August 2009 Archives

Amsterdam beer bikes survive ban threat

Pedal-powered pubs which tour Amsterdam have been told they can continue driving around the city, despite a recent spate of accidents.

The BeerBikes have seating for up to 20 people and come stocked with 30 litres of beer, making them a popular feature on the Dutch streets.

But after the bikes - which are powered by the pedalling drinkers - were involved in a number of crashes, city officials launched an investigation into their safety.

However, the Beer Bikes have now been given the go-ahead to continue as long as they get permits from various city boroughs and have a sober driver.

The two hour tours of Amsterdam take in all the sights of the city … but most of the pedalling drinkers only look up from their beer when going through the red light district.

200x190.jpgA pedigree ram has been sold for a world record price of £231,000 at a Scottish livestock auction.

Buyer Jimmy Douglas says the six-month-old Texel, will (unsurprisingly given the price payed) be used for breeding rather than sunday lunch.

Experts had described Deveronvale Perfection as one of the best lambs ever bred thanks to it's "great body and strong loin".

They added that it's chunky stature, great strength and great gigot (rear legs) made it the ideal sheep.

But even they were surprised to see the how high the bidding went at the Scottish National Sale … some more pun-minded experts even said the price was 'shear-madness'.

200x190.jpgFemale gorillas at London Zoo have been given dating website style photographs of possible mates.

The Zoo's singletons, Mjukuu, 10, Effie, 16, and Zaire, 34 are set to be joined later this year by 20 stone male gorilla Yeboah, a 12-year-old who is currently in France.
Keepers wanted to get a feel for how the female trio will respond to him and gave each a set of snaps showing him strutting his stuff.

It is hoped this will mean the gorilla girls recognize him when he arrives and will be more likely to mate with him ... lets hope he hasn't made that mistake of using a 10-year-old photo taken before he put on weight and lost his hair.

Top 10 worst beach holiday resorts

275x250.jpgIf you are going to one of the following paces on holiday this summer I'm sorry ... your going to one of the world's worst beach resorts.

Playa Paraiso in Tenerife, Spain has the dubious honor of topping the list compiled by holiday review website Zoover.

Reviewers on the site said it's beaches were surrounded by dilapidated building and that there was nothing to do there.

The second worst beach vacation destination was Qawra in Malta which is described as a concrete jungle and 'The gutter of Malta!'

Other places best avioded included El Quseir in Egypt and Beldibi, Turkey ... not that you would mind too much as long as the bars were open.

Death calculator does what you'd expect

275x250.jpgAcademics have created a website which they claim will calculate the odds of you dying in the next 12 months.

Devised by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University DeathRiskRankings uses sets of public data to make the prediction based on your answers to a series of questions.

It takes into account your age, sex and location and compares this with statistics on 66 causes of death, including various illnesses, accidents and even murder rates, to work out your chance of survival.

According to the site there is a 1-in-1004 chance that by this time next year I won't be around to be writing odd news stories, with an accident is the most likely reason for my untimely demise.

The experts say the site can only base predictions on cause of death for your demographic group ... therefore if you are a drunk skydiver it may not be too accurate.

200x190.jpgBoozy English holiday-makers knock back an average of eight alcoholic drinks every day, a survey has found.

That's 80 alcoholic drinks during the average holiday, and at 200 units it's FIVE TIMES the NHS guidelines for safe drinking.

The survey of 3,500 adults by the Know Your Limits Campaign also found that 70 percent of people say they will try to cut back their drinking in September.

That same 70 percent also said they had been so drunk they couldn't remember their holiday, and wouldn't know they had been away if they weren't sunburnt.

Finland wins World Sauna Championships

200x190.jpgA Finnish man has taken gold at the World Sauna Championships by subjecting himself to temperatures of 110 degrees Celsius.

Timo Kaukonen sat in the boiling hot sauna for 3 minutes 46 seconds beating rival Ilkka Poeyhiae by two seconds.

The annual event - held in Heinola, Finland - sees over 200 competitors from around the world battle it out in the custom built saunas.

Competitors wearing 'normal' swimming costumes have to sit in the 110ºC saunas with their buttocks and thighs on the seat for as long as possible ... this being Finland hundreds of fans turn out to watch.

275x250.jpgPeople in the North West are paranoid about their friends and family posting incriminating images of them online.

A poll of 1,723 people found over half of Northerners regularly check their online reputation, fearing images or rude comments would have been added.

The study by showed that they were worried incriminating evidence posted to sites like Facebook or Twitter could be held against them.

People in Scotland were the next most paranoid with 36 percent admitting to searching for themselves at least once per month.

Those is the South West seemed most laid back, with only 14 percent doing a monthly self search ... the other 86 percent asked "what's the internet?"

200x175A range of Star Trek inspired fragrances have gone on sale ... where no sci-fi inspired scent have gone before.

The three scents, Red Shirt, Tiberius and Pon Farr have been designed specifically for trekkies and packaging even features Star trek logos.

Tiberius is named after the William Shatner character Caption James Tiberius Kirk, and is said to be a spicy scent with citron zest and black pepper.

