Simon Crisp: July 2009 Archives

275x250.jpgThe chairman of Tranmere Rovers football club said he was shocked to discover his team for sale on the internet auction site eBay.

Earlier this year chairman Peter Johnson appointed US firm Dornoch Capital to broker a sale for his shares in the  League One club.

But this week he was shocked to find that - after an unsuccessful search for a US investoer - the club had been listed on eBay for $10million.

A statement on the official club website said: "Mr Johnson was very disappointed to discover that Dornoch Capital had chosen ebay.com as a route to find a potential buyer and would not have given permission for them to do so had he been asked."

He has now instructed them to remove the ebay listing immediately, and we agree ... no-one is going to pay $10million for Tranmere Rovers are they?

Chimps enjoy easy listening music

275x250.jpgScientists claim that chimpanzees have a penchant for easy listening music like The Carpenters.

Boffins from Kyushu University in Japan (who presumably had nothing better to do) tested their idea on infant chimps who had never heard music before.

They played the chimps a variety of styles of music which they could request a repeat by pulling a cord.

While the chimps could take or leave most tunes, they consistently wanted to hear a repeat of consonant music with a harmony.

The researchers say the result suggests the preference for consonance is not unique to humans ... and that if they could the chimps would be downloading Barry Manilow albums. 

200x190.jpgMore than 3,500 people from around the world have competed in the annual Tough Guy challenge in Wolverhampton.

They did battle on 21 obstacles including climbing nets, underwater tunnels, blazing bales of hay and fields of nettles.

Winner James Appleton, from Cambridge, finished the course first in a time of one hour and 39 minutes winning himself treatment for the hypothermia he picked up along the way.

Over 600 contestants were also treated for hypothermia while countless others picking up broken bones, dislocations along with the almost mandatory cuts and bruises.

Flying thong cuts power to village

275x250.jpgA village in the UK had its electricity cut off when a pair of sexy pants short circuited a power line.

Dozens of houses in Leadenham, Lincolnshire, were plunged into darkness when a thong - being carried by a helium balloon - got caught in the wires.

Energy bosses from Central Networks think that because it had been raining the skimpy underwear led to a short circuit.

A spokesperson for the company said things do occasionally get caught in the cables ... but he had never seen anything like this.

It is not known who launched into the air with the panties with the helium balloon, or why.

200x190.jpgOne of the UKs most advanced space missions of decades has ended with the 'shuttle' crashing back to earth.

Then again, the odd news isn't exactly surprising ... it was a lump of cheddar cheese tied to a helium balloon.

West Country Cheesemakers had sent the block of cheese into the upper atmosphere earlier this week to take photos of it in space.

But after it reached 30km into the atmosphere the helium balloon carrying the payload had burst plunging it back to earth.

The space cheese was later found in a gargen in High Wycombe and handed in to police ... who are now waiting for some toast from Mars and Worcestershire sauce from the moon.

275x250.jpgSome of the odd and downright weird laws holiday makers should be aware of, have been published in a new guide.

Did you know there are places where it is illegal to not have your swimsuit inspected by the police, carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket (on a Sunday) or sing whilst wearing swimming trunks?

Experts are now warning that - while many of these laws are not enforced - travelers should be aware of them, so they don't end up behind bars for an odd misdemeanor.

Recently a British mother got arrested in Phuket for stealing a beer coaster and a couple were arrested in Malaysia just for holding hands in public.

Other odd rules in the guide include somewhere it is illegal not to smile or flush the loo after 10pm.

275x250.jpgIf you don't know your bromance from your biznatch, chillax, a new edition of a slang dictionary has been released.

The book - produced by linguistic experts from UCLA since 1989 - contains more then 1,000 entries and aims to serve as the latest word on slang used at the uni.

New entries include "Schwa" a synonym for "wow", use of "Destroy," to do well on something like a test and "Obama" which is now used as slang for "cool or rad."

The 160-page volume, comes complete with terms, definitions, parts of speech, sample sentences, usage notes and the etymology of words and phrases - which is like so off the hezzie.
 
The book is frequently used by parents trying to understand what their student children mean by words like "crossfaded" drunk and high off marijuana, or "booty call" ... and then wishing they didn't know.

200x190.jpgA tree which is believed to be the world's oldest potted plant has been re-potted at Kew Gardens.

Bosses at the London attraction say huge Jurassic cycad - or 'Encephalartos altensteninii' if you're being fancy - has once again out grown its pot.

The 4m plant, which grows at 2.5cm a year, was first installed at Kew in 1775 and has outgrown several pots, it was planted in the most recent 25 years ago.

It took three months of planning, five members of staff and a lifting gantry to
move the ancient plant from one pot to the other - but given it has another 250 years of growth left maybe they should have used a bigger pot.

200x190.jpgFirefighters were called out to a possible chemical leak only to discover it was actually just a woman being too liberal with her perfume.

The alarm had been raised after two workers at a Bank of America branch in Texas, reported feeling nauseous and dizzy.

With that, emergency services were dispatched - and a warning was broadcast to other staff that a carbon monoxide, or another chemical leak was suspected. As a result 34 people were taken to hospital complaining of chest pains, head aches and dizziness.

But after hazmat crews and the fire department inspected the building they sound no leak and traced the original complaints to a female co-worker spraying perfume.

It is not known what brand of perfume was being sprayed, but I think it might be Eau' de Overreaction.

Men want to buy a date with Megan Fox

200x190.jpgMegan Fox is the celebrity most men would like to buy a date with, a survey has found.

The Transformers actress topped a poll of over 1,000 people by Madbid.com, a website which auctions off dates with celebrities for charity.

Other women who proved popular for a paid-for date were Cheryl Cole, Angelina Jolie and recently single party girl Katie Price.

But it is not clear what the men thought they were getting on the date ... Susan Boyle was their ninth most popular partner ... and Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James may came in fifth!

200x190.jpgA 91-year-old woman who has been using her local library since 1946, has borrowed a whopping 25,000 books.

Louise Brown, from south west Scotland, has taken out over six books each week for the past 63 years - she now borrows (and reads) 12 per week.

Even more amazingly Louise says she has never even had to pay an overdue charge.

Louise mostly enjoys family sagas but added that she indulges in the odd large print Mills and Boon for reading at night.

200x190.jpgResearchers have spent months studying squirrel psychology in a bid to discover how they learn.

But rather than getting the squirrels to lie back on a couch and talk about their mother, the team from the University of Exeter used a nut based test.

They tested the squirrels' ability to learn to choose between two pots of food after watching another squirrel remove a nut from one of the pots - by rewarding them if they picked the same one.

Most of the squirrels were able to learn which one to pick from, which the experts think means they are able to quickly learn from watching other, particularly if it relates to stealing food. 

David Cameron in radio swearing gaffe

200x190.jpgTory leader David Cameron has been forced to apologise after swearing during a live breakfast radio interview.

Cameron was chatting to Absolute Radio presenter Christian O'Connell when he made the errors, twice using bad language in the short interview.

Firstly he said of why he doesn't use Twitter "The trouble with Twitter, is the instantaneous of it ... Too many twits make a twat."

Later in the interview, while talking about the mood of the public he added: "The public are, rightly I think, pissed off - sorry, I can't say that in the morning."

Those close to David Cameron have been keen to stress that 'twat' is not a swearword according to Ofcom guidelines ... is it okay if we call Cameron one in that case?

275x250.jpgPutting themselves out on a limb, scientists say they have discovered why we swing our arms as we walk.

