Simon Crisp: December 2009 Archives

275x250.jpgThink you've set yourself a hard new years resolution? Then spare a thought for Martin Parnell, he plans to run 250 marathons in the next 12 months.

The 54-year-old from Canada hopes to raise $250,000 for charity with his marathon effort -- running a total of 6,550 miles.

That works out to five marathons per week and Martin won't be celebrating the new decade too hard, his runs start on the morning of January 1.

While most of the 250 marathons will be run on the Cochrane Foothills Marathon course in Cochrane, Alberta, Martin will also compete in several official events.

We dread to think how many pairs of trainers he will get through during the year, but given how long he will be wearing them we hope he leaves them outside.

275x250.jpgUS weather reporter Kim Perez didn't forecast this -- her boyfriend proposing to her live on TV.

The Weather Channel presenter was busy talking about rainfall in Florida when her policeman partner Marty Cunningham walked onto the set.

He quickly dropped to one knee and asked her to marry him, as he did music started playing and the US map switched to a screen saying "Will You Marry Me?"

Luckily he wasn't left embarrassed, Kim said 'I will,' before adding ‘You got me’ and ‘You make me so happy.’

Then came the traditional end to any good marriage proposal… a voiceover introduces the football forecast.

275x250.jpgA hypnotist has announced plans for a stunt where he intends to put users of Facebook and Twitter into a trance and stick their hands together.
Chris Hughes says his Socialtrance event on the 4th of January will be the world's largest mass online hypnosis session.

Using just the sound of his voice he claims the webcast will leave users of the social networks stuck to their chair and unable to open their eyes.

The 34-year-old says he wants to show people to the power of hypnotism and that all participants need is a computer with speakers and a Twitter or Facebook account.

But who is going to be more susceptible Twitter or Facebook users? Let us know which you think in the comments.

275x250.jpgAustralian lifeguards will soon get text messages when Great White sharks swim near the beaches they are patrolling.

Researchers are electronically tagging the man-eating predators with GPS units which will constantly monitor their movements.

If the sharks then get too near to a beach a satellite receiver will automatically send out emails and text messages to wildlife officials and lifeguards.

Currently 74 white sharks have been tagged and there are 20 communications-equipped monitoring stations have been installed off the Perth coast.

Bosses say they hope the network will "provide timely alerts of tagged sharks' presence close to beaches" -- obviously this is unless the lifeguard is busy playing a game on his phone at the time.

275x250.jpgBen Southall - the winner of a competition for the best job in the world - has been stung by a deadly jellyfish.

The 34-year-old Brit was just days away from the end of his six month stint at "caretaker" of Hamilton Island in Queensland when he was stung by a deadly Irukandji jellyfish.

Though tiny (they measure just 2cm) the Irukandji are extremely venomous and stings can often result in people being hospitalised, and are sometimes fatal.

Ben had been on a 'hard-earned break' from his £75,000, six-month job when he was stung while jetsking.

Given that his normal duties include scuba-diving to check on marine life and writing a blog about his experiences we are finding it a bit hard to feel sorry for him.

275x250.jpgExperts claim that wallpaper which emits light could replace lightbulbs, within the next five years.

A Welsh firm has just been given a £454,000 grant by the Carbon Trust to develop their eco-friendly OLED technology.

Bosses at Lomox claim their designs can be used as a thin film to coat almost any surface and light up when a small electric charge is passed through them.

It uses only a fraction of the power of traditional lightbulbs and could be to make almost any item glow and change colour with a natural looking light.

Eventually the lighting OLED film could be used to put TV screens on any surface… and mean you can change your wallpaper at whim.

275x250.jpg The Dunn's are not your average family -- they spend their days driving speeding vehicles, jumping through windows and setting themselves on fire.

The family-of-five from Vancouver have appeared in countless Hollywood movies including Catwoman, Poltergeist and X-Men 2.

Parents Jim and Celia think nothing of watching their children Connor, 15, Ali 11 and Austin, 9, fighting, exploding and climbing up the sides of buildings.

Amazingly the kids have never (yet) been injured while doing the crazy stunts… though Dad Jim has broke his leg seven times.

Shopping centre builds 'women's car park'

275x250.jpgA Chinese shopping centre has built a car park specially designed for women -- with pink walls and wider spaces.

The "Lady Parking" car park is filled spaces which are a metre (3ft) wider than conventional gaps and  has increased signs to help female drivers find their way out.

They have even employed specially trained parking attendants to guide women drivers into and out of, the extra-large spaces.

Bosses at the Wanxiang Tiancheng shopping centre in Shijiazhuang say the "Lady Parking" car park has been designed specifically with women in mind.

The move is aimed at making women more likely to go shopping on their own…  not that it is normally a problem.

A woman called 999 to tell police that her cat was playing with string and it was annoying her.

The odd call was revealed by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to highlight the problem of nuisance 999 calls, particularly over the holiday period.

The woman called 999 over Christmas to report that her cat was playing with string and it was 'doing her head in.'

It is not known exactly how police responded, but we can guess.

Another caller over the Christmas period phoned police to say he was stuck on a patch of ice in a street in Bolton and was too scared to go forwards or backwards.

275x250.jpgA UK town ended up with dim street-lights when drug growers hacked into the electricity supply to power their cannabis farm.

The 200-plant cannabis factory in Lancashire is said to have drained so much power that residents asked the council if they were using low-energy lightbulbs.

But it was only when police noticed the dim lights and launched an investigation they discovered the local electricity network had been tampered with.

It was found that a 19-year-old woman was illegally draining the lighting system to power a £100,000 cannabis factory in her three rooms of her Fleetwood home.

The electricity was powering a sophisticated lighting and watering scheme -- something her neighbours were in the dark about, literally.

275x250.jpgAfter finding out her boyfriend was cheating on her, Leanne Joseph decided she didn't want to open the Christmas gifts he had bought her.

She also didn't want anything around the house which reminded her of the love-rat -- so instead she put the eight wrapped presents up for auction on eBay.

The 24-year-old said in her listing that her former boyfriend normally bought her jewellery, perfume and underwear and  she expected more of the same this year.

She added that her likes (which he knew) include pink girly items, bling and designer labels.

Bids have already reached over £200 for the presents - which could be a lot for a card saying he has met someone else.

Safari-goers to use night vision goggles

275x250.jpgVisitors to a South African safari have started using military-style night vision goggles to watch animals into the night.

Bosses at Londolozi Game Lodge in South Africa are issuing tourists the equipment - normally associates with combat - to get a better look at the animals.

They say it not only allows guests to stay out longer, but also get closer to the lions, hippopotamus and buffalo than ever before.

A spokesperson for Londolozi said: "Imagine sitting in the dark with a pride of lion hunting. The lights are off but you are seeing and hearing just like the lions."

We tried imagining it... then we had to imagine changing our trousers

275x250.jpgWomen have a better sense of touch because of their smaller hands and fingers, researchers have found.

Boffins tested the tactile acuity and sensitivity of 100 students by pressing progressively narrower parallel grooves against their stationary fingertips.

It was found that people with smaller fingers could discern tighter grooves thanks to having more closely spaced sensory receptors in their tiny digits.

The boffins from McMaster University say that this explains why in previous tests women were found to have more acute sensation in the fingers.

It also explains why women who wear extra-large gloves aren't generally that 'acute'.

275x250.jpgA Japanese engineer has set a new record for the longest flight with a paper-only plane.

Using a specially designed 10cm long paper plane, Takuo Toda's origami flight in a  Japan Airlines hangar near Tokyo's Haneda Airport lasted 26.1s.