Red Shirt gets it's name from the apparel worn by the poor officers who always used to get killed on missions. Pon Farr perfume meanwhile, is named after the Vulcan mating cycle.

While the fragrances would no doubt go down well in a distant galaxy it is yet to be seen if they will be appreciated at the local pub.

275x250.jpgA team of ex-pickpockets has been hired to secretly slip cash INTO the pockets of unsuspecting Brits.

20 former criminals will tour the UK carrying out "Put-Pocketing" - the act of secretly putting money into someone’s pocket without them noticing.

The scheme is a (cynical PR stunt) good will gesture, from phone company TalkTalk who say they want to give something back to Brits.

As such, each of the £5, £10 and £20 notes - which will be slipped into handbags or pockets - will have a small card attached about TalkTalk.

Put-pocketers have been told not to target anyone who looks too rich during the £100,000 giveaway, which explains why I will be going out in my most scruffy clothes this week.

275x250.jpgAn academic has used a scientific analysis of David Bowie's career to write a song which would a be guaranteed chart success for the star.

Using something called Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count, Dr Nick Troop compared the language used and success in the charts of all of Bowie's 26 albums and 266 songs.

The Psychology expert from the University of Hertfordshire found that songs with positive emotion and social processes had been the artists more successful.

Based on his findings the Bowie fan then penned a song 'Team, Meet Girls; Girls, Meet Team' which he claims (according to psychological theory) should lead to success if Bowie was to release it.

As that seems unlikely, Dr Troop has recorded it himself - complete with faux Bowie vocals - and put it on YouTube ... something tells me the whole research was an excuse for him to do this.

275x250.jpgA security guard claims to have seen the Loch Ness monster ... on Google Earth.

Jason Cooke says the satellite image (which can be seen on Google here) clearly shows the Nessie he has heard about in previous accounts and descriptions.

The 12m figure can be seen as a head with a long neck, followed by two large flippers, and two minor flippers attached to a large body. 

While Nessie fans online are saying the image proves the existence of the monster ... others claim it just looked like the wake of a speedboat.

And after looking at aerial images of speedboats I have to say I agree, so this article is being added to the list of those whose headlines can be answered with the word no.

Mobiles mean time is up for alarm clocks

200x190.jpgMore than half of Brits are now using their mobile phones as alarm clocks, an alarming development for clock traditionalists.

They fear it could mean the end for dedicated alarm clocks, which have sat dutifully on our bedside tables for 150 years.

A survey of 1,500 people found that 52% had used their mobile as an alarm clock with 21% using it to get them up in the morning each day.

Of course it also means you are likely to be woken up in the early hours when your do-it-all phone starts beeping because you've received an email about viagra.

275x250.jpgA British engineered steam car has broken the longest-standing land speed record in California's Mojave Desert.

Inspiration achieved an average speed of 139.843mph on two runs over a measured mile, breaking the previous record of 127mph (204km/h) which was set in 1906 by Fred Marriott.

The FIA required that two, two mile-long runs take place within 60 minutes. The times were then averaged to obtain the official recorded speed, on the second run car actually exceeded 150 mph.

Dubbed the "fastest kettle in the world" the car is made from lightweight carbon-fibre and aluminium, it is powered by 12 boilers containing nearly two miles of tubing.

It uses Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) to create 3 megawatts of heat ... or in British engineering terms, the same as 1500 kettles and enough to make 23 cups of tea per second.

Frankie Boyle fans hack police website

200x190.jpgA police website has been hacked by fans of Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle who pasted an image of him the Tayside force's homepage.

The group - calling themselves the Paisley Young Team - posted a an image of Frankie wearing a police helmet, along with one of his Mock The Week jokes, on the site earlier this morning.

Tayside Police have since removed the page and are currently trying to get their site back to normal, they insist there had been no breaches of data security or police information.

They did not comment on whether they found the joke funny.

275x250.jpgA burial vault directly above that of Marilyn Monroe has been sold for a massive $4.6m (£2.8m).

The plot - in the Westwood Village Memorial Park, Los Angeles - was being sold by the widow of the current occupier.

Elsie Ponche said the remains of Richard Poncher, who died 23 years ago, will be removed to make space for the winning eBay bidder.

Bidding for the plot started at $500,000 with more than 20 bids raising the price to the $4.6m (£2.8m) offered by a unnamed Japanese man.

But he should beware he will also be spending eternity nearby Hugh Hefner of Playboy fame, who bought the space next to Monroe's vault in 1992 for $75,000.

200x190.jpgParents who are too scared to go on a roller coaster with their children are being offered a session with a hypnotherapist by a UK theme park.

Bosses at Chessington World of Adventures say they have seen an increase in the number of parents who are too scared to go on rides, and who offer to hold the bags as they watch their family with sweaty palms and a knot in their stomach.

Now the attraction is offering scaredy cat parents who suffer roller coaster phobia, a session with a hypnotherapist to beat their fears and get on the rides.

While they are in there the hypnotherapist may also try to convince them it is perfectly acceptable to pay £6 for a hot dog if at a theme park cafe.

Jessica Biel web searches are dangerous

275x250.jpgIf you found this page by searching for sexy images of Jessica Biel consider yourself lucky* ... you just entered one of the most dangerous search terms on the web.

