Simon Crisp: November 2008 Archives

Oldest cannabis stash is 2,700 years-old

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The world's oldest stash of cannabis has been discovered in a Chinese tomb.

The 789 gram find was contained in a leather basket and in a wooden bowl in what is thought to be the tomb of a shaman.

It is said to have be preserved so well by the lack of moisture and presence of alkaline soil that it still looked green.

But disappointed researchers knew straight away from the lack of smell that it would be no good for smoking.

While cannabis has been found in ancient Egypt and other sites this is the oldest which has been able to be tested for its properties.

Ironing bad behavior out of young offenders

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Ironing old peoples clothes has been added to the list of wacky punishments dished out to young offenders.

As part of their community service orders the 14-17-year-olds are being ordered to iron clothes donated to Salvation Army charity shops as punishment for their crimes.

Wrexham Youth Justice Service says the project gives something back to the community and helps 'straighten out' the offenders.

As part of the scheme the offenders also have to collect the bags of clothes and then once completed, deliver them to the Salvation Army stores.

Some of the offenders say they have been so embarrassed by the punishment that they have not told their friends what they are doing.

Football fans get paid to watch games

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Imagine getting paid to sit at home and watch sports on TV. Now you could, if you are lucky enough to get in on a new university research project.

Boffins want to pay people to monitor the way they behave while watching football on TV and record the way fans communicate with each other.

The £400,000 project is being carried out by researchers at the University of Glasgow and will film fans in the comfort of their own home.

They say fans should act normally whether that means cheering, jumping up and down, shouting at the TV ... or if you are Newcastle fan, holding your head in your hands.  

The project is designed to help the development of new mobile technologies that will help fans communicate with each other.

Fish and Chips served with 'Chippy perfume'

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Heston Blumenthal is best known for his wacky culinary creations including sardine ice cream and snail porridge, so bosses at Little Chef must have been slightly nervous when they asked him to revamp their menu.

While the three Michelin starred chef seems to have dialed down the crazy, the fish and chips will now come with a 'chip shop perfume' which he says improves the taste.

The traditional British dish will arrive at the table with the small bottle labelled "the smell of the chippy", diners are then instructed to spray it under their nose as they eat.

Blumenthal says the smell of pickled onions and vinegar make you think of a chip shop and makes the meal taste better ... it is a Little Chef, he couldn't have made it taste worse.

Other introductions are less outlandish with the TV chef focusing on improving the quality of ingredients and healthiness of the meals.

Police to give drunken women flip-flops

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Police in Devon are to give pairs of flip-flops to drunken women in a bid to help them get home safely.

They say women who stagger home in high heels, or barefoot while carrying their shoes, can often injure themselves in the process.

As a result they will offer drunken women in Torbay the chance to swap their high heels for flip-flops, which have messages about safe alcohol limits printed on them.

The flip-flops will be handed out from a Police Safe Bus on one of the main streets in the town which is popular for stag and hen nights.

At least you know where to go if you want to have a good laugh at tipsy women trying to read their shoes while still wearing them. 

VIDEO: Snowboarder sucked into air by kite

A thrill-seeking snowboarder in Algeria got more than he bargained for when a sudden gust of wind sucked him hundreds of feet into the air. 

The extreme sportsman and generally lucky-to-be-alive bloke was snowkiting - a cross between snowboarding and kitesurfing - when the incident happened.

A gust of wind pulled him from the ground and the man, believed to be Malik Bouchenafa, refusing to let go of his kite is carried away becoming a small dot in the sky in the footage which has been posted to YouTube.

After about 30 seconds he crashes back to earth, narrowly missing a sharp looking rock formation.

Despite this he seem to be uninjured and continues snowboarding away, though this time sensibly carrying his kite.

World record for toughest phone

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It is not going to win any beauty contests but the JCB Toughphone has been named as the world's toughest mobile phone.

Guinness World Records have confirmed the title after seeing the phone put through its paces.

Earlier this year it was dropped from a height of 10 feet, sprayed with water from a high velocity jet and even placed in a cement mixer.

Guinness World Records then examined the handset and said only superficial cosmetic damage would be tolerated, even a small crack in the screen would have jeopardised the record attempt.

Unlike my phone - which seems to shatter into 27 different pieces if I even look at it in the wrong way - the JCB Toughphone passed the tests.

Man gives away £10,000 on his credit card

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A internet boss projected an image of his credit card on walls around London and told passers-by they could use the details to buy anything they wanted.

He used a projector and generator to produce the 10ft tall images of his card on a corner of Kensington High Street and on the side of the Bank of England

While some people couldn't believe the offer was genuine, others quickly used the details to snap up a new TV, a day paint-balling, Christmas lights and a digital camera. 

Another person even used the card to pay off a parking ticket he had received ... while looking at the projection.

Bertrand Bodson, of Bragster.com - an online community for daring, boasting and bragging - who was dared by his own team to splash his cash said: "I felt like Santa giving out my money to Londoners."

Cheerleading nuns are basketball hit

A group of cheerleading nuns (or whatever the correct collective noun is) have become a hit with Italian basketball fans.

The sisters performed a special dance routine, wearing traditional habits, during a match between Dinamo and Livorno in Sassari, southern Italy in a bid to promote Christianity to young people.

Unsurprisingly videos of the performance have found their way to YouTube where they have been watched by thousands of fans.

Father Steven of the Franciscan Friars who choreographed the dance said the troupe is going on a tour of discos and nightclubs to spread the message. 

Neither team felt like they had God on their side as the game ended 76- 76.

Cut your heating costs ... and your style

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Wish you could wrap up warm on the sofa and still be able to drink that cuppa or flick channels on the remote? Now with the Slanket you can.

Well, I suppose you could have done it before, but now you can pay £30 for the 'revolutionary' product ... a blanket with holes cut in it.

The giant fleece blankets have built-in sleeves which makers say allows you to wield the remote or use your laptop while keeping cozy. They also say it is the ideal way to cut your heating costs.

Inventor Gary Clegg came up with the idea while he was at college watching late night TV. Anyone else wonder if he had the munchies at the time?

"I decided I needed to tear a hole in my sleeping bag so I could keep my upper body warm as I channel surfed during the commercial breaks," he said.

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Two pampered pooches will soon be moving into the world's most expensive kennel, costing their owner a whopping £250,000.

A dog-loving surgeon commissioned architect Andy Ramus to design this kennel for her two Great Danes, so they could live in the 'yap' of luxury.

The deluxe 1,000 sq feet doghouse will be connected to the owners new £1.4m bungalow near Cirencester, Gloucestershire and will be filled with high tech treats.

Barkingham Palace, as it should be known, will have a retina-controlled dog flap, a spa area, a 52in plasma TV and a £15,000 sound system.

And to think, the dogs would probably have been just as happy if someone threw them a stick.

The force is strong with this bidder

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Want to outdo your mates with their toy lightsabers running around pretending they are Darth Vader?

Well if you have an intergalactic £130,000 lying around, the Luke Skywalker's original could be yours.

The prop used in the original Star Wars movie is just one of 500 Hollywood items due to be sold at auction in December.

Indiana Jones's hat, the Terminator costume used by Arnold Schwarzenegger and animatronic Gremlins puppets will all also be going under the hammer.

The sale will take place on December 11 at Hollywood auctionhouse Profiles In History.

Space toolkit is visible from Earth

"See that son? That is Ursa Major, and just there to the left, that's a toolkit some woman dropped from a space station."

Scientists claim the toolkit lost in space last week by female astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper can now be seen from the Earth.

NASA had said the kit - which was dropped as astronauts worked on the International Space Station (ISS) - would burn up on reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

But now eagle-eyed space-watchers say the $100,000 toolkit is stuck in orbit and will become visible to anyone with a reasonably powerful telescope or binoculars.

Traveling at 15,000mph 250 mile miles above the surface of the planet will be visible from the UK for the rest of the week.

The most annoying things air travelers do

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Parents oblivious to the irritating nature of their little ones are the most annoying air travelers, a survey has found.

People who recline their seat during meals and travelers who talk nonstop were also highlighted as those who can spoil your flight ... along with people suffering from offensive body odor.

Obviously those polled by TripAdvisor would never commit any of these air travel sins themselves but most had experienced it in other travelers. 

83 percent of fliers said 'other' air travelers have gotten ruder over the past 10 years and 24 percent of respondents think it is worse during the holidays.

"The people traveling with kids and the people traveling without them tend to be equally vocal about how annoying the other group is," said Michele Perry. 

Mathematical formula has the X-Factor

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Boffins have used a mathematical formula to create a list of songs X Factor finalists should perform if they want to impress Simon Cowell and the other judges.

