March 2009 Archives

Robots controlled by human thought

200x190.jpg A device which can read your mind and control a robot to do what you are thinking about has been created in Japan.

The "brain machine interface" helmet uses a series of sensors to detect thought patterns which are analysed and broadcast wirelessly to a humanoid robot.

An Asimo robot then does whatever the person wearing the helmet is thinking about, with just a couple of seconds delay.

Makers Honda say the robot can currently understand four simple movements — moving the right hand, left hand, running or eating ... but that covers about 90% of what I do anyway.

The £250 bottle of beer

200x190.jpgThis is probably the world's most expensive bottle of beer ... costing a whopping £250 per bottle

Carlsberg will only sell 600 bottles of their Vintage No. 2  brew which they claim "pushes the boundaries of what a beer can do"

It has been stored in French oak casks for 100 days and Carlsberg say their is no reason it can't compete with luxury wines for a spot on the dining table of uber-rich restaurant goers.

With a dark clack colour and espresso-like foam the beer is said to reveal flavours of vanilla and cocoa/mocha and be a perfect pairing for oysters, shellfish and Parma ham.

I say 'is said to' because at £250 per bottle I am never likely to taste it.

200x190.jpgA student is turning her search for a husband into a degree level art project.

23-year-old Alex Humphreys has given herself three months to find a fella, get him to say yes and then get married.

She will document her progress - from dating to wedding planning - for professors from Leeds College of Art and Design.

The project will then be handed in, along with her marriage certificate,  for her assessment final art presentation.

Given the amount of planning most women put into their own wedding day shouldn't this be a Phd?

Drinking coffee makes exercise easier

200x190.jpgDrinking an espresso before going to the gym could make your workout feel less painful, claim scientists.

Researchers found that people who consumed caffeine equivalent to three cups of coffee prior to exercise experienced less pain in their muscles.

Former competitive cyclist Professor Robert Motl led the research after noting how he had routinely met teammates at a coffee shop before training rides.

He said the cyclists believed fueling up on caffeine allowed them to push themselves a little harder, but they didn't know why.

Next up he will be investigating why going for a beer AFTER exercising feels so good.

200x190.jpgNo this is not another example of a dumb driver blindly following their GPS and ending up in a bit of bother ... its a coach which turns into a boat.

On land the AmphiCoach is like any other coach, it seats 50 people and is happy cruising down the motorway at 70mph.

But at the flick of a switch when driving into water the £280,000 vehicle retracts its wheels and uses an air-piston to power itself at speeds of up to eight knots.

Makers say that when on water the steering wheel makes way for a joystick and the ride is even smoother than that of a similar sized boat. Sounds ideal for a coach tour of Venice.

Twitter to hire a celebrity schmoozer

200x190.jpgTwitter are hiring a 'VIP Concierge' to help celeb twitterers like Britney Spears, Jonathan Ross and Stephen Fry get the most out of their tweets.

The micro blogging social network has seen a huge growth recently, partially prompted by the influx of celebrity clientele.

Now the San Francisco based company is hoping to attract even more A-List Twitterers by employing a full time VIP Concierge.

A recent job advert says duties will ensure making sure the 'Hollywood type' users are happy using the service and know their @s from the DMs.

Whether Twitter will extend the new VIP Concierge service to the countless assistants of celebs who tweet in their bosses name is not known.

Pole vaulter runs naked through Paris

200x190.jpgA French athlete has run naked through the centre of Paris in the hope of landing a new sponsorship deal.

Romain Mesnil - who won a silver medal at the 2007 Athletics World Championships - is currently without a sponsor, after Nike last year decided not to renew their contract.

But he now hopes that a video he has posted on YouTube, where he is seen running through Montmartre and across a bridge over the River Seine, will attract enough attention to land him a new deal.

Mesnil promises that he will wear clothing baring the logos of any sponsors, rather than having them tattooed on the bare cheeks of his arse.

200x190.jpgHundreds of Australians took to the outback this weekend in a bid to capture as many toxic toads as they could.
'Toad Day Out' was organized in Queensland to combat the number of poisonous cane toads which have overrun the region.

After being introduced to Australia from South America in 1935 to eat beetles, the cane toads have become a pest themselves, with millions now threatening local species.

Hundreds of crocodiles are even thought to have died after feasting on the poisonous pests.

Around 10,000 toads during the event were caught and will now be euthanased in freezers and turned into fertiliser or donated to James Cook University.

200x190.jpgBrit Richard Jenkins has broken the world land speed record for a wind-powered vehicle, clocking in at an impressive 126.1mph.

The record was set on the dry plains of Ivanpah Lake, Nevada in a carbon fibre wind-powered land yacht which he has spent 10 years working on.

'Greenbird' works like a sailing boat but uses a solid wing, rather than a sail, to move. Weighing just 600kg when stationary, downforce when moving makes it weigh over a tonne.

Richard says his next project is to build a wind powered craft for traveling on ice ... I guess that is why he is keeping such a close eye on downforce. 

200x190.jpgPlaying fast moving video games could help improve your vision, claim researchers.

Boffins say tests show playing computer games can help boost the eyes "contrast sensitivity" - the ability to notice small shade changes in dark colours.

While this is normally one of the first aspects of vision to deteriorate with age even older gamers were found to have better contrast sensitivity than non playing counterparts.

Scientists from the University of Rochester believe this is because gamers eyes are trained to react quickly to visual information on screen.

The news has not gone down well with millions of mothers who when telling their children to eat their carrots so they can see in the dark will now hear, "I will just play GTA 4 for a bit instead."

Ghost photographs baffle scientists

Scientists have been stumped by a series of ghost photographs after appealing for members of the public to send in their most spooky images.

Psychologist Richard Wiseman and his team received 250 images which showed mysterious-looking orbs, mists, figures and faces. 

While they say many can be explained by camera flash reflecting off dust, condensed breath in front of the lens or people selecting the wrong exposure length, others have left them scratching their heads.

A public vote of over 250,000 people - part of Edinburgh International Science Festival - picked the five most spooky ghost photographs which are shown below.

Car parks to smell of baking bread

200x190.jpgCar parks in the UK could soon be smelling of baking bread and cut grass and roses, it has been announced.

Parking firm NCP found that as many as one third of potential customers were being put off using their car parks because of their pong.

A survey of 2,000 people found two in three said stairwells were the worst-smelling part of car parks, with many saying the areas smelt of urine and vomit.

As a result NCP are now planning to pump pleasant smells through the stairwells of car parks in London, Birmingham, and Cardiff.

A spokesperson for NCP said other smells they were considering included bubblegum, coffee and petrol ... until someone pointed out that being car parks they already smelt of petrol.

OAP does 108mph for 107th birthday

200x190.jpgIt was more a case of Grans Hatch than Brands Hatch when a 106-year-old woman became the oldest person ever to lap a race circuit.

Dulcibella King-Hall - who has been passionate about cars her whole life - wanted to celebrate her upcoming 107th birthday by experiencing a modern race car.

She booked in and was taken around Brands Hatch for some flying laps in a BMW M3 Coupé by one of the racing instructors at the track.

They reached a top speed of 108mph in the car which is capable of reaching 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds.

Dulcibella, from Kent - who can remember the introduction of the Ford Model T in 1927 - told the instructor there was to be no 'olding' back on account of her age.

