Simon Crisp: October 2009 Archives

A woman who drove her BMW 4x4 over two other cars as she tried to park has seen a video of her escapades become an online hit.

Tripta Kaushal had been trying to park her BMW SUV X5 in Toronto when she banged her foot down on the accelerator instead of the break.

As the 62-year-old did this her car sped OVER two other parked cars - she then turned around and fled the car park like nothing had happened.

Luckily for us (and YouTube) a CCTV camera was on hand to capture the action which has now been viewed by over half a million people

Not so luckily for Tripta that also included police who charged her with failing to remain at the scene of an accident.

275x250.jpgBoffins have developed a breakfast which they say is scientifically safe to eat before going on a roller-coaster... without the fear of being sick.

Bosses at a theme park called in the scientists after discovering that many visitors skipped breakfast because they were worried it might make them sick when going on rides.

Food specialist Dr David Lewis then set about looking at what types of food were likely to leave you barfing, before producing the special menu.

He says all the foods in his breakfast are low on the Glycemic Index, have low acidity but with the right level of protein and digestion aiding bacteria to ensure it stays down.

Alton Towers are so convinced he got it right they will give anyone who is sick on a ride after eating it their money back… though that will come as no consolation for the person who was beneath them.

275x250.jpgIt's no surprise that female office workers hate derogatory pet names given to them by some colleagues, but do you know the ones they most despise?

A survey of over 2,500 women found 'babe' was the name they hated being called most, followed by 'love,' 'hun' and 'mate.'

Other disliked pet names - which three quarters of the women polled said they found unacceptable - included; 'chick,' 'Kiddo,' 'Darlin' and 'Poppet'

It also emerged that 93 per cent of women have been called a pet name either by the boss or a male colleague and that 21 percent said it made them feel angry.

But that is nothing… you should hear some of the names the same female office workers reserve for their male bosses.

275x250.jpgThe average jilted husband or wife takes 17 months and 26 days to get over a divorce and feel ready to move on, it has been claimed.

A study quizzed 4,000 divorcees about their feelings about a split with their partner, when they started dating other people and how it altered their views on marriage.

While it was found 43 percent of people felt relieved when their Decree Nisi came through, it took 17 months and 26 days after divorce finalisation before most said they were ready to move on.

This is despite the fact that the average Brit started dating again after 15 months and 26 days.

Of course this discrepancy could just be a comment on the sort of people they date for those first two months.


Zoo calls in gorilla super-stud Oumbie

275x250.jpgA zoo has called in the help of a 28 stone, silverback gorilla to help impregnate their females.

Bosses at Twycross Zoo say their current males weren't up to the job, so they have brought in the dark haired and strong Oumbie - who looks to be relishing the chalange.

It is now hoped western lowland silverback gorilla Oumbie will breed with Asante and Ozala, the two females at the Leicestershire zoo, where they hope to hear the pitter patter of tiny feet

Keepers say Oumbie - who was picked out of a stud book before being moved from a bachelor group in Kent - is settling in well and has already piqued the interest of the females.

By "piqued their interest" we can only assume this is the zoo's child-friendly way of saying "they are already going at it, like the animals they are."

275x250.jpgScientists claim they can finally explain the 'golden rule' of pairing wines and foods "Red wine with red meat, white wine with fish."

As most people will know drinking red wine with seafood can often leave an unpleasant, fishy aftertaste in your mouth.

But now a team of researchers in Japan say they can explain the odd taste - it's the result of naturally occurring iron in most red wines.

As part of the study the scientists asked wine tasters to sample 38 red wines and 26 white wines while dining on scallops. They found that wines with high amounts of iron had a more intensely fishy aftertaste.

If anyone knows how we get ourselves onto a research project like this - ideally looking at the taste impact of drinking beer and eating steak - please let us know.

Old school DJ mixes on gramophones (Video)

275x250.jpgA DJ is proving he doesn't need the latest technology to get the party going... by using two 1930s wind-up gramophones.

DJ78, otherwise known as Dave Guttridge has become a hit with the in-crowd thanks to his classic gramophones and collection of 3,500 rare shellac records.

Dave has even performed at London and Paris fashion week with his eclectic selection of mixed ragtime, blues and big-band tunes.

Using his two Picnic gramophones he is able to mix the music so there is no gap when he changes records - something DJs with modern equipment do without thinking.

But there will be no scratching during his sets… the shellac records - made from the shell of the shellac beetle - are much more brittle than vinyl and could break.

275x250.jpgA brewery in Austria has started offering spa treatments for men -- like taking a bath in a spa pool filled with 42,000 pints of lager.

Bosses say the warm beer baths can help blood circulation, treat skin condition and that Cleopatra used to take them to give her clean and tender skin.

But don't worry, you will not have to drink the warm booze which your hairy mate has been sat in, staff at the Starkenberg spa will bring cool beers to you.

If Austria is a bit far for you to go, can we suggest keeping an eye out for deals on stella at the local supermarket, filling the bath and sending your missus out for the evening.

Have you seen this man in your dreams?

275x250.jpgIf 'this man' looks familiar to you, you are not alone, thousands of people claim he regularly appears to them while they sleep.

A website has even been setup for people around the world to detail their nocturnal encounters and reports have come in from places ranging from Los Angeles to New Dehli.

It is claimed the image was first drawn by a New York woman for her psychiatrist -- after repeatedly seeing him in her dreams. The drawing is then said to have been spotted by a fellow patient who also recognised the man from their own dreams.

The puzzled psychiatrist then sent the picture to some colleagues and since then over 2,000 claim to have seen him and there are a number of theories as to his recurring presence.

These range from one that it is an archetypal image of the collective unconscious, to the idea that this is what god looks like… oddly the site doesn't detail the more cynical theory that this is a marketing campaign for an as yet unknown product.

Budgie storms flood Australian skies

275x250.jpgSwarms of budgerigars are said to be plaguing areas of Queensland in Australia after a prolonged breeding period.

Flooding of river systems in the region earlier this year has meant there is an abundance of grass seeds - the preferred food of budgies.  

This is said to have led to levels of breeding which has not been seen before, and locals say the the budgie flocks can now number up to 3,000 birds.

What's more there are said to be at least six of the giant flocks currently flying around the area looking for food. "They look like swarms of bees and turn the sky green when they are flying," said one resident.

But while locals are getting into a flap, hundreds of tourists are currently heading to the area to see the birds.

275x250.jpgUma Thurman's yellow jumpsuit from Kill Bill is set to be the most popular Halloween costume this year.

The outfit from the Quentin Tarantino movie is the most searched for fancy dress costume, followed by 'Sally' from Nightmare Before Christmas.

Also in the top five most searched for Halloween costumes were the Beatles, Jack Skellington (again from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas) and the Ninja Turtles.

For less committed trick or treaters - those just opting for a mask rather then a full costume - Batman is the most popular followed by Wolf and the Joker.    

Barack Obama masks are the fourth most searched for … begging the question of what mask he will be wearing.

X-ray of a Chihuahua smuggled in luggage

275x250.jpgWhen customs officers at Dublin Airport saw this image on their X-ray machine, they would have been forgiven for thinking they were going barking mad.

The image - a scan of a bag being carried by a passenger arriving from Spain - clearly shows the outline of a Chihuahua dog, staff initially thought it was a stuffed toy.