While just short of the world record 27.9 seconds, it was a new record for a paper-only plane -- the world record (also held by Toda) was set by one with tape on it.

Toda - head of the Japan Origami Airplane Association - said he was pleased with the record but hopes to achieve a 30 second flight soon.

Check out his world record breaking flight after the link and find out how to make a Sky King paper plane -- we guess the reasons to click are twofold.

Star Trek is the most pirated movie of 2009

275x250.jpgStar Trek has been illegally downloaded around 11 million times this year - that's more than any other movie.

Experts from TorrentFreak say the J.J. Abrams sci-fi flick was the most pirated film of 2009, ahead of things like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Twilight.

Other popular BitTorrent downloads included The Hangover, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Guy Ritchie's crime movie RocknRolla was the third most downloaded film of the year -- you have to admit that watching it seems a suitable punishment for illegal downloading movies.

275x250.jpgAlmost 50,000 Brits have officially changed their name in the past 12 months -- and not always to sensible sounding monikers.

Odd names which can now appear on passports, credit cards and bills now include, 'Prince of Passion', ' Richie Rockstar' and 'None of the Above'

The UK Deed Poll Service say twice as many people are switching names as five years ago and while many are women reverting to their maiden name after a divorce, some are more frivolous.

Chief executive Mike Barratt said: "The record year has also produced another wonderful crop of unusual names. The eccentricity of the British public is on show again."

To celebrate this, he has even compiled a list of the top 20 weird name changes of 2009. Check them out after the link… and imagine what it is like to live life as Mr Happy Birthday.

275x250.jpgBoffins say they have finally cracked the all important Christmas secret of ensuring you win a cracker pull.

They say the formula 0=11xC/L+5xQ - which uses info on the length, circumference, and quality
of the cracker - can be used to make sure you end up with the prize.

Using the formula is said to give a two digit figure between 20 and 55 degrees, the ideal angle below the horizontal at which to pull.

While countless people will be sure to use the calculation to work out the angle with which they need to pull the cracker to get the big bit, it's not exactly be in the sprit of Christmas is it?

275x250.jpgRather than listening out for the sound of the bells on his sleigh, children can now follow Father Christmas's progress on Facebook, Twitter and Google Maps.

The US military's North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been tracking Santa for over 50 years - thanks to their radar system and satellites.

But this year, children around the world are receiving live updates since Santa set off at 11am (GMT) and seeing his movements plotted live on online maps.

NORAD say they are able to do this because Rudolph's nose gives off an infrared signature, which their satellites can detect… remember these are the people keeping America safe.

Christmas diners must sign pudding waiver

275x250.jpgA restaurant in London is making diners sign a legal waiver before they can tuck into a traditional Christmas pudding.

High Timber introduced the legal document because their puddings contains solid silver pieces - a tradition dating back hundred of years.

But bosses were worried that if a diner chipped a tooth or swallowed one of the coins - worth £15-£75 and in four of every 30 puds - they could sue the restaurant.

The waiver read: "I absolve High Timber from blame should I come to harm including a chipped tooth, or any injury as a result of swallowing it."

So far non or the diners have come to any harm… but some have tried paying for their meal with half-chewed silver coins.

275x250.jpgA US zoo has raised $20,884 (£13,000) this Christmas -- by selling jewellery and other gifts made from Reindeer poo.

For several years Miller Park Zoo in Indiana have taken Reindeer poo and dehydrated and sterilised it before painting it with glitter.

The mess is then fashioned into 'gems' and used to make necklaces, earrings, ornaments and Christmas tree decorations which are sold in the gift shop and online.

This year they produced 300 necklaces and more than 2,000 ornaments which have been sold for $7.50 to £10 to people all around the world.

On hearing the Reindeer poo designs had raised so much money this year, one zoo boss said "No sh*t, really?"

275x250.jpgA man wearing a Santa suit, false beard and sunglasses has robbed a bank at gunpoint.

The Father Christmas walked into the SunTrust Bank in Nashville and demanded the teller gave him cash -- he then pulled out the gun.

As he stuffed the wads of money into his sack, he told staff he would "kill everyone" if they put dye packs in with the notes or tried and funny stuff.

It is not known why Santa has turned to a life of crime... but some people speculate his elves have demanded a pay increase this year.

Top 10 most watched TV shows of the decade

275x250.jpgAn Only Fools and Horses Christmas special has been named as Britain's most watched programme of the decade.

BARB say more than 21 million viewers tuned in to 2001 show where the Trotters lose their fortune… so not even a good episode.

An episode of EastEnders where viewers found out who shot Phil Mitchell came in second with 20 million viewers, and a Coronation Street from 2003 came third.

Other shows in the Top 10 included Britain's Got Talent, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, The X Factor and I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!

While that might paint a depressing picture of UK TV, if sporting events had been included, six of the Top 10 would have been England football matches. Is that better or worse?

Russia plans to send a monkey to Mars

275x250.jpgRussian authorities have revealed plans which could see them send monkeys to Mars.

After putting mon­­­keys into orbit in 1983 the Soviets moved on to human astronauts - but now the apes could be making a return.

While space experts say while the aim is to get humans on Mars, the length of the flight and effects of cosmic rays is said to make it impossible to plan for at the moment.

As a result the Institute of Experimental Pathology and Therapy - which supplied apes for the programme in the 1980s - has revealed plans for a monkey Mars mission.

It is likely to start with a ground-based simulation capsule mission for 520 days… and about 1,500 bananas.

Fugitive prisoner still updating Facebook

275x250.jpgDespite being on the run from police after absconding from prison three months ago, Craig Lynch is finding time to update his Facebook page.

The 28-year-old disappeared from Hollesley Bay Prison in Suffolk where he had been serving a seven-year sentence for aggravated burglary.

But since then he is said to have taunted cops by updating his Facebook page - where he has 880 friends - with boasts about what he is doing - and even where he plans to be at certain times.

So if police really wanted to re-capture him, they might consider going to a certain party in Lowestoft on New Year's Eve where he says he will be.

275x250.jpgPrince William has spent a night sleeping rough on a bed of cardboard boxes in a  London street - to raise awareness of the plight of homeless young people.

On Dec 15th the Prince - along with Seyi Obakin of charity Centrepoint - set up a 'bed' of cardboard boxes around Blackfriars bridge as temperatures dropped to -4C.

They then experienced first-hand what it is like for the thousands of young people who live rough in UK cities worried about being accosted by drug dealers and pimps.

At one point the Prince and fellow rough sleepers were almost run over by a road sweeper. Throughout the night they had also needed to keep an eye out for people who were out to give homeless people a kicking.

Maybe sensibly the Prince refrained from using the sleeping bag with the sentence "My other bed ... is in a palace" printed on it.

275x250.jpgAn electrical retailer has revealed an unintentionally funny slogan on their website  -- suggesting you may want to shop elsewhere.

Dixons have launched the slogan "Dixons: The last place you want to go" which may not convey exactly the meaning they intended.

At first it was thought their website may have been hacked, but bosses confirmed it was planned and was meant to suggest you could find everything you could need, not that Dixons is a last resort.

After a brief moment of mocking online this morning, the high-street turned online store pulled the slogan from the site… but it remains true for many people.

Police hunt for supermarket bum sniffer

Police are on the look out for an odd criminal who was caught on CCTV repeatedly sniffing the bum of a supermarket worker.

The pervert - who is balding, ginger and about 40-years-old - has been seen smelling the rears of Co-op workers in Plymouth, Devon.