200x190.jpgStudents at a high school in the US will be the target of adverts for a local pizza shop ... as they take their exams.

Molto Caldo Pizzeria has bought advertising space on the exam papers of Pocatello High School in Idaho meaning that at the bottom of every page bright red text will read "MOLTO'S PIZZA 14" 1 TOPPING JUST $5".

Bosses of the school think the move will not only be a money spinner but could prompt pupils to learn about new subjects claiming the ads could help illuminate such topics as the Great Depression.

They might get better results from the students if the adverts said: "MOLTO'S PIZZA 14" FREE WITH EVERY GRADE A"

200x190.jpgA book aimed at predicting the future for Fromage Frais containers may not seem a likely candidate for the best seller chart.

But 'The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-Milligram Containers of Fromage Frais' has won a national prize ... though it is for the oddest book title.

Over 5,000 votes were cast in the annual 'Diagram Prize' award held by The Book Seller magazine in the hunt for oddest book title of 2008.

Weirdly the book does not have a living author but is the product of an automated authoring invention by Professor Philip M Parker, which produces titles based on database searches.

The niche book sells for a whopping £795 begging the question - "Why do people who care about Fromage Frais containers have so much money?" 

VIDEO: Jeremy Clarkson locked in loo

200x190.jpgA video of Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson getting locked in a toilet has become a hit on YouTube.

The BBC star had been using a portable toilet at the Mallorca Classic Car Rally when prankster fans decided to lock him in.

After placing a stack of rubber tyres outside to prevent him from opening the door, they started a video camera rolling.

As an irate looking Clarkson kicked and pushed his way out he was greeted by people pointing and laughing ... now he knows how James May feels.

200x190.jpgMercedes-Benz have designed a futuristic hydrogen fuel cell eco-roadster which is oddly retro.

A team of 150 trainees spent a year developing the F-CELL Roadster concept - based on the Benz Patent Motorwagen of 1886, but using the latest technology.

It features carbon-fiber seats, joystick controls and a 1.2 kilowatt fuel cell, oh yeah it's also got old-school spoked wheels.

The F-CELL Roadster can also cover 220 mile on a single charge, but with a top speed of 15mph this would not have been a speed demon even in 1886.

200x190.jpgPink lights which highlight teenagers bad skin are being used to drive them out of problem spots.

Residents on a Nottingham estate campaigned for the pink tubes to be fitted in underpasses after hearing they could be used to curb anti-social behaviour.

They said gangs of youngsters had started to congregate in the underpasses drinking and making older residents feel unsafe.

It was hoped the hue of the light - which makes acne and skin blemishes more prominent - could put them in a bad light, causing them to move on.

Either that or it was a cunning ploy by a local shopkeeper to sell more Clearasil.

200x190.jpgFraudsters normally try to make counterfeit cash look as realistic as possible ... but sometimes they let 80s nostalgia get the better of them.

A team of money cheats in the UK have been passing off fake £20 notes where they have replaced the Queens head with that of Boy George.

Despite having the 80s Culture Club icon where the Queen should be, some of the forged bank notes have even been accepted in stores.

Recently one of the £20 notes was taken by a Ryman's stationers in Kent. The member of staff responsible was last heard saying to their boss: "Do you really want to hurt me?"

More than 50 new species discovered

200x190.jpgScientists exploring the jungles of Papua New Guinea have discovered more than 50 previously unknown animal species.

The researchers from Conservation International spent a month exploring the central mountains and jungles of the country north of Australia.

More than 600 species were documented but the team were amazed to discover a range of animals which were new to science.

These included a frog (above) which makes a ringing noise rather than a croak and jumping spiders (below) which can leap 15cm using blood pressure n their legs.  

I'm all for finding more cute animals like those frogs, but seriously did the world need any more spiders? 

200x190.jpgA judge leapt over his bench and tackled a defendant who tried to attack a domestic violence victim in his courtroom.

As Judge Ian Richards remanded John Reasee into custody the man ran around his attorney and attacked the woman who had just testified against him.

While staff at Broward County Courthouse, Florida tried to separate them the 33-year-old judge showed justice can be swift by jumping over his bench an straight at the man.

Reasee, who was charged with domestic violence, now faces new charges of resisting arrest and domestic battery ... giving the judge a chance to throw the book at him, not just his fists.

200x190.jpgA DJ has gained an underground following by sampling the sounds of the London Underground and mixing them into dance music.

Engineer and DJ Ben Langham takes a digital recorder with him when working on the London Underground recording the sounds of everything from moving escalators to passing trains.

The 28-year-old then uses the sounds of the train tracks to create music tracks which he performs at nightclubs around the country.

"I liked the idea of having this concept, noises from behind the scenes on the tube which the general public don't get to listen to." said Ben.

Great, so now not only do we have to put up with the noises whenever we are on the tube, but Ben want's us to take it home too. 

200x190.jpgMost people do not want to be friends with their bosses or parents on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, a survey has found.

A poll quizzed over 1,000 Brits about who they don't want as online 'friends' and bosses toped the list with 86 percent.

Parents came second with 74 percent followed by colleagues (69 percent)  relatives (61 percent) and Ex boyfriends/girlfriends (52 percent).

Asked why they didn't want to befriend certain people 78 percent admitted it was because they had something embarrassing on their profile.

You never know, if your boss saw those incriminating photos of what you got up to on Saturday night you could get a raise ... but they might not go down too well with your Dad.

200x190.jpgAnimal experts warn that many Brits could look to pets as a cheap way of eating during the recession.

Pet behaviour specialist Debbie Connolly claims that as people try to save money their beloved pets could be heading straight for the pot.

The star of BBC’s Dog Borstal is telling pet-lovers and breeders to be careful about selling animals over the coming months, particularly rabbits, goats and pigs.

Debbie - who volunteers at an animal sanctuary in south Wales - says she is hopping mad at the number of enquiries from people looking for pets to fatten up.

"Last week a lady rang me up to ask if she could adopt the two goats I’m currently looking after," says Connolly.

The world's biggest 'toy' train set

200x190.jpgA team of railway fans have built the worlds largest train set with over SIX MILES of tracks.

Costing £8 million and taking over nine years to put together the minature railway was the idea of twins Frederik and Gerrit Braun.

It features over 700 trains, 4,000 moving cars and 160,000 figures spread across six regions boasting amazing models of some of the world's most famous landmarks.

They already have Mount Rushmore, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, but they are not done yet and plan on doubling the size by 2014 and adding more countries.

Presumably in the planned UK section even the model trains will run late.

A semi-naked prankster gave party girl Peaches Geldof a birthday surprise to remember when he jumped out of a gift box at her hotel.

The celeb was shocked when she went to unwrap an enticing looking prezzie, left outside her hotel room, only to see the near naked man burst through the wrapping paper.

A bemused Peaches exclaimed "What just happened there?" as Neg from Channel 4’s Balls of Steel sang a tuneless Happy Birthday and kissed her on the cheek.

The TV star had been dared to pull the prank by users of the online bragging website ... it was his own decision to strip off though.

200x190.jpgHidden parking spaces which pop up from your drive have become a must-have home improvement in London.

The £40,000 parking spots can be hidden beneath a flowerbed, lawn, or even another parking space.

Owners simply press a button on a keyring to raise the car out of the ground, much like the rocket launching apparatus in Thunderbirds.