Security experts McAfee say searching for the Hollywood star often leads user to spyware and viruses rather than sexy photos and videos.

In fact they claim Jessica Biel is the most dangerous US celebrity to 'research' with 20.1 per cent of sites related to her being potentially harmful.

Biel is closely followed by Beyoncé and Jessica Simpson in the list with Jordan/Katie Price and Jude Law the most digital virus infected UK stars.

* you may also consider yourself unlucky ... we don't have hundreds of sexy images of Jessica Biel.

275x250.jpgBoffins have created a perfume which they claim makes the wearer happier and less stressed ... and smell like freshly cut grass.

Serenascent, dubbed 'Eau de grass' is the result of a seven year project by researchers at The University of Queensland in Australia.

Working on the scientific fact that cutting grass releases chemicals containing stress-relieving properties, the team wanted to produce a way for people to recreate this on a daily basis.

They decided that a perfume was the best way to do it, and started developing Serenascent which recreates these chemicals and is said to work by directly impacting the amygdala and the hippocampus parts of the brain.

Researchers claim their spray regulates these areas, leaving you less stressed. Meanwhile, using the Britney Spears perfume 'Believe' just leaves friends believing you are a sap who is easily taken in by marketing and a celebrity name.

200x190.jpgIf you live in Gloucestershire your options for going surfing are somewhat limited, which is why when the River Severn swells with the tidal bore it's time to grab your board.

The Severn Bore happens several times per year when a high tide is funneled up the Severn estuary into a wave that travels rapidly upstream against the river current.

The wave travels a distance of approximately 25 miles between Awre and Gloucester and can measure up to two metres tall, last weekend was one of the biggest recorded.

Whenever the bore is due the competitive surfers turn out to ride the wave. The current champion (pardon the pun) is Steve King, from Saul who rode the wave for more than seven miles.

Cockney rhyming slang cash machines

275x250.jpgIf you need some bread (money) to pay for your Britneys (beers) why not head to an ATM which 'speaks' in cockney rhyming slang?

Five of the unusual cash machines have been installed in London and users will now have the option to activate a Cockney language menu.

Once their card is inserted users will be asked for their Huckleberry Flynn (PIN) before they can select how much sausage and mash (cash) to withdraw..

Amounts on offer are likely to include a speckled hen (£10) a score (£20) a pony (£25) a ton (£100) and a monkey (£500).

Well would you Adam and Eve (believe) it, just taking a butchers (look) at one of these will put a smile on my boat race (face).

200x190.jpgComedian Dan Antopolski has won the award for having the funniest joke of this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The one-liner "Hedgehogs - why can't they just share the hedge?" scooped the London joker the title, and prize money, after being picked by a panel of judges.

Comedy critics from TV channel Dave had sat through thousands of jokes at 60 comedy performances to select the best 27, which were then voted for by the public.

The winning joke, which took 18 percent of the vote, comes from Dan's current show 'Silent But Deadly'. Check out the top 10 funniest jokes after the link.

Naked body sushi eating comes to London

275x250.jpgA bizarre Japanese dining experience where people eat a meal of the body of a naked woman has arrived in London.

Nyotaimori sees sushi presented on the hips, stomach and chest off a woman as she lies down, and was for centuries the preserve of Japan’s very elite.

But now, after it was brought to public attention by celebrities including Tom Cruise, George Clooney and Pierce Brosnan, Flash Sushi is bringing it to London.

They will hold one Nyotaimori meal per month at a series of secret locations around the city - ranging from a mansion to an unoccupied warehouse -  with each seat at the table naked women costing a whopping £250.

Lets just hope the Naked Chef Jamie Oliver doesn't try to take them on, I'm not sure his body can compete with that of the Hadaka (naked) models.

Dan Brown is Oxfam's most donated author

275x250.jpgDa Vinci Code author Dan Brown's books are the most donated to secondhand charity bookstores, it has been found.

A survey of Oxfam’s 700 stores found that his books including Angels & Demons and Deception Point were those most likely to be handed in a unwanted reads.

Second place on the donated list went to John Grisham, with Ian Rankin coming in third.

Other authors which people seemingly don't want to keep on their book shelves were Danielle Steel, Stephen King and Catherine Cookson.

However the fact that Jeremy Clarkson wasn't anywhere on the list is a mystery worthy of a Robert Langdon investigation.

275x250.jpgA couple of weeks ago we heard that the Austrian town of Fucking was installing CCTV cameras pointing at their signs in a bid to stop copulating couples filming themselves.

Then the other day we found out it took some people four hours to get from Intercourse to Climax, that got us wondering how many other towns and villages had unfortunate names?

Well here is our top 10 list of places with rude names, from Wan King to Pussy

Imagine what it is like giving someone your address if you live in one of these places.

200x190.jpgA dad who wanted to get his fussy eating son to eat more healthily has turned playing with food into an art form.

Mark Northeast, from West Sussex, decided to make four-year-old son Oscar's meals more interesting than the average ham sandwich by sculpting them into cartoon characters.

