Simon Crisp: April 2008 Archives

Meet the real 'Iron Man'

200x190.jpgMeet the real 'Iron Man' who is able to lift huge weights and run long distances without tiring.

Unlike the one in the upcoming Robert Downey Jr movie this Exoskeleton suit - a wearable robot - was designed for the US Army not by a crime-fighting wealthy industrialist and genius inventor.

Makers Raytheon Company have been working on the device since 2000 and claim a wearer is now able to easily carry a man on his back or lift 200 pounds several hundred times without tiring.

200x190.jpgThe man who invented LSD has died of a heart attack at the age of 102.

Albert Hofmann, from Switzerland, discovered the hallucinogenic drug in 1938 and hoped his invention would lead to treatment of mental illness patients.

But it had only been when the chemist accidentally consumed some of the drug he realised the effects it could have, saying of his experience: "Everything I saw was distorted as in a warped mirror."

200x190.jpgFluff removers, electric nail files and laser guided scissors have been voted some of the worlds most pointless gadgets.

4,500 Brits were asked to name the daftest gadgets they had used, Electric nail files topped the list with laser guided scissors coming second, users said they didn't help you cut straight because as the hand shakes so does the light.

The poll also revealed that electric or battery operated candles are considered pointless along with the retro eighties classic, the Soda Stream.        

200x190.jpgA toddler, a baby and a dog are just some of the people (and animals) who have wrongly been sent polling cards for tomorrows UK local elections.

The cards should mean they are all eligible to attend their local polling station and cast a vote for their chosen party.

But anyone who thinks about taking their youngster or pet to vote on May 1st should reconsider - they would be breaking the law and could face imprisonment.

200x190.jpgA MP leading an inquiry into internet safety has been warned that his own 12-year-old daughter has been 'breaking Bebo rules.'

Conservative John Whittingdale MP was quizzing Bebo safety chief Rachel O'Connell about online child safety when his mentioned his 12-year-old daughter had been using the site 18 months.

To much laughter the commons culture committee chairman was then told the site runs a "over 13s" policy and his daughter should not be online.

200x190.jpgA rare painting of Shakespeare's only known patron, which has not been seen since the 16th Century, has been discovered by X-rays.

The picture - believed to be of Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton - has been hidden since was painted over with and image of his wife Elizabeth Vernon more than 400 years ago.

The discovery occurred which students at the University of Bristol X-rayed the image in preparation for show at Montacute House, Somerset.

200x190.jpgA designer watch maker has produced a $300,000 watch ... which doesn't tell the time.

Instead the watch runs on a 12 hour cycle and informing the wearer only whether it is night or day.  The hours, minutes and seconds hands are replaced by two tourbillions based on a differential system one showing day, the other showing night.

Makers of the Day&Night, Romain Jerome, say the watch offers the weaer the 'ultimate luxuary' of allowing them to 'take one’s time.'

200x190.jpgA farmer who produces pint-sized pig to sell as pets has been forced to stop taking orders, because he can't keep up with demand.

Chris Murray started offering the pet pigs two years ago and has been inundated with requests and thousands of people are currently on the waiting list

Celebrities including Jonathan Ross and Charlotte Church are just some of those who have wanted the unusual pets.

Meat Loaf voted ideal driving song

200x190.jpgThe Meat Loaf classic 'Bat out of Hell' has been voted the best song to listen to while driving.

It topped a survey of 2,000 British motorists beating the home grown 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen into second place, Steppenwolf's Born To Be Wild came in third.

The survey also fond that the music drivers listen to can influence the speed at which they drive, with blues fans the most likely to be caught speeding.

Leonardo da Vinci parachute tested

200x190.jpgA man has jumped from a helicopter to test designs by Leonardo da Vinci for the worlds first parachute ... and they worked.

Swiss amateur jumper Olivier Vietti-Teppa leapt from the helicopter 2,000ft up with the chute built from sketches made in 1485 strapped to his back.

Luckily for Vietti-Teppa it opened as outlined in the 500 year old designs making the 36-year-old the first person to successfully make a jump with the pyramid-shaped device.

150 women wanted to eat chocolate

200x190.jpgScientists are appealing for 150 women to take part in a research study where they will be asked to eat a bar of chocolate everyday for a year.

The boffins from the University of East Anglia hope the study could reveal if some of the
compounds in chocolate can reduce help risk of heart disease in women with type 2 diabetes.

They think flavonoids - plant compounds found in cocoa and soy - could be the key to reducing heart disease and there is only one way to find out.

Harry Potter on A-level reading lists

200x190.jpgHarry Potter has been placed alongside literary greats such as Jane Eyre and Hamlet as required reading for A-level English students.

Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone is now one of the 'set texts' by the AQA exam body, the largest in the country.

Students will now be asked to pen a 1,500 word essay on J K Rowling's approach to writing and a 800 word story inspired by the book.

Balding penguin gets a wetsuit

200x190.jpgA balding penguin who didn't like the cold has been given a specially made wet-suit to keep him warm.

When Pierre the African penguin began to loose his feathers biologists at the California Academy of Sciences, noticed he stopped plunging into the academy's penguin tank and would stand on the side shivering.

