Top Story –
Two Belgian bankrobbers are named the Darwin Award winners of the year after killing themselves while trying to crack open a cash machine. The pair used so much dynamite that they managed to destroy the entire bank building – and themselves with it. Wendy Northcutt, the founder of the annual awards, declared them the 2009 winners of the Darwin Awards, given to those doing the most to improve the human gene pool by removing themselves from it.
Top Story – Ultimate Lock-in –
About 30 guests celebrating new year at the Tan Hill Inn in North Yorkshire, the highest pub in England, finally left today after heavy snow left them stranded for three days. The Tan Hill Inn
Top Story –
Avatar becomes the fastest movie ever to achieve $1bn (£625.6m) in ticket sales around the world according to 20th Century Fox and it’s done it in just 17 days. Apparently it is the most expensive film ever made. The film Lord of the Rings – The Return of The King was the highest grossing film in the last decade only making $1.12bn in total. Avatar Poster (copyright 20th Century Fox)
Top Stories – Talk to your TV –
Web-based phone company Skype agrees a deal with LG and Panasonic for them to embed the Skype technology in television models with Internet connections, and will sell separate Web cameras that have built-in microphones for TV viewers who want to use Skype.
Time to join the gym (again) –
About 5,000 members of website BeautifulPeople.com – the networking site for attractive individuals – have been placed back in the “rating” section for putting on weight over Christmas. The United States has the most members who got kicked out (1,520), followed by the U.K. (832) and Canada (533). Top Video –
Top Stories – Not like clockwork –
A Swiss millionaire is given a record speeding fine of $290,000 (£180,000) after he caught driving a red Ferrari at 137km/h (85mph) through a village. The penalty based on the unnamed motorist’s wealth – assessed by the court as $22.7m (£14.1m) – and because he was a repeat offender.
New Brand for Perry –
It’s revealed that Russell Brand and Katy Perry got engaged when on holiday in India. Katy Perry and Russell Brand
Top Stories – Make it faster –
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone in partnership with the Luxembourg-based private investment company, Genii Capital is making a bid to take over Sweden’s Saab motor company. Bernie Ecclestone
Our multi-dimensional savior –
On the first day of CES in Las Vegas, TV manufacturers state that 3D could be the savior of the industry estimating around 3.4m 3D TV sets will be sold in the US this year.
Top Stories – I’ll be back… with the bill –
The governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, reveals deep spending cuts to contain the state’s $20bn (£12.5bn) budget deficit. Spending on health, welfare, transport and the environment is to be reduced. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Forget eating an apple, wear eye-shadow –
A French study, published in the journal Analytical Chemistry, suggests the heavy eye make-up worn by ancient Egyptians such as Cleopatra may have had medical as well as aesthetic benefits.
Top Stories – Rod the Mod becomes a pensioner –
Rocker Rod Stewart celebrates his 65th birthday after being in the music industry for over 40 years and selling over 100 million records worldwide. RodStewart
Get your skates on –
Parts of Amsterdam’s historic canal system freeze over for the first time in over a decade, with skaters taking to the ice.
Top Stories – Tragedy in Haiti –
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake hits Haiti in the north Atlantic sea. Early estimates are that the death doll is between 45,000 – 50,000 [Note: final Haiti government estimates were a death toll of 316,000]
Fallen idol –
Simon Cowell dramatically announces he is quitting American Idol the day before the series starts to air. The big question seems to be who will replace him? [Answer Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler]
Palin to significance –
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin signs up to be a contributor on the Fox News Channel, 2 years after she gained fame as the presidential running mate of Republican John McCain. Sarah Palin
Top Story – Bootiful –
Researcher Dr Konstantinos Manolopoulos, of Oxford University announces that carrying extra weight on your hips, bum and thighs is good for your health, protecting against heart and metabolic problems but fat around the tummy is bad.
Top Stories – First cyber attack of the decade –
Internet giant Google says it may end its operations in China following a “sophisticated and targeted” cyber attack originating from the country.
Billion dollar game –
Video game Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 2 has taken more than $1bn (£625m)in revenue. It went on sale in November and made an estimated $550m in its first five days. The sales put it alongside other $1bn titles such as Guitar Hero III and World of Warcraft.
Top Stories – Reassuring news? –
The Doomsday Clock has been moved one minute further away from the “midnight hour”. The concept timepiece, a measure of nuclear danger for the past 55 years was devised by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) and now stands at six minutes to the hour.
But can they afford the nanny? –
Forbes magazine reveals the highest earning celebrity couple for 2009 are Beyoncé Knowles and husband Jay-Z in the Top-Earning Couples list. The duo earned £75 million between them, with Beyoncé earning £54million. Beyoncé and Jay-Z
Top Stories – Anybody bring a torch? –
A solar eclipse plunges parts of Africa and Asia into semi-darkness. According to NASA this was the longest annular eclipse of the third Millennium.
Author Jackie Collins has revealed that screen legend Marlon Brando had sex with her at a party when she was only 15, days after she had been expelled from a school in England. Jackie Collins CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
Top Stories – That’s a lot of chocolate –
Despite a campaign by the Daily Mail to “Keep Cadbury British”, the confectionery company finally accepted a takeover bid from Craft food in a deal worth $19 billion.