Sure enough using cucumber, celery and bread to make a snapping crocodile got Oscar eating, and the SpongeBob SquarePants made with bread, cheese, salmon and sausages went down a treat.

In fact all of his creations are good enough to eat, but with some - like the bread and ham piano with sculpted cheese keys - it almost seems a shame.

275x250.jpgThe average Premier League manager is sacked after just 1.38 years, compared to an average tenure of 3.12 years in 2002, it has been revealed.

The news - which will come as no surprise to the likes of Luiz Felipe Scolari - comes from academics who claim this causes teams to perform badly adding that teams which stick with a manager do better.

Boffins from Loughborough University looked at data from 1992 to 2004 focusing on the short-term and long-term impact of changing managers.

It was found that incoming managers often made the wrong changes early on at a club, but if given the chance to prove themselves improved a side over time.

They added that many teams are now even sacking managers before they have even had a chance to impact a team's infrastructure and the scouting network, two factors that have a big impact.

275x250.jpgA world record attempt to set off 110,000 fireworks in just 60 second flopped yesterday ... when the boat carrying them caught fire.

As a result the rockets, which should have made an impressive display as they were launched into the sky, exploded on metal barge in just six seconds.

Thousands of people had gathered for the 'Roar on the Shore' event in Bournemouth hoping to watch the show better the current world record of 56,645 fireworks which was set in Plymouth in 2006.

But most were left confused as to whether the explosion was 'the show' or somehting had gone wrong.

Organizers say that as the fireworks exploded (despite doing so quicker than expected) they had still set a new world record.

275x250.jpgA jewellery collection bought by a philandering millionaire for his long-suffering wife has been sold for £300,000.

In a bizarre arrangement each time businessman Robert Charlton had an affair he gave his wife Elizabeth a diamond gift.

By the time he died in 1979, she had amassed a massive collection of diamond gifts including bracelets, rings, earrings and a stunning riviere necklace made up of 54 diamonds (maybe he'd had threesome that time).

43 pieces from collection - which had been passed down to their daughter - were this week sold at auction for £300k by Woolley & Wallis.

At least he didn't insist on adding notches to his bedpost, he would have whittled it down to the size of a toothpick.

Kids break finger painting world record

275x250.jpg6000 children (and a few adults) have broken the current world record for the largest finger painting.

The event, organised by NICMA the Childminding Association, took place at Belfast Zoo and saw a giant 2,090 square metre canvas being decorated.

Covered with a central image of a house it beat the the current record a paltry 2,000 square metre painting made in Austria in 2007.

Two adjudicators approved by Guinness World Records watched the messy goings on and organisers are now awaiting official confirmation they have set a new record.

The adjudicators didn't want to get their hands dirty though.

Lost people really do walk in circles

275x250.jpgIf you get lost, it can often feel like you are walking in circles trying to find your way ... scientists claim that's because you are.

Researchers say books and movies where people who are lost in a desert cross their own tracks are more realistic than previously thought, and that is is incredibly hard to walk in a straight line.

They used GPS trackers on nine people who were dropped off and left to wander in the Sahara desert (Tunisia) and in the Bienwald forest (Germany) for several hours.

While they had been told to walk in a straight line, all ended up walking in a circle and crossing their own tracks.

The scientists think this is because people have an increasing uncertainty about where straight ahead is and try to adjust for it ... not because they have one leg longer than the other.

Clever coffee mug keeps your drink warm

275x250.jpgBoffins in Germany have created a high-tech mug which they claim will keep your mulled wine (or coffee) at the perfect temperature.

The key to the mug is use of a 'phase change material' (PCM) which is normally used in buildings to keep them cool.

But in this case, scientists used it to fill the walls of a porcelain mug which also contained ribbons of highly conductive material, such as aluminum.

Here's the science bit: This means that if you pour a hot drink into the mug the PCM melts, retaining thermal energy, but also stops the mug absorbing more heat.

Basically, it keeps your drink warm for up to 30 minutes ... in a way too clever for me to understand.

275x250.jpgA pair of buskers who repeatedly sang Oasis’s ‘Wonderwall’ and George Michael’s ‘Faith’ have been issued with Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.

Magistrates dished out the ruling after hearing how the buskers infuriated people in the Moseley area of Birmingham by only playing the two songs, often till 3am in the morning.

More than 60 complaints were said to have been made to police about the duos playlist, excessive noise and abusive behaviour.

Except for the odd rendition of Faith, Wonderwall was clearly their favorite song, which they played pretty-much non-stop.

For it, one played the acoustic guitar, whilst the other accompanied him by banging on dust bin lids ... just like the Gallaghers intended.

200x190.jpgA goldfish which was flushed down a Scottish toilet has been rescued from a sewage plant ... and named Pooh.

The fish was found flapping for its life in a filter by a worker at a South Lanarkshire sewage plant.

Acting quickly they plucked Pooh from the sewage and popped it into a tank of water where it soon began swimming around.

It is thought the owner probably flushed the fish away, assuming it was dead ... luckily as it only has a seven second memory it won't remember what happened.

275x250.jpgStudents at UK universities are are losing 339 million hours because they can't type properly, it has been claimed.

