Simon Crisp: May 2010 Archives

275x250.jpgA Kookaburra which was addicted to sausages has been taken to a zoo for rehabilitation after it was attacked by a dog -- because it was too fat to fly.

The bulky bird was found at a park in Mosman, Australia, running along the floor as it was being chased by a group of dogs.

Initially it was thought the bird had a broken wing and couldn't get away because of the injury -- but then experts found it was just too fat to fly.

They claim the 545g bird piled on the pounds - to 40% heavier than the typical Kookaburra - after eating sausages fed to it by barbecuing park-goers.

While a Kookaburra would normally feast on lizards and small rodents eating too much from a BBQ can be bad for them… which means more for us.

275x250.jpg A French artist has unveiled a working hoverboard as his latest creation - and revived the childhood dreams of men everywhere.

Nils Guadagnin says his creation - a copy of the hoverboard from the movie Back to the Future II - was created with the help of a Dutch firm of levitation experts.

The life-size model has gone on show in a number of galleries and uses an electromagnetic system in the board and plinth to levitate, while a laser system stabilises it in the air.

Unfortunately the hover board is not powerful enough to support the weight of someone standing on it... so your ideas of recreating any Marty McFly moments will have to be put on hold, for now.

275x250.jpgAn Icelandic political party has won elections in Reykjavik -- by running a campaign based on free towels at all swimming pools.

The 'Best' party - which secured 34.7% of the municipal election vote - also pledged to get a new polar bear for the local zoo.

This will mean they will now hold six seats on the 15-member city council - more than the Independence Party's which got 33.6 percent of the vote.

Other key pledges they made included a "drug-free" parliament by 2020 and the addition of a Disneyland at the airport.

Established only six months ago by comedian Jon Gnarr, few had expected the party to do well, including some of those standing… who now have to find a polar bear.

A daredevil rollerblader has leaped from the 131ft high first floor of the Eiffel Tower and onto a massive quarter pipe ramp.

Inline skating champion Taig Khris, 34, fell 10m before landing on the 30m-high ramp and rolling into a wall of padding to break his fall.

The leap - which took two attempts to get right - was watched by thousands of bystanders who gathered in Parc Du Champs de Mars to watch.

After losing his footing during the first bid, Khris got it right second time, setting a new world record for the highest roller-skate jump.

In odd news, this is probably also the first time someone has set a world record while sliding on their bum into a giant airbag.

275x250.jpgMelbourne was probably the safest place in the world this weekend -- when the city hosted a world record gathering of superheroes.

1245 Aussies wearing superhero costumes met at Federation Square to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the release of the first DC comic.

After donning the famous outfits of heroes from Superman and Batman to Wonder Woman and the Green Lantern they were observed by a Guinness World Records adjudicator.

With their combined super-powers (being in the same place at the same time) the costumes crusaders smashed the previous record of 1091 superheroes.

Costumed record-setters ranged in age from OAPs to a nine-day-old Batman -- whose utility belt contained a bottle and some diaper cream.

275x250.jpgA daredevil has managed to fly from England to France using just a bunch of helium balloons to carry him.

American Jonathan Trappe tied a specially adapted chair to a bundle of balloons which lifted him into the air early this morning.

After taking off in Kent and rising to 7,500ft, winds carried what he describes as "the world's least manoeuvrable aircraft" across the channel.

In his chair Trappe had an aircraft transponder, oxygen system, aircraft radios, emergency locator beacon, in-flight satellite tracking -- luckily he didn't need some of those items.

He touched down (in a French cabbage patch) five hours after taking off and says he can't wait for his next stunt. Or as we like to call it, his next accident-waiting-to-happen.

He used to be the prince of darkness - but to promote his latest album, Ozzy Osbourne seems a bit more like Jeremy Beadle.

Ozzy has spent a day scaring visitors to Madame Tussauds waxwork museum  New York and posting the resulting videos on YouTube

The Black Sabbath frontman sat motionless at the attraction and then, when fans posed to have their photo taken with the lifeless looking dummy, shouted "boo".

As the visitors screamed so did he, and to be honest we are not exactly sure who looks the most scared.

The stunt was part of a promotion for Osbourne's newest album, "Scream" -- which is what Sharon Osbourne does every time she wakes up and sees Ozzy lying next to her.

275x250.jpgAn 89-year-old pensioner says he was shocked when an internet search for a crossword clue left him looking looking at porn.

Jack Sedgewick had been trying to solve the clue "Wild Asian Ass (6)" which was 14 across on his puzzle when he got the rude results.

The great-granddad claims he had typed the clue into a search engine before clicking through various results trying to find the answer.

He's reported as saying he was then sickened and shocked by the photos and videos of naked Asian girls he saw, though he continued clicking because he is a dedicated crossworder.

But the story has a happy ending (as did many of the search results), Jack eventually found the answer "onager", by changing his search to 'donkey sanctuaries'.

275x250.jpgA superfit football fan has traveled to South Africa for the World Cup -- after cycling, swimming and running all the way from Cirencester.

Rob Forbes set off on the mammoth 11,800-mile journey last October and has just arrived ready to watch England play.

The freelance ecologist and Spurs fan says he took on the challenge - the world's longest triathlon - to raise money for a charity which ships secondhand bikes to Africa.

He cycled through Europe before swimming the Strait of Gibraltar and then competing in a 56 mile marathon this weekend… and to think we'll just be going to the pub to watch the games.

Engineers working for Dyson have used their new bladeless fan to create an  assault course for a balloon… it must have been a quiet day.

Dozens of the Air Multiplier fans - which blow air through a bladeless hoop - were lined up around one of their labs.

The head of each fan was then positioned to create a complete loop of air flow and a balloon was launched into it.

The balloon then wobbles its way around the course - which goes along the floor and over desks and piles of boxes - being sucked in the rear of each fan before being blown towards the next.

It's all rather impressive, but at £200 per fan it seems a rather extravagant way of moving a balloon around. And why do you need to do that anyway?

275x250.jpgThe average mum makes 11 new friends outside her original circle of friends at baby and toddler groups –- but can’t stand half of them.
Six-in-ten mums claim they have nothing in common with most new pals and are forced to talk about children 100 per cent of the time.
And 43 percent admit they would never have considered socialising with half of their ‘mum friends’ if they hadn’t started a family.
A third of mums say they get fed up with others thinking they know everything about raising children, and 32 per cent are frustrated they don’t share any hobbies or interests with their ‘mum friends’.

Mothers only consider two of the 11 new friends someone they will be long term pals with… though the odds are they don't feel the same way.

275x250.jpg A movie buff and petrol-head has spent the past 25 years (and presumably a lot of money) building up an ultimate collection of movie motors.

Mark Perkins owns cars including the Batmobile, James Bond's Aston Martin, The Ghostbusters 'Ectomobile' and Starsky and Hutch's Ford Torino.

Insured for £500,000 the collection - stored in the basement of of his home in Ascot - mixes original vehicles used in films and TV shows with exact replicas.

The 47-year-old say he gets great enjoyment out of owning the odd cars -- and loves seeing the look on peoples faces when he nips to the local drive-thru in the Flintstones car.

275x250.jpgThe traditional 'nine-to-five' working day is dead, with typical employees now at their desk by 8.28am and not going  home until 5.29pm, it has been claimed.

A study looked at the average working day over over 4,000 people discovering we are now working for longer each day than ever before.

It also emerged the majority of workers now only manage to squeeze in a 33 minute lunch break compared to the traditional hour-long break.

One in five employees blamed pressure from bosses or a fear of looking bad in front of colleagues as reasons for arriving early and leaving later than their contract requires.

