond-style device will soon be able to travel 30 miles in 30 minutes using just 5 gallons of fuel.

But on show at AirVenture, the world’s biggest air show, the Martin Jet Pack only managed 3ft in 45 seconds when flown by the inventors 16-year-old son.

New Zealand inventor Glenn Martin says that in tests the device has reached 6ft through its high-powered downward thrusting propellers.

He hopes to sell the jet pack - which is not actually a jet pack because of the propellers - for £50,000.

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Speedo shorts have been named the summer's biggest fashion faux pas.
 
The tight-fitting swimming trunks were voted the worst thing men can wear on holiday - closely followed by sandals and white socks

Women should avoid wearing tight hipster jeans which show off an unsightly muffin top and their pierced belly buttons.
 
Fashion experts at Debenhams compiled the hall of shame which also includes beach thongs and saggy bikinis for women and bum-bags and Union Jack shorts for men.

A spokeswoman for Debenhams said: "Looking stylish abroad is so important and there's no excuse to wear hideous clothing combinations like socks and sandals, saggy bikinis or cycling shorts on the beach.


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An artist pal of Tracy Emin who tried to sell jars of sand collected from Margate beach for £18 each has been told he was breaking the law.

Anthony Wait's conceptual work included him collecting, weighing, packaging and logging the sand before selling it on for £18 per pound jar.

But Thanet council says the selling of the sand was illegal and is now considering what action to take.

Wait, who runs a gallery in the town, had sold over 20 jars before receiving the warning. Because part of his art was to register the homes of those buying the sand buyers could now be contacted and told to return the sand.

The artist claims he was not profiteering by selling off a natural asset but creating a conceptual piece about data processing and people who buy it becoming part of a chain.

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Three out of four Brits don't like the sound of their own voice and would rather sound like the Queen, a survey has found.

Asked if they could speak with any accent they wanted most said they wanted to talk like HRH.

Across the UK 1 in 20 wanted to sound Cockney, but only 1 in every 100 people said it would be okay to speak with a Brummie accent.

Even in Birmingham - the houme of foul-mouthed rocker Ozzy Osbourne - they don't like the way they speak, the city had the highest rate for people wanting to sound different.

Linguistic expert Tony Robinson said: "It seems Britain is being gripped by an epidemic of accent envy and accent self loathing. 

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An auction featuring a 'pickled unicorn' and a new shark work is set to raise over £65 million for artist Damien Hirst.

The Brit art star is offering a series of 223 new works for sale at Sotheby's auction house in September.

The move is thought to be the first times a major artist has sold a new collection at auction rather than through galleries and art dealers.

Explaining his reason for the sale at Sotherby's London Hirst said: “It’s a very democratic way to sell art and it feels like a natural evolution for contemporary art.

"Although there is risk involved, I embrace the challenge of selling my work in this way. 

Superdrug to sell make-up for men

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A high-street chain is to start selling a range of make-up including eyeliner and mascara aimed at men ... and not just those like Russell Brand.

They 'Guyliner' is thicker than the usual eyeliner and designed for a man-sized grip while 'Manscara' is more subtle than the female version.

The 'Taxi Man' range from Superdrug will go on sale this week and soon be expanded to include a concealer and lip balm.

At £700m annually the male grooming market is a booming industry and predeicted to grow by £120m in the next 12 months.

A spokesman for the store said the products had been developed because of a trend for men to borrow from their partners.

Live shark stolen from shed

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A rare shark used for breeding has been stolen from a shed in Hampshire.

The 2ft long female marble shark was half of the only breeding pair in the UK and kept in a private aquarium.

But over the weekend owner Peter Newman, 68 found the doors to the aquarium open and the £2,500 shark missing.

Police say they think the creature - from Indonesia - could have been stolen to order as they are very rare in the UK.

A police spokesperson said: "We believe this may have been a targeted burglary of a shark that is extremely rare in the UK.

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British athletes will wear red contact lenses at the Chinese Olympic games to help them focus in the smog.

The women's hockey team have already started training while wearing the tinted lenses and say they can help in the hazy conditions caused by pollution.

Goalkeeper Beth Storry and her team-mates were say they were affected by the conditions in Macau, near Hong Kong and that the lenses are helping them to focus on the fast moving puck.

It is not known how many other of our sports people will opt to wear the weird looking eyewear.

Hoping to improve conditions the Chinese government recently ordered 3.3 million cars off the road and closed hundreds of smokey factories.

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Despite living on alcohol-rich nectar and regularly drinking the equivalent of nine glasses of wine this shrew never gets drunk.

With a tolerance to alcohol which would make event the most hardened binge drinkers in Newcastle proud scientists say the Malaysian treeshrew spends its nights gorging on alcohol-rich nectar.

This makes it the only animal, other than humans, to regularly binge on alcohol - but it never feels the consequences the next day.

While the boffins from University of Bayreuth in Germany have not worked out how it stays sober it is thought to metabolise alcohol in a different way to people.

"The trait of alcohol consumption is actively maintained during evolution, so the overall effect must be beneficial," says evolutionary physiology expert Frank Wiens.

Mr T advert pulled for 'gay offence'

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A TV advert for Snickers featuring Mr T has been pulled from air after complaints were made that it was offensive to gay people.

In the ad the former A-Team pulls up in a truck next to a speed walker in tight shorts and shouts at him before throwing Snickers bars at him until he starts running

"Speed walking. I pity you fool. You are a disgrace to the man race. It's time to run like a real man," Mr T (real name Laurence Tureaud) says.

The advert has been airing in the UK since July 13 and not shown on US TV but it was American complaints which forced makers Mars to terminate the campaign across the world.

The company said the advert was intended to be humorous and meant no offense, but in light of the complaints chose to pull the ad globally. 

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Billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson yesterday unveiled the carrier aircraft which will be used to launch space tourists in an eight-person rocket.

It is hoped the mothership WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) will ferry SpaceShipTwo and thousands of private astronauts on sub-orbital space flights.

Branson welcomed engineers, dignitaries and space enthusiasts to the hangar in the Mojave Desert for the unveiling of what will be the key to success for Virgin Galactic.

Christened "Eve" after Branson's own mother, the mothership features four jet engines, a 140-foot wingspan and is the world’s largest all carbon composite aircraft.

WK2 is designed to cradle a passenger rocket releasing it at 48,000 feet from where it will fire its hybrid rocket and climb to 62 miles above Earth.

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A group of musicians will be hitting the high notes after scaling the tallest mountains in Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland with their instruments.

The Extreme Cellists, three novice mountaineers who take their performances to out-of-the-ordinary places, will give a musical performance at the top of each of the four peaks.

Jeremy Dawson, Clare Wallace and James Rees started the challenge on 21st July by climbing the tallest Mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis (Scotland) at 1344m before moving on to Scafell Pike, 978m in England and then climbing the 1085m of Mt Snowdon in Wales.

Now they just have to hike the 1038m of Carrauntoohil in Ireland which should be completed tomorrow.

Cellist Jeremy, 32 from Sheffield said: "We hope that experienced mountain walkers really appreciate our tour. If you want to come and hear our performances on top of the mountains, you are very welcome."

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A new variety of melon which tastes like a lemon is set to go on sale in the UK tomorrow.

Tesco say the fruit which resembles the honeydew melon has the same "zesty, fresh" taste of a traditional lemon. 

It is the latest in a series of exotic fruits to be sold in UK supermarkets which would only a couple of years ago seemed odd or weird to most shoppers.

But hoping it will follow the likes of dragon fruit, lychees and papaya Tesco will sell the melon, which is produced in Spain, for £1,99.

The lemon taste comes is said to come from the high citric acid content (700/800mg per 100g) - double that of most melons.

The infamous clip of the Sex Pistols swearing on live TV is a television archive’s most requested clip.

The 1976 interview with Bill Grundy on Thames TV’s Today where the punk band repeatedly said the F-word is requested for re-broadcast more than any other clip. 

Pamela Anderson running on the beach in Baywatch came second.

FremantleMedia Archives said other popular clips included winners of talent  contest shows like Pop Idol, X Factor and Britain's got Talent.

Gordon Craig, of Fremantle, said: "While talent show winners dominate the requests we receive for TV clips, classics from the 70s and 80s have enduring appeal."

Sharks are 'scared' of magnets

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Magnets could be used to fend off dangerous sharks which are repelled by them, scientists claim.

Tests have found that sharks react violently to the magnets and as a result rapidly turn away from them and swim off.

Researchers at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, say the response is the result of the  acute sensing organs in the sharks known as ampullae of Lorenzini that detects electro-magnetic fields.

It is hoped the research will help to stop sharks from becoming caught in barramundi nets which they frequently damage.

"The sharks we tested soon learned the locations of the magnets and spent less time in those areas," said senior lecturer in the School of Marine and Tropical Biology at JCU, Jamie Seymour.

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Immigration officers at an airport had a "Kinder Surprise" when they found a woman smuggling drugs using a plastic container from the chocolate.

Arriving at Birmingham International Airport (BHX) the traveller had the plastic container in what a spokesman called "an intimate body cavity."

It contained 30g of cannabis - rather than the traditional plastic toy.

A spokesman for the UK Border Service said the Kinder egg was discovered using body-scanning technology after the passenger arrived on a flight from Lisbon, Portugal.

The woman, from the Coventry area, was arrested and later released with a formal warning, the spokesman added.

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It might have something to do with Barbara Windsor's bra flying off during a keep-fit session but Carry On Camping has been voted the best Carry On film of all time.

The 1969 movie gained more than 25 per cent of the vote in a poll to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the classic British comedy series.
 
Online pollsters www.onepoll.com asked 3,250 film fans for their opinions about the 30 Carry On movies.

Carry On Doctor came second in the vote with Carry On Up The Khyber in third place. 

