December 1, 2014

Top News Stories –

Henry leaves NY Bulls –
Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry leaves New York Red Bulls after four-and-a-half years with the MLS club. He is still Arsenal’s all-time top goal scorer with 228 in all competitions. He is to move into television, initially as a pundit on Sky TV in the UK. (See List of the Day and Video of the Day below)
Thierry_HenryThierry Henry

Prince Harry confession for charity –
Prince Harry has revealed that he gets extremely nervous before making any public speech. He made the revelation as part of a campaign run by his Sentebale charity to help reduce the stigma associated with HIV on World Aids Day. The prince co-founded the charity in 2006 in Lesotho after travelling around the southern African country which has the third highest HIV/Aids prevalence in the world.
Prince_HarryPrince Harry

Brand protest –
Russell Brand joins around 400 residents of Hackney’s New Era estate to protest against US property owner Westbrook, which is threatening 93 families with eviction before marching to 10 Downing street where a petition signed by 294,000 was handed in.
Russell_BrandRussell Brand

Cyber Monday breaks records –
Today is Cyber Monday and in the US $2.5 billion (£1.6 billion) is expected to be spent. In the IMRG Experian predicts that UK consumers will spend £649.6 million today or £451,000 a minute showing a 26 per cent increase on last year.

Video of the Day –

Thierry Henry goals in UK and USA –

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December 2, 2014

Top News Stories –

(Nasty) Thought for the day –
Professor Stephen Hawking, the British scientist who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has said that efforts to create thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence. The BBC quotes him as saying “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate but humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”
Stephen_HawkingStephen Hawling

Scarlett gets secretly married –
Scarlett Johansson has revealed that she and her partner Romain Dauriac got married in secret on October 1st 2015 in Philipsburg, western Montana.
Scarlett JohanssonScarlett Johansson

Strike that off the list –
The UK Government has introduced legislation banning sex acts like spanking and caning from online porn videos filmed in the UK. A list of sex acts are now on a list of ‘harmful’ content that has been prohibited and paid-for online porn videos must now stick to the same rules as content produced for sex shop-type videos. (See List of the Day)

Video of the Day –

Scarlett Johansson banned commercial

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December 3, 2014

Top News Stories –

Google gets down with the kids –
Google reveals it is developing child-friendly versions of some of its products and is likely to include the Chrome browser and YouTube (which it bought for $1.65bn (£883m) in October 2006). The intention is to make the internet safer for under-12s.

Boris plays peacemaker –
London mayor Boris Johnson attempted to calm down an abusive passenger on a Malaysian Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Heathrow but the crew had to handcuff the man and strap him to his seat. The man was arrested when the plane landed.
Boris_Johnson_FT_2013Boris Johnson

Pope dismissing head guard –
Colonel Daniel Anrig, the commander of the 110 Swiss Guards that protect the pontiff is losing his job when his commission ends at the end of January 2015. Although no official reason has been given, Pope Francis is apparently unhappy at the officer’s strict authoritarian style.

Video of the Day –

FILM_FX L3.0 (2014) from ISART DIGITAL on Vimeo.

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December 4, 2014

Top News Stories –

The Obama’s light up –
President Barack Obama, wife Michelle and their daughters, Malia and Sasha switch on the lights of the Christmas Tree at the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the Ellipse near the White House in Washington DC.
2014_National_Christmas_Tree2014 National Christmas Tree

Psy’ched out –
Psy’s Gangnam Style video has been watched so many times that the YouTube’s counter is being upgraded from 32-bit to 64-bit. The old 32-bit system only counted up to 2,147,483,647 views with Gangnam Style hitting 8,000 more than that. The mew 64-bit system will count up to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 views (around 9 quadrillion). (See Video of the Day and List of the Day below)
FMFA_2013_(8565145586)

Apple accused of wiping competitors tunes –
A US district court has heard lawyers accuse Apple of “deleting” songs from rival services from some iPods in 2007-09. Users with non-iTunes music received a message telling them to restore devices to their factory settings when they tried to sync them. Apple said that the move was a legitimate security measure. The case has been going on for more than a decade and could result in Apple paying out $1bn in damages.