On the flip side, most office worker now spend about two hours of each day browsing the internet and updating their Facebook page at work too.

275x250.jpg A UK man has become the first person in the world to be infected by a computer virus - and he did it himself, intentionally.

Mark Gasson contaminated a computer chip which had earlier been inserted into his hand as part of research into human enhancement and implantable devices.

The the University of Reading scientist had been implanted with the RFID chip to do things like access buildings, unlock his mobile phone and be tracked.

But then he infected the implant with a virus to prove that (he) could then pass on the virus to other computers.

There's never a good time to get a parking ticket, just ask TV reporter Gayle Anderson -- she was recently issued several live on TV.

Gayle, a reporter with KTLA, had been doing a live segment from California about the ideal sort of car to take on a road trip.

But as she chatted with a motoring expert, they spotted a Santa Monica officer writing a parking ticket for a parked they were filming.

And after handing over the $50 fine, the officer moved straight on to the next of the ten cars being used in the show, and then the next…

But to her credit, Gayle managed not to react in the way most people do when getting a parking ticket (or 10) - which is good given there could have been children watching.

275x250.jpgOver half a million Brits turn up for work each morning suffering from a hangover, it has been found.

A study by a drink awareness charity discovered the average person goes to work suffering from the effects of too much alcohol three times a month.

Once there, almost one in five admit struggling to keep on top of their workload and to making mistakes.

The survey of 1,000 people also found seven percent have even had to leave work early because of a hangover.

On the bright side, ft least if you reading this while hunched over your computer at work and vowing never to drink again you know you are not the only one, and you won't be next time either.

275x250.jpgBosses at a dinosaur park in Wales say they are so strapped for space they are trying to give away a 30ft replica Brontosaurus, for free.

And while the long-necked dinosaur is being offered gratis, there it a catch, you have to collect it and get it home yourself.

Which is easier said than done given the faux Brontosaurus - said to be worth around £20,000 - weights two-and-half-tonnes, and is massive.

It's suggested Bronto would make an ideal gift for a dino-mad youngster (with a big garden) or that he could be used as a mascot for a football or rugby team.

If we had room we'd certainly want him, if only to see the face of our postman when he read the "beware of the dinosaur" sign and saw a green head sticking out from the bushes.

Shoppers and office workers in Zurich were left part bemused, part terrified when hundreds of people instantly collapsed to the floor.

All across the city green demonstrators simulated dropping down dead at exactly 12.15pm yesterday - to protest about a series of proposed nuclear power stations.

The campaigners say their action simulated a nuclear radioactivity disaster which could happen in Switzerland, if the stations are built.

Many onlookers who were not in on what was happening were frightened by the mass fall - which was similar to events in the hit show FlashForward.

Their response also gave a great insight into what a post apocalyptic world might be like, some responded by trying to help 'victims'... but most simply stepped over the bodies.

275x250.jpgA video has been uncovered by film buffs which appears to show the worlds first ever mobile phone… all the way back in 1922.

Archivists at British Pathé say they stumbled on the silent film - titled 'Eve's Wireless' - in their archives, and could't believe what they saw.

The clip shows two well dressed women in New York carrying the hefty-looking device which they connect to a fire hydrant via a long cable.

An umbrella is then erected, which appears to act as an aerial, and the pair to use the phone to make a call.

They are then shown chatting to an operator who then plays a gramophone record for them… kind of like a rudimentary Spotify.

275x250.jpgWhen Google added an interactive game of Pac Man in place of their logo this weekend, most people assumed it was a harmless piece of fun.

But business experts now claim the game - there to celebrate 30 year of Pac Man - has cost businesses big in the number of hours of lost work.

It's said office workers around the world spent almost 5,000,000 hours playing the game on the Google shaped maze… mostly when they should have been working.

This means firms lost hours of potentially productive time and taking an average office salary of £17.50 per hour this equates to about £85m in lost productivity.

However it's not know if this is more or less time than is typically wasted checking Facebook pages -- anyway what are yo doing reading this, shouldn't you be working?

A £275 million bridge in Russia has been closed after it started severely bouncing up and down in high winds.

The wobbling of the 4.5 mile bridge was so bad it threw some cars into the air as they tried to drive across it and into Volgograd.

Engineers had spent 13 years planning and building the beam bridge which opened eight months ago and claimed it would be more stable than a suspension bridge.

But high winds proved them wrong with drivers saying their commute suddenly felt more like a roller- coaster -- and looking at this video we can see what they mean.

The bridge was closed while safety checks were carried out and will reopen shortly. Bosses say the problem was simply "The wrong type of wind."

275x250.jpgResearchers have discovered some sharks can become invisible to their prey by creating an odd optical illusion.

Emitting light from their body, by regulating the photophores underneath the body, the sharks are able to match the light from the sun.

According to researchers from the University of Louvain, this means the already efficient killers don't stand out as silhouettes to their prey - making them even more deadly.

Lead researcher Julien Claes says that about 10 percent of known sharks are able to glow, and that this could also be used to attract a mate.

We've always worried about being attacked by a shark… but after hearing this will now be glancing even more nervously around the bathroom before getting into the tub.

275x250.jpg A Japanese artist has come up with a novel way of using old broken skateboards -- by making sculptures out of them.

Haroshi starts by layering broken boards in a way similar to the method used to create traditional wooden Japanese Great Buddhas.

They are then painstakingly cut and shaped into his final artworks which range from sculptures of body parts to video game characters.

Haroshi became infatuated with skateboarding in his teens and says using boards as a artistic medium elf natural -- he must particularly enjoy cutting boards he has fallen off.

275x250.jpgFans of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy will today carry towels around with them, to celebrate the life of Douglas Adams.

Held on May 25th each year since 2001, International Towel Day sees fans of the author carry a towel with them wherever they go as a mark of respect.

The day is based around a quote from HGG where Adams wrote about the greatness of towels saying they are "about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have."

Events planned around the world include towel based flash-mobs, picnics, tea parties and pub lunches and the hashtag #towelday is already trending on Twitter.

To find out why the towel is so important check out the quote from Hitchhiker's Guide after the link -- soon you will be carrying one everywhere you go.

275x250.jpgA couple who won a dream job as honeymoon testers are now attempting to break the world record of wedding vow renewals by one couple.

Their job - dubbed Ultimate Job as it involves getting paid to test luxury hotels - will see Mark and Denise Duffield-Thomas touring the world for a year.

Gruelling 'duties' will include sunbathing on beaches, swimming in infinity pools and sipping champagne.

But now the pair have announced that on their way, they'll renew their wedding vows as often as possible, aiming to break the current world record of 83.

Personally we think now is the ideal time for the newlyweds to make a bid for the record… give it a couple of years and they won't be able to think of anything worse.

275x250.jpgIt's a well known fact that smoking is bad for you, but these Blue Tits would disagree -- it's help them find a new home.

A pair of birds have set up home in an outdoor ashtray at a Tyneside business park, much to the surprise of workers.

Initially smokers were miffed when they spotted the ashtray had been hijacked, but now they've started downing tools during feeding time to watch the bird fly in and out.

However they will have to find another ashtray to use, this one now has a note on it saying "Please don't use - birds inside!"

A spokesperson for Oceana Business Park said: "We have yet to negotiate a rent for Mr and Mrs Blue Tit but I think for this occasion we can come to some sort of special arrangement."

275x250.jpgBrits are such fans of baked beans that each year we eat three times more than the rest of the world combined.

In 2009 more than 800 million tins of beans were eaten in the UK - with the second most prolific bean eaters Australia only munching their way through 60m tins.