Cops say he has done this at least 20 times and have released the footage of him sniffing peopled bottoms in the hope that someone can identify him.

The clip clearly shows him pretending to pick items from shelves near staff and sniffing their bum.

On one occasion he got so close his nose touched the man... guess he really did get a bum deal from Co-op.

275x250.jpg Residential Christmas light displays are responsible for nearly half a million road accidents each year, it has been claimed.

Experts claim that as many as 73 percent of drivers get distracted by houses with brash light displays - which can sometimes look like a seasonal version of Las Vegas.

As a result they say 2 million drivers have had a near miss, and that 440,000 have actually crashed their vehicles as a direct result of staring at dazzling illuminations.

So if you do insist on having that giant inflatable and illuminated Santa in your garden, leave a space for the couple of crashed Volvos which will end up in there too.

Most men can't even do basic DIY tasks

275x250.jpgModern men can't carry out simple DIY tasks such as rewiring plugs or bleeding radiators, it has been claimed.

More intent on pursuing a career than becoming a dab-hand at DIY means that younger British men are more likely to employ professionals to do menial jobs around the home.

But this is in stark contrast to thirty years ago, when dads were expected to do everything in the home themselves and carried the jobs out with ease.

A study of 3,000 blokes showed that 51 per cent of those in their twenties are incapable of rewiring a plug, compared to just 15 per cent of men over the age of 50.

Changing a light bulb also leaves 13 per cent of young men stumped… and means that "how many lightbulbs" jokes are no longer quite as funny.

275x250.jpgThey used to be the scourge of Christmas, but the dodgy festive wooly jumper has now become a trend in its own right.

This year thousands of people are said to be holding Christmas jumper parties where guests have had to turn up in the worst X-mas fashions they have been gifted.

There are even dozens of websites advising people of ways to ironically celebrate ugly jumpers at their party and suggest jumper related games and drinks.

But because most people have traditionalty thrown the dodgy X-mas sweaters away, they have had to go out and buy them.

However, it's worth remembering that if you are going to one of the parties this year, you might want to wait until you are there before putting it on. In public you look sad rather than ironic.

275x250.jpgAlmost one in four people will look at the internet history of their partner, to see what Christmas present they might have been bought.

A study of 1,000 Brits found 23 percent would sneak-a-peak at their Christmas gifts online, rather than hunting the house and squeezing wrapped presents.

Nowadays they just load up the internet browser and look in the history folder to see what sites and products have been viewed or purchased.

A further 15 percent of people said they'd accidentally stumbled on what they had been bought by visiting a shopping website on a shared computer and seeing a message like "you recently bought…"

We only hope that not too many women out their think they're getting a porn related present after checking up on their boyfriend or husband's browsing history.

275x250.jpg A German airline is allowing holidaymakers to take their Christmas tree away with them.

Air Berlin has said that up until Christmas Eve passengers can transport their festive trees (of up to two metres) for free.

Bosses introduced the move because they say Germans don't like to be parted from their Christmas trees, even when going on holiday.

Personally we would like to see the photos on the beach of Germans sunbathing next to a fully decorated tree with presents underneath.

UK homes smell of toast and washing powder

275x250.jpgToast, perfume and washing powder are the smells most likely to hit you when you walk through the door of the average British home.
Researchers have pin-pointed the aromas which they claim make a house a home, with washing powder making up 34 per cent of the scent.
Freshly made toast accounts for another 22 per cent of the scent, while perfume makes up 17 per cent.
Other smells which will typically hit you as you step through front doors around Britain include 10 per cent last night's dinner, 12 per cent flowers, 5 per cent damp coffee and pets.
Interestingly the smell of toast even manages to permeate the homes of people who never eat toast.

Top 10 most annoying Christmas songs ever

275x250.jpgMr Blobby has been named as the most annoying Christmas tune ever - and who are we to argue.

The polka-dotted pink blob beat festive classics from Rolf Harris, Cliff Richard and Boney M's 'Mary's Boy Child' to claim the top spot.
The 1993 novelty hit, brainchild of Simon Cowell and made famous on Noel Edmond's House Party, was voted the most irritating Christmas number of all time in a poll of 4,000 music-lovers.
In second place in the cringe-worthy Crimbo top 20 was Neil Morrisey's Bob the Builder's 'Can We Fix it?'. St Winifred's School Choir was voted into third place with their song 'There's No-One Quite Like Grandma', which hit the top of the charts in 1980.

Top 10 annoying Christmas songs available after the link. If you manage to play them all you deserve a prize, like a new battery for your hearing aid.

Fuzzy Friday: The years biggest hangover

275x250.jpgIf you are looking around the office today and thinking it is a bit quiet, that's because today is 'Fuzzy Friday'

For the uninitiated Fuzzy Friday is the day when one in 10 workers have a hangover from the office Christmas party - and 44 percent have no intention of going to work.

Of those who do make it in to work - four in 10 are unlikely to make it on time and 14 percent will be wearing the same clothes they partied in the night before.

And if you think the office smells a bit iffy, that's because 20 percent of workers were too hung-over to bother having a shower this morning.

If you are reading this in disbelief, then we are sorry to tell you, but 'you' didn't make the most of your Christmas party. There is always next year.

Pyramid UFOs filmed over Kremlin (Video)

275x250.jpgA bizarre giant pyramid-shaped UFO has appeared over Moscow's Kremlin where it is said to have hovered for several hours.

Videos of the flying object - which some claim is about a mile wide - have been posted to YouTube where they have been watched by thousands of people.

Some UFO experts claim the clips make compelling viewing and are the closest anyone has come to proving that aliens have visited the earth.

However, more cynically minded theorists suggest it could be an odd shaped hot air balloon or even a hologram.

As the good people of Moscow haven't all run screaming into the night we are tempted to think it may not be an alien craft. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

275x250.jpgTV show boss Simon Cowell is inadvertently helping Rage Against the Machine in their chart battle with X Factor winner Joe McElderry.

Cowell has previously spoken out against the 'cynical' Facebook group trying to get the RATM track to the number one spot over Christmas.

But now, anyone searching for Simon Cowell on - one of the UKs biggest MP3 retailers - is being advised to buy 'Killing In The Name' over 'The Climb ' by McElderry.

The 1992 track appears at the top of a list of projects suggested by other customers - something which is sure to annoy Cowell in the run up to the Christmas number 1.

But what is guaranteed to hurt him more is that he hasn't worked out a way of making money out of the the RATM track… maybe we will see one of his other acts covering it soon.

Bookies slash the odds on a white Christmas

275x250.jpgBookmakers have just cut the odds on Britain having a white christmas after recent snowfall prompted thousands of people to place bets.

As much of the UK woke to a coving of snow many people thought they would use the weather to try to pay for a few of those Christmas presents sitting under the tree.

But just as they did, bookies slashed the odds on us seeing a snowy Dec 25th to some of the lowest recored for years.

William Hill, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes are all now offering odds as low as 2/1 for snow in cities including London, Manchester and Birmingham.

But even with such measly odds, if we do get snow on Christmas morning the bookies are expected to lose in excess of £500,000. Are you dreaming betting on a white Christmas?

'Golden ratios' of female beauty discovered

275x250.jpgBoffins claim the distance between a woman's eyes and her eyes and her mouth are the key to her being attractive.

Researchers say they have now found the ideal facial feature arrangement and ratio which ensures a woman's face will be attractive to other people.

