September 2008 Archives

eBay camera may have been an MI6 spycam

Police are investigating whether a digital camera bought on eBay contained images of terror suspects and secret documents.

It has been claimed that a Nikon Coolpix 5700 bought for just £17 came loaded with pictures including those of rocket launchers and missiles.

The buyer is said to have only realised the images were there when he returned from a holiday and tried to look at his snaps.

As he couldn't remember visiting any terrorist training camps on his summer break, it wasn't that sort of holiday, he contacted police.

A spokesperson for Hertfordshire Police confirmed that intelligence officers were investigating after a camera was seized.

Top footballers write a recipe book

Some of the top European footballers have published a recipe book featuring their favorite dishes in a bid to encourage children to eat more healthily.

Oddly, burger-loving striker Wayne Rooney was not asked to contribute.

The book 'Eat for Goals!' is produced by UEFA and the World Heart Federation and include recipes from Miroslav Klose of Bayern München,  Ruud van Nistelrooy, of Real Madrid and Birgit Prinz of Frankfurt.

Each recipe comes with child-proof simple instructions and detailed list of the ingredients. 

"It shows young players and lovers of football how to cook and eat like champions," said Steven Gerrard, captain of Liverpool who included his personal favorite aromatic sea bream.

Two planes were left circling the Greek island of Lesbos for over half an hour because an air traffic controller had overslept.
Because the dozy air traffic controller was snoozing the pilots were not able to get clearance to land.

They tried several times to contact the tower, each time getting angrier than the last, but were left above the Aegean sea.

The Olympic Airlines aircraft from Athens and a Slovakian Airlines plane, were finally able to contact someone after 40 minutes.

The air traffic controller said she had overslept and police said she would be suspended for a few days.

A horse walks into a bar, gets barred

A horse walks into a bar, the landlady says "Get out you're barred" now the horse has a reason for the long face.

A cart-horse has been banned from going to the pub where she has become a regular, because the landlady has bought new carpets.

For the past couple of years cart horse Peggy has been going into the South Tyneside watering hole with owner Peter Dolan, she even developed a taste for the odd pint of John Smiths.

It all started when Peggy - who was normally left outside - followed Peter inside and no-one took any notice of her or insisted she leave.

Then again many of the drinkers probably thought they had just had a few too many.

David Beckham to launch children's books

David Beckham is set to take on JK Rowling with the launch of a series of children's fiction books.

The books are to be set at David Beckham football academies in London and LA and will detail the lives of a fictional group of plucky youngsters training there.

Stories will include what happens to the group on the pitch, in the classroom and what they get up to around the academy after training.

Aimed at seven-year-olds (Beckham's reading age?) the first book in the series, which has not yet been given a title, is due to be released in June 2009. 

And makers have good news for anyone hoping to enjoy the books with their children, they promise David will not have penned them himself.

Facespook: MI6 recruit spies on Facebook

We can't imagine James Bond updating his Facebook status or taking the 'What EastEnders character are you?' quiz, but spies are being recruited through the social network.

The British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) has started advertising on Facebook to find potential MI6 agents.

The 'Spy Wanted' ads, which were launched last week, are part of a drive to reach a large and wide variety of people say the Foreign Office.

One of the ads reads "Time for a career change? MI6 can use your skills. Join us as an operational officer collecting and analysing global intelligence to protect the UK."

Would-be James Bonds are directed to the SIS website, where candidates can fill out application forms online.

Galley visitors break valuable artworks

Artworks worth tens of thousands of pounds are being damaged by gallery visitors who walk into, trip over, lean on, or in some cases vomit on them.

National Gallery, the Tate and the V&A each say works in their collections had been damaged by clumsy art lovers, staff and removal men.

At the Tate Collection an oil painting by Barnett Newman was even damaged twice in a month by wobbly footed visitors. 

One tripped and left his finger marks on the canvas and dented the picture, then just three weeks later, another stumbled and pressed his hand against the canvas, leaving an imprint.

The gallery should probably have moved it from the position at the end of a slide.

James Bond's car of choice the Aston Martin, has kept its title as the UK's coolest brand.

For the third year running the Aston Martin topped the annual CoolBrand list this time beating the iPhone and Apple into second and third place.

Other brands making it into the top 20 include Rolex and Nintendo - those which never stood a chance include Microsoft and Wedgewood. 

The list is based on the opinions of a 'Expert Council' made up of people who are too-cool-for-school, and 2,500 'normal' consumers on a YouGov panel.

Next year we are hoping Agent Provocateur can make the jump from eighth to first so we can use a picture of a woman in sexy underwear rather than a car.

Huge prime number discovered

Mathematicians in the US will get a cash prize after discovering a new giant prime number which has 13 million digits.

Boffins have spent years looking for the mind-boggling long number since the Electronic Frontier Foundation set-up a $100,000 prime number prize to promote co-operative computing on the Internet.

A team from the University of California discovered the whopping number which can be divided only by itself and one by linking 75 computers over the internet.

This means they were able to use the combined calculating power of the machines to find and verify the new prime.

Luckily the team can email in their entry - it would take two and a half months to write out by hand and even printing out all 13 million digits in a normal size font would create a number 30 miles long.

Bao Xishun, the world's tallest man, has announced he will become the world's tallest father after getting his 5ft 5in wife pregnant.

7ft 9in Bao married his normal sized wife Xia Shujuan last year and while they insist they are equal partners in marriage she only reaches her husband's elbow.

They are now said expecting their first child and Bao, a herdsman from Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, said he would like his son or daughter to be tall enough to play basketball.

He could also be given a second place in the Guinness World Record book - and it was easier and more enjoyable than holding ten live rattlesnakes in his mouth for longer than ten seconds.

Bao says the marriage is going well, he has obviously learnt how to fain laughter each morning when his wife asks  'what's the weather like up there?'

Duck hatched from seagull fall egg

A lucky duckling has safely hatched from an egg despite being dropped 30ft by a seagull.

The greedy gull was unable to carry its haul back to the nest and the egg fell to the floor as the bird soared.

Barrie Tolley, who saw the egg get snatched and then dropped, decided to took a closer look at it and was amazed to find it was still in one piece, though covered with fine cracks.

The farmer - who runs Rare Breeds Farm in Totnes, Devon - took the egg home and popped it in an incubator hoping the animal had somehow survived.

Over a period of five hours the little duckling escaped his shell and incredibly imaginative Barrie gave the duck the name Houdini.

Get the scoop on breast milk ice cream

Animal rights campaigners have called for ice cream makers Ben and Jerry to start producing their odd flavours with human breast milk.

Earlier this week PETA sent a letter suggesting using mothers milk to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the founders of the ice-cream company, prompting cries of 'Mamma Mia!'

PETA hope the call will highlight the suffering of dairy cows and their babies on factory farms rather than prompting the launch of 'Moms Milky Cheesecake' flavour. 

The group say they were inspired by a restaurant in Switzerland which has a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors.

On hearing about the Swiss restaurants menu most normal people gag or feel slightly ill rather than formulating a PR stunt.

BIC biro fans give pen in-depth reviews

People research some items online before purchasing them, but you would not have thought the humble BIC biro was one of them.

But that hasn't stopped hundreds of people of people providing their opinions of the BIC Crystal ballpoint pens on sites like Amazon.

One dedicated user has even written a whopping 650 word review of a pen they bought online. 

"Since taking delivery of my pen I have been very happy with the quality of ink deposition on the various types of paper that I have used." Matt Williams from Essex starts his review.

An amazing 1917 people say they have found the review helpful in deciding whether to purchase the £0.10 pen.

£1,000,000 banknote to sell for £40,000

A rare UK bank note for one million pounds is set to sell at auction for £40,000, but it is not the bargain it first appears

There have only ever been nine £1,000,000 notes produced and only two remain ... but you shouldn't take it at face value.

They were issued by the Treasury on August 30, 1948 in connection with the Marshall Aid Plan after World War II and wre intended for internal use as 'records of movement' for a period of six weeks only. 

After that they were signed and stamped so they could never be used again, shame, any chance of rubbing that out?

A spokesperson for Spink, the specialist auctioneers, who will sell the not on on October 1 said: "It is believed that nine examples were produced and only two, Numbers Seven and Eight, survived. 

Gadgets: Sandisk slotMusic

By Jay Garrett

Why? That was the very first thing that sprang to my lips when I discovered the latest venture by the large labels to convince us that we need another kind of physical media on which to carry our tunes.

Personally CD’s are my main alternative to MP3, WMA, FLAC, etc.

I still have my vinyl but that weighs a tonne and was never the most portable of formats – ask any DJ and then ask their chiropractor!

The dumb things people ask IT departments?

Next time you call the IT department to fix a problem make sure your question isn't one of the following.

A survey of over 1,400 IT managers has revealed a list of the dumbest questions people have asked them including classics such as "My laptop was run over by a truck. What should I do?" 

Another which initially baffled the IT man was "How do I get my computer's coffee-cup holder to come out again?"

These examples show that it takes more than technical expertise to interact with end users ... especially those who confuse CD drives with coffee trays.

A spokesperson for Robert Half Technology who commissioned the research said: "These unusual requests highlight the need for technical support personnel to also demonstrate patience, empathy and a sense of humor." 

Jetman postpones English Channel flight

A man who planned to jump out of a plane and fly across the English Channel with jet-propelled wings has been forced to postpone his attempt.