There is already a four month waiting list to get the sci-fi style parking space installed and bosses of Cardok - the company behind the hydraulic platforms - say orders are pouring in faster than they can build them.

... and not just from people with odd eyebrows and strings controlling their arms.

200x190.jpgA zoo is looking for a mystery woman who took one of their elephants home during WWII to protect it from German bombs.

Belfast Zoo say the woman took Sheila - then a 5ft tall elephant calf - to protect her amid fear the zoo could be hit during the 1941 Belfast Blitz.

While the zoo have grainy black and white images of the woman dubbed 'elephant angel' no-one has been able to identify her.

Bosses say Sheila the elephant was returned to the zoo after the war but died in the 1960s, otherwise they would have asked her who the woman was ... it's not likely she would have forgotten is it?

200x190.jpgMost Brits order a takeaway at a time so it arrives just before the start of their favorite soap, research has found.

6.50pm is said to be a peak time for people ordering a Indian, Chinese or Pizza with the delivery time meaning it arrives just as EastEnders or Coronation Street begins.

A survey of over 1,200 people found that 62 percent of takeaway lovers admitted to watching their favourite soap whilst eating.

Those in the North West (71 percent) were the most likely to time their order with a soap opera, closely followed by those in the North East (67 percent).

Anyone else noticing a pattern here? And where did they go to survey them, these sound like the type of people who spend 95 percent of their time in front of the TV.

The £14,000 crystal-encrusted vacuum

200x190.jpgWant to stand out while doing the house work? ... well a Swarovski crystal-encrusted vacuum cleaner could be just the thing you are looking for.

Covered with 3730 Swarovski crystals this bejeweled cleaner is recognised by the Guinness Book Of Records as the most valuable vacuum cleaner in the world.

Makers Electrolux commissioned upcoming Polish fashion designer Lukaz Jemiol to create if for a recent fashion show in Warsaw.

Using their 'Ergorapido' cleaner - which sells for just £130 - he carefully planned where he wanted to place each of the 3730 Swarovski crystals on the £14,000 creation

The question has got to be, if you have for £14,000 to spend on a crystal-encrusted vacuum ... couldn't you just hire a cleaner?

200x190.jpgPolice in France are on the look out for a group of escaped kangaroos who are on the hop run.

Up to 15 kangaroos are thought to have escaped when vandals attacked their pens at 'The Australian Park' in southern France.

The perimeter fence was also torn in several places freeing the marsupials from the nature reserve in southwestern Carcassonne.

Police and firefighters managed to track down most of the roos. Five were found still in the park, most were in nearby woods, but three are still missing.

A spokesperson said they are not aggressive by nature and are probably just grazing somewhere ... it was never that boring on Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.

200x190.jpgAn Indian motor company has today launched the Tata Nano, which at just £1,400 is the world's cheapest car.

Okay so you don't get air conditioning, power steering or electric windows but the car is a huge step up for most in India where motorcycles are the de-facto from of transport, even for families.

The three metre long car has a 33bhp, 624cc engine, a top speed of 65mph and will be available in a variety of colours.

Tata say the car will seat five people ... but if entire families can travel on a motorcycle I dread to think how many this tiny car can carry.

200x190.jpgOver 750 people lined up in Brussels yesterday to take the world record for the world's longest toilet queue

The event held by UNICEF in central Brussels was intended to raise awareness of World Water Day and featured a latrine like those used in the third world.

Bosses from the Guinness Book of Records had said 500 people needed to join the queue to get the title, in the end they had 756.

But no-one got to actually got to go the loo as organizers said the dry latrine only as a model.

You have got to feel sorry for the poor bloke who joined the back of the massive queue ... because he didn't realise the loo was fake.

UFO files detail 'close encounter'

Details of woman's meeting with an alien and numerous UFO sighting have been released by the Ministry of Defence.

One UFO sighting of a diamond shaped aircraft over a Scottish was treated as so serious the MoD even launched a top-level investigation into it.

The alien encounters are part of the third set of UFO documents to be released by the Ministry of Defence covering 1987 to 1993.

In the 1989 'close encounter' file a woman from Norwich tells how while walking her dog she met a man from another planet dressed in a flying suit-style.

200x190.jpgDespite the credit crunch and general economic doom-and-gloom Brits are spending more than ever on fancy lingerie.

Sales figures show that posh pants companies like Agent Provocateur are going from strength to strength.

Bosses of the erotic lingerie store today said sales were up 26 percent on last year.

They claim the underwear success is due to booming internet sales and the opening of 13 new stores.

I can't help thinking they were possibly helped by their sexy adverts featuring Kate Moss and Daisy Lowe.

Why good jokes are hard to remember

200x190.jpgBad jokes are easier to remember than funny ones, academics have claimed.

Researchers say the best jokes - the ones most likely to make us laugh out loud - are those which subvert the usual thought patterns.

Unfortunately it is understood that because of the way our brains work this also makes them harder to remember than gags with a predictable punch-line.

Professor Robert Provine of Maryland University says an unexpected punch-line is almost always funnier and that good jokes work in the opposite music in that the better they are the harder they are to remember.

"I hear a good joke but usually I can't remember all of it," he said ... so don't expect his research paper to be a full of gags. 

Curry bill finally paid after 13 years

200x175A curry-lover who ran out of a Indian restaurant 13-years-ago without paying their bill has sent police £60 and a letter of apology.

The unnamed diner sent officers in Swansea a letter admitting to leaving the Aroma curry-house without paying a £10+ bill, in 1996.

Three £20 notes were also included with the note which asked the South Wales Police to pass the cash on to owners of the restaurant which has since been demolished.

A spokesman for the force said it looked like the author had a pang of conscience and wanted to repay the debt, with inflation

Now the old bill are appealing for whoever ran the Aroma in Mumbles to come forward and claim the cash for the old bill.

200x190.jpgA Japanese astronaut on the International Space Station is testing a pair of special non smell underwear.

Koichi Wakata, 48, will wear the special antibacterial polymer pants for seven days on the STS-119 mission to test their effectiveness.

The underwear has been developed by Japanese researchers in a bid to create clothing that reduces smells, absorbs sweat and provides insulation.

Most astronauts change their clothes after three days and NASA are said frown on those who opt to turn them inside out.

Why the pants are being tested in space is not clear ... but at least it means we won't be stood next to someone on the tube who has been wearing the same undies for seven days.

Police seize cocaine crockery set

200x190.jpgDrugs smugglers who tried to sneak 45 pounds of cocaine into Spain by making a crockery set out of it, have been caught out by police.

The 42-piece dinner set - painted blue with sunflowers on it - was being shipped from Venezuela to Barcelona.

But officers suspicions were raised and on closer inspection they found the plates, cups, pots and saucers were made entirely of cocaine.

The Class-A drug had been compressed into the shape of the crockery and sent by recorded delivery.

Officers say they are pleased to have smashed the crockery drugs ring ... just not as much as police in Greece would have been.

200x190.jpgIf you have ever sent an email and instantly regretted it Googles Gmail could have the answer for you, a five second undo button.

The new feature -  available through Google Labs - means users get five seconds to pull their emails back after hitting the send button.

Developers think this is just long enough to spot a missing file you thought was had attached, or that you are sending it to the wrong person.