Boffins at the Ministry of Silly Walks University of Michigan, used a robot model and 10 humans to compare the impact of different arm positions as people walk.

While it had been thought that arm swinging was a waste of energy, they found swinging your arms can actually save you energy.

They demonstrated humans naturally swing their arms with minimal effort, using very little energy and that not swinging your arms actually uses 12 percent more energy.

It was also found that an anti-swing - moving your arms at the wrong time - used even more energy (26 percent more) ... and made people look like John Cleese on a bad day.

275x250.jpgOfficials in an unfortunately named Austrian village have been forced to install CCTV near place name signs - to stop tourists shagging near them.

For years tourists have been stopping by the rural hamlet of Fucking, near Salzburg, to have their photo taken by the amusing village sign.

But now officials say more adventurous couples are trying to film themselves having sex in front of the Fucking sign.

As a result they have installed CCTV cameras pointing at all of the signs in the hope it will deter randy visitors.

Either that or they will start asking for a copy of the video tape from the village hall.

Robots join the London Fire Brigade

275x250.jpgArmy robots, which were used to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan, have become fire-fighters on their return to the UK.

The bots - which were used to detonate bombs in Afghanistan - have been converted and are now being used to tackle dangerous fires across London.

Defence company Qinetiq say the robots will protect fire fighters and minimise disruption to travellers by reducing delays on major transport systems.

After assessing the risk, LFB officers can call out the team of robots some of which range from a small, stair-climbing unit which has video and thermal image cameras to ones with water hoses and giant claws on.

However not everyone is happy, women say the chunks of metal don't have the same appeal as a buff firemen ... and the bots don't give a damn about cats stuck in trees.

200x190.jpgA London tourist attraction is today auditioning people for a frightfully odd job, resident zombie.

More than 50 applicants will battle it out for the £30k per year role with the London Bridge Experience, by trying to prove to bosses they can be scary.

They have been asked to turn up in their own blood-stained costumes and make-up and be as scary as they can.

I wonder why bosses didn't just take a ride on the London Underground, most people there terrify me on every journey ... and many have clothes covered in vomit and blood.

275x250.jpgA Scottish brewery thinks it could have created a cure for binge drinking ... Britain's strongest beer

Tokyo* from BrewDog comes in at a whopping 18.2 percent - that's six units of alcohol per bottle, twice the recommended daily allowance.

Makers claim the beer is so strong drinkers will only have one, and that Tokyo* could help to stop binge drinking.

They say the complexity of the imperial oak aged stout will have people sipping it slowly at home rather than knocking them back on the high street.

Personally I think the price-tag of £9.99 per bottle could stop people binge drinking it, irrespective of what it tastes like.

200x190.jpg150 people in the US have taken a shower together ... to set a pair of world records.

Standing in the 4,000 square ft structure they set the record for the most people showering simultaneously, and the record for the worlds largest shower.

A spokesperson for Pert Plus who sponsored the event in Gurnee, Chicago said: "We built quite a shower and we hope that these records will stand the test of time."

I wonder how many of the people were disappointed that the other people taking part were showering in swimming costumes.

DoggieLoveDoll: A sex doll for dogs

200x190.jpgBringing new meaning to the phrase doggie-style the world's first sex doll for dogs has gone on sale.

The Doggie Love Doll is made for randy dogs ... and promises to save peoples legs, pillows and stuffed toys from over amorous doggie advances.

Revealed in Brazil last week, it comes in three sizes and is made from soft rubber for the dog to get a good grip.

Once, in position shall we say, there is a silicone vagina for fido to get woof with, which makers PetSmiling say is easy to clean.

200x190.jpgPolice in Holland have warned Smart car drivers there is a growing craze where people are tipping their tiny cars into canals.

In Amsterdam, several Smart cars have already been tipped into canals after parking next to them, in the craze dubbed ‘Smart tossing’.

It is thought that Smart cars are being targeted because they are small enough to be parked facing the water, as opposed to being parallel to it.

As a result, groups of youths who have just the right level of alcohol and cannabis in their body, have an uncontrollable urge to 'toss' the car into the water.

275x250.jpgPolice broke their way into a UK home after a cat dialed 999 FOUR TIMES in the space of a few minutes.

Emergency call operators in Sussex sent officers to the home after receiving four silent 999 calls from the house in quick succession.

When cops arrived they looked through the window and saw a broken lamp, fearing the worst they smashed the door down to investigate.

But when they went inside they found no sign of a burglary or injured person ... just a smug looking moggie.

The owner insists her cat Watson - who enjoys playing with the phone - must have accidentally called the number.

275x250.jpgA full sized house is being built in Surrey ... made entirely out of tiny Lego bricks.

The two-storey house will use over THREE MILLION Lego bricks and will be based in the middle of Denbies Wine Estate.

It is being built by Top Gear presenter James May for an upcoming BBC show about childhood toys.

But it doesn't look like May wants to do all the building himself. He will be hosting a building day on August 1 where members of the public are invited to help him put the house together.

Organizers say the finished house will even feature a staircase along with a working shower and toilet ... ideal for when you are sh**ting bricks.

200x190.jpgIced drinks sold by many high street coffee shop chains can contain a quarter of your recommended daily calories, it has been claimed

A charity has warned that drinks like a Starbucks Venti Dark Berry Mocha Frappuccino blended coffee with whipped cream, not only take 20 minutes to order, but could also increase cancer risk.

The Starbuck Venti Dark Ber (...oh you get the idea) contains a whopping 561 calories compared to the estimated daily calorie requirement of an average woman 2,000 calories.

World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) claim that regularly consuming these high calorie drinks can lead to weight gain which can in turn lead to six types of cancer.

The combination of sugar-laden syrups, cream and ful-fat milk are said to send the calorie-count soaring in the drinks, apparently some also contained traces of coffee.

200x190.jpgA council is spending £110,000 on a team of minders to stop a fat Scottish family from over-eating, it has been claimed.

Dundee City Council is said to have hired the team for a family of eight who have a 12-year-old son who weighs a massive 16 stone, a 11-year-old daughter (12 stone) and 3-year-old daughter (4 stone)

Dundee Families Project will now employ three full-time staff to monitor the families meals and force them to exercise - including the 23st mum and 18st dad.

The fat family - who can't be named for legal reasons - will also get advice on lifestyle habits and diet ... yeah, don't eat so much.

275x250.jpgPolice in Australia have started using Twitter as a way of stopping people from drink driving.

But rather then using the site to contact people they think might be about to drive home after one too many they will instead tweet about the idiots they have caught.

Recent tweets from @VictoriaPolice include things like "Idiot 1 - A 42yo man from Stony Creek. He blew .17 after police caught him driving down the wrong side of the Sth Gippsland Hgwy in Berwick."

Another reads: "Another drunk has just been removed from the roads in Berwick. He blew .10. The excuse "I only live around the corner" didn't work."

More than 3,000 have signed up to receive the police tweets with one follower saying: "It's like watching an episode of CSI" ... more like Police Twitter Action!

200x190.jpgA classical musician has teamed up with a group of Australian farmers to produce his latest work.

Finnish accordion virtuoso Kimmo Pohjonen has recorded a series of sounds from Queensland farmyards ... and now plans to incorporate them into his next performance.

He says the moos of cows, bahs of sheep and the whirring of farm machinery, will all feature isn his upcoming performance Earth Machine Music along with more traditional instruments.

I forget, is Kimmo the Finnish accordion virtuoso who recently suffered a nervous breakdown?