Swiss stunt-man Yves Rossy had to call off the flight 15 minutes before he was due to take-off when clouds built up over Dover, who would have guessed clouds over England.

The rocketman should have been flying across the 21-mile sea at speeds of up to 150mph powered by a 8ft jet-powered wing which he has been working on for the past four years.

But instead he took a helicopter ride to the UK where he held a press conference to explain his decision -  he may make a second attempt tomorrow.

"My eyes are my best instruments and in these conditions it's just too dangerous," he told reporters.

And now for something completely different ... the Monty Python movie 'Life Of Brian' can be shown in Torbay.

28-years-ago the Devon council gave the controversial but very funny movie an X-rating for mocking the story of Christ and banned it from being show in cinemas.

The X-rating meant it could only be sold in sex shops and other licensed outlets, anyone who wanted to see it was branded 'a very naughty boy'

But now they have lifted the restriction allowing it to be screened at a film festival, a move which is sure to raise a cheer from the Judean People's Front.

The first Torquay screening will now happen on Sunday at the English Riviera Comedy Film Festival, ironically taking place in a 12th century monastery.

Balancing artist rocks on despite fake claims

They look almost unbelievable, but artist Bill Dan insists his amazing balancing rock sculptures are real.

If so, you would never want to take him on at a game of Jenga.

The steady-handed artist from San Francisco has spent the last 14 years making the stunning sculptures by resting different-sized rocks on top of each other. 

Thousands of people regularly gather to see him stack the rocks or log-on to watch him create the works on YouTube.

He says there is no glue used and it is just gravity which keeps his art together - and that anyone can learn to do it.

Academics believe that watching CSI-style TV shows about forensic science could impact on the verdicts jurors come to in court cases.

Researchers will now investigate how accurate people's perceptions about forensic science are, where these beliefs come from, and how this forensic awareness may impact on jury decision making.

They will assess whether the jury system in the UK is influenced by the type of forensic-related programming potential jurors are exposed to, or whether their knowledge and understanding of forensic science through news media.

If they keep humming songs by 'The Who' and ask why our forensic witnesses are not wearing sunglasses it is a fair assumption to assume they are influenced by CSI.

Lisa Smith, from the Forensic Section of the University of Leicester said: "The increased attention given to forensic science in both the news and fictional media has raised awareness of these techniques in the general public. 

PICTURES: The £13,000 per night hotel room

This is the credit crunch defying hotel where people with mega-money are paying £13,000 per night to stay.

The decadent Dubai hotel even has an indoor ski-slope and has flown in two dozen bottlenose dolphins to entertain guests.

Some of the £13,000 per night suites come complete with a gold-leaf 18-seat dining table and others a glass wall into a giant fish tank holding some 65,000 fish, stingrays and other sea creatures.

It is all part of the £800million Atlantis Hotel the latest word in Gulf excess which will also be home to the world's tallest skyscraper.

Alan Leibman, of hotel owners Kerzner International said: "Atlantis, The Palm is an entertainment destination that is truly different than anything that currently exists in the resort category in the region.  

Toilets at London's Olympic games in 2012 will be built facing away from Mecca so that Muslims do not have to face their holy city when sitting on the loo.

The Olympic Delivery Authority, the team behind the plans, say they hope it will avoid the lavatory causing a religious stink.

Islamic religion tells Muslims not to face the Kiblah - the direction of prayer - when they going to the toilet.

Today a spokesman for the ODA confirmed a 'percentage of general toilets would not face Mecca' and that they were taking measures to ideal venue for people of all cultures and faiths.

Special washing facilities linked to prayer rooms are also planned for  London's Olympic Park.

Do me a favour? Not in London, mate

Next time you're stuck for directions or struggling with heavy bags just hope you are not in London.

Despite its image as a city full of cheeky cockneys and chirpy cabbies, London has been voted the place in the UK with the least helpful locals.

A survey of over 2,000 people found Northerners were seen as being the most friendly approachable and helpful.

Yorkshire was voted the number one place to be if you are in need of a favour, Scotland and the North West came second, closely followed by the North East.

At least that suggests customer service isn't grim up north ... even if everything else is.

Chicken-sized American dinosaur ate insects

A tiny dinosaur which measured the same size as a chicken and ate only insects, has been discovered.

The 'Albertonykus borealis' was an odd looking creature with bird-like features which lived 70million years ago in North America, say experts.

Its bones were found during the excavation of an ancient bone bed near Red Deer, Alberta, and now the experts have created illustrations of what they think it would have looked like.

Thy say with its slender legs, jaws like pincers and stubby arms with big claw it looked like a Dr. Seuss character ... but wouldn't have had the rhyming ability.

University of Calgary researcher Nick Longrich said: "These are bizarre animals. They look like an animal created by Dr. Seuss.

Oom-pah-pah over cheap imported lederhosen

A row had broken out in Germany about the wearing of cheap Chinese import lederhosen at the Munich Oktoberfest.

Purists say only lederhosen made from the hide of a Bavarian deer by a Bavarian tailor should be worn, but this year many of the outfits have  been made in China.

The row also focuses on dirndl, the traditional Alpine woman's dress which is being replaced in the imports by a revealing combination of tight leather hotpants and deep-cleavage corsets.

Given it is happening at the worlds largest beer festival it can only be a matter of time before it turns into a drunken brawl. 

The Bavarian Federation of Folk Costume Societies are unsurprisingly unimpressed branding many of the costumes "yuppie outfits" that have nothing to do with true Bavarian dress.

Oldest cookbook goes online

Britain's oldest recipe book, which was written over 600-years-ago by the personal chefs to king Richard II, is to be made available online.

The 'Forme of Cury' will be digitized by experts at Manchester’s John Rylands University Library and loaded onto their website giving members of the public free unlimited access for the first time.

So anyone who has a craving for 'Blank Mang – a sweet dish of chopped meat, milk, rice, sugar and almonds or 'Sauce Madame' - Geese stuffed with pears, garlic and grapes, will be able to log-on.

The book is one of several medieval texts which will be getting uploaded, others include a fifteenth-century manuscript of Chaucer's 'The Miller's Tale' and poems by John Lydgate.

Jan Wilkinson, of the university library, said: "The Library's Middle English manuscripts are a research resource of immense significance. 

Scientists: Cars are taken at 'face value'

People think the front of cars look like faces and even expect them to have a personality based on their 'facial features' research has found.

The experts say humans have developed an ability to collect information on people's sex, age, emotions, and intentions by looking at their faces. 

Now they suggest we try to do the same with inanimate objects and asked people to report the characteristics, emotions and attitudes that they ascribed to car fronts.

Most people liked cars which had a wide stance, a narrow windshield, and/or widely spaced, narrow headlights, like sports-cars such as a Mercedes SLK. 

One of the researchers said: "We show that distinct features in the car fronts correspond to different trait attributions. 

Extinct Galapagos tortoises may live again

Scientists say they could bring an extinct species of Galapagos tortoise back to life after discovering genetic traces of them in their descendants.

Boffins say cross-breeding the relatives of the Geochelone elephantopus could re-create the extinct species - though it could take a century.

But 98 of those years would be taken up by the tortoise walking to the lab.

The animal is one of 15 species of giant tortoise which played a part in Charles Darwin formulating his theory of evolution - of those, four have since gone extinct.

Experts from Yale University used museum specimens and current molecular technology to paint a new picture of the origins and future of some of the tortoises.

Hari Puttar and the film that wasn't banned

Lawyers for the makers of Harry Potter - have failed in a bid to get Indian movie called Hari Puttar banned.

They claimed 'Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors' infringed on their boy wizard franchise and tried casting a spell to stop the Indian producers releasing their movie.

When we say 'spell' we mean 'injunction lawsuit' and when we say 'casting' we mean 'filing' - but you get the idea.

In "Hari Puttar - A Comedy of Terrors" a 10-year-old Indian boy moves to England with his family but when they go on holiday the youngster is left 'home alone' fending off bungling burglars.

Yesterday a court in Indian capital Delhi rejected the lawsuit saying that readers could easily distinguish Hari Puttar from the JK Rowling Harry Potter series. 

Send in the clowns ... quietly

Circus clowns in the UK have been banned from going onstage because council bosses say their trumpets fall foul of licensing regulations.

The troupe from Zippos Circus were due to perform in Birmingham but were painting on the sad clown faces after being told to drop an integral part of their act.

Birmingham Council told the circus the show could not go on unless the clowns dropped the musical part of their act, because there was one too many of them.

The Licensing Act 2003 forbids the playing of live music without a licence but while most authorities do not enforce the rule for circuses Birmignham was playing the straight man.

The odd news comes as a surprise given how much Birmingham council loves circus skills, for years they have been spinning around hitting each other with ladders and generally performing like clowns. 

'Sexist pig' men get paid more

Men who hold traditional views of women earn more money than colleagues who hold a more modern view, say scientists.

A study of over 12,000 workers found that men who believe a woman's place is at home looking after the children earn on average £4,500 more each year.

He is also more likely to stare at his secretaries breasts, make inappropriate comments to office juniors and find out in a couple of years time that the woman he left at home is divorcing him.

The study, by experts from the University of Florida, followed and interviewed the worker four times between 1979 and 2005. 

They were asked whether they believed a woman's place is in the home, whether employing wives leads to more juvenile delinquency, if a man should be the achiever outside the home and if the woman should take care of the home and family. 