Research has found the average student types at just 20 words per minute compared to 80 words per minute of those who can type properly.

As a result it means typing out the average coursework of 300,000 words over three years of study can take 333 hours longer than needed.

That works out to 70 nights during which I am sure most students could find something more productive, or at least fun, to do.

Then again, if they can master typing the words "download dissertation on ..." into Google who needs 80 words per minute.

Theme park bans raised arms over B.O.

200x190.jpgA UK theme park has banned roller-coaster riders from throwing their arms in the air ... because of complaints about body odour.

Bosses at Thorpe Park say that during hot weather, the number of visitors moaning about B.O. rockets, especially on rides where people put their arms in the air.

As a result they have installed "Say no to BO" signs next to the rides along with an image telling them not to raise their hands.

Staff have also been issued with deodorant sprays for particularly smelly customers who will also be asked to sit at the back of the carriage so other riders do not have to travel through their pong.

Steam car aims to break speed record

275x250.jpgA team of British engineers are hoping to break the the longest-standing land speed record with a super fast steam car

Nicknamed the "fastest kettle in the world" Inspiration is said to be able to reach speeds of up to 170mph in a matter of seconds.

This week in California's Mojave Desert they started four days of attempts to break the current record of 127mph (204km/h) which was set in 1906 by Fred Marriott.

Driver Charles Burnett III will make several runs across the 6mile lake bed in the steam car, to set the record he must do two, two mile-long runs within 60 minutes that average out above the record speed.

The team say the Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) carried in on-board tanks creates 3 megawatts of heat ... or in British engineering terms, the same as 1500 kettles and enough to make 23 cups of tea per second.

200x190.jpgMost people take a book to read while they wait at the airport, but Alain de Botton is spending a week at Heathrow T5 to write one.

The author - known for writing books on love, travel and architecture - has become the first ever airport writer-in-residence and will write about life at Heathrow.

Much of 'A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary' will be written from his desk (set up in the centre of Terminal 5 departure hall) and will look at the inner workings of Britain's busiest airport.

De Botton says he will observe and talk to staff and travelers who will appear in the book - so be sure to check-in with him if you want to be featured.

200x190.jpgHundreds of people in Israel are spending their evenings looking for mermaids after a series of 'sightings' were reported.

According to the dozens of people who claim to have seen the mermaid - but never had a camera on them at the time - she appears just off the coast at around sunset.

Now the town council of Kiryat Yam, near Haifa, is offering a $1,000,000 reward to anyone who can prove she exists in their waters.

Of course the town says is offering the reward purely for scientific reasons, and not because they hope the odd news might boost tourism.

275x250.jpgAn absent-minded musician accidentally left his violin in a New York cab.

No real news there you might think, but this was an 18th century J. F. Pressenda violint worth more than £300k.

22-year-old Korean musician Hahn-Bin had been heading back to his Chinatown apartment when he left the violin in the yellow cab.

When he got home he realized his mistake and quickly called taxi authorities and the police ... but I'm guessing not the Mandell Collection of Southern California he loans the violin from.

Luckily cab bosses were able to trace the driver via GPS and found that he had taken the instrument home to New Jersey for safe keeping.

World's worst football team gets UK boss

275x250.jpgA UK football coach has become the boss at the world's worst international football team.

Pohnpei have never won a competitive match and regularly receive double figure drubbings at the hands of footballing giants like Guam.

But Brit duo Paul Watson and Matthew Conrad think they can turn things around for the Micronesian island after taking over as coaches of the national team.

Paul, a 25-year-old sports journalist from Bristol, said he hopes to make the team more professional and encourage the development of the game at youth level.

He hopes to gain sponsorship for training equipment and kit ... which will no doubt go down well with his players, some of who currently have to walk five miles barefoot to the ground for training. 

275x250.jpgMore than half of Brits are convinced they descended from Royalty, a survey has found.

A poll of over 2,000 people found that a massive 62 percent think they are related to the Royal family, with many trying to prove the link.

People search engine had quizzed Brits on what they know about their family trees, finding that 89 percent were trying to find more info, and 63 percent thought they were related to King’s and Queen’s.

It is thought that shows like the BBC hit ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ revealing that both Davina McCall and Boris Johnson are distantly related to royals has convinced many viewers they too could have Royal blood in them.

Then again if Davina McCall is related to Royals I guess anybody could be.

275x250.jpgResearchers claim a Zombie attack could lead to the collapse of civilization unless it is dealt with quickly and aggressively.

Basing their research and biological assumptions based on popular zombie movies (why not) they created a mathematical model of what would be likely to happen.

The Canadian academics took into account; how people could be bitten by a zombie, the latent period of zombification, the effects of possible quarantine or a cure, and the ability of human to behead and kill zombies.

One of the researchers wrote: "In summary, a zombie outbreak is likely to lead to the collapse of civilisation, unless it is dealt with quickly."

Well that's good enough for me. Faster than you can say "Zombies are fictional" I'm going find myself a shotgun and practice aiming for the head.