Unsurprisingly Sid James was also named the nation's favourite Carry On star, with almost a third of the vote.

David Brent could be moving from Slough to Moscow after a Russian TV station announced plans to produce a local version of The Office. 

Channel One, the most watched channel in Russia, will now make 24 episodes after buying the rights from BBC Worldwide. 

The original Ricky Gervais version of The Office has already been sold to 70 countries with; America, France, Canada and Chilie all producing their own versions. 

In the Chille version cringeworthy boss-from-hell David Brent was given the more Latino name Manuel, for the local audience. 

"We are obviously very eager to hear about the cast members, including who will be the David Brentski of Russia, and the location of their Slough." said BBC Worldwide's Head of Sales for Russia, Ben Donald.

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With milk float styling it is not going to strike fear into the hearts of criminals - but a 30mph electric car is being tested by a UK police force.

The GEM car is being used by the Brighton and Hove division of Sussex Police who are considering buying some of the £12,500 cars.

But the 100% electric vehicle, which has zero emissions and can run on solar power would not be used for chasing criminals.

The force say it could be used to enable neighbourhood officers to attend street briefings and make local visits.

The car has a 50-mile range before it needs to be recharged and is exempt from road tax and the London congestion charge.

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DNA tests are being carried out in the UK on what is claimed to by 'yeti hairs' from India.

The hairs were collected by a yeti believer in a dense Indian jungle where the yeti (also known as Bigfoot, abominable snow man and forestman) had been spotted three days in a row.

Experts at Oxford Brookes University tested the hair and say it is not from any of the 'obvious' animals and it could belong to a currently unknown species of primate.

The hairs will now be sent to separate labs for DNA analysis.

Mr Redmond from primatology department at the Oxford university also says the hairs bear a "startling resemblance" to those collected by Everest conqueror Sir Edmund Hillary.

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A series of paintings by gangland leader Ronnie Kray have sold at auction for £16,500.

The eight images were all painted while the killer was in Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight.

Showing peaceful landscapes a world away from his London life of crime the paintings are oil on card and all have Ronnie's details and prison number along on the back with the official prison stamp.

The paintings were last week sold at Mander Auctioneers in Suffolk, for £16,450, 39 years after the Kray twins were jailed for life for murder in 1969.

Ronnie Kray died in 1995 and is thought to have taken up painting along with his brother use in bartering with other inmates.

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Millions of women are damaging their breasts by wearing the bras which are the wrong size, scientists have warned.

Researchers found women’s breasts could be damaged and fragile ligaments irreparably stretched if the wrong size bra was worn, as in the case of 95 percent of women.

Over the past three years the team have tested 50 bra designs, from sexy to sports, on hundreds of women to see how breasts move while running.

They found that breasts move up to 21cm during exercise and they move up and down, in and out and from side to side. But most bras are designed to limit just vertical movement.

Wendy Hedger, a researcher at the University of Portsmouth said: "Many women are unaware that they are wearing a badly fitting bra or unknowingly wear the wrong bra size because they are routinely being sold ill-fitting bras."

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A Japanese company has started giving acupuncture to tuna in a bid to give their sushi a better flavour.

They claim that the acupuncture session means the blood in the tuna becomes purer, they do not need treated with chemicals and the flesh has a better taste.

The odd practice was unveiled at the International Japan Seafood Show though exactly where the needles are inserted remains a secret.

Osakana Planning Company say the process could help Japanese fishermen who are feeling the pinch.

"This is about giving them the chance to give the fish they catch added value," said a spokesman.

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Business bosses think that half of all days taken off with illness are not genuine, research has found.

And they are probably right with many staff claiming they look on paid sick leave allowance as an extension of their annual holiday.

MidlandHR and FirstCare polled a series of top business leaders and workers on how their companies manages sick-leave.

More than two-thirds of respondents (69 percent) said they think some people abuse sick leave.

On average managers believed up to 50 percent of absences are for non-genuine reasons.

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Science fiction geeks going to watch their heroes perform Shakespeare should leave their sci-fi merchandise at home the Royal Shakespeare Company has warned.

When Dr Who (David Tennant) and Captain Jean-LucPicard (Patrick Stewart) signed up to perform together in the RSC production of Hamlet it was many a sci-fi fans wet dream.

As Tennant takes to the stage in the lead role on 5 August it will be the first time the two sci-fi legends will have performed together.

But the historic Stratford based theatre is now warning fans who have bought tickets not to take Doctor Who or Star Trek products with them to the performance.

In a statement the RSC have said: "Due to the huge amount of interest in the RSC's current production of Hamlet only Royal Shakespeare Company or production related memorabilia will be signed by members of the company.

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Researchers have found it takes holiday makers two days, nine hours and 25 minutes before they are fully relaxed.

Bad news for anyone planning a weekend break, the results mean they will be back home before they can enjoy their holiday.

A survey of 3,000 people found that most are left stressed from booking, packing and traveling and are unable to unwind straight away.

It is only on the third day - after they have unpacked and settled into their new location - that people fully relax and enjoy their new surroundings.

A spokesperson for Keycamp, which commissioned the survey, said people need to learn how to relax.

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A 250-year-old Chinese vase worth £50,000 until it was drilled to make a 'cheap' table lamp, has been sold at auction for half the original value.

The owners did not know the value of the pricey porcelain when they cut a 0.3in (8mm) hole to use it as a table lamp.

They were shocked to hear how rare the vase was when a family friend spotted it in their south-west London home and suggested they get it valued.

Experts at auctioneers Duke's of Dorchester say the item dates from 1736 to 1796 and would have been part of a pair - together and not drilled worth £250,000.

Unfortunately for the seller whose great-grandfather was believed to have bought the vase in the Far East in the early 20th Century it only raised £25,000. 

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Bizarre EU bans on imperfectly shaped fruit and veg could be scrapped because of the rising price of food.

European Commission Regulation No. 1277/88 states that if a cucumber bends more than 10 millimeters per 10 centimeters it can not be categorized as "class one." 

The rule means many cucumbers can only be sold as second-rate - and other weird rules apply to 35 other items such as bananas onions, garlic, caulifower and spinach.

But now agriculture bosses say that because of high fuel prices the rules themselves should be bent.

Mariann Fischer Boel, the EU's Danish agricultural minister, says sellers and consumers, should decide on the standards they want for the food they buy, not the EU.

Tory leader David Cameron has had his bike stolen as he stopped to buy some salad for his dinner at a London supermarket.

The famous cyclist was inside the Tesco store in Portobello Road, west London when the bike - which had been locked to a bollard - was pinched.

The bike is just one of 20,000 which stolen in the capital each year, but sure to be the highest profile loss.

"If anyone has seen this bicycle I would like it back, I have reported it stolen online, but I am not holding my breath." said the Conservative leader. 

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A New Zealand court has ruled a nine-year-old girl should be allowed to change her name from 'Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.'

The young girl had told people her name was "K" because she was "mocked and teased," her lawyer told the court during a custody dispute.

She was made a ward of the court until her name could be formally changed and the custody dispute settled.

Family Court Judge Rob Murfitt wrote: "The court is profoundly concerned about the very poor judgment which this child's parents have shown in choosing this name.

"It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap, unnecessarily."

Newspaper gets its own name wrong

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A US newspaper has been left red-faced after misspelling its own name on the front page.

On Monday the New Hampshire’s Valley News called itself "Valley Newss" an error which was spotted by many readers.

The following day an 'Editor's Note' acknowledged the error saying: "Readers may have noticed that the Valley News misspelled its own name on yesterday’s front page.

"Given that we routinely call on other institutions to hold themselves accountable for the mistakes, let us say for the record: We sure feel silly."

We are not going to mock the error as NewsLite has a policy of ensuring a minimum of two typos, spelling mistakes or grammatical errors per page. If you find an article without an error please let us know ASAP so we can add one.

Hotel made of sand opens in UK

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The world's first hotel made entirely from sand has opened in the UK, charging £10 per night.

Built on the Weymouth beach in Dorset the hotel uses 1,000 tonnes of sand and took four sculptors seven days to build.

The weird rooms, complete with sand furniture, are already being snapped up by tourists paying just £10 per night for the sea-front location.

There is even a concierge on site to help should your pillows need re-sculpting or seagulls need chasing from your room

Unfortunately anyone booking, the LateRooms.com hotel lacks any running water, toilet facilities or indeed a roof.

Survey: Fit women have more orgasms

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Women who exercise regularly are twice as likely to have orgasms, a survey has found.

An online survey of over 2,000 women also found that only 31 percent say they regularly achieve vaginal orgasm during penetrative sex but 75 percent know where their G-spot is.

The 'research' will continue up to National Orgasm Day on July 31 on the site www.orgasmsurvey.co.uk 

A spokesperson for the site said: "There has never been a detailed survey asking women what type of orgasms they experience.

"While many women experience, and can easily distinguish between, clitoral and vaginal (or G-spot) orgasms, there are still many women, commentators and doctors who deny the very existence of the G-spot and a distinct vaginal orgasm.

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A remote-controlled mannequin which can sweat, bleed, vomit and have a heart attack on command is to be used to train medical students.

The £40,000 iStan will be used at the University of Portsmouth where lecturers have also been given a 'recipe book' to create realistic vomit, urine with infection, blood clots, pus, to fill him with.

iStan has an anatomical structure that closely mimics a human skeleton. His spine, neck, arms and hips all mimic the movement of a real person. 

He can also cry and blink, his pupils can dilate and contract, his blood pressure can fall, internal organs bleed, bowels make realistic sounds and lungs collapse.

Professor Lesley-Jane Eales-Reynolds who will use the high-tech device said: "He can be pre-filled with ‘blood’ and other body fluids and remote-controlled from up to 50 feet away. 


