Simon Crisp: September 2009 Archives

275x250.jpgResearchers have warned tourists visiting Oktoberfest not to use hand gestures when ordering drinks at the annual beer festival.

Psychologists say cultural differences in the use of hand gestures could lead to misunderstandings... and the terrible consequence of you getting served an extra beer.

A team from the University of Alberta looking at physical gestures found that unlike most countries people in Germany use their thumb when making counting movements.

This means that if you hold up three fingers when ordering your beers, you will get four drinks. And after that round you are not going to stand a chance of remembering the rule when ordering the next one.

Internet is killing off the car boot sale

275x250.jpgTraditional car boot sales are dying off as more people start selling their unwanted belongings online, it has been revealed.

Since the world’s first car boot sale in Kent in 1980 they have been a great way of selling clutter, but now it seems they are on the decline.

Visits to boot sales have fallen by 65% in the last 3 years and a poll of 3,000 Brits found 92 percent would now rather sell things online.

Only 6 percent of people said they had visited a car boot sale in the last 12 months, compared to 17 percent three years ago.

We really hope these 'researchers' didn't spend too long on this ground-breaking (and not in the slightest bit obvious) find, next up for them is answering the question "Does the cassette tape have a viable future?"

Massive 507 carat diamond discovered

275x250.jpgA giant diamond which weighs over 100 grams has been found at a South African mine.

The gem - worth in excess of £12m - was found in at the famous Cullinan mine and is currently being examined by experts who will calculate its exact value.

It was recovered along with a 168 carat one and two smaller 58 carat and 53 carat ones.

Petra Diamonds, who run the mine, say the diamond has exceptional colour and clarity, and is one of the 20 biggest ever discovered.

As with all giant diamonds, the 507 carat gem will be given a name... personally we think it looks like a Dave.

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The mighty T-Rex may have been wiped out by a humble throat infection scientists have claimed.

Tests on fossils showed that holes in their jaws - previously thought to be battle scars from fights with other dinos - are actually the result of a lowly parasite that still afflicts modern birds.

It's now believed the bug - trichomonosis - could have even caused the 42-foot-long, 7-ton monsters so much pain that they refused to eat and ended up starving to death.

And there was us thinking T-Rex ended when Marc Bolan died in a car crash.


Sperm makes females do housework after sex

275x250.jpgResearchers have found that a special chemical which coats sperm, also causes females to do housework after sex… in fruit flies.

Boffins say the 'sex peptide' inhibits the female's usual afternoon siesta and compels her into an intense period of foraging activity.

They made the discovery when comparing the sleeping patterns between virgin and mated female fruit flies. Sexually active females were observed to be much more active and busy for up to eight days after sex.

Professor Elwyn Isaac from the University of Leeds thinks the research could lead to a better understanding of chemicals effect on sleep patterns and treatments for disorders like narcolepsy.

Unfortunately for any male chauvinists inspired by our headline, they are not trying to produce the same effect in humans.

WTF? Why a tourism group changed its name

275x250.jpgA US tourism group had been forced to change its logo and name after becoming the butt of internet jokes.

Wisconsin Tourism Federation will now be know as Tourism Federation of Wisconsin in a bid to stop people making WTF (What The F**k) jokes about it.

The organisation seemed quite happy with it's name - which it's had since 1979 - until last year when several blogs picked up on it and the logo. Some commenters also joked that WTF was probably the first thing uttered by tourists who had arrived in the midwestern state.

Other organisations with a WTF acronym include the World Taekwondo Federation… but you have to be braver to make jokes about them.

Do Chantelles have sex on a first date?


275x250.jpgMen think women named Chantelle are the most likely to have sex on a first date.



A study of over 2,000 blokes found they think women with certain names are more likely to jump into bed on a first date -- and Chantelles are the most likely.

Women named Stacey came second in hall of shame with Kelly - the first name of stars such as Kelly Brook and Kelly Osbourne - coming third.

Other names which were thought to give away a suitably promiscuous woman included Chelsea and Tanya.

Asked the same question about men, women think Daves, Steves and Darrens are the most likely to want sex on a first date… where in actual fact it is just ANY man.

Brewery launches 'Nanny State' weak beer

275x250.jpgA brewery which was criticised for producing Britain's strongest beer has now launched a weak 1.1% alcohol beer... and called it "Nanny State".

BrewDog were branded irresponsible when they launched Tokyo* which had an alcohol content of 18.2% in each bottle, the same as three pints.

Drink experts claimed the Scottish brewery was contributing to binge-drinking culture and increasing the alcohol problem facing Scotland.

But now BrewDog have rolled out their response a 1.1% low-alcohol beer which should be mild enough to please those who complained about Tokyo*

Or it could have done, if they hadn't then gone and given it the tongue-in-cheek name "Nanny State".

Gadget collection sale set to reach £1m

275x250.jpgA collection of over 750 gadgets ranging from gramophones to early pocket calculators is set to go on sale tomorrow with an expected price-tag of £1 million.

The diverse selection of tech was a amassed by technology antique dealer Michael Bennett-Levy from Scotland over the past 30 years.

Highlights include one of the first LED pocket calculators from 1971 (estimated to reach between £200 and £300), the Bennet electro-static friction generator from 1770 (£8,000 to £12,000) and the Whimshurst X-ray machine (£7,000 - £10,000).

But we have to wonder, is Bennett-Levy just trying to offload the largest privately held collection of early televisions in the world, ahead of the digital switchoff?

275x250.jpgPolice officers have started selling goods confiscated from convicted criminals on eBay.

Leicester Police have already got auctions running for games consoles, flat-screen TVs and gold jewellery which have all been taken from crooks.

They claim that each year they seize goods worth £3m as part of confiscation orders and that these auctions will allow them to recoup the value of the items.

It is stressed that the goods were legally bought by the criminals, but with their ill-gotten gains, so you won't be buying stolen goods.

That said, there is currently a Wii going for £77… it's a steal at that price.

Cheesy chat up lines... which actually work

275x250.jpgWomen are more likely to fall for a man is he breaks the ice with a cheesy chat-up line, it has been found.

A survey found six out of ten women said they had a soft-spot for a  funny quip, because it shows a bloke has a sense of humour.

But 'researchers' OnePoll - who quizzed 2,000 women - found that it was important she found the one-liner funny.

Lines like "Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?" and "Is it hot in here or is it just you?" were found to work most of the time

75 percent of the woman polled said they liked men to use a chat up line when they were in a group of friends… that way they could maximise his embarrassment when they turned him down.

Tortoise could be the UK's oldest resident

275x250.jpgMeet Tommy the tortoise, who at at least 110 years old is believed to be the UK's oldest resident.

The Hermann's tortoise hatched when Queen Victoria was still on the throne and is understood to be years older than the UK's oldest person.

Tommy was given the manly name because she was thought to be a boy when she was bought from a market in Streatham in 1909.

Her age means she lived through first powered flight and astronauts walking on the moon for the first time… not that she'd know, she's a tortoise.

How would Einstein have used e-mail?

275x250.jpgExperts who analysed letters written by Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin say that if they had used email, they'd have use it much the same way as you.

Researchers at Northwestern University looked at the letters of 16 people including Darwin, Einstein, Freud, Marx, and Ernest Hemingway to study the pattern with which they wrote.
 
It was found that all wrote in a circadian cycle; penning a number of letters at one sitting and not generally writing the most important first.

This matches studies into how emails are currently used by most people, and suggests that if the greats were still writing correspondence they would be doing it like you.