Last year Google added a 'Beer Goggles' feature which forces a sender to answer a simple maths question before sending an email after 11pm.

Now if only they could invent something which stopped colleagues mocking you after you accidentally sent an email intended for your girlfriend to your entire workplace. 

200x190.jpgA politician who suggested his council buy a sex toy for a colleague so she could "screw herself" is being investigated on harassment claims.

Australian councillor Danny Lim is said to have suggested the vibrator purchase at a council meeting last month.

Speaking in Strathfield he is reported as saying Fair Trading Minister Virginia Judge should be given a sex toy so she could "to stop screwing with the people of Strathfield and screw her- self instead".

While the council sensibly opted not to table the motion, it is understood an angry Ms Judge has lodged a legal complaint with the council claiming harassment and verbal abuse.

It is not known if she would have reacted differently if the council HAD spent taxpayers money and bought a rampant rabbit for her.

200x190.jpgGordon Brown has been unable to watch a set of DVDs given to him by Barack Obama ... because they only work in America.

The Prime Minister had been given the set of 25 American movies by the President as a gift on his recent visit to Washington.

But now it looks like he should have watched them while he was over there, because when he tried to watch the movies back at Number 10, his DVD player just said 'Wrong Region."

This is because the DVDs - mocked as an inadequate gift compared to those Brown gave Obaba - are Region 1 working only on players in the United States and Canada, the UK falls in Region 2 with Central Europe.

That said, Brown is the most powerful man in the UK, could he not get someone to pop down to Asda and get a chipped region free DVD player for £12?

An artist has come up with a new way of seeing what music looks like, by electrocuting the faces of his friends.

Daito Manabe from Japan attaches a series of electrodes to people's faces which creates a "mild" electrocution in time with the music.

This causes muscles in their face to involuntarily spasm, producing quite a sight. Daito, who is also a computer programmer, says he now wants to add flashing lights in peoples mouths too.

Personally we would like to see a high profile musician us the tech in their next music video ... that was an elaborate way of saying we want to see James Blunt electrocuted by his own wasn't it?

An entire English village has gone on sale, complete with 21 cottages, a cricket club and even a manor house.

Linkenholt in Hampshire - just 75 miles from Central London - is up for sale with a price tag of a cool 25 million pounds.

Any would-be owner will get the entire village, which also has a local shop and the all important renowned partridge shoot, except for he 12th century St Peter’s Church.

Also it is worth noting that the village does not have it's own pub, which for me would be a prerequisite of living in a quiet country village, let alone buying one.

200x190.jpgPolice in Texas are on the hunt for a team of knicker nickers who nabbed £2,500 worth of pants.

The gang, two men and a woman, are understood to have grabbed over 225 pairs of panties from a Victoria's Secret store.

100 pairs of knickers selling at $14 were taken, along with 125 retailing for $16. Previous models for Victoria's Secret include Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks.

Police say the team removed the undies (not like that) from drawers at the front of the store before making a run for it.  

Officers are still investigating ... though why they need to spend so long flicking through the Victoria's Secret catalogue is not yet known.

200x190.jpgAn artist is installing a massive 189 MILE hank of wool inside a London church to celebrate Easter ... well why not.

Angela Wright – known for her architectural-scale installations - says the huge bundle of wool represents both an obstacle and a portal.

Weighing 51kg it will hang at the 18th century church 'All Hallows on the Wall' in the City of London, in the run-up to Easter, with visitors able to walk inside it.

"I chose natural wool for its church symbolism and vernacular associations. Woollen garments and blankets are part of our existence from newborn to very old, giving comfort, warmth and protection," she said.

Lets just hope they don't have a cat at the church, I dread to think how long it would take to clear up 189 miles of wool.

200x190.jpgA car which can convert into a plane in just 30 seconds and fly at 115mph is set to go on sale after a successful maiden flight

The £130k Terrafugia Transition runs on unleaded fuel from any garage and can cover up to 450 miles on each tank.

When not taking to the air drivers can fold up the wings and the car can be driven on normal roads and motorways.

Makers say it could be on sale by 2011 and that orders are already pouring in ... mostly from men who always wanted to be James Bond.

200x190.jpgJargon speaking councils in the UK are being told to bin the business speak and start talking in words people can actually understand.

They have even been issued with a list of 200 'banned' words and phrases, some so bad they would make David Brent cringe.

The Local Government Association has told councils they should be saying 'do' not 'action' and 'working with people' not 'engagement.'

It is claimed the overly complicated words often mean taxpayers do not understand what their council is doing.

The 'pest practice' initiative was obviously the result of a 'can do culture' and a process of 'blue sky thinking.'

200x190.jpgFountains at the White House ran green yesterday to mark St Patrick's Day.

Inspired by her home-town of Chicago - where the city dyes the river green - Michelle Obama asked if the same could be done with their fountains.

A green dye was added, and soon enough the fountains on the north and south lawns of the White House were propelling green water.

If President Barack O'Bama Obama really wanted to use the White House fountains to celebrate his Irish ancestry they should have been running with Guinness.

Would-be Apprentice fires himself

200x190.jpgOne of the contestants on the BBC show The Apprentice quit the job before the show even started filming.

The man - who is not being named by the Beeb - is said to have dropped out before Sir Alan Sugar had given the teams their first task, let alone fired anyone

Speaking about it Sir Alan said the bloke had 'bottled it' at the thought of spending 12 weeks apart from his friends and family.

It is no surprise the man dropped out shortly after he met the usual eclectic mic of contestants which this year includes a former football player, a Tanzanian beauty queen and a single mother of two.

200x190.jpgScientists who used Google Earth to prove that herds of cows point in the same direction, now say they can get confused by power lines.

The bovine boffins looked at thousands of images of grazing and resting cattle finding that herds generally pointed either north or south.

The researchers from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany concluded that the cows had a built-in "magnetic compass" which controlled their behavior.

But now the team claim the animal ability to acts as a live compass needle is reduced if they are close to a power line.

It shouldn't prove too much of a problem as most travelers found carrying a herd of cows around to help them navigate was unnecessarily complicated.

200x190.jpgA group of students have been able to capture amazing photos from space, using just a £55 camera and a balloon.

The team of teenagers from Spain used a heavy duty latex balloon filled with helium to carry their camera 20 miles above the earth.

The Nikon camera was programmed to automatically take pictures on the flight which was expected to reach 30,000 - instead it got to over 100,000

A spokesperson for IES La Bisbal school said they were amazed at the quality of the images they captured ... so are a number of astronomers who have spent fortunes of high-powered telescopes.

People with a lower IQ die younger

200x190.jpgPeople who have a lower IQ are at a greater risk of death from causes such as accidents, coronary heart disease and suicide, researchers have found.

Researchers who studied one million men discovered those with a lower IQ score were likely to die younger than their brainier counterparts.

The team from Health Sciences Unit Glasgow say the link between intelligence and mortality could be because smarter people are less likely to drink heavily, take drugs or smoke.

"People with higher IQ test scores tend to be less likely to smoke or drink alcohol heavily, they eat better diets, and they are more physically active," said Dr David Batty.

So brainy people are likely to live longer ... but just not enjoy life as much.

200x190.jpgWhen Neil Berrett handed in his resignation he knew it wouldn't leave a bitter taste in the mouth of his employer ... because he did it with cake.