More than a wee dram, then –
Adults in Scotland are drinking the equivalent of 46 bottles of vodka each in a year, a study has suggested. The research based on industry sales data and analysed by NHS Health Scotland showed an average of 12.2 litres of pure alcohol per person over the age of 18.
Top Stories – Baa-urp – pardon me –
Scientists in Australia trying to create a new way to tackle greenhouse gases – the burp-free sheep. The Australian Sheep Co-operative Research Centre is conducting experiments with 700 sheep from 20 different genetic lines.
Pretty tough woman –
The University of California interviewed 156 female students to gauge their temperament and how they handled conflict and found women who rated themselves as pretty displayed a “war-like” streak when fighting battles to get their own way. CLICK TO SEE MORE STUFF FROM THIS DAY…
Top Stories – Virginia shootings –
Eight adults have been shot and killed by a lone gunman in the US state of Virginia. Police say seven bodies were found at one home, while an eighth shooting victim was found at the side of the road and died on the way to hospital. Officers say they have surrounded a suspect in woodland just outside the central town of Appomattox.
Take your tablets –
“Tens of millions” of tablet computers will be sold in 2010, according to technology analysts at Deloitte. A report says keyboard and mouse-free devices are likely to be a top trend among consumers and describes tablets as “the Goldilocks of devices (not too big, not too small)”. HP Tablet PC
Top Stories – Democrat, see? –
Scott Brown, a little-known Republican state senator, defeated the Democrat, Martha Coakley, in the race to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat long held by Edward M. Kennedy Scott Brown
Snug as a bug –
Orlando Bloom’s model girlfriend Miranda Kerr appears naked in the US edition of GQ magazine. Not news but a great picture. Miranda Kerr
My password is “PleaseHackMe” –
According to a new analysis by Imperva, which makes software for blocking hackers, one out of five Web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat: they choose a simple, easily guessed password like “abc123,” “iloveyou” or even “password” to protect their data.
Top Stories – Not a bad gardening leave payoff –
NBC reaches a $45m (£28m) agreement with Conan O’Brien over his late-night US talk show, so his predecessor Jay Leno can make a return. O’Brien will be allowed to return to TV in eight months. Conan O’Brien
Wolf in wolf’s clothing –
The winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award has been disqualified after judges ruled that the featured wolf was probably a “model”. The 2009 winning image, dubbed the storybook wolf, was taken by photographer Jose Luis Rodriguez.
The car in front… won’t slow down –
Toyota is recalling 2.3 million cars in the US to correct sticking accelerator pedals. In August of last year, Toyota recalled 690,000 cars in China due to faulty electrical window switches.
Top Video – Videotape – A Pixilation Sci-Fi Short Film about an old man’s haunted VCR.
Top Stories – Entente non-concordial –
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has reacted to criticism of China in a speech on Internet censorship made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling on the United States government “to respect the truth and to stop using the so-called Internet freedom question to level baseless accusations.”
One very big step for a man –
50 years since the American Joe Kittinger made the highest skydive by leaping from a balloon at 102,800ft, Austrian Felix Baumgartner, who is famous for stunts such as jumping off the Petronas Towers, plans to jump from a balloon sent up to 120,000 ft (37km) later this year. Red Bull will sponsor the attempt. Felix Baumgartner
Top Video –
Joe Kittinger’s record breaking skydive
Top Story – Bad lip syncing –
Two Chinese pop singers face fines of up to $12,000 (£7,400) for allegedly miming at a concert. Miming was banned in China after a girl was revealed to have lip-synced at the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.
Top Stories – Hope for Haiti raises $57 million –
Organisers of last nights “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon say it has raised more than $57m (£35m) for the victims of the Haiti earthquake.
The event set a new record for disaster relief telethons, according to Lisa Paulsen, head of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Many stars donated including Madonna who gave $250,000 (£155,000), Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie gave $1m (£620,000) and supermodel Giselle Bundchen gave $1.5m (£0.93m). George Clooney who organised the event donated $1m during the telethon. Giselle Bundchen
Itchy and scratchy –
Research carried out by the University of Worcester has discovered that Britons are likely to be sleeping under duvets which are full dust mites and dead skin. Tests carried out on 10 duvets at the University of Worcester found they held up to 20,000 live house dust mites. House dust mite – dermatophagoides pteronyssinus
One in the eye –
The Black Eyed Peas were the victims of an error when they were mistakenly named best international group at France’s top music awards, the NRJ Awards in Cannes. The stars were originally declared winners but it was later revealed that an error had been made and German band Tokio Hotel were announced as the real victors. The Black Eyed Peas Tokio Hotel
Top Stories – Brangelina rumour –
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are set to separate according to reports. The unmarried couple are said to have been in talks with lawyers to agree a £205 million split deal. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
Pirate’s plunder blunder –
Single-mum Jammie Thomas-Rasset found guilty of sharing 24 songs over the internet has had her fine slashed from $2m (£1.23m) to $54,000 (£33,420) following an appeal. The American was accused of pirating almost 2,000 tracks but the record companies sought damages for only 24 of them.