Nobel Prize medal sells for $4.75m –
The Nobel Prize medal of American geneticist James Watson sold for $4.75 million at auction in New York today. It is the first time a Nobel Prize of a living laureate has been sold and almost doubled the estimate price. The Nobel Prize was awarded to Dr Watson in 1962 for his discovery of DNA’s double helix structure in 1953.
James_D_WatsonDr James D Watson

Video of the Day –

Gangnam Style – Psy

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December 5, 2014

Top News Stories –

Five Diana dresses sell for half a million dollars –
Five dresses designed for and worn by Britain’s late Princess Diana have been auctioned off by Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles for a total of nearly half a million dollars. British dressmaker Catherine Walker had made three of the gowns and all fetched within or just above their estimated price of between $60,000 and $80,000. The other two dresses were made by Caroline Charles and Zandra Rhodes.
Diana,_Princess_of_WalesDiana, Princess of Wales

Two-headed cat lives to be 15 years-old –
A cat that was born with two faces has died at the age of 15 in North Grafton, Massachusetts. Called Frank and Louie – ‘Frankenlouie’ the birth defect is known as a Janus cat, named for a Roman god with two faces and expected to die very young due to congenital defects. While blind in his center eye, both his outer eyes worked fine, and while he had two noses and mouths, Frankenlouie had only one brain.

Orion capsule successful first mission –
The US space agency’s new Orion crew capsule has completed its maiden, unmanned voyage with a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean off Mexico. Orion is designed to take humans to destinations such as the Moon and Mars. The flight was intended to test its critical technologies and took four and a half hours.
Orion_ExplorationOrion capsule

Video of the Day –

AFTERGLOW – Lightsuit Segment from Sweetgrass Productions on Vimeo.

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December 6, 2014

Top News Stories –

Typhoon Hagupit hits the Philippines –
Typhoon Hagupit is sweeping across the eastern Philippines, threatening coastal areas with a powerful sea-surge. Roofs have been blown off in the city of Tacloban, where thousands were killed by Typhoon Haiyan a year ago and more than half a million people have fled coastal villages.

Slice of Prince William and Kate’s wedding cake sells for $6,000 at auction –
A wedding cake slice from the 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has been sold at an auction in Beverly Hills for $6,000 (£4,000).
The buyer of this romantic slice of history was bought by Gee Chuang, the CEO of online marketplace Listia.com, who plans to give away the piece of wedding cake on the company’s website in April of next year to celebrate the royal couple’s fourth wedding anniversary. The eight-tiered wedding cake, made by pastry chef Fiona Cairns and her team, was adorned with icing flowers, petals and leaves. [Daily Telegraph]
Wedding_of_Prince_William_of_Wales_and_Kate_Middleton

iPhone crash landing protection –
Apple Inc was granted a patent last week on an innovation that can detect when a handset is falling – and rotates it to avoid the screen hitting the ground. If sensors calculate the screen or camera will hit the ground, a motor is instantly activated within the phone which moves an internal weight fast enough to affect the ‘rotational velocity’ of the device and spin it around so that it lands on a reinforced area. The idea could also work with iPads and other devices.

Al-Qaeda hostage killed during rescue mission –
Luke Somers, a US journalist who was being held captive in Yemen since 2013, has been shot by his captors during a a military operation to rescue him and later died. A video was released earlier this week showing a member of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) threatening to kill Mr Somers unless unspecified demands are met.

Video of the Day –

I’ve fallen and I can’t get up – Crowd dynamics test using Miarmy for Maya

I've fallen, and I can't get up! from Dave Fothergill vfx on Vimeo.

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December 7, 2014

Top News Stories –

Foggy wins down under –
Former motorbike rider Carl Fogarty, four time winner of the World Superbike Championship, has won the British “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here” in Australia. The 49-year-old known as Foggy beat former X Factor contestant Jake Quickenden and TV presenter Melanie Sykes in the final of the ITV show.
Carl-FogartyCarl Fogarty

LA Galaxy win MLS again –
Californian soccer team LA Galaxy have won a fifth Major League Soccer (MLS) title with a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution in the championship-deciding MLS Cup. LA have won three of the last four league titles and Irish striker Robbie Keane grabbed an extra-time winner to give the Galaxy the victory after New England’s Chris Tierney had cancelled out Gyasi Zardes’ opener for LA. (See List of The Day)
Robbie_KeaneRobbie Keane

Royal US visit starts –
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived in New York for a tour of the east coast of the United States during which Prince William will meet President Barack Obama. The Royal couple previously met the Obama’s after their wedding in 2011.
Obama_and_Duke_Duchess_of_CambridgeThe Royals meeting the President and Mrs Obama in London in 2011

Not out of the woods yet –
Tiger Woods return to competition golf ends badly as he finishes last in the 18 player Hero World Challenge tournament in Florida and is physically sick on the fairway. He has not played competitively for four months due to back pain.
Tiger_WoodsTiger Woods

Video of the Day –

SYNC from Hasraf HaZ Dulull on Vimeo.