But on closer inspection they discovered it was alive and had been placed in a small cage and hidden within a holdall bag which was being carried.

The pooch had been smuggled into the country by a man who had travelled from Bulgaria to Madrid and then on to Dublin.

Phew that was close, the last think we need is a terrier, sorry we mean terrorist, on a plane.

275x250.jpgPeople who live in Bristol have been named and shamed as the most unhygienic in Britain, thanks to a recent research.

A study of over 4,000 people found that those living in the south west city generally go the longest without washing their hands - with 38 hours between washes not uncommon.

They also only spend an average of nine seconds scrubbing their hands clean, normally before wiping dry them on their trousers.

Second worst was Edinburgh - where people avoid washing their hands for 37 hours and 12 minutes, followed by Norwich citizens with 33 and a half hours, in third.

Needless to say, the researchers were not too keen to shake hands with people before asking them questions.

Stanley Kubrick's classic 1980 movie The Shining has been named the scariest horror film of all time, by a team of movie experts.

Rosemary's Baby, by controversial director Roman Polanski came in second place, while British cult classic The Wicker Man, famous for Britt Ekland’s naked dancing, was third.

The Shining stars Jack Nicholson and is based on a story by Stephen King. It tells the story of a frustrated writer who tries to murder his family in an isolated hotel where they are snowed in for the winter.

While it received mixed reviews on its release, its reputation has grown over the years, subsequent generations have picked the flick as their Halloween movie of choice.

The mfilm is possibly best know for the often quoted and much parodied phrases “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy,” and “Here’s Johnny!” … which most of us can only hear Homer Simpson saying now.


Playing an instrument makes you smarter

275x250.jpgRegularly playing a musical instrument changes the way your brain works and can make you smarter, it has been claimed.

Researchers say there is growing evidence that musicians have structurally and functionally different brains compared with non-musicians.

In particular, the areas of the brain used to process music are found to be larger or more active in musicians.

Now experts think using music in neuropsychological therapy, could help to improve someones language skills, memory, or even mood.

The good news is that you don't have to rise to the likes of Mozart to get the benefit - even just starting to learn a musical instrument can changes the neurophysiology of the brain. No the maracas don't count.

275x250.jpgA dating website has been launched which guarantees an attractive date -- because it only allows 'beautiful' members.

Would-be members have to submit a photo of themselves which current members use to decide if they are attractive enough to join.

Over the next 48 hours the community vote on whether they are hot or not. If not they are not allowed to join.

Personally we can't see how this is going to work… does anyone really us a genuine photo of themselves when signing up to a dating site?

275x250.jpgThe eyes of a marine crustacean could inspire the next generation of DVD players, according to a new study.

Boffins say the giant mantis shrimp can see in 12 primary colours, compared to our three. It can also distinguish between different forms of polarised light.

This is because Mantis shrimp's eyes contain special light-sensitive cells which act as quarter-wave plates rotating the plane of the oscillations (the polarization) of a light.

Man made versions of these are used in DVD and Blu-ray players and experts say by studying the shrimp eyes, they could develop much better quality discs which can work across the whole visible spectrum.

While we don't know exactly what this mean … we do know it means we will have to buy yet another copy of Bladerunner.

A meteorite is said to have crashed to earth creating a 15-metre wide crater in Latvia.

Locals say the five-metre deep crater was created when a fiery object smashed into a field on the outskirts of the small town Mazsalaca.

Video of the burning object hit YouTube last night sending sky-watchers crazy with excitement.

But doubters now think it could be an elaborate hoax with people having dug out the crater and poured molten metal into it to make it look more genuine.

If it is a hoax it is not clear who could be behind it … though the land-owner who is currently selling tickets to anyone wanting to take a look would have to be pretty high up the list.

275x250.jpgThe new version of the popular Nintendo Wii Fit game is set to be launched... with the backing of the UK government.

Wii Fit Plus has been endorsed by the Department of Health and the NHS and will ship with marketing material baring the NHS’s Change4Life logo.

The Change4Life programme aims to persuade children, to take more exercise and eat healthily. Previous adverts have encouraged children to ditch computer games and get outside more.

But that seems to have all changed with the new game due to go on sale on Friday, which lets players do exercises including skiing, hula-hooping and yoga.

In addition to encouraging game-players to get fit the Wii balance board can also be used to measure the weight of pets - we wonder if it will get backing from the PDSA too.

275x250.jpgMegalithic monument Stonehenge has been voted the UK's most iconic landmark by children.

The 5,000 year-old structure beat off competition from Hadrian's Wall, Blackpool Tower and the White Cliffs of Dover in the poll of over 2,500 children.

Other landmarks liked by the youngsters included Antony Gormley's Angel of the North and the London Eye.

A spokesperson for Travelodge, which organised the poll, said it was good that young Brits were keen to preserve Great Britain's heritage… though they were probably just looking at it on Google Earth.

275x250.jpgLazy office workers rejoice. Today is the most unproductive day of the year, it has been revealed

Researchers claim productivity will drop by 50 per cent today as depressed staff around the country struggle to come to terms with the dark nights closing in after the clocks changed.

A study of 2,000 workers found that 52 percent will struggle to get to grips with their work-load today. 14 per cent said last year it was so bad that they were even told off by their boss.

Worryingly for employers, eight percent of office workers admitted to phoning in sick because they were so depressed at the thought of going to work amid the shorter, darker days.

This may be bad news if you are the boss, but if you are the office slacker it means your normally studious colleagues will not be showing up your productivity-challenged behaviour -- so why not shut Excel altogether and crack open the iPlayer.

275x250.jpgBoffins have revealed the science behind making the perfect gravy, including an unlikely special ingredient.

The food experts from the Royal Society of Chemistry say their recipe can be used to make nutrionally-balanced, chemically-perfect and extremely tasty gravy every time.

It's made from a mix of juices from a beef joint and leftover water from boiled cabbage, nothing too surprising there. Until they suggest adding soya sauce.

The team, led by John Emsley insist there is a scientific rationalisation behind adding the odd ingredient, normally associated with eastern cuisine, but that we wouldn't understand it.

Last year the same bofifns revealed how to scientifically produce the world'd best Yorkshire puddings -- which means by about 2016 we should be able to have an entire Sunday Roast.

275x250.jpgA premature baby boy who was born on during a flight from Penang to Kuching, has been given free flights for life.

Expectant mother Liew Siaw Hsia had thought nothing of taking the AirAsia flight as she wasn't due for another 11 weeks.

But the baby had other ideas and mid-flight Liew started to feel labor pains. Luckily there was a doctor onboard who helped the 31-year-old mom give birth at 2,000 feet.

The flight was diverted to Kuala Lumpur and both the mother and baby are healthy. Liew said it (getting the free flights) was the happiest day of her life.

It's a good job this didn't happen on RyanAir, not only would they no have given away the free flights… they would have probably billed the baby for half a flight.

Tuesdays are the wettest day of the week

275x250.jpgIt rains more on a Tuesday than any other day of the week, it has been revealed.

Rain analysts from The University of Manchester have looked at data from the past 110 years, to work out when it rains most.

While Tuesday was found to be the wettest day of the week, it was closely followed by Sunday. Worryingly Saturdays were also found to have been getting wetter in recent years.

Finding that Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays were the driest days will also be presented at Manchester Science Festival 2009.

