they did what?: July 2010 Archives

275x250.jpg A dozen huge grass sofas have been installed at tourist attractions around the UK -- in a bizarre bid to get couch potatoes out of the house.

The sofas - some of which are 30ft long - are the idea of the National Trust and are made from a base of straw which has been watered and trimmed to size, and covered in a green grass blanket.

Bosses came up with the odd idea after it was revealed the average family spends 43 hours a week sat on their sofa, even in the summer.

Each sofa is also positioned in a 'outdoor living room' and took just over a month to grow… meanwhile, your sofa at home has probably got something growing behind it.

275x250.jpgITV has caused outrage among soap fans following an Emmerdale episode showing a shopping list featuring 'jam rags and 'piles cream'.

The crude reference to sanitary towels and hemorrhoid cream appeared on a blackboard shopping list in Marlon Dingle's house.

Fans of the soap were stunned by the slang term appearing in the 7pm show and the reference has been labelled 'inappropriate and unnecessary' by media watchdogs.

Vivienne Pattison of Mediawatch, an independent campaign for family values in the media, said: "Clearly whoever wrote that knew exactly what they were doing, and they certainly didn't need to."

A spokesperson for Emmerdale was unavailable for comment… maybe they're out doing the shopping.

275x250.jpg A university professor has returned from holiday to find his research students had 'foiled' him with an elaborate prank -- they'd covered his entire office with foil.

Chemistry Prof Scott Bur couldn't believe his eyes when he opened the door to his office at Gustavus Adolphus in Minnesota and was confronted by the mass of aluminium.

His research students had covered everything, from walls and furniture to books and his computer with the kitchen foil. They'd even gone to the effort of separately wrapping pens on his desk.

Scott says he later found out they'd used 10, 200ft rolls of foil and spent almost an entire week on the stunt. Well you know what they say: "When the cat's away, the mouse will decorate with foil".

275x250.jpgYouTube has added a secret version of the classic arcade game Snake, which can now be played while videos are loading.

The game - a hit on early mobile phones - can currently be unlocked on the video site by pressing a series of buttons as a video buffers.

When the flashing circle of dots appear to signify the clip is loading, users wanting the play the game need to press the up and/or left cursor button.

At that point the game appears over the top of the video screen and you have to guide the growing snake around the screen, eating dots and avoiding running into your own body.

For the full 1990s/early 2000s effect the game should probably be played over the top of a video showing the screen of a Nokia phone. 

275x250.jpg Police in New York are hunting for an armed robber who dressed in a Darth Vader costume to rob a bank.

The 6ft tall Star Wars movie character walked into the Chase bank branch on Long Island yesterday and demanded staff hand over cash.

But rather than brandishing a lightsaber or using a force grip to get what he wanted, the man was waving a handgun as he told staff what he wanted.

After being given the money 'Darth' ran out of the bank before escaping on a bicycle. Yes, a cycling Darth Vader bank robber is wanted by police, these are the sort of moments Newslite was made for.

275x250.jpgIt looks like a car wash, but this 'cow wash' machine is actually the latest must-have gadget for farmers wanting to boost milk production.

Designed by Swedish firm DeLaval, the swinging cow brush was created to act as a 'self grooming' device for cows to help keep themselves clean, healthier and happier.

This is because a happy cow is said to produce as much as 3.5 percent more milk and therefore be much more valuable for the farmer.

The device works by starting to rotate when a cow makes contact with it, and then spinning at a speed which is pleasurable for the cow as it moo-ves under it.

Given the success of cow wash machines - more than 30,000 have been sold - it can't be long until the cows also start getting a pre-milking pedicure and makeover.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a parasailing donkey flying over the sea in Russia, obviously.

A Russian leisure firm is being investigated by police on animal cruelty charges after using a flying donkey in a stunt to promote their parasailing service.