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December 8, 2014

Top News Stories –

Korean Air boss nut allergy –
Cho Hyun-ah, a Korean Air executive, is under investigation over claims she delayed a plane over the way she was served nuts. Ms Cho, a vice-president of the firm and daughter of the Korean Air president demanded the removal of a crew member from a flight for failing to serve nuts on a plate, forcing the Incheon-bound flight to taxi back to the terminal in New York.

London mayor asked to pay tax in US –
The new American ambassador in London, Matthew Barzun, says London Mayor Boris Johnson should settle a six-figure tax bill in the US on profits on the sale of his home in London in 2009. The London Mayor, who was born in New York and has dual citizenship, revealed last month that he is being pursued by the US tax authorities.
Boris_Johnson_FT_2013Boris Johnson

London mayor asks US embassy to pay charges in London –
Previously Boris Johnson has praised the new ambassador for his diplomatic abilities but wants him get the US to pay the £6 million outstanding in congestion charges run up by diplomats which the embassy refuses to pay.

Video of the Day –

Ghost Peloton from NVA on Vimeo.

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December 9, 2014

Top News Stories –

Glitch grounds UK flights –
A major glitch in the UK air-traffic controllers system has affected flights in and out of nearly all of Britain’s airports including 89 flights cancelled at Heathrow. National Air Traffic Services (Nats) said a technical fault in the flight data system at its Swanwick centre caused the problem.
Heathrow_T5Heathrow Terminal 5

Amazon beefs up Prime
Amazon Prime launches 4K (UHD) streaming for its Amazon Prime service following Netflix into the 4K market.
Amazon.com-Logo.svg

Oz helping out Global Warming issues
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Australia will contribute A$200 million over four years into a U.N. fund to help poor nations cope with global warming.
Australian_Prime_Minister_Tony_Abbott_and_Indian_Prime_Minister_Narendra_Modi_in_India Tony Abbott with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi

In the club (sandwich)
The British Sandwich Association has named chicken and bacon has been named the nation’s favourite sandwich filling – overtaking the BLT. (See List of the day)
Club-sandwichA chicken and bacon sandwich aka a club sandwich

Video of the Day –

Moment Abroad from Andrew Walker on Vimeo.

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December 10, 2014

Top News Stories –

Britain hit by “weather bomb” –
High winds and huge waves have affected north-western parts of the UK as bad weather hit power supplies and travel. The “weather bomb” brought hundreds of lightning strikes, temporarily cutting power across the Western Isles. Wind speeds of 144mph was recorded on the St Kilda islands, with gusts in excess of 80mph elsewhere.

Bully bashed by brilliance –
Louisa Manning (@xo_louisa_ox) whose letter to a former school bully who called her “manbeast” went received over 18,000 likes on Facebook has described the response as “crazy and overwhelming”. Miss Manning, a student at Oxford University, wrote the note after being invited on a date by her former tormentor when they met 10 years later in a restaurant.

Senate reports on CIA interrogations –
The UN and human rights groups have called for the prosecution of US officials involved in the CIA interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects. President Barack Obama said it was now time to move on. The summary of a classified Senate report says that the CIA carried out “brutal” interrogations of al-Qaeda suspects after the 9/11 attacks on the US and misled other officials about what it was doing.
Defense.gov_News_Photo

Boston time-capsule discovered –
A time capsule thought to have been buried by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere in 1795 has been discovered in Massachusetts, USA. The container was found during repair work at the state house in Boston. See video of the day.

Video of the Day –

Boston time-capsule

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December 11, 2014

Top News Stories –

Christiano times it right for Christmas –
Christiano Ronaldo has given each of his Real Madrid team-mates a Bulgari watch worth £6,500. Each watch is engraved with the recipient’s name, the motif CR7 (he wears shirt number 7) and the words ‘La Decima’, to celebrate Real Madrid winning their 10th European Cup last season.
Cristiano_RonaldoChristiano Ronaldo

New female boss of Santander –
Baroness Shriti Vadera is appointed chair of Santander UK, making her the first woman to chair a major British bank. Vadera, a former Labour minister, will receive £650,000 a year for a three-day week. She will also continue her roles as a non-executive of drugs group AstraZeneca and mining company BHP, two of the largest companies in the FTSE 100.
Shriti_Vadera,_Baroness_VaderaBaroness Shriti Vadera