Singing 'Norwegian Wood' by the Beatles or 'Baby, Come On Over' by Samantha Mumba would almost certainly secure the support of the judges say the computer programmers.

Using a complex algorithm based on Bayesian mathematics the boffins worked out what type of songs are likely to impress Simon Cowell Cheryl Cole, Louis Walsh and Dannii Minogue.

The experts from music recommendation website thefilter.com entered details of how they had each responded to songs heard on the show and whether they liked them or not.

The computer then merged this information with a database of over five million songs to pick the top nine tracks which have the best appeal across the judges.

Space sugar could prove aliens exist

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Scientists claim the discovery of sugar in space could help them prove that aliens exist.

The organic sugar molecule - directly linked to the origin of life - was detected in a region of our galaxy 26,000 light-years from Earth by a international team of researchers using the IRAM radio telescope in France.

Experts claim the find highlights an area of space where habitable planets could exist and that a wide spread of the molecule (a key ingredient for life) improves the chances of finding alien life.

Others say they already know aliens exist and this just proves they like sugar in their cups of tea.

The molecule – glycolaldehyde - has previously only been detected towards the centre of our galaxy where conditions are thought to be too extreme for life to exist.

Fake prosthetic penis pair face prison

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Makers of a fake penis which was used by men to cheat drugs tests have pleaded guilty to two charges of conspiracy in the US.

The Whizzinator - a prosthetic penis - came with fake urine and promised to help people (I guess that should be men) test negative for illegal substances.

Costing $150 it even included a heater element to ensure the fake urine came out at the correct temperature and the penis was available in several skin tones including white, tan, latino, brown, and black.

But the men behind the penis (so to speak) now face up to eight years in prison and £350,000 fines after selling them for three years.

On a site selling the Whizzinator it claims: "The Whizzinator is the ultimate solution for a drug testing device.

Jet pack man flies over Colorado canyon

A daredevil wearing a jet pack has flown over 1,500 feet across  a canyon in southern Colorado, America.

The hydrogen peroxide-powered jet pack propelled him at 75 miles per hour meaning Eric Scott crossed Royal Gorge in just 21 seconds.

Despite the 1,100ft drop he did not wear a parachute ... or look down.

The jet pack was made by Jet Pack International and is capable of flying for a maximum of 33 seconds.

Don't get me wrong, credit to Eric, but when are we all going to be zipping around with our own jetpacks? Tomorrows World and countless sci-fi shows promised me I would be flying to work by now.

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A dim-witted juror has been kicked off a court case after asking people on Facebook if they thought the defendants were guilty.

The woman had been on a jury at Burnley Crown Court for a case about child abduction and sexual assault.

But rather than make her own mind up about the case, she posted a poll on her Facebook account saying, "I don't know which way to go, so I'm holding a poll."

After an anonymous tip-off (and presumably after the concept of Facebook was explained to a judge) the court dismissed the juror, who could now face charges of contempt of court.

The trial continued with 11 jurors, who found the defendants not guilty.

Wheelchair backflip is wheelie hard

A daredevil teen has taught himself to do amazing stunts and backflips ... in his wheelchair. 

Aaron Fotheringham, or 'Wheels' as his mates call him, was not going to let a little thing like Spina Bifada stop him carving it up on the skatepark.

The 16-year-old, who has been in a chair since he was three, learnt to do a backflip two years ago.

Since then he has improved his technique and uses a £5,500 special reinforced aluminium wheelchair to help him get maximum air - my gran has the same one.

Aaron invented the sport "hardcore sitting" where he uses his wheelchair to do stunts normally associated with skateboards or BMX bikes.

Milk bottle Banksy gets exhibition

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An artist who secretly decorated her neighbours' milk bottles with intricate etchings has opened her own exhibition ... and it is not her doorstep.

Charlotte Hughes-Martin would take empty milk bottles from outside people's doors and return them with pictures of animals, carefully engraved into the glass in delicate detail. 

For months people across Stourbridge in the West Midlands where left puzzled and confused by the mystery artworks they found along with their normal milk delivery.

Then again people across Stourbridge are often puzzled and confused just walking out of their house.

"I like to give people a surprise and make them do a double take when they step outside their front doors in the morning to pick up their pints of milk," said the 30-year-old artist.

Celebrating wrong birthday for 106 years

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A woman has discovered she's been celebrating her birthday on the wrong day ... for over 100 years.

106-year-old Lena Thouless from Norwich has celebrated her birthday on November 23 all her life and has never noticed, until now, that is not what it says on her birth certificate.

It was only when her daughter was sorting through her stuff that she noticed it said November 22nd not 23rd. 

Lena has no idea why her family has always marked the occasion a day late, or how she failed to notice herself, but the  great-grandmother of 10 says she intends to continue.

When Lena was born King Edward VII was on the throne and Arthur Balfour had just become Prime Minister.

VIDEO: Cheeky penguin escapes killer whale

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A cheeky penguin escaped the jaws of a chasing killer whale by jumping onto a boat of tourists.

For a couple of minutes the group had watched as the whale followed the penguin which kept jumping out out of the water in a bid to get away.

But then the cheeky penguin jumped onto the side of the small inflatable boat, much to the surprise of the passengers.

Once onboard he watched the killer whales from safety as one of the tourists said nervously "They know he is in the boat" maybe contemplating throwing him back in.

But after a short wait the whales swam away and the penguin thought the waters were safe enough to get back in.

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It has been a long time coming but a luckless jockey has finally tasted victory after 28 years of trying.

Anthony Knott took part in his first race back in 1980, since then he has competed in countless events with his best results being two fifth place finishes.

Undeterred, the dairy farmer and part-time jockey continued his training regime of running, swimming and circuit training - maybe he should have practiced riding horses more.

On Thursday Anthony scooped his first win on Wise Men Say (7-1) in the 2.30pm at Wincanton Racecourse, Somerset.

But even then he was close to throwing it away it by standing up in his irons and celebrating before he crossed the line, he was almost overtaken in the final furlong.

Hackers target High School Musical

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In addition to annoying the heck out of parents everywhere, High School Musical could now kill your computer.

Cyber security experts warn that crooks are using children's love of the Disney movies as a way of installing malware (viruses, worms, Trojans) on your computer.

The dodgy bits of software are hidden in files posing as movie clips or songs and are designed to get the little ones to click on them.

Some will record your banking passwords others use your machine to send thousands of spam email, all are ALMOST as bad as having High School Musical 2 on your computer.

"Cyber-crooks are exploiting the interest of the numerous fans of these films, by hiding their creations in files with names related to 'High School Musical,'" explains Luis Corrons, of online security firm PandaLabs. 

Yoga gets turned on its head

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If you thought getting into yoga positions was difficult already, think again ... now you have to do it while defying gravity.

Yoga-nuts have taken 5,000 years of Hindu tradition and quite literally turned it on its head by striking the yoga poses while hanging from the ceiling in a hammock.

The odd technique has become popular in the US and is expected to reach the UK soon.

The people behind 'AntiGravity Yoga' claim it gives you a complete workout while realigning you from the compression of gravity ... sounds to me like they have spent too much time hanging upside down.

The idea came from an acrobatic performance troupe who used the hammocks in performances from the Olympics to Broadway via MTV.

McDonald's sued for £2m over naked photos

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A woman is suing McDonald's for almost £2 million claiming staff took nude photos of her from her husbands mobile phone and posted them on the internet.

Tina Sherman is certainly not 'lovin' it' and says her life has been turned into a living hell since July 5th when husband Phillip accidentally left his mobile phone at an Arkansas McDonald's.

The US couple claim Tina started receiving abusive calls and text messages after burger flippers at the store found saucy photos she had sent to her hubby on his mobile.

Tina then discovered she had joined the ranks of Paris Hilton and Miley Cyrus because the racy 'private' pictures had been uploaded to the internet.

The Shermans are now suing McDonald's Corporation, the franchise owner and the restaurant's manager, for causing emotional distress, embarrassment and damage to their reputations ... people now know they eat at McDonald's.

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A Facebook group which called for people to physically attack anyone with red hair is being investigated by police.

The "Kick a Ginger" group had over 5,000 members and called on them to assault redheads on Thursday last week.

Many copper tops, ginger nuts and carrot heads are understood to have been attacked - though it is not known how many of them would have taken a kicking for being ginger anyway.

While the 14-year-old boy from Vancouver who started the group has apologized, Royal Canadian Mounted Police are said to be investigating and he could be charged with inciting hatred.