275x250.jpgThe world's top five beaches for nudists to bare-all have been revealed (so to speak) by holiday website TripAdvisor.

Editors at the site decided to pool their knowledge to produce the definitive list of the best spots in which to let it all hang out.

According to them Haulover Beach Park in Miami Beach, Florida, took the top spot thanks to its "family-friendly atmosphere and its large clothing-optional area"

Other choices included Paradise Beach in Greece, and Black's Beach in California where the only thing surfers wear is their surfboard leash.

Oddly the naked beach list does not contain any British spots ... but then again given how cold our summers can be, it is not exactly surprising.

Germans get 5,000 new words to shout

275x250.jpgDuden, the big yellow German dictionary, has added 5,000 new words in its latest edition.

Many of the new words are either based on new technology or from the English-speaking world.

"Twittern" has been added meaning to use Twitter.com along with "das It Girl" and "eine No-Go Area" which I am sure you can work out for yourself.

The Duden dictionary now has around 135,000 words compared to just 27,000 which were in the first edition published in 1880.

Other more German sounding words added include "Kreditklemme" which somehow makes the credit crunch sound even worse and "Komasaufen" meaning "binge-drinking".

200x190.jpgYouTube is appealing for more users to start uploading their video clips in 3D.

The web video giant this week said that the popularity of 3D movies at the cinema had prompted them to launch the service which adds a 3D effect to some videos at the touch of a button.

Users select whether to watch the clip while wearing odd looking glasses like the red and blue ones you used to get in the 80s, or even create the 3D effect by going cross-eyed.

YouTube say that to have the 3D option videos need to be shot on two cameras held "like a pair of eyes" edited to appear side by side and then have the tag "yt3d:enable=true" added to their info.

Great, now we can see videos of dumbass people playing pranks on each other or videos of their cats yawning ... in 3D.

275x250.jpgOprah Winfrey and Luke Skywalker could help boffins understand how our brains work, it has been claimed.

Researchers say they have found a part of our brains which responds to distinct images and sounds of a person, by creating a concept of them in our minds.

They did this by showing people various images of famous people including Oprah, Luke Skywalker and Marilyn Monroe while monitoring brain activity.

It was found that whether someone saw a picture of Oprah, read her name, or even heard her talk, the same neutrons in the brian lit up, meaning specific brain cells could be used for remembering for specific individuals.

Neuroscientists at the University of Leicester have even dubbed a part of the brain the "Oprah neurons" ... what's wrong, wasn't the TV show, books and magazine enough for her.

275x250.jpgA musician who wrote a song about his guitar getting broken on a United Airlines flight has scored a surprise online hit.

Last year Dave Carroll and his band the Sons of Maxwell were flying from Chicago to Nebraska when they saw baggage handlers throwing guitars to each other.

Worried his prized instrument would get damaged he told staff, but sure enough at the other end he discovered it was too late, his $3,500 Taylor guitar was broken.

Dave complained to United Airlines who refused to compensate him, so then doing what any 21st century musician would do, he recorded a song about it and posted it on YouTube.

The country and western-style "United Breaks Guitars" has now been watched by over four million people ... oddly United Airlines have now offered compensation.

275x250.jpgScientists have proven what parents have known for years, children who run around during the day, sleep better at night.

Researchers in Australia and New Zealand claim theirs tests of over 500 children showed the more they exercised, the faster they fell asleep.

In the (somewhat unnecessary) study, children were fitted with activity monitors to see how much exercise they got during the day.

It was then timed how long they took to fall asleep at night, on average for every hour of inactivity they took three minutes longer to doze off.

Does this explain why I feel so tired after going to the gym?

200x190.jpgScientists are looking for volunteers who are willing to put themselves through the grueling task of eating a bar of chocolate everyday for a year.

The boffins from the University of East Anglia, want to test the health benefits of eating dark Belgian chocolate.

They are now looking for 40 post-menopausal women with type 2 diabetes to take part in the study by eating the super-strength chocolate, specially formulated by Belgian chocolatiers.

As part of the study, the women will be required to eat two 13.5g pieces of chocolate each day for one year, and have their risk of heart disease tested in a lab on five occasions.

Researchers hope to discover if flavonoid compounds in chocoalte can reduce the risk of heart disease ... and answer the question "how quickly is it possible to get people to volunteer to a scientific study?"

200x190.jpgA humanoid robot has been used to model wedding dresses at a Japanese fashion show.

The HRP-4C "cybernetic human" - who stands 5ft 2ins tall and can create realistic facial expressions - modeled the designs by Yumi Katsura.

HRP-4C wowed crowds at the Paris Grand Collection in Osaka, Japan, by strolling down the 10-metre catwalk in the big white dress.

When at the end of the catwalk the bot said: "I've put on a wedding dress for the first time. I'm very happy today to wear this dress by Yumi Katsura."

And with that she terrified men everywhere who have either a fear of a robot uprising, or commitment.

200x190.jpgManchester United's football stadium is set to be converted into a hotel ... but before any fans get too upset, it is only for one night.

Old Trafford was selected after accommodation website LateRooms.com polled 1,400 people to find out where they wished their hotel room could be.

While women wanted a romantic view of something like the Eiffel Tower, 22 percent of respondents (presumably all men) said they wished they could spend the night at their football teams ground.

As a result LateRooms.com have arranged for two lucky guests to do just that. They will get a tour of the stadium, eat dinner while overlooking the pitch and then stay in a specially created room within one of the executive boxes.

200x190.jpgA 73-year-old television has been found in a London home, and it is still in full working order.

The Marconiphone 702 set was made in 1936 - the same time as the BBC started broadcasting from Alexandra Palace - and is one of only a small number of pre-war tellies to still exist.

It has a huge vertically mounted cathode ray tube with a 12in screen and would have cost its first owners around 60 Guineas, the equivalent of about £11,000 today.

But this is not a relic of history, owner Jeffrey Borinsky still uses it and even has it plugged into a set top box to receive new digital TV channels.

I'm sure the engineers who put so much effort into creating these early TV would be proud to know that 73 years later they were still being used to watch Cash in the Attic, well maybe not.

200x190.jpgBirds found in urban areas are more lazy, and sleep in later than their countryside dwelling counterparts, it has been found.

A study into the rising habits of UK birds found that those in the country visited feeding spots much earlier then those in the city.

Experts from the British Trust for Ornithology - who conducted the study in December - think it is because cities tend to be several degrees warmer.

This means that small birds do not use all of their energy reserve just keeping warm and are able to fill up on food at a more leisurely pace.

Either that or they have just enjoyed a night out on the town and needed a lie in.

275x250.jpgCake-fans have produced a record breaking cupcake big enough for 1,500 servings.

Measuring 12 inches tall and 24 inches wide the cupcake weighed 150.7 pounds and used 15 pounds of fudge filling and 60 pounds of yellow icing.

Makers cakes.com created the cake as part of celebrations for the SpongeBob SquarePants' 10th anniversary at the Minneapolis Mall of America.

An adjudicator from Guinness World Records was on hand to inspect (and sample) the cake before declaring it the world's largest cupcake.

Organizers decided against cutting up the cupcake and giving it away, as they say the majority of people would have ended up with just icing ... but I think that's the best bit.

200x190.jpgChances are your garage is full of old junk, but there is no reason for your neighbours to know that ... why not make them think there is a fighter jet in there.

A company has started selling photo garage door covers which make it appear as though there is something much more entertaining going on inside.

From an F1 racing car, to a horse, or even a fighter jet, the life size images, which are attached to your garage door are sure to stop passers-by.