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An ultrasonic frog which can tune its ears to different frequencies like a radio receiver has been discovered.

The Odorrana tormota frog is the only known animal that can actively select what frequencies it wants to hear.

Researchers found the odd frog near noisy springs in central China and think it uses the ability to 'tune-out' unwanted noise.

The discovery was made when they examined the eardrums of the weird frog, using a laser vibrometer to measure the eardrum's vibration. It was found that the eardrum did respond to sounds in the sonic and ultrasonic ranges. 

But bizarrely the eardrum's sensitivity to ultrasound sometimes disappeared altogether - something they now know it was controlling.

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Only readers of The Sun will be able to attend the opening night of the new Royal Opera House season, it has been announced.

The readers of the famous red-top will be offered exclusive tickets to see the Mozart masterpiece Don Giovanni in a bid to get more people through the doors.

Details on how to get £7.50 to £30 tickets will be printed in the newspapers later this month and the show will also be be screened live at UK cinemas.

Tony Hall, Royal Opera House chief executive said: "I'm thrilled that we're able to invite those who have never been to the Opera House before to experience a first night performance.

"This is a very exciting time for the Royal Opera House. We have so many opportunities to open up our doors to more people."

Magicians better understand how humans 'see, think, and act' than scientists, claim researchers. 

Experts are now suggesting their tricks should be studied by boffins to gain a better understanding of how human perception works. 

The move could see scientists watching DVDs of David Blaine and Derren Brown to work out how they trick people. 

The researchers from University of British Columbia and Durham University say the magicians use "misdirection, illusion and forcing" to make people believe what they 'see.' 

"These tricks may seem like they defy the laws of physics and logic, but they are actually created through a combination of skill and a deep knowledge of human psychology," said Durham University's Dr Gustave Kuhn.

1800-year-old Elvis Presley sculpture

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It looks like Elvis might have been rocking Rome almost 2,000 years ago after a marble carving - the spitting-image of the king - was revealed.

The 1,800-year-old Roman bust is now due to go under the hammer as part of a £1 million auction at Bonhams in London.

Dating back to 400 BC it bares a striking resemblance with Elvis, down to the over-the-top quiff and distinctive jaw line.

Fans would be forgiven for thinking that their idol may well have lived a previous life in Rome.

A spokesman for Bonhams, said: "The likeness is so great that Graham Geddes, the collector himself calls the carving "Elvis." 

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Despite convincing over 300 women to brave the British summer in skimpy outfits an attempt a break the world record for the most bikini-clad women photographed together has failed.

320 women stripped down to their swimwear for the charity event which was raising money for the Great North Air Ambulance.

But this was well short of the current Guinness World Record of 1,010 which was set on Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia last year.

The event was organised by Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary Club who say they might re-attempt the record next year.

Club member Mike Robson, one of the organisers, said: "The atmosphere on the beach was brilliant, we had ladies aged 16-81 taking part and I'd like to do it all again next year.

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Scientists claim adding lime to seawater could dramatically reverse CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere.

The approach - an seemingly odd way of addressing climate change - has now received research funding from Shell to launch an investigation into its economic feasibility.

The idea is that adding lime to seawater increases alkalinity, boosting seawater's ability to absorb CO2 from air and reducing the tendency to release it back again.

The experts believe it would even be possible to reduce CO2 to pre-industrial levels.

Gilles Bertherin, a coordinator on the project said: "There are potentially huge environmental benefits from addressing climate change.

Ramsay buys sound-cancelling fridges

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His staff never had much of a problem hearing him, but Gordon Ramsay's swearing should be clearer than ever after the top chef splashed out on special sound-cancelling fridges.

Gordon Ramsay Holdings’ has bought two of the devices for his celebrated Chelsea restaurant Foxtrot Oscar to cut down on the noise levels produced.

It is hoped the reduction in noise will help the restaurant meet with local government legislation, stipulating that plant-generated noise must be 10 decibels quieter than the background noise.

A spokesman for Environ Technologies who provided two sound-cancelling Modula acoustic enclosures for the Cold Room refrigeration units at Foxtrot Oscar said they would drastically cut the sound produced by the refrigeration.

It was not said if putting Gordon into one of the enclosures himself would further help to cut noise.

Baby cash photo helps jail fraudster

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A fraudster who took a photo of his baby surrounded by £40,000 of stolen cash, has had the image used in evidence against him.

Ady Bunu, 34, took the shot of his young son after netting the cash in a cash machine scam in East Yorkshire.

Hull Crown Court heard how the scheme cloned over 2,000 bank cards which were used to withdraw cash from banks around the country. Bunu was jailed for five years.

Police say the man - who claimed the image was a Romanian tradition celebrating the christening of his son - had the potential to pocket more than £1million.

Det Sgt Neil Clarkson from the Humberside Police Economic Crime Section, said: "This was obviously a well organised card cloning operation where more than 2,000 card details were recovered.

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The Churchill dog uses the F-word in the latest TV advert for the insurance company, it has been claimed.

Viewers say the dog can be heard to utter 'F**k' after his famous "Oh, yes" catchphrase in the most recent TV advert.

A clip of the ad has already found its way onto YouTube where one fan said: "The little nodding dog is swearing on this new advert ... but I would be if my head was bouncing that much on a car journey, think I would get pretty "f**ked" off with it as well."

The TV advertising watchdog the ASA said it has not currently received any complaints about the ad.

A spokesman for Churchill Insurnace said: "I can assure you that Churchill Insurance would never use foul or abusive language in any of its advertising,"

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Drummers in rock bands are as fit as Premier League footballers, scientists have claimed.

Boffins connected the musicians to equipment measuring their heart rate, oxygen uptake, and the levels of lactic acid in thier blood as they played a set.

The stress caused to their body as they played was then compared to top athletes such as premiership footballers.

It was found that the drummers heart rates were raised to as high as 190 beats per minute and they could burn off 600 calories in a performance.

The experts from the universities of Chichester and Gloucestershire who worked on the project say the stamina and fitness levels puts drummers on a par with sports stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo.

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A British car which can convert from being a car to a boat in 12 seconds is to be sold in America.

Costing $85,000 the Aquada car has top speeds of 110 mph (on land) and 30 mph (on water) and is powerful enough to pull a water skier.

Makers UK-based Gibbs Technologies say the car/boat will go on sale in North America in 2009 and that they expect sales of 100,000 per year by 2014.

The car cost over $100m to develop but has proved it can live up to the hype when in 2005, billionaire Richard Branson used one to cross the English Channel in under two hours.

"A commercially viable high-speed amphibious vehicle has eluded auto manufacturers, entrepreneurs and inventors for more than 100 years," a spokesman for Gibbs noted. 

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A hotel is forcing staff to sign a secrecy clause to help protect the recipe of their highly regarded sticky toffee pudding.

The desert has been the highlight of the menu at the Michelin-starred Sharrow Bay Hotel for over 40 years and the recipe a closely guarded secret stored in a vault on the premises.

Recently a number of people have attempted to discover the secret and as a result all staff who come into contact with the cake are asked to sign a contract preventing them from divulging the recipe.

In one attempt at discovering leaking the recipe someone smuggled a video camera into a staff masterclass on how to make the pudding.

But the quick thinking chef spotted the cam before the instructions on how to make the desert were revealed.


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Indian beach volleyball players say they will not wear bikinis in the World Beach Volleyball tournament because they are 'objectionable.' 

They also claim the skimpy outfits - the mandatory dress for the contest -are against their traditions.

As a result the rules have now been relaxed for the team and they will be allowed to compete in t-shirts and long shorts.

Organizers say other teams will stick with the dress code and hope the Indian team will be inspired in the future to wear bikinis in the future.

A.J. Martin, director of the FiVB said: "The International Volleyball Association has a rule that allows us to change the dress code respecting the religious, cultural and ethical sentiments of countries." 

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It is one of the most popular Chinese dishes but Peking Duck could become a thing of the past after a European ban on the ovens used to prepare it.

Because the Chinese ovens do not have the CE (Conformité Européenne) mark restaurants and takeaways are being banned from using them.

In London's Chinatown dozens of Chinese restaurants have had their ovens taped shut - if they continue to use them they risk being closed all together.

Despite there being no health problems linked to the ovens council health and safety say that because they do not meet safety standards on carbon-monoxide emissions laid down by Brussels they cannot be used.

The giant ovens - which can fit up to 30 ducks at a time - are heated by a central burner and can reach temperatures of 300c.

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Ben Walton has proved he is a real ironman - after spending 60 consecutive hours breaking the world record for endurance ironing.

The 32-year-old from Hampshire ironed 923 items in the time and was only allowed a five minute break each hour.

He started ironing on Thursday and didn't finish until Saturday evening but must now wait to hear from the Guinness World Records before he knows he will be in the next edition.

Ben broke the previous record of 55 hours and 5 minutes and says that other than getting a pain in his back the attempt went well.

He raised around £5,000 in sponsorship which will go towards buying an incubator at Winchester's Royal County Hospital.  

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Most people like to treat themselves when they go on holiday, now the super-rich can too, thanks to the launch of a $1million holiday.

The Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi has started offering the $140,000 per-day get-away in what they are billing as the "ultimate holiday experience".

Those holiday makers willing to splash the cash will get; two first class flights there and the Palace Suite at the seven star resort which has gold and marble rooms housing giant 61in plasma screen TVs. 

If you can bring yourself to leave the plush palatial room a butler will see to your every whim from reserving the ideal sun lounger to arranging any meal your stomach desires.

Should this all get bit much why not take one of the  private jet excursions on offer to Iran or Bahrain.

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Drinkers in pubs where loud music is booming out will down their pints faster and drink more, scientists have found.

A french team from the University of Southern Brittany found a pint is downed three minutes quicker in noisy bars and that people order more drinks.