A rival Facebook group "Who Thinks Kick a Ginger Day is stupid" attracted only 365 members.

Nokia release phone 'torture' photos

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If you love gadgets, look away now, just viewing these images could make you feel a bit queasy.

These images show some of the brutal tests new gadgets are subjected to before they are released to the public.

They are repeatedly dropped on the floor, submerged in water and the buttons are hammered thousands of times ... and to think how much you worry about your handset.

Nokia conducts its evaluation of new phones at 11 torture test centres arond the world including ones in the UK, Japan, Finland and the US.

They record the tests with super-fast cameras (3,000 times faster than a normal video camera) and inspect the phones for damage with 1,000 times microscopes and 3D X-rays.


Canada meteor crash caught on video

A meteor which lit up skies over western Canada as it crashed to the ground, was recorded on a police video.

Some hope the tape could lead to there finally being an interesting episode of TV show Police Camera Action!

Officers in Alberta had a camera rolling in their patrol car when the meteor hit at 5:30 MT on Thursday evening.

Their footage shows a ball of light hurtling towards the Earth before disappearing in a bright explosion which locals claim made it look like midday for a split-second.

Many also say they heard a distant boom and experts are trying to analyze the footage and eyewitness reports to discover if and where the meteorite fell.

Even female monkeys chat more than males

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It's not just your missus that enjoys a good gossip, female monkeys like to chat too. 

Scientists studying macaques monkeys on an island off Puerto Rico found that females chatter a whopping 13 times as much as males.

This could explain why your partner knows every last detail about what her friend did a week last Tuesday while you only know your mate said "Yeah, good game wasn't it?"

Researchers from Roehampton University listened to the grunts, coos and girneys of the 24 monkeys (16 female, 8 male) for three months.

They ignored the calls which indicated the presence of food or an approaching predator and counted how many noises they made in friendly chit-chat.

VIDEO: Signed music videos for the deaf

A dancer who uses sign language to make music videos for the deaf has become a huge hit on YouTube.

More than 100,000 people have logged-on to watch Tyron Whittle's wacky public performances of hits by The Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay and Oasis.

In the clips - which are shot at shopping centres, train stations and in parks - he signs the entire lyrics to a song ... mixed with some 'unconventional' dance moves.

The 43-year-old father of four has even been approached by TV stations and asked to perform at Glastonbury.

If only they started using him on Girls Aloud music videos we could start watching them with the sound down ... hang on, we already do.

It's going to be SAD this Christmas

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While Christmas should be a time of joy, the credit crunch could make this one incredibly stressful and depressing, it has been warned.

There is expected to be a boom in the number of people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, (SAD) say boffins at Temple University.

And the stress won't just be for Santa worrying how he is going to get round all those houses in one night argues boffin David Baron.

He estimates more people this year will find themselves increasingly irritable, unable to relax or sleep, suffering a loss of appetite or feeling overwhelmed ... sounds like a normal Christmas to me.

According to him, many people put themselves under pressure to have the perfect Christmas, whether that means buying must-have presents like the Nintendo Wii, or hosting the ideal party.

What's the ideal time to send an email?

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You should send emails at 9.15am on a Tuesday morning if you want someone to read them and reply quickly, suggest scientists.

Academics studying the behavior patterns of email users say people do not respond to emails rationally by replying to the most important first.

A three-month study of over 3,000 email accounts showed most people reply to incoming emails in the order they arrive, giving no more priority to a email from their boss than one from a nigerian Prince.

This means that a good time to get an email read and responded to would be 9.15am on a Tuesday morning because they will have dealt with a backlog of mail from over the weekend and be looking at things as they come in.

"A good time to send an e-mail is just about the time that the person has arrived at work." said Luís Amaral, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering from Northwestern University.

Brits are 78 percent happy

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While the Danes are the happiest people in Europe it may cheer you up to know that we Brits are at least happier than the Germans.

A survey quizzed over 35,000 people across Europe to see how happy we are, and what makes us smile or feel glum.

Brits rated their level of happiness as 7.8/10 which while behind the Danes is well ahead of the Bulgarians who with 5.8 are the unhappiest people in Europe. 

The Quality Of Life poll which was conducted for Eurofound found Brits were as happy as the French and the Belgians and happier then the Spanish, Germans and Italians.

"The differences in terms of life satisfaction and attitudes towards the future underline the significant inequalities in living conditions and in the experience of daily life for Europeans," says Jorma Karppinen, Eurofound’s Director.

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In news which will have traditionalists spluttering into their milk and two sugars, British builders are ditching their normal mug of tea for fancy coffees.

Six out of ten tradesmen now opt for a coffee rather than a tea when on a break.

And the coffee-loving construction workers are not happy with an instant, when downing tools seven in ten want a latte or cappuccino.

But some things don't change, with two sugars still favoured, whether it is a mug of breakfast tea or a skinny latte. 

A spokesman for Wickes who commissioned the survey said: "The building trade is moving with the times and workmen have embraced the more European style of drinking coffee to keep them refreshed at work.

Council flat turned into crystal cave

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An artist has converted a derelict London council flat into an amazing crystal cave.

And by 'crystal cave' we don't mean a crystal meth lab, Roger Hiorns has covered the walls and ceiling with bright blue copper sulphate crystals.

He pumped over 80,000 litres of copper sulphate solution into the deserted flat near London Bridge through a hole in the ceiling.

As the liquid cooled it crystallized and the process was repeated until the enchanting effect was complete.

But visitors to 'Seizure' need to be careful, the crystals are toxic and should not even be touched ... putting the council flat on a par with many others in London. 

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Scientists say they are one step closer to a Jurassic Park style revival of the woolly-mammoth thanks to the DNA from a frozen ball of hair.

It may look like something the cat coughed up (or should that be saber-toothed tiger) but the boffins say the DNA they were able to extract has advanced their understanding of the prehistoric beast.

The genetic code they were able to uncover shows the extinct species of elephant was not as different to modern day dumbos as was previously thought.

This mean they might be able to alter the genetic make-up of an modern elephant and recreate the long extinct mammoth.

Hang on, we've all seen the movie and all know how this ends, why are they still doing this.

iPhone has problems with British accent

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The Apple iPhone has started acting like a Hawaiian shirt-wearing American on holiday and is unable to understand what 'foreigners' are saying.

A new voice-recognition search tool launched by Google was meant to allow users to say their searches into the Apple Jesus-phone rather then typing.

But while 'Google voice search' claims to understand English, it appears to have problems with the British accent ... you know the people whose language it is.

Even when asked to search for itself with "iPhone" being said with perfectly clear English diction (rather than a drunk Geordie) the software offers a odd selection of results.

"Sex," "Einstein" and "kitchen sink," were all offered as potential searches.

Skinny models don't sell more clothes

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Adverts featuring plus-sized models would help sell just as many of a product as those with super-skinny models, tests have proved.

Academics say their research suggests we should 'waif' goodbye to Kate Moss sized models an roll on the bigger girls.

Psychologists created a series of identical ads for underwear, shampoo and a party dress featuring a size 8 and a size 14 model.

300 shoppers aged 18-25 were then asked how likely they were to buy the product after looking at the advert, and how it made them feel.

Both sets of adverts had the same level of purchase prompting power, but 
women said they felt significantly better about their own bodies after seeing the size 14 model. 

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A student opera fan got more than he bargained for when he phoned to get tickets to fundraising concert.

Big-lunged Adriano Graziani was told that one of the stars for the Friends of Welsh National Opera performance was ill and the show might not go ahead.

Luckily Adriano, is a would-be tenor and offered to step in for Wynne Evans, who had been due to appear, but had fallen ill at the last-minute. 

After hearing him sing they said yes and the student at Dennis O'Neill's Cardiff International Academy of the Voice took to the stage in front of a 200-strong audience.

Some people will do anything for a free ticket.

Female astronaut drops 'handbag' in space*

A female astronaut has lost her 'handbag' in space while working on the International Space Station.

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper was forced to watch as her toolkit drifted off into space as she worked on the solar array system on the orbiting platform.

In a video recording of the incident Heidemarie can be heard to say "Oh, great," as the briefcase-sized tool bag moves out of her reach.

Despite losing the kit Heidemarie and colleagues were able to finish the seven-hour job by sharing tools.

* If you want a less sexist introduction replace the word 'handbag' with 'toolkit' and remember she is one of the few humans ever to travel into space.


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Facebook users try to make themselves appear better on their profile, than they really are, say psychologists/masters of stating the obvious.

The boffins say tests show users create 'idealized versions' of themselves by being selective over which groups they join, friends they accept and by only uploading pictures where they look good.