Unlike marine mammals which have blubber to keep them warm penguins rely entirely on their waterproof feathers, and without the water was too cold for 25-year-old Pierre. 

200x190.jpgTwo young David Beckham fans are suing each other - over who owns a shirt the player threw to them at a LA Galaxy game.

While one nine-year-old boy caught the famous number 23 shirt, his best mate claimed it was intended for him and a scrap broke out between them.

Now their parents have got involved and are even hiring lawyers to take the battle to court.

200x190.jpgThe farmyard chicken may be a direct descendant of the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex, scientists have claimed.

Researchers from Harvard University studied ancient proteins dating back 68 million years discovered that the T-rex had more in common with a chicken - on a molecular level - than alligators and lizards.

The T-rex protein was obtained from a thigh bone discovered in 2003 in Wyoming, after the discovery it was found that collagen could be extracted from the fossilised bone

200x190.jpg1,300 students have set a new world record for the largest number of simultaneously launched Diet Coke Mentos fountains.

The Belgian city of Leuven was host to the event which saw carbonated fountains launching 30ft into the air as Ladeuzeplein square became a sea of foaming Coke.

Each of the 1,300 students dropped a tube of the mints into a bottle of Diet Coke, producing the famous reaction seen in thousands of YouTube videos.

Shakespeare, init?

200x190.jpgAn author has re-written Shakespeare in chav-speak including titles such as 'Macbeff' and 'Romeo and His Fit Bitch Jools.'

Martin Baum, 48, from Dorset says his 'yoof' versions of the classics are a good thing because they can help more children got into the bard.

The comedy sketch writer, who was helped by his 13-year-old son, was inspired after hearing about simplified texts of Shakespeare's plays being introduced in schools a couple of years ago.

Obscene new logo for government office

200x190.jpgA government office hired a design company to create a logo which accurately portrayed them - what they got back was a picture of a man waving his penis.

The new branding for the Office of Government Commerce which is tasked with driving up standards and procurement capability across central Government, was meant to be the letters OGC in a clear and bold font.

But what no-one had noticed was that if the logo was rotated 90 degrees it looked more like a man holding his penis.

Eco-house sells for £7.2million

200x190.jpgA bizarre looking eco-home which is shaped like a bee orchid has sold for a record breaking £7.2million.

The house, to be built on a 550-acre Cotswold nature reserve, is now the UK's most expensive country home.

Designed by Sarah Featherstone the house will produce more energy than it uses by using underground heat pumps, geothermal heating and cooling, rainwater and solar and wind power

Snoop Dogg allowed back in UK

200x190.jpgA judge has overturned a ban which has prevented Snoop Dogg from entering the UK for two years.

In 2006 the rapper was denied a visa after allegedly being involved in a fracas with police at Heathrow Airport.

But a judge who has examined DVD footage of the star and ruled that Snoop had done nothing wrong.

Hollywood stunt bear kills trainer

200x190.jpgA bear which has appeared in movies alongside stars Will Ferrell has killed his trainer in a savage attack.

Stephan Miller died after being bitten on the neck by 7ft 6in Rocky, who recently appeared with Ferrell in 'Semi-Pro' and weighs 50 stone.

It is thought the 39-year-old animal trainer died of blood loss shortly after the attack in which the beast needed to be subdued with pepper spray.

More than 92% of email are now spam

200x190.jpg92 percent of all e-mails are spam and fake websites designed to hi-jack your computer are set up every three seconds, warn security experts.

Experts at IT security firm Sophos Labs set up a global network of spam traps and then analyzed the contents from the first thee months of 2008.

They found a whopping 92.3 percent of all email sent during that time was spam and that 23,300 new spam-related web-pages had been set-up every day, or one about every three seconds.

Drunk Darth Vader appears in court

200x190.jpgA man dressed as Darth Vader and attacked a Star Wars fan who had founded a Jedi Church, a court has heard.

Arwel Hughes, 27, from Anglesey has admitted wielding a metal crutch in an attack on Barney Jones and cousin Michael who have setup the UKs first Jedi Church.

Holyhead magistrates court heard how Hughes, donned a black bin bag while drunk and then attacked the pair shouting "Darth Vader" as he jumped over a garden wall.

McDonald's new uniform chafed nipples

200x190.jpgMcDonald's were forced to make changes to their new uniforms after female staff complained the shirts were chafing their nipples.

The burger giant said the new UK outfits - which include a polo shirt and baseball cap, both in black and mocha - were designed help staff feel good about their work.

But designer Bruce Oldfield has told that during tests one of the shirts was scrapped because of complaints from wearers.

Masterpieces arrive at train station

200x190.jpgA collection of 100 art masterpieces have gone on show at at London train station.

But rather than hanging on the wall of St Pancras International station the works form an interactive exhibition where Eurostar passengers use a touch-screen coffee table to display the works on plasma screen walls.

As part of the deal with the National Gallery travelers to Paris or Brussels will be able to view the works from artists including Leonardo da Vinci and Monet.

Japan wants Crocs redesigned

200x190.jpgJapanese authorities have asked the makers of Crocs to redesign their products after a series of accidents where wearers were injured on escalators.

Wearers of the highly flexible shoes aresaid to have been left with broken toes, bruises and cuts because the footwear has been caught in the gaps between steps and the side of the escalator.