I can't wait to see what the short-sighted guy who lives across the road makes of the glamour photo-shoot he thinks is happening in my garage.

200x190.jpgBabies as young as six months old are able to understand the meaning behind different dog barks, it has been claimed.

Boffins say that, even with no previous exposure to dogs, youngsters are able to recognize a angry snarl from a friendly yap.

The team from Brigham Young University showed infants two different pictures of the same dog - one in an aggressive posture and the other in a friendly stance - as they were played matching sounds.

6-month-old babies spent most of their time staring at the appropriate picture while older babies were said to make the connection instantly with their very first glance.

275x250.jpgA campaign has been launched to make pole dancing an olympic sport in time for the London 2012 games.

Pole dance instructor KT Coates thinks the discipline should be on a par with rhythmic gymnastics and figure skating.

As such, the 32-year-old has started an online petition for people who want to see pole dancing - or 'vertical pole' - recognized as a competitive sport.

More than 2,500 people have already signed up, and KT hopes her initiative will help remove the stigma attached to pole dance.

But if pole dancing does make it as an olympic sport, what do you think the gold medalist will do on top of the winners podium?

Top 10 karaoke songs of all time

Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive has been voted the greatest karaoke song of all time.

The 1979 classic topped a poll of over 2,000 Brits, who were asked what song they most like to belt out at a karaoke evening.

Other top hits included Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen and Robbie Williams' Angels.

Asked when they enjoyed a bit of karaoke, 37 percent said it was on a night out with friends, 12 percent said they sang on a games console and six percent say the have evenings in on their home karaoke machines.

It is that final group you want to avoid socializing with.

200x190.jpgA truck dealership in the US (where else?) has started giving away a free AK-47 machine gun with every purchase.

Max Motors in Kansas say anyone who buys a pick-up truck from them will get a free gun - like those favored by drug dealers and movie villains.

But buyers won't be able to drive off in their new vehicle toting their new $450 weapon, they will get a voucher which can be redeemed at a licensed gun store.

A spokesperson for Max Motors said: "In this community there is a tremendous crime problem. Last year we gave away a free handgun with every vehicle." Hmm, anyone else see a connection there.

200x190.jpgVisitors to a UK safari park are being warned to look after their luggage, after a pack of baboons learnt how to open car rooftop boxes.

Bosses at Knowsley Safari Park say they have now seen several instances of their baboons opening the luggage boxes and rummaging around inside.

The baboons have worked out that it one of them jumps up and down on the case till the lock breaks the others can then flip it open.

As a result, some holiday makers have been forced to sit helplessly as they watched the cheeky monkeys grab their belongings - including hats, shoes and even dirty underwear - before waving them around in their enclosure.

275x250.jpgThe toilet on the International Space Station has broken ... while there are a record number of astronauts onboard.

Since the malfunction on Sunday there has been a "out of order" sign on the main ISS loo while repairs are carried out.

It is thought a pump failed contaminating internal parts meaning the toilet would not be safe to use. As a result the record 13 astronauts onboard, are currently using a similar toilet in the Russian Zvezda module.

Space station Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Frank De Winne are due to carry out repairs and install replacement parts this week.


Luckily they haven't been forced to get a plumber in ... can you imagine the call out charge?

200x190.jpgBrits spend more than TWO YEARS of their lives feeling bored, it has been revealed.

A survey of over 1,000 people found that on average we spend five hours and 59 minutes of every week feeling completely and utterly bored with life. That’s 13 days a year or 786.5 days over the average adult lifetime of 60.5 years.

People said some of their main reasons for being bored are, having no money, standing in queues and waiting for internet pages to load.

Website triviala.com who commissioned the research have now produced a list of the top 50 things that bore people ... oddly answering survey questions isn't on the list.

275x250.jpgOnline book retailer Amazon has remotely deleted peoples copies of George Orwell's classic 1984 from their Kindle e-book readers..

In an Orwellian moment readers were not even notified that the (Ministry of Truth) web giant was binning the book from their e-book readers.

Instead the book - about a dystopian society and warning against totalitarianism - was simply wiped from their devices, along with other works from the author, including Animal Farm.

Amazon claim the books were deleted because they discovered they were selling an illegal copy and added that all readers were credited with a full refund.

A spokesperson for Amazon, commenting on the irony-filled moment, didn't say: "The book was never on your kindle. And we've always been at war with Eurasia."

275x250.jpgA 17-year-old who posed as an airline tycoon conned his way into a series of meetings with airport bosses, it has been revealed.

Using the pseudonym Adam Tait - and having set up a series of 'business' websites -  the lad held meetings with airport bosses over six months.

He even flew to Jersey where he said he wanted to launch a cut-price Channel Islands airline which would fly to most of Europe.

Possibly inspired by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, Catch Me If You Can, he also tried to charter a 3-seater jet to pose for a photo shoot.

At least he wasn't inspired by Titanic or The Man in the Iron Mask.

200x190.jpgNude sunbathers in Cannes have been told to cover up, or they could be fined.

For years naturists seeking a full-body tan have visited Palm Beach at the French resort. But now - after complaints from the town's exclusive yacht club - town hall authorities have banned people from baring all.

Anyone caught with too much on show can be fined 11 Euros for their first flash, with persistent offenders being threatened with prison sentence and a 15,000 Euro fine.

In other news, Cannes town hall has been besieged by people applying for positions as beach inspectors.

Police release e-fit of Dick Turpin

275x250.jpgPolice in North Yorkshire have released an e-fit of highwayman Dick Turpin ... 270 years after he was hanged.

They used newspaper descriptions of him to create the lifelike image, which will now appear on wanted posters, displayed around the county.

But the odd news is not quite as daft as it first appears, the posters are actually promoting a show at York Castle Museum, about its famous prisoners.

The descriptions from the time said Dick Turpin was "very marked with the small-pox, his cheek bones broad, his face thinner to the bottom" and he "wore a light wig."

There were no images of the infamous highwayman made during his life ... but I like to think that if there had been, they too would have looked like Peter Mandelson.

200x190.jpgBoffins at a Swiss chocolate company have created a new chocolate which won't melt in your hands ... and has 90% fewer calories.

Chocolatiers at Barry Callebaut say they created the Vulcano bars, which are said to taste like a regular treat rather than a diet one, by accident.

According to bosses the new choc will only melt at temperatures over 55 degrees though melts in the mouth because of the enzymes in saliva.

As such it is thought the confection could become a hit in countries like China and India where the temperature has hindered chocolate sales.

The chocolate is due to go on sale within two years ... so unfortunately you won't be taking a bar to the beach this holiday.

275x250.jpgTheir accent often gets them labelled as dumb, dishonest and unfriendly, but people from Birmingham are being encouraged to speak loud and proud today.

Today is the second international Talk Like a Brummie Day, where even those who are not from Birmingham are asked to sound like they are.

Thousands of people around the world have already signed up to spend the day talking like Ozzy Osbourne and Jasper Carrot.

Organiser Jon Bounds says he hopes getting people to celebrate the accent and dialect during Talk Like A Brummie Day will help combat the negative stereotypes.

Any comments, please write them in your best Brummie.

275x250.jpgOffice-workers in London have shown they don't need websites like Facebook and Twitter ... by creating a new social network with Post-It notes.

When graphic designer Ryan Tym saw staff in the office at the opposite side of the road having a brainstorming session he decided to contact them.

He started off by writing "Hello" in his window with 50 Post-It notes - the other office quickly responded and the conversation developed into two days of Post-It based chat.