While we are not quite convinced by this research (whenever we are at work on a Tuesday it seems to be sunny out) I think with might have our umbrellas at the ready next week just to be sure.

Office cuppa becomes latest social network

275x250.jpgA new social network has been launched with the sole intention of making it easier for office workers to make a cup of tea for colleagues. allows users to create a profile detailing how they like their drink, from the strength of the tea to the quantity of milk or sugar.

They then add themselves to other peoples lists - ensuring that whenever a pot of tea in their office is made they get a drink, and it's how they like it.

A spokesperson for the site said: "This site could mean the end of ever needing to repeat that question “How to you take yours? Those who enjoy tea now have a way of reminding their colleagues that a ‘middling’ brew is not for them."

The lists can then be printed out, viewed on a mobile phone or a computer screen… and isn't every kitchen hooked up to the internet nowadays.


275x250.jpgMotorcycle firm Yamaha Motors have revealed their idea of how we will be traveling to work in the future.

Shown at the Tokyo Motor Show the Yamaha EC-f is a electric commuter vehicles designed to make motorcycle riding easy.

It's made from lightweight aluminium and runs on a lithium-ion battery which can be plugged into a normal electrical socket for recharging.

Makers say it has been designed to feel familiar for people of all ages regardless of their previous riding experience.

Given it's distinctive styling maybe they think we all have experience of riding around on an X-Box 360.

Remember to check out our post - Six of the oddest ways of getting to work.

World's largest thesaurus launched

275x250.jpgEnglish language experts have spent more than 45 years compiling the world's largest thesaurus.

It contains nearly 800,000 meanings, organised into more than 236,000 categories and subcategories collected together over 4,500 pages.

The project began in 1964 when Professor Michael Samuels set out to map almost every word in English language with words with similar meaning are grouped together and listed in chronological order.

Since then hundreds of research assistants, postgraduate students, volunteers and staff from Glasgow University have spent thousands of hours helping to produce the books.

We can't help but wonder how many of those hours were taken up by people looking for synonyms of the word'bored'.

The average Brit will narrowly dodge death five times during their lifetime, a new mortality report has revealed.

Common close encounters include being involved in a potentially fatal car crash - something that will happen to 40 percent of us - and surviving a high voltage electric shock (32%).

Other escapes include almost getting struck by lightning (36%) or living through a serious natural disaster including high impact earthquakes or raging floods (29%).

The study of over 1,000 people also found 23 percent of people think they owe their lives to others normally because they have been pulled back from stepping out in front of a bus.

In odd news, the study also found 61% of people believe they have a guardian angel who watches over and protects them… but apparently gets bored after five times.

275x250.jpgArachnophobes beware, researchers have discovered a new species of giant spider which could have you running for the hills.

The golden orb weaver spider (Nephila Komaci) measures over 12cm in diameter and are found in in Africa and Madagascar.

They are capable of spinning webs which reach up to 1m and while they couldn't kill you, experts say they could give you a nasty bite.

But the US and Slovenian researchers who recently discovered the beasts add that they are not all huge

At just 1 inch, the males are about five times smaller than their mates - luckily for him she says size doesn't matter.

275x250.jpgWhile red wine drinkers know it can leave stains on your teeth, scientists have now warned that white wine can be even worse.

Studies have found that - while they won't stain them - pale wines like a Riesling or a Chardonnay can ROT your teeth.

This is said to happen because they have a low pH value and wear away the protective tooth enamel, claim boffins from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany.

They tested this by soaking a range of teeth in various wine for 24 hours before comparing the effects. Red wines caused far less enamel damage.

However there is 'some' good news for white wine fans - apparently eating cheeses as you drink could help counter the effects, because of the calcium levels.

275x250.jpgThe world's oldest known submerged town has been revealed after aquatic archaeologists were given special permission to dive there.

Located off the southern Laconia coast of Greece the underwater city of Pavlopetri was discovered in 1967 -- but until now archaeologists have not been allowed to dive there.

But after seeking special permission from the Greek government, a team from the University of Nottingham have led an expedition to find out more about the sunken city.

They have already discovered examples of late Neolithic pottery proving that 6,000 years ago Pavlopetri was a thriving port city - that's 1,200 years earlier than previously known.

On hearing the odd news most people will think about one of two phrases 'lost city of Atlantis' or 'global warming' - which one were you?.

The secret life of a sofa in numbers

275x250.jpgThe average sofa will last eight years, but in that time it will witness 293 arguments, 1,300 cuddles and endure 1,600 spillages, it has been claimed

Research also found that people will sit on a sofa for four hours per day and the average child will lose four toys a month down the back of it.

The study of over 3,000 people and their favourite seats also found couples who own a sofa will use it to kiss each other 12 times a month and cuddle up 14 times.

It was also found that a sofa see 13 TV dinners a month, and 782 movies over it's lifetime and £176.04 will fall down the back of it.

However, we are glad they didn't find out how often certain other activities take place on the sofa… you'd never want to sit down at a friend's house otherwise.

275x250.jpgA sports car previously owned by F1 world champion Jenson Button has gone on sale… for almost £900,000.

The black Bugatti Veyron - one of the world's most desired cars, and capable of doing 0-60mph in under 2.5 seconds - has been listed on he Auto Trader website.

It has a eight-litre 16 cylinder engine, a top speed of 253mph and only has 1500 miles on the clock - presumably because Jenson was too busy jetting around the world to drive it.

The ad, which reads "Two owners, 2nd being a current Formula 1 driver will be authenticated," didn't get too much attention when it was first posted.

But now the "current Formula 1 driver" had been identified as Jenson Button and he has just scooped the F1 title it is thought someone is more likely to com forward with the £899,995 … we only wish it could be us.

275x250.jpgA passenger plane had to be partially dismantled before holiday makers could fly home from Spain… because of a lost mobile.

Bosses insisted that the phone - which had been accidentally dropped into an air vent - was found before the Jet2 flight from Murcia to Newcastle was allowed to take off.

It took three hours for the phone to be discovered and this was only after part of the cockpit area and front row of seats had been taken apart.

Staff say it was feared the phone could have interfered with computer systems on the plane - because it had been turned on by an exiting passenger just before they dropped it.

It is not known who they mystery phone-dropper was, but you can be sure they won't be rushing to check their text messages next time they fly.

275x250.jpgArt experts think that this could be the world's oldest painting to feature a watch.

Curators at the Science Museum claim the the 450-year-old portrait, showing Italian nobleman Cosimo I de’ Medici, is the earliest known image of a timepiece.

The work is believed to be by the Renaissance artist Maso da San Friano, and on the basis of costume studies, to have been painted around 1560. The first watches were made in Germany from 1500.

Hang on, does that me the Mona Lisa we bought where she was wearing a Casio on her wrist was a fake?

Gyrobike: New wheel replaces stabilisers

275x250.jpgInventors have created a high-tech bicycle wheel which helps teach children how to ride and removes the need for training wheel or stabilisers.

The Gyrowheel uses a uses a gyroscope to ensure it always remains upright and automatically adjusts to balance even the most wobbly rider.

It works because it has a spinning disk inside which creates a force – "gyroscopic precession" if you want to get technical – that acts to stabilise the bike.

When turned on, the wheel keeps a two-wheeled bike upright, even at very low speeds. Parents can then reduce the gyroscopic force as the child learns to balance.