The trade ministry in Japan has also asked stores, stations and anywhere which has escalators, to display warnings of what can happen.

Eating breakfast can lead to boys

200x190.jpgScientists claim that pregnant women who eat regular breakfasts and have high calorie diets are more likely to have a baby boy.

The study by Oxford and Exeter universities monitored the diets of 740 first-time mothers, categorizing them into those with high or low energy intakes.

56% of those with high energy intakes went on to have a boy while this number was just 45% among those with low energy diets.

Pink balls debut at Lords

200x190.jpgA fluorescent pink ball was yesterday used for the first time at Lords, the traditional home of cricket.

The ball was being tested to see if it retained visibility better than the white ones which are currently used in one day games.

The MCC will now feed back results of the trials to the England and Wales Cricket Board - if positive the bright pink ball could be used in county fixtures and one-day internationals.

Elvis Presley's 'secret London visit'

200x190.jpgIt was said that Elvis never visited England, but details of a secret trip to London were yesterday revealed for the first time.

Theatre producer Bill Kenwright told BBC radio that in 1958 the King was shown around London by singer Tommy Steele.

Kenwright, a friend of former teen idol Steele, says the two went sightseeing taking in the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace on the secret trip.

200x190.jpgSatellite navigation systems will soon warn Japanese drivers as they enter areas with high rates of car crime.

Honda is set to introduce the technology for 660,000 motorists which it says will enable them to avoid locations identified by police as the most dangerous for car thefts, damage being caused to vehicles or items being stolen from parked cars.

On the sat nav screens areas highlighted as having problems will be marked with red circles or arrows. The information will be updated via data transmission rather than being disk based.

Bankers told no brothels on expenses

200x190.jpgExecutives at the German bank Deutsche Bank have been warned not to claim expenses for trip to brothels or for buying pornographic movies.

An internal memo issued to staff told them: "Deutsche Bank does not approve of any adult entertainments and such expenditures will not be reimbursed."

The warning came as part of a general cost-cutting drive which also included £50 limits of business lunches and restrictions on travel costs.

And finally ... our logo makes you sick

200x190.jpgA £550,000 re-brand of the BBC's news output has left viewers with feelings of nausea and dizziness.

The launch yesterday saw 'News 24' renamed 'BBC News' along with the introduction of a series of new on-screen logos, animations and jingles

But when bosses asked for viewers to tell them what they thought of the new look impressions were less than favorable.

Earth orbit getting crowded say ESA

200x190.jpgThe Space Operations Centre at the European Space Agency (ESA) has highlighted the problem of 'abandoned' satellites orrbiting the earth

Since the launch of Sputnik on 4th October 1957 they say over 6,000 satellites have been sent into orbit of which only 800 (or 13 percent) are currently operational.

They have now created these images to illustrate just how crowed our skies now are.

Bikini or Jeans

200x190.jpgThey are an outrageous cross between a skimpy bikini and a pair of jeans - now they are on their way to the UK.

The £45 'bikini jeans' were created by a Japanese clothing company and have become a surprise hit in the Far East.

Now trend-setters in the UK think the 'Ultra-Low Rise Bikini Jeans' - which replicate the look of a thong and low ride jeans -  could be the next big thing. 

Paperman: Art from an A4 page

200x190.jpgAn artist has created a series of works of art using nothing more than individual sheets of paper.

Many of his creations are cut from a single sheet of white A4 paper, just like the ones in photocopiers and printers in offices around the country.

But Peter Callesen’s work - which includes an A4 page folded into the shape of a human skeleton - can sell for up to £9,500 each. 

Controversial Diana t-shirt

200x190.jpgA controversial t-shirt which features a picture of Princess Diana along with the text “She’s Dead, so get over it.” has gone on sale.

Adverts even feature faked images of the Queen and Prince Phillip wearing the £25 shirts.

Buckingham Palace and The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund have  refused to comment on the shirt which is sure to outrage Diana fans around the world.

Speed author writes 85,000 books

200x190.jpgWhen you think of prolific authors names like Stephen King, John Grisham might spring to mind - but one man has written 85,000 more books than either of them.

Philip M Parker is the worlds fastest book author, at last count he had 85,866 books to his name and the chances are you won't have heard about any of them.

Parker writes using a specially invented machine which harvests information from databases and 'writes' the book automatically, to the standard of a competent author.

Facebook fines for Oxford students

200x190.jpgOxford University has used Facebook to gather information on graduating students behaviour, and then fined them £10,000.

Supervisors used the social networking site to gather evidence on which students had displayed "disorderly behaviour" after exams.

Fines of £40 to £500 were then issued for “trashings” where students celebrate by spraying champagne, confetti, eggs and even raw meat on each other.

Do you speak Nerdic?

200x190.jpgGeek-speak has reached the point where it almost qualifies as a new language, experts have claimed.

Dubbed 'Nerdic' the language includes words such as 'EGOSURFING' doing an internet search on yourself and 'FLESHMEET' a real-life encounter wit someone you met on the net.

The experts even claim the geeky language is the fastest growing across Europe. See below for a top ten Nerdic words.

Smarties chocolate edible art

200x190.jpgA unique exhibition featuring versions of some of the worlds most famous artworks recrested completely with chocolate have gone on show today.