Canada came third in the Heinz research with 41 million tins and New Zealand snagged fourth with 24 million -- but most of those are probably expats.

Within the UK, Trafford in Greater Manchester is the place where most beans are eaten, 553,243 tins last year.

That's enough to cover the pitch at Old Trafford four times‚ though it would probably still be a better playing surface than Wembley. 

275x250.jpg British adventurer Lewis Gordon Pugh has become the first person to swim under the summit of Mount Everest.

Pugh crossed the 1km Pumori glacial lake, which sits at an altitude of 5,300 metres next to the Khumbu Glacier in a time of just 22 mins and 51 seconds.

He undertook the record-breaking swim in a bid to draw attention to the melting of the glaciers in the Himalayas and declining water supplies in the region.

Despite the water being a chilly 2 degrees he wore just a pair of Speedo swimming trunks, a cap and goggles… and the look of someone crazy enough to have carried a boat up Everest.

275x250.jpgMeasuring 7 feet, 8.33 inches tall, Igor Vovkovinskiy has been officially recognised as the tallest man in America.

Originally from the Ukraine, Vovkovinskiy moved to Minnesota with his mother Svetlana when he was a (not so) little seven-year-old.

Now aged 27 he has grown to a whopping 7ft 8.3inches and has difficulty fitting into cars, finding comfortable shoes and squeezing into desks at the Minnesota School of Business where he is pursuing a degree in paralegal studies.

Doctors blame his growth on a pituitary gland tumour which they tried to remove a few years ago - but the operation was a failure and Igor continued to grow.

Igor beat out the previous record-holder, Virginia deputy sheriff George Bell, by a third of an inch… which will hopefully stop him making those 'longest arm of the law' jokes.

275x250.jpgResearchers say rhythm and not genre is the key to discovering new music that you will enjoy.

A team from Brazil looked at the characteristics of 400 songs from four musical genres – rock, blues, bossa nova and reggae - specifically rhythmic sequences.

By using hierarchical clustering, a visual representation of rhythmic frequencies, they were able to come up with a new way of defining musical genres.

And they claim this could be used as a better way of predicting a song someone might like based on a list of tracks they also enjoy.

Of course you might like to think of yourself a heavy metal fan and suddenly find out based on you rhythm preference that you will enjoy Girls Aloud.

275x250.jpg A British driver has set a new lawnmower land speed record (yes, it exists) by reaching 87mph on his trusty grass cutter.

Don Wales smashed the previous 80.792mph lawnmower land speed record at Pendine Sands, in west Wales with a verified time of 87.833mph.

To set the record Don - whose grandfather Sir Malcolm Campbell broke the land speed record in 1924 - had to complete two timed runs, just after cutting a patch of grass.

Project RunningBlade converted a regular ride-on mower into the speedy vehicle by using a more powerful engine, stripping the machine of extra weight and adding new wheels… and Don can now mow his lawn in 14.7seconds.

275x250.jpgChicks are never known for their great size, but visitors to a UK zoo have been amazed by just how tiny a clutch of quail are.

Staff at Twycross Zoo say people cannot believe the size of their latest chicks - some of which are no bigger than a 2 pence piece.

After being abandoned by their mother, staff hatched the ten eggs by keeping them in a special incubator.

When the tiny (and very cute) chicks finally emerged, they were checked over by experts who became stand in mothers.

They were then put under a heat lamp where they can be seen by visitors -- most of who will never eat quail again.

275x250.jpgFish get scared by looking at their own reflection and  try to fight themselves in a mirror, biologists have discovered.

Researchers compared the behaviour and brain activity of fish during one-on-one encounters with a mirror and another male of about the same size.

The team from Stanford University found male African cichlid were scared when they saw their reflection, and that this fear increased when they realised it was making the same movements as them.

It's said this means fish are actually smarter than most people give them credit for and their brains work in much the same way as humans.

I think we all know someone who gets confused by their own reflection and will pick a fight with it -- especially after a few drinks on a Friday night.

275x250.jpg The biggest inflatable airship in the world has passed its first tests -- after a massive six hour inflation.

Measuring 76-metres long and 20-metres in diameter, the Bullet 580 airship is designed to carry payloads of almost one tonne to 20,000 feet.

Makers say the £5.5million helium-powered craft will travel at 80mph and offers a cost-efficient alternative to fixed-wing aircraft for carrying cargo.

The Bullet 580 will be used for homeland security and disaster relief -- if they can get people to stop laughing the fact that it looks like a giant inflated condom.

Workers moving a 100-year-old statue as part of renovation to a town square in Belgium have given the perfect example of how NOT to do it.

The team had been tasked with moving a statue of Flemish lawyer Gabriel Mudaeus while work was carried out in the public square in Brecht.

After attaching a harness to the base of the 10ft stone finger, which stood on a podium, they used a crane to lift Mudaeus onto the back of a lorry.

And that's when it all began to go wrong. As the crane lifted the figure, it toppled forward until it was dangling horizontally and had clearly suffered some damage.

But a split-second later the statue slipped out of the harness and plunged head first onto the back of the truck, decapitating Mudaeus… at which point the workers hoped they were on Just for laughs.

275x250.jpgCompetitors with nimble fingers have battled it out in a bra-removing contest at Chinese shopping mall.

Participants each had to see how quickly they could unclasp eight bras, which were worn by models on a stage in Gungzhou city.

The models - who all had their hair tied up to allow easy access to their bra fastenings - stood in a line as countless men tried their luck.

As if the men needed extra encouragement to relieve the women of their bras in record time there was a prize of 1,000 yuan for the fastest.

But the blokes were all put to shame by a woman who undid the eight bra clasps in just 21 seconds… though to be fair she's had a bit more practice than most of the men.

275x250.jpgGoogle have celebrated the 30th anniversary of the classic arcade game Pac-Man by letting people play it on the Google homepage.

The traditional Google doodle has been replaced by a fully working version of the game - their first ever interactive illustration - with the maze spelling out the search engine name.

Users can still do a normal search but the 'Feeling Lucky' option has been replaced with a 'Insert Coin' button to start the game - clicking twice allows you to play two-player.

What's slightly worrying is that there's a whole generation of web users who have never played the classic 8-bit game before, now I feel old.

275x250.jpgA book taken out of a New York library by George Washington, the first president of the USA, has been returned… 221 years late

He borrowed the book - Law of Nations" by Emer de Vattel - on October 5, 1789 but never returned it.

Earlier this year staff at the New York Society Library said they had calculated that he should have racked up a $300,000 (£195,000) fine, but they would not be pressing it.
However days after the announcement was made staff at Washington's home in Virginia, Mount Vernon, offered to replace the book another copy of the same edition.

Yesterday a ceremony was hosted during which the errant volume was presented to the head librarian… who will now see if any other US leaders were common library cheats.

275x250.jpgAfter being revealed yesterday, the London 2012 Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville have faced harsh criticism online.

Olympic organisers say the odd-looking one-eyed creatures represent the UK's rich Olympic history, but not too many people seem to be picking up on that.

Instead people have described the pair as "partly blinded Teletubbies" and "the worst mascots ever" -- and that's before getting onto ones which pick up on the phallic design.

It's said the idea for the characters came from two drops of molten steel dropped while making the last girder for London's Olympic Stadium.

They're designed to be interactive (whatever that means) and even have their own Twitter pages -- so at least you know where to direct you insults.

275x250.jpgA team of ninjas scared off three would-be muggers in Australia when they were spotted attacking a man near to the dojo where they train.

The muggers had grabbed a mobile phone and iPod from a German exchange student, who was visiting Sydney, before pushing his to the ground and repeatedly kicking him.