The researchers monitored 40 drinkers over a period of three weekends and they altered the volume of music each time.

The young men - who did not know they were being watched - drank quicker as it got louder, with loud music playing a pint lasted an average of just 11.45 minutes compared to 14.51 minutes when it was quite.

The number of drinks they ordered also jumped from an average of 2.6 to 3.4. 

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The woman behind the original Dr Who theme created some of the earliest electronic dance music, it has been revealed.

An academic team have stumbled across the tapes made 20 years before groups like 808 state and Orbital while cataloguing and preserving the early recordings by Delia Derbyshire.

Following her death in 2001, the collection was entrusted to Radiophonic Workshop archivist Mark Ayres, who donated the 267 tapes to the University of Manchester.

The tapes - many of which have not been heard for 30 years - show she used a combination of techniques, tape manipulation and electronic gadgetry to create her sounds.

Some of the recording are said to be very similar to early electronic dance music which became popular 20 years after she started recording it.

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A Sven Goran Eriksson lookalike has conned a series of top football bosses in Mexico.

The imposter is said to have duped officials into letting him into training grounds and even taking questions from reporters before speaking with club bosses. 

After discovering the fake the Mexican FA have now sent out letters to clubs warning them of the sham Swede who is believed to be a Brit comedian. 

It is thought the lookalike could be Derek Williams who has posed as the 60-year-old former England manager for numerous photoshoots. 

Williams also stared in the ITV show Lookey Likey where he tricked member of the pulic into thinking he was the real deal.

Boys cost more to raise than girls

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A son will cost parents £7,000 more to raise than a daughter, a survey has revealed.

Boys' love of gadgets and sports is said to account for the difference with them costing parents more than £32,000 between the ages of four and 18 (£2,143 per year.)

In the same period a girl will 'only' cost parents £25,000 say GM money who surveyed 2000 British families.

For both boy and girls the biggest chuck of cash is spent on clothes with £3933.86 on boys and £3173.66 spent on girls.

However it is leisure activities and technoogy wants where the difference can be seen most. Boys hobbies which more often include the purchase of expensive sports equipment cost £1,500 more than girls.

Were couch potatoes just born lazy?

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It is possible to be born a couch potato and not have the inclination to engage in physical activity, scientists have discovered.

Researchers looking at the impact of genetics on activity levels says tests on mice suggest people could be genetically less active.

A team lead by Kinesiologist professor Timothy Lightfoot from the University of North Carolina found a series of genetic locations controlling physical activity.

Together, the located genes account for approximately 84% of the behavioral differences between mice that exhibit low activity levels and mice that show high activity traits.

"Can you be born a couch potato? In exercise physiology, we didn't used to think so, but now I would say most definitely you can," said Prof Lightfoot.

Elton John gets his own ice cream

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After winning multiple Grammys, an Academy Award, a Tony Award and getting a knighthood Elton John has been given the ultimate reward - his own ice cream.

Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's is producing a special flavor for Elton to celebrate his first show in their home state of Vermont.

Called 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' it is chocolate, peanut butter and cookie dough flavored and will be available for only one week to coincide with the July concert.

All profits will go to the Elton John Aids Foundation, which he set up in 1992.

"There was only one way we could honor Sir Elton, and this monumental occasion, in true Ben & Jerry's fashion," said Jerry Greenfield, Ben & Jerry's Co-Founder.

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Trying to download sex videos and naked pictures of Angelina Jolie could damage your computer, experts have warned.

The Wanted star has become the latest celeb to be used by a wave of spammers trying to trick people into downloading viruses onto their computers.

Experts say a new campaign of spreading malware is being carried via spam messages based around an alleged adult video footage with the Tomb Raider movie star.

Users are told in the email that order to watch the movie, they need to download the file video-nude-anjelina.avi.exe.

But researchers from BitDefender say this actually installs software to compromise the security of your computer.

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Michael Jackson's Billie Jean has been voted the greatest dance record of all time.

The 1983 hit was selected by listeners to BBC Radio 2 who judged a series of hits on their musical merit and importance in the narrative of UK dance music.

Taken from the Thriller album Billie Jean went on to win two Grammy awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best New Rhythm & Blues song. 

"This track is way up there for me," said Zoe Ball who will announce the results as part of the stations 'Dance Music Season'.

"Jacko's rendition of it at the Motown 25th anniversary show has got to be one of THE great live performances of all time. 

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A fortune cookie proved to be just that for engineer Daniel Williams who scooped £235,588 on the lottery after playing the numbers he found in one.

Daniel from Romford, Essex, has played the same six numbers for four years since finding them in a fortune cookie given o him at a Chinese restaurant while on holiday in Greece.

Last month it paid off when he matched when he bagged a £235,588 share of the Lotto jackpot on Saturday 25 June.

Daniel says his biggest win before the winning numbers of 11, 12, 22, 23, 24 and 36 came out was just £36, 

"I randomly picked my Lotto numbers before we went on holiday, but then decided to take the numbers from the fortune cookie and have stuck with them ever since," he said.   

Men buy ties to save their jobs

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Worried they could be hit by recession prompted redundancies office workers are smartening up their wardrobe to save their jobs.

Men are said to be buying more ties now than any period during the last five years.

Experts think the boom in sales proves that workers are worried about losing their jobs and are trying to impress their current bosses or applying for new jobs. 

Philip Mountford, of Moss Bros said: "It always happens near to a recession. As things get tough people start to worry about their appearance. 

"Perception is always important in an interview and we are seeing a lot more people buying ties."


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The biggest house in London - other than Buckingham Palace - has been sold for £50 million.

Witanhurst, which was used in the popular BBC talent contest Fame Academy, boasts 90 rooms over three floors and has 25 bedrooms, a huge ballroom and a gym.

The grade-II Queen Anne listed mansion in Highgate has been bought by Elena Baturina, the richest woman in Russia worth £1.5 billion, who made her money by setting up Inteco construction company, the largest in Moscow where her husband is mayor.

The building had been owned by Camden Council but in 2007 they were forced to find new owners when they could not afford the work needed to stop deterioration to the  George Hubbard designed building.

The sale of the Highgate home defies the current housing market slump and at £50m is up 56 percent on the £23m price it was sold for just last year.

Paris's free bikes found in Romania

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They were intended for short rides around the French capital but 3,000 of Paris's free bicycles have been pinched with some turning up as far away as Romania.

Parisians and tourists were encouraged to use the bikes - free for the first 30 minutes - since their introduction 12 months ago.

16,000 of vélib' were installed with users paying €29 a year or €1 a day to have access to them - only paying extra if they rode them for more than half an hour.

But 3,000 vélib' have gone missing within the year (19 percent of all the cycles) and some have even turned up in Romania over 1,000 miles away.

The scheme is funded entirely by advertising on the automated vélib' racks and it is planned to arrive in a number of cities across Europe, along with bikes from Paris.

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Would-be US president Barack Obama has won two important votes in the race for the White House.

Obama was voted as being the candidate people thought would be the better kisser and cosmetic dental experts have named him as having a scientifically superior smile.

A poll of 1,433 Americans found that a whopping 77 percent thought the Democrat would be the better smoocher.

On the same day this 'research' was released, dental experts claimed his wider, broader smile with larger teeth was superior to McCain's retrained, narrower smile.

But they warned each candidate could improve they smiles and suggested Obama shold have Botox.

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Experts claim to have discovered the first 'birds' which  flew in the sky over 235 million years ago.

The Kuehneosaurs were 70cm long reptiles which jumped from trees in European forests and used extraordinary extensions of their ribs to glide.

Pre-dating the first recorded bird by 50 million years they are now believed to be the first 'flying' animal.

Scientists from the University of Bristol say that while the creatures were discovered in the 1950s their research is the first to indicate their flying ability.

The team created life-size models of the Kuehneosaurs and tested them in a wind tunnel to discover how they stayed airborne.

World's most expensive chocolates

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Costing more per chocolate than most people will ever pay for a box - these are the world's most expensive chocolates.

Selling for an eye-watering £5,000 per box of 49 chocs it means each one will cost a whopping £102 when they go on sale at Harrods in August.

Makers Patchi say each of the chocolates is handmade and finished with either a gold and Swarovkski crystal flower, or a delicate hand made silk rose.

They come in a suede box and separated by gold and platinum dividers and have been produced for the famous London department store which currently has a ‘High Life’ theme.

A spokesman for Lebanese company Patchi Chocolates said: "This box is aimed at customers who want to make a bold and memorable statement."

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A female squaddie who was nicknamed 'Combat Barbie' by members of her regiment in Iraq is set to do battle in the final of Miss England.

Katrina Hodge a 21-year-old part-time model and a soldier in the British Army will make a bid for the Miss England crown on Friday after already winning Miss Tunbridge Wells.

If Katrina wins the Miss England national finals at Troxy London she will go on to compete at Miss World 2008.

"I have been in the Army for four years," she said. "The main reason I joined the army was to prove that girly girls can do it."

L/Cpl Hodge was given a bravery commendation in 2005 after she saved the lives of members of her regiment in Iraq. They were held at gunpoint when their vehicle overturned but L/Cpl Hodge punched the gunman and took his rifles.

Insect experts bugged by garden find

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World renowned bug experts from the Natural History Museum have been left baffled by one which was found in their own garden.

The NHM is home to more than 28 million bug specimens and is the world leader in the field - so it must come as a embarrassment to admit they can't identify a bug they found in the museum gardens.

The tiny red-and-black bug appeared on trees at the site last year and is about the size of a grain of rice. Now there are hundreds of them.

Experts trying to identify the creature checked the new bug with those in the Museum's national insect collection but amazingly, there is no exact match.

"It seems strange that so many of these bugs should suddenly appear," says Max Barclay, one of the Museum's insect experts.