The pieces which include chocolate recreations of works such as Andy Worhol’s ‘Monroe’ and Banksy’s ‘Spotless’ appear as part of Smartie Art exhibition at the V&A Museum of Childhood.

The edible exhibition by Prudence Emma Staite is being staged to celebrate the return of blue Smarties.

Earth had four hour days

200x190.jpgA space collision which formed the moon also had a dramatic impact on the length of Earths days, scientists claim.

Boffins now think that until a planet the size of Mars hit the Earth days were just four hours long.

It is thought before the incident 4.5 billion years ago the Earth rotated on a much more tilted axis and spun much faster, with days lasting as little as four hours.

Ship with New York-style Central Park

200x190.jpgAt first glance it looks like a swanky apartment block with views of a plush park - but this is actually the world's biggest cruise liner.

The £700 million liner with with working title 'Project Genesis' will carry 5,400 passengers when it is finished in 2009 and makers say it will feel like a town.

The central-park style park located on the 8th of 16 decks, will be the size of a football pitch and will use micro-climate technology to ensure the plants thrive.

200x190.jpgIt has been over 30,000 year since he walked the earth, but scientists believed they have now revealed what Neanderthal man sounded like.

A team from Florida Atlantic University say after reconstructing vocal tracts from 50,000 year old fossils they were able to use a computer to reproduce his voice.

The result is this sound (click here) While it is only a single syllable this is thought to be how Neanderthals would have communicated because they lacked the "quantal vowels" modern humans use.

200x190.jpgA French musician has caused outraged - by choosing to sing in English at the Eurovision song contest.

Sébastien Telliers song 'Divine' was selected as the Eurovision entry by the French television channel France 3 earlier this year, but now politicians say it should be switched for a French song.

Tellier is due to perform the track at annual contest, held this year in Belgrade on May 24.

200x190.jpgHe may be seen as quintessentially English, but James Bond was in many ways a product of Jamaica.

It was at his Jamaican home 'Goldeneye' where Ian Fleming wrote his first book Casino Royale in 1951, drawing inspiration from the people and locations around him.

Now Fleming’s original desk and chair are set to go on show at an exhibition 'For your eyes only' at the Imperial War Museum detailing the authors life and that of his most famous creation, Bond, James Bond.

Want to drive the worlds fastest car?

The team behind a 800mph jet car are looking for a fearless driver who can help them break the land speed record ... fancy the job?

North American Eagle, a group of Americans and Canadians have created the
42,500bhp jet car which is capable of travelling faster than the speed of sound, now they just need a driver.

The 'car' is a converted 1957 Lockheed F-104 Starfighter jet, which was bought for £12,500 over 10 years ago and has been transformed into the super-car.

Urinals on planes

200x190.jpgUrinals could be installed on planes in an effort to cut queues for the toilets.

The units, designed by German makers Dasell interiors, could be installed on major commercial aircraft, including the A380 airbus and Boeing 747.

It is thought to be the first time urinals would be been fitted on commercial flights, though they are already used in some military aircraft.

200x190.jpgA cat was rescued from a burning house and then resuscitated by firefighters who used a child-sized oxygen mask on it.

Sookee, was pulled from a house in Dundee along with another two cats and a dog but officers noticed it had been overcome by smoke.

They then covered the 16-year-old black cats face with the mask until it regained consciousness. 

£180,000 violin left on train

200x190.jpgA man who had taken his 17th Century violin to be valued left it on at train - just hours after being told it was worth £180,000.

Robert Napier had travelled from Wiltshire to London to get the 1698 Venice-made Goffriller valued on 29th January.

But after placing it on the luggage rack above his seat he forgot all about it and when he left the train he picked up his briefcase and coat leaving the valuable instrument behind.

Mole man gets £283,000 repair bill

200x190.jpgA retired engineer has been forced to pay £283,000 in repairs after digging an elaborate network of tunnels under his and neighbours houses.

William Lyttle, known as 'mole man' spent four decades digging the tunnels under his house in which he hid cars, boats and household appliances.

Hackney council say such was the damage caused by his digging they were forced to conduct over £250,000 repair work.

Tesco to offer degree in shelf-stacking

200x190.jpgIt could be a case of 2for1 rather than 2:1 for some students, after supermarket chain Tesco announced it was to launch it's own degree course.

Modules in the two-year course will include the arts of display design, special offers and efficient shelf stacking.

The store hopes the 'Tesco FD(A)' (Foundation Degree (Arts)) - to be taught at work and online - will become the qualification standard for supermarket managers.

Lonely Planet denies 'fake' claims

200x190.jpgBosses of the Lonely Planet travel guides say their guides are are accurate - despite claims from a former writer that he made up parts of the guides.

Thomas Kohnstamm claims he either copied or made up sections of his books and worked on titles including Brazil, Colombia, South America and the Caribbean.

He even claimed on one occasion he did not visit the country he was writing about. "They didn't pay me enough to go to Colombia. I wrote the book in San Francisco," he says in a biography Do Travel Writers Go To Hell?

200x190.jpgA photographer has used scientific equipment to create a series of images which show the beauty hidden in everyday objects.

