they did what?: May 2010 Archives

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.

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.

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.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.

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.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.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.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.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.

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.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.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.

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.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.

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