But luckily for the 27-year-old medical student, the assault had been seen by a member of a nearby dojo who ran inside and told his sensei what was happening.

With that the class at Ninja Senshi Ryu was abruptly halted and the five martial arts experts - all wearing full black ninja garb - ran outside to help the attack victim.

When the attackers looked up and saw the shadowy figures running at them, they dropped what they were doing and quickly scarpered -- presumably after wondering what the fudge had just happened.

A TV news presenter was shocked when the guest on her show (who was admittedly also her boyfriend) proposed to her live on air.

Anna Fedorova, host of Prime Time Russia, had been interviewing her partner Neave Barker, a journalist for the Arab news network Al-Jazeera on the show.

As the pair talked about various cultural activities in Moscow, Barker interrupted his partner saying: "Anya, it's time for me to ask you a question."

He then stood up and after letting he know her colleague and family were in on the stunt, he produced a diamond ring and asked her to marry him.

She quickly said yes and ran over to Barker who put the ring on her finger -- all while announcements about street battles in Kyrgystan scrolled along the bottom of the screen.

275x250.jpgBoffins have saved the world's smallest water lily - which had vanished from its only known growing spot in Africa - from becoming extinct.

Known as "thermal water lily" the plant, which has pads as little as 1cm in diameter, was discovered in the muddy edges of a freshwater hot spring in Rwanda in 1985.

But recently it disappeared from there, meaning it's only chance of survival was seeds which had been stored at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, but had been difficult to propagate.

However, horticulturist Carlos Magdalena has worked out how to grow the plant by altering the carbon dioxide levels in the water and says it could soon be growing in a cup on your windowsill… well plenty of other things manage that.

A rally driver crashed and rolled his car after being distracted by a spectator dropping his trousers and waving his bum.

Mark Tapper had been storming along the track during Stage 15 of the Rally New Zealand when he passed some fans in a tree-lined area.

But unlike most spectators - who drivers have to block out of their minds as they speed along at a dangerous pace - one guy stood out.

That's because he'd dropped his trousers and was mooning the cars as they went by. The slight distraction caused Tapper to clip a grass verge and flip his car.

As you can imagine the driver was non too happy and the language in this video accurately sums up his feelings to the bum-barer… so you may want to limit the volume if you're at work.

275x250.jpg A US firm has started taking reservations from apocalypse scaredy-cats who want to book their place in a luxury nuclear bomb-proof bunker.

Those fearing an impending doomsday are said to be paying £35,000 each to guarantee a spot in one of 20 underground structures which are being built across America.

Bunker-makers Vivos claim each bunker will allow residents to survive for at least 12 months in the event of a pole shift, super volcano eruptions, asteroids, tsunamis or a nuclear attack.

Each of the bunkers features 'luxury' surroundings including a gym, atrium and living quarters with computers, kitchens and TVs… let's just hope they haven't only stocked up on post apocalyptic movies.

275x250.jpgAnimals have been showing off their terrorism fighting skills after being trained by the US Navy.

Demonstrations organised as part of a recent anti-terrorism preparedness day in California included things like a dolphin locating a faux terrorist in murky water.

But that seems almost ordinary compared to the sea lion which then proceeded to cuff the terrorist's ankles so authorities could reel him in.

The homeland security and disaster preparedness exercises also included a fake attack on a container ship and a simulated bomb explosion.

The US Navy Marine Mammal Program is several decades old and sees the creatures trained to do things like detect and clear mines… all for fish.

275x250.jpgThe average Brit now sits on their backside for a whopping 14 hours and 39 minutes every day, it has been found.

A study found commuting to work, a day at the office and then an evening in front of the television means millions of adults spend hardly any time on their feet.
Research looked at 3,000 people finding most adults spend four hours and 17 minutes at their desk and a further two hours and 27 minutes parked in front of the TV.
Once home they will sit down again to use a laptop or home computer for another two hours and 25 minutes.

Admit it, you were thinking this could't be true and then you realised you were sitting down as you read it weren't you?

275x250.jpgThe Apple iPhone has been voted a more important invention than the combustion engine and space travel.

A study of 4,000 Brits also placed the iPhone ahead of things like the car, camera and flushing toilet in the list of 100 most important inventions.

While the wheel came top - followed by the aeroplane, the lightbulb and the worldwide web in fourth - the iPhone figured surprisingly high.

In fact, the Steve Jobs special came in as the eighth most important invention in the world, just behind computers, the telephone and Penicillin.

At least it didn't come above Penicillin, because as far as we know there's not yet an app for curing diseases… though some iPhone users like to think otherwise.

275x250.jpgThe Obama's Portuguese water dog Bo cost $1,600, it has been revealed.

But Bo - who was picked over a rescue dog - was not paid for by the Obama family and was a gift from the late Ted Kennedy and his wife, Vicki.

His price has only come to light now after it appeared on official annual financial disclosure forms, which were released yesterday.

The forms detail all personal financial interests of the President, from income from his books to his college savings plans for daughters Sasha and Malia.

Other notable income listed includes his Nobel peace prize medal, the value of which was listed as "not readily ascertainable" -- which is one way of putting it.

275x250.jpg Boffins have used the skeleton of a medieval knight which was discovered at Stirling Castle to reconstruct what he would have looked like.

Forensic anthropologists are now attempting to discover the identity of the warrior, who is thought to have been killed in the late 13th or 14th centuries.

His skeleton was one of 10 excavated from a site at Stirling Castle and it is hoped analysis could provide more information about life at that time.

Tests are now being done to work out whether he was a Scot, an Englishman or even French… and Scottish people are still trying to work out which of the last two would be worse.

275x250.jpgAround £57 million is lost down the back of British sofas in small change each year, it has been discovered.

A study asked 2,000 families to search around their houses for any coins they were unaware of and then add up what it was worth.

Unsurprisingly between sofa cushions ended up as one of the most common places for people to find cash, followed by old wallets and purses which were no longer used.

On average people calculated they lose £1.43 each year in loose change -- that's £57 million per year across all adults in the UK.

When you get home and slip you hand down the back of the sofa let us know what you find, hopefully it won't be the remains of that slice of toast you lost a few months ago.

275x250.jpgA bra manufacturer in Japan has unveiled a "Grow-Your-Own Rice Bra" which they say would be ideal for urban farmers.

Each year Triumph reveals a unique themed bra which taps into the Japanese cultural zeitgeist with previous examples being one with solar panels and one which doubled as a golf mat.

Now makers say there's a trend or city dwellers to dabble in urban farming - with rice a dietary staple they decided to combine the two with lingerie.

The bra can be tied together to create pots which also double as the cups. These are to be filled with soil, and rice seedlings.

As with previous stunt bras the 'Grow-Your-Own' is not due to go on sale publicly… which is a shame as wearers watering seeds could have prompted spontaneous wet t-shirt contests.

275x250.jpgA Facebook page set up by a lovestruck web designer in a bid to find a girl he met on a train journey has become an online hit.

26-year-old Keir Moffatt launched the page after wishing he had asked a girl he met on a train from Cardiff to Bristol, out on a date.

Moffatt says he'd been captivate by the 'gorgeous' girl, but barely spoke to her on the journey, something he instantly regretted after getting off.

So he set up the Facebook page appealing for her, or anyone who knows her, to come forward - with the only details being the journey she was making and that she wore a blue head band.

While he hasn't yet heard from her the page has already attracted over 13,500 Facebook followers… including a few women who wouldn't mind a date with him themselves.

275x250.jpgAshes to Ashes actress Keeley Hawes will provide the voice of Tomb Raider heroine Lara Croft in the latest version of the hit game.