Beach-goers looked on in a mixture of intrigue and horror as staff at the private beach club in Golubitskaya led a unwitting donkey towards their parasailing equipment.

The ass was then attached to the parachute harness, and before many sunbathers had worked out what was happening, it was launched high into the air.

Shocked holidaymakers watched as the terrified donkey spent the next 30 minutes flying over the the Sea of Asov… and wondered if they'd had one too many holiday cocktails.

275x250.jpgA team of divers in the Baltic Sea have discovered 30 bottles of what's believed to be the world's oldest drinkable Champagne.

The 200-year-old bottles were recently found by divers exploring a shipwreck and are thought to part of a cargo destined for Russia in the 1780s.

Experts say the shape of the bottle indicates they were produced in the 18th Century and are understood to be from Clicquot (now Veuve Clicquot).

After sampling one of the bottles (before even reaching dry land) diver Christian Ekstrom has sent a bottle to France for analysis.

If confirmed, the bottles will be valued at around £50,000 each… and Christian will regret taking that early sip.

275x250.jpgAn environmentalist diver has become an online hit after recording a video of himself serenading a man-eating shark.

Andy Brandy Casagrande started off by scuba diving into shark-infested waters off Guadeloupe Island, Mexico while clutching his guitar.

He then started singing and playing his shark friendly ditty "The Great White Shark Song" as a pal filmed him swimming next the giant beasts.

The resulting music video has become an internet hit. But how could it not with classic lyrics like: "If I was a great white I wouldn't bite you, but I'd swim right next to you".

Andy says he recorded the song to prove sharks are not as fearsome as most people think… unless they don't like the music you're playing.

275x250.jpg An animated avert which showed Queen Mary turning into a gruesome zombie has been banned for scaring young children on the tube.

The London Dungeon ad had been appearing on digital displays at London tube stations with a regal portrait of Queen Mary quickly transforming into a terrifying ghoulish image.

But after a series of complaints, bosses from ASA have ruled the  Bloody Mary Tudor exhibition ads should be pulled -- because they are too scary for the public.

We can only imagine how Queen Mary would have taken the news that her image was to be removed from display… during her reign from 1553 to 1558, she had more than 300 people burned alive.

275x250.jpg A drunk man broke into an Australian wildlife park because he wanted to ride and pat a giant 16ft long crocodile -- amazingly he wasn't killed.

The sloshed 36-year-old had just been chucked out of a local pub in Broome when he decided his night wouldn't be complete without a ride on a croc.

He proceeded to climb over a fence and into the wildlife park where he was confronted by the 800kg saltwater crocodile called Fatso (pictured above), which he then tried to ride.

Unsurprisingly Fatso snapped at the drunk fool, tearing a chunk of flesh from his leg. But he didn't kill him, as might have been expected, and let him escape… maybe he doesn't like his meat marinated in beer.

275x250.jpgDentists in the US say they are currently dealing with a surge in young patients who want tempory vampire-style fangs installing.

Twilight fans are each paying around $200 (£130) for the 'Vampire Veneers' - an aesthetic enhancement of the canines, making them longer and sharper.

The undead vampire-esque teeth are, thanks to the Twilight craze, one of the most popular procedures carried out by cosmetic dentists this summer.

During the 15-minute procedure veneers are attached to the top of existing teeth, using a tooth-coloured resin which is shaped to look like fangs.

Dentists warn the vampire veneers can take some getting used to, but add they are compatible with most eating habits… so no need to switch to blood just yet.

275x250.jpgPaul the psychic octopus - fresh from a string of correct predictions at the South Africa World Cup - is retiring from the soothsaying business.

Correctly predicting the result of eight football games in a row, Paul - known as 'oracle of the deep' - became a bigger star than Wayne Rooney.

But now bosses at the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany, where he lives, say he's retiring from making predictions, despite his uncanny ability.

A spokesperson said the two-year-old cephalopod will go back to his old job of "making children laugh" ratherr than the "oracle business".