No returns accepted –
US firm Astobiotic launches the first postal service to send items to the moon – with prices ranging from $460 to $26,000.
The firm, which calls the service MoonMail, says it can give over entire missions for larger items that need more shipping space and hopes to fund the development of its lunar landing by offering to take items. (See video of the day)

Video of the Day –

Astrobotic: Lunar Delivery Service

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December 12, 2014

Top News Stories –

Star Wars character names posted by director –
The names of characters in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” to be released in December 2015 have been revealed in a mocked-up set of trading cards. John Boyega will be Finn, Oscar Isaac is Poe Dameron and Daisy Ridley’s character is called Rey. Director JJ Abrams confirmed the names via some old school trading cards, in reference to when the Star Wars films were first released in the 1970s.
Oscar_IsaacOscar Issac

World’s longest ship launched –
Shanghai-based marine-shipping company China Shipping Container Lines has launched the world’s largest container ship, the “CSCL Globe”. The ship is more than 400m (1,312ft or a quarter of a mile) long, 56.8m (186ft) wide, 73m (240ft) high and 186,000 tonnes gross. The ship, which is longer than four football pitches, is making its maiden voyage from Shanghai to Europe.
CSCL_GlobeThe CSCL Globe

Marriage proposal fail –
A Dutchman’s attempt at a romantic wedding proposal using a mobile crane has resulted in the crane falling over and smashing into a neighbour’s roof. The man had rented a crane in the central town of Ijsselstein to descend in front of his girlfriend’s bedroom window, play her a song and ask her to marry him. Despite the disaster in which no-one was hurt, his girlfriend agreed to marry him.

Pope avoids Dalai Lama meeting –
Pope Francis will not meet the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama because of the “delicate situation” with China, according to the Vatican. The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 after Chinese troops crushed an attempted uprising in Tibet and China describes him as a separatist. The Vatican does not want to jeopardise improving relations between itself and China.
Pope_Francis Pope Francis

Video of the Day –

Star Wars – The Force Awakens Official Trailer –

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December 13, 2014

Ben Haenow wins X Factor 2014 –
Ben Haenow has been named this year’s UK X Factor winner after going head-to-head with Fleur East in the 2014 final at Wembley Arena. The singer from Croydon, south London, was chosen by a public vote with over 10 million votes cast. Mel B the former Spice Girl and one of the four judges, missed the final due to illness. Tulisa Contostavlos stood in as her replacement.
Melanie_BMel B

FIFA dismiss complaints over report –
A complaint by US lawyer Michael Garcia who spent two years investigating World Cup corruption claims for Fifa has been dismissed by football’s governing body. Garcia’s findings were released as a 42-page summary by FIFA-appointed independent judge Hans-Joachim Eckert. Garcia said his summary was “incomplete and erroneous”. There have been calls to release the full report in the wake of Garcia’s complaint, but FIFA president Sepp Blater has said it cannot do so for legal reasons.
2014_FIFA_Announcement_(Joseph_Blatter)_Sepp Blatter at the 2014 FIFA Tournament Announcement in 2007

Indecent proposal –
A Dutchman’s attempt at a romantic wedding proposal using a mobile crane has resulted in the crane falling over and smashing into a neighbour’s roof. The man had rented a crane in the central town of Ijsselstein to descend in front of his girlfriend’s bedroom window, play her a song and ask her to marry him. Despite the disaster, in which no-one was hurt, his girlfriend accepted his offer.

Video of the Day –

Our Streets –

OUR STREETS from Jared Rosenthal on Vimeo.

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December 14, 2014

Top News Stories –

Hamilton is Sports Personality of the year –
Lewis Hamilton, winner of the 2014 Formula One world championship is voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year by the British public. Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy is given a Lifetime Achievement award and Christiano Ronaldo wins the overseas award at the ceremony held in Glasgow, Scotland.
Lewis_Hamilton_Lewis Hamilton

Petsmart sells for $8.7bn –
The pet supply company PetSmart has signed a deal to sell itself to an investment group led by BC Partners for about $8.7 billion in the largest buyout of a US company in 2014.

Penultimate climate ultimatum –
United Nations members have reached an agreement on how countries should tackle climate change by setting national pledges for a summit due to be held in Paris in 2015. The document was signed after a two week meeting took place in Lima, Peru, hosted by Peru’s environment minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal. Environmental groups criticised the document, saying the proposals were nowhere near drastic enough.