That said, Karl Marx probably wouldn't have kept forwarding LOLcats pictures to Engles.

iPhone named UK's coolest brand

275x250.jpgThe Apple iPhone has been named as the coolest brand in Britain, by the people who officially decide what's hot and what's not.

The annual CoolBrands survey - carried out by The Centre for Brand Analysis - picks 500 brands which are then judged by experts and the public.

A surge in the popularity and coolness of gadgets this year sees nine of the top 10 positions going to technology based brands.

In fact Apple dominates the chart, not only having top slot with the iPhone but third place went to them as a whole and the iPod came in fourth.

Despite the dominance of technology, Microsoft are conspicuous by their absence in the top 20… though this advert could be singlehandedly responsible for that.

6 of the oddest ways of getting to work

275x250.jpgWith the launch of Honda's new bizarre-looking electric unicycle and jetpack makers looking for a test pilot last week, we decided to have a look at some of the barmy ways boffins think we will be getting to work in the future.

Marilyn Monroe created with paintball guns

275x250.jpgA team of sure-shot paint-ballers and artists have created a portrait of Marilyn Monroe… in less than a minute.

Each armed with a different colour paint, the members of the Colombian art collective Bon Yurt lined up on a stand opposite a giant canvas.

At a set time they all started shooting, creating the Andy Warhol inspired work in the process.

Though planning probably took muck longer, the entire shooting only lasted for around a minute.

When picking which dead celebrity to paint in this way the group had to be careful not to select someone who had been shot.

275x250.jpgTourists visiting Barcelona are more likely to be the victim of a pick-pocket than anywhere else, it has been claimed.

Travel website TripAdvisor found the Spanish city was the worst place for tourists loosing their bags with Las Ramblas, the famous wide walkway being pickpocket central.

Rome in Italy came second, closely followed by Prague in the Czech Republic where you are warned to hold onto you stuff if walking along the Vltava River.

Other pickpocket hot-spots include Madrid, Paris and Florence… and while you have been reading this we have pinched your wallet.

Irish are biggest spenders when on holiday

275x250.jpgIrish and Norwegian travellers are the world's biggest spenders when on holiday, it has been revealed.

Both sets of tourists spend an average of €122 per night on a hotel room, that's more than people from any other nation.

British and Swedish travellers come next and spend €120 for each per night they are away.

At the other end of the scale are Germans and Finns who will only stump up €107 and €104 respectively.

A spokesperson for Hotels.com, who carried out the research, said this was probably why the Irish are such popular tourists wherever they go… well maybe that, or how much they spend at the bar.

Central Perk coffee shop opens in London

275x250.jpgA near-identical replica of the Central Perk coffee shop from Friends has opened in London.

The store - which will be instantly recognisable for fans of the show - features the familiar sofas, branding and oversized cups.

Central Perk has been set up in London's Broadwick Street to mark the 15th anniversary of the popular US show, which first aired in 1994.

While you won't be able to see Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey or Phoebe, the actor who played store manager Gunter will be there if that makes you feel any better.. it doesn't, does it?

Scientists: Why England are bad at penalties

Psychologists have discovered why England footballers are so bad at taking penalties and it's all about timing.

Norwegian researchers looked at video footage from a range of World Cup, European Championships and UEFA Champions League penalty shootouts, looking for common traits.

It was discovered that players who took quick penalties - rather than pausing after the refs whistle - performed much worse. Guess what England players do more.

Players who started their run up within two milliseconds of the referee's whistle scored only around 57 percent of the time. However, those who waited one second found the back of the net with 80 percent of kicks.

The boffins say the technical term for this is "self regulatory breakdown" or as it is more commonly known, bottling it.

Book vending machine now prints 3.5m books

275x250.jpgA vending machine which can print "library quality" books within minutes, has now been linked to Google giving readers over 3,500,000 books to choose from.

The Espresso Book Machine prints books at a rate of over 100 pages per minute before gluing and cutting them to produce a perfect book, it can even churn out a fresh copy of Crime and Punishment in just nine minutes.

Users simply pick the book they would like on a screen and wait for it to be printed --certainly a novel way of getting a new book.

The deal gives the machines access to over two million additional public-domain titles. They would take up over 100 miles of shelf space if printed out… which even using this machine would take 34 years.

A 19-year-old who won $17m on the lottery has spent much of his winnings developing a female wrestling league.

Jonathan Vargas, who scooped the win in May 2008, thinks his Wrestlicious production can rival established wrestling leagues like WWE.

He says the wrestling business was the obvious thing for him to invest in when he won the cash, he even plans to star in his show which is due to launch later this year.

Surrounded by wrestling babes he will play the role of "JV Rich" the affable Rapper/Owner of Wrestlicious.

Oddly at the time of his win Vargas said he would avoid a flash lifestyle of expensive cars and houses… oh how a year of having $17m in the bank can change you.

Honda U3-X: Segway-style unicycle (Video)

275x250.jpgHonda have revealed a bizarre looking unicycle device which they claim could be the future of personal mobility.

Riders just sit on the figure-of-eight shaped U3-X and lean in the direction they want to travel, it then moves at speeds of up to 3.7mph.

The main wheel is actually made from lots of smaller wheels meaning the device can move forward, backward, side-to-side or even diagonally.

When not in use, the foot-rests and seat fold away, meaning you can carry the U3-X by a pop-up handle… ideal for running away (at more than 3.7mph) from all those people pointing and calling you names.


Germany to get first nude hiking trail

275x250.jpgAn 11 mile hiking trail, specially designed for naked ramblers, is set to open in Germany next year.

The secluded route, which runs through the Harz Mountains will be Germany's first official naked ramblers' footpath.

While naked walking will be encouraged and bosses think there will be demand from naked tourists, normally attired walkers will be equally welcome.

Some naturists have apparently been unable to wait until the opening in May and have already walked the trail wearing nothing but their boots.

Signs have also been erected warning more conservative walkers they might prefer alternative routes… though we probably shouldn't have used the word erected. 

Left-handed underpants are launched

275x250.jpgAn underwear firm is launching new pants for left-handers, claiming traditional Y-fronts have left lefties fumbling at urinals for too long.

Makers say the £22 pants will feature a flap which opens to the left making it much easier for left-handed men to go to the loo.

They claim this is the first major underwear development since the introduction of the Y-front 75 years ago.

The HOM H1 Maxi will go on sale exclusively at department store Debenhams.

It is thought the pants could save up to three seconds off each loo visit... I bet left-handers are already planning what to do with all their new-found free time.

UK's fattest pets picked for diet contest

275x250.jpgThese are some of the fattest cats and dogs in the UK.

Each has been selected by animal charity PDSA to take part their animal fat-fighting slimming competition Pet Fit Club where they will all be put on custom diets and exercise regimes.

Some are rescue animals which have been re-homed by the charity, others simply have owners who have allowed them one too many treats.

Socrates (left) has been with owner Bill Duncan from Newcastle, since he was a kitten, but now aged five he weighs 10.1kg - that's a massive 124% overweight.

Bill says the podgy cat will do anything for favourite cheese and onion crisps… except maybe diet.

Star Wars has best sci-fi movie music ever

275x250.jpgJohn Williams’ score for the original 1977 Star Wars movie has been named the best science fiction movie soundtrack of all time.

A survey of sci-fi fans found the multi award-winning music was - by a galaxy far far away - their favourite.

It was followed in the chart by the score to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan which was composed by James Horner.

Matt McAllister of Totalscifionline.com, who conducted the survey, said of the Star Wars music: "Most people could identify the movie from just a few bars of the main title music."

And with that you will be humming it for the rest of the day.

275x250.jpgMore than a third of women say that being wined and dined at a nice restaurant is the best way of getting them in the mood.