Apparently the space between their eyes and the mouth should be 36 percent of the face's length and the distance between their eyes 46 percent of the face's width.

This means celebrities including Liz Hurley and Jessica Alba have scientifically perfect facial proportions… like we need science to tell us Jessica Alba is sexy.

275x250.jpgNew F1 boss Sir Richard Branson could soon be donning an air stewardess uniform and serving coffee on a rival airline, after placing a odd Formula One bet.

Branson has made a wager with rival F1 boss Tony Fernandes that his Virgin Racing team will do better than Lotus F1 next season.

If they do Tony will have to work for a day as a stewardess with Virgin Atlantic Airways - complete with unflattering uniform. But if Lotus F1 do better Branson will do the same on AirAsia.

AirAsia CEO Fernandes - who released this cheeky picture - said of the bet: "Our passengers will be delighted to be served by a Knight of the Realm."

Either way I think we can all agree the biggest losers will be the passengers on whichever flight gets the cross-dressing stewardess.

275x250.jpgAquarium bosses have been forced to lower the level of water in their tanks... because of flatulent turtles

Bosses at Sea Life Yarmouth have been forced to drain off of water from a 250,000 litre tank after giving their turtles a seasonal treat of brussel sprouts.

The turtles are said to love the taste of the vegetables - which thanks to calcium, fibre and Vitamin C are good for their shells and digestions.

But, like with humans, this has apparently caused the same embarrassing side-effect, but with an added problem, the bubbling water can trigger overflow alarms.

This means that staff would be running to the tanks every time one of the green turtles farted - not what they want to be doing on Christmas day.

275x250.jpgIf you're off to the office Christmas party this year keep an eye out for girls called Sarah, Becky and Emma - they are the ones most likely to make a fool of themselves.
The monikers of the biggest party-girls emerged in a study of 4,000 office workers.

It was found that people thought those with certain names were more likely to get caught doing a dodgy dance, flirting with the boss or flashing their underwear.
Other girls to give a wide berth on the dance floor include Alice, Debbie, Katie, Amy and Chantelle. Meanwhile, blokes to be laughed at were revealed as Chris, John, Dave, Steve and Paul.
People called Anne and Richard are expected to be the ones to slope off early, heading home at 9.30pm - which means someone else will have to tell them what Sarah and Steve got up to.

275x250.jpgA member of public has called an emergency RSPCA helpline to get help for a seagull which was looking sad because it was sitting in the rain.

The daft caller expected officers to track down the gull and cheer it up - or at least find out why is was upset.

The details of the odd call have been revealed as one of the top 10 funny calls made to the charities emergency phone line over the past 12 months.

More than one million calls were made to the RSPCA line - that's one every 29 seconds - for advice on animal welfare or to report an incident of cruelty.
While the majority of the calls are of a serious nature, occasionally they range from the weird and wonderful to the downright wacky - check out the top 10 after the link.

275x250.jpg77% of Blackberry owners won’t get a proper break from work this Christmas and many will even check their work emails on Christmas day.

A study of over 1,000 smartphone owners found that the vast majority of workers will check their mobile over the festive season, with two thirds doing it on a daily basis.

45 percent said they will keep their work Blackberry on them at all times - in case something important crops up - and 26 percent said checking emails is a habit they are unable to break.

All of this is despite the fact that 49 percent expect their Christmas Blackberry use to prompt a fight with family members... presumably via email or text.

275x250.jpgThe son of Evel Knievel has announced plans to tackle the double-decker bus jump which defeated his dad and ended his career.

Robbie Knievel, 47 has revealed he will try to jump over 16 double-decker buses to mark the 35th anniversary of his dad’s failed attempt.

In 1975 Evel tried to jump his Harley-Davidson XR-750 over a row of 13 of the buses in front of 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium.

But when his rear wheel clipped the last bus he summersaulted through the air and broke his pelvis - ending his career.

Now Robbie will try to recreate the jump in London during May 2010… well everything except the crash.

Scottish beach used to promote Thailand

275x250.jpgTourist bosses in Thailand have been using a photo of an Outer Hebridean island to promote their own beach resorts.

The photo - which has been used to advertise Kai Bae Beach - looks like the ideal tropical getaway, with a white beach and inviting sea

And it has undoubtedly encouraged plenty of holidaymakers to head off to the Thailand resort.
But this is actually Berneray island in Scotland's Outer Hebride and was taken by photographer John Kirriemuir and used on

Unfortunately for John, rather than whisking him off to the other side of the world to recreate the snap it looks like Thai tourist bosses just 'borrowed' the original.

275x250.jpgThe sounds of some of the UKs worst snorers has been put together to make one of the oddest sounding Christmas songs of the year.

Musicians got snorers from around the UK to record the sounds of their night time rumbling and submit them for use in the 'song'.

They then edited the sounds together in the studio - creating a bizarre rendition of Silent Night which can be heard here.

While the snorers on the track are undoubtedly proud, we suggest they don't insist on playing it to their long-suffering partners too often - they want a genuinely silent night.

Wine tastes better in red or blue rooms

275x250.jpgPeople think the same wine tastes better if they are drinking it in a room with red or blue ambient lighting, scientists have found.

German psychologists got 500 people to taste Riesling wines in a variety of lighting conditions.

They asked the drinkers to rate the plonk and say how much they would pay for a bottle as they went.

It was found that the same wine tasted better when exposed to red or blue ambient light rather than green or white light and drinkers said they were consistently willing to pay more for it.

Just don't show this article to the landlord down at your local, he will be putting some red lightbulbs in a hiking the price of his wines.

When MP Paul Gogarty shouted "F*** you" at a fellow politician in the Irish parliament he made a quick apology for his language.

But it now looks like he didn't need to -- the F-word is not on the list of words Irish MPs are banned from saying.

During a budget debate last week, Gogarty, of the Green Party, was heckled by the opposition for "bleating and blathering"

But rather than a witty riposte, he shouted back "With all due respect, in the most unparliamentary language, f*** you Deputy Stagg. F*** you," - before apologising.

As it turns out F**k is not on the list of banned words, though coward;  guttersnipe; hypocrite; rat; scumbag; brat and buffoon all are… in England some MPs want the word 'expenses' to be banned too.

275x250.jpgThe average parent spends more than a month of their life playing with their children's toys by themselves, it has been found.
Researchers claim mums and dads mess around with toys such as dolls, cars and action figures for at least 22 minutes per day - when not playing with their child.
This means they fiddle with games, bricks and dolls for two hours and 34 minutes every week, which equates to nearly five days a year.
That means that while the child is between the ages of four and 11, the average parent will play alone for one month and 10 days.
Many parents also get upset when a child wants to play with a toy they are fiddling with… especially if the child makes a taller Lego tower.

275x250.jpgA mischievous best man has played a prank on an unsuspecting bride and groom, using Twitter to broadcast every time the happy couple have sex.

The unnamed man claims he started off by rigged up pressure-sensitive sensors to the newly married couple's bed while they were away on honeymoon.

These detect 'excessive' movements and trigger a computer to send an update to the Twitter account @newlywedsontjob with details of the 'action'.

Each update includes the duration, how frenzied their movement was, along with a 'judges comment'.

It is not known who the couple are but they got back from their honeymoon on Friday… they are already up to four times since then.

275x250.jpgA supermarket has pulled Christmas cards off the shleves after complaints they made fun of ginger haired kids.

The £1.50 card features a photo of a boy with red hair sat on Santa's knee and has the message 'Santa loves all kids. Even GINGER ones'.