Supermarket shoplifters take the bacon

A supermarket says it has been forced to take bacon off the shelves after a rash-er of thefts.

Shoppers at Londis in Burnley, Lancs, will now have to ask at the tills if they want to buy any bacon for their breakfast.

The move comes after thieves nicked ALL the bacon from the shop for two days in a row.

It is thought the soaring price (bacon has increased by 100 percent in the last 12 months) and the fact that it is easy to conceal, make it an ideal target for shoplifters.

The store has even put up a sign saying: "Due to the fact that our bacon is so delicious the shoplifters can’t resist it - If you would like to try some please ask at the tills."

Musical road out of tune with locals

A road which was specially created to 'play' a tune as motorists passed over it is to be paved over after complaints.

Avenue K in Lancaster, had a series of grooves cut into it so that as cars passed over at 55mph the sound would resonate and drivers would hear the Lone Ranger theme tune.

The experts behind the road (who locals wish were under it) said the high-tech sounds would be limited to those inside the car and anyone else would just hear the normal sounds of traffic.

You can see where this is going, can't you?

MI6 spy lets his cover slip on TV

A bungling British spy proved he was no James Bond when his carefully chosen disguise fell off ... during a TV interview.

The MI6 agent was appearing on BBCs 'The One Show' to discuss the agencies role during inteligence operations - a first for an operational intelligence officer.

Because of the sensitive nature of his work he was wearing a fake moustache and disguise to conceal his real identity, or that was the plan.

But as he was quizzed at the the Foreign Office, the heat from the camera lights began to weaken the adhesive and his tache began to peel away from his lip.

In the end the spy, known only as John, had to remove it before it fell from his face, luckily for him the gaff took place during a recording and the interview was not being broadcast live.

Massive diamond is a gem of a find

A diamond so big it would dwarf the Koh-i-Noor in the British Crown Jewels has been discovered.

The massive rock - which could become the largest ever polished round diamond - weighs a whopping 478 carats and is the 20th largest rough diamond ever found.

It was recovered from Letšeng Mine in Lesotho say Gem Diamonds who own and operate the mine in the South African kingdom.

The diamond was taken to Antwerp where it was determined to be a type II D colour diamond, the highest colour grading available for a white diamond. 

Even the most enthusiastic bride-to-be would struggle to lift her hand to show off this giant if it were on her ring.

Rubber ducks help research global warming

NASA scientists have launched a flotilla of 90 rubber ducks in a bid to understand the impact of global warming.

The bright yellow ducks were dropped into a series of holes in Greenland's fastest moving glacier and the boffins are now offering a reward for their return.

It is hoped the information about where the ducks are recovered will shed light on how the water moves through the ice and the movement of glaciers.

That said the calls from drunk college students telling NASA "I found one of your ducks in my bath" isn't likely to forward scientific understanding.

Each of the ducks has been branded with the words "science experiment" and "reward" in three languages, along with a contact email address. 

If you struggled to get half-decent service at a restaurant in Brussels yesterday this could explain why.

Hundreds of the quickest waiters in the city (and a couple of the slow ones) were taking part in a 'waiter race' where they had to run 2.5km while carrying a tray of drinks.

Armed with a tray bearing a bottle of Pineau des Charentes liquor and three full glasses the waiters had to complete the five laps of the Parc du Cinquantenaire track.

The winner was the first perfectly-poised waiter to cross the line and still have their drinks intact.

Some dropped their trays, others spilt their drinks ... but my favorite competitors gave up and were seen staggering from the event swigging from the bottle they were meant to be carrying around. 

By Dan Owen

MERLIN (BBC1, SAT 7.30PM) Here comes the next big Saturday night entertainment from the BBC, borne of the channel's success with Doctor Who and (to a lesser extent) Robin Hood.

This is essentially a family-orientated retelling of Arthurian legend with an eye on the Harry Potter crowd. Colin Morgan plays a young Merlin in the Dark Ages before Britain was established – a land where magic has been banned, pantomime-style, by the ruthless King Uther (Anthony Head)...

Movies: Lakeview Terrace and Ghost Town

By Erik Samdahl

I’ve been asked to cover this week’s Hollywood movie releases, and while I have the urge to recommend Ghost Town, which stars that funny British guy from "The Office" – since News:Lite is run by a bunch of funny British people – I have to go with Lakeview Terrace, which appears guaranteed to not feature a single British accent.

Of course, nationalities have nothing to do with my preference – Ghost Town looks mildly amusing even if utterly unoriginal as far as man-almost-dies-but-is-saved-but-now-can-see-annoying-dead-people-who-want-him-to-do-things-for-him kind of flicks – instead, the thought of Samuel L. Jackson and Patrick Wilson (Little Children and Hard Candy) as two quarreling neighbors makes my blood boil.

Stephen Hawking reveals "time eater" clock

A £1million clock dubbed the "time eater" has been unveiled by space boffin Professor Stephen Hawking.

The odd looking clock, which has no hands or numbers, has gone on show at at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University.

Specialist engineers spent seven years creating the gold clock, which was designed by inventor and horologist John Taylor, a student at the college in the 1950s.

A series of slits cut into cut into the 4ft wide stainless steel face are illuminated with blue LEDs to show the time and a giant grasshopper on the top makes one step every second.

The mechanism of traditional clockwork is estimated to run for at least 250 years.

ASBOs to be issued to wave-stealing surfers

Surfers in Cornwall could be issued with Anti Social Behavior Orders (ASBOs) if they are caught stealing waves from swimmers.

The move - which could see community support officers donning swimming costumes - is intended to stop the surfers encroaching on areas of the sea which have been designated for swimmers only.

Some areas of the beach and sea had been reserved for swimmers so they are safe from stray surfboards which can build up speed and cause injuries if a rider has fallen off.

But lifeguards say they were forced to called in the police when laid-back surfers refused to follow the rules. 

Now officers could be patrolling the beach along with the lifeguards who have no real enforcement powers.

One-in-ten are addicted to online news

4.5 million Brits are addicted to internet news, checking their top news sites up-to six times per day.

The average user now goes online for news some three times per day, that's the same amount of times as they switch the kettle on for a cup of tea ... but a fraction of the times they surf for porn.

Researchers say many of us are now addicted to online news with one-in-ten looking at news sites over six times per day. 

The study found that the average UK adult digests 13 different news stories across TV, radio, newspapers and the internet per day.

UK news stories make up the biggest proportion of people’s news consumption (33%), foreign affairs comes second on 20% sports was third (16%) followed by entertainment (13%) and health news (8%).

Welsh walkers make a mountain out of a hill

A group of walkers went up a hill and came down a mountain after discovering the official measurement was not correct.

Armed with the latest satellite measuring technology they climbed Mynydd Graig Goch in Snowdonia which had always been 2ft short of the 2,000ft needed to be qualified as a mountain.

But once they reached the summit John Barnard, Myrddyn Phillips and Graham Jackson discovered they had actually climbed one of the world's smallest mountains, because it was 2,000ft AND SIX INCHES.

It took them two hours to take the 7,000 readings required to get an accurate height and they battled winds of 50mph as they approaced the peak.

The 100-year-old estimate of the height will now be corrected making Mynydd Graig Goch Wales’190th official mountain.

Pool ban for man wearing wrong goggles

A man has been banned from his local swimming pool, because bosses said his goggles posed a health and safety risk.

Pensioner Roland Grimm has worn the goggles - which also cover his nose - at the pool for the past 30 years without a problem.

In fact he has also worn them at over 100 swimming pools around the world including ones in Germany, Spain, France and Portugal, (yet somehow I seem to lose mine every-time I go for a dip.)

But now bosses at the North London pool say the goggles do not meet safety standards and because they cover Rolands nose could cause breathing difficulties.

The sixty-something swimmer says the ban is 'messing up his life' because he likes to swim everyday but can't find any suitable goggles which he feels comfortable in.

Adult gamers are fitter than non-gamers

Adult computer gamers are fat, lazy couch potatoes. Wait, we misread the press release. Adult computer gamers are NOT fat, lazy couch potatoes, research has found.

A study of over 7,000 video gamers has found they are likely to be in better shape than their non-playing counterparts.

The study by three US universities found they have a lower body mass index (BMI) and do more exercise than the national US average.

They focused on players of EverQuest II and offered gamers a virtual weapon as a reward for returning the questionnaire.

But lets not delude ourselves that gamers are in a position to challenge athletes, they are still borderline overweight with a BMI of 25, it just that most Americans have a BMI of 28 ... and their own gravitational field

Phenomenon is most mispronounced word

'Phenomenon' has been named as the most mispronounced word in the English language ... so it's a good job we only have to write it.
The nine-letter word came top in a study of terms that Brits struggle to get their tongue around with most people mixing up the letters M and N on a regular basis
Second place was 'anaesthetist', which causes problems due to the proximity of the TH to the two letters T at the end.
'Remuneration', which is often mispronounced as 'renumeration', came in third according to the 3,000 Brits polled, was 'statistics' which causes people problems due to the number of letters T and S.
Researchers discovered that for many people not being able to pronounce certain words is no laughing matter, 47 percent say they are left feeling red-faced when they can't get a word out.

These adverts are out of this world

A US company is offering businesses the chance to market themselves in space.

They send billboards 20 miles into the sky before taking pictures of the ads showing the logo contrasted by the blackness of space and the curve of the earth.