200x190.jpgMakers of a flying car, which recently travelled from London to Timbuktu, have started taking orders for their SkyCar.
The Parajet SkyCar - which flies using a paramotor and parafoil - costs £50,00 and would certainly make your morning commute a bit more interesting.

Earlier this year makers tested their vehicle by traveling over 9,000km from London to Timbuktu in  an expedition that included the first crossing of the Gibraltar straights.

SkyCar can be converted from road to flight mode in three minutes and can take-off from a field or airstrip in less than 200 metres ... it makes you feel like James Bond too.

275x250.jpgSorry, I meant to post this story yesterday, but it completely slipped my mind.

People with some of the world's best memories have been battling it out in London this weekend, as part of the UK Open Memory Championships.

Competitors from around the world had to remember things like the order of hundreds of shuffled playing cards in just 15 minutes then recall them to judges.

Other memory tests included remembering random numbers, words, dates, images and binary numbers.

Meanwhile I am left struggling to remember where I left my house key before I can go out today. 

200x190.jpgA bald penguin who bizarrely lost all of his feathers in one day has been given a specially-designed wetsuit to cover his skin.

Ralph, a nine year old Humboldt penguin at Marwell Wildlife Centre had been left at risk of sunburn, when he lost his feathers last week.

Penguins normally shed their feathers as new ones come through, over five week period. But oddly Ralph lost all of his in one day, exposing his pale pink skin to the sun.

As a result, keepers at the centre have used the leg of a wetsuit to make a miniature one to protect him while his new feathers grow ... he is still waiting for a matching surfboard.

UFO sightings increased around X-Files

200x190.jpgUFO sightings in the UK hit an all-time high in 1996 ... the same year as Independence Day landed in the cinema and The X-Files was a huge TV hit.

MoD records show that in 1996 there were a massive 609 reported UFO sightings across the UK, up from just 117 the previous year.

Experts argue that the increase was because people had a greater interest in aliens and UFOs rather than little green men visiting more to tune into the Mulder and Scully show.

In fact the previous peak for people seeing unidentified flying objects was 1978 ... the same year Close Encounters of the Third Kind came out.

Currywurst museum opens in Germany

275x250.jpgGermany hasn't got much to shout about when it comes to food, but that hasn't stopped them opening a museum dedicated to their national dish*.

The newly opened Currywurst Museum in Berlin is a celebration of the sliced sausage and curry sauce dish, which is famously served at snack bars around the country.

For £9 the museum aims to teach tourists about the origins and cultural significance of the meall ... though for the same price they could buy three portions.

The odd museum - where visitors are bombarded with the sound of sizzling sausages and smell of curry - is expected to attract over 350,000 tourists each year.

* I am well aware of the irony of a Brit criticizing another nation's cuisine and I am sure the words pot, kettle and black (or should that be Krug, Kessel and Schwarz) will appear in the comments.

200x190.jpgMore than 1,000 yoga fans have gathered central Gothenburg to stretch together and set a new world record.

Led by Yoga instructor Annette Lefterow the crowd of 1,050 people took part in a 45-minute rhythm yoga session.

The event - which took the record for the most people to take part in a rhythm yoga session - was held as part of the Gothenburg Culture Festival, over the weekend.

By twisting and contorting themselves into a variety of positions the yoga faithfuls gained a place in the world record book ... and in some cases a bad back.

275x250.jpgPolice in Devon and Cornwall have started asking prisoners to fill out "customer satisfaction" surveys about their experience of life in the cells.

More than 1,000 people who have recently spent time in custody, were sent the forms more befitting a hotel than prison.

41 questions asked how the prisoners found the food, cleanliness of the cells, and even how comfortable the beds were.

A police spokesperson said the move is part of a plan to identify short-fallings and improve standards in their temporary detention cells.

But prisoners will no doubt use the forms as a of suggesting the cells should be fitted with things like big-screen TVs ... or an open door. 

275x250.jpgA range of bikinis has been released which, if worn in good weather, leaves the wearer with a "tan tattoo".

The Italian swimming costumes have basic shapes cut out of the rear, meaning that otherwise covered skin is exposed to the sun.

This means that wearers is left with the patterns "tattooed" on their skin in a  tan.

Makers 'Skin Italy' say the tan tattoos are there to give wearers a memory of their summer holiday and turn the imperfection of tan lines into an advantage.

200x190.jpgA TV fan and budding director has set a world record by sitting through a marathon 84 hour session watching every episode of Friends.

Steve Misiura watched all 238 episodes of the hit US comedy back-to-back in a bid to raise funds for a course at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

The 31-year-old from London said he picked Friends because it was one of the few things he thought could actually bear to watch for 84 hours straight.

On his way to breaking the previous world record of 72 hours Steve suffered nausea, stomach aches and even hallucinations ... of which his favourite was "The one where the TV got turned off."

Honeybees can learn foreign languages

275x250.jpgScientists have found that Asian and European bees are able to communicate with each other, despite speaking different languages.

Each species of bee has it's own dance language for communicating things like how far away food is, and in which direction.

But even though the dance languages are completely different researchers found that bees were quickly able to pick up what was being "said".

The boffins say they knew this because the bees who had been watching the foreign dance were able to find the food they had been given directions to.