But after a series of complaints from irate parents with red-head kids (who were seeing red) Tesco stores have stopped selling it.

A spokesperson for the store said they sell a large range of Christmas card some which are intended to be humorous and that they were sorry if the card had caused any upset.

It had been claimed that the card is discriminatory and likely to cause offence to people with ginger hair. However, no-one seems to be disputing that it was funny.

Just how unfit is the average Brit? Very

275x250.jpgThe average adult in Britain is so unhealthy they are left gasping for breath after running for a bus, it has been found.

The worrying statistic emerged in a report which also found 22 percent  are 'puffed' after a quick trip up the stairs.

One in five went as far as to admit they were 'left sweating' after running the hoover around the house for just 16 minutes and four in ten 'need a sit down' after mowing the lawn.

The statistics were revealed after 2,000 people were quizzed about the level of their fitness including; how far they can run, how many are left feeling puffed out doing what and how much exercise they do.

It also emerged most people can only manage to run 108 metres before coming to an abrupt halt… that was away from the researcher asking them about their health.

275x250.jpgSome people really do exhibit 'werewolf tendencies' during a full moon and become more violent, it has been found.

An 11 month research project at an Australian hospital looked at the way in which patients behaviour changed with the lunar cycle.

Scientists discovered that patients were twice as likely to be admitted to the emergency department displaying 'violent and acute behavioural disturbance' during a full moon than any other lunar phase.

In this state they were much more likely to attack staff by biting, spitting and scratching them. It was concluded violence manifested more commonly during the full moon… but there was no growth of fangs or excessive hair.

Next up they will test the Teen Wolf hypothesis that a full moon makes people better basketball players.

A sports fan watched in horror as friends fired guns at his 60-inch TV - after he bet them on Facebook that his team would win.

Wayne Spring was so confident that the Washington Redskins would win a recent game against the New Orleans Saints, he decided to bet his prized TV on the outcome.

He told pals on Facebook that it the Saints won, they could all go around to his house and shoot his TV. Guess what happened.

About 10 Saints fans arrived totting guns and beers and the 60-inch HD TV was positioned in his garden in front of the impromptu firing squad.

They then let rip and the television was shot dozens of times … Spring says he will be watching the rest of the NFL season on a 13-inch black and white set.

275x250.jpgAlmost half of married (or in a relationship) office workers could be tempted by some romance at this years office party, it has been found.

A recent study found that 47 percent of men, and 43 percent of women, say they 'might' get up close and personal with a co-worker this Christmas.

The office workers said that as they get into the Christmas spirit - by which they mean knocking back paid-for drinks - they were likely to consider kissing (at least) a colleague.

Even more worryingly nine percent of those questioned said that even if an unattractive work colleague made a pass at them they would take them up on the offer.

However, looking around at the borderline humans which pass as staff at NewsLite Towers, I can whole-heartedly promise my wife that she has nothing to worry about. 

Handbag hedgehogs become new pet craze

275x250.jpgA bizarre craze is said to be sweeping the UK where women are buying pet pygmy hedgehogs to keep in their handbags - like prickly designer dogs.

The tiny African pygmy hedgehogs which sell for £250 each, grow to just five inches long and are said to have placid temperaments making them good pets.

Many women - including some Premiership footballers' wives and girlfriends - have snapped up the pets and even take the cute creatures out in their handbags.

Experts say pygmy hedgehogs, which will eat cat food, love being handled and will sit quite happily in a handbag while their owner goes shopping.

Sounds like a must-have for every would-be Paris Hilton … hedgehog poo in her Gucci bag.

A US policeman who dances as he directs traffic has become an internet hit after videos of him have been uploaded to YouTube.

Dozens of clips show officer Tony Lepore strutting his stuff as he directs cars and busses around Rhode Island with a carefully choreographed routine.

The 62-year-old twirls, jumps and drops to his knees as he blows his whistle and points to tell drivers at busy the intersections when to move.

He is said to have started dancing on duty after seeing something similar on an episode of Candid Camera in the 1980s.

While Lepore wears full uniform including white gloves when working, he must be tempted to take one off Michael Jackson-style while he moonwalks cars in the right direction.

Why some footballers are bad at penalties

275x250.jpgBoffins claim they have worked out why some footballers are better at taking penalties, and it's all about anxiety and eye position.

Researchers say that footballers like Frank Lampard and Peter Crouch naturally feel anxious when taking part in a penalty shootout, and that this controls their behaviour.

Anxiety causes a player's eye gaze to focus on the centrally positioned goalkeeper - which in turn impacts they motor control and kick.

The team from the University of Exeter say that this means a shot is more likely to end up at the centre of the goal, making it more easier for the goalkeeper to save.

In that case Chris Waddle (are we showing out age here?) must have a lazy eye.

iPod vacuum cleaner revealed by Electrolux

275x250.jpgResearchers claim that listening to music while you vacuum can help you do the job faster, better and even keep fit while cleaning.

That's why Electrolux have just unveiled The Silence Amplified vacuum - which has an iPod dock and built in speakers.

Makers claim the concept design - which runs at extra low volume allowing you to hear the music - could have huge advantages.

In tests earlier this year they found listening to different types of music has an impact on someones cleaning. For example people vacuum fastest to rock, but jazz makes them more thorough.

However, listening to Girls Aloud just made people wish they were using an old noisy vacuum so they couldn't hear the singing.

Scientific formula for perfect parking

275x250.jpgBoffins have created a complex equation which they claim shows the best way of getting a car into a parallel parking space, if you are good at sums.

Maths professor Simon Blackburn came up with the formula after hearing that 57 percent of drivers lack confidence in their parking ability.

He claims being able to park is about understanding the angles and dimensions involved and with that anyone could park their car into a street space. By using his formula he says drivers will know exactly when to turn the steering wheel to fit into the space perfectly.

Obviously there is one mistake in his logic. Their maths ability is the one think most people worry about more than their parking skills.

Salsa dancing grandmother shocks TV judges

A 75-year-old salsa dancing British grandmother has shocked judges on 'Tu Si Que Vales' (You Are Worth It) - Spain's version of Britain's Got Talent.

Sarah Jones put in an amazingly acrobatic performance on the show with viewers dubbing her the Susan Boyle of salsa.

After taking the the stage with her Spanish salsa instructor Nicko, she shimmied, twirled and flipped like someone 55 years younger.

Judges were amazed and Sarah - originally from Stourbridge, West Midlands - won the show and scooped the first prize of €10,000.

"I’m living proof age is no barrier," she said after her win… and until her hip drops off mid-twirl she is right.

275x250.jpgElton John and Judy Garland have been voted the greatest gay icons of all time.

The 62-year-old rock star was picked a the top gay male icon, in part for marrying David Furnish on the first day same-sex unions became legal.

Garland meanwhile, was named top female celebrity gay icon with many of the 5,000 people polled say her portrayal of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, resonates with the gay community.

Others celebrities to feature on the lists included Freddie Mercury, Kylie Minogue, Stephen Fry and Liza Minelli.

Gay icons or not, whatever way you look at it, that list would make one hell of a dinner party, don't you think.

Baby Pygmy Hippo born at Colchester Zoo

275x250.jpgA UK zoo is celebrating the rare birth of baby pygmy hippo - by releasing these photos of the cute critter.

The healthy female - who has not yet been named - was born to her eight-year-old mother Venus on Friday the 27th November and has been getting on well since then.

Staff at Colchester Zoo say she has been running around the pen and settling in nicely. They will now weigh her every day to ensure that she continues to mature at a healthy rate.