"At one point, there were five floors in three buildings, having cross-street conversations - albeit in as smaller sentences as possible!" said Ryan.

Okay so this might not be great for contacting people halfway across the world, but why not give social note-working a go this afternoon and get to know your neighbours?

200x190.jpgA Swedish artist has been warned he could face police charges after leaving bunches of carrots made to look like sticks of dynamite around the city of Orebo.

Conny Blom had taken bunches of carrots, wrapped them with black tape and attached wires and a travel clock to make them look like (a cartoon version of) a terrorist device.

The 35-year-old says his "bunny bombs" are a comment on subversive activities outside the reach of the control system.

Not appreciating the work on this level and getting stuck with the "there's a bomb on my doorstep" thought, several members of the public recently contacted police who ordered Conny to remove his artworks.

Man makes odd cinema pants proposal

A music fan came up with an unusual way of asking his girlfriend to marry him ... by getting his local cinema to play a video of him singing in his pants.  

Pete Simson spent days making the odd video in which he mimes to Daniel Bedingfield's If You're Not The One, while wearing his pants in a variety of situations.

He then convinced his local cinema in Bristol to screen the movie, so he could propose to girlfriend Hannah.

Part way through the five-minute flick Pete - who was being stared at by all the other cinema goers - stood up and took the ring out of his pocket before asking the big question.

No, it wasn't "did my bum look big in those?" but "will you marry me?" - Hannah said yes and the pair are set to wed In August next year.

Orphaned Albino wallaby needs a name

275x250.jpgStaff at a wildlife park have appealed to newslite.tv readers to help them come up with a name for an orphaned albino wallaby.

The little jumper was born earlier this year but unfortunately his mother died on July 4th.

Since then keepers have taken over mothering duties, including feeding and rather oddly carrying him around in a towel lined rucksack to simulate his mother’s pouch.

Now bosses at Seaview Wildlife Encounter on the Isle of Wight are asking members of the public to put forward suggestions of names.

They will be hopping mad if you don't come up with something good - suggestions in the comments please.

275x250.jpgScientists have discovered a new species of insect which lives in the Western Mediterranean.

Well, they actually discovered "Tyrrhenoleuctra antoninoi" ten years ago, but it has taken them until now to prove that it is distinct from other insects.

In order to demonstrate that the insect was really a species in its own right, the team had to conduct biochemical and molecular tests.

After doing things like the complicated sounding mitochondrial DNA fragment sequencing, they have now published scientific description in the journal Zootaxa.

I don't know why they went to all that bother, I "discovered" four new species of insect this morning just by adding entries on Wikipedia for things I found in the garden.

275x250.jpgJosh Muszynski only went out to buy a pack of cigarettes ... but he came home with a debt bigger than most countries GDP.

A banking blunder meant that his credit card had been charged a whopping $23,148,855,308,184,500 for a single packed of cigarettes.

Josh, from New Hampshire, noticed the error when he checked his balance online and saw the 17-digit number, ominously preceded by a minus symbol, he had even been charged a $15 overdraft fee.

He called the bank and demanded to know what had happened, they weren't quite sure but agreed that he probably hadn't spent that much at the local petrol station.

It took several calls and 24 hours for the error to be rectified, I'm guessing Josh probably wouldn't have been so desperate to get it sorted had the minus symbol not been there.

200x190.jpgA pet-only airline has launched offering pampered pooches the chance to travel in style.

Pet Airways, which has been four years in the making, is the brainchild of Alysa Binder and Dan Wiesel, who couldn't stand checking their Jack Russell terrier Zoe in as cargo.

The pair have now bought five converted planes which can each carry about 50 cats and dogs in the main cabin, during each flight the animals are looked after by flight attendants and given bathroom breaks.

Upon being checked in for their flight paws-engers are given access to a special lounge and even taken on pre-boarding walks ... I wonder if I could fly with them if I wore a dog costume, it sounds better than going with Ryanair.

275x250.jpgMarilyn Monroe's famous 36D boobs were boosted by one of the earliest Wonderbra style bras, it has been revealed.

A lace design bra, which was worn by the Some Like It Hot star, is set to be sold this week. Auctioneers say the £2,000 bra holds the secret of Marilyn's amazing boobs, and how it "added" to her on-screen presence.

The bra used underwired half cups and reinforced extra straps to lift her 36D breasts to proportions that even a modern Wonderbra would struggle to achieve.

But it also featured TWO cups for each breast, one to give the normal support, and another to make her already ample cleavage appear even bigger.

To be honest this is beginning to sound more like a piece of engineering work than a item of lingerie, but hey, if it made Marilyn's boobs look as good as they did, who are we to argue.

200x190.jpgOver 1,200 rockers have set a new world record for the world’s largest air guitar event.

They smashed the previous record of 810 people strumming away on air guitars, by gathering 1261 people together at the Sheffield Arena.

Overseen by an official representative of the Guinness World Records, and led by former UK Air Guitar Champion Zac Monro they played their imaginary Fenders and Gibsons simultaneously.

A spokesperson for the event - part of The Rock Challenge - said: "The record will take some beating and created an incredible visual spectacular that was enjoyed by all that took part."

Organisers said that because everyone had done so well and they had set a new world record all participants were allowed to keep their air guitars and take them home.

200x190.jpgBringing a new meaning to the phrase "Doggy Style" a company in California has started selling wigs for dogs.

Total Diva Pets produce the wigs which are made specifically to fit your pooch and range from an Afro to a blonde bob.

The pet wigs are the brainchild of sisters Jenny and Crissy Slaughter. Several years ago the pair tried to find hairpieces for their dogs to wear in a parade, but were unable to find any that fitted.

As a result they made their own, and say the response they got was so good they decided to go into business ... who knew seeing people pointing and laughing meant you have a successful business idea.

200x190.jpgThink your degree, amazing references and previous work experience will get you that job interview? Maybe, but have you got enough Twitter followers?

US electronics retailer Best Buy have added the prerequisite that applicants for their latest marketing post have a number of Twitter followers.

The Senior Manager - Emerging Media Marketing will be responsible for the firm's mobile, social, and video marketing & media efforts.

But along with a bachelors degree and leadership experience, the ad states that all applicants must have 250 or more followers on Twitter.

So what do you think, will you be adding your number of Twitter followers to your CV?

200x190.jpgGoogle have announced the first UK tourist attractions which will be photographed by their Street View Trike.

Stonehenge topped an online vote as the off-road attraction people most wanted to see appear on Google Maps.

Millennium Stadium, Angel of the North, Loch Ness, Eden Project, Warwick Castle will now all also be peddled around as part of the project.

Luckily for the Google cyclist, no-one suggested they take the 18 stone bike with a mounted Street View camera to the top of Snowdon.

275x250.jpgA high-tech camera which can take 3D photographs is set to be launched later this year.

Fujifilm have announced that their Finepix Real3D, which features two lenses (and an unnerving smile) will go on sale in the UK by September.

The £400 camera works by taking two images at different angles "as your eye sees it" - this is then printed on special paper covered in "3D plastic" to create the illusion of depth.

Makers have also created a 3D photo frame which shows slightly different image to your left and right eye to give the 3D effect ... without the need for blue and red glasses.

Great, so my wife will now somehow manage to put her fingers over two lenses whenever she takes a photo.

Holiday insurance against bad weather

275x250.jpgA French insurance company is offering people the chance to get paid back the price of their holiday if the weather is not what they expected.