The radiological data analyst had decided to write his resignation letter in icing on a giant one metre by 60cm cake.

Blue icing spelt out his intentions to leave Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, but added that he had enjoyed working there for the past three years.

"Dear Mr. Bowers - During the past three years, my tenure at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard has been nothing short of pure excitement, joy and whim," read the cake which was presented to his boss.

The boss is now hoping more people will quit their jobs as it will save him spending a forture at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

HRP-4C robot supermodel to hit catwalks

A humanoid robot which can create realistic 'human' facial expressions is set to appear in a Tokyo fashion show.

Created by boffins at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology the £150,000 bot is one of the most advanced in the world.

Like many Japanese fashion models HRP-4C stands 5ft 2ins tall, weights under seven stone and has black hair.

... but unlike most others she uses 30 internal motors to walk and talk and spends most of her time with computer geeks.

200x190.jpgA computer programmer who lost his ring finger in a motorcycle accident has had it replaced ... with a USB drive.

Jerry Jalava has built a special prosthetic finger which contains computer storage for photos, movies and other useful files.

While the prosthetic looks like a normal finger Jerry can peel it back from the 'nail' and plug it into the USB slot on his computer.

The faux finger has 2 gigabytes of storage memory, but like any geek with a bionic finger he is already talking about upgrading it.

200x190.jpgA rare copy of the very first Superman comic has been sold at auction for £225,000.

The 1938 'Action Comics' issue 1 is said to be one of the worlds rarest comics with less than 100 of them understood to still exist.

In his first appearance Superman is shown on the cover lifting a a car above his head as people run away, the comic was initially sold for just 10 cents.

A spokesman for online auction site Comic Connect said: "Some books seem to go in and out of fashion. Action Comics #1 will never be one of those books."

Yes ... and comic-loving geeks will never stop earning money in IT to blow the price of a house on a comic book.

Moms do chores worth £32k each year

Moms do household chores worth over £32,000 each year, claim researchers.

If they were paid to do all the ironing, cleaning and cooking the average mother could earn £32,812.

The figure was calculated by looking at the household tasks performed by moms and dads, then working out who much it would cost to get someone else to do the jobs.

Most moms put in 74 hours of work per week on household chores and childcare compared to lazy dads who do 40 percent less and are worth £23,296.

Wow, imagine what moms would be worth if she didn't spend so long watching the soaps she records on Sky+.

A man was landed with a bill for £21,716 after using his mobile phone connection to watch episodes of Top Gear.

Will Pierce had gone on a skiing holiday with his son to the French Alps but found the evenings boring because they did not have any English-language TV channels in the apartment.

As a result they decided to watch the Jeremy Clarkson show Top Gear over the internet on Will's laptop using his £25 per month Vodafone data card plan.

But after returning from the five day 'boys holiday' to Meribel Will received the monster phone bill for a whopping £21,716.

The 42-year old said he was shocked at being charged the price of a new car to watch the hit BBC motoring show which worked out to over £5,000 per episode.

UK MP told off for not wearing a tie

An MP who tried to criticize the UK Parliament as an "irrelevant old boys club" was told his comments didn't count ... because he wasn't wearing a tie.

A Labour MP Graham Allen had stood up to make comments about a youth group being prevented from staging a debate in the Chamber.

But as the MP for Nottingham North tried to make his point he was rebutted by Sir Alan Haselhurst, the Deputy Speaker of the house, because while wearing a suit and shirt, he had no neck tie.

Sir Alan gave the MP a public telling off saying: "It is not appropriate to address the House without being properly attired." 

A parliamentary guide states members should wear jackets and ties ... normally though no-one would have noticed, most MPs sitting in the commons are usually asleep.

Germs on your mobile phone could kill

95 percent of mobile phones are 'infected' with dangerous germs and bugs, claim researchers.

Boffins from Ondokuz Mayis University found the average mobile carries at least one type of bacteria, sometimes many more.

Tests in hospitals also found that a shocking one-in-ten mobile used by doctors or nurses was carrying the potentially killer MRSA bug.

"Based on these findings, holding your phone to your mouth is as dangerous as placing your face on a toilet bowl, and yet we do it all day long without a second thought," said a spokesperson from PureLightUK. 

We assume he was talking about using a mobile not having his face on a toilet bowl, though what they do at PureLightUK is up to them.

America's Next Top Model turns ugly

Auditions for a popular modeling TV show turned ugly when chaos broke out leaving six people injured.

Police made three arrests at the New York auditions for the America's Next Top Model show, hosted by former supermodel Tyra Banks.

It is thought that a man charged into a crowd of would-be models outside the Park Central New York hotel - some of who had camped out overnight - attempting to steal handbags.

A fracas broke out and police say that as a result two women and a man were arrested on charges of inciting to riot and disorderly conduct.

It is not known if the two arrested women will automatically progress to the next stage of the competition ... but I ask you this, if Naomi Campbell had been there how do you think she would have reacted?

Publicity stunt organisers have lost a number of gory replica body parts which they fear could cause public panic if found.

The gruesome body parts - which were covered in uncooked chicken livers to make them look more realistic - had been hidden around London as part of a bloody 'treasure hunt' to promote the Resident Evil 5 computer game.

But when bosses went to collect them, after horrified passers-by complained to police, they found that a number had already gone missing.

They are now worried that the lost body parts - which include one head, two torsos and six limbs - could be found and mistaken for the real thing.

Dolphins at SeaWorld have taught each other how to 'create' toys using bubble rings from their blowholes.

Last year experts at the Florida attraction noticed that one of the animals had started blowing a silvery ring of bubbles by flicking its head in a certain way.

But now they say more of their dolphins have learnt the trick from her and are even twisting, spinning and re-shaping the rings to play with them.

Experts think the dolphins create the rings - which they manipulate with their nose - intentionally and just for fun. I personally think they may have some sinister intention, I never trusted Flipper.

Four in ten men think cheating on their partner is okay if it is done while in a different postcode, it has been found.

A survey quizzed over 1,000 Brits about their relationships and how likely they were to cheat on their partner.

While most claimed to be committed they admitted they were more likely to have an affair while on holiday ... or even just when in a different postcode region.

41 percent of men said it was 'more acceptable' to cheat when in a different postcode area, compared to 12 percent of women.

Blokes from the South West were the most likely to cheat while away with 74 percent thinking it was fine to do so. However after hearing the odd news their wives and girlfriend are unlikely to let them go further than Bristol unaccompanied. 

200x190.jpgFirefighters in the UK are being called out everyday to help the NHS move fat hospital patients, it has been revealed.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that fire crews have been used 1,784 times in the last five years to move obese patients weighing up to 42 stone.

On many occasions they need to lift heavy people into ambulances but have also included moving a patient from one hospital bed to another.

Fat folk have also been lifted out a first floor window because they can't fit through the door and even cut from their car by firemen after getting stuck.

As to how you can get into a car, but be too fat to get back out, we can only assume a drive-thru McDonald's was involved somewhere.

200x190.jpgA theme park which planned to open a new £13.5m rollercoaster on Friday 13th had a bit of bad luck when the ride broke down just before its launch.

To make matters worse the SAW ride at Thorpe Park broke during an evening for celebrities including Jonathan Ross, Dermot O'Leary and Katie Melua to test the coaster.