A survey asked around British 2,000 women "What type of date is most likely to get you 'in the mood'?"

Food and drink seemed to be the most effective way, with 34 percent saying it was being taken to a nice restaurant and 20 percent suggesting being cooked a meal at home.

A quarter of those polled (27%) said they wouldn't rule out sleeping with a man on the first date, but the research says it's most likely to happen on the third date.

We are trying to combine this and the fact that 38 percent said the amount of money spent impacts their enjoyment, to work out if there is any way of guaranteeing date success.

Blue-veined cheese does come from stilton

275x250.jpgThe Cambridgeshire village of Stilton has finally been recognised as the birthplace of the blue-veined cheese.

historian say they have found a letter from 1722 which details the recipe for the famous cheese and it's origin of Stilton.

This pre-dates the previous earliest record mention from 1740 which led people to believe the smelly cheese was first made in Melton Mowbray.

The letter talks about a delicious cheese produced by the well-known landlord of the Bull Inn, in Stilton.

Suddenly all those people in Stilton who were upset about other place claiming their cheese don't feel so blue.

Online auction to become jet-pack test-pilot

275x250.jpgAnyone wanting to live out their James Bond fantasies can now bid for the chance to become a jet-pack test-pilot.

Martin Aircraft Company is auctioning off the chance to help them launch their jet-pack by taking part in a series of test flights.

Bidding on eBay is currently at £19,000, and the winner will become one of the first people to fly their multi-million dollar prototype.

They will get three days of training, at least 6 flight sessions and be signed off as a official Martin Jetpack test pilot.

We think for that amount of money we will wait until all the tests have been done ant they know it is perfectly safe.

World's largest Gummy Bear goes on sale

275x250.jpgThe world's largest Gummy Bear has gone on sale, measuring 9.5 inches tall, weighing a whopping 2.3kg and containing FIVE TIMES your recommended calorie intake.

Each monstrous sweet is the equivalent of 1,400 regular sized gummy bears and packs a diet busting 12,600 calories.

Makers say each bite has the same taste as the more familiar pint-sized Gummy Bears and the giant £18 sweet comes in three different colours, red, green and blue.

If like us you always start by biting the head off, you had better be hungry… this one will take the same amount of chewing as about 450 normal sweets.


Pair shake hands into the record books

275x250.jpgA pair of Australian friends have broken the world record for endurance handshakes.

Jack Tsonis and Lindsay Morrison clasped hands on Monday morning and started shaking for over 12 hours.

They were trying to raise $10,000 for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Sydney's Wayside Chapel.

Under rules from Guinness, the endurance handshakers were not required to look each other in the eye or exchange pleasantries during the attempt.

However, they had to maintain a good grip on each others palms and continuously move them up and down… even when one of them was going to the toilet.

Top 10 cheesiest lines in movie history

275x250.jpgPatrick Swayze's timeless "Nobody puts Baby in the corner" quote in Dirty Dancing, has been voted the cheesiest movie line ever.
 
A poll of over 4,000 movie fans found the line - delivered to co-star Jennifer Grey in the 1987 feel-good musical - was the cheesiest ever uttered.

It beat "Is it still raining? I hadn't noticed" uttered to Hugh Grant by Andie MacDowell Four Weddings and a Funeral, into second place.

Leonardo DiCaprio's "I'm the king of the world" line in Titanic was third.

Lines from Braveheart, Jerry Maguire and Independence Day also in the top 10.

Full-size working Cello made of LEGO

An artist has created a life-sized and fully functional cello out of LEGO bricks.

34-year-old Nathan Sawaya has made a career out of sculpting amazing structures with the classic toy.

But his latest project was music the the ears of LEGO fans and saw him build the musical instrument using thousands of tiny bricks.

While at first glance you might not notice the cellos odd construction, even Nathan admits you would if you heard it.

"It is the actual size of a non-LEGO cello but it sounds different from a non-LEGO cello," he said.

Pony walks into UK hospital confuses patients

275x250.jpgPatients were left wondering whether to add hallucinations to their list of symptoms when they saw a pony walking down the corridor at a Shropshire hospital.

But the four-legged visitor was as real as MRSA and seemed quite content as it strolled to the X-ray department at Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital.

Police and RSPCA officers were called over the weekend to help remove the escaped pony which had wandered in from a nearby field.

After about 20 minutes they were finally able to coax it out using apples from the hospital courtyard.

One patient said: "I din't know what to think, I came out of a check up and my husband said he had seen a horse in the hospital - I almost told him he should go and see the doctor."

Noel Edmonds launches 'cosmic' iPhone app

275x250.jpgDeal or No Deal host Noel Edmonds has launched an iPhone app for people to make wishes to the cosmos.

The £1.20 application - which can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes App Store - lets people who believe in Cosmic Ordering make their wishes online.

Edmonds, who claims much of his recent success is the result of the New Age philosophy, says people can use the app to get what they want.

Users type in what they desire, whether that's a better job, a pay rise or a new car, select a date they want this by, and the app claims to help them focus on it in a positive manner.

The order of the cosmos and a sprinkling of spiritual spacedust later, you are said to get what you have wished for… the first thing I am wishing for is my £1.20 back.

'Rub-on Viagra' is being developed

275x250.jpgA rub-on cream which will have the same properties as Viagra but without the side effects is being developed by boffins.

Docs say the 'little blue cream' works in a slightly different way, meaning it doesn't cause the headaches, or risks of heart attacks and strokes as the pill version can.

The new drug-delivery system consists of nanoparticles — each smaller than a grain of pollen — that can carry tiny payloads of various drugs and release them in a controlled and sustained manner.

It is also said to act in a matter of minutes rather then the couple of hours which taking Viagra orally can take.

So far the team from the Albert Einstein College, have only tested the cream on rats - we will leave that up to your imagination - but say a human version could be on the market within 10 years.

'Key Card Hotel' is stacked for business

275x250.jpgYou would have to be careful where you put you room key card in this hotel room, otherwise you may never find it again.

Built from over 200,000 key cards the 'hotel' in New York has been opened by Holiday Inn to promote the relaunch of their 1,200 hotels worldwide.

Created by cardstacker Bryan Berg over a period of four months it includes a guest bedroom, bathroom and lobby.

All rooms are fully equipped with life-sized furniture made out of the key cards… the toilet even features a stacked card toilet. 


Fish to pick winner of £675,000 house

275x250.jpgA businessman is letting his pet fish choose who will become the new owners of his £675,000 house.

Dave Mackie is running an online Sudoku competition where his luxury home in Lancashire will be given away as a prize.

He has already received thousands of entries around the world, but will let his 'koi' pick the winner from the correct entries.

The insurance broker and puzzle fan plans to install a touch sensitive pad in the pond and when the fish touch it one of the 14,000 entries will be selected.

He hopes this will mean the fish select someone who will look after them when he moves out… though given it is random they are just as likely to end up with a cat lover.

Thames to be put back on London map

275x250.jpgThe River Thames is set to be put back onto maps of London after it was bizarrely omitted from recent publications.

Transport for London (TfL) had last week starting handing out new London Underground maps without the famous river.

They argued that it wasn't needed and made the map look too busy-- so it, along with zonal information, had been given the chop.

But after receiving hundreds of angry complaints, presumably from Londoners who had accidentally walked into the Thames thinking it had been removed, they say it will be restored.

Our personal highlight of the story though has got to be London Mayor Boris Johnson who has asked Londoners and tourists to "imagine the Thames in place until it reappears on the maps."

National flags recreated with regional foods

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HotDoll: Sex toy for dogs goes on sale

275x250.jpgBringing new meaning to the phrase doggie-style a sex doll for dogs has gone on sale.