Bosses at Aon say holiday-makers using their "Guarantee Soleil" will be able to claim back a refund for rainy days.

Before going away tourists will say how many days of sun they expect, and a policy based on the predictions of weather experts will be calculated.

For example, someone going for a one-week stay in Rome in May, may want to "guarantee" 4 days of sun. If while there they only have three days of good weather they will get a refund on their entire holiday.

But don't think you can book a week in Blackpool and cash in when you don't get seven days of glorious sunshine, "Good weather" is calculated as better than that normally expected seasonally where you are going.

200x190.jpgA US inventor has spent 10 years of his life, and over £2million, creating the world's first non-staining, coloured bubbles.

Tim Kehoe says that for the past ten years he has been conducting experiments to perfect his vibrant coloured bubbles, dubbed Zubbles.

Bubbles have traditionally remained clear because their form - layers of soap and water - means most colourings do not have any impact. Those that do, stain whatever they come in contact with.

But Tim has created a dye which allows the bubbles to hold their bright colours until they pop, with the colour then fading in 15 minutes ... just long enough to scare dads who think their white shirt has been ruined.

275x250.jpgCrafty cats coax their owners into giving them extra food and attention by using a special purr, researchers have found.

Scientists from the University of Sussex say manipulative cats use a "soliciting purr" which has a similar frequency to a human baby's cry.

It is thought that this higher-pitched sound triggers a subconscious sense of urgency in the owner, making them give the cat whatever it wants.

Dr Karen McComb said she was inspired to do the study by her own cat, Pepo, who has the knack of consistently waking her up in the mornings with insistent purring.

So it was either study how her cat purred to get food, or how her husband whinged to get a cup of tea.

200x190.jpgA singer who has suffered a two-and-a-half-year bout of hiccups, has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Docs in Japan - who did an MRI scan - now think the 12mm tumour on Christopher Sands' brain stem is what has been causing his hiccups.

He is now waiting to see his GP about treatment but has been told it is  practically inoperable.

Chris Sands has spent the last two years hiccuping up to once every two seconds, and has been unable to work or perform with his band.

He turned to doctors after trying over 100 different "cures" with no success, and was flown out to Japan to see the doctor who spotted the tumour, as part of a TV show about his illness.

200x190.jpgA 15-year-old schoolboy could have inadvertently decided where media moguls will invest millions of dollars, it has been claimed.

As part of a work experience exercise at Morgan Stanley, Matthew Robson was asked to write a report into how he and friends used media.

But bosses say his document - which detailed use of radio, TV, the internet newspapers and video games - was so good they published it.

They claim to have had a huge amount of feedback about the eight-page report, from fund managers and CEOs who could use it to shape future investments.

Oddly in his report, Matthew did not once mention watching internet porn ... are we really sure he is a 15-year-old boy?

200x190.jpgDaredevil biker Robbie Maddison has made a death-defying jump across the raised bascule arms of London’s Tower Bridge ... and even threw in a backflip for good measure.

Maddison, who holds the Guinness World Record for the longest motorcycle jump, made the Thames leap in the early hours of this morning.

The motocross ace had to drive up the north side of the bridge at exactly 40mph to jump at the right height and perform the no-handed backflip, before landing safely on the south side.

Safety note: This is not one for you to try recreating during your morning commute.

Parents snoop on kids with iPhone spy

275x250.jpgParents will soon be able to secretly spy on their children, using new software for the Apple iPhone.

Makers of the Mobile Spy software say it can be used to check their location via GPS, read their text messages and even track who they are calling.

They even boast that the user will never know the software - which upload the information to a secure website - is installed on their iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS.

"Some users have a need to monitor activities of their child or employees, you will SILENTLY learn the truth about their calls, text messages and GPS locations," said a slightly creepy spokesperson for MobileSpy.

You know there is someone from the News of the World reading this and thinking they could have saved a fortune on private investigators if they had just given iPhones to people they wanted to spy on.

Shouting swear-words helps cut pain

275x250.jpgLetting rip with a string of expletives after hitting your thumb with a hammer could make it hurt less, scientists claim.

Researcher say swearing can have a ‘pain-lessening effect’ by triggering not only an emotional response, but a physical one too.

A team from Keele University tested their idea by getting people to see how long they could submerge a hand in a tub of ice water - once while repeating a random word, then again while swearing.

They found that when cursing, people were able to keep their hands submerged in the ice water for a longer period of time.

They also found that after the ice test some people continued swearing "Why the F$%£ did you make me keep my bl*@&$* hand in the %@%&ing water so %@$@ing long?"

200x190.jpgThe simplicity of the Rubik's cube helped it become the world's top-selling puzzle game, but ignoring that, makers have just launched a digital version.

Rubik's TouchCube features no moving parts and instead of coloured stickers the squares are now touch-sensitative and interactive lights.

Users swipe their fingers over the squares to mimic turning the section, and the toy also has a built-in accelerometer to detect which side is facing up.

All this sounds needlessly high-tech until you hear one thing ... if you can't complete it you can now press a button have the £150 toy suggest your next move, or even reset itself.

200x190.jpgFrench tourists have been named as the worst in the world, with hoteliers claiming they are rude and the meanest tippers.

A survey of over 4,500 hoteliers worldwide ranked tourists based on - everything from spending habits to their willingness to try and speak the local language.

Unsurprisingly the Japanese were found to be far and away the world's best tourists, scoring highly not only as the quietest and most polite but also the cleanest and least likely to complain.

Brits seem to have shrugged off the traditional bad traveller stereotype and came second in the list with hoteliers saying they are polite and generous.

While being labeled as rude is unlikely to worry many French tourists, this next finding is bound to hurt them ... Brits were  also considered to be better dressers than the garlic eating surrender monkeys.

Scientists turn clothes into cameras

275x250.jpgBoffins have created a light-detecting fabric which could be used to create clothes able to take photos.

Less than a millimeter in diameter, the fibres are composed of layers of light-detecting materials nested one within another.

Researchers from MIT claim that when weaved into a web, they act as a flexible camera able to take basic images all around the wearer.

They hope that in the future the material could be used in a soldier's uniform allowing him to look in all directions and identify threats that are to his side or even behind him.

But I say forget that, this would mean that as long as I had my 'camera jacket' on, it wouldn't matter if I accidentally left my camera at home.

200x190.jpgA man who appeared in court accused of flashing his penis at a female train guard has walked free, thanks to a tattoo on his manhood.

Hartlepool magistrates court had been told how 28-year-old Barry Kenny had drunkenly displayed his willy during a train journey from Newcastle to Hartlepool.

But the woman had not mentioned any "distinguising marks" on the penis and Barry has a two inch long lizard tattoo running along his penis.

As a result his solicitor was able to get the charges dropped, but only after Barry offered to show his willy to magistrates.

Before being reminded he was under oath Barry had wanted to claim the tattoo was seven inches long.

200x190.jpgA shed which was constructed on stilts to have amazing views of the Welsh valleys has won the third annual shed of the year award.

The Kite Cabin was built by 41-year-old cabinet maker Steven Harwood, who entered it into the competition against hundreds of other sheds from around the UK.

After winning its category in a public vote the five metre square shed - which has a compost toilet room, bunk beds, a woodburner and Sky TV - was picked as the overall winner by a panel of judges.

Shed of the year judge and TV property developer Sarah Beeny, said of the shed: "The shed quality gets better and better each year - it seems more and more people are embracing the joy of sheds."

Steven said of his winning shed: "I entered Shed of the Year because I feel I have a very special shed in a very special place. The location is unbeatable in my opinion with amazing panoramic views.