Makers say they tested it with over 100 kids who all used it to learn how to ride… do children still ride bikes? We thought they just played computer games now.

A Russian commuter had a close shave with death yesterday, when a speeding bus narrowly missed him as he crossed the road.

The man had been crossing at a set of traffic lights in the city of Perm when the Number 67 bus ploughed through
the traffic towards him.

Because the brakes had failed on the bus the driver had been unable to slow it as it rolled downhill for five blocks, smashing more then 20 cars as it went.

It also meant he was helpless to do anything when he saw the man crossing the road. But as this CCTV footage shows the pedestrian was one cool customer and simply speeds up to narrowly avoid the speeding bus.

We can't help but think if that had been us fidling with our iPhone on the way to work we'd be typing this from a hospital bed.

275x250.jpgAleksandr the meerkat is set to become one of this year's must-have Christmas presents, after being released as a talking toy.

The star of the’s TV adverts has been reproduced in toy form and even say the "Simples!" catchphrase and distinctive squeak, when their bellies are squeezed.

Only 5,000 of the £19.95 toys - complete with scarf and robes - have been released and will go on sale exclusively in famous London department store Harrods.

Given how popular Aleksandr became after appearing in the adverts we suggest you get used to sound of people wishing each other a 'Meery Christmas'.

275x250.jpgBoffins claim to have uncovered the science behind how and why tearjerking movies make us cry.

Led by Professor Kim Bard, researchers from the University of Portsmouth analysed dozens of movies identifying four key factors which have us reaching the tissues.

These include; how often the characters wept (Tear Count), the overall sadness of the movie (Sadness Index) and the underlying positive message of the film (Inspirational Index), all moderated by the degree of happiness experienced (Happy Highs).

Her study claimed, when used in exactly the right combination, these elements can be used to produce an intensive emotional experience and are almost guaranteed to prompt tears.

Obviously there were no male researchers involved in the study…  they wouldn't have admitted any movie made them cry.

275x250.jpgA record-breaking apartment in Hong Kong has sold for a massive £35 million.

The budget-busting price for the five-bedroom pad in Hong Kong's Mid-Levels works out to 88,000 Hong Kong dollars per square foot.

The apartment sits on the 68th floor in 39 Conduit Road, one of Hong Kong's most exclusive addresses and was snapped up by a wealthy Chinese buyer who asked to remain anonymous.

In addition to his prestigious pad the owner will also get access to an aroma spa, a gym and an outdoor yoga room... though is he remains anonymous we don't know how he will get his mail.

275x250.jpgSomething tells us there was a little more Photoshopping going on than usual for the cover of this Playboy magazine.

The recently released November issue of the famous mag features a naked Marge Simpson -- her modesty only covered by a Playboy Bunny-shaped chair.

Marge becomes the first cartoon creation to star on the Playboy cover joining women like Marilyn Monroe, Cindy Crawford and Pamela Anderson.

The collectors edition with Marge on the front is available in stores, or for digital download and features an interview with her and a 2-page cartoon centre-fold.

While the pictures don't show us if Marge has has matching blue 'collars and cuffs' you can almost hears the screams of Aye Carumba! coming from Bart's tree-house. Let's see if it can distract Homer from his doughnuts.

Maldives holds underwater Cabinet meeting

275x250.jpgThe Maldives government has held a cabinet meeting underwater, to highlight the impact of global warming.

President Mohamed Nasheed, Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed and 11 other ministers donned scuba gear and submerged 4 meters below the surface of sea for the 30-minute meeting.

While in the turquoise lagoon off Girifushi Island, they signed a resolution calling for global cuts in carbon emissions at the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen.

To prevent the document getting soggy it was printed on a white plastic slate and they signed using special water proof pencils.

200x175.jpgGordon Brown has come clean about his favourite biscuit -- after ignoring questions on the subject during a recent live web chat.

The Prime Minister had been willing to talk with users of Mumsnet about a range of subjects in the promotional web chat.

He spoke about the government's record on families, swine flu and expenses as well as his own personal health.

But he repeatedly dodged (or should that be Jammie Dodger-ed) to favourite biscuit question - along with Paxman-esque follow-ups about his dunking activities.

But over the weekend he used Twitter to reveal that he was a fan of any chocolate coated biscuits… thus drawing himself into the Jaffa Cake cake or biscuit debate. We await a Tory response.

275x250.jpgA woman who snores at a ear-busting 111.6 decibels has been named as one of Britain's loudest snorers.

Jenny Chapman's snores are so loud she frequently wakes herself up and her long suffering husband has been forced to spend five nights per week sleeping in their spare room.

The 60-year-old from Peterborough says she has had the problem for her entire life and even remembers waking her entire family up with her snores when she was five.

Last week Jenny took part in a snoring 'boot camp' where her snores were measured at 111.6 decibels, just eight db louder than a low-flying jet… though we didn't know jets snored.

'Nazi gnomes' invade German town

275x250.jpgAn artist has placed 1,250 sinister looking black 'Nazi gnomes' in the south-eastern German town of Straubing.

Ottmar Hoerl claims his gnomes, which each hold their arms outstretched in a Hitler salute, are a protest against lingering fascist tendencies in Germany.

Unsurprisingly, locals in the Bavarian town are not too happy with the controversial display "Dance with the Devil" - which they claim highlights the fact people there once supported Hitler.

While it would normally be illegal to display Nazi symbols anywhere in Germany, a court has said that the Hitler gnomes were clearly satire, and therefore okay.

Personally we find the idea of 1,250 gnomes a little bit scary, even if they just had hats and fishing rods, let alone support for Hitler.

12-million-digit prime number revealed

275x250.jpgA record breaking 12-million-digit prime number has been revealed, winning it's number-loving finders a prize of $100,000.

The giant number - which can be written as 2 to the power of 43,112,609, minus 1 - was discovered by PrimeNet, a worldwide project where volunteers share computing power to hunt for Mersenne primes.

As a result they will get the $100,000 offered as a prize by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) for finding a prime number of over 10 million digits.

Obviously you know this but for less numerate readers out there, a Mersenne number is a positive integer that is one less than a power of two staring with 1, 3, 7, 15 and 31.

Baby in pushchair falls in front of train

A mother watched in horror as her baby fell in front of a speeding train when it's pushchair rolled off a station platform.

Amazingly the baby not only survived, but only suffered minor bruises in the incident in Melbourne, Australia.

This CCTV footage show how the mother briefly lets go of the pushchair which rolls away from her and onto the train tracks - seconds later it is struck by an incoming train.

Luckily the driver of the train had seen the pushchair falling and slammed on the breaks. This combined with the fact the train was already slowing as it entered the station reduced the impact.

The lad was carried 30 metres by the train before being rescued by other commuters… and will no doubt be shown this video hundreds of time throughout his life.

Oxford is the UK's most charitable city

275x250.jpgPeople in Oxford are the most generous charity donors in the country, it has been revealed.

The average Oxford resident has donated £67.44 to good causes over the past 12 months -- compared to a national average of £49.40.

Other big-hearted cities included Swansea where they gave away and average of £60, closely followed by Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

However, the survey of over 5,000 people found the least generous places were Liverpool (£39.18) and Plymouth (£41.37).

After hearing about the odd news it is probably safe to assume several Scouse beggars will be heading for Oxford.