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Water-wasting and uncaring about gels, shampoos and soap going down the plughole, according to scientists this makes us the worst at showering in Europe.

Women in Britain are particularly guilty of wasting shower water and not caring about contaminants, says the report for the Royal Society of Chemistry.

But men are not much better with only 35% giving thought to contaminants going down the drain compared nearly two-thirds of Spanish women who do care about them. 

Adults in Western Europe are most likely to shower for between two and five minutes, indicates the report, conducted by Ipsos MORI. 

The report goes on to say the French emerge most commendably from the survey, demonstrating greater restraint in water conservation - suddenly not showering finally pays off for them.

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A group of 1,330 children have set the world record for the longest game of Chinese Whispers ... at least that's what I heard.

The event at Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium took more than two hours and started with the message 'Together we will make a world of difference.'

But after 200 children it had changed to 'We're breaking a record' and after 500 children it was recorded as 'Everyone is evil'. 

By the time the message reached the last child, it had changed dramatically and was read out as simply 'Haaaaa'.

Joe Jaina, Senior Lecturer at Cranfield University in organisational behavior said: "It is very human to delete, construct, distort or generalise the original message based on the receiver's personality.

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A daytime TV host has shocked viewers by performing a live striptease on her ITV show.

Carol McGiffin, one of the hosts of Loose Women, performed the strip in front of a studio audience and four million TV viewers after telling them it was National Nudist Day.

But to save her modesty the 48-year-old went behind a screen and only her silhouette was visible.

McGiffin - the former wife of Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans - struck a series of sexy poses as she stripped and then threw her bra and panties from behind the screen.  

Co-presenters Jackie Brambles, Coleen Nolan and Lynda Bellingham egged her on at the start but looked horrified as the non sexy strip proceeded.

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London's super-rich will soon be able to buy bullet proof coats and jackets to protect themselves.

The 'designer' items, created by Miguel Caballero will go on sale at Harrods later this week and are said to help protect the wearer against bullets, knives and other weapons.

The garments are slightly heavier than normal but the lining - a closely guarded secret - can stop high-velocity 9mm hardball and 44 Magnum rounds.

They have even been certified by the United States National Institute of Justice (up to level 111A)

Items in his latest collection include suede jackets, blazers and raincoats and Prince Felipe of Spain, King Abdullah of Jordan and Stephen Seagal are all said to be customers.

End to 113-year-old golf sock rule

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A golf club has relaxed a 113-year-old rule which meant players were forced to wear knee-high socks.

Members of Frinton Golf Club have never been allowed to bare their legs and forced to wear the long socks if wearing shorts on a summer day.

But now committee members have relaxed the rule - a move that hasn't gone down well with all members at the Essex club.

Many traditionalists liked the rule and don't think it should have been altered for younger players and visiting teams who complained.

The club which dates back to 1895 still has strict clothing rule and insists that men's shirts must have collars and shorts must be tailored.

Batman and Robin arrested in Ibiza

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Two British holidaymakers have been jailed in Ibiza for beating a man up while dressed as Batman and Robin.

The pair, who are both 18-years-old, attacked their victim - a 30-year-old Spaniard - after getting into an argument with him as they left a party.

He lost three teeth in the assault which happen near the popular resort of San Antonio.

Both Batman and Robin were sentenced to one year in jail and ordered to pay compensation, though their sentences will be suspended when the money is paid.

A third man - who was dressed as the Joker - was cleared of any involvement in the attack.

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Children are born moral and are hard-wired to to feel empathy for others in pain, scientists claim.

Boffins from the University of Chicago scanned the brains of children aged between seven and 12 as they watched videos of people experiencing pain, either received accidentally or inflicted intentionally.

Clips included a heavy bowl being dropped on hands and a person stepping intentionally on the foot of someone else.

The (fMRI) scans showed that the parts of the brain activated when adults see pain were also triggered in children proving they are 'hard-wired- to feel empathy.

"This study is the first to examine in young children both the neural response to pain in others and the impact of someone causing pain to someone else," said Jean Decety, Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry.

Women 'taxed' for having big breasts

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Big breasted woman claim they are being discriminated against by companies which charge a 'tit-tax' on larger bras.

Campaigners say it is unfair that larger bras cost more than smaller ones when other items of clothing are the same cost irrespective of size.

They have now set up a Facebook page for well-endowed women to voice their outrage at stores like Marks & Spencer which adds a £2 surcharge on bras above a DD cup.

The Busts 4 Justice site reads: "Busts 4 Justice argue that the price equality that rules our outer-garments should apply to our undergarments too.

"Busty ladies, and anyone else with a vested interest in busty ladies, in fact anyone with a vested interest in simple justice, join forces to end this blatant discrimination."

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Asked what they wanted to do before they die, more Brits said they wanted to watch their entire DVD collection than do a skydive.

The odd selection also beat out making amends with family members they had fallen out with.

Visiting the Seven Wonders of the World topped the survey which asked 1,500 people what they wanted to achieve before they kicked the bucket.

Swimming with dolphins came second and going on a safari third.

Also in the top 10 was, learning another language, writing a novel, Scuba diving off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and taking a trip in a hot air balloon.

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A bungling groundsman has stripped a golf course bare by using weed killer to 'water' it.

The pristine grass has been killed across 11 of the  18 holes of Haywards Heath Golf Club in West Sussex.

It is thought the groundsman mistakenly sprayed the greenery with an industrial-strength herbicide killing it and turning it brown.

Many of the holes at the course are so damaged they are not expected to be returned to their normal conditions until 2009. 

Members of the £1100 per year club are said to angry with some cancelling their membership.


Lost painting sells for £12 million

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A painting which had been missing for almost 200 years - presumed to have been destroyed - has been found and sold for £12 million.

La Surprise, by Jean-Antoine Watteau was found in the corner of a drawing room in a British country house last year. 

The owners put it up far sale and last week the painting fetched £12 million - a world record price for any French Old Master painting sold at auction. 

A spokesman for Christie's said: "It was extremely exciting to have rediscovered the painting last year, its whereabouts having been a mystery for almost 200 years."

"This is not only one of the most extraordinary rediscoveries of recent years, but also the most expensive French Old Master painting ever sold at auction."

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British celebrities are some of the most obnoxious stars on American television, as survey has revealed.

Asked to name the most-obnoxious celebrity on television almost half opted for brit export and American Idol judge Simon Cowell.

Hell's Kitchen star Gordon Ramsay was voted third with 12 percent of the vote and the only American who could compete with them was The Apprentice's Donald Trump (37 percent).

The most surprising fact about the results is not that the two Brits are so disliked but that Piers Morgan - aa judge of America's Got Talent - was not on the list.

The Parade.com poll also asked the 4000 Americans if TV personality Jon Stewart ran for President against Barack Obama would they vote for him - a whopping 55 percent said they would.


Job for BLIND air traffic controller

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Air traffic controller is a job which demands 20/20 vision - but that hasn't stopped airport bosses from advertising the job in Braille.

St Mary's airport on the Isles of Scilly claim they were forced to advertise the £36,000 job to blind people because of equal opportunity guidelines. 

The advert stated that all applicants must have excellent vision in order to guide aircraft safely into the hilltop airport, which is often fogbound.

But under this was the note: "If you require this document in an alternative language, in larger text, Braille, easy read or in an audio format, please contact the Community Relations Officer."

The Civil Aviation Authority say all air traffic controllers have to meet international standards and pass a medical, including a stringent eye test.

Myleene becomes godmother to a ship

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TV presenter Myleene Klass showed she was ship shape yesterday when she became the 'godmother' to a 113,000 tonne cruiseliner.

Rather than smashing a bottle of bubbly on the ship herself the 30-year-old send a unique radio command to an underwater Royal Navy deep sea diver.

As she then played 'I Am Sailing' on a piano the diver climbed the side of the superliner on a 60ft marlin rope and smashed a bottle of sparkling wine against the hull.

Carnival Splendor will be the largest passenger ship ever to sail from Dover and carry up to 3,710 passengers.

The ship has four swimming pools, a 5,500sq ft children’s play area and 22 lounges and bars. 


$1 million for Sgt Pepper drum

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The drum skin pictured on the iconic Beatles album cover 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' has sold at auction for £541,250 ($1m). 

The figure is four times what it was expected to fetch at the sale at Christie's in London.

Featuring the name of the 1967 album the bass drumskin is hand-painted in gold, red, blue, green, pink and magenta and mounted on a matched rope tension wooden bass drum.

The buyer will also get a hand-written letter of authenticity from Sir Peter Blake who designed the famous Sargent Peppers album cover.

In the letter he says: "I have examined the painted drumskin that appears on the L.P. record 'Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club' by The Beatles, and that is the same drumskin, and is the genuine, original one painted by Joe Ephgrave."

Rise in fake Euro notes bank reveals

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There are more fake Euro banknotes in circulation than ever before, the European Central Bank has warned.

In the first half of 2008 a total of 312,000 counterfeit euro banknotes were withdrawn from circulation, the most in any six month period since the introduction of the Euro.

The €50 note is proving the most popular fake accounting for 36 percent of fake, this is closely followed by €20 (33 percent) and €100 (21 percent.) Only 1 percent of the fakes were either the €5 or €500 notes.

The overwhelming majority (98 percent) of counterfeits recovered were found in euro area countries and approximately 0.5% were found in EU Member States outside the euro area.

A spokesperson for the ECB said: " The public can have confidence in the quality of euro banknotes and their security features. Counterfeits can be easily distinguished from genuine banknotes by using the simple FEEL-LOOK-TILT test.

Abandoned panda is adopted by cat

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A red panda cub has been adopted by a tabby cat after being rejected by its mother at a zoo in the Netherlands.

When mother Gladys rejected her two cubs last week staff at the Artis zoo in Amsterdam put them both in an incubator.