She added they'd received several offers for Paul from betting firms, but insisted he was not for sale… we wonder if he can foresee being kidnapped by a gambling ring any time soon.

275x250.jpg Hundreds of Americans have dropped their trousers and bared their bottoms at passing trains as part of a weird annual event in California.

Each July for the past 30 years up to 10,000 people have gathered at the city of Laguna Niguel to expose their rears at passing trains - with some even traveling from as far as Europe to take part.

Mooning Amtrak lasts all day and even into the night, with evening mooners advised to bring a torch to help those on passing trains to see their bums.

According to Wikipedia bottom-baring dates back almost 2,000 years… which in our opinion makes these fine folks some sort of cultural heritage protectors.

275x250.jpgA forgetful tourist accidentally left behind £500,000 worth of jewellery when she checked out of a luxury London hotel room.

The woman, who had been staying at London's Westbury Mayfair Hotel, checked out as normal last Monday... but when a chambermaid went to clean her room, she was left shocked.

That's because she found what could only be called a glittering treasure trove of jewels - including diamond-encrusted rings, a glitzy necklace and earrings - all lying in a chest of drawers of the £2,500-a-night suite.

The honest member of staff immediately reported the find to her boss who stashed the jewels in a safe while they tried to locate the woman who was thought to be American.

Because she had not left any contact details the hotel were unable to find the woman who was only reunited with her gems five days later when she phoned up in tears… much like the chambermaid who'd hoped they wouldn't be claimed.

275x250.jpgA teenage fugitive dubbed 'the Barefoot Bandit' has been caught after two years on the run from the police.

During his crime spree, 19-year-old Colton Harris-Moore stole fast cars, powerboats and more than five planes - always keeping one step ahead of the authorities.

As his thefts became more audacious, so his popularity grew online and at the time of his arrest the cult hero had thousands of fans online.

Colton - who originally snuck out of Juvenile detention centre - even featured on a FBI wanted poster as legend of his crimes grew.

However, he was eventually captured in the Bahamas in a boat-chase with the Royal Bahamas Police Force... well if there's a cool way to get caught that's it.

275x250.jpgSpanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas celebrated his World Cup victory by snogging his girlfriend Sara Carbonero live on TV - much to her surprise.

Carbonero had been interviewing the World Cup winner for Spanish TV station Telecinco when he appeared to get tongue-tied and emotional.

As the keeper broke down in tears Carbonero - who is dating the Real Madrid goalie - asked him if he wanted a moment to compose himself.

He didn't. Instead he simply said: "No, this is what I want to do," before grabbing her and snogging her - much to her surprise and embarrassment.

The clip has since become a hit online -- let's just hope it doesn't set a president for all post football match interviews.

A Spanish pitch invader who tried to get his hands on the World Cup trophy was floored by a single punch from a security guard.

Jaume Marquet Cot - also known as Jimmy Jump - had run across the pitch ahead of the Holland v Spain final towards the famous trophy which stood on a podium on the halfway line.

But as Barcelona fan Jimmy tried to place a Catalan hat on the World Cup, a security guard stepped up and landed a right hook around his face, knocking him to the floor.

The red-faced 36-year-old - who has previously invaded countless football pitches, the Spanish Grand Prix and even the Eurovision Song Contest - was then carried shamefully off down the tunnel.

While the serial pitch invader has previously been let off easily for his stunts he is now in custody waiting to be charged… and still wondering where that fist came from.

275x250.jpgPaul the 'psychic' octopus has done it again, he correctly predicted the result of the World Cup clash between Spain and Germany.

Dubbed 'oracle of the deep' Paul - who lives at the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany - kept his 100% record if foreseeing the results of his homeland.

Earlier in the week the eight-legged mystic made his prediction by eating mussels from a box draped in the flag of the team he thought would make it into the final.