The University of California experts - who monitored students use of social networks - argue people then try to 'become' the persona they have created online.

"People put up something that they would like to become — not completely different from who they are but maybe a little different," said psychologist Adriana Manago.

"You can manifest your ideal self. You can manifest who you want to be and then try to grow into that."

Reading is top toilet habit

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Reading, sending text messages and chatting to friends are among the things Brits do most when on the loo, a survey has found.

With the exception of the intended uses, reading is the most popular toilet activity with 39 percent of us taking books, magazines or newspapers into the littlest room in the house.

While it was not highlighted in the survey it is thought many people keep a copy of Kerry Katona's autobiography 'Too Much Too Young' in the loo ... in case they run out of toilet paper.

21 percent of those quizzed in the 2,000 person survey owned up to both sending text messages and chatting on their mobile while 18 percent ponder their next meal and six percent say they 'meditate'.

The survey was commissioned by charity Tearfund to highlight poor sanitary conditions around the world ... laughing at the unpleasant habits of Brits is just an added bonus.

Artwork shouts "Help" from car boot

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An artwork featuring a voice shouting "Help" from the boot of a crashed car has been branded offensive by victims of traffic accidents.

The controversial work by artist group Littlewhitehead is currently on show outside an art gallery in Stoke-on-Trent.

But the crashed Renault car has been mistaken by passers-by as an actual accident and it has been reported that some have tried to break into the car to free the trapped passenger.

A looped recording can be heard coming from the boot where a man calls 'Help, help, come on guys, is anyone there, can you hear me?'

While art critics often say works can talk to them, it doesn't often shout for help from the boot of a car.

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When Stefan Bojarski was given the framed certificate he didn't quite know what to do with it, he spends most of his time putting paper directly onto walls.

The 20-year-old from Leicester has just won the title 'Wallpaper Hanger of the Year'.

The contest - which pitted talented apprentices against each other - did not involve taking copious breaks, supping cups of tea and quoting people one price while charging them another.

Instead Stefan was tested on his ability to match and cut paper accurately, get levels on borders correctly in place and apply paper smoothly with no blisters.

Paul Marsden, chief executive of the Painting and Decorating Association, said: "The quality of work by all entrants this year was very high."

Women pick scarred men for flings

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Next time you go out on the pull, you might want to don a fake wound. Scientists say men with facial scars are more attractive to women looking for a one night fling.

Researchers found that when on the pull, women associate the scars with masculinity, health and bravery, making the butch looking men more desirable.

The study by the University of Liverpool - which sounds remarkably like hotornot.com - showed women images of men that displayed scarring, and were asked to rate how attractive they were. 

Men with scars like the one on Harrison Ford's chin were picked as the ideal choice for a one night stand, however the women did not want to wake up looking at the scar for the rest of their lives.

While the scarred men topped the chart for short term relationships the women said they would opt for an unscarred man for a long-term relationship.

Science behind Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

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Boffins playing studying 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon' think the science behind it could have a massive impact on society.

No longer is the game - where players try to connect any film actor in history to Kevin Bacon - just a bit of dinner-party fun, now it counts as science.

The game is said to rely on a phenomenon called the "small-world paradigm" which links two people in a social network.

But now the boffins from the University of California have found a mathematical model called "hidden metric space" that may explain both social and natural networks and eventually be able navigate them.

According to the researchers, natural networks transmit signals or messages with a high degree of efficiency, even though no single node can visualize the structure of the entire network.

Zero-G painting sells at auction

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Nasser Azam has become the first artist to paint a picture in a zero gravity environment.

The Brit artist flew above Moscow in a specially modified plane which climbed to 23,000 ft allowing him to work while weightless.

From there the 44-year-old was able to create the 'performance painting' which he says documents the experience - no, we are not sure what a performance painting is either.

Before you ask the obvious question 'why?' let me tell you Azam has just sold one of his zero-g creations for a cool £223,000.

'Homage to Francis Bacon: Triptych' fetched $332,500 at the recent New York auction, more than works by Banksy and Gilbert and George at the same event.

Fat cats and dogs in slimming contest

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Some of the podgiest pets in the UK are to battle it out in a competition to see which of them can shift the most flab.

While Tinks the cat may look best suited to a Sumo challenge he has made it to the final of the PDSA Pet Fit Club competition.

He is joined by seven other porky pets who will, for the next 100 days be put on a specially tailored diet and fitness programme.

Lets just hope it doesn't leave them too hungry as Tinks and co looks like they could eat their owners if their stomach rumbles.

The PDSA say they hope the competition highlights how many pets in the UK are overweight or obese, figures suggest this is 30 per cent, or 1.95 million fat cats and dogs.

Football boots are pretty in pink

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Some of the speediest players in the Premiership will run out on Saturday wearing football boots specially design to help them eke out every last bit of pace.

And they will need it too, the bright pink of the new Nike Mercurial Vapor Rosa is sure to make them a target for a few chopper tackles.

The boots featuring a patented Vapor Traction System, which makers say delivers low-profile acceleration and multi-directional grip for match-winning changes of pace.

Nike add that the boots make a "bold statement that cries this is how fast I am." Everybody else just says of the boots "they are pink, very PINK."

Watch the video below to see how players including Arsenal's Theo Walcott and Gabriel Abonglahor from (the mighty) Aston Villa reacted when shown the boots for the first time.

Croatia to cancel Christmas (updated)

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Christmas parties in Croatia have been banned because of the global financial crisis.

The government has told state-run firms and organisations they are not allowed to go out celebrating the holiday.

It is reported that the move has been brought in to prevent the country suffering a deeper financial crisis.

Croatia relies on the tourist industry and it is feared visitor numbers will drop next year, there won't be many people going there on a Christmas break anyway.

And before anyone thinks they can get around it by celebrating New Year instead, They have got that covered ... January 1st celebrations are also forbidden.

Meh! Simpsons word added to dictionary

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Don't have a cow man, but a word from The Simpsons has just been added to the Collins English Dictionary.

What's that you say? You couldn't care less, well now you could used the word 'Meh' to express your utter boredom and lack of interest in the odd news.

M-E-H which can mean unimpressed, mediocre or boring, has been added to the 30th anniversary edition of Collins English Dictionary which will be published in 2009.

The word made it as the public's entry for the new edition - it was submitted by Erin Whyte from Nottingham, who clearly did care whether the word was added.

He said it was "an expression of utter boredom or an indication of how little you care for an idea".

Hippo eating again thanks to glove puppet

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A not-so-hungry hippo has started eating again thanks to a glove puppet of Gloria the Hippo from the hit kids movie Madagascar.

When Chico, a pygmy hippo at Heythrop Zoo in Oxfordshire stopped eating, keepers did everything they could think of to lure him into eating.

But when the stubborn animal still refused to chow down they threw out their years of training and animal psychology and tried to trick him with a stuffed toy.

Sure enough the PR stunt hair-brained scheme, worked and keeper Michael Howes now slips on the Gloria glove puppet to feed Chico carrots and other treats.

In the wild a pygmy hippo could spend up to up to six hours a day eating ... lets hope Michael likes wearing the puppet on his hand.

Can Obama quit Blackberry? Yes he can

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Tech-savvy US president-elect Barack Obama faces a fate worse than death for geeks when he takes to the White House ... he may have to give up email and his Blackberry.

Under the Presidential Records Act, when Obama becomes President in January all of his correspondence must be available in the public domain and can be subpoenaed by Congress and courts.

This means that any 3am emails from his trusty Blackberry 8700 are 'on the record' - for the same reason Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush both gave up personal e-mails while in office.

However it is not thought to have been too much of a sacrifice for 'Dubya' ... he had owned his computer for years without realising to get the most out of it he should turn it on.

Obama is the first President to use a Crackberry and shows many of the symptoms of addiction, during his campaign it looked like it would take a surgical procedure to remove it from his hands.

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The BBC show Antiques Roadshow has uncovered it's first £1,000,000 item.

However, much to the disappointment of viewers, the item was not a vase that some little old lady had been keeping flowers in for the past 60 years.

It was in fact the final model ofAntony Gormleys the Angel of the North before he created the massive northern icon, made just a couple of years ago it is not even an antique.

To make matters worse, there was no look of shock on the owners face when the value was announced - it belongs to Gateshead Council who already knew what it was worth.

Art dealer Philip Mould told viewers: "It's easier to value than a lot of things of this stature, of this iconic resonance, because another version did sell very recently ... I would comfortably value it at £1,000,000."

Unhappy people watch more TV

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Unhappy people spend their free time watching TV while happier folk read or socialize, research has found.