It had been thought Hawes - who first voiced Lara in 2006 - may have retired from the audio role after recent on-screen success in the BBC drama alongside old-school copper Gene Hunt.

But Eidos have now confirmed she will once again lend her dulcet tones to the upcoming 'Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light' game.

Guardian of Light will be the fist download-only game in the Tomb Raider franchise and is due to be released on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Steam this summer.

Unfortunately for Hawes fans it is highly unlikely she will be squeezing into skin-tight Lara Croft outfit to promote the game.

275x250.jpgA UK university has launched a course based on the cult fight against crime TV series The Wire.

Students at the University of York will study the way in which race, class and political process are represented in the Baltimore-based show.

The 10-week module will be an option for sociology degree students and experts claim it is a great way of teaching social science.

Professor Roger Burrows said: "The Wire presents a challenge to what we do as academics. It promotes a huge amount of popular and intellectual debate, and we wanted to explore that."

Would-be students wanting to take 'The Wire as Social Science Fiction' course have been told they must watch all 60 episodes first… it's a hard life being a student, isn't it.

A robot has been used to conduct a wedding ceremony in Japan -- well where else was it going to be?

The i-Fairy robot, according to makers Kokoro Co the first non-human ever to lead a wedding, costs £45,000 and has flashing eyes and plastic pigtails.

Yesterday the programmable 4ft tall robot led a wedding in central Tokyo between bride Satoko Inouye and groom Tomohiro Shibata, in front of 50 guests.

During the ceremony the i-Fairy directed the couple to exchange vows and even said in a tinny voice "Please lift the bride's veil," before asking the pair to kiss.

When the inevitable robot uprising happens, we will no doubt look back at moments like this an question why we didn't see it coming… until then enjoy the cute video.

275x250.jpg A designer has taken the already pricey Apple iPad and given it a high-end makeover before offering it for sale -- at £130,000.

Katherine Hughes from Liverpool started off with a 64GB Wi-Fi & 3G Apple iPad before replacing the aluminium back for one made of solid gold.

Weighing 2,100 grams the 22ct gold has added to the heft of the device, but Katherine didn't stop there. The Apple logo on the rear is mad from 25.5 cts ‘I'F' Flawless diamonds, 53 in total.

Only ten of the gold £129,995 iPads will be made… so if you like your tech gaudy and expensive, you should probably act fast.

An armed robber picked on the wrong guy during a raid at a Leeds bookmakers, as this CCTV shows.

When the robber pointed a gun at the head of Martin Richardson - an 18-stone rugby player - his have-a-go-hero gene must have kicked in.

Martin was blocking the exit to the store when the man waving the gun (which turned out to be a replica) told him to open the door and get out of the way.

But rather than do what he was told the judo expert picked up a nearby chair and hurled it at the confused robber.

He then proceeded to wrestle the raider to the floor and sit on him until police arrived to arrest him. Martin says he'd not been in a good mood that day anyway.

275x250.jpgFormer Pulp front-man Jarvis Cocker has teamed up with the National Trust to produce an album of weird sounds including birdsong, creaky floorboards and trickling water.

Cocker worked with staff from the conservation charity to produce the 33 minute album which it is hoped will increase visitor numbers.

The three month project saw them searching stately homes for unique sounds which were recorded by sound engineers and compiled into 12 tracks.  

Odd tracks include; walking on gravel, birdsong, waves lapping along the shore, footsteps through house, murmurs of children, birds in water garden, and clocks ticking.

'National Trust: The Album' can be downloaded for free here… or you could just listen to the world around you.

275x250.jpgThe average woman wears clothes and accessories worth over £1,000 every time she leaves the house, it has been found.

A study tallied the cost of various items from underwear to handbags to work out what the typical British woman has with her at any one time.

It was discovered the average woman wears lingerie worth around £26, a skirt costing £30, shoes worth £51, a top costing £22 and a cardigan or jumper worth £38.

This is then finished off with £378 jewellery, a £76 watch and a handbag £106 containing and purse worth £146 (including contents) and a £106 mobile.

That's a total of around £1,000 -- around a £100 more then the average man… who was wearing cheap jeans, a cheap t-shirt and had a really nice mobile phone in his pocket.

A clever copywriter has landed his dream advertising job -- by buying the names of his ideal employers on Google.

Alec Brownstein used Google adwords to buy the names of creative directors at top New York ad agencies for a total of $6.

This meant when they "vanity searched" Google for their own name (like you don't?) they saw a message from him above the normal search results.

His message "Googling yourself is a lot of fun. Hiring me is fun too." along with a link to his website, go him interviews with four of the five people he targeted.

As a result he accepted a job with Y&R NY… where he is now required to come up with equally creative ideas on a daily basis.

275x250.jpgWallabies are being sold in the UK as eco-friendly alternatives to lawnmowers.

The marsupials - which are said to be selling well - are described as being a great way of keeping the grass cut without any direct effort.

Wallaby breeder Mary Davies from West Sussex says demand is so high, she now has a waiting list of people wanting some for their gardens.

She says benefits include the face they 'work' all day and can get into areas that you would struggle to with a  lawnmower, though she admits they can't chew nice lines into your lawn.

But before you place your order, bare in mind the £300-1000 creatures have to be bought in pairs and you will need a garden of at least half an acre… and tall fence.

275x250.jpg Aircraft makers Boeing have revealed a futuristic spy plane called the Phantom Ray, which can cruise at 614mph, can't be tracked by radar and doesn't need a pilot.

While such planes would normally be built to specification for a customer like the US military, Boeing say the Phantom Ray is their "test bed" for new technologies.

The sleek-looking plane - based on a prototype the firm made for the US Air Force - has a 50ft wingspan, measures 36ft long and has a gross weight of 36,500lbs.

Bosses say the unmanned airborne system (UAS) will operate at an altitude of 40,000ft, with initial test flights scheduled for December… prompting countless UFO reports.

275x250.jpgMoney exchange offices in the UK have stopped selling the 500 Euro note -- because experts say 90 percent of them are used by crooks.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) say the high value Euro notes are almost exclusively in the procession of gangs, drug dealers and money launderers.

€500 notes are said to have been particularly attractive to criminals because they takes up less than a tenth of the space of the alternatives in sterling, meaning they can be moved easier.

Experts say an adult male "mule" could swallow 150,000 euros (£127,705) of the notes and 20,000 euros could even be hidden in a cigarette packet.

While no more €500s will be issued, the note is not being made illegal and anyone with one will still be able to pay it into their bank… where tellers will look at them suspiciously.

275x250.jpgOne in five parents REGRET the names they have chosen for their children, it has been found.

19 per cent of those quizzed in a recent study said they were fed up with the sheer number of other children sharing the same moniker as their little one.
In hindsight mums and dads claim they wouldn’t have chosen names such as William, Oliver and Jack - which tend to be the most common.
For girls popular names Chloe, Ruby and Olivia are the ones which parents wish they had come up with an alternative for.
15% regret the names they pick because it's laughed at by friends and family… we can only image this percentage increase for celebrities.

275x250.jpg Designers have revealed a bizarre item which is said to make it easy to have conversations in busy bars -- but also makes you look like an extra from a bad 1970s sci-fi movie.

The 'social sphere' is the brainchild of Elaine McLuskey who came up with them to allow to hear each other in situations with loud background noise.

Made of perspex the lightweight speech bubbles are worn on a users head and connect to allow people to talk directly into each others ear.

They work by filtering out ambient noise of music and chatter, allowing you to hear exactly what is being said… which will normally be "have you noticed that everyone is pointing and laughing at us?"