The VIPs had been invited to sample the ride - which features a 100-degree drop from 100ft in the air - ahead of its opening to members of the public today.

But at one point SAW juddered to a halt trapping screaming passengers for over 15 minutes. One woman even suffered a panic attack ... she thought she could have been stuck up there with Wossy.

500-year-old man sent TV license bill

A German mathematician who died over 450-years-ago has been sent a demand to pay his TV license.

Algebra expert Adam Ries died in 1559 but that hasn't stopped GEZ - the German TV licence-collecting agency - from sending him the bill.

The demands for 17 Euros per month were received by a museum set up in his honor and based at his former home, which he bought back in 1525.

A spokesperson for the Adam Ries museum said they initially thought it was a joke but had to explain to GEZ that Ries had died centuries ago.

It is not known if GEZ wanted Ries to pay 500 years worth of TV license ... or if they were only going charge him since the invention of the television.

200x190.jpgA lucky gambler has scooped a whopping £35,115 win from a tiny 50p bet.

The racing fan  picked the first five winners at the Cheltenham Festival in an accumulator bet at odds of 70,000-1 so when Go Native (10/1), Forpadydeplasterer (10/1), Wichita Lineman (5/1), Punjabi (20/1) and Garde Champetre (7/2) all came home they scooped the cash.

Helen Jacob of Sky Bet said: "To pick one winner at the Festival is a good effort but to pick the first five winners is unbelievable."

She added that the winner does not want to be identified and could only reveal that he was from the West Midlands ... he probably doesn't want his wife finding out.

200x190.jpgScientists say a breakthrough in battery technology could soon see mobile phones and laptops which can be charged in seconds.

Boffins from MIT claim their re-engineered battery material will also lead to smaller batteries and could be incorporated into iPods, phones and even electric cars.

The tech - a new way of making the traditional battery material - works by allowing lithium ions to pass through batteries quicker.

This means the batteries can be charged much faster. But batteries which charge in seconds are nothing new, my mobile already does that ... it's just 10,800 seconds rather than 20.

200x190.jpgGordon Brown has been named the UK's most boring public speaker and has the voice people least enjoy hearing.

It seems whatever the Prime Minister says it going to go down badly as 20 percent of the 1,000 adults quizzed in a recent survey just can't stand hearing him.

Brown was closely followed in the poll by squeaky-voiced footballer David Beckham and Oscar winning actress Kate Winslet.

The survey by speech-to-text company SpinVox, also found silver-tongued actor Stephen Fry is the most popular public speaker ahead of US President Barack Obama.

Brown is now thought to want all of his future speeches to be dubbed over 1980s Gerry Adams style ... but with Stephen Fry's tones.

Boffins investigating why we laugh at whoopee cushions say they have got to the bottom of what makes faux flatulence funny.

The researchers from Salford University used over 34,000 people to rate how funny 20 different noises were.

They discovered that longer whiny fart noises are likely to make us laugh more ... with the optimum fake fart length being seven seconds.

Acoustics Professor Trevor Cox said: "The Whoopee Cushion has a great deal in common with the human voice and how instruments work, so it is a memorable way of portraying the principles of acoustics."

Asked what practical application could arise from his academic reserach the prof said they could "engineer the ultimate whoopee cushion" ... at least he is honest about it.

200x190.jpgChinese motorists are being fed hot chilli peppers by police ... in the hope it will stop them falling asleep at the wheel.

Officers in the Chongqing region of southwest China are handing out the chilli peppers from large buckets at motorway service stations.

In China it is thought that people are naturally more tired in the spring and therefore more likely to fall asleep while driving.

As a result police are even said to be forcing tired-looking drivers to eat the chillies which are believed to make people more alert.

They may make you more alert but that is no good if they are so hot they make your eyes water and you can's see where you are driving.

Do boob jobs help women get new jobs?

200x190.jpgWomen are getting bigger breasts in a bid to impress would-be bosses and secure a new job, claim plastic surgeons.

Despite the economic down turn the number of women having breast implants is said to be booming, as is their cup size.

Experts claim many women are having the op to help them impress at job interviews, or because they feel threatened at work and want to stay ahead of their rivals.

A spokesperson for Transform Medical Group said: "During recessions we have had patients paying for cosmetic surgery with their redundancy pay, whilst also taking advantage of the time off work for recovery."

It sounds to me like this recession is more a case of boobs-and-bust than boom-and-bust.

200x190.jpgA vampire fish with fang-like Dracula teeth has officially been declared a new species after being discovered in Burma.

The tiny Danionella dracula measures just 18mm long and at first glance may not look anything special, but experts say it is an 'extraordinary' discovery.

It is the only known species of over 3,700 types of carp-like fish, to have evolved with teeth, all others are thought to have lost their teeth around 50 million years ago.

The fanged fish - dubbed the "Dracula" fish - use the teeth to jostle each other but don't ever bite ... neither do they wear a cloak or sleep in coffins.

200x190.jpgEurovision organizers have banned a song from the annual song contest because they claim it pokes fun at Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.

The lyrics to the Georgian entry 'We Don't Wanna Put In' by Stephane and 3G are said to mock the judo-flipping Russian figure.

In the song the Georgian-accent pronunciation makes the words 'put in' sound as 'poot een' something that has not gone down well ahead of the Moscow event.

Bosses say they have officially informed Georgian public broadcaster GPB that the lyrics of their song do not comply with the rules of the competition.

They can now rewrite the lyrics or select another song, and too right I say, we Brits are meant to be the only ones who laugh at Eurovision.

200x190.jpgA council has spent £6,000 of taxpayers cash buying GPS sat-navs for their fleet of grass-cutting mowers.

Leicestershire County Council say they added the navigation devices to 14 ride-on mowers in an effort to keep their grass verges 'neat and tidy'.

They claim the tech was needed after last year saw 'unprecedented levels of grass growth' and that they will now be able to monitor mowing as it happens.

Interactive maps will also show their 30 grass-cutting staff which areas of grass have been cut recently and where is still unmown.

The council have no commented on speculation the mowers have also been fitted with an alarm to stop them accidentally mowing neighbouring Nottinghamshires grass.

200x190.jpgA school has replaced the traditional signing of the class register by teachers - with a high-tech facial recognition machine.

Pupils each have to stand in front of the device when they arrive in the morning as it scans their faces with an infra-red light.

It then compares the image with a secure database of details for a match and marks the student as present for the day.

Teachers say the robotic class roll call frees them to spend longer teaching ... but we all know they really just got fed up with people shouting back "Not here."

200x190.jpgA city council meeting in the US had to be halted when someone in the audience started playing fart noises.

Using what is thought to be the iFart application on an iPhone the prankster played a series of faux flatulence sounds during the Medina council meeting in Ohio.

When the first the 'fart' sounds Medina Mayor Jane Leaver and council members began to laugh but just about managed to compose themselves.

But after the second burst ripples through the chamber it all got too much for them and a council member even had to call for a recess.

One of the councillors said a group of young scouts were responsible for the noises ... another added it was the first interesting thing to happen in a council meeting for years.

200x190.jpgA 77-year-old woman who started offering tap dancing lessons says she has been bombarded by calls from men who misread her advert ... and are looking for lap dancers.

Helen Hart tried to give her business - teaching seniors tap dance skills - a boost by installing a sign on the side of her California home.