275x250.jpgEver wondered what the odds are of a woman owning a pair of high heeled shoes, or being bitten by an alligator and dying?

No, neither have we, but if we wanted to find them, we know exactly where we would go for the answer (1-in-1.64 and 1-in-104,600 by the way)

A new website has launched aiming to answer the timeless question, "What are the odds of that?" and containing more than 250,000 odd odds.

Weird comparisons of stats also throw up some odd findings. Did you know you were twice as likely to be killed by a vending machine than a shark. (1-in-112,000,000 compared to 1-in-251,800,000)

As for the odds of us going back there whenever we get bored.. it's safe to say they are quite high.

Pet Burmese python eats neighbour's cat

275x250.jpgThousands of people have signed a petition calling for increased restrictions on snake owners -- after a man's pet python ate his neighbour's cat.

Darren Bishop says he only took his eyes off his 13ft Burmese python snake - ominously named Squash - for a few minutes while it was in his garden over the summer.

However, in that time his neighbours cat 'Wilbur' wandered into the Bristol garden…  unfortunately it never made it back out, but the snake came back with a cat-sized bulge.

As a result Wilburs owner is now campaigning for a change in the law which would require owners of  constrictor snakes to get a licence, they are not currently covered by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act (DWAA).

Personally we think a 'Danger: Guard Snake Slithering" sign would suffice… and it would be worth it just to see the postman's face.

Vampires make roller coasters more scary

275x250.jpgRoller-coaster fans were forgiven for being a little more scared than usual this week, when they were joined on rides by fang-toothed vampires.

Hundreds of aspiring undead had piled onto rides at Alton Towers as they auditioned for acting roles at the theme parks Halloween celebrations.

After swooping in - complete with capes and fangs - the successful actors will be responsible for scaring visitors during Scarefest which begins this weekend.

As such they will have to make sure going on rides like Oblivion doesn't leave them feeling sick, pale-faced and unable to do their jobs… well more pale-faced than the average vampire.

Chefs are UKs most unhealthiest workers

275x250.jpgThough Jamie Oliver would like you to believe otherwise, being a chef is the most unhealthy profession in the UK.

Researchers have found chefs eat more junk food and ready meals, smoke more cigarettes and drink more booze than any other workers.

It also emerged that, despite working in a kitchen, the average chef has 12 snacks of crisps, chocolate bars or biscuits each week and at least one ready meal or takeaway.

On top of that they smoke an average of 58 cigarettes per week and neck around eight alcoholic drinks.

So maybe it isn't school dinners they should be worried about, but their own  

275x250.jpgA publisher which sells personalised novels says it has seen a huge rise in the number of books ordered by saucy army wives.

The women are said to be snapping up the books - where the lead characters are altered to include details about them and their partner - and shipping them out to partners in Afghanistan.

In the books details about a couple, such as eye colour, hair colour, place of work, closest airport, town where they live, favourite band are then woven into one of seven pre-written novels.

The most popular is said to be 'Fever in France' in which the hero rescues his partner them from a flaming inferno, saving them from diamond smugglers. There are also one or two passionate pages.

I can imagine if my wife ordered one of the books she would want it to feature me doing the washing up and taking the bins out.


Wanted: Glaswegian interpreters

275x250.jpgA translation company has placed adverts in Scottish newspapers looking for Glaswegian interpreters.

They claim an increasing number of foreign businessmen and travellers from elsewhere in the UK, are unable to understand the Glaswegian accent and are asking for help.

As such, bosses from Today Translations say they have had to start looking for people who can act as translators north of the border.

Their ad reads: "Translation company seeks speakers of Glaswegian English with knowledge of vocabulary, accent, nuances, to meet interpreting needs of clients who find it an unexpected challenge."

Jurga Zilinskiene, the owner of the London-based company said Glasgow was the only UK city which required its own specialists…  although Liverpool and Newcastle could be next.

275x250.jpgA rail company have revealed some hair-raising photos and video footage of people who've had narrow escapes on level crossings - including a woman with a pushchair and an van driver who crosses the tracks and then turns back.

Network Rail hope the images will discourage other people from hoping to cut a couple of seconds off their journey by dodging the locomotives.

They have also revealed the top ten worst excuses staff have been given by people caught crossing when they shouldn't, these include, "I thought the train would slow down" and "The sat-nav told me to turn left so I just kept going"

Given other people said things like "Sometimes it’s difficult to stop the horse," we dread to think what excuses people who didn't make it would have used.

Dancing postman becomes web hit (Video)

275x250.jpgA moonwalking postman has become a YouTube sensation after colleagues filmed him rocking out to Michael Jackson’s classic Billie Jean.

Mike Izzard, 36, was filmed as he strutted his stuff around a Royal Mail depot in St Albans.

The five minute clip has since been uploaded to YouTube where it has been watched by thousands of users.

He has also started selling DVDs of his dance for £1 each, with the proceeds going to the RSPCA.

As postal staff announce plans for a national strike at least we know one thing… when they start back to work they will all be able to moonwalk to your letterbox.

275x250.jpgA rare bird which was feared to be extinct has been rediscovered on Indonesia's Peleng Island.

The Banggai Crow was known to science only by descriptions from 1900 and two century-old specimens -- but now Indonesian biologists have spotted two new birds.

Experts have compared the birds to other members of the crow family by analysing specimens from Indonesia's national museum and New York's Museum of Natural History.

They concluded the birds are in fact the Banggai Crow (Corvus unicolor) and not as some had thought the more common Slender-billed Crow (Corvus enca).

After making the discovery we know of one biologist who just won't stop crowing about the find.

275x250.jpgJames Dyson, the man who brought us better vacuum cleaners and more powerful toilet hand dryers has turned his attention to the humble desk fan.

Gone are the blades of conventional electric fans - instead his 'Dyson Air Multiplier' design uses technology to amplify air 15 times.

Now for the science bit. It works by accelerating air through an annular aperture set within the loop amplifier. This in turn creates a jet of air which passes over an airfoil-shaped ramp that channels its direction… apparently.

Makers claim this means the £200 fans can expel 405 litres of cool air every second.

Then again for that price it should… alternatively you could just pay for someone to fan you with a giant palm leaf.

275x250.jpgThe latest art installation at the Tate Modern is a a blacked out steel chamber where visitors can't see anything.

It is the work of Polish artist Miroslaw Balka who says entering the darkness could evoke a variety of responses in visitors, from fear to a bizarre feeling of comfort.  

Visitors walk up a ramp into the 30 metres long, 10m wide and 13m high box which has been painted black before disappearing into it.

Once inside they can see nothing and are left waving their arms out in front of them so they don't bump into other vision challenged art-lovers.

Help is on hand should anyone get too freaked out by the darkness… Tate Modern staff will be patrolling inside with torches.

275x250.jpgSomething fishy is going on at London aquarium… there appear to be fish fingers swimming in the tanks.

After finding out that one-in-ten children thought that fish fingers are an actual type of fish, aquarists at Sea Life London decided to play a prank on them.

They released models of fish fingers - complete with fins, tails and eyes - into the tanks with more genuine species and billed them as bona-fide aquatic life

The experts hope people will be inspired to learn more about marine life… all very good, but try explaining that to the parents of children who suddenly don't want the eat the fish fingers they just saw swimming.

The kitchen which grows its own food

275x250.jpgDesigners have created what they think could be the kitchen appliance of the future... because it grows edible plants and fish.