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

Makers claim letting your dog have sex with the £360 plastic doll will make it easier to control and improve it's behaviour. The mechanics of the HotDoll are pretty much as you would expect and the polyethylene device is designed to be "easily mountable" and offer good grip for your dog to hold on.

It is also said to have anti-slip foot so fido doesn't look like he is going around with the worlds most perverted zimmer-frame.

Mini-me T Rex discovered in China

275x250.jpgRemains of a pint-sized dinosaur which roamed the planet millions of years before it's giant descendant the T Rex, have been found in China.

The 125-million-year-old fossil skeleton is said to be almost identical to that of a Tyrannosaurus rex… but 100 times smaller.

This means that while the 'Raptorex' would have had the same huge jaw, sharp teeth and powerful legs, it would only have measured 9ft from head to tail, and weighed the same as a human adult.

Experts say this turns scientific thinking on its head, up until now they thought T Rex evolved into the killing machine we know and love, over millions of years.

More importantly, it also means that Jurassic Park may not have been as accurate as we previously thought.

Jose Mourinho is huge email spammer

275x250.jpgYou expect spam emails offering you millions of dollars to come of African Princes or the widows of bankers in Iraq… not Jose Mourinho.

But thousands of emails purporting to come from the former Chelsea boss are currently doing the rounds, IT security experts have warned.

The email starts off by Mourinho introducing himself and detailing his career including winning the Premier League with the Blues and the Champtions Leaague with Porto.

It then goes on to say that he now wants to help a non profit organisation and has $1,000,000 to give away if you can think of a suitable beneficiary.

We certainly hope this email we received IS spam… otherwise we have just ignored Jose Mourinho when he wanted to invest in newslite.tv.

Music is more emotional with your eyes shut

275x250.jpgThe emotions caused by listening to music are increased if you close your eyes, scientists have found.

They say the act of shutting your eyes - apposed to being in the dark - fires up a region of the brain called theamygdala which causes you to become more emotional.

This means that sad songs become more depressing while happy songs can produce a joyous effect.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University discovered this by playing people samples of 'spooky Hitchcock-style music' while scanning their brain waves. They found people with their eyes closed became the most scared.

We think the odd news should mean that depressing albums like Coldplay are sold with a health warning not to be listened to with your eyes closed. 

Sunday roast is recreated with ice creams

275x250.jpgIce cream experts have used a variety of different flavoured desserts to create a traditional British three-course Sunday roast.

The 'sundae lunch' which goes on sale in Selfridges today for £16.99 starts with a fresh pea sorbet with a hint of mint.

Diners then move on to a beef bouillon and horseradish sorbet, served with a Yorkshire Pudding crisp, followed by an apple and blackberry crumble gelato.

Creator Matt O’Connor, of The Icecreamists, says: "I wanted to create something with a real taste of Britain so of course we had to try the great Sunday roast."


275x250.jpgWorking out at the gym with a friend, causes you to feel less physical pain and allows you to push yourself further, claim researchers.

Boffins say having a training partner boosts the release of body and mind-relaxing endorphins to a level which cannot be achieved if pounding the treadmill alone.

The team from Oxford University tested this by getting 12 rowers to row continuously for 45 minutes, first on their own, then in groups. After each session, their pain threshold was measured.

It was found that those who had exercised in groups could endure more pain and push themselves.

The study is the latest in a long line of 'research' solely designed to give the university an edge in the Oxford v Cambridge boat race.

Battle of the world record gooseberries

275x250.jpgThings are hotting up in the world of competitive gooseberry growing-- where an amateur gardener claims to have broken a 16-year-old world record.

But the young upstart - 73-year-old Bryan Nellist - comes from Whitby, Yorks, where gooseberry growers use a measuring system which has not been ratified by Guinness World Records.

Most gooseberry growers record weight in pennyweights and grains, with a pennyweight equalling 1.55g. But Yorkshire growers changed to a system of drams and grains in the 1930s, with a dram equalling 1.77g.

This had led to confusion over the actual weight of Bryan's gooseberry, but alculations show the 34 dram, 28 grain Woodpecker beat the previous record holding Montrose berry, by less than three grains.

Guinness World Records are awaiting Bryan's evidence that his gooseberry was biggest… and a good jam recipe.

Obama-Wan Kenobi plays with lightsaber

275x250.jpgAs President, Barrack Obama gets access to some pretty cool technology - he has the whole US military to pick from - but he seems pretty content with this toy lightsaber.

Obama, or Obama-Wan Kenobi as he shall now be known, had been welcoming athletes representing Chicago's 2016 Olympics bid to the White House when he picked up the Star Wars toy.

He used it to launch a joking attack on Tim Morehouse, the American Olympic fencer who won a silver medal in men's sabre fencing in Beijing.

Luckily Obama refrained from using the faux weapon to slice off Tim's arm to show him what treatment he'd be entitled to under health care reform plans.


Atheists are more popular on dating websites

275x250.jpgAtheists have a much better success rate on dating websites than people with religious beliefs, it has been revealed.

Experts have analysed over 500,000 dating ads to see what keywords are turn-ons or turn-offs.

They found that people who explicitly stated they were atheist were more likely to receive a reply, 42 percent compared to 32 percent.

Singles who said they were 'Christian' 'Jewish' or 'Muslim' fared slightly better than those who made no comment about religion.

But people who use the word God had only a 30 percent chance of receiving a reply… leaving them praying for a date.

Brits most stupid holiday complaints

275x250.jpgA list of the daftest holiday complaints has been compiled proving that Brits aren't too polite to complain, but are too dumb to make sense.

The list includes a woman who moaned that her plane journey was a disappointment because the sky was too cloudy and another who said ice cream melts too fast in the sun.

Another couple complained about the children’s entertainment at their resort… it was too good and therefore the children did not want to spend any time with them.

A spokesperson for sunshine.co.uk, who compiled the list, said the odd complaints show that some Brits are just never satisfied.

"The weather, the alcohol being too strong, ice cream being too cold or planes flying too high are unfortunately completely out of our control," he added.

Harry Potter theme park pictures cast a spell

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Too much fake tan is biggest beauty blooper

275x250.jpgWearing so much fake tan you become orange, has been hailed as the biggest beauty blooper of the 20th Century.

The Tango'ed look - as seen on the likes of Jodie Marsh, Christina Aguilera and Dale Winton - topped the poll of 3,000 women to find the UK's beauty blunders.

Other no-no's include the pencilled-in eyebrows seen on Pamela Anderson and Liza Minnelli and concrete-thick foundation, like that worn by Girls Aloud singer Nicola Roberts.

Hairy armpits and legs also make an appearance as does a general too much make-up and dark lip-liner with pale lipstic.


Is it just us, or could the entire top ten list below actually just be someone describing Jodie Marsh?

275x250.jpgReferees could be taught to read body-language in a bid to help them identify diving players like Eduardo and Ronaldo.

Psychologists say studies showed that while some players can, when going down in the box, give performances worthy of an Oscar, there are four tell-tale signs they are faking.

The main one is said to be making the falling position of "the archer's bow" - where arms are held the the air with open palms, the chest is thrust out and knees are bent - after a tackle.

Experts say that this position never occurs after a natural foul and can be used by refs as a clear indication that a player is trying to deceive the ref.

Another tell-tale sign is wearing an Arsenal shirt with the name Eduardo on the back.

Bar gives models a free lunch (and more)

275x250.jpgA restaurant and bar in New York is offering female fashion models loads of free stuff including food, drinks, clothes and even massages.