Video of the Day –

Lewis Hamilton v Ken Block

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December 15, 2014

Top News Stories –

Sydney hostage situation –
A gunman takes hostages in the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place. The hostage taker is identified as a 50-year-old cleric from Iran, Man Haron Monis who gained asylum in Australia. Passers by are criticised for taking “selfies” in front of the cafe.
2014_Sydney_hostage_crisisCrowds outside the sieged building

Ultimate fare-dodger –
A commuter in London who avoided paying for his train fares has been banned for life from working in any regulated financial industries. Jonathan Paul Burrows has paid back the £42,550 he is estimated to have avoided paying, plus £450 in legal costs. He was a director with financial services company BlackRock.

Denmark claims north pole –
Denmark makes a claim to the UN that the area surrounding the North Pole is connected to the continental shelf of Greenland, a Danish autonomous territory. Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard says it is a “historic and important milestone” for Denmark. In 2008, a US Geological Survey report estimated that as much as 22% of the world’s undiscovered and recoverable resources lay north of the Arctic Circle, but the North Pole itself is unlikely to have much oil or gas beneath its deep waters. Canada and Russia have already tried to assert their sovereignty over Arctic territory.
Nuclear_icebreaker_ArktikaNuclear icebreaker Arktika

Video of the Day –

Brain Lapse from Jake Fried on Vimeo.

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December 16, 2014

Top News Stories –

Sydney siege ends –
The siege in the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney is ended by Australian troops storming the building. The gunman, Man Haron Monis, and two of his hostages are killed.

Christmas back on in Delhi –
Delhi University has reversed the decision to rename Christmas Day ‘Good Governance Day’ by organising seminars and competitions on oratory.
But now, after a mass of complaints, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has asked colleges to organise the function without disturbing Christmas Day celebrations.

Unethical appeal –
FIFA ethics investigator Michael Garcia has lost his appeal against a statement by ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert on his report into bidding for the World Cups had contained “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions”. The appeal has been declared inadmissible by FIFA’s appeals committee, who said Eckert’s statement was not a legally-binding decision and therefore could not be appealed against.

Video of the Day –

SURFING @ 1000 FRAMES PER SECOND from Chris Bryan on Vimeo.

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December 17, 2014

Top News Stories –

US and Cuba talking again –
After 53 years of diplomatic estrangement, diplomatic relationships between the US and Cuba have been re-established. The deal was aided by a personal appeal from Pope Francis, who persuaded Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro, to agree to the freeing of the American aid worker Alan P. Gross. The pope, officials said, acted as a “guarantor” that both sides would live up to the terms of a deal reached in secret.
Alan_GrossAlan P. Gross

Smelling the money –
Fragrances from stars such as Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Jay Z are outselling established fragrance brands such as Hugo Boss and Gucci in some UK stores. Britney’s perfumes outsell DKNY by three to one at UK store Superdrug, and Hugo Boss by two to one. Jay Z’s Gold is the best selling celebrity fragrance.
Britney-SpearsBritney Spears

Interview cancelled –
“The Interview” the film that is possibly the catalyst in the Sony Pictures hacking scandal has had its Christmas Day release cancelled after major cinema chains decided not to screen it in the US.

Michael Garcia resigns from FIFA –
Fifa’s independent ethics investigator Michael Garcia has quit in protest over the handling of his report into bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Garcia said he lost confidence in the independence of judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, an ethics committee colleague after his report was summarised.

Video of the Day –

Seat 22 — Trans-Siberian Odyssey from Stanislas Giroux on Vimeo.

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December 18, 2014

Top News Stories –

Putin’s point –
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a message of defiance and ire towards the West at an annual news conference in Moscow in the face of the financial turmoil that has gripped the country. Mr. Putin put the blame on “external factors,” including Western sanctions and falling oil prices, for the collapse of the ruble.
Vladimir_PutinVladimir Putin

Closed lot –
Sony have cancelled tours of their Los Angeles studios after it was found pass codes were part of the hack recently discovered and blamed on North Korea.

Republican dig heels in on Cuba –
Republicans in Congress are trying to find a way to stop or at least slow President Barack Obama’s plan to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba. The biggest obstacle to normal ties with Cuba is the 1996 embargo and with Republicans due to take control of both houses of Congress in January, the chances of changing this look unlikely.