But rather than launching rockets the space program by JP Aerospace involves high altitude balloons and parachutes to bring it back down.

Companies wanting to appeal to ET can pay between £200 for a 2x2in advert to £2,100 for a 4x8in full panel, they may want to also consider offering a little green man discount.

A spokesperson for the company said: "We fly a high altitude balloon, carrying the ad, to the edge of space. We take hundreds of pictures of it and return the vehicle to Earth by parachute.

A Turkish hotel has sacked all of its male staff because they wouldn't stop seducing older female guests.

The Image Hotel in Marmaris will now employ only women ... and will probably see a rise in the number of male guests booking in for a stay.

The manager of the 27-bedroom hotel says she was forced the bring in the measure because she could never contact the on-call staff because they were always having sex with guests.

She added that it was older British women who were often the target of their male staffs affections, partly because they frequently returned to the hotel drunk.

Women staying there now might have to settle for a club sandwich when they order 'room service.'

Art can work as a painkiller

Take two Botticelli and a Van Gogh. Scientists believe looking at beautiful pieces of art can work as painkillers and offer a solution from physical pain.

Researchers at the University of Bari in Italy asked a group of people to pick works of art they considered beautiful and ugly.

They then asked them to focus on the works as they zapped them with a short laser pulse, creating a brief moment of pain.

Surveys of the zapped people found those focusing on beautiful painting rated the pain as being a third less intense.

That said, if your doctor offers you a look at the Mona Lisa rather than an anaesthetic, you may want to step away from the operating table.

"Phwoar, look at that stud muffin," says OED

The words "phwoar", "stud muffin" and "arm candy" have officially become part of the English language after the bastion of words the Oxford English Dictionary added them to a new publication.

The words are among 350 slang words and expressions added to this years Dictionary of Modern Slang.

The meanings associated with the 'new' words are phwoar, an expression of enthusiastic or lubricious approval, stud muffin, an attractive man and arm candy, a good-looking date.

Britney Spears has also made it to the book - the closest she has ever come to a reference book - in Cockney rhyming slang "Britneys" means beers, which rhymes with her surname. 

Publishers Oxford University Press say they hope the book helps to preserve a section of the language that might otherwise be forgotten.

'Ant from Mars' discovered in the Amazon

A newly discovered species of a blind, subterranean predator could be a descendant of one of the very first ants to evolve on Earth, a new study claims.

Dubbed the 'Ant from Mars' the 120 million year old creature was found in dead plant material on the ground in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil.

But disappointingly - considering the name - there is no suggestion the creature has ever visited or originated from the red planet. Can we get the scientists done for false advertising?

Biologist Christian Rabeling from the University of Texas says the ant got the name because it has a combination of characteristics never before recorded. 

It is adapted for dwelling in the soil, is two to three millimeters long, pale, and has no eyes but large mandibles, which could have been used to capture prey.

At just 29.37in tall Ping Ping is the world's smallest man, yesterday he met Svetlana Pankrtova, the woman with the world's longest legs ... they didn't exactly see eye to eye.

It is not that they didn't get on, but that Ping Ping barely reached the knees of the Russian's 51.96in long legs.

Not that he seemed to mind, with her short skirt (not quite the world's shortest, but close) Ping Ping couldn't resist having a cheeky little look upwards.

The 20-year-old from China - who was born with primordial dwarfism - had jetted in to help launch the latest edition of the Guinness World Records Book (2009) in Trafalgar Square, London.

The book, now in its 54 year, contains new records including Britney Spears as the most-searched person on the Internet and the television show "Lost" as the most-downloaded show of all time.

VIDEO: Man caught having sex with car

A drunk man was arrested after police caught him having sex with a car.

The violated vehicle was a Toyota 4X4 which had been parked on a quiet street in the US. 

The intoxicated man appeared to find it irresistible and passers-by filmed the event on mobile phones as he dropped his trousers and attempted to have sex with the front of the car.

In the clip (after the link) he seems to struggle to achieve his aim, though this is not known if this was a brewers droop problem or an issue with the grill.

Police were called as he had a one-on-one with the 4X4 and arrested him as he staggered away from his parking space conquest.

Slow cyclists, your number is up

Engineers have created a cycling jacket which displays the speed a cyclist is traveling on their back.

They claim the 'Speed Vest' makes cycling safer because it puts more information in front of drivers that might change their awareness of those on bikes.

It works by using a sensor on the wheels which sends a signal to a microcontroller that then turns the six inch numbers on and off on the rear of the vest.

The vest can display speeds of up to 70mph though few cyclists - except those who have got hit by a truck - are ever likely to reach that speed.

Makers Brady Clark and Mykle Hansen from Minneapolis say they came up with the idea after honking drivers let them know of their frustrations. 

One fish, two fish, glowing red fish

It looks like Dr. Seuss got it right when he rhymed "One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish." 

Scientists have discovered, contrary to what was previously thought, red is a favorite color among fish and many are even capable of glowing red.

It had been concluded that because red wavelengths are absorbed below 10m - objects which look red under normal conditions appear grey or black after 10m - red colours are of no importance to fish. 

But now boffins have found at least 32 reef fish species that fluoresced (glow) visibly in red, and not just when they are angry.

Because the light is coming from the fish themselves and not filtering down from the surface, the red glow remains visible at depth and is easily seen at close distances.

Number plate offers orgasm in your drive

Two cheeky car number plates resembling the words 'orgasm' and 'penis' have gone on sale for a whopping £250,000.

They are genuine, legal, officially issued UK vehicle registrations and anyone would be able to mount them on their UK car.

ORG 45M and PEN 15 have a price of £150,000 and £99,995 respectively, but the sellers warn any potential buyers should prepare themselves for some extra attention.

A spokesman for said of the PEN 15 plate: "The most endearing thing about this cheeky little number plate is that it attracts a great deal of attention. 

"Whilst driving around with it on our company Smart car, passing motorists and their passengers have made many an interesting gesture as they took pictures on their mobile phones."

One in six Brits have lied about the exotic countries they have visited in a bid to convince friends they have a jet set lifestyle, a survey has found.

Of those fibs 45 percent of people claim to have 'spent time' in locations where they have actually just had airport stopover, sometimes for as little as one hour.

Others have been known to go the whole hog and fabricate entire holidays even using digital photographs to fake shots of themselves on their break.

The survey of over 2,000 people also found that men are the most likely to embellishing their summer holiday.

Bill Jones of, which commissioned the 'research' said: "As it becomes simple to visit far flung destinations, people’s perceptions of a ‘well-travelled’ individual changes - and some holidaymakers feel the need to bend the truth."

Man takes on Everest ... on a unicycle

An extreme cyclist is setting off to conquer some of the worlds toughest mountains ... on a unicycle.

Steve Colligan plans to ride 620 miles from Lhasa in Tibet to Kathmandu in Nepal all on his one wheeled bike.

He will have to battle the 5,000m mountains and -15C temperatures to secure a place in the record books for the world's largest downhill ride.

The 47-year-old has been unicycling for eight years and has ridden down Snowdon five times and Ben Nevis twice, he has even balanced his way along the Great Wall of China. 

Steve said: "As an adventure unicyclist I have undertaken difficult rides before, which have been mentally and physically challenging, but I have never done something as demanding as riding across the Roof of the World.

Britain is a nation divided by its taste buds, from our choice of sauces and condiments through to what we want with our fish and chips, a study claims.

The survey of over 3,000 Brits found that nowhere is the north/south divide more prevalent than in the foods we eat.

Fish and chips was highlighted by the researchers as a key indicator of the geographical and culinary divide, both in the type of fish and what we eat it with.

Almost three quarters (72%) of Southerners admitted to preferring cod whilst a huge 82% of Northerners opted for the stronger tasting haddock. 

While only one in ten (10%) of those down south would partner their fish supper with the traditional mushy peas, a massive seven in ten (70%) in the North would.

Seeing a hot fudge sundae arouses diners

Seeing pictures on a menu of appealing but unhealthy foods, like a hot fudge sundae, is likely to arouse diners, scientists have found.

They say the sight of the tasty looking desert affects peoples emotions and can leave them with impaired decision making skills

But rather than meaning they leave a restaurant feeling randy, it actually just means they are likely to order foods with higher calories.

"When perusing a restaurant menu, many consumers may not be aware of the subtle implicit feelings of arousal elicited by visually appealing presentations of unhealthy food choices," said the boffins.

Faced with choices between healthy and unhealthy food options, individuals who have seen images of unhealthy but yummy looking foods were likely to make low-quality decisions.

Hirst sets new art auction record

An auction flogging works by controversial artist Damien Hirst has set a new world record ... and it still has a day to go.

So far his 54 lots have sold for £70.5million, the highest ever for a sale dedicated to a single artist.

It has eclipsed the previous record of £11million held by a Picasso sale, not bad considering it happened on 'Meltdown Monday' as stock markets tumbled and thousands lost their jobs. 

But confidence in formaldehyde animals was obviously far greater than that in hundred year old financial institutions.

The Golden Calf' a bull crowned by a solid gold disc and preserved in formaldehyde was the centrepiece of the auction and sold for £10.3million.

Criminals who eat fast foods are more likely to get caught because their fingerprints are easier to find.

A new fingerprinting technique has been developed which can identify a criminal from the corrosion their sweat leaves on metal surfaces.

The more salty their fingertip sweat - increased by eating fast foods - the more of a mark they leave.