Currently the pocket-sized hippopotamus weighs just 8kg but she will grow to 20 times that size... though that is still a fraction of what most hippos (and people who stay at home looking at pictures of cute animals on the internet) weigh.

275x250.jpgScientists say an iceberg nearly twice the size of Hong Kong is currently on a collision course with Australia.

The giant iceberg - which measures 87 square miles and weights 200 billion tonnes - and broke off from the Antarctic 10 years ago.

Since then the iceberg, known as B-17-B, has bobbed around the icy waters before recently starting to float north in the direction of Western Australia.

Glaciologist Neal Young of the Australian Antarctic Division said that as it moves north it will slowly break into much smaller chunks.

So Australians have reason to celebrate, not only will the superberg not destroy their country - but they could end up with a handy supply of ice cubes.

Why dogs DO make better pets than cats

275x250.jpgResearchers claim they can now scientifically answer the age-old question "Which are better, dogs or cats?"

A team from New Scientist magazine looked at the various benefits of each pet across 11 traits - before coming to a considered conclusion. Dogs are better, but only by a whisker.

While cats came out top as far as factors such as brain size, popularity, noise, senses and eco-friendliness were concerned, dogs pipped them to the overall title.

The pooches were deem to be scientifically better in terms of domestication, bonding, understanding language, problem solving, training and usefulness.

While we are not going to say where we come in of the dog versus cat debate we would like to remind you (and the scientists) what great pets goldfish make?

275x250.jpgTurquoise will be the colour which best epitomises 2010, experts have claimed.

Bosses at Pantone - a company that supplies and tracks colour - say the greeny-blue (or bluey-green) evokes thoughts of tropical waters and restores our sense of wellbeing.

They also claim that most people respond to positively to the shade and that this makes it the ideal colour for 2010 .

As a result turquoise is tipped it to feature heavily in fashion, product design and homes decoration.

In case you were wondering, 2009 was meant to be 'Mimosa yellow' a hopeful and optimistic colour. But what colour do you think best sums up the past 12 months? Let us know in the comments.

Go racing on a 87mph sofa - well why not?

275x250.jpgFancy racing ridiculously fast vehicles, but can't be bothered to drag yourself up from the sofa? This could be just what you need.

A company is offering the chance to drive some of the world's most bizarre vehicles - such as an sofa, a motorised desk with office chair and the world's fastest street-legal bed.

The bonkers experience - even weirder than a Top Gear challenge - starts with you being given a shirt and tie. Why? So that you can wear them while you race a motorised office desk around a Northampton race course, of course.

Should that not be quite crazy enough, next up is a 87mph leopard print sofa which will require driving goggles… and a healthy respect for the surreal.

275x250.jpgThis one really does barely count as news… but NewsLite has been named as one of the Top 100 Essential Websites by The Guardian.

In the newspaper's annual roundup of the "indispensable web" were all the names you would expect to find, sites like Amazon, Google, Twitter, Digg and Flickr.

But then, in the Offbeat section was… little old us. "NewsLite: Great source of news that's much too trivial to print." Other sites selected in the category included The Onion, B3TA, Lolcats and Oddee.

While we could be rude and say that if NewsLite is an essential site, then the good folks at The Guardian have got too much time on their hands, we won't -- unless we just did.

If you are just arriving here for the first time having read about us, please click through to see links to the sort of offbeat 'news' you can expect.

275x250.jpgA 1.5 metre tall remote-controlled Dinosaur robot has been stolen from a Walking With Dinosaurs show in Mexico.

Staff of the show - a live action production based on the hit BBC series - say they noticed the robo-dino was missing after their opening day in Guadalajara.

The show features 10 giant robots, some measuring 13m tall and worth £550,000 each. It tells the story of the 200 million-year reign of the dinosaurs.

Luckily for bosses, they say the stolen robot was one of their smallest dinosaurs, though it was still said to be worth £55,000.

It is not known how someone managed to smuggle the 1.5m tall dinosaur out of the venue, or what they plan to do with it -- but there could be one very happy Mexican boy somewhere.

275x250.jpgGrandmothers, mothers and aunties are responsible for buying the worst Christmas gifts according to research revealed today.

A study of 2,000 people found that most named a female relative as the person who consistently buys them naff presents.

Aunts came out as worst overall with them frequently buying their nephews and nieces cheap copies of designer perfumes, socks and even kitchen utensils.

But most of us don't let on when given unwanted Christmas gifts and only 33 percent would consider taking if back to the shop after the holiday.

Of male relatives, brothers buy the worst gifts with more than one in ten purchasing unsuitable gifts … think a USB hamster or a wooden tie.

275x250.jpgResearchers have developed the world’s first motor-powered bionic finger.

The £35,000 'ProDigits' can bend and move like a real finger, and are controlled by the brain signals sent to the nerves and severed muscles.

Makers Touch Bionics say the realistic-looking fingers can allow help partial hand amputees do basic things like point and pick up small items.

The fingers are attached to a silicone skin, designed specifically to fit around a patients hand, and are connected to a wrist strap which provides power and communication.

Patients who have tested the device have given it the thumbs up (sorry) saying it has allowed them to do things they never thought they would be able to do again … like pick their nose.

275x250.jpgAn internet boss has given away around £10,000 for Christmas -- by throwing wads of cash into a busy London shopping street.

Bertrand Bodson of - an online community for daring and bragging - was challenged to give away the cash by users of his site. And he did.

Perched in a window above Carnaby Street in London earlier this week, he started throwing banknotes down onto unsuspecting shoppers and users of the site who had been warned in advance.

But as shoppers went crazy grabbing at the cash, they realised that mixed in with the £10,000 were some fake £6 notes… we guess Bodson needed something to make him smile as he threw money away.

275x250.jpgA beer, made from a line of barley seeds which once orbited the Earth aboard the International Space Station, has gone on sale in Japan.

Produced by Sapporobeer Brewery, the 'Space Beer' used the fourth generation of seeds that were on the Russian laboratory of the ISS for five months.

But makers say the beers - of which only 1,500 have been produced - taste just the same as normal terrestrial brews. The only thing astronomical about them is the £13 per bottle price tag.

The barley seeds were taken onboard the ISS as part of a project to investigate the feasibility of growing edible plants in space.

Boffins say there are no differences between earth or space barley… bringing astronauts dreams of space station home-brew one step closer.

A video of a dog free-running around a city and jumping onto walls, rails and tree, has become an (unsurprising) online hit.

In the clip - which was submitted to the Hawaii Pet Film Festival - Roxy can be seen navigating the streets of Hawaii jumping over things much like more common human free-runners.

"Unleashed" has now been watched in excess of 100,000 times with the athletic dog gaining fans all around the world.

Many commenters say they wish they could replicate some of her more elaborate jumps… though others argue her four legs give her a unfair advantage.

Anyway, at least they are sorted if they ever decide to produce a dog-based re-make of Bond movie Casino Royale.

Building-sized cocktail opens in London

275x250.jpgA giant cocktail which takes up an entire house and can serve over 25,000 people will open in London today.

The Architectural Punchbowl has been created at 33 Portland Place using over a tonne of cognac, berries, organic cider vinegar, and winter spices.

Artists Bompas & Parr had to make the building water proof and food-safe and find a way of keeping a vast volume of drink at optimum temperature for the odd installation.

Tickets to visit (and sample) the giant cocktail until 10th December are available online - though visitors are warned not to try swimming in it.

275x250.jpgMore than half of Brits have admitted to regularly singing in the shower… even though 43 percent don't even think they are any good.