The Model Lounge, in Manhattan's Soho neighbourhood is each day visited by dozens of models from the top ten agencies, who turn up for the freebies.

Many also use TML - located in the basement of Delicatessen - to lounge around between castings, flick through magazines, check their emails or be pampered.

Recent freebies from corporate sponsors include shoes, jackets and bag from Vans, WESC headphones, SONY Vaio laptops and Casio G-Shock mini watches.

Personally we think they may have nicked the idea from us at NewsLite Towers-- we have been offering to massage sexy female models gratis for some time now. 

Speed dating launched on roller-coasters

275x250.jpgAlton Towers is launching roller-coaster speed dating, where visitors will have as little as 49 seconds to woo a potential partner between their terrified screams.

Single riders will be paired up at the entrance to rides like Rita: Queen of Speed and Spinball Whizzer and sat next to each other for the duration of the ride.

That will give them the chance to enjoy a first date at speeds of up to 100kph with a force of 4.7G.

Like it isn't hard enough to come up with something impressively witty to say on a speed dating session, now you have to do it while traveling 60mph upside-down on a roller-coaster.


Oyster opening championship is cracking

Hundreds of people gathered in Denmark this week, for the Oyster Opening Championship, proving how little there must be to do on Denmark.

Competitors used small knives to battle it out, seeing who could open 30 oysters fastest, with time penalties added on for bad handling.

Henrik Surina took the title, opening his oysters in just 4 minutes and 31 seconds.

In case the oyster opening fun wasn't enough, this year the event was combined with the first Danish championship in opening a champagne bottle with a saber.

We are guessing that the after-party was better than the main event… well they did have a lot of open champagne and oysters on hand.

Plans for giant cocktail the size of a house

275x250.jpgPlans to make a huge cocktail so big you can row a boat across it, have been revealed.

Organisers say that in December, they will make an "architectural scale" drink at 33 Portland Place in London.

Inspired by admiral Edward Russell - who in 1694 created a punchbowl so large that it took 2,500 lemons and was served by a small boy in a boat - Bompas & Parr want to take it one step further.

They are now asking for people with good cognac-based cocktail recipes, to suggest what else the building should be filled with.

The resulting cocktail will be so big you can row across it in boat, but we can imagine a few people throwing themselves overboard and coming back up drunk.


275x250.jpgA odd looking dog which is naturally hairless and weights just 7lb has retained the title of the world's ugliest dog.

Rascal, an African Sand Dog, owned by US actor Dane Andrew, was re-crowned with the dubious title at the Ugly Dog Contest in North Carolina where judges said he was still ugly.

Looking more like a rat with a tuft of hair than your average dog, the ugly pooch has already become the first dog to ever hold so many Ugly titles at the same time.

It is now thought he could be in line for the Guinness Book of World Records, if he can beat his grandfather Chi Chi, who is in the book for winning the World's Ugliest Dog title 8 times

In fact Pascal is from a long line of ugly dogs, his grandmother Lady Pink, who won the World's Ugliest Dog3 times, and his mom Mai Tai, won it 3 times… just don't call her a bitch.

Brits hoard 90 million old mobile phones

275x250.jpgPeople are unwilling to part with their old gadgets and 68 percent of us admit to having more than one mobile phone needlessly collecting dust at home.

A survey found that 52 percent of Brits hoard our old phones despite knowing we are never going to go back to using them, even if our flash new iPhone breaks.

While the average phone is said to be good for seven years use, most people (82 percent) trade up for a better model within two years.

Experts predict this means there are 90 million unused mobile phones lying in UK drawers.

It's good to know that we are not the only ones with drawers full of useless old mobile phones dating back to 1997, but looking at our drawer we can probably account for a couple of million handsets ourselves.

The house that Twitters it's energy use

275x250.jpgAn IT boffin has wired his house to Twitter messages like it's energy use, or even if he has accidentally left a window open.

Dr Andy Stanford-Clark, an engineer with IBM, has installed around 30 sensors in his 16th-century cottage on the Isle of Wight which are each hooked up to Twitter.

They are all programmed with different tasks and use mobile phone technology to send updates to Twitter so Andy can check on his house while he is not there.

He has sensors on doors to say whether they are open or closed, lights to know if he has accidentally left them on and water usage is measured and the system sends a tweet if it is higher than normal.

Andy even has Twittering mousetraps which send an update if they catch anything and his phone will tweet him if one of his mates calls… they haven't yet.

275x250.jpgDesigners have created an umbrella which they claim will protect you not only against the rain, but also muggers.

Self defence experts say the super sturdy brolley is strong enough to support the weight of a man, but can also be wielded like a weapon.

The £125 umbrella is said to be as strong as a steel pipe, but it weighs only 775g and because of it's inconspicuous appearance can be taken anywhere.

Makers say this means you can use it to protect yourself, especially if combined with martial arts training such as Kendo.

To prove the strength of the self defence umbrella makers love showing it off by using it to chop watermelons… something we wouldn't be able to resist doing if we could afford one.

Teens admit to seeing web porn… by accident

275x250.jpg84 percent of boys aged 16 and 17 admit to having seen internet porn, but most claim it was only by accident.

An Australian survey quizzed teenagers about their unsupervised and unfiltered use of the internet to see what they got up to online.

The 84 percent of boys and 60 per cent of girls said they'd seen pornography, but most told researchers they had stumbled onto it rather than searching for it.
 
Researchers from Edith Cowan University also found that 10 percent of the teenagers had been the victim of online bullies.

We wonder if the boffins were really gullible enough to believe the teens had accidentally come across the porn (so to speak.)

Celebrity parrot attacks police officer

275x250.jpgA parrot which 'starred' in a Pirates Of The Caribbean film alongside Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley, has attacked a police officer, after his owner was arrested.

It is understood that the woman handler of Chip was driving into Dover ferry terminal with the bird on her shoulder when officers from Kent Police stopped her.

But as they spoke to the driver about a driving violation, 3ft tall Chip - who was in The Curse Of The Black Pearl - is said to have bit and scratched the cops hand.

We are slightly disappointed the feathered attack didn't feature squawks of "I know Johnny Depp" or "Don't you know who I am," but we will settle for a rampaging hollywood macaw on this occasion.

275x250.jpgIt wasn't quite to infinity and beyond, but a Buzz Lightyear action figure is returning to earth from a 468 day space mission on the international space station.

The 12 inch toy was taken to the ISS in May 2008 and has since then been used to film a number of videos for a children's space education program.

A NASA spokesman said the toy had kept a "relatively low profile" but clips have shown the Toy Story star floating weightlessly around the station, bumping of walls.

But today Buzz is due to return to earth on board space shuttle Discovery as the longest-tenured crew member in space.

He will have spent 467 days in space beating Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov who spent 437 days on board the Mir space station in 1994... of course he was actually human.

PicPost: Amazing environmental photos

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Artist carves out a niche in cheese

275x250.jpgArtist Sarah Kaufmann can never complain if people tell her that her artworks stink, because they are made out of cheese.

For the past 13 years Sarah, from Wisconsin - dubbed Cheese Lday - has created the stunning giant cheese sculptures mostly using mild golden or white cheddar.

Her work has ranged from an artful violin to a six-foot long aircraft carrier and a 300-pound gorilla.

She says the more detailed works can take up to 50 hours to complete and are always eaten a lot faster.

You can even commission her to faithfully recreate your head in cheese, and if you don't like it you can always grate your nose onto a sandwich. 

Britain's nosiest neighbours revealed

275x250.jpgIf you live in Grand Avenue, Surrey, you should probably keep an eye on your neighbours, because they are keeping an eye on you, and the price of your house.