Unlike traditional fingerprinting it does not rely on residue that can be wiped away and scientists can 'visualise fingerprints' even after the print itself has been removed.

The odd news could see burglars insisting on a organic diet in addition to a fast getaway car.

999 call because rabbit had wrong ears

200x190.jpgA woman called 999 to say a rabbit she had bought though a newspaper advert had the wrong type of ears, it has been revealed.

The caller dialed the emergency services to tell police the seller had said the bunny had floppy ears but when she got it home, she discovered that it hadn't.

The call is one of several released by Central Scotland Police to highlight misuse of the 999 telephone system.

In another case a male caller dialled and reported being splashed by a car as it went through a puddle of water as he walked along a pavement.

A third caller dialled the emergency number to ask for the postcode of Grangemouth police station.

University to start offering 'Jedi' course

You will need to bring your own lightsabre, but a UK university has started offering students the chance to take a course in Jedi.

Queen’s University Belfast says the course entitled 'How to train in the Jedi way' will teach the techniques behind Jedi mind tricks.

But rather than being taught by Jedi master Yoda, students will instead learn from the rather more ordinary looking psychology expert, Dr Allen Baird.

A spokesperson for the course said: "How to Train in the Jedi Way, teaches the real-life psychological techniques behind Jedi mind tricks, and examines the wider issues behind the Star Wars universe, like balance, destiny and  dualism. "

Dr Tess Maginess from Queen’s School of Education added: "This course is a must for all Star Wars enthusiasts, although light sabres are not provided."

Gorilla has sore tooth removed by dentist

When is a dentist more afraid of a patient than the normal way around? When the patient is a 28 stone gorilla with a tooth-ache.

Animal dentist, Peter Kertesz, was called out to Paignton Zoo to see Pertinax, a silverback Western gorilla who had a broken canine tooth.

He needed to remove the three inch root and understandably didn't think it was suitable for the beast to attend his London practice where he also works on humans, for a start the chair wasn't going to be big enough.

So Kertesz assembled a team including his dental nurse, zoo vets and the great ape keepers to help him sedate Pertinax and perform the operation at the zoo.

The op took about two hours and Pertinax was understandably groggy afterwards but is now back to his normal self.

London cab drivers have 'sat-nav' brains

London taxi drivers have a 'sat-nav' built into their brains, scientists have found.

Scanning the brain activity of cabbies they found different regions of their brains were activated as they considered route options, spotted familiar landmarks and thought about their customers.

Hang on, they found brain activity in London taxi drivers, this really is odd news.

The research by boffins at University College London found taxi drivers used the hippocampus region of the brain when planning a route but a different part of the brain to alter the route if they came across something like a blocked road.

Yet another region of their brain was used to track how close they were to the end of their journey, much like the working of a sat-nav.

World's largest owl threatens British birds

The largest owls in the world, capable of hunting animals as big as a roe deer, have started breeding in the wild in Britain, according to a new study.

The latest edition of the journal British Birds says that eagle owls, with a 6ft wingspan, have begun to nest across the UK in the past 15 years.

If they are that big, how did it take this long to notice them?

But conservationists are not happy stating that the breeding birds have escaped from captivity and that they last lived wild in the UK over 9,000 years ago.

They are also worried about the the impact of the top predator on British wild-life, as it would be capable of hunting hundreds of animals.

Holiday-makers left stranded by the collapse of airline XL must have thought they had gone mad when they heard Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson was coming to rescue them.

Dickinson, was announced as one of the pilots who would fly specially chartered flights to take some of the 85,000 tourists home.

But it is not as odd as it first sounds, when not on tour the 50-year-old now works as a captain with Astraeus flying commercial jets, okay it does still sound odd.

First he flew 221 holidaymakers who had been stranded in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, back to the UK then collected another group stuck on the Greek island of Kos.

He did not give them a rendition of "The Number of the Beast" over the tannoy - "I was just doing my job," he said. 

One in four Brits admit to beach sex

More than a quarter of British holidaymakers have had sex on the beach, according to a new survey, and they are not talking about the cocktail.

Of 1,000 people questioned by a holiday booking website, 26 per cent admitted to getting amorous by the sea whilst on holiday.

Hopefully the question wasn't slipped in as they were booking their summer break - "Can I take your name, credit card number and have you ever had sex on a beach?" 

More than a third, (36 per cent) of under 30s admitted getting sand in all the wrong places, but holiday romance is clearly not just for the young, one in five, (19 per cent) of over 40s have also had sex on the beach.

"People tend to be far more relaxed whilst on holiday and perhaps do things that they would never consider at home," said Andrew Gibson, of - who didn't admit whether he had ever enjoyed a beach romp.

Dinosaurs were lucky to rule the world

Dinosaurs ruled the world, not because they were superior to other animals but because they 'got lucky' say scientists.

The experts now argue that Tyrannosaurus Rex and co lucked their to dominating the planet for over 100 million years, and that other creatures were better placed to succeed.

However, had they come in contact with a T-Rex they probably wouldn't still be saying other animals were bigger and cleverer, well not to his face anyway.

Steve Brusatte and Professor Mike Benton of the University of Bristol studied the evolution of dinosaurs and their closest competitors, crurotarsan archosaurs, which were relatives to crocodiles. 

They say the crurotarsan archosaurs were better placed to succeed and probably would have done if it were not for a massive storm in the Triassic period which wiped them out.

Sharing a bed 'drains men's brains'

Sharing a bed with someone leaves men with reduced brain power, scientists have found.

The boffins from the University of Vienna say men are more likely to have their sleep disturbed than a woman and this impairs their mental ability the following day.

Eight couples spent 10 nights sleeping together and then 10 nights sleeping apart for the research and the experts used questionnaires and activity monitors to, well monitor their activity.

While men said they had slept better with their partners (they must have been there when the question was asked)  simple cognitive tests showed otherwise.

In addition to reduced brain power the results also showed having a bed partner also increases a man's stress hormone levels, whether of not they have sex.

Queen granted an audience with Google

Three years ago the Queen had never been on the internet, now after getting hooked online, she has asked to visit Google.

HRH admitted her lack of tech-savy to Bill Gates in 2005 when giving him an honorary knighthood.

But now she has got so into the web and other technology she now surfs the net, emails family members and even owns an iPod and BlackBerry.

In October she will visit the UK Google HQ with The Duke of Edinburgh ... we can only imagine what gem of a comment he will make about his own online habits.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said: "During her reign the Queen has always kept up to date with the latest technology.

A frog species which was thought to be extinct after not being seen for 17 years has been found in a remote location.

It had been feared that the Armoured Mist Frog (Litoria lorica) had been wiped out by amphibian chytrid fungus. 

But now researchers from James Cook University have spotted the frog in Far North Queensland, Australia, and downgraded it from extinct to very rare, it's not often animals move in that direction.

Professor Ross Alford said they were now trying to work out how these frogs had co-existed with the killer disease which killed most of their population.

"We found a healthy population of the Armoured Mist Frog well outside the areas it used to inhabit,” the professor said.

Kylie to play £2 million private gig

Pop babe Kylie Minogue will pocket £2 million when she performs at a posh private party in November.

The gig will take place on manmade Palm Jumeirah island off Dubai and will be her first ever performance in the Middle East.

The 60 minute set will net the Aussie over £33,333 per minute.

This also means some poor bloke in Dubai has paid £106,000 to hear three minutes and six seconds of the Loco-motion.

The gig will open the Atlantis hotel on the Palm and the 2,000 guests will include local celebs and the Dubai royal family.

Credit crunch greetings cards go on sale

Given the dire economic situation walking up to someone and wishing them a 'merry credit crunch' is likely to get you punched ... so send them a card instead.

A greetings card company has launched a range of cards for you to send to people who didn't go on holiday this summer or who can't afford to pay their mortgage.

The cards mocking the credit crunch include one featuring a picture of a lego house with the message 'First time buyers find new solutions.' 

Another declares '2008: Year of the staycation' with a picture of a rain soaked pier. 

Selling for £2.99 per card, what cash-strapped loved one wouldn't like to know you still have money to waste on frivolous items?

Train breakfast was a steal for tramp

A cheeky tramp snook onto a train and cooked himself a full English breakfast before pinching 24 miniature spirits.

The 34-year-old man boarded the parked Virgin Express train in Preston at 4.30am before finding his way to the buffet cart.

A court heard that once there, he cooked the fry-up with sausages and bacon from the fridge before sitting down in first class to tuck into his meal.

Staff unlocking the train found him 30 minutes later as he washed down the breakfast with some of the 24 miniature spirits he had also helped himself to.

Shocked staff said they were surprised to see the man and added that they had no idea an edible breakfast could be cooked on a Virgin train.

Pearl producing sea snail in kidnap scare

An aquarium has been forced to increase security around a giant sea snail which can produce pearls worth £30,000.

Fearing the snail could be kidnapped Birmingham’s National Sea Life Centre has added additional security staff, CCTV covering every possible angle and a sophisticated alarm system.

The giant zebra snail or Melo melo is the only one of its kind in the UK and measures 20 times the size of the common British garden snail.

Originating from the South China Sea and feeding on smaller sea snails it can form a pearl around any foreign object that gets inside its shell.

Experts say the chance of the snail actually containing a pearl are low, but the chance of a dumb Brummie thief thinking they could get their hands on a pearl producing machine is high.

Action dolls of Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin have gone on sale in the US.