The 'biosphere home farm' from Philips would consist of several vertically stacked tanks containing mini-ecosystems for growing you own food.

One would contain fish and crustaceans while others house plants and herbs -- all ready to be harvested when you get hungry.

But they are not finished there, it is claimed the device would run off food waste and the algae in the water water tanks could produce fresh hydrogen to power an electric car.

It is not know if the designers took inspiration from students... who have been growing all sorts of mould and fungus in their kitchens for some time.

Psychic Twitters with dead celebrities

275x250.jpgA psychic claims she will give Twitter users the chance to chat with dead celebrities using the micro-blogging site.

Medium Jayne Wallace is hosting Twéance the world's first interactive Twitter Séance on the morning of Friday 30th October.

Just in time for Halloween she is currently asking people to nominate the departed stars they would most like to communicate with, and any questions they have for them.

So far popular suggestions include Michael Jackson, John Lennon and Jade Goody -- who really wasn't worth listening to when she was alive.

Jayne says she will asked the questions in the 'traditional' psychic way before tweeting their reply back to followers. Don't expect any TwitPics from beyond the grave though.


ET named the greatest alien movie ever

275x250.jpgSteven Spielberg's ET has been named as the best alien movie ever made.

The 1982 classic, which starred a young Drew Barrymore and a long-fingered alied, beat off competition from the likes of War of the Worlds and Star Trek for the top slot.

Will Smith's Men In Black came in second in the poll of over 7,500 people with Independence Day coming third.

The 1979 blockbuster Alien, starring Tom Skerritt and Sigourney Weaver, was fourth and Transformers, released in 2007, was fifth.

We like to think the fact it was made-for-television is the only reason the classic 1986 alien move 'Project: ALF' didn't make the list.

275x250.jpgThe world’s largest helium-filled, land-tethered balloon has launched in Las Vegas.

The giant balloon is is seven stories wide and 11 stories tall and contains 210,000 cubic feet of helium. But it is also tethered to the ground by a pulley system.

Cloud Nine will be used to take up to 30 people 500 feet above the famous strip on 10-15 minute rides.

Bosses say the project has been in the works for two years and is expected to become one of the most popular attractions in Las Vegas … but they could just be full of hot air.

Britain's top 10 most common superstitions

275x250.jpgMore than 16 million Brits regularly carry out routines they believe will bring them luck - or ward off bad good luck, it has been revealed.

A survey of 3,000 people found a third of us salute magpies on a daily basis, four out of ten regularly touch wood and half of us would never walk under a ladder.

One in two admitted always making a wish when blowing out birthday candles and one in three would never put an umbrella up in their house.

It also emerged a third of people always throw salt over their left shoulder and 29 per cent would never give a purse or wallet as a gift without putting money in it first.

Personally we think it is back luck to answer survey questions... especially if it is a black cat asking them.

275x250.jpgA company which make coffins has launched a sexy calendar which stars a host of scantily-clad female models posing with their caskets.

Italian coffin firm Cofanifunebri say they hope the £9 calendar will help promote their range of wooden coffins and grab peoples attention.

And if these snaps are anything to go by they certainly will.

The Rome-based company held a photo-shoot in an old church complete with the gothic looking models in sexy (and often PVC) outfits, to display their wares.

While some would-be coffin customers said the models coffins were to die for… others could find the sexy photos cause them a heart attack before they can place an order.

275x250.jpgWhen the zebras at a Gaza zoo died earlier this year, bosses didn't want to disappoint visiting children… so they painted stripes on donkeys.

The owner of Marah Land Zoo in Gaza City said that when their zebra died they couldn't afford the $40,000 it would have cost to import another.

As a result, staff used black hair dye on white female donkeys, painting stripes and creating a faux zebra.

While their efforts may not have made the most convincing zebra, because most of the children who visit the zoo have never seen a zebra before they are non the wiser.

Bosses insist they are not making an ass out of visitors… just a zebra out of an ass.

275x250.jpgThe average Brit will spend NINE years of their life in a virtual world, it has been claimed.

Everyday we send and average 3 hours and 45 minutes in social networks and virtual worlds like Second Life or in online games such as World of Warcraft.

That equates to over 26 hours a week, 57 days a year - or nine years over the average adult lifetime.

Researchers found we spends just over seven hours a day in front of a computer screen; at work writing emails, researching on the web and at home surfing the net in their free time.

And just think, people probably didn't tell researchers about all the time they spend watching porn.

275x250.jpgIf there is a choice between taking a flight of stairs or a escalator,most people will go for the the easy option. But what if the stairs were more fun?

An experiment in Sweden found that by converting stairs into a floor piano - like that used by Tom Hanks in BIG - increased the number of people using them by 66 percent.

A team spent an evening installing pressure sensors on a flight of stairs at the Odenplan subway in Stockholm, and covered them to look like a giant piano. The sensors were then connected to speakers which played musical notes as people moved up and down.

Instantly more people opted to walk up the stairs rather than stand on the escalator… but commuters say they have heard one too many heavy-footed renditions of Chopsticks.

Man becomes par golfer in one year

275x250.jpgWould-be golfer John Richardson went from hacking the ball in an amateurish fashion, to breaking par within one year.

John set himself the challenge of knocking 33 shots off his handicap and becoming a scratch golfer - something most golfers never achieve, let alone in just one year.

To do it the 42-year-old from Bangor, Northern Ireland, read more then 60 golf books, hit over 70,000 balls on the driving range and walked more than 500 miles on countless rounds.

He even wore his way through seven golf gloves and two pairs of golf shoes completing the task with just four days to spare.

John spent every free moment on the golf course but faintly remembers having a wife and job too.

Gummy bear chandelier made by artist

275x250.jpgA designer has started creating home decorations including a four foot tall chandelier... made from hundreds of gummy bear sweets.

YaYa Chou says her sweet designs are selling well online and people do not to be put off by the candy construction.

The items - which also include a bear-skin shaped rug - are made by threading the gummy bears together to make the desired shapes.

They are meant to explore the relationship between food consumption and class.

Yaya predicts that her designs will last for around 10 years before the sweets go off… like anyone is going to go that long without snacking on their chandelier.

50 of the world's most confusing things

275x250.jpgCall centres, Twitter, the offside rule and how Russell Brand pulls so many women, have all been named in a list of the things which confuse most Brits.

Also up there on the list of the 50 most unfathomable things is why Cheryl Cole is still with husband Ashley, and navigating Birmingham's Spaghetti Junction.

Foreign call centres were said to be the most confusing thing by the 5,000 people polled, followed closely by algebra.

Also making the top 50 was converting currency, languages, filling out insurance forms and setting up wireless networks.

Making sense of survey results was strangely absent.

Micro-pigs become celebrity pet craze

275x250.jpgA special breed of micro pig which grows to just 15 inches tall, has become a surprise hit with celebrities.

Dubbed 'teacup pigs' thanks to their miniature size, they are a mixture of breeds including Miniature Pot Bellied, Kune Kune, German Micro, Gloucester Old Spot and Tamworth.

Breeders claim they make ideal pets and have already been snapped up by a number of celebrities including Jonathan Ross and Harry Potter actor Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley.

Jane Croft of Little Pig Farm in Cambridgeshire says thanks to the celeb interest she is currently inundated with requests for the £700 pets.