Nick Veasey, works in a lead-lined studio in Kent and often collaborates with scientists and radiographers to create the stunning images.

When taking each shot he locks the studio and stands outside during the exposure of the images. Geiger counters are used to ensure safety as x-rays are a form of ionizing radiation and can be dangerous. 

London Marathon funny fun-runners

200x190.jpgMaasai warriors, a storm-trooper and a woman on 4ft stilts were just some of the bizarre runners in the Flora London Marathon 2008.

35,000 entrants took part in the 28th annual event in the capital, cheered on by some 250,000 fans.

Other odd runners included a man wearing his fire-service uniform (complete with heavy air tank) a man on skis and a man who now holds the title of the world's fastest clown.

200x190.jpgAn Australian men's magazine has launched a competition for one of its readers to win an 'all-expenses paid' divorce.

Zoo Weekly is asking for men to write in telling them why they deserve the  prize which includes, solicitors fees, divorce application fee and a cleaner.

The competition has unsurprisingly drawn criticism from those who have branded it 'unethical' and 'in poor taste.'

Pirates can claim asylum in UK

200x190.jpgThe Royal Navy have been told not to detain seafaring pirates - because they could claim asylum in the UK.

The Foreign Office have warned that because any pirates sent back to places like Somalia face beheading or having a hand chopped off for their crimes, they are within their rights to claim asylum in the UK

While in the 19th century British warships effectively eliminated piracy - the crime is now said to be on the rise.

200x190.jpgExperts have told couples trying to have children to forget buying fertility testing kits and spend the money on a romantic meal out and a good bottle of wine instead.

In recent years sales of the tests have soared as more people delay having children, they are meant to measure follicle stimulating hormones.

But Dr Simon Fishel, of the CARE Fertility Centre in Nottingham said the tests - which cost £200 each - are almost useless to assessing how many eggs a woman has left and quality of the ovaries.

CCTV in exam rooms

200x190.jpgCCTV cameras could be added to UK exam rooms in a bid to catch hi-tech cheats.

The Examination Officers' Association says an increasing number of students are using hi-tech methods to cheat on exams and will now run pilot tests in a small number of exam centres.

EOA chief executive Andrew Harland said: "If a pupil knows CCTV cameras are around, it's like slowing down for a speed camera on a main road - it acts as a deterrent."

Cadbury don't own colour purple

200x190.jpgChocolate giant Cadbury has lost a legal battle where it claimed it 'owned' a shade of purple.

The Australian branch of Birmingham based Cadbury had taken a competitor to court in a bid to get them banned from using the colour purple in their packaging.

They claimed that shade (Pantone 2685C) was integral to their brand and that other people using it were doing so to trick customers into mistakingly picking-up the wrong chocolate bar.

Channel 4 News Rick-rolls itself

200x190.jpgHe is one of Britains most respected journalist ... at least he was before people saw this.

Channel 4 News presenter John Snow has recorded a cringe-worthy version of the Rick Astley song 'Never Gonna Give You Up' to promote an item about Rickrolling.

The clip was initially hosted on the Channel 4 website but has since been posted to YouTube where thousands of people have watched Snow perform his  off-key singing and bizarre dance.

Breastfeeding moms become stars

200x190.jpgFor years adverts trying to promote breastfeeding have told of the health benefits, now a new campaign is trying to show it can be cool too.

The people behind the ads hope that by tapping into 'the cult of celebrity' they will be able to encourage young moms from working-class backgrounds that breast is best.

Keen to shake off the hippy image of breastfeeding the ads show a series of mothers in high fashion outfits next to the the message "Be a star.'

200x190.jpgA naked photograph of Carla Bruni, France's first lady, has sold at auction for more than 20 times its expected price.

When the controversial snap - taken in 1993 by Michel Comte - went on sale at Christies auction house in New York, this week, it was expected to sell for around £2,000.

But a Chinese art collector paid £45,000 for the image, one of a 135 being sold by German-born collector Gert Elfering. Shots of Kate Moss and Gisele Bundchen in their birthday suits were also going under the hammer.

Where's Wally? on Google Earth

200x190.jpgA Canadian artist has brought Where's Wally into the 21st century, by painting a 54ft version of him on a Vancouver rooftop and challenging users of Google Earth to find him.

But it i not as easy as it sounds - as well as locating the correct rooftop - users will have to wait for Google to update their aerial photography of the building.

Artist Melanie Coles, 22, who runs the related website also wants others to join in and add their own Google Wallys around the world.

Prince buys camel for £1.4million

200x190.jpgThe crown prince of Dubai has paid £1.4million for a camel at a desert festival where a camel beauty contest was being held.

Sheik Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, bought 16 camels at the event including what is thought to be the worlds most expensive camel.

It is unknown what the son of Dubai's ruler, Sheik Mohammed, plans to do with the camel though it could be used for racing.

Pensioners told 'curb scooter speed'

200x190.jpgPolice have warned OAPs driving mobility scooters not to reach the 8mph their vehicles are capable of.

After being told of a series of near-misses with shoppers in Rugby town centre Warwickshire Police have told drivers in the county to limit themselves to 4mph.

Chief Inspector Bob Musgrove said: "Mobility scooters are used by elderly and disabled people, so we are not talking about young joy riders.