Mandy Rice-Davies dies
Mandy Rice-Davies the woman who was at the centre of the so-called Profumo spy/sex scandal (along with her friend Christine Keeler) that threatened to topple Harold Macmillan’s government has died at the age of 70. Rice-Davies lived with Keeler, whose affair with war minister John Profumo prompted his resignation in 1963. She also claimed to have an affair with Lord Astor, but he denied it in court to which Rice-Davies famously replied “Well he would, wouldn’t he.”

Video of the Day –

Snooze

SNOOZE from molly dickson on Vimeo.

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December 19, 2014

Top News Stories –

Half a million going to university in UK –
In 2014, for the first time, the number of UK university entrants passed 500,000. Among 18-year-olds, 34% of women were allocated university places, compared with 26% of men, the widest ever gap, making women a third more likely to enter higher education than men, Ucas admissions service figures show.
Radcliffe_square

Extreme deep sea fishing –
The Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel, Falkor, on an international expedition to the Mariana Trench has discovered a strange-looking creature, new to science, 8,145m beneath the waves, beating the previous depth record by nearly 500m.

Rotten to the core –
Senior Apple executive Jeff Williams says the company is “deeply offended” by a BBC Panorama investigation into conditions for workers involved in manufacturing its devices. Rules on workers’ hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers were routinely breached, the programme witnessed.
Apple_logo

Video of the Day –

Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl from Danny Cooke on Vimeo.

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December 20, 2014

Top News Stories –

New York police shot –
A gunman has shot dead two police officers sitting inside a patrol car in New York before killing himself. Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were shot by a Ismaaiyl Brinsley who apparently made online statements suggesting that he planned to kill police officers.

Sony hack: Is Idris Elba the next James Bond? –
The latest leaked memo from Sony Entertainment has revealed that Idris Elba, the British-born star of cult TV series The Wire and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, is a Sony executive’s favourite to replace Daniel Craig as 007. According to the Daily Beast, Amy Pascal, the co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said in an email that Elba, 42, “should be the next Bond”. [Daily Telegraph]
Idris_Elba

Ticking the boxes –
Real Madrid have beaten San Lorenzo 2-0 to win the Club World Cup which means that Cristiano Ronaldo has now won the same eight trophies with two different teams Real and Manchester United. He became the first player to achieve the feat and his manager Carlo Ancelotti equalled the record for the most European and international club competitions won by a manager.
Cristiano_RonaldoChristiano Ronaldo

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December 21, 2014

Top News Stories –

Future arrests –
A former trader at Royal Bank of Scotland becomes the first UK banker to be arrested on suspicion of rigging the £3.5 trillion a day foreign exchange market. Six banks, including RBS and HSBC, were fined a total of £2.6 billion by UK and US regulators last month for the role they played in fixing the futures market.

Sir Elton John and David Furnish marry –
Sir Elton John and David Furnish have married at a ceremony, 9 years to the day after they had a civil partnership ceremony in Windsor’s Guildhall. David and Victoria Beckham, musician Ed Sheeran and actor David Walliams were among the guests at the wedding at the couple’s house, also in Windsor.
Elton_JohnElton John

Billie Whitelaw dies –
Actress Billie Whitelaw has died aged 82. Her film career started in 1954 in The Sleeping Tiger and last appeared in 2007 in the iconic Hot Fuzz alongside Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

Sony hack an act of terrorism? –
President Barack Obama says the US is considering putting North Korea back on its list of terrorism sponsors after the hacking of Sony Pictures.

Video of the Day –

A Tax on Bunny Rabbits from Nathaniel Akin on Vimeo.

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December 22, 2014

Top News Stories –

Sunny smile –
Kent student Jess Smith reveals that she was the baby who played the sun on the Teletubbies, a BBC TV show in the 80s & 90s.

Joe Cocker dies –
Joe Cocker, famous for his version of the Beatles “With A Little Help From My Friends” which reached number one in 1968, has died from cancer.
Joe_CockerJoe Cocker

Total indulgence –
Costa Coffee in the UK is selling 100,000 sticky toffee latte a week during the festive season. The largest ‘massimo’ size has around 598 calories, contains up to 75g of sugar – nearly 19 teaspoons, or twice the amount in a can of Coke.
Costa-logo

Beep-beep –
Google launch the second version of their self-driving car which has been described a toy police car.

Tit-for-tat attack? –
North Korea internet shut down for 9 hours and just days after the state was accused of a major hack on Sony Pictures in the state. Speculation is that the US government caused the outage in retribution.