The street has been named the UK's nosiest after it was found people there were more likely to check up on their neighbours online, than anywhere else.

Property price comparison site zoopla.co.uk said the street is full of "virtual curtain-twitchers" who constantly check the value of their neighbours' homes.

Across the UK Londoners are generally the most likely to search for a neighbours property price followed by people in Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds. But three of the top five nosey streets were found in Surrey.

While 42 percent of people admitted to searching for their neighbours, 18 percent looked up work colleagues and 12 percent family members… who all happened to live in Surrey.

Cheetah sets new 100m world record (Video)

275x250.jpgMaking Usain Bolt look positively sluggish a Cheetah has just set a new world record to become the fastest land animal.

Sarah the cheetah from Cincinnati Zoo ran 100m in just 6.13 seconds - over three seconds faster than Bolt's 9.58 seconds at the World Championships in Berlin.

Keepers at the zoo knew their eight-year-old spotted cheetah was fast, so decided to put her up against the clock.

She was taken to a specially designed 100m race course at at Cincinnati Zoo's Cheetah Breeding Facility where she chased a fuzzy dog toy pulled by a motorised lure system.

Check out the video of speedy Sarah after the link, but be warned if you blink you could miss about 30m of her run.

Derren Brown: Is this his lottery secret?

275x250.jpgWhen Derren Brown revealed that he had predicted last night's lottery numbers, everyones mind quickly turned to how he had done it, and whether they could too.

Some viewers claim Brown has discovered an elusive lottery formula, while others say it was a slight of hand trick or a delayed video feed.

And though the Channel 4 illusionist has announced plans to reveal his secret in a TV show on Friday night, the brain trust of YouTube claim they already know how it was done.

Users say that they have spotted edits in the footage which proves Brown's lottery trick was nothing more than a split screen effect.

275x250.jpgThe countryside has been bizarrely named as one of those in the running to become the UK city of culture.

In 2013 the government scheme had planned to highlight the cultural achievements of one city, but evidentially they have a fairly loose understanding of the term.

29 locations have put themselves forward for the title including Aberdeen, Birmingham, Derby, Manchester and Sheffield.

But in odd news they are joined by "The Countryside" which is backed by the National Trust and the National Farmers' Union.

We still find it odd that the countryside has been allowed to enter the competition … bit then again the average field does have as much culture as Birmingham.

Hubble telescope is back in business

275x250.jpgThe first images taken by the refurbished Hubble space telescope have been released, and judging by this it is back to it's best.

This picture shows a densely packed star cluster which can only be seen thanks to a new camera which NASA say is 10 times better, and can peer deeper into space than ever before.

Astronauts fitted the new equipment in May 2009 making a number of daring spacewalks to do so.

As well as being able to see further the new camera can apparently see objects across a wide swath of the electromagnetic spectrum, from ultraviolet to near-infrared light … whatever that means.

Badly translated signs confuse holidaymakers

275x250.jpgBritish holiday makers say that badly translated signs can leave them baffled, and quite often laughing.

A holiday company has now compiled a list of the oddest signs encountered, including one which simply read "Women are diseases".

At the airline ticket office in Copenhagen, visitors are apparently informed that the airline will take their bags and "send them in all directions" - not overly reassuring to passengers.

Meanwhile, a hotel in Budapest put up a sign saying "We regret to inform visitors that their stay will be unbearable" when their lift broke.

Another sign spotted warned visitors that any children left unattended will be sold to the circus. However, people in Austria aren’t quite so lucky, a sign there says all children left unattended will be sold as slaves.

Cheese expert insures his nose for £5m

275x250.jpgA master cheese grader, who relies on his nose to pick out quality cheeses, has had it insured for £5 million.

Nigel Pooley, has worked in the cheese-producing industry since 1963 and specialises in selecting good commercial cheese by sniffing samples.

Because of this, his bosses at Wyke Farms wanted to insure his nose and sense of smell and contacted Lloyds of London.

It will cost them £25,000 per year to cover the £5m payout … which is not a figure to be sniffed at.

Red Hair Day attracts 3,000 gingers

More than 3,000 people with red hair have gathered in the Dutch city of Breda for the annual Red Hair Day.

The day was launched in 2005 when a local artist advertised for red-headed models to paint but got so many replies (over 150) he took a group photo instead.

Artist Bart Rouwenhorst says he had planned the day as a one-off but got so many calls and emails he decided to make it an annual event.

Since then, red heads have gathered once-a-year to celebrate thier difference, discuss their experiences of being ginger and be photographed by artists.

Organised events include catwalk shows, musical performances … and the bulk buying of hair dye.

Spotted Dick labeled offensive and renamed

275x250.jpgPrudish council staff have claimed the traditional pudding "Spotted Dick" is too rude, and have had it renamed.

They say too many people were making immature comments and jokes when they ordered the suet pudding in council canteens - embarrassing female staff.

As a result, Flintshire Council canteens will now call the 150-year-old dessert "Spotted Richard" or "Sultana Sponge" rather than it's traditional name.

But pudding-fans argue this is ridiculous and that the name is no more offensive than many other dishes.

Excuse me I'm off to have some soup with nice baps followed by faggots with dumplings … unless anyone objects.

It's 09/09/09 and the world hasn't ended

275x250.jpgToday's date has the sort of symmetry which some people think will bring them good luck, while others claim it can only mean the end of life as we know it.

Around the world people are behaving oddly, some are fearing a black hole may swallow the earth, a outbreak of a deadly virus might occur, or even the start of an alien invasion

In China Sept 9th has always been a popular date for wedding, because the date is said "jiu jiu" which has an alternative meaning of "for a long time" but this year thousands of extra couple want to wed on the 090909 day.

However in Japan - where the number nine highly unlucky - many people will be treating the day like the ultimate Friday the 13th.

Elsewhere in the world people are only worried about Apple announcing new iPods and the release of The Beatles Rock Band game.

Great tits can become meat-eating killers

200x190.jpgThey are a favourite with British birdwatchers, but great tits have a dark side, if they don't have enough food they and become meat-eating killers.

German researchers observed how, when times are tough, the tits will hunt, kill and peck the meat off bats for food.  

The team from the Max-Planck Institute say that over two winters they saw how the birds targeted bats hibernating in caves.

"Over two winters, we directly observed 18 predation events. The tits specifically and systematically searched for and killed bats for food," said one of the researchers … who should have just put some nuts out.

Sex corpses cut into bits over decency row

200x190.jpgControversial anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens has taken a hacksaw to one of his own exhibitions, to get around German decency laws.

Officials in Augsburg had banned him from displaying one of his trademark BodyWorlds exhibits, where corpses are injected with a plastic to preserve them and skinned to show muscles and organs.

But it wasn't the gore they objected to, or the fact the bodies were in a reverse cowgirl sexual position, but apparently the faces they were pulling.

As a result Von Hagens said he will cut the off the limbs and then put only the most intimate parts on display, no-one could have a problem with that, right?

Sacrebleu! French could ban 'La bise'

275x250.jpg'La bise' the traditional French greeting of cheek-to-cheek kisses to the cheeks could be banned amid fears it could spread swine flu.

A number of companies and schools are already said to have told people to refrain from unnecessary physical contact.

Some organisations have even gone as far as issuing suggestions for other ways of greeting colleagues, such as handshake or the even more preferred wave or salute.

While the ban is currently only suggested it is thought that it could become enforced later in the year if there is a winter H1N1 pandemic.

Some french commentators have reacted badly to talk of a ban, however many Brits would be likely to embrace it … the confusion over how many kisses to do always leaves us feeling less cultured than our neighbours.