275x250.jpgResearchers have found drinking coffee can help people working shifts to make fewer errors at work.

Scientists say those who work shifts disrupt their body clocks and tend to be more tired at work, as a result they suffer increased errors.

Looking at how to combat this they compared the impact of taking caffeine (by drinking coffee or energy drinks) with placebos or naps.

Work-related tests showed those on the caffeine suffered significantly less mistakes and had better memory, attention, perception and reasoning.

In that case we dread to think how many mistakes we would make if we didn't have an intravenous drip of espresso hooked up next to the desk.

275x250.jpgAn Australian boffin has spotted an error in the Oxford English Dictionary which has gone unnoticed for 99 years.

While researching an article, Dr Stephen Hughes, from the University of Technology in Brisbane, noticed the definition for the word "siphon" was wrong.

The physics lecturer saw the famous dictionary stated it's atmospheric pressure makes siphons work, when (as we all know) it's the force of gravity.

Hughes says he was shocked to have spotted the error and quickly fired off a letter to OED to point out the mistake.

A spokesperson for the Oxford English Dictionary said the error was introduced in 1911 but it would be fixed in the next edition… they also said Dr Hughes's letter was perfectly written.

275x250.jpgBosses at car manufacturer Volvo were left red-faced when a press demonstration of their new collision avoidance system failed.

Volvo had arranged for photographers and journalists to see their new safety feature in action preventing a car from crashing.

The technology works by using a sensor on the front of a car which calculates if a crash is imminent and  automatically applied the breaks leaving the driver safe.

Or that's the theory. Unfortunately the demo didn't go to plan and as you can see from the below video the S60 car smacked straight into the back of a truck it should have avoided.

But all was not lost… at least you can see the windscreen wiper continues to function even after the smash.

A Swedish adventurer has set a new world record by 'running' 100m down the side of a building in 34.76 seconds.

Tony Berglund took over a second off the previous vertical running record of 36.25 when he hurtled down a skyscraper in central Vasteras.

In order to make the attempt possible the skyscraper had to be extended with the addition of a 20 metre high framed structure - making it the third highest skyscraper in Sweden for one day.

Tony was attached to an abseiling harness and "ran" down the building, using a special rappelling device to prevent the fast moving rope from melting.

However, we can't help but feel a bit disappointed by the video, because it just doesn't look that quick… not that we are offering to do it ourselves.

275x250.jpgA cup which doubles as a kettle and features a heating element to boil water in just 90 seconds has been revealed by designers.

Kug is the brainchild of Ben Millett and Alan Harrison who came up with it for a design project at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.

The pair had been tasked with creating a product to help people with rheumatoid arthritis struggle with household appliances when they created the Kug.

It was noticed sufferers struggled to pour a cup of tea and the designers wanted to ease the process of making a hot drink.

As students it is a fair bet that the idea of a easier cuppa must have appealed to them too... especially as with a Kug you can't get roped into make one for someone else.

275x250.jpg Police in Switzerland have started hiring an actor to dress as an angel and stand at the side of busy roads.

Complete with a white suit and feathered wings, the angel is being employed for 20 hours per week to wave at speeding motorists in a bid to slow them down.

The idea comes from a recent television advertising campaign where the bearded angel tells heavy footed drivers to "Slow Down. Take It Easy".

The unnamed actor will now spend at least six months standing by the side of roads in western Switzerland… worryingly we think if we saw him we would be more likely to crash.

275x250.jpgOne third of adults in Britain say they have injured themselves or suffered an ache and pain while having sex.

Researchers found pulled muscles were the most common complaint, followed by back injuries, carpet burns, cricked neck and bashing an elbow or knee.
Of those injured, 40 percent said they only realised what had happened the morning after the romp.

And two per cent have been left with broken bones because things got so heated between the sheets.
Five percent even claimed sex-related injuries had left them needing to take time off work… though presumably not telling the boss exactly what happened.

275x250.jpg Are you the always the first to put your hand in your pocket when you pop to the pub with mates? You might not be after hearing this.

Over your lifetime the average British drinker can expect to spend £39,480 getting beers in for their partners and friends, it has been found.

Researchers say this means as a nation the UK population will spend £30 billion each year round buying.

The average round costs £13 and on average drinkers buy 1.8 rounds in an evening out… except of course that mate who always has to take a phone call whenever it is his turn to buy. 

This CCTV footage shows how an Australian dad saved his baby son by tightly holding onto him when an out-of-control car ploughed into them on the pavement.

Incredibly, Andrew Leach only suffered a broken leg in the horror crash, and little Haydn miraculously escaped without a scratch on him.

The accident happened near Sydney when an 82-year-old female driver suffered a suspected heart attack and lost control of her car.

As the video shows, her vehicle mounted the curb and headed straight towards the Leach family.

Andrew says he intentionally held his son tightly and lifted him out of the way of the accident knowing he would be hit and injured himself.

275x250.jpgFacebook is bad for your marriage according to researchers, who say it's cited in one-in-five UK divorces.

Legal experts looked at the paperwork for 5,000 divorces, discovering that 989 (about 20 percent) had references to Facebook within the text of the divorce petitions.

They claim this shows that Facebook can be bad for marriage by allowing people to contact previous partners and lost loves.

It's also said many people have unfounded worries their partner is using the social networking site in this way, but that this doubt can turn a relationship sour.

Rumours Facebook are changing 'Relationship' status options to include "Ruined by Facebook" have not been confirmed.

275x250.jpg A public lavatory in Northumberland has become the unlikely location for a new arts project highlighting local wildlife.

The exterior walls of the loo in the coastal village of Seahouses have been covered in 8ft tall images of seabirds by Birmingham-based artist Stuart Mugridge.

For the next five months the ornithological themed artwork - featuring a giant eider duck and a yellowhammer - will greet those popping in for a pee.

Organisers Inspire Northumberland and the Seahouses Development Trust say the birds were chosen because they symbolise the sea and the land… and not because they make people want the loo.

275x250.jpgA piece of the original apple tree which inspired Sir Isaac Newton to devise his theory of gravity is set to be sent into space.

The 4cm long section of wood will be taken skywards by British-born astronaut Piers Sellers on the next NASA mission STS 132 where it will defy gravity.

It has been released by the Royal Society as part of the academic institution’s 350th anniversary celebrations.

Piers Sellers said: "While it’s up there, it will be experiencing no gravity, so if it had an apple on it, the apple wouldn’t fall.  

"I’m pretty sure that Sir Isaac would have loved to see this, assuming he wasn’t space-sick, as it would have proved his first law of motion to be correct."

It's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but this miniature cannon is a fully-working model which can fire metal balls.

The tiny cannon works in exactly the same as a traditional sized version, with a user compressing gunpowder in the barrel, inserting a ball and then lighting a fuse.

As this video - which has become a hit on YouTube - shows it is capable of causing the same sort of destruction, only on a smaller scale.

In the clip, which has been viewed over 200,000 times, the homemade cannon is used to shoot at a variety of target from a Coke can to a balloon after being lit by a cigarette.

The maker says it fires "with great power and accuracy"… and he must believe that given how perilously close his computer is to the targets.

275x250.jpgA newly-married couple have won a six-month job which will see them touring some of the world's best destinations, and getting paid for it.

Mark and Denise Duffield-Thomas have scooped the 'Ultimate Job' of testing honeymoon holidays for website

They will now spend six months in luxurious surroundings and even get £18,000 for their 'troubles' - they start off by jetting to Zanzibar.

Next up will be a trip to Mauritius and a private escorted safari in Kenya and all they have to do is report back with their impressions of the various breaks.