The pandas had little chance of survival but the zookeeper came up with a cunning plan. His cat had recently given birth and he allowed the pandas to join the litter.

While one of the pandas did not survive the other is looking healthy and part of the family.

The cub has not yet been given a name but the zoo says that anyone willing to sponsor her be allowed to pick one.

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It is currently 360 tonnes of wet sand, but by the weekend it will be a impressive art exhibition depicting the seven continents of the world, well that's the plan. 

12 teams of international 'sand sculptors' have descended on the beach at Weston-super-Mare for the Sand Sculpture Festival 2008.

They will now transform the beach into a series of intricate sculptures that put the humble sand castle to shame.

According to organizers the beach of Weston-super-Mare is one of the few beaches in the world that has the perfect sand for sand sculpting.

"These unique geological circumstances have turned Weston-super-Mare into Sand Sculpting Capital of the United Kingdom," said a spokesperson.

Eiffel Tower to be given makeover

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The Eiffel Tower, one of the world's most recognizable landmarks, is to be given a makeover.

The Paris icon was due to last just 20 years a when construction finished in 1889 but 120 years on is still the world's most visited landmark hosting seven million tourists each year.

But in recent years the attraction had started to look tired. Now the tower's operators said as they unveiled plans to modernise the iron structure.

In addition to introducing pre-paid internet tickets for groups, the area where tourists queue up is to be entirely refurbished.

A champagne bar will also be built on the third floor of the 710 tower which still dominates the Paris skyline.

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A restaurant has created a curry so hot that diners are asked to sign a disclaimer before tucking in.

The Bollywood Burner was created by Vivek Singh executive chef at London’s Cinnamon Club restaurant and is 100 times hotter than most curries.

The lamb-based dish dish contains Naga peppers, which measures over 855,000 on the Scoville scale – the official measure of piquancy of peppers. 

The scorching hot meal also includes Deccan chillies, Dorset Naga seeds, Kashmiri chilli powder, Sesame tamarind sauce and Scotch Bonnet peppers

Vivek Singh said “Whilst extremely hot, we wanted to make sure this was a spectacular dish that would set diner’s hearts racing. 

Nesting seagull halts £260m tunnel

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Work on a £260 million tunnel has been delayed because of a nesting seagull, it has been revealed. 

Plans to demolish a 200-year-old pub to make way for the development screeched to a halt when the bird was spotted nesting in the chimney of the Gas Light pub in South Tyneside.

Wildlife laws mean that workers are not allowed to disrupt the bird while it is nesting and must wait for it to move on before work can resume.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 protects all wild birds, their nests and their eggs.

A spokesman for the site confirmed they were being forced to work around the birds and said they could be delayed by a couple of months.

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David Beckham has ditched his mr nice guy image for the filming of new advert where he had to fight with a young fan in the street.

LA Galaxy midfielder can be seen grappling with the six-year-old girl as he tries to steal a pen from her after signing an autograph.

It is reminiscent of the Walkers Crisp ads with Gary Lineker where he stole crisps from children.

But Becks, 33, found being nasty too hard and after hearing the camera was behind him asked the director if he could smile at the girl as he fought her.

"So I could just really smile couldn't I?" he said on set.

Peter Andre is top celebrity tool

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Peter Andre is the nation's biggest 'celebrity tool' according to a survey of 10,000 builders, carpenters and plumbers.

The onetime pop star who is now more famous for being married to glamour girl Jordan topped the list of celebs the tradesmen thought were 'tools.'

He was closely followed in the list by Dean Gaffney, the Eastenders star turned jungle crybaby and the annoying Radio One DJ Scott Mills.

Chris Elsworthy, of POWER8workshop.com who commissioned the survey said: “We polled builders, carpenters, plumbers and a host of other tradesmen to find out who were the biggest Celebrity Tools.

“Peter Andre seems to be a nice guy, but many men can’t relate to him as he speaks so openly about his feelings, and says daft things about his sex life.”

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Vocal muscles which can contract 100 times in the blink of an eye are the key to the songbirds dawn chorus, researchers have found.

Biologists measured vocal muscle activity in freely singing birds and made laboratory measurements of isolated muscles.



They found songbirds can contract and relax their vocal muscles in 3 to 4 milliseconds, which is 100 times faster than the 300 milliseconds to 400 milliseconds it takes for humans to blink an eye.



The birds’ vocal muscles change the position and stiffness of these folds to alter the volume and frequency of the sound.


“We discovered that the European starling and the zebrafinch control their songs with the fastest-contracting muscle type yet described,” says Dr Coen Elemans, a postdoctoral researcher in biology at the University of Utah.

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Drivers using a hands-free kit to make phone calls are more dangerous than those who hold a mobile, scientists claim.

Researchers found that while people are able to drive better when using a handsfree headset, they often do not, because they think hands-free means safer.

This means hands-free drivers are often more dangerous than those holding a phone to their head - who as a result of perceived danger tend to drive slower and be more careful.

“People tend to be over confident with hands-free and drive faster. They’re thinking, ‘I’m OK because I’ve got on the headgear,” explains Yoko Ishigami, a PHD student at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia.

“Whereas if they were driving with a hand-held phone, they tend to drive slower.”

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TV shows like Ready Steady Cook and Celebrity MasterChef are setting bad examples of hygiene standards, health chiefs claim.

Dr Layla Jader of the National Public Health Service for Wales says shows often fail to wash vegetables before using them or separate uncooked meat from other food.

Speaking at the British Medical Association conference in Edinburgh she cited the BBC shows as examples which failed to follow basic hygiene standards.

She added that it was part of a wider problem in which cleanliness standards were dropping everywhere from schools to restaurants.

"I've seen it so many times. They bring in the vegetables, they open the bag and they make the salad straight from unwashed vegetables," she said.

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Some golfers play better because they think the hole is being bigger than it actually is, scientists have found.

Psychologists say there is a link between a golfers perception of the hole and their ability.

Jessica Witt, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at Purdue University tested 46 golfers who were asked to estimate the size of the hole after they played a round of golf.

Shown a poster with holes ranging from 9-13cm those players who had better scores on the course that day guessed larger than the 10.8 centimeters of a hole.

Lab tests where golfers putted near or far on a traditional putting mat were then used to determine whether performance influenced perceived hole size or remembered hole size.

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A stuntman has gained himself a place in the record books by driving a car on two wheels through a tiny gap.

Dave Ackland from Plymouth completed the feat of driving a 1968 Vauxhall Viva through a 2.02m gap in March, but the Guinness World Records have now confirmed the record.

The 39-year-old beat the previous record by 1cm and drove over a ramp at 8mph to 'launch' onto two wheels.

He then drove through two piles of cardboard boxes 2.02m apart - 67cm more than the height of the car.

A spokesman for Guinness World Records confirmed the record has now been verified. (Watch the video after the link)


Pub banned from selling alcohol

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A pub has been told to stop selling alcohol for a month in a bid to reduce the "negative impact" it is having on the community.

The Forest Hotel in Treforest in the south Wales valleys must also install CCTV after complaints from police.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council issued the strict measures after considering evidence of underage drinking, associated crime and disorder, violence and disturbance relating to the use of the pub’s outside spaces

The pub was also ordered to conduct more staff training and not to allow its customers to drink from bottles, cans or glass when outside.

Cllr John David, Cabinet member for Communities and Joint Chair of the Community Safety Partnership, said their action showed their commitment to community concern.

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A dopey footballer has accidentally revealed his plans to leave Crystal Palace for Fulham - by writing about it on his Facebook page.

Ashley-Paul Robinson, nicknamed "Motor Mouth" meant to message a group of friends to tell them he was having a trial with the Premiership side.

But 19-year-old Robinson forgot to keep his messages "Ashley-Paul is goin fulham on Monday. If I pull dis off im on dis ting!!!" and "Ashley-Paul is off to Bath With Fulham. Fingers Crossed" private.

They were seen by thousands of Crystal Palace and their London rivals Fulham.

Robinson been with Palace since he was 14 and joined their youth academy.

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Everyone thinks they get a lot of spam emails, but meet Colin Wells, he gets over 44,000 EVERY DAY.

Colin says his spam problem became so bad he could not stop checking his mail even when on holiday - because there would be too manny when he got back.

Arriving at a rate of one every second his inbox could fill up with offers of cheap viagra and penis enlargements within minutes and it took him over two hours per day just to delete them.

Colin, a workshop foreman for Stagecoach buses says he considered changing his email address but he uses it as his username on a number of sites.

"44,000 emails per day meant spending at least hours every day selecting junk emails, taking a week holiday would have been an complete nightmare," he said.

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Children are so unaware of wildlife they are more likely to be able to identify a Dalek than a barn owl, a survey has found.

Only 53 percent of children can identify an oak leaf, 43 percent a barn owl and half don't know the difference between a bee and a wasp.

But a shocking 90 percent of those surveyed for the National Trust were able to name Doctor Who’s enemies and identify Star Wars’ Jedi Grand Master, Yoda.

The trust now says children should be encourage to go out more, TV naturalist Nick Baker said: “It’s a sad modern phenomenon that has left many of us, and in particular the younger generations, disconnected from the natural world.
 
“In an age where Nintendos and Playstations compete with tree climbing and pond dipping; the virtual world is winning.

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Patrick Swayze has been voted the best cinematic kisser in a survey of movie-goers.

His lip-locking with Demi Moore in the 1990 film Ghost was picked as Britain's all-time favourite screen kiss in the survey to celebrate the 13th annual National Kissing Day.

In second place came the surprise spaghetti kiss between Lady and Tramp in the Disney classic Lady and the Tramp.

But Swayze was back in there for third place with his Dirty Dancing smooch with Jennifer Grey also proving popular.