Video of the Day –

Joe Cocker – With A Little Help From My Friends

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December 23, 2014

Top News Stories –

Tough to chew –
Netflix is to release a documentary film in 2015 which affirms that Michael Rockefeller, the youngest son of former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, was eaten by cannibals in New Guinea in 1961.

Tornado chaos in south USA –
At least five tornadoes were reported in the southern United States, leading to four deaths and fifty people injured. The twisters also caused massive damage to homes, commercial buildings and vehicles. Mississippi was among the worst hit. If the tornadoes are confirmed, it will be the deadliest December tornado outbreak since 1953. [The Weather Channel]

Video of the Day –

Biolapse

Carnivora Gardinum from chris field on Vimeo.

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December 24, 2014

Top News Stories –

Smithy OBE –
It’s announced that James Corden known for his role as Smithy in Gavin and Stacey, presenting Sky TV’s In A League of Their Own and now taking on hosting The Late Late Show in the US is to receive an OBE (Order of the British Empire) gong for his charitable work.
Ruth_Jones_&_James_CordenRuth Jones & James Corden

Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton separate –
Helena Bonham Carter has announces that she has split from the film director Tim Burton after 13 years together and having 2 children.
Tim-Burton-and-Helena-Bonham-CarterTim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter

Gloves off –
In the US Amazon and Walmart sell out of DVDs of Team America which parodied the former North Korea leader Kim Jong-il. The reason? Another film – The Interview – is about to get its cinema release after a major hacking situation at Sony. President Obama apparently approves of the delayed Christmas Day premiere. Kim Song, a North Korean diplomat to the United Nations, called the movie an ‘unpardonable mockery of our sovereignty and dignity of our supreme leader.’

Cash grab –
In Hong Kong a van carrying HK$35m – about $4.5m or £3m – in used notes crashed on a motorway – cue dozens leaving their cars and grabbing a bundle. About HK$15 disappeared.

You’d let him win wouldn’t you? –
Prince Harry led his Sandringham workers team to a 7-2 victory in a football (soccer) match against local villagers in Scotland sponsored by the Black Horse Inn. Top royal endorsement.
Prince_HarryPrince Harry

Shaken and stirred –
In Russia vodka prices have been rising so much that President Vladimir Putin calls on his government to curb price rises on the spirit. Half a litre costs 220 roubles (about $4.10)

Feel good moment –
A homeless man is given $100 and hidden cameras follow him into a liquor store where he buys food which he shares with other homeless people. 12 million hits on YouTube (see Video of the Day)

Pub crawl goes viral –
And a fancy dress pub crawl in Old Conwyn, North Wales featuring made up props from the classic BBC comedy show Only Fools and Horses went viral(ish) on YouTube

Video of the Day –

How Does A Homeless Man Spend $100?

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December 25, 2014

Christmas Day –

Top News Stories –

Christmas Truce remembered –
100 years since the famous Christmas truce when soldiers from England and Germany fighting in France laid down their weapons and played games of football. The English Football Association has held a number of events to commemorate the event.

This is going to go well –
In the US, 300 independent cinemas screen “The Interview”, a film depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Directors Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, turned up to a screening of the movie at a theater in Los Angeles.
Seth_Rogen_WonderCon_2,_2013Seth Rogen

Evan-GoldbergEvan Goldberg

Sony hit again –
Hackers calling themselves Lizard Squad take down Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox servers following threats to do so if the film was released.

Putin cancels Christmas –
Russian President Vladimir Putin cancels Christmas, at least for his government, but setting a meeting on Christmas day.
Vladimir_PutinVladimir Putin

Video of the Day –

UEFA marks 100th anniversary of World War One truce

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December 26, 2014

Boxing Day –

Top News Stories –

10 years since the tsunami –
Memorial services are being held to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami.

Bieber Bell battle continues –
The Justin Bieber v Drake Bell fans battle continued today with a Belieber hacking into Drake’s Instagram account. Retaliation for Bell baiting one of Justin’s fans
Bieber-and-BellJustin Bieber and Drake Bell

Video of the Day –

Celluloid from ARTJAIL on Vimeo.

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December 27, 2014

Top News Stories –

It’s snow fun –
After the worse start to the Europe ski season for over ten years due to very little snow, a large drop in temperature and a snowfall of over 12 inches (30 cm) in 12 hours causes chaos in the French Alps.