A study of 30,000 people found that TV watchers describe themselves as less happy than those who enjoy going out with friends or reading.

The 30-year study also found the unhappy TV viewers had more free time than happy people, no wonder they are so depressed if they are watching Jeremy Kyle all day.

51 percent said they had unwanted extra time on their hands compared to just 19 percent of those who have lives beyond the remote control.

If people who watch TV all day are less happy than those who read and go out, where does that leave those who spend too long watching internet porn?

Free Viagra for old Mexicans

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Mexico is to start issuing free Viagra and libido boosting drugs to impotent pensioners. 

The local government in Mexico City will offer the drugs including Viagra, Levitra and Cialis to over 70's suffering from erectile dysfunction.

It is hoped the move will improve the lives of senior citizens and as Mayor Marcelo Ebrard says puts it "make them happier."

The drugs will be given out from December 1st, so it could make for an interesting Christmas at Mexican nursing homes ... and I dare say some of the younger female staff will see the OAPs 'happiness'.

Before getting the medicine,men must undergo a medical check to screen to check the drugs will not cause them more harm than good.

Super Obama World: Game or foreign policy

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Being the leader of the free world is all well and good, but being the star of your own computer game is where it's at.

Well luckily Barack Obama can cross that one off the list too, games developers have put him in a game based on Nintendo's Super Mario World.

In 'Super Obama World' players take control of the US President-elect and have to guide him through Alaska, taking on pigs and pitbulls in lipstick, hockey moms and Russian soldiers.

The end of level boss is unsurprisingly ... Sarah Palin, though she promises to be harder to beat than she was in the election.

The game - which can be played online - was created by US company Zen Soft who plan to add additional topical levels throughout Obama's presidency.

Thieves steal entire Russian church

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A gang of thieves have stolen an entire 200-year-old church brick-by-brick.

Before its odd disappearance the church had stood in the Russian countryside near the village of Komarovo since 1809.

Church officials say the building was intact when they last visited it in July and though it was not in use, they were considering resuming services there.

But the Church of the Resurrection, which was 186 miles north-east of Moscow - 'was' being the operative word - is now nowhere to be found, 

Local villagers, who Orthodox officials believe are behind the theft, suggest the disappearance could be an act of God ... I wonder why they are under suspicion.

Happy music is good for the heart

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Listening to music which makes you happy may also be good for your cardiovascular system and help cut the risk of heart attacks, researchers claim.

They found the emotions aroused by joyful music caused increased blood flow, the same effect as taking blood medications.

While conducting ultrasound tests designed to show blood vessel function the boffins got volunteers to listen to their favorite music and then music which made them feel anxious.

When listening to their 'happy' music, tissue in the inner lining of peoples blood vessels dilated - meaning heart attacks and strokes were less likely.

Those asked to listen to Peter Andre and Jordan singing duets just wished they were having a heart attack.

Dead Parrot sketch written 1600-years-ago

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Monty Python were not as original as we thought, one of their best jokes was written 1,600 years earlier by a Greek comedy duo.

Scholars have uncovered the 4th Century joke on Greek manuscripts attributed to a pair of jokers called Hierocles and Philagrius.

In the ancestor of the Dead Parrot sketch a man complains that a slave he has just bought is dead, "By the gods", answers the slave's seller, "when he was with me, he never did any such thing" 

It is not known if when performing the joke Philagrius would then bang the dead slave on the counter.

By the law of the time when the Greek joke book was written, the seller of a slave was liable for damages if a slave he sold proved to be defecting. 

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If you have already got a platinum spatula and gold plated kettle this diamond mounted cooker could be just what your blinged out kitchen needs.

Not only is the stove cooker finished with specially developed 'diamond-effect' sparkling paint, but it has a certified half-carat diamond worth around £1,400 mounted on the front.

That said the £4,000 cooker is not likely to improve the taste of your casserole or help your cakes rise.

It was produced to celebrate the diamond anniversary of Denman College – the Women's Institute-owned Residential Adult Education College – and is now being raffled online for charity.

Anne Harrison, of the Women's Institute – said: "The cooker really is something special and will make a wonderful focal point in the winner's kitchen.

Scientists: Perfect Yorkshire pud formula

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Scientists around the world are tirelessly striving to find a cure for cancer or an answer to the problem of Aids ... others are trying to improve sunday lunch.

Experts from the Royal Society of Chemistry have used their collective brainpower to create a formula which can produce the perfect Yorkshire pud.

They say 'carbohydrate + H2O + protein + NaCl + lipids' can consistently guarantee culinary success that grannie would be proud of.

Dr John Emsley says he began work on the vital research when a man living in Colorado contacted the RSC to find out if the high-altitudes could explain why his puddings refused to rise.

Now he has the formula sorted Dr Emsley will try to answer the all important altitude question.

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No ifs or butts about it, this is the most beautiful bottom in the world.

It - and owner Melanie Nunes Fronckowiak from Brazil - were yesterday awarded the title at an international competition in Paris. 

Judges hadclosely examined the rears of contestants from 26 countries and  Melanie came top ... or should that be bottom.

The women already beaten off competition from 11,200 others who allthought they had the perfectly formed bum and entered the online contest from underwear makers Sloggi.

For having such a delectable derriere 20-year-old Melanie took home £12,000 and a modeling contract, though I think the judges walked away happiest.

Fake New York Times: 'Iraq War Ends'

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Pranksters have distributed 1.2 million fake copies of the New York Times claiming the war in Iraq has ended.

The mock Times was dated July 4, 2009 and included a series of positive news stories over 14 pages. It was handed out by thousands of volunteers in cities around the US.

Many readers were left confused by stories including "Public Universities To Be Free" and "National Health Insurance Act Passes," some even celebrated the good news.

A spoof website www.nytimes-se.com was also setup with the stories.

"We wanted to experience what it would look like, and feel like, to read headlines we really want to read,"  said one of the organizers in a press release. 

Tequila can be turned into diamonds

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Scientists in Mexico have worked out how to produce diamonds using tequila, but most would still rather drink it.

The physicists found that synthetic diamonds could be made by heating the tequila to 800 degrees celsius when the gas molecules are broken into tiny particles.

This result, say the boffins from the National Autonomous University, is the creation of a very thin diamond film.

But while it is thought the diamonds could have many industrial uses they are too small to be used in jewellery ... though that could be because the academics didn't want to waste too much of the popular drink.

The synthetic diamond crystals - which can only be seen under a powerful microscope - can be used in medical procedures, or as a replacement for expensive silicon in computer chips.

Ryanair cabin crew strip for calendar

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Sexy airline cabin crew have flown into a 'racism' controversy by stripping off or a charity calendar.

The scantily-clad Ryanair babes posed for a series of pictures to help raise money for a Dublin based homeless charity.
 
But claims have been made that the calendar "boarders on racism" because there is a absence of Irish cabin crew ... there are also no nearly naked Leprechauns.

Ryanair are standing by their calendar and have hit back at the comments made by Irish glamour model Rosanna Davison stating that all cabin crew were invited to apply.

They say that while only a small number of Irish staff applied one Irish girl was invited to participate in the calendar, but was unavailable to do so.

Walking is 'cure' for chocoholics

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Chocoholics should go for a brisk walk when they have a craving for choc, say scientists ... and they don't mean to the shop for a Mars bar.

Boffins say taking a 15-minute stroll significantly lowers cravings, and extra walking is never a bad thing for the normally porky chocolate lovers.

They got 25 regular chocolate eaters to stop snacking for three days. They were then told to take a brisk 15-minute walk or to rest.

After this they performed tasks that would normally give them the munchies, like opening a bar of chocolate, and their level of craving was measured.

Professor Adrian Taylor from Exeter University said: "This is the first study to link exercise to reduced chocolate cravings. 

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If you want the adrenaline boost of sky-diving but the sensation of swimming with dolphin, why not take a dip with some crocodiles?

An Australian tourist attraction is offering people the chance to go swimming with massive - and very dangerous - saltwater crocodiles.

They say thrill seekers will be perfectly safe as they enter the crocs pool in a clear acrylic cage ... that said they do call it "the cage of death." 

Just 4cm of acrylic separates brave holiday-makers from the feisty crocs at Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin, Australia, and there are plenty of deep croc tooth shaped scratches in the cages walls.

A spokesperson for Crocosaurus Cove says it is "perfect for the serious adrenalin junkies," and will give you the "ultimate adrenalin rush."

Mom to auction off name on eBay

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A woman, who could soon be known as Mrs Scunthorpe Travelodge, is auctioning off her name for charity on eBay.

The 37-year-old mother, currently a sensible sounding Eileen De Bont, will take any name the highest bidder picks.