Great, now I have been out-smarted by a honey bee ... who can probably also speak French better than me.

200x190.jpgDutch researchers have told world record sprinter Usain Bolt to get a move on, and that the 100m sprint can be run in just 9.51 seconds.

Econometricians from Tilburg University say they have been able to work out the quickest speed it is humanly possible to complete the race.

A team analysed the records of 762 male athletes from between 1991 and 2008  before using something called extreme-value theory calculations to work out what could be done.

Their figure knocks a massive 0.18 seconds off Usain Bolt's current world record ... but then again he did pretty much stop for photos towards the line.

275x250.jpgIn the classic Aesop fable "The crow and the pitcher," a thirsty crow used stones to raise the level of water in a pitcher and quench its thirst.

But now, thousands of years later, researchers say it could have been based on fact, as rooks have recreated the task in the scientist lab.

Four of the intelligent birds, which belong to the crow family, where given a test tube containing a tasty looking worm and a low level of water along with a pile of stones.

All of the birds were able to understand that by dropping the stones in the tube would raise the water level and bring the worm within reach.

Aptly named researcher Chris Bird (we are not making this up) said that while rooks don't use tools in the wild this proved the could if they wanted.

200x190.jpgIf your mother told you to make sure you are always wearing clean underwear she would definitely not approve of these ... they come ready soiled.

The 'pre-stained pants' are the brainchild of Philip Watson who came up with the idea while at university, after finding a pair of "horribly skidded" pants in the wash.

He says the idea of being caught with dirty underwear is horribly shaming, and thought that it would be great it there was an excuse to trot out, like "they came that way".

Philip is now selling the pants - which have printed skid-marks on the rear - online, and says demand is better than expected ... but if buyers chose not to change their pants regulary they still have to explain the smell.

UFO spotted on BBC breakfast (Video)

200x190.jpgThe BBC have been bombarded with calls after thousands of Breakfast Look North viewers claimed they had seen a UFO on the show.

As host Colin Briggs was delivering the news headlines a flashing white light zipped past the a webcam looking over Newcastle's River Tyne.

Viewers instantly started speculating on what the white blur could be with doubters claiming it was simply a bird.

But experts - who have slowed the footage down - say they have ruled this out and cannot explain the white UFO.

275x250.jpgScientists have found that women order smaller and less calorific meals if eating with a man, than they do if dining with female friends.

Tests by psychologists showed that women eating with a single male companion were more likely to order a salad than a steak, but that this changed when eating with another woman.

When ordering in mixed-gender groups womens food choices were at the lower end of the caloric scale, but the more men in the group the fewer the calories. When in all female groups women pigged out.

Experts at McMaster University think the choice could be subconsciously controlled by a desire to signal attractiveness, which apparently smaller portions do.

However researchers did not look at why, even though a woman orders a salad when you go out together, she invariably pinches half of your chips ... like calories from your plate don't count.

200x190.jpgA website which tells movie-goers with weak bladders when is the best time during a film to pop to the loo, has become a surprise hit. picks the quiet moments in movies where you have one or four minutes to run to the toilet, and tells you when they occur. You can even  read a summary of what you will miss on your iPhone.

For example, the site advises there are two chance to go to the toilet during the Sacha baron cohen movie Bruno at 48 or 60 minutes in.

Anyone wondering when they should go to the toilet during Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, is advised that visiting the loo will most probably me more interesting that the movie at any time.

Lost in space tool bag falls to earth

A £75,000 tool bag which was accidentally dropped by an astronaut on a spacewalk has returned to earth.

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper helplessly watched the bag float away from her during a spacewalk from the International Space Station back in November.

She had been trying to fix some of the stations solar panels but her tool bag had not been properly attached and drifted away.

Since then the bag has been in orbit and circled the Earth several times before the NASA Orbital Debris Program Office tracked it re-entering the atmosphere earlier this week.

But NASA shouldn't expect their tool back anytime soon, the bag burnt up over the Pacific ocean on re-entry. 

275x250.jpgJust when you thought sitting through boring slideshows of peoples holidays had become a thing of the past, a new digital camera has been launched with a built-in projector.

The £400 gadget is capable of beaming a 40-inch tall image of your latest snaps onto your wall thanks to a tiny LED projectors.

In addition the projection the camera has all the usual photo and video shooting abilities.

Makers Nikon claim the catchily named Nikon S1000pj "delivers a fun new way to share pictures with friends and family in most any location."

A more accurate description might be "The Nikon S1000pj delivers another way to torture friends and relatives with mind-numbing pictures of you holiday."

A new series of TV ads have started airing in Brazil, encouraging people to urinate in the show ... to save the Rainforest.

The cartoons show silhouettes of various people showering - ranging from Gandhi to a basketball player - and then starting to pee into the nearest drain.

SOS Mata Atlantica - the environmental group behind the ads - say that if each household avoided just one flush per day they would save 4,380 litres of water each year.

I must say it is nice to discover that I have been doing my bit to save the environment for the past 30 years.

200x190.jpgA design student has created a folding bike which shrinks down to the size of just one wheel.