A recent survey found 55 percent of people enjoy warbling in the shower irrespective of their singing prowess, and songs by Cheryl Cole and Leona Lewis proved popular with both men and women.

The researchers then hired a vocal expert to produce a list of the best songs to sing in the shower based on reverberation, pitch, volume and tone in the tiled cubicles.

'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen, was said to be the best suited to belting out in the shower followed by 'Fight for this love' by Cheryl Cole and 'I gotta feeling' by The Black Eyed Peas.

And before you ask, No, Cheryl Cole wouldn't like to do a duet with you in the shower.

275x250.jpgIn the mid 1800s, vampire-fearing people traveling to Eastern Europe bought and carried with them, Vampire killing kits.

Containing items such as a wooden stake, a crucifix, a bible, garlic, various potions and even pistols with lead bullets, they offered the best protection possible from the blood-sucking undead.

Despite people nowadays being less likely to want to kill vampires - either thinking the don't exist, or (thanks to Twilight New Moon they) more likely to want to make them their soul-mate - demand has stayed high for the kits.

Some, which can be over 200-years-old, have sold for sums up to £10,000. But now Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museums have announced that they have the world’s largest collection of authentic Vampire killing kits, with 30 in total.

So, should the blood-sucking pale-faced ones start an uprising, you know where to find us. Click through to see some of the Vampire killing kits.

275x250.jpgThe average Brit will lose their temper after waiting for just eight minutes and 22 seconds, it has been claimed.

A recent study looked at how long it took Brits to reach breaking point in a variety of situations, from waiting for an internet page to load, to being put on hold by a call centre.

Unsurprisingly people were willing to wait longer for friends to show up than the kettle to boil - but the average time was eight minutes and 22 seconds.

After that people admit they tend to 'lose it' with common responses being to shout at someone, cancel a service, walk out or even punch someone.

If you would likes to find out more about the waiting study just hover your cursor HERE and wait for us to take you to the relevant page.

Parents spend £150 on nativity costumes

275x250.jpgUltra competitive parents are spending up to £150 to make sure their child is the star of the annual school nativity play, it has been claimed.

Where once tattered tea towels and tinsel made a suitable costume, parents are now said to be employing personal shoppers to ensure their child is 'Manger Chic'.

A high-street store says parents are buying new bridesmaid dresses for angels, fleeced duffle coats for donkeys and jewelled turbans for the wise men.

They claim that opting for a 'designer' nativity costume can easily take the cost from a couple of quid, to £50. In some cases they have seen parents are shelling out up to £150.

And the odd news continues with findings that kids with the most minor parts, such as a sheep, get the most expensive costume… fur throw anyone?

275x250.jpgAnother week, another bizarre Christmas inspired race. This time there were no pantomime horses and few Santas… but plenty of people carrying Christmas puddings.

As part of the 29th annual Great Christmas Pudding Race, runners - each carrying a Christmas pudding on a tray - had to negotiate an obstacle course in London's Covent Garden.

While they made their way around the inflatable course, the teams of six people were sprayed with foam by members of the crowd.

If that wasn't odd enough the 'festive' fancy dress included Medieval knights, cowboys, assorted animals and even a team of Ozzy Osbornes.

275x250.jpgA council has been branded 'patronising' after launching a scheme designed to tell the over-50s how to wear slippers safely.

Warwickshire County Council also offered 'older people' the chance to upgrade their worn out slippers for a new subsidised £5 pair.

The 'slipper service' told people to ensure their slippers were the right size and offered grip on the floor.

They warned that ill fitting slippers could lead to falls and fractured bones which could cause disability and even death.

Who knew something as mundane as a pair of slippers could be so dangerous - it looks like poor fitting slipper wearing could become a new extreme sport.

275x250.jpgIt is a disappearance almost worthy of Mulder and Scully. After almost 60 years investigating the UFO threat over Britain - the MoD 'X Files' bureau has been axed.

Earlier this week the UK Ministry of Defence quietly cut their hotline for members of the public to report UFO sightings.

And it wasn't because no-one was calling - the line has received more than 12,000 UFO and alien reports since it was launched in 1950, including 135 last year.

The reports were all investigated and despite the MoD admitting that five percent could not be explained,  they say they do not think they are worth investigating any more.

So what do you think, is this part of a cover-up, have they already made contact with aliens so no longer need the sighting reported… or have we been watching too many sci-fi movies? 

275x250.jpgEight out of ten mums admit they have started rolling out the tried and tested adages their parents used to deal with them when they were kids.

Researchers found 'Because I said so' and 'Wait and see' are the most common retorts fired at the children along with 'If someone asked you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?'

'It'll end in tears' and 'who's she, the cat's mother?', also emerged as common answers to annoying questions - much like they did for previous generations.

The study of 3,000 mums found more than half intentionally use some of their parent's best loved phrases because they think it worked to discipline them.

But 40 per cent of mums admitted sometimes repeating things their parents said even though they didn't really know what it meant.

275x250.jpgAlmost one million Strictly Come Dancing fans will injure themselves trying to replicate the moves they see on the hit BBC show, it has been revealed.

Experts say that as many as 44 percent of the nine million fans will try their hand at ballroom dancing after watching the likes of Laila Rouass and Ricky Whittle.

But 25 percent of the would-be dancers will end up injured trying to replicate lifts and spins - that's 990,000 people left Strictly Come Hobbling.

Experts from MBT claim most of the injuries are caused by the poor fitness and physiques of the couch-potatoes turned dancers who regularly hurt their feet and ankles or backs.

Others just find their partner watching Strictly Come Dancing every Saturday night a real pain in the neck.

275x250.jpgTwenty percent of scrooges people are not looking forward to Christmas, it has been found.

A survey quizzed 2,500 Brits about all aspects of Christmas, from how many present they were buying to which family members they were planning on seeing.

And while most people said they were looking forward to the holiday, 23 percent said they weren't - but it was more likely to be men who were scrooges.

Spending time with friends and family seemed to be the biggest attraction of Christmas, followed by parties and celebrations and then presents.

And by looking at that last sentence you can see not too many children were asked can't you?

275x250.jpgIf you have an unwanted tattoo with an embarrassing back story, we want to see it and hear about it - and you could even the offending tattoo removed.

Entries are currently open for "Tatts Off 2010" a competition the find the UKs worst and most unwanted tattoos.

Judges will look at photos of the tats and then based on the story behind them and why they want to get rid of them, pick two winners to have them removed naturally, for free.

Suggested reasons for getting rid of your tattoos are the break-up of a relationship, a new start in life or because you found out that doesn't really say "strong" in Chinese.

So now could be the ideal time to come clean about why you had that tattoo of a dolphin jumping over a rainbow on your back … right Dave?

Blue whale songs are getting deeper

275x250.jpgScientists say they are baffled by the fact that Blue whales are beginning to sing in deeper voices.

A recent study found that all around the world the world's largest mammals have changed their sounds.

The lower voices were first noticed eight years ago in California, since then experts have been getting samples from some of the 10,000 Blue whales world-wide.

All the samples showed lower voices than previously recorded, some by as much as 31 percent.

It is not known why the change is happening though some experts suggest it could be because the seas are getting noisier… others think they have just been inspired by Barry White.

275x250.jpgIt's official, marriage is bad for your waistline. 1-in-5 new brides will put on a stone and a half in weight -- within the first 18 months of marriage.

Researchers found that 22 per cent of newlyweds put on an average of 21lbs - almost a stone and a half - within 12 months of saying 'I do'.