Sshh! This is the world's quietest room

275x250.jpgResearchers have built some of the world's quietest rooms, to help them study nanotechnology.

The rooms - part of a £11m University of Bristol development - use state-of-the-art technology to reduce vibration and acoustic noise normally present in all buildings.

There is virtually no air movement inside the basement labs and they are even anchored to the rock below Bristol to increase their stability.

The ultra quietness and lack of vibrations is said to be required to ensure the success of nanotechnology research which could lead to finding greener power and battling cancer.

But I wonder if getting them built was some scientists elaborate way to get the ultimate music listening room.

Author gives away £1m to book buyers

275x250.jpgA businessman and author says he will give away £1,000,000 to readers of his latest book.

10 random readers of Ben Benson's The New Rules of Wealth will each get £100,000 to invest in their start up or existing idea.

Ben spoke to over 200 entrepreneurs like Jacqueline Gold and Simon Woodruff about how they made their money before writing his book.

He says they have given him the keys to getting rich, not that he needs it, he already has a property business worth over £60.

Oddly none of them suggested buying books which were effectively just 200 page lottery tickets.

200x190.jpgA 66-million year old Tyrannosaurus skeleton is set to be sold at auction for a massive £5,000,000.

With 170 bones the 40ft long T-Rex is said to be one of the three most complete specimens ever to have been discovered.

It was found and excavated from a site near Buffalo, South Dakota in the 1990s and has since then it has been owned by two private buyers.

While £5million might sound like a lot for what is essentially a pile of old bones, it has got to be worth it to see the look on the neighbours kids faces when they climb over your garden fence to get their ball back.

FiveFingers trainers are gloves for feet

275x250.jpgBizarre looking trainers which fit your feet like a pair of gloves have become a surprise hit.

The FiveFingers trainers are said to mimic what it is like to run barefoot, and some experts say they can reduce injury.

As a result the £80 ultra-thin neoprene shoes have become popular with athletes and gym-goers in the US and Australia.

A spokesperson for the company said: "Unlike conventional shoes that insulate you from your surroundings, FiveFingers footwear deepens your connection to the earth and your surroundings."

Which is all well and good… until you step in a dog mess and feel it squish between your toes.

Cat-sized rat found in 'lost volcano'

275x250.jpgAn expedition to a remote jungle has discovered a new species of rat, which is as big as a domestic cat.

The BBC Natural History Unit were filming in a Papua New Guinea rainforest when they came across the Bosavi Woolly Rat which measures over 80cm long an weights 1.5kg.

It is silvery grey in colour and got the name woolly is due to its dense fur. Experts say the animal's teeth suggest it has a largely vegetarian diet.

They say the rat - found in the crater of Mount Bosavi - probably builds nests in either tree hollows or underground but is related to the same kind you'd find in the city sewers.

Because the rat has had no previous contact with humans, it was not scared of the crew … the same couldn't be said the other way around.

Mood based search engine makes me feel...

275x250.jpgA search engine has been launched which lets users browse the internet depending on their mood.

Instead of the typical search box, users on wildmoodswings.co.uk are faced with a drop-down menu of dozens of moods, from sad to secretive.

When clicked each of the moods takes you to a site which is likely to be of interest given your current state of mind.

For example stating you feel nosy could take you to overheardintheoffice.com while being foolish might see you at museumofhoaxes.com

Oddly the isn't the option to click "I feel … like Googling something."

200x190.jpgAn injured RAF serviceman has set a new (and frankly odd) world record by drinking a cup of tea while flying 14 loop-the-loops.

Corporal Stewart Hefti, 27 - who sustained serious injuries under enemy fire in Basra - sipped his cuppa as he flew in the aircraft flown by a former RAF Red Arrows pilot.

The stunt, at RAF Museum Cosford, near Wolverhampton, was part of a fundraising initiative 'Brew for the Few' which will raise money for RAF personnel and their families.

Looks like Stewart's pals in No. 1 Squadron, RAF Regiment were right when they said he went loopy if he didn't get his morning cuppa.

275x250.jpgGerman inventors have created a portable toilet for women to carry around in their already congested handbags.

Makers of the LadyBag claim it means women will no longer have to queue up at loos or squirm on disgusting bog… instead they can pee in a bag.

The plastic bag - which folds to the size of a chocolate bar - contains special granules that are said to absorb urine solidifying it into a firm gel.

20,000 of the £11 ONE USE ONLY bags (we can't stress that enough) have already been sold online.

Designers add that because of a oval opening designed for the female anatomy it can be used "standing, sitting or squatting" and even in a car, though not when driving.

Tourists don't read as much as they think

275x250.jpgBritish tourists do not read as much as they expect, with many taking books half way around the world only to return them to the bookshelf unread.

Research found that 38 percent of holidaymakers admit to being overzealous when packing their holiday reads, taking more than they can read.

Of those who do manage to read something while away the plane is the most popular place to do it (73%), closely followed by the swimming pool (70%) and the beach (59%).

While many of those who do finish a book while away leave it in their hotel room third admit take it back to the UK gather dust on the bookshelf and 16% will even haul their books home to donate to the local charity shop.

However, those who had spent their holiday reading Jordan's autobiography where more likely to dig a deep hole on the beach and bury it before they came home.

Model caddies make golf almost interesting

275x250.jpgIn a bid to make a round of golf more interesting, a company has started hiring out sexy female caddies.

'Eye Candy Caddies' are all professional models who have been professionally trained in the rules and etiquette of golf.

For £230 a round, the babes wear tight pink uniforms and accompany players around the course, offering advice and passing the right club, they will even join you for a drink at the 19th.

But before you start boasting to them about how good you are, you should know some of the girls are keen golfers themselves, one even plays off a handicap of 2.

If you wife wasn't tee-ed off about you spending so long on the golf course, she sure will be now.

Women are born with fear of spiders

275x250.jpgResearchers claim that women can't help being afraid of spiders and are even born with a natural fear of the eight-legged critters.

Tests in which babies were shown images of spiders found that even before there first birthday, girls are fearful of them, while boys are unfazed.

It was already known that women are four times more likely to have a phobia for spiders than men.

Psychologists from Carnegie Mellon University say their findings suggest girls are genetically predisposed to fear potentially dangerous animals.

Presumably that also means they are genetically predisposed to releasing bloodcurdling screams and summoning their boyfriends to the bathroom to deal with the terror that is the tiniest spider ever seen.

Most Brits prefer sex to chocolate

200x190.jpg9 out of 10 of Brits enjoy sex more than chocolate, a survey has found.

Asked whether they would rather have a night of passion or a box of chocolates the 89 percent of respondents opted for the passion.

Apparently the survey even included some women … my guess is they accounted for about 11 percent of respondents.

275x250.jpgAs children head back to school, parents are being warned that the contents of the average schoolbag is worth around £250.

A survey found that between pencil cases, books, sports kit and high-tech gadgets children are carrying around £244.50 worth of belongings each.

The most expensive items in the schoolbags tended to be gadgets such as mobile phones or MP3 players, followed by sports equipment.

A third of pupils also carried a musical instrument with an average price of £128.

And it will come as no surprise to parents that 30 percent of kids admit to having lost or broken something from their bag … in my case it was normally the entire bag, on a weekly basis.

Burglar leaves his dog at crime scene

275x250.jpgPolice say an absent-minded criminal accidentally left his pet pooch behind at a bungled burglary.

Officers in Gateshead had been called out to an infant school where a local resident had heard banging, when they found the Jack Russell terrier.

The dog - named Bobby by the bobbies - was inside the school and police  think it's owner fled when the school's alarm was triggered.