Electronic bubble wrap eases stress

200x190.jpgScientists in Japan have produced an electronic version of bubble wrap which they say will help to ease the stress of Japanese businessmen.

PuchiPuchi - billed as an 'electronic bubble wrap simulator' - is a small plastic box with eight raised buttons, when a user squeezes one, a popping sound is heard from a tiny speaker.

More than two million of the £4 devices have already been sold.

200x190.jpgThe UK Treasury could be forced to pay £3.5million after claiming that a chocolate teacake was a biscuit.

European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled the Marks and Spencer treats are actually a cake making the VAT customers payed over the las 20 years unjust.

The money should now be paid back to Marks and Spencer but the UK argue that this would "unjustly enrich" the company as customers had paid the tax.

Cat poo coffee - $100 per cup

200x190.jpgA UK department store is to start selling $100 espresso shots of a coffee which has been collected from the faeces of a cat.

Believed to be one of the worlds most expensive coffee Caffé Raro is ingested by Indonesian jungle cats and then harvested from their droppings.

Experts say the process results in a rich flavour coffee which shoppers at Peter Jones will be able to try at the stores PJ Espresso Bar.

200x190.jpgThe world's biggest cigarette butt has been "dumped" in Trafalgar Square to highlight what's become the country's biggest litter problem.

The giant butt measuring in at 30ft high and 1.5metres wide was erected in London to symbolise the problem that is is growing across the UK.

According to Keep Britain Tidy, since the ban on smoking in public places came in last July the number of cig ends dropped on the street continues to rise.

200x190.jpgThey might not be as good as a giant 52in LCD for watching the big game - but tiny fully working two inch TVs have gone on sale for dolls houses.

The diminutive £99 sets are made by Brett Foster who built the first one for his daughter.

Her dolls are now able to watch digital TV, DVDs and even play on a X-box or PlayStation through the 1:12 scale unit.

Children banned from buying Ketchup

200x190.jpgPolice in Norfolk have banned children from buying tomato ketchup in an effort to fight anti-social behaviour.

The move comes after complaints from locals that  sauce was being sprayed over their homes and cars.

Police admit the ban might sound odd, but they insist it is working. They added that while squirting ketchup is not a criminal act, it could be possible to bring charges of criminal damage if paintwork was damaged on homes or vehicles.

Electro-cigarette beats smoking ban

200x190.jpgScientists have created an electronic cigarette which they claim beats the smoking ban.

The battery powered device uses micro electronic technology to simulate the sensations of smoking, but because it has no tobacco and is non-flammable there is no law against it.

While it looks like a regular cigarette the £50 electronic alternative actually contains a nicotine cartridge, an atomisation chamber and a computer-chip.

Beef ban problems for Damien Hirst

200x190.jpgOne of the worlds most famous pieces of art was almost stopped from going on show in Japan - because of a beef ban.

Damien Hirst's "Mother and Child, Divided" was due to be displayed at the The Mori Art Museum in Japan, but customs officials said a ban on British beef meant it could not be imported.

Eventually the cow and calf preserved in formaldehyde was allowed in, but only after museum bosses explained the work was not going to be consumed.

200x190.jpgResidents of a an unfortunately named village are being plagued by vandals who graffiti the sign 'Welcome to Lunt' - guess what they keep changing it to.

Fed up with seeing an offensive word as they return home locals have now started a campaign to change the name of the village.

Suggestions for the new name include Launt which would be pronounced the same and stop the yobs who repeatedly change the L to a C.

Billionaires prefer brunettes

200x190.jpgBlondes may have more fun, but brunettes could have the last laugh - they have a much better chance of bagging a billionaire.

Experts checked the hair colours of the worlds 100 richest men and found that 62 percent were brunettes.

Only 22 percent of the worlds biggest billionaires was married to a blonde and 16 percent a raven-haired woman ... none were married to a redhead.

200x190.jpgA restaurant in Germany has done away with rude waiters and replaced them with an automated serving system.

Customers now use a computer screen to order food and drinks with meals then being launched down roller-coaster style tracks from the kitchen to find their way to diners below.

The 's Baggers restaurant in Nuremberg, which also has a fully automated beer garden, say they are able to keep costs low because their are fews staff - also there is no need to leave a tip.

200x190.jpgBrazil has started making condoms by using the rubber from trees in the Amazon rainforest.

It is claimed the move, which will produce 100 million condoms per year, will help to fight Aids and reduce pressure to fell trees in the South American country.

The Brazilian government is the world's largest single buyer of condoms and have given away more than a billion in recent years.

Birdsong Radio is a tweet for fans

200x190.jpgA radio station has replaced it's presenters, jingles and news with the sounds of a British country garden.

When OneWord, a UK spoken word station, was closed down earlier this year bosses decided to play the tape instead of having dead-air - now rating are as high as they have ever been.

Over 500,000 people have tuned in to lister to the 20 minute looped recording of birds singing in chorus which is played from 6am to midnight every day.

200x190.jpgA rare breed of African seahorse has been found in the River Thames - but experts can't decide if it is good or bad news.

While it means the river - which was once so polluted it was declared biologically dead - is now cleaner, it is also highlights the impact of global warming.