X-files factor –
Lord Rees, the president of the Royal Society and Astronomer Royal, says the chance of discovering life on other worlds is greater than ever. He says “Were we to find life, even the simplest life, elsewhere that would clearly be one of the great discoveries of the 21st Century.”
Top Stories – Haiti man alive after being buried for 14 days –
14 days after the devastating earthquake that has killed tens of thousands in Haiti, Rico Dibrivell, has been pulled alive from the rubble of a collapsed building the capital. U.S. troops rescued the 35-year-old from the ruins in Port-au-Prince.
Avatar mountain in China –
A Chinese mountain has been renamed in honour of the film Avatar, after it apparently inspired scenery in the movie. The Southern Sky Column in Zhangjiajie, Hunan province, will now be known as the Avatar Hallelujah Mountain. Avatar has become the most popular film ever in China, making $80m (£50m) at the box office so far.
Top Stories – Apple introduce the “iPad” –
Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs introduces the “iPad” a new tablet with no keyboard or mouse. Designed for browsing the internet, it is 0.5 inches (13mm) thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds (680g). The iPad, which will launch in March for $499 (16Gb version), includes 12 new apps and will run most of the 140,000 apps in the App Store. Jobs described the iPad as “a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price.” Steve Jobs with the iPad
Throw out the running shoes –
Dr Daniel Lieberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University reveals that running barefoot is better than wearing running shoes. The researchers found that people who run barefoot tend to land on the ball or the middle of the foot, moving smoothly, but those who run in shoes tend to land on the heels, sending shockwaves through the body.
Bubble Wrap hits middle age –
Bubble Wrap is 50 years old. It was first invented by Marc Chavannes and Al Fielding as textured wallpaper and there are more than 250 dedicated Facebook pages. Sealed Air who owns the patent and manufactures Bubble Wrap makes more than $4bn a year.
Top Video –
The first Mackintosh commercial (1984)
Top Stories – Chinese football bribe allegations –
According to the Oriental Morning Post, a bribe of 200,000 yuan (£18,000) could get a Chinese footballer a call-up to play for his country in an international match. The allegations come weeks after the head of the Chinese Football Association and two other officials were sacked and questioned by police over match-fixing.
Google gets social –
Google launches ‘Social Search’, which allows those users who are logged into a Google account to call up photos or other information from their friends on their social networks which are relevant to their search query.
Most expensive racetrack opens –
The Meydan racehorse track in Dubai today hosts its first race today a Group Three event worth £74,000 to the winner as its feature event. The biggest and most expensive track in history has taken 34 months and at least $1.25bn to build and was paid for by the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed.
John Terry affair gagging order released –
The British High Court has lifted a press silencing order preventing the public from learning details about England Captain John Terry’s alleged affair with a team-mate’s girlfriend. The ‘super-injunction’ was originally granted by a High Court judge under human rights laws but was lifted today. Chelsea captain Terry claimed that exposing his alleged infidelity would be a breach of his right to a ‘private and family life’. John Terry
The car in front… still won’t slow down –
Toyota is now recalling up to 1.8 million cars across Europe following an accelerator problem. The car maker will recall eight models including the Yaris, the Corolla (the biggest selling car ever – see list below) and the RAV4 sports utility vehicle. Last week it recalled 2.3 million cars in the US with faulty pedals.
Mais oui – the G-spot does exist –
French researchers have disagreed with English researchers at King’s College London who announced on New Years Day that the G-spot is a fallacy and does not exist. But French doctors the “G-Day” conference in Paris insist the G spot – supposedly a cluster of internal nerve endings – is far from a myth. “The English study is barking up the wrong tree,” said Sylvain Mimoun, France’s best-known gynaecologist.
Dog survives 24km trip on ice –
A dog stranded on an ice floe that had drifted 24km out to sea was rescued by the crew of a research boat off the coast of Gdynia in Poland. He is being called Baltic after the ship while a search is launched for his owners.
Top Story –
New figures show an 80 per cent rise in breast reduction operations carried out on men. The annual audit by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) reveals its members carried out 581 male breast reductions last year, up from 323 in 2008. Five years ago just 22 such procedures were performed on men. The procedure is now the third most popular cosmetic operation for men behind nose jobs and eyelid operations to remove fat. [Daily Telegraph]
Top Story – Lost in paradise –
The season premiere of Lost draws more than 10,000 fans greeted to Waikiki beach. Fans started queuing up 12 hours before the event hoping to get a glimpse of actors Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim and Michael Emerson. Sitting on beach towels and lawn chairs, they watched the episode that kicks off the sixth and final season of the castaway drama. See trailer below.
Brangelina back as a single ?
They were rumoured to have consulted lawyers over custody of their six children and dividing their £205million fortune. But last night, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie proved they were still very much an item as they attended the Directors Guild of America Awards in Los Angeles. While declining to pose together on the red carpet at the star-studded bash, the couple were seen being ‘extremely affectionate’ as they mingled with their peers. [Daily Mail]