200x190.jpgA hyper-realistic robot has taught itself how to smile and make other facial expressions, it has been claimed.

Boffins at the University of California say their Einstein bot learned to make the recognized facial expressions by looking at itself in a mirror.

It randomly moved its 30 facial muscles - each controlled by a tiny servo motor - until it recognized the faces from its database in the mirror image.

The team say it is a huge step forward as currently a programmer must manually set up these kinds of realistic robots to make specific face expressions.

I personally think it is a huge step towards the inevitable robot uprising.

200x190.jpgThe flying car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has been banned from taking part in a city celebration, because it hasn't got an MOT.

It was due to drive through the streets of Norwich as part of the lord mayor’s procession, where it would have been watched by thousands of fans.

Then the motor - from the  classic 1968 movie - was due to be displayed by Norwich’s Theatre Royal.

But organisers have now been told that because it doesn't have a valid MOT it can't - even though roads are closed to normal traffic.

A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said they disappointed with the news ... but wondered why the car needed an MOT if it was flying. 

200x190.jpgThe Ashes are one of the biggest prizes in cricket, but just how big is the diminutive urn that England and Australia fight over.

Artist Freddie Yauner - who has been awarded The Ashes Residency Commission - is setting out to discover how big people think the Ashes are.

While in Cardiff he will get crowds to draw the ashes urn at what they think is the correct size, before producing a work of art based on the contest.

"By asking the crowd to draw the ashes urn at the correct size, I will show the perceived size of the prize, recording the difference between what it means to win the ashes and the urn’s actual size." said Yauner.

So how big are The Ashes to you? You can download one of the work sheets from HERE and then submit it to Freddie at the address below. As a tip, if you need more than one sheet of A4 paper you have drawn it too big.

200x190.jpgA tourist attraction is advertising for a witch ... at a spell-binding salary of £50,000.

Wookey Hole in Somerset say their candidates should have a good cackle and will hopefully enjoy life in the provided accommodation, a spacious cave.

Adverts for the role - which have appeared in newspapers and at job centres - says duties will entail living in the cave, being a witch and doing the things witches do.

Ambitious witches will be called to interviews where they are asked to turn up dressed for work and bring any essential witch accoutrements, though a some potion ingredients will be available.

Bosses are keen to point out that the job is available because their previous witch is retiring, not because she inadvertently turned herself into a frog.

200x190.jpgA man wearing a giant poo outfit is currently the oddest thing we have seen on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth.

Oliver Parsons-Baker, from Birmingham, took part in the Antony Gormley's living sculpture artwork yesterday while dressed at a giant lump of faeces.

The aquatic scientist says his poo costume was his way of highlighting the need for clean water around the world.

Oliver said: "The poo costume seems funny at first glance but there is a very serious message behind it."

It is just a shame that while wearing his poo suit no-one wants to stand next to him long enough to hear about it.

200x190.jpgAmbulance drivers have been told they should not drive over the Clifton Suspension Bridge, because their vehicles are now too heavy.

Thanks to new heavier equipment and the increased weight of patients the average ambulance is now too weighty to drive over the famous bridge.

The Grade I listed landmark has a four ton limit meaning ambulances now have to take a detour rather than crossing the Avon Gorge bridge.

Bosses from Great Western Ambulance Service claim the speed difference between the routes is minimal and that they have rapid response vehicles which can travel on the bridge ... good news for anyone who has a heart attack while crossing.

200x190.jpgPackets of pre-boiled eggs have gone on sale in British supermarkets ... if they could be bothered, lazy cooks would celebrate.

The eggs - which are also shelled - will sell at 89p for a pack of two or £1.49 for  a box of four.

Even though the three minutes process of boiling an egg isn't egg-xactly hard work, pro egg-boilers the Happy Egg Company think there are enough people who don't know how to do it.

A recent survey found that 60 per cent of 14-year-olds had never boiled an egg

The eggs are on sale in Waitrose and Asda supermarkets, but if you buy a pack brace yourself for the disapproving glances of other shoppers as you put them down at the till.

275x250.jpgTokyo is the world's most expensive city for expatriates to live in, a survey has found.

The Japanese city topped a list of 143 places which looked at more than 200 factors, including the cost of housing, household goods, food and entertainment.

Osaka came in second position, with Moscow in third, closely followed by Geneva and Hong Kong.

Data company Mercer - who produced the study for companies sending employees abroad - say the weakness of western currencies is responsible many eastern cities getting more expensive.

So next time you think about moaning that the UK is expensive bare in mind that London only came 16th on the list. Other UK cities featured were Glasgow in 125th and Birmingham in 129th. 

200x190.jpgThe world's oldest surviving Bible has been made available online.

But this was not as easy as it sounds, the 800 pages were spread across institutes from the UK, Germany, Egypt, and Russia.

Written in Greek on parchment leaves this bible was penned in the fourth century, and discovered in the Sinai desert in Egypt by German scholar Constantine Tischendorf in 1844.

Since then the bible has been owned by various governments who generally kept a couple of pages when they sold it, hence the collaboration in digitizing it.

By the way Don't worry if your reading of fourth century Greek isn't up to much, there will be translations on the site too.

200x190.jpgRoad safety bosses in New Zealand have installed bleeding billboards to encourage motorists to drive safely during the rainy season.

The posters - featuring images of children - have built-in moisture sensors which pump out a red liquid when it starts to rain.

Designers say this makes it look like the children have been in a road accident and have blood coming from their eyebrows, nose and ears.

It is hoped that the striking image will promote safe driving in the seasonal wet conditions ... not scare drivers into crashing.

275x250.jpgThe social networking site Twitter, popular with celebs like Britney Spears and Stephen Fry, has been added to the English dictionary

Collins English Dictionary have announced the word will gain the new meaning both as a noun and a verb in the 30th anniversary edition of their book.

As a noun Twitter is'a website where people can post short messages about their current activities'

As a verb its definition is 'to twitter, meaning to write short messages on the Twitter website'.

The words "Twitterati" and "Twitterverse" will also be added ... but it is not thought the entry for "Twit" will be changed to mean someone who uses Twitter all the time.

Rubik 360 set to launch in the UK

275x250.jpgThe designer who frustrated millions of us in the 80s with the Rubik's Cube, hopes to do it again with his latest puzzle.

Rubik's 360, is set to be launched next week and Erno Rubik, the 64-year-old reclusive Hungarian professor who came up with the original, thinks it will leave us scratching our heads.

Players must get coloured balls from an inner sphere into slots on an outer sphere by shaking them through a middle sphere with only two holes.

Bosses at some toy stores expect to sell thousands of the Rubik 360 in the first couple of days after its release on July 15.

The big question is whether the Rubik 360 will - like the Rubik's cube - be able to withstand being thrown at a wall in frustration without smashing.

200x190.jpgAn anti-paparazzi handbag has been designed which could help celebrities who don't want to see pictures of themselves, staggering out of a nightclub, splashed across a magazine cover.

Designer Adam Harvey claims his bags prevent paparazzi from taking photos by creating a glare in their lens to obscure the star.

It works by using a extra-bright LED which is triggered by a light detector, meaning that whenever the photographers flash goes off so does the one on the handbag.

This creates a white glare which is big enough to cover most of the celebrity ... if only Britney had been holding one when she got out of that car without any underwear.

A roller-coaster which plunges down at 112 degrees has opened, and instantly bagged the title of the world’s steepest.