Dominic Hargreaves came up with The Contortionist bike because he couldn't find a folding bike which he could have fun riding and became small enough to store.

But now the designer could be left quids in after his invention was shortlisted for the James Dyson Award for innovation, which comes with a prize of £10,000.

His design uses a collapsable aluminium frame and while I could try to explain how it folds you are probably better off just checking out the video after the link.

200x190.jpgA group of women got their own back on a serial love-cheat, by gluing his penis to his leg, a court has heard.

The married man is said to have been lured to a hotel by one of the women he was sleeping with and blindfolded and tied to the bed.

But when the blindfold was removed Donessa Davis saw his mistress was joined by his wife ... and two of his other lovers.

Police say the women then pointed a gun at him, quizzed him about his infidelity and superglued his penis to his leg, leaving him in a rather sticky situation and call to room service.

275x250.jpgBabies are being taught how to use sign language to tell their parents if they are suffering swine flu symptoms.

UK and American nurseries are being encouraged to teach youngsters the basic signs for things like "hot", "cold", "pain" and "ill".

It is hoped that the children could use the 30 signs to alert parents that they may have swine flu, before they would otherwise know.

The children are also shown how to communicate that they want 'more water' or even a 'hug' to make them feel better.

Suddenly I can't help but think of the signing baby from Meet the Fockers.

Russian Sergey Savelyev has got something to shout about, he has just won the annual International Screaming Contest in Thailand.

Loudmouth Sergey belted out a ear-peircing 116.8 decibel scream - the same as a police car siren - in the competition to find the world's loudest.

There were over 1,500 entries in the event hosted by Thailand's Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum in Pattaya.

While screaming Sergey, 33, came first and won the £750 prize money he was unable to break the world record of 129-decibels.

275x250.jpgChinese officials have produced a list of 100 health requirements for would-be astronauts (taikonauts), including not having bad breath.

The list of requirements states that those wanting to be part of China's next space programme must not have runny noses, drug allergies or ringworm.

Doctors from the 454th Air Force Hospital in Nanjing, eastern China say scars and tooth cavities - which could explode in space - could also rule people out on grounds of safety.

In a moment of consideration for the taikonauts, who could spend months in confined space with each other, they say bad body odour and bad breath are also no-no's.

Oddly, under new rules married astronauts will only get to go into space if their wife says they can ... which probably means they will have to bring back a bottle of milk on their return.

200x190.jpgA dozy car thief had to come clean after falling asleep at the wheel of a stolen car, while going through a car wash.

Officers from South Australia Police were this morning called out at 3am when an operator called to say a car has been in his car wash for over an hour.

When they arrived they checked the cars details and discovered they black convertible Audi had been stolen days earlier.

The the 30-year-old driver from Campbelltown was then woken from his slumber and arrested.

So much for trying to make a clean getaway. 

200x190.jpgThe sales of German beer are at their lowest since records began, say the Federal Statistics Office.

Admittedly, records only began 18 years ago - and they are still getting through almost one billion litres of beer per month - but this is Germany and that is bordering on a crisis.

Experts claim the price of beer, the European ban on smoking in restaurants and the poor weather have all contributed to the low sales.

By "low sales" they mean just the 4.93bn litres sold in the first six months of 2009. While that is down 4.5% on last year, it still works out to 38 pints per month for every man of drinking age.

275x250.jpgA team of blundering Border Agency officials have accidentally helped to smuggle an illegal immigrant into the UK.

Even better, the customs team did so as they returned from a fact-finding mission to France to find out how to stop immigrants from getting in.

The man is thought to have hidden in a small space between the fuel tank and the chassis of the coach which had returned from France to Folkestone in the Channel Tunnel.

After holding on for the 25 minute journey he was seen climbing out and running off once in the UK - the Border Agency team onboard were unable to catch him.

On hearing the odd news a Border Agency official said they didn't see or hear the man ... because they were too busy trying, and failing, to organize a piss-up in a brewery.

275x250.jpgMillions of Ladybirds have invaded areas of Somerset and Norfolk where swarms of them have landed paining the town red (and black).

Experts say over 10 million of the coccinella beetles are now in the area with some swarms numbering in the millions.

The distinctive red and black bugs are being drawn to an abundance of aphids - a plant-eating insect - which they eat.

One farm in Chard, Somerset is so overrun with the Ladybugs they are unable to work, millions of the bugs are covering every inch of the farm, including machinery.

While it may look cute now - from a distance - the experts warn that as they run out of food the area could soon have a layer of dead Ladybirds covering the floor.

Bikini babe world record attempt flops

275x250.jpgPlans to set a new world record for the most bikini-clad babes to be photographed together, ended in failure ... when only 42 turned up.

Organisers hoped to see more than 1,924 bikini wearing women at Southend-on-Sea, Essex to break the current Russian record.

But a combination of poor weather forecasts, and that fact that it was in Essex, meant that only 42 arrived at the set time.

A spokesperson for the Bikini Beach Bash event - who ha earlier told people to arrive early to beat the queues - admitted they were disappointed with the turn out and that that hadn't even broken the UK record set last year.

Not only that but the majority of beaches they weren't trying probably had more than 42 women in bikinis.

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