They no hope the dog could help them collar the criminal and are asking anyone who recognises him, and could name his owner, to contact them.

Once that happens they will pay him a visit and take him for walkies down to the station.

World's smallest deer gives birth

275x250.jpgOne of the smallest deers in the world, a Southern pudu, has given birth in Belfast Zoo.

Baby Caju a three-week-old Chilean pudu - the first of his species born in captivity in the UK - has now been revealed to visitors.

Even when fully grown litte Caju will only measure 45cm high and weigh 14kg.

Zoo Keeper, Raymond Robinson said: "He is very small and can be difficult to spot but is having great fun running around his enclosure.

"Caju is a great addition to the zoo. Our male pudu arrived in 2004 and our female arrived in 2008, and it’s great to have a baby already."

Andromeda's cosmic 'cannibalism' revealed

275x250.jpgImages have been released showing how the Andromeda galaxy is expanding as it cannibalises stars from other galaxies.

Taken by astronomers as part of the largest panoramic survey of Andromeda ever made these images focused on the outskirts of the galaxy.

It is said to confirm what scientists had previously predicted, that cosmic cannibalism takes place, with the "remnants of dwarf galaxies" clearly visible.

The boffins said the stars spottted could not have formed within the galaxy itself.

At 2.5 million light years from our own galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy is our closest giant neighbour … after hearing this I'm glad it isn't closer.

YikeBike: Mini Penny-farthing for commuters

200x190.jpgA folding electric bicycle which looks like a miniature Penny-farthing has been launched in a bid to battle urban congestion.

Makers of the YikeBike say they wanted to create the ideal bike for urban commutes and think their £3,000 device ticks all the right boxes.

The YikeBike weighs less than 10kg, folds down to 15x60x60cm and has an electric motor with a top speed of 20kmph.

They added that it's odd riding position and unique steering mechanism gives a smooth ride … but they don't make any mention of how much of a prat you will look.

Boris Johnson is new Elle mag 'cover boy'

275x250.jpgWomen's magazine often have a charismatic blonde on the cover… but not like this.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has become the first 'cover boy' to go solo on the front of glossy style magazine Elle.

Boris not only posed for the limited edition 'London' issue - produced to celebrate 25 years of London Fashion Week - but has also written the magazine's "editor's letter."

Speaking exclusively to ELLE the famously dishevelled Mayor said: "Who would have expected me to grace an Elle cover - or any other fashion magazine?"

Indeed, who would have expected it? Lets just hope it wasn't part of a work swap and Kate Moss was left running London for a day.

Playing Tetris could boost brain power

275x250.jpgScientists say that playing the block dropping Nintendo classic Tetris could increase your brain efficiency.

Researchers claim that 30 minutes of playing each day is enough to boost brain efficiency and develop a thicker brain cortex.

The team from 'Mind Research Network' tested a group of teenage girls who each played the game for a set amount over a three month period.

MRI scans and brain a analysis were then used to find what changes had occurred and the increased brain efficiency and cortex development was spotted.

The boffins say how a thicker cortex and increased brain efficiency are related remains a mystery … may be if they had played Mario Kart a bit more their brains would be up to tackling such questions.

Ah Wrestling! Gravy fighting championships

200x190.jpgWrestlers have battled it out for one of the most sticky (if not most prestigious) titles, World Gravy Wrestling Champion 2009.

More than 1,000 people turned out to either compete or watch the event where teams of fighters grapple in pools of out-of-date gravy.

The odd event - in which opponents try to pin each other - was won by Joel Hicks, a 30-year-old barrister who compete under the name 'Stone Cold Steve Bisto'.

Over 2000 litres of Bisto gravy were used and by the end of the competition no-one felt like a roast dinner … though some looked and smelt like one.

US universities rated … for Bootycalls

275x250.jpgWhat do you look for in a good university? the academic record, how about the facilities on offer … maybe it's the availability casual sex.

A dating website has compiled a list of the best (and worst) institutions for Bootycalls, highlighting the esteemed academic institutions where you are more likely to get some.

OnlineBootyCall.com say the worst place to 'study' is United States Military Academy at West Point, where a 85-15% ratio of men to women makes it hard for blokes to find someone, not so much of a problem for women.

Though it's name would suggest otherwise Oral Roberts University in Tulsa Oklahoma, is also a no-no for bootycalls, until recently the Christian college had a strict dress code forcing men to wear button-down shirts and women to wear long skirts.

Meanwhile, Florida State University and Arizona State University topped the chart as being the best places for hookups … no for getting good grades.

Is stockpiling 100W bulbs a bright idea?

275x250.jpgAn estate agent thinks he has had a bright idea, stockpiling 100W lightbulbs which have been banned by the EU.

Jules Bending from Glastonbury says he already has almost 7,000 of the bulbs which can no longer be manufactured or imported into the UK.

Now he plans to hold onto them for a couple of years - until everyone else has run out - and start selling them at £40-60 each in 2012.

"When Big Brother finally consumes us the resistance movement will be ready to supply light loving people with real, old fashioned lightbulbs," said a overly dramatic Bending.

Bending added that his secret horde of bulbs was being kept at a secret location just beyond the Mendip Hills … where he is presumably lying in a ditch with a shotgun incase anyone makes a move for his bulbs.

Artist creates 6ft UK map from sweets

275x250.jpgAn artist has used more than 4,000 sweets to make a detailed map of the UK.

Each region of the UK uses the sweets which were most popular locally, such as liquorice in Scotland and jelly babies in the MIdlands.

Artist Paul Baker even used treats like liquorice allsorts and humbugs to make miniature models of landmarks like Stonehenge and the Angel of the North.

The two metre long map was commissioned by Taveners Proper Sweets and Paul says it took him several weeks to complete.

But I guess that is what happens when you work on a "one for the art, one for me" rule.

Australians have 80 words for underwear

200x190.jpgAustralians have more words for underwear than Eskimos have for snow, a recent survey has revealed.

A poll to discover the most popular term down-under for  undies found that more than 80 existed with "Reg Grundies" coming top.

Grundies comes from Sydney Rhyming slang, and is a reference to the Australian TV production company Reg Grundy who make shows like Neighbours and Home and Away.

Other popular phrases in the Adrenalin.com.au survey included Bog Catchers, Budgie Smugglers, Banana Hammock and the oh so pleasant Fart Filters … who says Aussies aren't a cultured lot?

"Halal" search engine launched for Muslims

275x250.jpgA search engine which blocks search results which are against Islamic Law has been launched for Muslims.

ImHalal.com only displays results that are flagged as being "Halal" meaning that any porn (and most of the internet for that matter) are off limits.

Bosses say there are few online tools for Muslims, and that it is too easy to come across pages which display things against their religion.

ImHalal ranks sites on a Haram (forbidden) scale of up to three stars, suggesting that you should reword your search to make the results more acceptable.

But that's nothing, I tried my usual search terms and the site told me I was going to burn in hell.

Drunk hamsters explain why you sleep in

275x250.jpgScientists claim tests on drunk hamsters have proven that alcohol impairs our ability to 'rise and shine'.

They say alcohol blunts how our biological clock synchronises daily activities to light, such as waking up when it is light.

Boffins from Kent State University took a group of hamsters and split them into three groups, one which drank only water, one which drank a tiny bit of alcohol and one which drank more alcohol.

It was found that those hamsters who had most alcohol tended to stay up later, sleep longer and were generally less active throughout the day.

So there you go, scientists using drunk hamsters to prove what we already knew … though they didn't test if the hamsters craved a bacon sandwich the following morning.





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