Current suggestions include, Scunthorpe Travelodge, Hilary Clinton and Pudsey Bear. 

After the auction finishes on Sunday Eileen will change her name by deed poll and use the name on her drivers license and bank account.

"The names are totally silly and yes, if anyone asks me I will answer with the name you choose," she said.

Takeout menu glued dog's jaws together

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An unlucky mutt bit off more than he could chew when he sunk his teeth into a takeaway menu and glued his jaws together.

Cymbeline, a scottish terrier was trained to bring the mail to his owner but somehow the menu's high gloss finish melted in his mouth.

As he dropped the rest of the post the menu for Roosters takeaway stuck in his mouth.

Kimberly Fisher from Colchester said that within seconds Cymbeline was unable to open his mouth ... so much for the "mouthwatering' food the menu was advertising.

The dog was distressed and started pawing at its mouth. Unable to help Kimberly took him to a nearby veterinary centre.

EU to lift ban on 'ugly fruit'

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Bizarre EU bans on fruit and veg which are too bent, too straight or of the wrong colour are set to be lifted.

For years the Euro-madness has restricted the sale of foods that did not measure up to their exacting standards.

For example 'Regulation No. 1277/88' states that cucumbers should not bend more than 10 millimeters per 10 centimeter, similar rules have applied for 35 other items.

But now the European Commission marketing standards are to be relaxed on 26 types of produce meaning if you have a misshapen carrot, you can breath a sigh of relief.

The new rules will mean the EU freed fruit and vegetables should be in stores from July 2009.

Odd questions asked at job interviews

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Recruiters are increasingly asking graduates quirky questions such as 'Which member of the A team would you be?' in job interviews.

But the odd interviewing approaches are turning off many jobseekers, say employment experts.

They say that in the current economic climate graduates are looking for a company they have an affinity with ... does that mean companies who sleep till 2pm and watch 'Cash in the attic'? 

Jo Gidley, Graduate Recruitment Manager at Sainsbury's says students are increasingly being probed on areas likely to raise more questions than answers about the suitability of the employer for their first step on the career ladder.

"A question like "Which planet would you visit and why?" is a seen as remote and ethereal," she said.

Prayer booths on streets of New York

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They look like telephone booths and the people using them are trying to contact someone ... but rather than using a phone the 'callers' have got their hands together and their eyes closed.

Oh yeah, and the 'someone' they are trying to get a one-to-one with is the big guy upstairs with the beard and a propensity for smiting. 

A pair of prayer booths have been installed on sidewalks in NY allowing New Yorkers to seek comfort and advice from God.

They include a flip-down kneelers and users are encouraged to stop what they are doing engage in prayer.

Artist Dylan Mortimer who created the public prayer booths said: "My goal is to spark dialogue about a topic often avoided, and often treated cynically by the contemporary art world."

Around the world ... on a penny-farthing

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It can't be the most comfortable way to see the world, but that didn't stop Joff Summerfield from traveling 22,000-miles on a penny-farthing.

The intrepid, and ever-so-slightly mad, Joff has just finished a two-and-a-half-year journey around the world on the weird looking bike.

The 40-year-old engineer visited 40 countries on his handmade bike and took in sights including the Eiffel tower in Paris and India's Taj Mahal. 

He even crossed the Himalayas at 17,000ft and made it to Everest base camp on the non too practical bicycle. 

Joff says that everywhere he went people had one question for him, "WHY?"

Apostrophe misuse can be a catastrophe

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If you are easily offended by a wayward apostrophe look away now, in fact if that is the case, what are you doing reading NewsLite?

The possessive apostrophe has been named as one of the most common grammatical mistake in the UK, and the most annoying.

A poll of over 2,000 people found missing or misused apostrophe's (we meant that one) were the most irritating of all grammatical errors.

It was also found that nearly half of UK adults were unable to use an apostrophe properly (*cough* how do you like my new glass house?)

The top mistake was not knowing how to punctuate a possessive plural. 46 percent of people think that, in the context set, 'people's choice' was wrong - whereas it is, of course, correct. 

Pillcam takes HD images of your insides

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The NHS is using a tiny camera that fits inside a pill to help diagnose illnesses.

Patients swallow the pillcam to allow doctors to see their insides as it passes through the digestive system snapping 55,000 HD photos on the way.

The pix from the 11mm x 26mm pill are then beamed out to a computer where docs can diagnose conditions such as bowel tumors and malabsorption disorders.

The eight-hour process is a lot easier and less painful than booking Annie Leibovitz to do the same photo-shoot.

You will also be glad to know that once the pillcam 'finishes its journey' (a nice way of putting it) it is flushed away, I don't think many people would want to reuse it.

Spammers get 1 reply to 12.5 million emails

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Email spammers only receive one response for every 12,500,000 emails they send, a study has found.

US computer scientists - who didn't want a fake rolex or blue pill - hijacked a spam network to discover how the system worked and what are the economics of being a junk mailer.

They discovered that despite the tiny response rate (0.00001%) spammers are still able to cash-in on the occasional floppy viagra seeker.

Because it is so cheap to send millions of spam email they think some spammers could earning over £1million per year.

The boffins from University of California, Berkeley and UC, San Diego hijacked a big spam operation controlling almost 76,000 machines and analyzed their actions.

Why you won't get a job wearing that tie

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Wearing the wrong colour tie for an interview can seriously impact a man's chances of landing the job, scientists claim.

Psychologists say many interviewers associate certain colour ties with the sort of person they think would wear them.

This means if you go for a job interview wearing a green tie the person behind the desk is likely to think you are greedy, jealous and unlucky.

Dr Ludwig Lowenstein, who carried out the study, says purple ties should also be avoided as you will come across as envious, arrogant and gaudy.

However either of these are better than wearing a novelty tie ... unless you are holding out for that job flipping burgers.

Machine helps walking, holds your butt

200x190.jpgA groin-clutching exoskeleton promises to make your daily tasks easier ... and make you look like you have just sat on a robot.

The 'Walking Assist Device' by Honda is designed to support your body-weight and make walking, going up and down stairs and crouching easier.

It reduces the load on leg muscles and joints (in the hip, knees, and ankles) by supporting a portion of the person's body-weight while allowing them full movement.

They hope the machine could be used by OAPs and would mean they were able to walk, move and even run as they did before their old age.

And while we have no doubt it works, it will looklike a ASIMO humanoid robot is disappearing up their arse.

Video game driver steals family car

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A nine-year-old boy who stole his parents car says he learnt to drive from playing video games.

The Japanese lad decided to help himself to the car and make his way 7.5 miles across the city of Ogaki in central Japan to visit his grandmother.

However after driving for two miles the schoolboy got lost and pulled over to ask for directions at a convenience store.

He even managed to reverse park the car ... something he would never have needed to do in GTA. 

But while there police arrived because members of the public had reported seeing a car moving around the city without a driver, I always hoped that would be 'normal' in Japan.

There's no one as Irish as Barack Obama

When Barack Obama became the US President-elect last week his electoral win was celebrated around the world.

While Kenya tried to claim him as one of their own, the Irish have gone one better ... and written a song about him being Irish.

After it was revealed the Obama roots could be traced to 18th century Ireland, the Irish band 'Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys' wrote a song about it.

"O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara, There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama," they sing in a video which has become a hit on YouTube. 

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A university boffin has been given £5,000 to discover if the Nintendo Wii can make children fit.

Dr Michael Duncan from the University of Derby will monitor a group of schoolchildren who use the games console during their school lunch break.

Over a period of six weeks he will test to to see if it can improve fitness and help tackle obesity by getting the pupils to wear a an accelerometer to monitor how much exercise the game actually gives them.

It is thought the sports science expert, who was awarded £5,000 funding from the TANITA Healthy Weight Community Trust, hoped he would get to run the tests on the YouTube Wii Fit girlfriend.

"This study aims to see if young children can lose weight or improve their health by using the Nintendo Wii," said Dr Duncan.

Cheryl Cole has the best celebrity boobs

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Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole has the best breasts in showbiz, a survey has found.

Thousands of women aged 16-24 voted the curvy star 'top of the tits' in a battle of celeb clevage.

A spokesperson for bra company Bravissimo who commissioned the survey say Cheryl's 28F boobs (wow...) are envied by many women - and a few men wouldn't mind getting their hands on them either. 

"Cheryl’s boobs are indeed fab. We estimate she’s around a 28F bra size - but it’s a shame so many young women aren’t happy with their own breasts," said Jo Lee, Marketing Director.