But the 'Adult Tap Dancing' sign has left her receiving up to 75 phone calls per month, mostly from men wanting a lap dance not tap dance lessons.

She says she can't understand men mixing up 'tap dance' and 'lap dance' but added that she has no intention of taking down her advert.

When she gets calls from men looking for a sexy dancer she tells them to bring their daughters over so she can teach them to tap dance, at which point most hang up ... some however think it is a 2-for-1 offer.

Underwear advert is pants say feminists

200x190.jpgThis advert is utter pants claim a feminist group which has named it the most degrading ad of the year.

Chiennes de Garde (The Guard Dogs), a French and Swiss feminist association say the Sloggi underwear advert took their annual award because it "promotes pornography and prostitution."

Featuring the slogan 'On Special Offer' the advert shows a woman's bottom bursting through blue paper.

A spokesperson for the group said: "These posters were particularly aggressive, because they were well lit, and the buttocks of woman seemed bursting the screen, offered as if they are wrapped as a gift."

The group also highlighted the most sexist ads of 2008 including ones from Renault and Italian coffee company Lavazza which used a pic of a naked woman on all-fours to sell its coffee.

200x190.jpgA taster for an international chain of coffee shops has had his tongue insured for £10 million.

Gennaro Pelliccia is the chief taster for Costa Coffee and tastes samples of their coffee beans before before they are sent out to stores.

The company say the Italian Master of Coffee is key to the quality of their espressos and cappuccino and wanted to protect themselves.

They took out a policy with Lloyd's of London meaning would get the huge payout if something unfortunate happened to his tongue ... like he ate a pot noodle.

Barbie celebrates her 50th birthday

200x190.jpgThe iconic Barbie doll turns 50 today and looks as good as ever ... but between you and me, I think she has had some 'plastic' surgery done.

Launched at the New York Toy Fair on 9th March 1959 the doll went on to become one of the worlds most popular toys.

Over a billion of the leggy blonde dolls have been sold in countless guises such as astronaut Barbie, gymnast Barbie, flight attendant Barbie and even Unicef ambassador Barbie.

Today makers Mattel launched a special Birthday Barbie - an updated version of the 1959 original - complete with a similar bathing suit (pictured below are the new and original Barbie.)

But this just shows how unrealistic Barbie is ... how many women do you know who would be happy parading around in a skimpy new swimming costume on their 50th birthday?

200x190.jpgA sculptor who uses children's toys to create his artworks has joined together hundreds of soft toys to make, er, a bigger soft toy?

For the past couple of years Robert Bradford has specialized in recycling toys and other materials in his works, where the original materials can still be identified.

The Cornwall based artist has had his works displayed all around the world including New York, London and Paris.

"One day I was looking into my childrens box of outgrown toys and responded to the random collection of colours shapes and forms they made," said Robert.

"I figured that if I could find a way of putting them together to constitute a larger form they would have great potential as larger scale sculpture." 

200x190.jpgA head teacher claims that letting his pupils enjoy an extra TWO HOUR lie-in and start school at 11am will help them achieve more.

Paul Kelley, of Monkseaton High School, North Tyneside says depriving teenagers of sleep means not only does their learning suffer, but also their mental and physical health.

As such he is asking school governors to approve a new timetable before the start of the next school year which will see the late start.

He cites research which suggests teenagers brains work better in the afternoon and that they are 'biologically programmed' to get up later.

Of course there is always the possibility Mr Kelley is just suggesting this so he gets to hit the snooze button himself.

200x190.jpgDespite the ubiquity of computers and the popularity of geek culture the traditional negative stereotype of nerds still exists, claim academics.

With the popularity of comic-book movies like Watchmen and everyone and his gran using social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook you may think it is cool to be  a nerd.

But experts say the sartorially challenged, anti-social nerd who wears thick glasses is still the one in our collective cultural consciousness, thanks to TV shows like NBC's Chuck.

Lori Kendall, a professor at the University of Illinois said: "Ten years ago, I thought the nerd stereotype would fade."

Sounds like someone expected becoming a professor of Information Science to impress their friends a little more than it does.

Pub quiz where the prize is the pub

200x190.jpgThe prize for winning most pub quizzes is a round of drinks, or if you are lucky a few quid, not so here ... you could win the entire pub.
The Plash Inn - worth around £320,000 - is being offered as the prize in the ultimate pub quiz by owners Steve and Christie Goymer.

Would-be pub bosses can buy one of 30,000 £20 entries to the quiz  which will consist of just four questions and a tie breaker.

The winner will get the west Wales pub which even comes complete with a holiday cottage ... unfortunately that is also in Wales.

200x190.jpgTwo thirds of Brits have lied about the books that they have read in a bid to impress someone, a survey has found.

George Orwell's 1984 tops the list of books that people pretend they have read followed by War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and James Joyce's Ulysses.

Other common literary fibs include The Bible, In Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust and Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time.

The survey of over 1,300 people - commissioned for World Book Day - also asked what books people really enjoy, with J K Rowling and John Grisham topping the chart.

Oddly no-one asked said they had pretended to have read anything by Katie Price.

200x190.jpgA woman called 911 for police assistance after her local McDonald's ran out of Chicken McNuggets.

Latreasa Goodman had ordered and paid for 10 nuggets at the Florida burger store when staff told her they hadn't got any left.

Because they had put the transaction thought they asked the 27-year-old to pick something else from the menu prompted what is now being referred to as McNugget-gate.

Goodman refused to choose and instead dialed 911 from her mobile phone demanding a police officer come adding "This is an emergency." Check out the police tapes below.

200x190.jpgA daredevil angler has come up with an interesting way of catching fish ... by jumping out of a helicopter at them.

Kiwi Matt Watson says he was inspired by diving seabirds and wanted to replicate the way they catch their prey.

After 11 months of training it took the Ultimate Fishing Show host five attempts before he managed to jump onto and wrestle this marlin.

The 33-year-old then let the fish go before trying to dream up more wacky an bizarre ways of catching them, normally from modes of transport.

Matt has also caught fish from a jet ski and a surfboard ... lets see him try it from the number 64 busin Birmingham. 

Man auctions off chance to punch him

200x190.jpgYou know times are getting hard when people start selling of the chance to punch them in the face.

This man, from North Carolina in the US has placed an advert on auction website Ebay and will let the highest bidder punch him once in the face.

He says he will throw in his acting skills to let you impress pals or a girl, and he even promises not to hit you back.

Or, he offers, it could be therapeutic saying: "Maybe I look like that guy who plays his music too loud next door.  Maybe I resemble that guy who picked on you in school."

The terms stipulate the would-be punchers are over 18 only get ONE swing and must not hit his nose, eyes or mouth ... if you had a beautiful face like that you would probably add the same conditions?

200x190.jpgResearchers have developed a virtual reality device which they claim will allow users to experience a safari from the comfort of their own home.

The 'Virtual Cocoon' is said to stimulate all five senses and be so realistic people can't tell the difference between it and real life.

Boffins from a number of UK universities worked together on the headset which enables users to experience the smells, heat, sounds and sights of places such as Kenya's Masai Mara.

While the experience is said to be super realistic the experts promise that you can't accidentally tread in elephant dung ... unless you have an elephant at home.

200x190.jpgBreakfast at Tiffany's star Audrey Hepburn has been named the greatest film beauty of all time.