As Americans toy with the idea of voting for her, a company is cashing in by selling the £16 doll of John McCain's popular running mate.

The doll comes in three versions, an executive, a superhero and schoolgirl, though not an experienced politician, or viable leader of the free world.

A spokesperson for makers said: "We have the executive model in a tasteful blue suit, the superhero model where she is dressed in a kind of Tomb Raider outfit, carrying a gun. 

"Then we have the schoolgirl outfit," he added.

Dog appears as witness in murder case

A dog called 'Scooby' has appeared in court as a witness in a murder hearing ... and no we have not started reporting news from cartoons.

The pet was with its 59-year-old owner when was she found hanging from ceiling of her Paris flat. Though police believe it was a suicide the family have demanded a murder trial.

During a court hearing, the dog was led to the witness box to see how it responded to a suspect - it barked furiously - a judge will now decide if the 'evidence' is enough to launch a full trial.

The Palais de Justice in Paris has confirmed the dog appeared in the court and said they were sure it was a world first.

If the case does go ahead we can expect to see the suspect ripping off a mask and shouting: "I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!"

Smallest bodybuilder wants to make it big

He is only 2ft 9in tall and weighs just 9kg, but the worlds smallest body builder has eyes on becoming a big star in Hollywood.

After being recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s smallest bodybuilder, mini-muslcleman Aditya "Romeo" Dev has gone to America.

The 19-year-old from Phagwara in India has already snagged himself a Hollywood agent, Chuck Harris, who represents over 10,000 of the world's most unusual acts.

He is confident of finding pint-sized Romeo work in movies and on TV, where he would appear life-sized

Romeo has started working-out at Gold's Gym, where Arnold Schwarzenegger famously used to train and is enjoying life in the US.

Extra security for secret KFC recipe

Bosses at KFC were decidedly nervous yesterday when for the first time in almost 70 years the secret chicken recipe left their Louisville headquarters.

The move was made while work takes place to beef up security (shouldn't that be chicken) for the original Colonel Sanders' handwritten recipe.

Security experts were drafted in to oversee the operation which saw the recipe taken, in an armored car and with a police guard, to a secure location.

For 68 years the secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices has been locked in a safe at KFC towers and only two KFC executives know the ingredients, a third executive knows the combination to the safe. 

Less than a handful of KFC employees know the identities of the three executives, who are not allowed to travel together on the same plane or in the same car for security reasons.

Scientists have begun a controversial atom experiment which some people fear could create a black hole that will swallow the Earth.

This morning boffins flicked the switch (well quite a number of switches) causing atoms to wizz around a 17-mile-long machine at speeds approaching the speed of light.

As the particles - which are traveling in different directions - collide in the large hadron collider, they will recreate the conditions of the big bang 14 billion years ago.

The collisions will briefly take temperatures in the tunnels 100m under Geneva to 100,000 times hotter than the Sun.

It is hoped the information gained could unlock the secrets of matter that forms everything known in the universe ... that has got to beat whatever are you doing at the office today.

A mother failed her driving test because she had driven through a puddle and splashed a pedestrian.

Michelle Kelly, 31, from Manchester was told the splash constituted a crash and  as a traffic offense it was an instant fail.

Her examiner added that she should have stopped the car to exchange details with the wet man, who had been waiting at a bus stop.

What the man would have done with her details - other than stalked her with  water balloons to get his own back - is unknown.

The DSA would not comment on the details of the test but pointed out that motorists should have consideration for others, including pedestrians, who can be drenched by passing vehicles.

Fake news shows don't teach about politics

Comedy news shows like The Daily Show are not as important in influencing people as scientists - who thought they were important enough to study - previously thought.

Studies have claimed that 48 percent of adults and 60 percent of young voters in the US used fake news shows as a source of campaign news in the 2004 election.

But now the boffins say the shows are seen and used more as entertainment than news broadcasts ... something I am sure Jon Stewart will have a wry smile about.

Researchers from Ohio State University showed people 20-minute video clips from CNN, NBC and The Daily Show - they were then asked to write down, point-by-point, what they had learned in the videos.

The results showed those who watched the NBC and CNN news segment were able to recall more details about topics than those who watched The Daily Show clip ... AN ENTERTAINMENT SHOW.

Big Bang scientists receive death threats

Scientists behind a controversial atom experiment to recreate the big bang have received death threats.

The threats were sent by critics who fear the Geneva particle accelerator experiment could end the world and kill all of mankind.

On 10 September the boffins will flick the switch on the 17 mile long machine causing atoms to smash together possibly revealing what happened when the universe came into existence 14 billion years ago.

But until then, they are taking irate phone calls of people who fear it could create a devastating black hole which will 'eat' the world.

Some have threatened to kill staff at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) ... but they will take some getting to, they are 100m under Geneva's western suburbs.

Science shows fast cars turn women on

The sound of a luxury car engine appeals to our primal instincts and can get women 'hot under the bonnet', new clinical research has found.

40 participants listened to audio recordings of a Maserati, a Lamborghini, a Ferrari and a Volkswagon Polo, having a specimen of their saliva collected after each.

Researchers then measured the amount of testosterone secreted in the saliva as an indicator of how turned on the people were, or a the boffins put it their 'positive arousal' level.

The Maserati had the biggest impact on women with all of the female participants showing a significant increase in testosterone secretion after hearing it 'roar.'

If you thought that shiny new Polo you have bought was going to help you pull women we are sorry - 100% of female participants showed a decrease in testosterone in reaction to the VW.

Basil could protect you against the harmful effects of ageing, according to new research.

Holy basil, (Latin name Ocimum sanctum), is an Indian relative of the herb which is probably sat in your kitchen ... but experts think it could do something special.

It has long been used in the ancient system of Ayurvedic medicine as a rejuvenation drug, to promote a youthful state of physical and mental health.

But now a study of the herb has found it effective at eliminating harmful molecules and protecting against damage caused by some free radicals in key organs such as the heart, liver and brain.

Even if they have got it wrong at least it will make your roast chicken taste better.

Plumber wanted for Antarctic call-out

The British Antarctic Survey is advertising for a plumber to work at one of their Antarctic research stations 

Based at the Bird Island station off South Georgia applicants should get used to fixing frozen pipes because there is an average temperature of -20C.

While the £22,000 salary might not sound great, the BAS point out you won't get much of a chance to spend your earning, because there are no shops ... or anything.

In an advert for the 18 month post they state: "Antarctica is the coldest and most isolated continent in the world. It’s also the most exhilarating, providing a unique and spectacular setting for our vital scientific research."

If you get an interview don't ask 'The Antarctic, is that the one with polar bears or penguins?'

Sweaty people less likely to get asthma

People who sweat more are less likely to develop exercise-related asthma, say scientists ... but that doesn't make following them on the treadmill any more pleasant.

Researchers have found that people who produce less sweat, tears and saliva when exercising have more breathing related problems and could be prone to exercise-induced asthma (EIA)

Boffins from the University of Michigan monitored 56 volunteers suspected of having the condition, and measured their responses to two drugs, one which induces sweat and saliva production, the other constricts the airways.

After the non too desirable job of calculating how much sweat they had produced the researchers found those who had the biggest response to the airway drug also had the lowest response to the sweating drug.

Warren Lockette, MD, said: "It is unclear why so many elite athletes have exercise-induced asthma," he said. 

Tooth fairy hit by the credit crunch

Even the tooth fairy is feeling the pinch of the economic downturn and has been forced to cut the amount given to children who place a lost tooth under their pillow.

A survey found the average amount given to gap-toothed kids in the UK has recently dropped from £1.22 per tooth to under £1.

With the country on the brink of recession 38 percent of children are finding nothing in its place, cash-strapped parents are making excuses about the frugal fairy getting lost.

The survey of over 1,000 parents by milk producer Cravendale found that children in the Midlands are the worst off with 48 percent not getting a visit at all.

In other news the Easter bunny has announced he will be dishing out eggs from battery hens and Santa says deliveries could take longer this year because he has traded in his sleigh for Smart car.

ITV's Kyle to shame workshy on Benefits TV

Holier-than-thou ITV host Jeremy Kyle could be hired by the government to help shame work-shy layabouts back to works.

The proposed show 'Jeremy Kyle Gets Britain Working' would feature the controversial host quizzing people living on benefits about their lifestyle in front of a heckling crowd.

The Department for Work and Pensions claim that splashing out £400,000 on the show would help get their message across.
However Kyle would not want the show to be too much of a success as it would leave him without an 10.00 am audience.

Described by some as 'human bear-baiting' his normal show is watched by over 1.5 million people and has included classy subjects such as 'I'm A Binge Drinker And A Drug Dealer, But I'll Be A Great Dad!' and 'Your Baby's Too White To Be Mine!' 

Scientists have spent nine months creating a super-cookie which they promise will not crumble in your cuppa.

They say they were prompted to come up with the solution after watching Northern comedian Peter Kay joke about biscuits breaking off in his brew.

Kay is one of many Brits who has taken to buying American style cookies but wants to dunk them in his traditional English cup of tea.

Now after nine months - and countless cups of tea - the bakery team at ASDA say they have come up with the perfect recipe which will start a biscuit phenomenon.

The experts say the cookie will not fail dunkers a that crucial moment because of a unique combination of oats and honey which forms a bond to hold the cookie together whilst it is dunked, yet still allowing it to soak up a good amount of your brew. 