Gruelling 'duties' will include sunbathing on beaches, swimming in infinity pools and sipping champagne… all while you are sitting in front of that computer.

Ecologists in Canada have discovered a giant beaver dam which stretches 850m and can be seen from outer space -- by using Google Earth.

Jean Thie says he spotted the huge beaver dam by using Google Earth and NASA satellite technology while conducting research into melting permafrost.

He was looking at images of the country's wetlands in Alberta's Wood Buffalo National Park, when he saw the giant odd structure which can be seen from space.

Using other archive aerial photography it is predicted that rodents started construction during the 1970s and are still going… sounds like the last builders we had in.

An advert for a fart smothering blanket which claims to quickly absorb the odour of flatulence has become a YouTube hit.

The 'Better Marriage Blanket' is said to contain the same type of carbon fabric used by the military to protect against chemical weapons.

Since the ad - which claims to offer a "real solution to a very real problem" - was uploaded to YouTube, it's already been watched more than 1m times.

Denver science teacher Francis Bibbo says he created the material 15 years ago but it is only now coming to market as a product for gassy couples.

Makers say the £30 blanket makes an ideal wedding or anniversary gift for your loved one… or you could just cut down on the baked-beans.

275x250.jpgAfter recently joining Twitter, Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, has hired hundreds of staff to help him manage his account.

Chavez quickly gained more than 250,000 followers after signing up for the social networking and micro-blogging site where he has a 'verified account'.

But this meant he started receiving more messages that he was able to respond to, so he decided to hire in some help… an army of 200 Twitterers.

They will now respond to the incoming messages - which are said to be coming in at a rate of 30,000 per week - with official replies.

Chavez has described Twitter as "a weapon that needs to be used by the revolution -- which makes us feel bad for using it to talk about what we had for lunch.

Police officers arrived at the scene of a reported armed robbery, only to discover the 'crime' was actually a shoot for an upcoming movie.

Cops had been called out when a passerby saw what they thought was an armed robbery at a grocery store in New York.

But when the SEVEN police cars arrived and 15 officers burst into the store, they discovered they weren't needed.

That's because the weapon which had been seen was a prop and the person waving it at staff was an actor in a independent movie.

Police say the director had forgotten to notify them he was filming a scene involving a firearm… given how close his actors came to being shot, we don't think he will make that mistake again.

275x250.jpg A dating website has been launched in the US which aims to introduce fans of Apple technology with each other.

Bosses at Cupidtino say Apple-fans tend to have more in common with each other, and that a shared love of Macs, iPhones and iPads can help romance grow.

They claim Apple users often have similar personalities, professions and sense of style, which means they are well suited to spending time with each other.

It's not known how many Apple-fans will sign up for the service, but can discriminating against people on the basis of their tech really be PC?

275x250.jpgBritain's rarest wild flower is set to receive added police protection when it flowers later this year.

The Lady’s Slipper orchid growing in Lancashire is believed to have been planted in the 1800s and be the last flowering example of its kind in the UK.

While the flower at Silverdale Golf Course in Carnforth is already protected in law, police want to boost protection because it has been mutilated twice over the past six years.

They are now considering ways of of making it safer, including CCTV cameras and setting up extra patrols.

Let's just hope a wayward golf ball doesn't smash the flower before the police can protect it.

275x250.jpgA US man has scooped a prize of $1,000,000 -- by throwing a perfect game on a baseball computer game.

Wade McGilberry was rewarded with the cash after taking part in a competition organised by the makers of MLB 2K10, to find the top virtual pitcher.

Contestants had to record a video of themselves playing and then submit it to game bosses to prove they were better than anyone else.

Amazingly it was on the first day of the contest Wade threw a verified perfect game on the console -- a feat many people though was impossible.

His reward, the $1,000,000… and never having to apologise to his wife for playing video games rather than doing the washing up.

275x250.jpg There's still a few hours until we know who's won the UK election 2010 - but in the meantime here are the crisp packet election results.

In the run-up to the May 6th vote, crisp manufacturer Real Crisps produced packets in the party colours of red, blue and yellow.

The packets - which features the faces Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg - were then given out around the country to asses political popularity, along with an online poll.

According to this (highly scientific) study Nick Clegg was this morning named the most popular with 50% of the 'vote' -- presumably people thought crisps with Cameron on would be too cheesy.

275x250.jpgAn Danish architect has revealed plans to transform the Hollywood sign into a luxury hotel with rooms inside each of the letters.

Christian Bay-Jorgensen has produced and impressive set of designs which would see the giant letters rebuilt twice their current size.

He says facilities like the bar, restaurant and pool would be built behind the letters giving the 10 floors of rooms stunning views of the LA skyline.

The 28-year-old added there would be roof terraces on the top of the letters which could house 308 rooms… more if they added a few extra letters.

275x250.jpgEntrepreneurial-minded Icelanders have started selling jars of ash from the Eyjafjallajökull Glacier volcano online.

They're collecting the volcanic ash in buckets and then packaging it in 160g jars before selling it for £21.

Sellers say the idea started when locals began getting asked to send bits of ash to friends in the post.

Profits are being donated to ICESAR association which helps farmers clean up their property from ash damage.

It's claimed the ash cloud jars give people the chance to own a piece of modern history… just don't buy one for someone whose flights got delayed.

275x250.jpgThe average British couple doesn't get to put their feet up until 8:44pm, it has been found.

It's not until almost 9pm that most people say they are able to switch off after a hectic day of working, chores and childcare.
While the average couple ties to settle down in an evening at 8:05pm it takes a further 39 minutes to forget about the stresses and strains of the day.
Asked what their most common way of relaxing was, most people said it was sitting in front of the TV with a drink. However, it's not our favourite.

35 percent said that's a having a bath, followed by surfing the internet, 28 percent, checking Facebook 21 percent and then having sex, 21 percent… yes they'd rather check Facebook.

275x250.jpgPatients undergoing operations at a Scottish hospital are being given the option of watching DVDs rather than receiving anaesthetic.

Docs claim watching a DVD like of Only Fools And Horses during an operation can distract patients from pain, meaning they need less anaesthetic.

Dr Nick Pace of Gartnavel Hospital had idea after being tasked with trying to reduce the number of people having knee surgery who opted for a general anaesthetic.

It's now suggested patients are numbed from the waist down and watch a portable DVD player to distract them from the surgery sights and sounds.

About half of patients now opt for watching a movie and a spinal anaesthetic rather than full body anaesthetic… but if they started offering popcorn they could get that number up.

275x250.jpgA Russian MP has called for officials to investigate claims by a regional president that he met aliens onboard a spaceship -- in case he revealed any state secrets.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov of Kalmykia recently told a TV interviewer that in 1997 he was met by aliens at his Moscow apartment and that he spent several hour with them.

He said he'd been falling asleep when he heard someone calling him from his balcony. When he went to look, he was met by human-like aliens in yellow spacesuits.

The aliens then apparently took him onboard their spaceship where chatted to them for hours before being returned home.

But a Russian MP has said that the Kremlin should now investigate the incident because the aliens could have access to state secrets. We think he is missing the point.

275x250.jpg An artist has used office stationery to create an impressive city skyline -- made from piles of staples.

Peter Root spent 40 hours meticulously stacking over 100,000 staples to build Ephemicropolis - his staple city which spreads over 20ft by 10ft.

He broke them into stacks of various sizes before positioning them to create the skyline which could rival New York or Hong Kong (if it wasn't made from staples).

We just think it's a good job the NewsLite stationery cupboard was locked today, otherwise we wouldn't have got any work done.