Also proving to have popular boobs were Kelly Brook and Scarlett Johansson, did they really need "research" to tell them that?

Blind pilot helped to land plane by RAF

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A pilot who loss his sight when he suffered a stroke while flying a plane at 15,000ft was able to land his plane after being guided in by the RAF.

65-year-old Jim O'Neill had radioed a mayday alert after instantly becoming blind - he said he could not see the instruments of his two-seater Cessna, or the runway.

The RAF scrambled one of their Tucano T1 planes from RAF Linton-on-Ouse to see if they could help him.

Luckily the bloke behind the wheel (showing our complete lack of aviation knowledge) was Wing Cdr Paul Gerrard, the RAF chief flying instructor.

He flew to within 50m of Jim's plane and talked him through touching down safely, including steering towards the runway and helping control his landing.

Invention could be the end of bad photos

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Boffins have created a machine which can in one click turn an Ugly Betty into an Angelina Jolie.

The "Beauty Machine" digitally alters a photo of a 'normal' face into one which could grace the cover of glossy magazines.

It uses a complex algorithm to subtly alter facial features such as ratios of the nose, chin and distance from ears to eyes to make the face more desirable.

But the experts behind the research say the photo retains an unmistakable similarity to the original picture ... just better looking.

It is hoped that in the future the technology could be built into digital cameras meaning you never have to see a bad picture of yourself.

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TV shows don't get much more wholesome than 70s new frontier hardship-fest Little House on the Prairie.

But that hasn't stopped DVD bosses in Finland rating the show as suitable for adults only.

The rating means DVDs of the classic children's show cannot be bought in Finland by anyone under the age of 18. Box-sets of the series will also be branded with a "Banned for under-18s" sticker.

The reason for the rating - normally reserved for porn movies - is not because the Ingalls were producing porn on the prairie. 

Skinflint bosses at Universal Pictures have refused to pay authorities 2 Euro per minute to assess the correct age limit for the TV series.

Are wooden socks a barking idea?

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Your grandparents preferred woollen socks, while your parents opted for synthetic, now a clothes designer is hoping you will slip on some WOODEN socks.

They promise there is no risk of getting splinters from the socks which are made from the wastes created by pruning pine trees.

French designer Sophie Young says the textile -  made from white pine tree clippings processed with enzymes into a fibre - has properties including regulating temperature and drying very quickly.

However, despite coming from pine trees, they will NOT make your sweaty feet smell like a pine forest.

The makers g=9.8 also produce bras, knickers and boxer shorts in the eco-friendly material ... I might want to just confirm the splinter situation before pulling those on.

Looking at sexy women gives men body-blues

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Looking at pictures of sexy women in lads mags has a negative effect on men, scientists have found.

Researchers have known for some time that women get all self-conscious and worried about their body if they see too many images of attractive female models.

But now they say looking at scantily clad women like Jessica Biel and Megan Fox has the same impact on men, a risk many will be willing to take.

They asked a group of men to spend time looking at images of women in magazines such as FHM and Maxim ... oddly they didn't have much trouble rounding up a sample of testosterone-filled volunteers.

They then monitored how "reading" the magazines altered the way they viewed their own body, and how self-conscious they were about their looks.

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At the end of the day scientists have literally worked 24/7 to create a fairly unique list of the most irritating expressions in the English language.

With all due respect, I personally think they shouldn't of bothered. I mean 
it's not rocket science, is it? Absolutely.

The boffins from Oxford University have compiled the list of the top 10 most irritating expressions by using a computer database which analyses books, newspapers, magazines, broadcast, and the internet.

They say the expression 'at the end of the day', was the most irritating, followed in second place by the phrase 'fairly unique'.

Jeremy Butterfield, author of Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare added that many annoying over-used expressions begin as office lingo, such as 24/7.

Robot plays the flute better than humans

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Robots could soon be taking over the orchestra if this chap is anything to go by, and if they do they will be wearing snazzy hats too.

The robot flautist, or WF4IV as he likes to be called (you know what these musical types are like) is the latest creation from Waseda University.

He is able to play complex musical scores perfectly and is even able to engage with the audience giving him what his creators say is a human-like quality.

Everything about him is designed to make him the perfect musician, his mouth and lungs have been carefully designed to mimic and improve upon the expert air control of a professional flautist.

His eyes even have cameras which monitor other members of the orchestra and interact with their performance ... there is however, no explanation for the hat.

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A jogger ran for a mile with a fox attached to her arm after it attacked her while she exercised.

The woman from Arizona had been out on a run at the base of Granite Mountain when the wild fox attacked her leg.

When she tried to grab it and throw it off, it locked it's teeth into her arm and refused to let go.

As if spurred on by the fact it would give us a great headline, the woman calmly ran a mile back to her car where she was finally able to dislodge the animal and drive to a medical centre.

She trapped the snappy and possibly rabid fox in the boot of the car for testing, but as an Animal Control Officer tried to get it out, they too were bitten.

Barack Obama name craze hits Kenya

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Thousands of babies in Kenya are expected to be given the name Barack Obama after his historic win in the US presidential elections.

Already dozens of baby boys have been named Barack Obama while girls are being named Michelle after the President-elect's wife.

It is because Obama's father was born and raised in a village near the city of Kisumu and the the politician is a local hero.

Yesterday more than half of babies born in some hospitals were named after the soon-to-be world leader, including some girls.

Parents say naming their children after the couple will inspire them to achieve great things, what would happen if they were called Sarah Palin?

Coming soon: Honeymoons in space

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Advances in air travel will mean that couples will soon honeymoon at hotels in space, experts claim.

We will also be whizzing around at up to five times the speed of sound according to the report from Finnish firm Finnair.

They believe that space travel will start up on a big scale between 2020 and 2040 with a 15-hour stay in a space hotel costing the equivalent to two months average salary.

This will, they claim, make it ideal for newlywed couples ... if only because, in space no-one can hear your first lovers tiff. 

The report also includes predictions from academics and other experts who believe new engine solutions will revolutionise air and land transport with zero-emission engines replacing polluting predecessors.

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Scientists have discovered that the brain sends out a 'Oh-shit' signal when we get our words muddled up.

The 'Oh-shit' signal - also known as 'Error-Related Negativity' in more academic circles - is broadcast as errors such as using the wrong word are made. 

This means that contrary to popular belief, George W Bush's brain is actually very active ... even if it is only saying 'Oh-shit.'

The boffins from Leiden University say the brain signal is similar to that which allows you to stop yourself from falling down the stairs if you begin to tumble.

Examples of when brains would emit the signal include when Bush made the mistake of referring to weapons of 'mass production' instead of 'mass destruction' or when John Prescott spoke of solving industrial disputes through 'meditation' instead of 'mediation'.

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Your mobile phone could soon self destruct like in Mission Impossible if it gets stolen or lost.

A British firm has invented a piece of software which once installed can send a message to a missing mobile telling it to obliterate itself.

But before you get the idea your mobile will explode in a puff of smoke which would make Ethan Hunt jump, the reality is a lot more boring.

The technology uses the mobile's own communications to track it down before setting to deleting all the information it holds, no bang, no smoke ... just deleted data.

Makers Virtuity say the tech is required because more of us are using our mobiles to carry large quantities of sensitive information, both personal and commercial.

World's top chef "I fancy a McDonald's"

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He is one of the world's most celebrated chefs and diners travel hundreds of miles to taste his 35-course menu, but that doesn't stop Ferran Adria from wanting a McDonald's.

The Spanish chef - whose restaurant El Bulli is regarded as the world's best - says he would love to tuck into a McDs though he hasn't had one for years.

In a recent interview the three-star Michelin chef also said he could not make a better burger for the same price.

He added that he would like to visit a McDonald's to "discover" its cooking, something that may worry the 800,000 people who try to book a table at his restaurant each year.

An average meal at El Bulli, located at Costa Brava in Catalonia, Spain, is £200 ... or 180 McDonald's double cheeseburgers.

Man lost in German airport for a week

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A holiday-maker got lost in a German airport ... for an entire week.

The Greek man somehow managed to spend a full seven days and nights at the tiny Hanover airport in Germany before he was discovered.

It is not known why 38-year-old Christianos Kaklamanis had not made himself know to staff at the airport before he was spotted by a travel agent who called police.

Officials said he had been reported missing in his home country and would be put back on a flight to Athens, Greece. 

An investigation has been launched into how he remained unnoticed for so long.

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Pigs which were tattooed with the famous LV Louis Vuitton logo have been banned from a modern art exhibition in Shanghai.

Belgian artist Wim Delvoye had inked up the porkers to form part of an exhibition at the Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair.