Mumbo Jumbo, at Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire cost over £5,000,000 and was inspected by an adjudicator from Guinness World Records this weekend.

The 98ft-high ride twists and turns on its way down, subjecting riders to 4G, that's the same G-force as experienced by an F1 driver.

Theme park bosses are said to be overjoyed with their new star attraction ... but after the opening and world record setting is it all downhill from here for the plunging ride?

200x190.jpgRyanair has announced that it could start offering passengers the chance to fly for free, if they are willing to stand.

Publicity seeking boss Michael O'Leary said the budget airline was in talks with Boeing to remove the back rows of seats from their planes.

He claimed they could - if they get the go-ahead from the Irish Aviation Authority - rip out the last few rows of seats to increase the number of people they could carry.

He said passengers who opted to travel in "vertical seating" would not pay and the option would only be available on flights lasting less than an hour and a half.

It seem that O'Leary has answered the seemingly impossible question of "How can you make a Ryanair flight more unpleasant?"

275x250.jpgAn American man has eaten his way into the record books, by munching 68 hot dogs in just 10 minutes.

Joey Chestnut ate the fast-food feast at an annual 4 July contest in New York, beating off Japanese contestant Takeru Kobayashi who was only able to put away 64 and a half.

Dubbed "Jaws" Joey holds a number of world records including eating 5kg of macaroni and cheese in seven minutes; and 188 jalapeno peppers in 10 minutes.

But it is hot dog eating contests - which date back to 1916 - which hold the greatest prestige in the world of competitive eating.

For breaking his previous hot dog record of 66 Joey won $20,000 (£12,250) in prize money, and America being America, the contest was broadcast live on sports channel ESPN.

200x190.jpgTourists who are scared of heights would do well to stay away from Sears Tower in Chicago - they have just installed a terrifying glass balcony on the 103rd floor.

Dubbed "The Ledge" it offers views across Chicago and thanks to sticking 4ft out  from the 1,450ft skyscraper ... dizzyness-inducing views straight down.

The idea for "The Ledges" is said to have come from the hundreds of forehead prints left on windows at the top of the tower which attracts 1.3 million visitors each year.

Makers promise the 1.5 inch thick glass is strong enough to hold five tons and that no amount of jumping school-children will send you plummeting downwards.

275x250.jpgA zoo had to be closed after 30 chimpanzees escaped from their enclosure and broke into the keepers area.

Chester Zoo was yesterday evacuated shortly after the escape from Chimp Island, which happened yesterday as stunned visitors watched.

The chimps made their way to the keepers area, where their food is prepared, before staff were able to contain them.

More than 5,000 visitors were asked to leave the 110-acre zoo "in the interests of public safety" and have been offered a free return visit.

Zoo bosses say they do not know how the chimps got out ... obviously they didn't heed our warning last week.


200x190.jpgA housewife from Lincolnshire will today become the first member of the public to take to Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth as part of Antony Gormley's latest art project.

Normally reserved for statues of Kings and Generals, 2,400 people will each spend one hour on the famous London plinth as a "representation of the whole of humanity".

Over 14,500 people applied to become 'living statues' - where they were told they could do anything they wanted on the Plinth - throughout the 100 day project which runs 24 hours per day.

Picked at random, first up is 35-year-old Rachel Wardell, who will hold a Giant Green Lollipop to raise awareness of the work of the charity NSPCC.

Luckily Rachel got a good time slot but spare a thought for the unfortunate artworks who will be standing on the plinth at 3am on a Saturday morning ... practicing their kebab dodging skills. 

200x190.jpgA pet owner was shocked when she saw her missing moggy ... on the BBC political show Question Time.

Jackie Ellery was watching the David Dimbleby panel show - coming from Newquay - when she spotted her missing cat Tango strolling behind the stars.

Tango had been missing for hours when he showed up alongside employment minister Jim Knight on the BBC 1 show. He was quickly recovered by the TV production crew and returned to Jackie who lives nearby the college where the show was recorded.
 
Show bosses said his appearance had been better than certain politicians and asked if they could book him again for the next series. 

200x190.jpgChimpanzees can learn how to make tools to get food by watching another chimp on video, researchers have found.

Scientists suggest that this learning from others - or 'social learning' - can lead to a less flexible approach to novel situations.

In the test a group of chimps were presented with an out of reach grape, then some were shown a video clip of another chimp slotting one stick into another, and then using the tool to obtain out of reach food.

After watching the video many of the chimps showed they had learned the skill when presented with more out of reach food.

On hearing the odd news, a number of zoos started ensuring their keepers do not take a copy of The Great Escape to watch at work.

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Designers are working on a range of household gadgets which power themselves by catching and killing insects.

Auger-loizeau and Alex Zivanovic have started work on the devices which include a lamp and clock.

They say the tech - which would be suited to a Bond villains lair - is powered by special fuel cells which are able to produce electricity by processing the bodies of flies.

While I quite like the idea of a fly zapping lamp, I think their "mousetrap coffee table robot" says more about the cleanliness of the designers home than anything else. 

Disappearing puffins get "sat-nav"

200x190.jpgScientists are to fit "sat-nav" type devices to thousands of puffins to discover why their numbers are falling.

Over the past five years UK puffins are said to have seen a "dramatic" decline in numbers but experts don't know why.

They say young puffins are successfully fledging each year, their food of choice is plentiful but the numbers of them on the Farne Islands has dropped from from 55,674 to just 36,500 since 2003.

Now the distinctive looking birds will have GPS transmitters glued onto their feathers so researchers can see where they go and monitor their behaviour.

As the GPS devices are only transmitters the birds will not be able to use them to get directions to somewhere with better weather than the Northumberland coast.

200x190.jpgBrewers Guinness have announced plans to send one of its stout drinkers into space as part of its 250th anniversary celebrations.

The lucky drinker will travel to space with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic becoming one of the world's first non-professional astronauts.

But first they will have to undergo training at Spaceport America, before flying to 68 miles above the Earth, where they will experience the feeling of weightlessness.

The space flight is one of three "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences, the others are going to the depths of the ocean, and a personal performance from The Black Eyed Peas.

Personally I would rather they combined those last two and just sent The Black Eyed Peas to the bottom of the ocean.

200x190.jpgLucky Ben Southall who landed what was described as "The best job in the world" today started his six-month contract.

As caretaker of Hamilton Island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, Ben will go scuba-diving to check on marine life, and write a blog about his experiences.

The 34-year-old from Hampshire also gets to live in a three bedroom beach home with its own swimming pool and golf cart to get around on.

If you didn't hate him enough already wait for this, he will get £75,000 for his troubles and is only expected to work 12 hours per month.

200x190.jpgCurved cucumbers and other odd-shaped fruit can once again go on sale across Europe after 20-year-old EU rules were lifted.

For years the EU has regulated has restricted the sale of foods that did not measure up to their exacting standards.

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

But as of today the rules have been lifted on 26 types of produce meaning if you have a misshapen carrot, you can breath a sigh of relief.

200x190.jpgRemember those rare 20p coins which are worth £50? Well they have started cropping up on eBay ... and one has sold for over £7,000.

Experts said a Royal Mint blunder - where no date had been printed on a batch of 20p coins - meant they were worth £50 each.

But not content with 250 TIMES the face value people who found the rare coins are trying to sell them on eBay.

Several are hoping people will shell out prices of £5,000 to 'buy it now' but one which started out at 99p yesterday sold for a massive £7,000.

Let's hope the person buying it has checked for the rare coins in the money they are using to pay for it.




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