'Greek Rural Postmen' wins odd book title

A book called 'Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers' has been crowned the oddest book title of the past 30 years. 

For the past three decades UK book magazine The Bookseller has run an annual award for the oddest named book to be published.

Highlights have included; The Joy of Chickens (1980) Reusing Old Graves (1995) Living With Crazy Buttocks (2002) and Bombproof Your Horse (2004)

But after a online poll readers picked the 1996 classic 'Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers' as their top odd title with 13 percent of the vote.

The book looks at the history of Greek stamps in rural parts of the country and how they can to be cancelled by the Greek Postal Service. It wass designed, "to encourage the collection of Greek stamps and to promote their study."

Bed bugs bug travelers

Bed bugs and dirty hotel rooms are the things that are most likely to spoil your holiday, a survey has revealed.

Eighty percent of travellers say they are concerned about the bed bugs when staying at a hotel - despite only eight percent having experienced them.

The survey of more than 2,000 travelers was commissioned by website TripAdvisor and asked which part of a hotel they thought was the dirtiest.

People weren't allowed to say the receptionist.

Thirty-eight percent of travellers think the dirtiest part of a hotel is the carpet while 37 percent speculates it's the bedspread.

Geeks to send DNA into space

Uber-geeks Kevin Rose and Robert Scoble are to have their DNA sent into space.

Kevin Rose, creator of Digg and tech blogger Robert Scoble will now have their DNA digitized and the codes will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) on Oct. 12.

'Operation Immortality' aims to collect and archive the very best of what humanity has accomplished by storing a digital time capsule of the human race on the ISS. 

This includes messages from people around the world along with the digitized DNA samples from some of Earth’s brightest minds, musicians, and athletes (plus Rose and Scoble.)

"It is exciting to have Kevin and Robert join this project and be a part of preserving their accomplishments which have changed our world," said game designer and project member Richard Garriott. 

Little artworks left in big city

An artist has left over 100 of his works on London streets, but many of them have gone unnoticed, because they are so small.

The tiny installations by Slinkachu use small plastic figures just millimetres tall to create the bizarre scenes which not many people will spot.

Works have included; a business man stood by a torched toy car, a man pointing a gun at a dead bee, children 'exploring' a dropped ice cream and someone using the worlds smallest hole-in-the-wall cash machine.

The 28-year-old graphic design student who is originally from Devon says the works illustrate the feeling people have about living in big cities.

"It should be a universal kind of feeling that you get living in any big city when you're just one tiny person living amongst millions of people," said Slinkachu.

Musical taste reveals your personality

Fans of pop and country music are hardworking, classical and jazz lovers are creative and people who listen to indie or rock have low self-esteem.

Experts say the music people listen to can often reveal much about their personality.

Researchers from Heriot-Watt University have quizzed more than 36,000 people in what is said to be the largest study of its type ever undertaken.

The subjects were each asked to rate over 100 different types of music and then take an in-depth personality test.

While the study offers a great insight into music fans personality, it doesn't explain how some people can listen to Country and Western music without wanting to cut their own ears off.

Visitors at some of the worlds biggest tourist destinations were left all shook up when they saw the king of rock 'n' roll having his picture taken there.

Elvis fan Matt Hale has spent the last nine months traveling the world wearing a trademark white jumpsuit and giant sunglasses which he bought for just £30.

During his tour Matt took in the sights (and frequently became them) in Australia, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, USA, France, Austria, Holland, Italy and Spain.

The 38-year-old radio producer, who spent more than 'One Night' in a 'Heartbreak Hotel' said making the journey was a case of 'Now or Never.' 

He took the photos to show people with 'Suspicious Minds' after being 'Returned To Sender.'

Wave goodbye to the TV remote control

A high-tech TV which can be controlled by moving your hands at the screen could see us wave goodbye to the traditional remote.

Using a camera which to watch the viewers the prototype TV 'looks' for key hand movements to switch channel or change the volume.

Moving your hand up or down will alter the volume, while quickly raising one palm can pause live TV.

Boffins at the Toshiba Cambridge Research Labs say the TV - which has gone on show in Germany - could even recognize a viewer and flick to their favorite channel.

That could be a bit embarrassing when you sit down with your girlfriend and the TV automatically switches to Asian Babes TV. 

What did the Romans give us? AIDS

The Monty Python team asked 'what have the Roman's ever given us?' now in addition to roads, sanitation and education, scientists have added a susceptibility to HIV.

It has been found that people living in lands conquered by the thousand-year empire are more susceptible to HIV.

Experts in France think this is because the Romans may have introduced an unknown disease which killed off people with a gene which offers some protection against HIV.

In countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece the percentage of people with the CCR5-delta32 gene is between 0-6% - but in countries on the fringes of the empire it is nearer 10%, sometimes as high as 15%.

Because the gene lacks certain DNA elements, it means HIV cannot bind to it as easily and is less able to infect cells.

Kylie and Beckham would be top snogs

Pop princess Kylie Minogue and football ace David Beckham have been voted as the couple most Brits would like to snog.

In a survey of over 2,000 people Kylie beat Kate Middleton to the title as the woman most blokes would like to lock lips with.

Becks topped the list of men that women fancied puckering with and was followed by his Man Utd replacement Cristiano Ronaldo while serial shagger Russell Brand came in third. 

Presumably they somehow managed to find the only 1,000 women in the UK who haven't already 'kissed' the wiry-haired comedian.

A spokesman for Phyto Shield toothpaste who commissioned the survey said losers in the kiss survey Amy Winehouse and Peter Doherty - neither got a single vote.

Trains will start cutting their engines when traveling downhill in a bizarre bid to save fuel.

The credit crunch and spiraling cost of fuel caused train company First Transpennine Express to explore how they could cut costs.

Their engineers calculated that they could save 7 percent of the fuel costs by bringing in the measure which they say passengers shouldn't notice.

Computers will use GPS to calculate where each train needs to use all three of its engines and when they can be turned off without effecting performance.

Other plans that could be brought in if it gets too bad include turning the engines off altogether and telling passengers to walk.

Particle accelerator used to date wines

Scientists have developed a high-tech way to date and value vintage wines ... using a particle accelerator.

The researchers in France (where else would it be?) say the new method uses ion beam analysis to authenticate the age and origin of the glass used in the wine bottle.

Unfortunately for staff at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) the technique also means the wine does not need to be opened.

Particle accelerators take a particle, such as an electron, speed it up to near the speed of light and smash it into an atom to discover its internal workings.

The results are then compared with a database set up using data from the analysis of the glass from 80 bottles of red Bordeaux wine ranging from the 19th century to today, mostly fine wines from St Émilion and the Médoc region. 

VIDEO: Speeding motorway skateboarder

Police in Germany are hunting a daredevil skateboarder who was clocked doing 62mph on a motorway.

The stunt which was shown on German TV and has become a hit on YouTube shows the man building up speed by holding onto a motorbike before freewheeling for two miles downhill.

Wearing a red and white protective suit and helmet he is seen doing 100km/h (62mph) along the Ulm-Stuttgart road with a 80km/h (50mph) speed limit.

Goeppingen police say the man if caught (and not hit by an oncoming lorry) faces losing his driving licence and a heavy fine.

They added that they are particularly concerned about copycats who may imitate the stunt ... with less success.

Giant spider attacks Liverpool

Arachnophobes should steer clear of Liverpool this weekend, unless they want to feel like they are starring in a bad horror movie.

A giant mechanical spider measuring 50ft by 65ft and weighing 37-ton will be climbing across the skyline of the city better know for the Beatles.

The massive monster named "La Princess" has been created for the La Machine exhibition - part of Liverpools celebration as European Capital of Culture.

Made of steel and wood, the £250,000 spider needs 12 people to operate it, and is said to be able to move just like the real thing.

Organizers say that on Friday afternoon it will "wake up" and "begin exploring the city later that evening."

A team of Chinese scientists have developed a way to unmask Harry Potters invisibility cloak ... did anyone tell them it was not real.

They say their "anti-cloak" that would cancel the effect of a "meta" material invisibility cloak, if and when one is invented.

Devices that achieve invisibility have long been the stuff of film fantasy. In recent years, however, scientists have shown that the Hollywood dream could one day become reality.

Recently boffins created special materials that can bend light so much that it actually passes around the object completely.

But now, just as perverts around the world start saving for their own invisibility cloak, experts from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China say they have developed way to cancel the cloaking effect.

A stuntman will attempt to break his own world record by diving 40ft into water just 1ft deep.

Darren Taylor, 47, says he is able to break records, and not his neck, by belly flopping into the water rather than making himself aerodynamic like Olympic divers.

He has already jumped from 35ft into the shockingly shallow water but now wants to go 5ft better.

After competing professionally as a high diver Darren - known as Professor Splash - realized he was more likely to get into the record books with shallow diving.

On September 12th the former DJ will make the attempt in Hollywood live on US TV hitting the water at 30 mph.

Woman rows from San Francisco to Hawaii

Ros Savage has rowed from San Francisco to Hawaii as part of a bid to become the first woman to row solo across the Pacific Ocean.

It took her 99 days to make the 2,900 mile journey begging the question 'what is wrong with getting on a plane like everyone else?'

While it would be enough to put most people off rowing for life, this is just the beginning for Roz - in 2009 she will row 2,600 miles to Tuvalu in the Southwest Pacific, followed by the final leg of her passage to Australia. 