The Belgian babe topped a poll of over 1,800 film fans who were asked to pick their most enduring screen stunner.

Second in the survey was Tomb Raider action hero Angelina Jolie, the only 'modern' star to make the top five.

Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and Sofia Loren came next suggesting fans find legends from the golden age of film more attractive.

Then again maybe it is just that people didn't see photos of them going to buy a pint of milk without any makeup on every week in Heat magazine.

Gym trainer gets fat to help clients

200x190.jpgA former male model and fitness instructor has gone from hunk to chunk in a bid to better understand his fat gym clients.

Paul 'PJ' James from Melbourne has piled on the pounds by cutting out exercise and sticking to a strict diet of chocolate, pizza, and beer.

The 32-year-old has already gone from 12 to 16 stone and says he will continue to gain weight until he reaches his 'ideal' target of a massive 20 stone.

At that point he plans to start exercising and dieting to prove to hefty gym-goers that weight loss is possible, he hopes he will be back down to his slender 12 stone frame by October ... but not as much as his girlfriend.

200x190.jpgAn Italian bishop is urging Catholics to give up texting, Facebook, iPhones and computer games during the season of Lent.

Monsignor Benito Cocchi, the Archbishop of Modena, Italy claims the 'digital detox' will help people "get back in touch with themselves."

He suggests that believers should renounce modern modes of communication on every Friday before Easter not only for the personal benefit but because it also as a geo-political message.

He says that pursuit of the mineral coltan - used in mobile phones and laptops - has caused 4m deaths in the Democratic Republic of Congo where wars have broken out around its mining, leading to it being called "Africa's blood metal."

However, it is thought the Bishop actually came up with the idea for a much more selfish reason ... after discovering that the Pope has more YouTube views and Twitter followers then him.

VIDEO: Weather Forecast Fail

200x190.jpgWeather forecasters are often criticized for getting it wrong - but not normally like this.

Meteorologist Karen Olsen was left red-faced during her slot on One News in New Zealand this weekend when the screens which were meant to display her forecast were left on their default.

Instead of describing the weather it simply said 'Edit this text' and where place names were meant to be is said 'Edit Location'

At least that is one way to make sure you don't get it wrong.

200x190.jpgIf you know a maths geek I hope you have already wished them a Happy Square Root Day.

The holiday - which oddly goes unnoticed by the mathematically challenged - happens nine times each century when the month and day form the square root of the year.

It was first celebrated by US teacher and maths whizz Ron Gordon in 1981 (9/9/81) and has since grown into a internationally recognized event.

Many maths fans are said to celebrate the day by dusting off their scientific calculators and attending Square Root Day parties where math based fun awaits.

After competing in maths quizzes they eat cubed radish and carrots (square root vegetables) .. oh their maths humour knows no bounds.

Rotten eggs could be the new Viagra

200x190.jpgThe gas behind the smell of rotten eggs also arouses men and could even help create the 'new viagra,' claim researchers.

Scientists found that hydrogen sulphide can in small amounts cause the penis to become erect and that it is even released by nerve cells during arousal.

They say it is thought to relax muscles allowing better blood flow and stronger erections. Because it is released in small amounts there is also  no whiff caused.

Researchers from the University of Naples in Italy hope the discovery could  lead to the development of sex drugs to treat erectile dysfunction.

Lets just hope the drugs don't also make your old fella smell like a rotten egg, if they do you are never going to get to use it ... no matter how hard it gets.

200x190.jpgA group of scientists have invented a vacuum cleaner which is controlled by a hamster running in an exercise ball.

The team from iRobot - the makers of robot vacuum cleaners - seem to have created the device for no other reason than they could.

During a video on their website they joke about having made the bot to get views on YouTube and even refer to it as a 'silly idea.'

But the science behind the 'Bionic Hamster Cleaner' is more serious - as the hamster runs in it's ball the movement is picked up and analyzed by a series of complex sensors on to of the robot.

This informations is then used to control the device and make it move at the same speed and in the same direction and the furry rodent runs ... now if only the tech could be adapted to let pets clean up after themselves.

200x190.jpgJessica Rabbit has been voted the sexiest female cartoon character of all time.

In a poll of 1,000 cartoon fans the 'Who framed Roger Rabbit' star beat off the competition with a massive 37 percent of the vote.

Betty Boop - famed for her short skirts and curly black locks - came in second with 21 percent ahead of the The Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel Bunny on 10 percent.

Asked what made a cartoon sexy 28 percent said it was a curvy body, 15 percent liked a pair of large enticing eyes while  14 percent opted for a memorable voice.

The trio were joined in the list of top 10 sexy cartoons by the likes of Daphne from Scooby Doo, Betty Rubble from The Flintstones and Snow White.

Magic mirror doesn't reverse images

Boffins have invented the world's first 'true reflection' mirror which does not reverse the image it reflects.

Inventor Andrew Hicks says it uses a series of microscopic curves to 'correct' the image rather than simply bouncing back light like a normal mirror.

The maths whizz from Drexel University in the US used complex computer algorithms to find the dimensions needed to make his invention work.

While the the mirror could make brushing your teeth disorienting it is ideal for people who want to read text on their t-shirts while still wearing them.

200x190.jpgThousands of fans chant his name every weekend, but that didn't stop kit bosses at Blackburn Rovers from mis-spelling it on the back of his shirt.

Yesterday as Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz ran out for the match against Hull eagle-eyed fans noticed something different about him.

Either Blackburn had secretly bought a player with a strikingly similar moniker or the kit man had dropped a clanger.

On the back of his shirt someone had switched the T and the N meaning it said 'Satna Cruz.'

Now I know Premiership footballers have a reputation for not being the brightest ... but you hope they can spell their own names and notice when it is wrong.

200x190.jpgA flash mob of almost 200 tiny plasticine figures were gathered in London this weekend to honour television presenter Tony Hart.

Fans who had made their own little Morph army met at the Tate Modern gallery on London's South Bank after arranging the even on Facebook.

All of their Morph figures were lined up and the surprise get-together attracted crowds of people who remembered the popular children's TV character.

Members of the Hart family even attended the event and helped judge a competition to find the best Morph.

Robot Einstein can recognize emotions

200x190.jpgA robot version of Albert Einstein has been created which scientists hope could be the key to robot-human interaction.

Boffins claim the bot - complete with the distinctive hair an mustache - can interact with humans in a 'relatively' natural way

By recognizing human facial expressions the robot is able to respond accordingly  using 31 internal motors to evoke emotions of happiness, sadness, anger, fear or confusion.

The team from the University of California even say the £50,000 "Einstein Robot" could soon be teaching high-school pupils.

Given the state of some schools at the moment they might have better look if there robot resembles the Terminator rather than Albert Einstein.

200x190.jpgA Sheffield office has had a giant helter-skelter installed in place of a lift.

Workers can now spiral down from the third floor to a ground floor exit at the Electric Works building in just seven seconds ... but getting up takes a bit longer.

Bosses say the 26m fairground-style tube has already attracted a number of companies to the building which will be home to the creative and digital sector.

Designer Toby Hyam said: "Electric Works will be the first office building in the UK to have a permanent helter-skelter for the use of those who work there."

He added that it would not be open to members of the public and was certainly not an example of people letting things slide at the office.

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