Fallen Fernando –
Once the world’s top striker Chelsea’s Fernando Torres is expected to be bought by Italy’s AC Milan in January but then loaned out to Atletico Madrid so ending up back in his native Spain.
Fernando-Torres Fernando Torres

Taxing issue –
The UK overtakes France as the fifth largest economy in the world after the money made from prostitution and drugs was counted in the GDP figure for the first time.
Britain’s economy is expected to be worth a total £1.86 trillion in 2014 – up from £1.63 trillion the previous year.

First manager sacked in EPL –
Neil Warnock is the first English Premier League manager to be sacked this season after Crystal Palace dispensed with his services for a second time. It is the latest a manager has been fired in the season since 1996 (January 2nd)

Video of the Day –

Color War “Shapeshifting” from crystal moselle on Vimeo.

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December 28, 2014

Top News Stories –

Another tragedy in the skies? –
AirAsia Flight QZ8501 from Indonesia to Singapore has gone missing with 162 people on board. It was later found to have crashed into the sea in bad weather.

And at sea –
An Italian ferry catches fire on route to Italy with 478 people on board and is being evacuated amid choppy seas and high winds. At least ten people lost their lives.

Bad idea debate –
Three rival hacking groups call a ceasefire after admitting their Christmas attack on Xbox and Playstation gamers ‘took it too far’. Lizard Squad, rival hackers from the Anonymous group, Finest Squad group, and internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom discussed the attack in a YouTube video.

Video of the Day –

Playgrounds Titles 2014 from bif on Vimeo.

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December 29, 2014

Top News Stories –

NYPD arrest go-slow –
Police in the New York Police Department (NYPD) have dramatically reduced the amount of arrests and other actions since the shooting of two of their officers on December 20th 2015. Citations for traffic violations have fallen by 94 percent, from 10,069 to 587; summonses for low-level offenses like public drinking and urination are down by 94 percent — from 4,831 to 300; parking violations drop 92 percent, from 14,699 to 1,241 and drug arrests by cops dropped by 84 percent, from 382 to 63.

I “emoji” you –
The most popular word of 2014 is not actually a word at all but a symbol meaning love – the ’emoji’ heart symbol was the most widely used character in blogs, Twitter and Facebook and in 250,000 global news outlets in the last 12 months, according to a list compiled by the Global Language Monitor in Austin, Texas.
emoji heart

3 wheels on my airliner –
A Virgin Atlantic passenger plane landed safely at London’s Gatwick Airport after discovering a problem with part of its main landing gear. Virgin flight VS43 was travelling from Gatwick to Las Vegas when it had to return and land on slightly less than the full number of wheels.

No such thing as bad publicity –
The Interview, the film about the spoof assassination of the North Korea Leader becomes Sony’s biggest download film ever. It’s been downloaded more than two million times since its release on 27 December, making back a third of its $44m (£28m) budget.

Video of the Day –

The Interview Trailer

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December 30, 2014

Top News Stories –

Royal wedding – well close –
Celebrity couple Marian Rivera and Dingdong Yantes get married at the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral of Cubao in Quezon City, Philippines.
Marian_Rivera_and_Dingdong_DantesDingdong Yantes and Marian Rivera

WBA knock out –
Alan Irvine becomes the second managerial casualty of the English Premier League season as West Bromwich Albion fire him after 7 months in charge.
Alan-IrvineAlan Irvine

Bad pirates –
Figures from TorrentFreak.com show that Game of Thrones was the most pirated TV in 2014 with over 8.1 million illegal downloads. See list of the day.
Peter-DinklagePeter Dinklage

Nut incident exec arrested –
Cho Hyun-ah, a former Korean Air executive who delayed a plane over how nuts were served has been detained shortly after a court in South Korea granted a warrant for her arrest. [see original story December 8th 2014]

Video of the Day –

Cinema Dehors from Filippo Rivetti on Vimeo.

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December 31, 2014

Top News Stories –

Cheapskate footballers conned –
Players at an English Premier League football club have apparently lost £30,000 to fraudsters in a scam. West Ham United footballer Andy Carroll and manager Sam Allardyce paid £11,000 for cut-price Fortnum & Mason hampers and Harrods champagne last month – and the pair but never saw the goods delivered.
Andy-CarrollAndy Carroll

Coding error? –
Silicon Valley security firm Norse has said the massive hack on Sony earlier this year may not have been made by North Korea but by a disgruntled group of former employees headed by a person called Lena who was laid off last May.

More thumb action for 2015 –
New fashion app Grabble works like Tinder but with fashion items instead of potential dates being “thrown” or grabbed”.

Video of the Day –

Google Search 2014

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