But bosses and gallery owners are said to have found the tattooed pigs in poor taste, and instructed them to be removed from the "Art Farm" exhibit.

It is thought they would have preferred a nice crispy pork.

Delvoye tattoos his pigs when they are young and the tats grow with the animals. Buyers get to choose if they buy the £100,000 pigs live, or purchase their tattooed skins when they die of old age.

Britney Spears turns cameras on paparazzi

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Britney Spears is turning the cameras on the paparazzi by posting videos mocking them on her website.

Each week the sexy singer plans to post a clip which pokes fun at a pap and makes them look a fool.

... lets hope THEY don't do anything really embarrassing like 'forgetting' to wear underwear or shaving their heads in public.

The latest "paparazzie" on the stars site shows a snapper falling over as he tries to video Spears walking past.

Under the clip is the caption "This photographer eats some dirt while trying to get a shot of Britney."

Feminists get GPS knickers in a twist

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Feminists have got their knickers in a twist over a new range of underwear which comes fitted with a GPS tracker.

They claim the £500 lingerie gives men the chance to keep tabs on the woman in their life and is nothing more than a high-tech chastity belt.

Designer Lucia Lorio defends her creation saying the GPS-equipped "Find Me If You Can" line is ideal for security conscious women who may want someone to know where they are.

The sexy set consists of a lace bodice, bikini bottom and faux pearl collar.

Then there is the not so sexy black GPS device which makes the wearer look like a on-call doctor from the 1980s and will guarantee you get a slap on Christmas morning if you dare buy it.

Tennis court built on desert island

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If you get stranded on a desert island you may not have to resort to cannibalism or speaking to coconuts ... you could watch a world class match of tennis.

Number-one-ranked Ana Ivanovic and Elena Dementieva have played a historic match on a specially built sand surrounded court on a desert island in the bay of Doha.

The only people on the island other than the two tennis aces were the ballboys, lucky ballboys.

The Arabian Gulf clash took place ahead of the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha which will feature players including Serena Williams and Jelena Jankovic.

Speaking of the desert island game Ana Ivanovic said: "It was amazing and so unusual to be playing tennis on a deserted island with no one there but Elena, myself and the ballboys."


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Security researchers have developed a piece of software which is able to duplicate any house key from a distant photo of it.

Because the technique requires no physical assess to the keys it means just flashing your keys in public is now a security threat.

The boffins from UC San Diego say they created the software to prove that keys are not safe ... any not because they wanted to get into the house of a woman they are stalking.

Using what they describe as 'modest imaging equipment' and 'standard computer vision algorithms' they were able to cut working copies of photographed keys.

In one example they even copied a key using a photo taken from nearly 200 feet away (remember what I said about stalking.)

Call me Captain Fantastic, please

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A UK teenager has officially changed his name to 'Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine The Hulk And The Flash Combined.'

Formerly known as George Garratt, Captain Fantastic has registered his new name with deed poll ... though most people still call him twat.

The 19-year-old music student from Glastonbury (that could explain a lot) said he decided to include several superheroes after asking his friends for suggestions.

Captain Fantastic is now legally entitled to use his name on bank accounts and his passport, but says family members refuse to use his new name, his gran has stopped speaking to him altogether.

A spokesman from The Legal Deed Poll Service, said: "We get so ma

VIDEO: Treadmill shrimp becomes web hit

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A video of a shrimp which was taught to run on a treadmill as part of an odd science experiment has become an (unsurprising) internet hit.

Scientists from Pacific University in Oregon were testing to see how far a shrimp would travel for food when they discovered it could jog at speeds of 66ft per minute for three hours.

Researchers insist there was a scientific reason for recording the video of the super-fit shrimp running on the tiny treadmill ... though the same can't be said for the Benny Hill soundtrack.

Blue roses genetically engineered

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Blue roses have for years been the stuff of legend, with mystical folklore claiming they can give their owner eternal youth.

Japanese scientists will certainly hope that is true after spending the best part of 20 years trying to genetically engineer one.

Scientists say they finally achieved it by taking the delphinidin gene from a petunia, which creates the blue colour, and inserting it into a mauve rose.

Then again, having spent so long on it, the botanical loving boffins from Suntory could probably have developed one with pictures of Britney Spears on the petals.

The flower will go on sale next year and Suntory hopes the market for blue flowers will be worth more than $300 million ... but if you want one on the cheap may we suggest sticking a white rose in some blue food dye.

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A gaffing golfer would be forgiven for feeling a bit 'below par' after hitting a hole in one ... in the wrong hole.

But Clive Seymour says he is chuffed with his fluke shot, even if it went in the forth hole when he was aiming for the tenth.

The 74-year-old sliced his shot on the par-four 265-yard shot, much to the confusion of players on the other hole who saw his ball bounce on the green and into the hole.

Clive quickly became the talk of the clubhouse at Hele Park Golf Club, Devon ... though most of the 'talk' involved laughs behind his back.

The grandad of six says he used a driver for the shot, but really sliced it. With shots like that he could have got into a Nick Faldo picked team.

Fat women get more sex than thin ones

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Overweight and obese women are more likely have had sex than skinny types, say scientists.

After studying the the sexual behaviour of over 7,000 women, boffins have found that fat women get more sex than their trim counterparts.

It is good news for cake-munching women who thought there was 'fat chance' of pulling on a night out. 

The research by the University of Hawaii School of Medicine goes against previous studies which suggested larger ladies had lower libidos, and that men were less likely to go for them.

It was found 92 per cent of overweight women had slept with a man compared to 87 per cent among "normal" sized women.

Unruly children 'punished' with massages

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A bizarre scheme will see unruly children given foot and head massages in a bid to stop them misbehaving, it has been claimed.

Pupils at 60 primary and 14 secondary schools in London will soon be given alternative therapy sessions including reflexology to improve their behaviour.

Some people believe getting the young tearaways to slip off their shoes and socks for a quick massage could curb bad behaviour.

Others think the odd news is further proof that society has gone mad and is one step away from rewarding bad behaviour by giving teenage yobs a free knife.
 
The company which will dish out the 'punishment' Bud-Umbrella say there are a number of benefits including curbing aggression, and relieving anxiety.

Weather map crashes on TV forecaster

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The British weather is often unpredictable ... now it appears, so are some weather maps. 

At least that was the case for telly weatherman Francis Wilson when part of of East Anglia fell on him during a live broadcast.

The Sky News broadcaster was telling viewers they could 'expect sunshine' when part of the map fell from the wall and hit him on the head. 

Seemingly unphased Wilson said simply: "Oh that was interesting. That was part of East Anglia and the South East."

He then picked up the panel, moved it off-screen and continued with his forecast as though nothing had happened.

Man super-glued to toilet seat

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A man was taken to hospital with a toilet attached to his bum after pranksters smeared super-glue over the seat.

The 35-year-old had been using a public loo in Brierley Hill in the West Midlands when he became stuck.

Firefighters were called to free him, but when they were unable to do so removed the entire toilet and took it - with the man attached - to a nearby hospital.

Doctors used special chemicals to free him while in the ambulance rather than carrying him through the hospital on his sticky throne.

While this saved some of his blushes he was still left red-faced ... and red arsed.

Sarah Palin punk'd by prank radio call

Would-be US vice-president and all-round political laughing-stock Sarah Palin has been left red-faced after taking a prank phone call from a fake French president.

The imposter - from a Canadian radio station - convinced the Alaskan governor she was chatting to French prez, Nicolas Sarkozy during the six-minute call.

Speaking in a French accent fake Sarko, Marc Antoine Audette discusses her campaign, the possibility of a joint hunting trip and how "hot in bed" his wife Carla Bruni is.

Palin, presumably thinking between the sheets chats are normal between world leaders, didn't twig that the call wasn't legit even when fake Sarko told her: "I just love killing those animals. Mmm, mmm, take away life, that is so fun."

Lewis Hamilton win pockets fan £125,000

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A motor-racing fan has scooped £125,000 after Lewis Hamilton's F1 win allowed him to cash-in on a 10-year-old bet.

Over a decade ago the lucky punter spotted a speedy 13-year-old go-karting ace who he thought would go far ... and fast.

The man - whose son used to race go-karts against Hamilton - placed the bet on May 13 1998 with bookmakers Ladbrokes that Lewis, would become a Formula One champ.

He place a £200 bet at 200-1 Lewis would win a Grand Prix race before he turned 23 and £100 at 500-1 he would take the F1 championship before his 25th birthday.

With an extra £50 at odds of 1,500-1 for the double the man, who does not want to be named, yesterday won £125,000 as Lewis won the title in Brazil. 




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