275x250.jpgA painting by Pablo Picasso of his blonde mistress has been sold at auction for a record setting $106m (£70m).

The rarely seen work 'Nude, Green Leaves and Bust' had belonged to an LA collector until the sale at Christie's New York yesterday.

Dating from 1932, the image showing the artist's mistress Marie-Therese Walter, was snapped up by an unnamed telephone bidder who had likely never seen it in person.

Since Nude, Green Leaves and Bust was last sold in the 1950s, the colourful image has only been on public display once in 1961.

Upon seeing the painting and hearing how much it sold for, many people will have commented, "Imagine what is would have been worth if it was a proper painting."

275x250.jpgSilent electric cars could soon be fitted with Star Wars-style sound effects in a bid to warn pedestrians where they are.

The European Commission is worried the silent operation of electric cars could mean they become a danger on the road with pedestrians.

As such it plans to bring in rules that manufactures must make a minimum volume noise in place of the 'warning' sound of an engine.

But rather than simply replicate the sounds of an engine some makers are looking at using signature sounds more akin to Star Wars.

A spokesperson for Lotus Engineering says the new Evora 414E Hybrid even makes a sound similar to the Millennium Falcon… but you don't have to dress up as Han Solo to drive it, unfortunately.

275x250.jpgAn official-looking (but fake) tourist sign directing visitors to an 'Official Dogging Area' in a Cotswold beauty spot has been ripped down by angry residents.

The brown sign had directed people towards Barrow Wake, which is said to be a notorious site for outdoor sexual activity.

It's thought the 3ft sign was erected at the Cirencester bypass, Birdlip, by people who are annoyed by the ongoing dogging and wanted to make a mocking point.

But others claim it does not help and could have prompted more people to visit the area and take part -- so they ripped it down.

One local resident said of the area: "Barrow Wake gives fantastic views across Gloucestershire… and unfortunately a few other things now too."

275x250.jpg The Bermuda department of tourism is offering couples from the UK free flights to the tropical island -- if you'll get married there.

The offer means loved-up couples looking to have a beach wedding this summer can claim back the price of their airfares.

All they have to do is register their interest online by 15 June and then send proof that they have swapped vows on the island after the wedding.

The cost of flights - up to £600 each - will then be refunded… Anyone fancy getting married to us this summer?

275x250.jpgOne-in-two homeowners in Britain think their neighbours are nosy and spy on them whenever they get the chance, it has been found.
Research discovered millions of us live next to people who listen in on conversations and steel and peek through windows if the opportunity arises.
56 percent of people reckon their neighbours often gossip about others in their street and seven percent say they have even moved house due to nosy neighbours.

One-in-three say they think their nosy neighbour often pops in uninvited for a chat - just to catch a glimpse inside the house.
And the same number have even caught a local busybody looking in to their home through windows or open doors… impressive given how many people live in tower blocks.

275x250.jpg Designers have created a robot which shoots paint-balls into walls at 100mph to create large-scale graffiti artworks.

The Facade Printer is controlled by computer software to accurately replicate digital images on walls up to 20ft away.

It uses coloured balls like those from paintball guns and propels them at 100mph using compressed air, causing them to explode on contact with a wall.

Able to create graffiti artworks 12 metres tall, it can certainly give Banksy a run for his money… and firing five balls per second you could chase him off with it anyway.

Hundreds of people have gathered in Bath to break the world record for the largest ever umbrella dance.

A total of 234 dancers - each armed with a brolly - met to perform a five minute choreographed routine to the song "Singing in the Rain."

The event was organised by Bath International Dance Festival which took six months to get 200 participants and teach them the routine.

Adjudicators from Guinness World Records observed the dance before confirming that a new record had been set.

Despite having had the sunniest April since records began in 1929, the dancers were glad to have the umbrellas for their routine.

275x250.jpg Phil Latam has just bagged himself one of the most sought-after jobs in the country -- sleeping bag tester

He will now get paid £600 per week - that's the equivalent of £30,00 per year - simply for sleeping on the job.

All the 27-year-old has to do is test various sleeping bags under canvas and report back to bosses at Halfords about the their comfort and warmth.

Phil beat off competition from over 1,000 other applicants for the job… there would have been even more applications but some of the best candidates were so dozy they overslept.

275x250.jpgAn artist best known for singing to shoppers over the tannoy at a Tesco store has been short listed for the Turner Prize.

Susan Philipsz records herself singing and then plays it back over public address systems at supermarkets and bus stops

Her latest work "Lowlands" saw her version of 16th Century Scottish songs played under bridges in Glasgow.

Now the 44-year-old from Glasgow is one of four artists nominated for this year's Turner Prize.

In addition to possibly winning the £25,000 prize, Philipsz will also get to appear on a list where she does not stand out as "that weird one".

Two deer charged through a glass door and into a US bar -- as basketball fans watched a Milwaukee BUCKS game.

Supporters of the team, who chant "fear the deer" at rival fans, say they could not believe their eyes as the deer ran into the building.

One of the deer injured itself on the broken glass and staggered around dazed until staff were able to wrestle it tot he ground and carry it outside.

The other deer ran into a private room where it put up a bit of a fight before again being wrestled by staff and taken outside.

Fans watching the game in the Stout Ale House said they were just glad they don't support the Toronto Raptors.

275x250.jpgA 74-year-old from Germany has been fined £12,000 over his splash-happy antics which include dive bombs into his local pool.

The retired teacher, identified only as Axel G, appeared in Alzey district court where it was claimed he had "terrorised" other swimmers.

It was said that for years his "Arschbomben" - the German for dive-bomb which actually translates as "ass bomb" - scared other swimmers.

Other reports said he used to stick his tongue out as he swam and that he once dunked a 12-year-old girl underwater causing her distress.

While the pensioner initially denied all claims, he quickly changed his plea after CCTV footage showing him "ass bombing" was played in court -- where can we get a copy of that for ourselves.

275x250.jpg Hundreds of volunteers have stripped off and posed naked for a Spencer Tunick photo-shoot -- to pay homage to the work of LS Lowry.

As part of an up-coming exhibition at The Lowry gallery, Tunick is photographing mass groups of nude models in eight different locations across Manchester and Salford.

The first photos were taken over the weekend at a park in Salford with around 500 people of all shapes and sizes stripping off for the pictures, more than 4,000 applied to take part.

Tunick says the 'Everyday People' photos will capture the movement of everyday people and reflect the work of artist LS Lowry… but naked.

275x250.jpgBoffins researching the positive benefits of football chants claim they have come up with one which could lead England to World Cup victory.

The scientists claim chanting the word 'Cabanga' - Zulu for Imagine - increases a players brain activity and heart rate, boosting their performance.

This was discovered by them testing a variety of chants on footballers and monitoring the impact it had on their game and ability to score penalties.

Players also underwent brain scans and their heart rates were monitored while listening to the selection of chants -- which focused around three syllable words.

The researchers picked three syllable words because they are said to have the best rhythm and be most memorable… footballers also stood a better chance of understanding small words.

275x250.jpgIn an odd offer, staff at Alton Towers theme park are being offered free mullets and perms to make it look more like the 1980s.

The bad haircut move comes as the Staffordshire theme park prepares to celebrate being open 30 years with large 80s inspired event.

All members of Alton Towers staff will be offered the chance to go back in time with professional 1980s makeovers ahead of the planned 80s concert later in May.

80s icons including Rick Astley, Kim Wilde, Bananarama and Midge Ure will all perform at the event -- though the only way Midge Ure could have a mullet now would be with a wig.

But it's not just staff who are getting the 80s makeover, even animals on the resort are getting one… click below to see some 80s donkeys.

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