A spokesman for National Kissing Day said: "National Kissing Day is a great opportunity for people to kiss their loved ones; we hope everyone will be doing that today."


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Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell beware, there is a new model who wants your jobs and will never get caught doing drugs or throwing a strop (or mobile phone.)

Manekin Robotto is a robotic catwalk model which makers say can move as gracefully as any supermodel.

A "joint drive type mannequin robot" she features 16 motors which are installed in the joints are said to enable model like movements.

But Moss might not have anything to worry about just yet, the robot is a bit on the short side (5ft 3in) and wouldn't look quite as good in a bikini.

Created by the The Hyogo Prefectural Institute of Technology in Japan the device will sell for 1,000,000 Yen (£500.)

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Rugby fans in New Zealand found themselves watching a different kind of scrum when bungling TV bosses accidentally showed porn instead of the match.

Fans had tuned in on Sunday afternoon to watch the Toyota Grassroots rugby program on Prime Television.

But for nearly four minutes they saw a porn show which was due to be shown on Sky TV's pay-per-view Spice channel later that day.

A spokesman for the station described as a distribution mix up and apologized to effected customers in the Auckland and North district.

Rival channels have reported that viewers were angry about the broadcast - though many didn't have problem with it.


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A month long experiment begins today to find out if octopuses are octidextrous or have a favourite tentacle.

25 octopuses at Sea Life Centres across Europe will be given toys including Lego bricks, Rubix's Cubes and balls to see if like humans they have a preferred hand (or in this case tentacle.)

Experts will then record which tentacle the giant Pacific octopus and the common octopus use to pick-up the items and this will be recorded as right 1,2,3,4 or left 1,2,3,4.

The tests will be repeated throughout the month and guests at the Sea Life Centres will be able to watch it taking place.

It is thought each octopus will have a favoured side just like humans who are right or left-handed and if correct will shed new light on the structure of octopus brains. 

French to pay extra for snails

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The price of a plate of snails in Paris is set to soar because no-one wants to go snail-gathering.

France - the worlds largest consumer of Escargots - relies on imports from eastern Europe to help supply it the 14,000 tonnes of snails eaten there each year.

Because of environmental protection for many of the prized species the country has, in recent years, only produced one percent of the snails it eats.

But now because of the economic boom in countries like Poland and Bulgaria Eastern Europeans are turning their noses up at the low wages paid for catching snails.

As a result the companies which ship the snails are being forced to increase their wages, and in turn the price of snail is set to shoot up.

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Looking at their smiling baby can trigger the reward centres of a mothers brain giving her a natural high, research has found.

Scientists asked 28 first-time mothers with to look at photos of their own and other young babies and monitored them with an MRI scanner as they did so.

The machine measured blood flow in the brain giving researchers a clue as to where and when brain activity takes place.

They found that seeing and image of their own child triggered a response in mothers and noted this was heightened if the baby was smiling. 

Dr Lane Strathearn, who conducted the tests at Texas Children's Hospital said the response was similar to experiments into drug addiction: "It may be that seeing your own baby's smiling face is like a 'natural high.

Dr Who fans try to call his mobile

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More than 2,500 Dr Who fans tried to make contact with their hero after his mobile phone number was shown on the hit BBC sci-fi show.

As the final of the fourth series approached fans were surprised to see the Doctors phone number of 07700 900461 given out on air.

Former TARDIS companion Martha Jones said during the show that the Doctors mobile works no matter where, or when he is in the universe - but fans were left disappointed when the number did not ring out.

The BBC have confirmed the number is a 'safe' number provided by Ofcom for use on TV, it does not connect or charge the caller.

But irate fans proceeded to moan that they had not been able to contact the fictional character and voiced their anger in the only way they know, on internet forums.

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Some women struggle to walk in high heels, others find it easy, some find it so easy they can sprint 100m in them.

Hundreds of women today entered a high-heel running race, sprinting through the centre of Brussels in a bid to win a 10,000 Euro shopping spree.

Each wearing their finest stilettos many of the 'athletes' opted for matching dresses rather than sporting attire and competed in a series of 100 metre races.

Entrants in the 'Louise High Heels' event had to wear regulation high-heels that were a minimun of 7cm high and no more than 1.5 cm wide.

Despite this races lasted an average of only 15 seconds - just four and a half seconds over the world record of 10.49s set by Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.

Make friends with your look-alike

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A new social network allows users to find people they look like ... and then make friends with them.

Users upload a picture of themselves and unique facial recognition technology (FRT) suggests a list of 10 look-alikes who also use the site.

Members on ILookLikeYou.com then vote for the best matches or contact their facial matches on the site.

The founders of the site hope it will not only enable people to meet new friends but also find identical twins separated at birth or missing people.

Wayne Adam and Kirk Johnson, both from Ontario, Canada, say a missing person could be added as another users and the FRT would match to their profile, if they had set one up under another name.

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An energy drink which is named after and claims to mimic the effects of a Class A drug is set to go on sale in the UK.

Cans of Cocaine are said to contain the caffeine equivalent of FOUR espressos, more than three times that of fellow energy drink Red Bull. 

The US version of the drink contained wasabi and cinnamon to simulate the numbing effect of cocaine, along with the guarana and 750 milligrams of taurine which give the drinker a 'kick'.

While Red Bull has prompted complaints from heath experts and been linked to causing irregular heartbeat, Cocaine is also coming in for criticism from drugs campaigners.

The red 8.4oz cans have the Cocaine spelled out in a white granular substance and have used the advertising slogan "The legal alternative."


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Jonathan Ross has been named one of the celebs women would least like to bathe with.

900 women were given the names of 20 male celebrities and asked who they would most like to share a bath with.

While David Beckham topped the poll, closely followed by Dermot O’Leary Denzel Washington and Richard Hammond, Ross was an seemingly unpopular choice.

He came joint bottom of the list with X Factor judge Simon Cowell and they were even being beaten by Cliff Richard and Alan Titchmarsh.

The survey, by Fenjal bath products, also found that 60 percent of women would be willing to share their bath water with their spouse.

New York waterfalls make a splash

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Four huge waterfalls positioned along the East River have proved become some of New York's biggest tourist attractions.

The 30-metre-tall metal structures create flows of water between ten and 20 metres wide and are the work of Danish artist Olafur Eliasson.

Situated on Governor's Island, under Brooklyn bridge and on two piers they have already attracted over hundreds of thousands of sightseers and will remain on show until October 13th

"In developing The New York City Waterfalls, I have tried to work with today's complex notion of public spaces," said Eliasson. 

"The Waterfalls appear in the midst of the dense social, environmental, and political tissue that makes up the heart of New York City. 

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A giant monster the size of three Olympic swimming pools has appeared on the beach at Blackpool.

A 40,000 square feet picture of Sulley, the popular character from movie Monsters Inc has been created in the sand by a team of 10 artists.

They started work at 4.30am and took six hours to finish the work, when it was promptly washed away by a high tide.

In the brief moments between being finished and washed away it was clearly visible from the top of Blackpool Tower.

The record breaking sand picture (Britain’s biggest ever piece of beach art) marks premiere of Monsters Inc. on Disney Cinemagic.

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More than 50 percent of Brits would like to have the Queen's autograph, a survey has revealed.

Asked if they could have an autograph from any of today’s celebrities who would it be, most people picked HRH rather than a celebrity or sports personality.

Nelson Mandela came second in the survey followed by David Beckham, Tony Blair and Johnny Depp.

The survey also found that 50% of the adults have asked a celebrity for an autograph, with one in ten of them making requests in the past year. 

And that could be good business sense with experts claiming autographs are a better investment than stocks and shares.

Outdoor office opens in London park

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It's a hot day, the air conditioning is broken and you think you might go and sit outside while you read that report - don't do things by half measures, take the office with you.

A open air office has opened in London's St James’s Park complete with desks, computers, meeting rooms, a receptionist and even a water cooler.

Londoners can hire the facilities online and a receptionist will be on hand, should any squirrels need chasing away.

But the outdoor office will only be there for two days as part of Visit London’s ‘Great Outdoors’ campaign, which aims to inspire people to make the most of London's green spaces.

James Bidwell, Visit London's Chief Executive, says: “The Outdoor Office enables Londoners to get back to nature during the working day. I am looking forward to having a few meetings in the Outdoor Office myself.”

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A Canadian woman has started speaking in a new accent since suffering a stroke.

The puzzling medical phenomenon known as foreign-accent syndrome (FAS) has left Rosemary from Ontario speaking in a accent that sounds like Maritime Canadian English - despite having never visited the Maritimes or been exposed to an East Coast accent.

The condition arises from neurological damage, and results in vocal distortions that typically sound like the speaker has a new, "foreign" accent.

Rosemary, was recovering from a stroke two years ago, when her family noticed a change in her speech. 

They asked medical personnel at the Integrated Stroke Unit of Hamilton General Hospital why their mother was suddenly speaking with what sounded like a Newfoundland accent. 

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An architect says he has come up with a answer to the problems of rising sea waters - floating cities.

Each 'Lilypad' would be capable of housing 50,000 people who will be made homeless as sea levels rise.

It is predicted that within 100 years the sea will have risen 90cm and displaced 50 million people around the world - including cities like London and New York.

Designed by award-winning Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut the Lilypad would be built aroung around a lake which purified rain water and would also feature mountains and shops.

Callebaut says they would travel on the water line of the oceans following the marine streams warm ascending of the Gulf Stream or cold descending of the Labrador. 

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A robot barman has started work in a London department store.

The bot, starting an international tour at Selfridges, is made using a mixture of robotics and animatronics and can serve you a pint in under two minutes.

Called Mr Asahi - I bet you can't guess which beer compnay made him - he cost £100,000 and took eight engineers 200 hours to put together.

Mr Asahi's bar tender movements are made through the use of compressed air and are controlled by a built-in PC.