And last night, as a Carlos Puyol goal sealed the 1-0 win for the Spanish, Paul notched up yet another correct prediction, reaffirming his position as the real star of this World Cup.

In fact, his predictions have been so much better than pundits like Gary Linekar and Adrian Chiles we think Sky Sports should snap him up to front their Premier League coverage, what do you reckon?

Israeli troops who were filmed dancing while on patrol and wearing full combat gear are to be investigated by military bosses.

The clip - in which the six gun-totting men perform a choreographed routine to Kesha's "Tik Tok" - became an instant hit online.

Not surprising given it showed the soldiers walking down a street in Hebron before pausing, getting into position and then dancing.

While other videos of troops doing similar stunts have been laughed off by bosses these men were in the field and presumably on duty.

A spokesman for the Israeli Defense Force said there was an investigation happening and that the officers commanders had been contacted -- something tells us it wasn't to book them for the Christmas party.

275x250.jpgA brave 16-year-old schoolgirl has raised money for charity by 'growing' a beard made from hundreds of bees.

Nellie Odam-Wilson got the bees to land on her chin and neck by placing a Queen Bee on her face and therefore attracting the rest of the swarm.

The youngster - who works part-time at Quince Honey Farm in Devon - completed the feat to raise £400 for a charity trip where she will work at a Ugandan orphanage.

She says the bees were incredibly itchy and though they were only on her face for around seven minutes it felt like much longer.

Slightly worryingly farm owner Ian Wallace added that it was the first time someone had done the stunt without getting stung… we wonder if he told her that beforehand.

275x250.jpg Six-time hot dog eating champion Takeru Kobayashi was arrested when he stormed the stage at this year's New York International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Speed-eater Kobayashi had refused to take part in the event because of contract issues - but tried to get on stage after the champion was crowned.

Joey "Jaws" Chestnut was gobbling his way to his fourth title by (munching 54 hotdogs in 10 minutes) when Kobayashi jump onto the stage as fans shouted "let him eat".

After wresting with police he was arrested and taken into custody overnight --  it's not know if he was given a hot hog while in jail.

275x250.jpgA tiny chick which was born with curled toes has been given a pair of specially made slippers to allow him to walk.

When the baby African Crowned Crane was born at a wildlife centre in Cornwall staff noticed a defect with his feet.

Because his toes were curled he couldn't walk and bosses at Paradise Park in Hayle were worried for the bird, which had been abandoned by his mother.

Staff started hand-rearing him and put bandages on his feet to allow him to walk upright. When that worked, they decided to make the tiny 2.5cm slippers.

The little bird - which should grow to 4ft tall - is now happy running around with his other furry friends… which are all jealous of his footwear.

275x250.jpgA US man bought two 30 second advertising spots on his local TV station, to air an advert in which he proposed to his girlfriend.

David Newquist, from California, even hired a former news presenter to star in the professionally produced advert, which went out on KBAK-TV.

As images of David and girlfriend Patricia appeared on-screen, the presenter said: "I just learned that David Newquist of Bakersfield, at this very moment is asking Patricia for her hand in marriage."

At this point David - who was watching at home with Patricia - reached behind the sofa, produced an engagement ring and asked her to be his wife.

Luckily she hadn't popped out to make a cup of tea during the commercial and said yes - they have now set a date for the big day.

275x250.jpgA woman who was told by doctors it was impossible for her to get pregnant says she's now due to give birth -- thanks to fertility statues.

Rachel Taylor and her husband Jon, from New Jersey, had been trying to have a baby for over three years when she first read about fertility statues on the internet.

Impressed by what she saw, Rachel decided to make a visit to Wisconsin where a pair of five-foot tall wooden statues from West Africa were on show at a Ripley’s Odditorium.

Because it was claimed the statues had helped over 1,000 women get pregnant Rachel said she didn't feel conspicuous about rubbing them.

And she says she was right not to -- because she is now due to have a baby boy in August… hopefully he won't look like the statues.

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