The Short-snouted seahorses, discovery in a stretch of the Thames estuary between Essex and Kent,  are usually only found in Africa and the Mediterranean.

Sleeping on the job is good for you

200x190.jpgThe benefits of a taking a power-nap have been preached by advocates such as Winston Churchill, Leonardo Da Vinci and Albert Einstein - but they never tried anything like this.

Looking like a cross between a science fiction prop and a dentists chair, the EnergyPod has been designed to offer office workers a relaxing spot to take a mid-day nap.

The odd looking device has been installed in UK offices and is even being used by the LTA to help tennis players like Andy Murray achieve peak performance levels.

200x190.jpgA man has been arrested and charged with assault after he threw a hedgehog at a teenage boy.

The victim, a 15-year-old boy, was left with several puncture marks and a large red welt on his leg.

It is not known whether the hedgehog was dead before the attack in New Zealand, but it was collected as evidence after the incident.

200x190.jpgThe average Brit has over £215 worth of clothing in their wardrobe which which they will never wear, research has revealed.

A poll of 2,347 people found that women had on average GBP218.05 of unworn clothing, compared to GBP 215.45 for men - a mere GBP3 less.

A spokesman for Volkswagen, who commissioned the survey, said: "It's fascinating to take a look at the population to see how other people plan and spend their money."

G-string made with diamonds and gold

200x190.jpgA g-string worth £85,000, studded with 518 diamonds and finished with gold tassels, was the highlight of a Singapore fashion show.

The Triumph Luxurious Diamond Thong with 30 carats worth of diamonds was modeled by Danielle Luminita, of Romania, who was carried down the runway on the shoulders of two male models.

Taking more than two months from conceptualization to completion, the Triumph Diamond thong is hand crafted meticulously by Lee Hwa craftsmen.

Olympic flame gets own hotel room

200x190.jpgThe 2008 Olympic flame has arrived in London ... and been given its own hotel room.

The Chinese Olympic committee have booked a single hotel room in the English capital for the flame, and will continue to do so for each night on its 130 day tour of 20 countries.

The flame also gets a specially-chartered Air China plane bearing an Olympic flame design and a team of 10 "flame attendants" to look after its every need.

British men copy the Sarkozy heel

200x190.jpgShort British men are copying the diminutive French president Nicolas Sarkozy (5ft 5in) - by opting for male heels.

Stores say that since Sarkozy wore heels for his visit the UK - with wife, Carla Bruni (5ft 9in) - they have seen a surge in sales.

The department store chain Selfridges has noted a surge the number of men wanting a little boost buying shoes with "stack" heels of up to 2in.

Domain name sold for $2.6million

200x190.jpgA US man who bought the domain name for just $20 in 1994 has sold it on for a whopping $2.6million.

Chris Clark, 43, held a week long online auction, which started at £100 for the site after hearing that had sold for $3million in 2006.

Chris has paid $20 per year to keep the domain, he had hoped it would get a contract with a pizza firm for his consulting company, but since 2000 he has been running  adverts on the site

It's a motorcycle - but only just

200x190.jpgThis is motorcycle, but only just. Passengers sit inside a plush cabin with air-conditioning, windscreen wipers and a stereo.

The £38,000 Peraves MonoTracer has been launched as a high-performance but eco-freindly vehicle. Despite a speedy 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 155mph, the bike still does 57 miles per gallon.

Swiss makers Peraves will build just 100 of the machine which includes stabilizer wheels that deploy like landing gear when stationary.
A new road-sign has been introduced across France which indicates to motorists when they are near somewhere they can buy wine.

The bizarre sign, which features a bunch of grapes, is one of 20 which have recently been introduced and comes with the official meaning of "wine products can be found nearby."

Others signs' meanings include "a garden which has been officially certified as a garden of note" and "a station with traffic above 30,000 passengers a year."
A survey of sex therapists has found the ideal duration for sexual intercourse is between 3 and 13 minutes.

The experts from the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, USA, said that any encounter which lasted only 1 or 2 minutes was "too short"

A four-week study of couples also found that the average time for intercourse was 7.3 minutes - not including foreplay.

Bulletproof hoodie goes on sale

200x190.jpgFor British gangs they are the fashion item of choice. Now a bulletproof hoodie has gone on sale.

The £300 hoodie can, makers claim, stop a bullet from a 9mm Magnum handgun and protects the wearers entire upper body.

British manufacturer Bladerunner says this item and others which include a stab-proof top, are being bought by people who are increasingly worried about street-crime.

WANTED: Drinking buddy, will pay

200x190.jpgA man who says his is worried his 88-year-old father could become lonely after moving to a nursing home has placed an advert to find him a drinking buddy.

Jack will now meet the would-be drinking pals who replied to the advert, placed by his son Michael, in the local post office.

Michael says the ideal candidate would be someome who can talk to his father about his career as an engineer, or his passion for golf.

April fool stunt to become true

200x190.jpgA football team which claimed it was going to change it's name of 130 years as a April fools stunt, may now do it -  after fans said it was a great idea.

Accrington Stanley, which first formed in 1878 joked on April 1st that the club was to be renamed 'Lancashire Stanley United.' But bosses were shocked when fans contacted the club to pledge their support.

Now the joke could become a reality and the club have asked more fans to tell them what they think. 