LED lights on his face are designed to show emotion and will move from green to red as he struggles to remove bottle tops.


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They are not just another face in the crowd. People with blank faces have started cropping up all across the UK.

They have no eyes, nose or mouth, but they have been seen at Elton John's ball the Harrods summer sale and Wimbledon.

Yesterday a featureless couple were even filmed rowing on the first day of the Henley Regatta.

People have speculated that the 'faceless' - who use a membrane of artificial skin to cover their feature with tiny holes over the eyes - could even be celebs sick of the paparazzi.

But is it thought that they will soon be reveled as an elaborate marketing stunt for Lotus cars.

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More than 15 years after the first one was sent, text messages are still the most important thing for buyers when picking a new phone, a survey has found.

At a time when mobile phones do everything from taking photos to acting as a sat-nav the humble SMS is often ignored.

But research has found that 73 percent of phone buyers would not pick a mobile without the ability to send texts.

Asked what was the most important feature for them a camera came second with 67 percent followed by the ability to send email (63 percent) access the internet (61 percent) and listen to music (34 percent.)

It was 15 years ago when Brit Neil Papworth sent the first text to a phone from a computer.

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It looks like a piece of ribbon floating in space but this is actually the 1000-year-old remnants of a stellar explosion.

The supernova explosion which caused it has been dated to around May 1, 1006 AD when the light caused by it would have been so bright the star would have even been visible on earth during the day.

It was caused by the final death throes of a white dwarf star nearly 7,000 light-years away and was probably the brightest star ever seen by humans.

The image, captured by NASAs Hubble Space Telescope, is a composite of hydrogen-light observations from the Advanced Camera for Surveys in and the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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Some of the world's most famous landmarks have been recreated in jelly by leading architects.

Gelatinous creations have been entered into a bizarre contest by top designers includung Sir Norman Foster, Wil Alsop and Lord Richard Rogers.

Ten shortlisted entries will go on show at the ‘Architectural Jelly Banquet’ at University College London tomorrow night.

The event - the climax of London Festival of Architecture - will see the judging of the jellies which will be done on the criteria of innovation, aesthetics and wobble factor.

Other goings-on at the banquet where guests will arrive dressed as desserts will be jelly wrestling and "bespoke wobbling soundscapes and projections,” whatever that is.


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BBC motoring show Top Gear has been criticised by watchdogs after hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May were seen drinking gin and tonic while driving to Magnetic North Pole.

In the 'Polar Special' the pair raced Richard Hammond to the north pole, while he was in a sled pulled by dogs they drove there in a pickup truck.

But complaints flooded in after Clarkson and May broke out the G&T in the cab of the truck and started drinking. 

The BBC Trust investigated after what one viewer described as "blatant use of alcohol while driving" in the show aired last July at 8pm before the watershed.

On the show Clarkson pre-emting the complaints had said: "Because we are in international waters there are no drink driving laws.

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Wearing shades, wetsuits and Hawaiian shirts they were no different to any other surfer ... except they had four legs and were more used to fetching balls than riding waves.

This was America's largest surfing competition for dogs, where 60 mutts battled to become top surf dog.

Competing in three different categories, Small surf dogs, Large surf dogs and Teams (surf dogs and humans surfing together on the same board at the same time) the dogs each had the chance to catch three waves.

They were then marked on confidence level, length of ride and overall ability to "grip it and rip it" by judges at the 3rd Annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition at Imperial Beach in California. 

TJ the Spanish spaniel took top honors in the 'Small surf dogs' category, Stoli the black Lab taking gold won the 'Large' surf dogs category, and Zoey the Jack Russell (with his owners) came first in the 'Teams.'

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Does this sound familiar? Tim Henman has failed to make it all the way to the Wimbledon final. 

This time even talking about tennis has proved too much for 'Tiger Tim' who is being rested from duties as a BBC pundit after losing his voice.

He is now hoping his voice will have recovered enough to make his first Wimbledon Final appearance, albeit in the commentary box.

Earlier today Tim's new BBC colleagues made fun of the star on air with co-pundit John McEnroe even making a impromptu appearance in the BBC studio to join in.

"What is going on, it's commentary for gods sakes ... what you have done one match in a day or something?" said McEnroe.


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Red-faced police have been forced to apologise after using a cute puppy in a advertising campaign - because it might have offended Muslims.

The ad for Tayside Police featured a three-month-old police pup Rebel sat in a police hat next to a phone and got a arrr from most people.

But the force received a number of complaints from Islamic residents who consider dogs "ritually unclean".

A spokesman for the force said that while Rebel had proved very popular (he even has his own page on their website) they would like to apologise for any offense.

He added that they should have checked the advert with the force's diversity adviser before running it.

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Scientists who used medical equipment to study classical musical instruments believe they have found out why Stradivarius violins sound so good.

For 300 years Stradivarius have been unparalleled in their abilities of tonal expressiveness and projection.

Now research has found the secret of the classic violins, could lie in he consistent density of the two wooden panels used to make its body, not the body contours as previously thought.

Using CT scanners and computers normally used to look at the inside of peoples throats the team of Dutch and US researchers compared five antique violins with modern versions. 

While the average wood density of the classical and modern violins did not differ significantly they found the front and back plates of the older instruments had a more uniform density.

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It was the must-have toy of the 80s but the Rubik's Cube is to be a Christmas best seller again this year, 28 years after its launch.

Toy retailers are tipping the cube puzzle game to be one of the top sellers in the build up to xmas 2008.

YouTube clips of people completing the game in record times or even by using their feet are said to be responsible for a renewed interest in the toy.

The Rubik's Cube was invented in 1974 and lunched six years later, it went on to become the worlds best selling toy.

Several other popular toys this year have a retro 80s feel including, Star Wars figures and a replica Indiana Jones Whip.

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The French President Nicolas Sarkozy has become the unwitting star of a hit internet video after ranting about someone not saying hello to him.

Preparing for an interview on TV station France 3, the French boss said hello to a technician who was attaching a microphone to his tie.

But when the crew member failed to answer Sarko began to look angry and can be heard muttering (in French) "It's a question of manners, when you're invited, you're entitled to have people say 'hello' to you".

The clip, in which Sarkozy does not seem to be aware the camera is rolling, has already been watched more than 1,000,000 times on video website DailyMotion.com

It is not the first time he has been caught-out on camera, earlier this year he was filmed swearing at someone after they refused to shake his hand. (Watch the video after the link)

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More than 2,000 pizzas are to be shipped from Chicago to Iraq in a bid to raise the morale of US troops.

The pizzas were last week packaged in temperature-controlled containers and taken to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York where they are due to be flown directly to the Middle East.

They will then be delivered to military bases just in time for July 4th celebrations.  

"U.S. troops stationed overseas overwhelmingly appreciate receiving gifts and reminders of home," said Retired Master Sgt. Mark Evans who organized the effort with the support of local veterans and community members.

Evans collected enough donations to purchase 2000 pizzas, provided below cost by Lou Malnati's Pizzeria of Northbrook, Illinois and DHL offered free shipping.

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Rather than losing marks for writing the words 'f**k off' on their English exam a pupil was rewarded with extra marks for it.

The GCSE pupil had been asked to "Describe the room you're sitting in" but obviously didn't feel like doing it.

Assessment and Qualifications Alliance chief examiner Peter Buckroyd said the expletive had been worth 7.5 percent because it was "conveying some meaning and some spelling." 

He even added that the pupil would have been given extra marks had they added an exclamation mark to show proper punctuation.

AQA said this was not in line with its guidelines, which state expletives would either be disregarded or sanctioned.

Watermelons can have viagra effect

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Watermelon delivers Viagra-like effects to the body’s blood vessels and can even increase libido, scientists claim.

Boffins from Texas A&M University say phyto-nutrients in the fruit react with the human body to trigger reactions similar to those of the little blue pill.

Dr Bhimu Patil, of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement Center said: “The more we study watermelons, the more we realize just how amazing it is in providing natural enhancers to the human body,

“Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it.

“Watermelon may not be as organ specific as Viagra ... but it’s a great way to relax blood vessels without any drug side-effects.”

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Drinking coffee after a workout could be the key to building better muscles, scientists believe.

It is now thought consuming caffeine after exercise helps muscles recover faster and can improve an athletes performance. 

A team of Australian researchers found after exercise caffeine resulted in athletes having 66% higher glycogen levels -  the muscle's primary fuel source during exercise.

This means they would be better equipped for further training or putting in a improved performance.

"If you have 66% more fuel for the next day's training or competition, there is absolutely no question you will go farther or faster," said Dr. Hawley, the study's senior author.

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Flying cars will become a reality, inventor Sir Clive Sinclair has claimed.

Most famous for the ill-fated C5 electrical vehicle Sir Clive says he is sure flying cars will soon be made - though he has no plans to develop one himself.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 he said:  “I’m sure it will happen and I am sure it will change the world dramatically" adding that it was already “economically and technically possible".

Explaining his vision he added that any personal flying machine would need to be automatically controlled because it would not be possible for everyone to learn how to fly.

“The vehicle would take off from your home and fly to wherever you want to go,” he said.

New show now running at the Tate

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Sprinters will be paid £10 per hour to run through the halls of one of the UKs most famous art galleries.

Turner Prize-winner Martin Creed has the revealed the runners as his new work of art 'Work No. 850' at Tate Britain.

The show will see a series of semi-pro athletes sprinting through a 86 metre long gallery every 30 seconds for eight hours per day for the next four months.

Creed, 39, who won the 2001 Turner Prize for a piece called The Lights Going On And Off, said: “I like running. I like seeing people run and I like running myself… running is the opposite of being still."

He advertised in running mags and sports clubs to find the sprinters though he still needs more people to take part at the gallery on the Thames's north bank. 




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