And while more than half say they no longer worried about their appearance and weight after their big day, one in five overindulged on their honeymoon.

Another 42 per cent admitted they simply got too relaxed with their new husband, while 22 per cent even said they no longer felt they needed to impress their loved-one now the ring was on their finger.

We wouldn't be surprised if some even tried claiming their wedding ring must just weigh a stone and a half.

Iraqi shoe-thrower gets shoe hurled at him

The Iraqi man who threw a shoe at George Bush has seen what it's like when the shoe's on the other foot… well hurling at him to be more precise.

TV journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi was giving a press conference in Paris about his own shoe throwing experience, when another shoe thrower decided to target him with a boot.

Al-Zaidi,much like Bush in December 2008, was easily able to duck and dodge the shoe as his attacker was chased by security.

While the identity of the new shoe-thrower is not known, or the exact reason for his hurl - he is thought to be Iraqi.

Keeping his hero status among many people, Al-Zaidi quipped "He stole my technique" shortly after the shoe zipped past his head.

275x250.jpgThey wanted to compare how the views of men who regularly watched porn compared to those who had never seen it.

But researchers from the University of Montréal hit a snag… they were unable to find a single man who had never watched porn.

Prof Simon Louis Lajeunesse had recruited and interviewed 20 men about their use of pornography and wanted examine how this had impacted their sexuality.

So he set off trying to find man who had never watched porn - but despite several searches was unable to find any.

If anyone out there knows a man who might be suitable for the study and has never seen any porn we would ask you to contact the Professor… but the man is just lying to you.

Man updates Facebook during own wedding

275x250.jpgA Facebook addict interrupted his own wedding to update his status on the social network from 'in a relationship' to 'married'.

As the minister had pronounced Dana Hanna and bride Tracy Page husband and wife, Danna shocked friends and family by pausing to get out his mobile phone.

The minister - who was in on the joke - then announced that the groom was updating his Facebook status. He was actually also updating his Twitter account.

While the guests laughed he then proceeded to get out a second mobile which he passed to Tracy.

Hopefully he didn't spend the rest of the evening tweeting every single detail of their first married night together.

Youngsters who exercise have a higher IQ

275x250.jpgYoung adults who are fit and healthy have a higher IQ and are more likely to go on to university, it has been revealed.

Researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy looked at the results of both physical and IQ tests taken by 1.2 million youngsters doing military service in Sweden.

They found a clear link between good physical fitness and better results for the IQ test.

Also those who were fit at 18 were more likely to go into higher education, and many secured more qualified jobs.

"Being fit means that you also have good heart and lung capacity and that your brain gets plenty of oxygen," said Michael Nilsson, professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy

275x250.jpgAn unknown filmmaker from Uruguay has been given $30m by Hollywood studio bosses - to turn his $500 YouTube video of a giant robot invasion into a movie

Would-be director Federico Alvarez, who runs a post-production visual effects house in Uruguay, filmed 'Panic Attack' with a budget of just $500 in his free time.

The five minute clip - which he then uploaded to YouTube - shows an invasion of Montevideo by giant robots and had special effects which could rival many big budget movies.

Once online it got the attention of thousands of movie fans… and (not surprisingly) studio bosses who wanted to meet with Alvarez to talk about his movie.

275x250.jpgThe average family will have their first argument at 9.58am on Christmas Day, research has found.
After getting up early to see what Santa has brought them, tired, excited children and stressed out parents will fall out just before 10am.
Parents trying to tidy the house sees most rows erupt, along with high stress levels and arguments over what to watch on TV.
The study of 4,100 people found the average parent then ends up telling off their children for the first time by 11.07am.

Other average timings are, getting out of bed just before 8am, ready to open presents by 8.19am, eating chocolate at 8.39am followed by breakfast at 9am and 11.49am for the first alcoholic drink … with that morning you deserve it.

Formula One legend Murray Walker was in pole position today, after being voted the greatest sports commentator of all time.

Walker, who has been broadcasting since 1948 and spent much of his career at the BBC, took the chequered flag with ease in a survey of 8,879 people.

He beat BBC Sports' voice of football John Motson into second place with world tennis ace John McEnroe coming in third.

Famous for his boyish enthusiasm and authoritative voice, Walker began his Formula 1 commentating in the 1970's and continued until his retirement in 2001.

To be honest he is probably better know for his gaffes and Murrayisms like, 'With half the race gone, there's half the race still to go' and 'here comes Damon Hill in the Williams. This car is absolutely unique - except for the one following it, which is identical'.

275x250.jpgPeople normally use toothpicks to make small models or larger items, but not Terry Woodling, he made a full size stage coach.

Also known as "Mr Toothpick" Terry, from Indiana, has spent 15 years carefully crafting the exact replica of a Concord Coach stagecoach - using 1.5 milliion of the wooden sticks.

In those countless hours he used nothing but toothpicks and glue to create the model, which was then painted.

Terry says the stagecoach is the sort used by Wells Fargo to transport people and mail around the Us during the 1800s - though his toothpick version might not be up to the job.

275x250.jpgThe town of Darlington has appointed a "tweeter in residence" to tell people what is happening in the area.

Mike McTimoney - a social media fan and IT teacher at the town's Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College - will now get paid - though only £140 per year - for his tweets.

A spokesperson for the Darlington Partnership, which is behind the job, said that while many towns and cities have artists and writers in residence - they were the first to have a Twitterer.

Using the name @TheDarloBard Mike will now tweet about anything and everything going on in the town, sharing local news, insights and observations.

So lots of tweets about how much it is raining in Darlington then.

275x250.jpgForgetful travellers accidentally leave a massive 10,000 mobile phones in London black cabs each month, it has been revealed.

And in December - as more people go Christmas shopping and out on Xmas parties - taxis divers say there will be even more left behind.

The taxi survey - which was carried out amongst licensed taxi drivers in London - also found an average of 1,000 iPods and laptops were also left on taxi seats.

A spokesperson for Credant Technologies, who carried out the research, said: "It's clear that none of us are infallible, especially at this busy time of year, when it's all too easy to forget things when you're travelling."

But all is not lost, 80 percent of cabbies say they have reunited a lost mobile with a memory-challenged owner - just not if it was a particularly nice handset.

Women think about shopping more than sex

275x250.jpgIf you ask a woman what she is thinking about, the chances are it will be shopping, a study has revealed.

The average woman is said to think about shopping 210 times per week, with the average thought lasting around two minutes. That's 7 hours of every week spent thinking about their next dress or new pair of shoes.

And while men are said to think about sex every few seconds, it was only found to cross women's minds 70 times per week (the sort of number a man can notch up in an afternoon.)

A poll of over 1,000 women also found over half of the respondents said that they would also rather buy clothes than have a night between the bed clothes.

Even more depressing for men, 20 percent of women said they had thought about shopping during a moment of passion… so her cries of "yes, yes, YES" could just be her approving of the new range in Marks and Spencer.

275x250.jpgThe giant Christmas tree in Copenhagen City Hall Square is a mass of hundreds of lights… but only while people are pedalling.

That's because in a bid to be environmentally friendly, the lights are connected to a selection of exercise bikes which generate power as they are pedalled.

As peoples legs spin they light up the tree - and burn a few calories while they're at it.

It is predicted the alternative way of lighting up the Christmas tree will save the environment a total of nine tonnes of CO2 compared to the traditional way of powering the lights.

But isn't it hard to be full of Christmas sprit if you are panting for breath?

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