200x190.jpgA weightlifter had been fined £70 for grunting too loudly as he worked out.

Neighbours' complained that the 36-year-old from Kent was making their lives a misery and they were suffering sleepless nights because of the noise from his his top-floor flat

A court heard Giran Jobe's training sessions sometimes even reached 100 decibels – the same level as a music concert.

200x190.jpgA group of Masai warriors who will make their first visit to Britain to run in the London marathon have been given a unique guide to dealing with the English.

A charity which works in their remote village in Tanzania have produced the four-page document warning the six men not to herd the cows, pee in the street or steal things they want from other people.

When confronting the English, the guide explains, it is not unusual to find them frowning "Many of them just work in offices, jobs they don't enjoy, and so they do not smile as much as they should."

The secret sex life of an octopus

200x190.jpgOctopuses live a secret kinky life where they flirt, have once-in-a-lifetime sex and will kill love rivals in jealous attacks.

Because they are such bashful sea creatures, octopuses' mating rituals have been hard to work out, but the researchers observed macho octopuses that didn't just mate with the first female that crossed their path.

Many picked out a specific sex partner and jealously guarded her den for several days, warding off rivals to the point of strangling them if they got too close.

Daily coffee can protect your brain

200x190.jpgDrinking coffee could reduce the risk of dementia by protecting the brain from the damage cholesterol can cause, it has been claimed.

It is thought the caffeine content helps create a barrier between the blood supply and the brain protecting the central nervous system from harmful chemicals in the bloodstream.

Dr Jonathan Geiger of the University of North Dakota said tests which have been conducted on rabbits could now help battle Alzheimer's because high levels of cholesterol are a risk factor for the disease.

200x190.jpgHe is used to evil villains hellbent of world domination - but James Bonds latest rival has turned out to be a local politician.

Carlos Lopez, the Mayor of Baquedano in North Chille, has been arrested after storming the set of the latest 007 movie protesting that his community is being used to film scenes set in Bolivia.

He is believed to have driven his car onto the set and parked it between a camera and star Daniel Craig who was with bond-girl Olga Kurylenko. Lopez was then arrested for trespassing.

Weird Week

Welcome to the news:lite weird week AJ Parker brings you her selection of the odd, quirky and off-beat news stories from

200x190.jpgTime-travel, teleporting and invisibility are all within the reach of scientists experts have claimed.

The staples of science fiction could soon become reality says Professor Michio Kaku, of City University in New York.

While he says time travel and teleporting are hundred of years away, invisibility and telepathy could be possible this century.

"So many times predictions are made that certain things are impossible only to find them becoming possible a decade or a few decades later," he said, in his new book 'The Physics of the Impossible.'

Dino-insects revealed for first time

200x190.jpgScientists have revealed the dino-insects which could have buzzed around T-Rex 100 million years ago.

The amazing images have been made possible by a giant X-ray machine which can show the contents of lumps of amber (fossil tree resin.)

By analyzing the amber with a high-energy light scientists at the The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France are able to see the creatures which have never before been seen by man.

200x190.jpgWhen artist Stephen Wiltshire took a helicopter flight over London he didn't need to take a camera - because he memorized the location and details of hundred of buildings.

Stephen, 33, then spent five days drawing a detailed 13ft panorama of what he had seen, without ever needing to refer to notes, pictures or drawings.

The resulting image has baffled experts who say his drawing is correct right down to the number of floors on key landmarks and location of all the buildings.

Parents give children text names

200x190.jpgMany parents are making up names for their children, often based on 'text speak' and phonetic spellings.

An analysis of 8,000 British birth certificates fond that names such as Laura and Connor are being replaced by Lora and Conna.

Experts say the alternative spellings are not always deliberate. While some are parents looking for a unique way to spell a name; some are genuine misspelling and other are a result of carelessness.

Virtual subway passengers' paranoia

200x190.jpgA third of subways passengers have paranoid thoughts, research has revealed.

Using a virtual four minute journey on London Underground scientists monitored the way people react to computer generated passengers.

The "avatars" moved, looked around and sometime made contact with the passengers but were not programmed to act suspiciously or strangely.

The oddest book title of the year

200x190.jpg"If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs" might not sound like a typical book title ... and it's not, it just been named the oddest book title of the year.

The self-help manual beat off competition from "Cheese Problems Solved" and  "I Was Tortured By The Pygmy Love Queen" to secure the title which was voted for by readers of The Bookseller magazine.

Joel Rickett, deputy editor of The Bookseller said: "The winner If You Want Closure... makes redundant an entire genre of self-help tomes. So effective is the title that you don't even need to read the book itself."

Top 10 April Fools stunts

1.) Big Ben to go digital
In 1980 it was claimed the famous face of Big Ben was to be replaced with a digital display. Hundreds of angry Brits contacted the BBC to complain.

2.) Spaghetti Harvest
In 1957 BBC news show Panarama told viewers that because of a warm winter farmers in Switzerland were seeing a bumper spaghetti crop. Footage showed the farmers pulling spaghetti from trees. (Watch Clip)

3.) The left-handed burger
In 1998 Burger King took out adverts in major press launching their new "Left Handed Whopper" which they said had been specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans by rotating all the ingredients 180 degrees.

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