It seems that everyone wants a bacon sandwich-sized pig around the house… we can't imagine why.

275x250.jpgBlonde women spend longer getting ready for a night out than brunettes do, it has been found.

Researchers who quizzed over 3,000 women found the typical blonde will take 72 minutes a day on their beauty routine - choosing clothes, showering and doing their hair styling and make-up -compared to 66 minutes for brunettes.

It was also found that the average blonde has a better social life, going out with mates three times a month, compared to twice for darker haired ladies.

This means blondes spend an entire 22 DAYS of every year getting ready to go out while brunettes spend 19 days.

Unfortunately the research was not able to get tot he bottom of the mystery over why is it that women wait until five minutes before you are due to leave the house before starting their 72 minute routine?

275x250.jpgPlastic surgeons claim women are opting for bigger breast implants than ever before.

A study of patients found that seven years ago the average implant size picked was a 240cc, that's enough to go up two cup sizes from a B to a C.

But last year this was up to a 290cc, a jump from a B to a DD and an average increase of between 15 and 25 percent on the previous size implants.

Experts say many women take in photos of people like Katie Price and Pamela Anderson as examples of the size breasts they would like.

… but they then add that they want to look natural too -- proving that their quest to emulate Jordan obviously started with the IQ.

275x250.jpgThe worst parking spaces across the UK have been revealed, including ones too small for most cars, and others with pillars in the way.

A survey of drivers, conducted by insurance firm Aviva, asked them each to nominate the worst parking space they had experienced.

The dubious top honour went to a space on the car-park at Alton Business Centre, Hampshire which is blocked in by walls on two sides… and cars on the other two.

A spokesperson for Aviva, said: "Sometimes the spaces we try and shoe-horn our cars into are so awkward that even the most experienced driver in the world would struggle."

While that is true, my girlfriend struggles to park in huge parking spaces… in a Smart car.

275x250.jpgA cheeseburger served on Krispy Kreme doughnuts has gone on sale in America, packing a massive 1,500-calories.

The glazed Krispy Kreme beef, bacon and cheese burger has already proved a huge hit at the Big E fair in Massachusetts where 17,000 of them were eaten.

The 'recipe' for the burger is said to have come from a bar owner in Decatur, Georgia who ran out of burger buns and started using doughnuts instead.

On hearing the odd news Scotland gave out a collective gasp… and then thought how it could be improved by being deep-fried.

275x250.jpgA pair of drunken yobs who shouted abuse and tried to attack a couple of cross dressers got a shock (and a beating) when they turned out to be cage fighters in fancy dress.
The couple, ages 19 and 22, has confronted the dress wearing cage fighters on a night out in Swansea, swinging a punch at the pink wig-wearing man in a boob-tube and a mini-skirt.

But before the punch had landed, the lighting quick reactions of the cage fighter - out on a stag do - kicked in and he hit back at the yobs who fell to the floor.

They then staggered away before being arrested by police.

Luckily for us, but not their street-cred the incident was caught on CCTV cameras, and can be seen after the link. (The fun begins one minute into the video.)

Japanese firm launch anti-flu suit

275x250.jpgScientists in Japan have created a business suit which they claim can help fight off flu at the office.

The £365 suit is made from special fibres which have been treated with  titanium dioxide which is claimed to break down bacteria and fights infections on reaction with light.

It was designed to ward off the spreading A H1N1 swine flu virus -- and cash in on the general sense of terror around the bug.

Makers Haruyama claim the suit took over a year to develop, and that in tests it has broken down the A H1N1 swine flu virus, making for a safer office.

They are currently only making a mens suit with the fabric… though you can bet a schoolgirls uniform is not far behind.


275x250.jpgA powerful camera which can be fitted onto Tornado fighter jets has been revealed, capable of reading the time on Big Ben… from the Isle of Wight

The Raptor camera (Reconnaissance Airborne Pod for Tornado) measures over two metres long and uses stand-off electro-optical and infrared to get the long-range view.

Images can be transmitted via a real-time data-link system to image analysts at a ground station, or can be displayed in the cockpit during flight.

Makers say it will deliver high quality imagery from amazing distances and be particularly useful in situations like Afghanistan… though why they will need to keep an eye on Big Ben while over there is not known.

275x250.jpgThe Maldives government is set to hold a cabinet meeting underwater, to highlight the impact of global warming.

President Mohamed Nasheed and other ministers are currently undergoing underwater training ahead of the 17 October dive.

They admit that limited hand signals will mean they can't be quite as effective as normal, but said that it's worth it if they raise awareness of the 350 International Day of Climate Change Action.

At the meeting they will sign a document calling for global cuts in carbon emissions -- as long as it doesn't get too soggy.

In other odd news the UK government are considering a similar stunt… at least that's what I think they meant about Gordon Brown being circled by sharks.

275x250.jpgMore than  1,400 rock fans have strummed along together on imaginary guitars to set a new world record.

The group at Brock University, Ontario, Canada took the record for the world's largest air guitar ensemble.

Under the guidance of air guitar expert Lance “The Shred” Kasten they were taught a lesson on the art of playing the air guitar right before the record attempt.

A Guinness World Records Adjudicator was on hand to check they beat the record set in Edinburgh, Scotland, just 4 days before… where annoyingly a few people had been playing the air bagpipes.

275x250.jpgMen are more turned on by a hot curry than a passionate kiss with their partner, a study has revealed.

Experts measured the level of emotional arousal within couples as they enjoyed a spicy curry and again while they locked lips with their other half.

Incredibly, the mens' reaction to the tongue-searing vindaloo was far more intense than than the response generated when he was kissing his partner.

The results emerged in a joint study carried out by Mindlab and Patak's at the Sussex Innovation centre at the University of Sussex in Brighton.

Unfortunately the study didn't look at the emotional arousal levels when he was kissing someone other than his partner.

275x250.jpgThe dog puppet from the Churchill Insurance adverts is set to star in more than 20 pantomimes this Christmas.

Churchie will appear in pantos from Birmingham to Cardiff, next to stars including John Barrowman, Joe Pasquale and Leslie Joseph.

The move is part of a deal done with panto organisers Qdos entertainment who will receive an undisclosed sum in return.

The roles are not set to be too taxing and involve jumping out of the genie's lamp and acting as a chaperone to Cinderella.

Unsurprisingly the only lines Churchill will need to memorise are the ones from his TV adverts "oh yes" and "oh no".

Half a Christmas tree goes on sale

275x250.jpgIf your flat is too small for all the trimmings of the festive season this could be just what you need, half a Christmas tree.

B&Q have started stocking the faux tree because they say many new-build homes are so small owners don't have the space for a normal-sized Xmas tree.

At first glance it looks like any other 6 foot tree, but on closer inspection you can see it has been cut down the middle, enabling space-starved home owners to push it up against a wall.

Makers say it introduces same warm festive look as a normal tree, even for people who might otherwise had to have a tiny tree instead.

Another plus is that it only takes half the time to decorate too.

275x250.jpgAn artist plans to sell all of her belongings at just £1 each, as part of her latest artwork.

Sara Burden's 'Everything and Nothing' event will see her getting rid of her previous artworks, jewellery and even her VW Polo for the bargain sum.

Buyers each pay £1 and will receive a randomly selected item from the 40,000 on offer - less desirable items in Sara's life include teaspoons and cotton buds.