If successful, she will have rowed 7,200 miles over three years ... and have a very numb bum.

"If I was any happier I'd burst. It's been a huge challenge with its fair share of problems, but I've made it and I'm grateful to the ocean for allowing me safely across," Roz said. 

An idea-strapped author seems to have come up with a novel way to beat writer's block ... by asking readers to come up with the plot for her next book.

Lynn Brittney had a hit in 2007 with the childrens Christmas book 'Christine Kringle' but she is now asking readers to tell her what the characters should do next.

She is even offering a $5,000 prize for the best one page synopsis - she promises she will then write the book rather than pay someone to do that too.

"There are endless possibilities for future adventures for Christine Kringle and her friends," explains the author, who hasn't come up with one herself.

"And this competition gives me the unique chance to find out what characters and situations the readers would like to experience in the next book in the series."

England football team are a waste of space

The current England football team has been named the Biggest Waste of Space Ever.
Wayne Rooney and Co's humiliating failure to qualify for Euro 2008 and abject displays since saw them beat junkie rocker Pete Doherty to claim the unwanted title.
The multi-millionaires needed just a point from their last group game against Croatia to secure their place in Austria and Switzerland.
But the shameful 3-2 defeat led to McClaren's sacking and left footy fans licking their wounds.
Third in the poll of 3,000 British blokes was beleagured Prime Minister Gordon Brown - who is blamed for the current credit crunch, rising fuel and food prices and house market crash.

Sun seeking students are tanorexic

More than 25 percent of students are addicted to tanning and experience the same symptoms as drug-addicts when away from the sun, research has found.

Researchers discovered that many students felt discomfort when not having tanned recently and were compelled to sun themselves whenever they could. But probably not while 'Cash in the Attic' is on.

The experts from Virginia Commonwealth University monitored the behavior of 400 students measuring their tolerance to tanning, effects of withdrawal from tanning, and difficulty controlling their behavior.

Despite knowing the negative impacts of tanning such as freckles, wrinkles and  pre-cancerous lesions, 27 percent classified themselves as tanning dependent and claimed to have withdrawal symptoms if not getting enough sun.

"The media and lay public may know tanning dependence as 'tanorexia,' alluding to similarities to both substance addictions and body image disorders like anorexia," said researcher Carolyn Heckman.

John Prescott, Cherie Blair and Russell Brand are in a hotel room. No, not the start of a bad joke but the results of a report into abandoned books.

The literary works of the politician, politicians wife and the freakishly haired comedian are the most likely to be discarded in UK hotel rooms, it has been found.

Hotel chain Travelodge says over 7,000 books are left in their rooms each year and over the past 12 months they decided to see which were the most abandoned. 

They found John Prescott's 'Prezza: My Story: Pulling No Punches' topped the charts with 'My Booky Wook' by Russell Brand in second place and the  Cherie Blair, autobiography 'Speaking For Myself' in third.

In one Travelodge alone they found 12 copies of ‘The Cell’ by Stephen King left behind. More disturbingly there was also a copy of ‘The best 50 love making positions for the over 50s.' 

Fairy tales would have you believe wolves enjoy nothing more than eating a trio of pigs or chasing girls with red coats 

But scientists have discovered that given the choice wolves would rather got fishing and prefer salmon to meat.

Researchers from the University of Victoria say that when salmon is available, wolves will reduce deer hunting activity and instead focus on seafood.

Studying the feeding habits of wolves in a remote area of British Columbia - and sifting though their droppings - it was found wolves opt for salmon in the autumn.

Project leader Chris Darimont said: "One might expect that wolves would move onto salmon only if their mainstay deer were in short supply. 

Ravers follow instructions to Ikea party

Over 300 ravers descended on an Ikea store after arranging a 'flash' party to remember a demolished nightclub.

The five-minute rave took place in the textiles section of the Milton Keynes Ikea after it was organized on social network site Facebook.

Party-goers went to the store on Saturday and tried to blend in with normal Ikea shoppers (if there is such a thing) by browsing at items on the shelves.

But at bang on 3.30pm the ravers started to blow whistles and jump up and down, though not many shoppers noticed anything out of the ordinary for an Ikea store.

The Facebook group 'Sanctuary Reunion 2008' has over 2,400 members who remember the nightclub which was replaced in 1995 by the Ikea store, an Asda and the Milton Keynes Dons FC stadium.

Net-addicted Brits get stressed without web

What is your first instinct when you see the word "Discomgoogolation" - if it is to Google for it you could have a problem.

Discomgoogolation is a stress-related disorder identified by a psychologist who says internet-obsessed Brits suffer withdrawal symptoms when they do not have a web connection.

A survey of over 2,000 people found that 44 percent of us felt frustrated and confused when unable to get online and that 76 percent said they can't live without the net.

Psychologist Dr David Lewis says sufferers have a "feeling of distress or anxiety when unable to gain immediate information access."

"The proliferation of broadband has meant for the first time in history we have entered a culture of ‘instant answers’ – a galaxy of information is just a mouse click away and we have become addicted to the web," he added.

Cathedral to open chain of wine bars

A UK cathedral is launching a chain of city-centre wine bars in a bizarre bid to attract new worshippers.

Birmingham Cathedral says the new bars - which will sell genuine wines rather than the 'converted water' variety - will help them reach the wider community.

Each of the bars will feature stained-glass windows, pictures based on a religious theme and be decorated in 'episcopal purple'.

A spokesperson for the cathedral said money raised by selling booze would be pumped into maintaining the building and paying for evangelistic work.

The cathedral is also planning on introducing a 'loyalty card' which would give regular worshippers discounts at local shops ... and presumably a guaranteed place in heaven.

The first Blue Peter pet, Petra the dog, was a fake, a former editor of the classic BBC programme has revealed.

Introduced on the show in 1962 the original Petra made just one appearance, dying two days later. A replacement dog was brought in and millions of children were non the wiser ... until now.

In a new book former BP editor Biddy Baxter reveals how staff trawled pet shops in London trying to find a lookalike for the dead pup - oddly the segment never made it to air.

If they hadn't been able to find one it is thought the TV cheats may have tried creating one with sticky back plastic.

In the book 'Dear Blue Peter' Baxter says: "It was unthinkable to traumatise our youngest viewers by giving them the sad news, so the producer Edward Barnes and I set off in his Mini to trawl London for the dead pup's loookalike.

Tesco learns every bit of grammar helps

Tesco will change the wording on their fast-track '10 items or less' checkouts after being told they do not make sense.

The supermarket giant was told by The Plain English Campaign that the signs should use the word "fewer" instead of "less".

Tesco was also told that 'not every little helps', and that some can be counterproductive. 

In a letter to the group, Terry Leahy, Chief Executive of Tesco responded saying all new signs on the tills would read 'Up to 10 items.'

"We are in the process of changing this signage," he said, "in all new stores the signage will now read 'Up to 10 items'. 

Atom smash scientists rap about experiment

In just over a week scientists will conduct the most powerful experiment ever, which some fear could destroy the world. 

But how are these dedicated boffins preparing ... by staring in a hip-hop rap music video about it.

On 10 September they will flick the switch on the 17 mile long machine causing atoms to smash together possibly revealing what happened when the universe came into existence 14 billion years ago.

The £4.4 billion experiment has been described as the most important of our time and some fear it could cause the Earth to be swallowed by a black hole.

That said, the scientists at CERN in Geneva seem relaxed about the possible destruction of mankind and got their hip-hop on to create a song about it.

Eiffel Tower to lose its sparkle

Thousands of lights that illuminate the Eiffel tower are to be turned off in a bid to go green and cut their electricity bill.

Since 1 January 2000 a 'diamond dress' of over 20,000 bulbs have flashed on the Paris icon for ten minutes each hour after dark, much to the annoyance of French epileptics.

But now the famous tower won't shine as brightly after it was announced illumination is to be cut from 400 to 200 hours per year.

That might sound like an impressive reduction but it is the same as having one bulb lit for 24 hours per day for 456 years.

And it is not just the Eiffel Tower, floodlights on 280 monuments in Paris have been dimmed - cutting the cities bill by 75 percent.

Children to get lessons in playing

Bureaucratic crazy councils are to issue school children with instructions of how to play in the playground.

As millions of children go back to school, councils are been given a list of 10 traditional playground games for teachers to suggest they play at breaks and lunchtime.

It is hoped the list, which includes Hopscotch, British Bulldog and Tag, will help combat child obesity and remind teachers and parents the importance of children being physically active.

The Local Government Association, which issued the list and represents more than 400 councils in England and Wales says parents and teachers should promote the traditional games.

Cllr Les Lawrence from the LGA said: "Playground habits are bound to change with time, but it would be a shame if more active games were to die out to be replaced by children playing on computers or huddled together in front of a screen."

Harrods to sell sausage and mash ice cream

Posh shop Harrods are to start selling odd flavours of ice cream including pork pie, Yorkshire pudding and Lancashire hotpot.

The weird 20 tastes have been created to represent Britain after 500 people were polled about their favorite foods.

Other bizarre types of ice cream on sale in the Morelli’s parlour at the famous London shop include haggis, Eccles cake and clotted cream.

A spokesperson for who commissioned the range said: "It is interesting that the Yorkshire pudding tops the list of favourite British delicacies.

"We're lucky to be spoilt for choice with the massive array of regional flavours that make up the taste of Britain."

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