The 31-year-old from Derbyshire says the project highlights how people are defined by their possessions… neither her son Sam or his toys will be included int he sale.

275x250.jpgNumberplates reading F4 GOT and D1 KES have been pulled from a DVLA auction because they could be offensive to the gay community.

The distinctive plates - both which had a reserve of £900 - were due to be sold with 1,600 others at Broadway, Worcestershire.

But gay rights charity Stonewall said that F4 GOT could be read as ‘FAGOT’ and that D1 KES could be read as ‘DIKES’ which in turn sounds like ‘DYKES’ an insulting term for lesbians.

As a result the DVLA removed the numberplates from sale saying they did not want to cause offense.

The move was made much to the disappointment of fagot fans, by which we are obviously referring to the meaty treat from the West Midlands.

Nintendo Wii Fit now works for pets too

275x250.jpgPets will soon be able to join their computer game playing owners on the the Nintendo Wii.

In the new Wii Fit Plus game, users are able to recreate their pet cats or dogs as avatars -- with them them appearing in games as the owner plays.

Nintendo say the Wii Balance Board can be used to weight pets and monitor their the pet's weight-loss (or gain) alongside its owner.

A spokesperson said seeing you pet in the game could act as a motivator to continue playing.

However there are currently no games you pet can play… unless you count chewing on Wiimote and hiding it under the sofa.

275x250.jpgPudding lovers have created the world’s largest bread & butter pudding as part of celebrations for British Food Fortnight.

The giant dessert measures 7ft by 5ft and the colossus weighs in at more than 1500kg.

It took a team of seven Hovis bread experts more than 49 man hours to prepare and bake. The pudding is made up of more than 1000 slices of bread, 70 apples and 56 whole eggs.

There are obvious logistical issues when cooking such a big item, including finding an oven and baking tray big enough ... which actually led tyo them accidentally setting a second record for the world's largest baking tray.

275x250.jpgTV comedian Drew Carey has placed a $100,000 bid to buy the Twitter username @drew.

The name - currently owned by earlier adopter Drew Olanoff - is set to be sold to the highest bidder in an online auction to raise money for cancer support.

Last week bidding had reached $10,000, but then Carey announced a $25,000 bid, saying he would up this to $100,000 if he reached 100,000 followers before the auction deadline of Nov 9.

Currently TV funny-man Drew uses the name @DrewFromTV to chat to his 30,000 followers.

Other people touted as possible bidders include actress Drew Barrymore … and any rich dyslectics called Steve.

Population maps show bulging new world

275x250.jpgResearchers have created a new online atlas which displays images of the world, but not as we know it.

It uses population density distribution data, rather than land mass to show where people live in each country.

As a result London causes Britain to bulge beyond recognition on the maps - which break with 500-years of traditional cartography - while land-mass rich countries like Australia have all but disappeared.

Though we can see how the new maps an amazing insight into the current state of the world -- it's useless for finding your way from one place to another.

275x250.jpgWomen cause around 500,000 care crashes each year because they get distracted while putting on make-up at the wheel, it has been revealed.

A survey found 20 percent of women regularly touch up their mascara on the move, with three percent admitting having causing a collision as a result.

Women aged between 17 and 21 were the most likely to get distracted by their make-up, with 27 percent of 18-year-olds admitting doing it and nine percent crashing with they did so.

A spokesperson for Diamond car insurance, who commissioned the poll, said it was worrying that so many women risked the safety of themselves and others for the sake of make-up.

New laws mean that being caught doing you make-up while driving could result ina two-year jail term… unless you have already done your mascara and flutter your eyelashes at the officer.

275x250.jpgScientists have revealed a 4.4 million-year-old female partial skeleton nicknamed "Ardi" which could be related to every living human.

Discovered in the Ethiopian desert, researchers say she would have stood 4ft tall, weighed around 8st and had hairs covering most of her body.

She would have walked on two feet but was also a capable tree climber, with long fingers and big toes that allowed its feet to grasp like those of an ape.

But more importantly, experts think the 125 bones of Ardipithecus ramidus could be very close to the 'missing link' -- the common ancestor of humans and chimps.

Looking at the picture she could also be Wayne Rooney's grandmother.

Fresher's Week in numbers

275x250.jpgAs new students head off to university the number of beers, takeaways and drugs the will consume in their first week have been revealed.

Between then the 419,627 new Freshers will eat over 5 million slices of pizza, 840,000 kebabs and leave more than 1 million empty pint glasses in their wake.

A survey of over 1,500 students also found their first seven days would be filled with 262,267 packs of Paracetamol to cope with headaches and 1,258,881 fancy dress outfits.

While male students prefer beer and will down 1,258,881 pints female Freshers downed 34 measures of spirits each last week, totalling 7,133,659 spirit measures.

Students will also get through 5,874,778 slammers… maybe the 262,267 packs of Paracetamol won't be enough.

275x250.jpgPeople who live in blue houses get paid more and are generally are more successful than those living in homes painted any other colour, it has been revealed.
The average professional living in a blue-painted house earns an impressive £38,000-a year compared to the £23,500 earned by people red houses and £23,400 white homes.

A poll of 3,000 homeowners also found those with blue exterior walls were also more likely to be in a long term relationship, have children and good really close friends as well as taking at least two holidays abroad to exotic locations each year.

Excuse us while we pop outside to paint our walls before taking a picture of them and demanding that our boss give up a better salary.

275x250.jpgThe world's largest HD video screen has been revealed measuring a massive 11,400 sq ft.

Bigger than 3,000 52inch TV sets put together, the "Diamond Vision" screens sit above the pitch at the Dallas Cowboys stadium, despite weighing a hefty 600 tons.

There are four screens there in total, with two measuring 72 feet high by 160 feet and two other which are 29 feet high by 51 feet wide.

They are so huge 10,584,064 LED lights were used and the Guinness Book of Records have ditched measuring it in inches, and switched to square footage.

Let's just hope they are prepared for their electricity bill when it comes.

Where to find Britain's cheapest pints

275x250.jpgThe West Midlands is the cheapest place to drink beer with the average pint costing just £2.37, it has been claimed.

However the Good Pub Guide 2010 survey suggests that drinking in Surrey can be expensive, at £3.01 it is the priciest place for a pint.

In London you can expect to pay £2.89 with other expensive areas coming in at Berkshire £2.86, Buckinghamshire £2.84, Sussex £2.83 and Hertfordshire £2.81.

At the cheaper end of the scale in Staffordshire a pint costs £2.41, Worcestershire £2.48, Chester £2.50, Lancashire £2.52 with Derbyshire and Shropshire both at £2.54.

Remember these are the average pint prices, but what's the cheapest in your area, let us know in the comments… and we will be popping round for a drink.

275x250.jpgChildren who eat sweets and chocolate every day are more likely to be violent as adults, research has found.

A study of 17,000 people over a 30 year period discovered that people who eat lots of sweets as a kid are fare more likely to end up in prison.

Researchers from Cardiff University found that 69 percent of people convicted for violence had eaten confectionary daily when a child, compared to just 42 percent of those who were non-violent.

Lead researcher Dr Simon Moore said: "Our favoured explanation is that giving children sweets and chocolate regularly may stop them learning how to wait to obtain something they want."

He insists the 30 years research is not an elaborate excuse not to buy his children the odd Curly Wurly.

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