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 –


April 17, 2015

Top News Stories –

Lorry full of honey bees overturns in Washington State –
A lorry carrying honeybees has overturned in the US state of Washington, spewing bees across a motorway. The accident scattered boxes “containing millions of live bees across the highway”, KIRO 7 News reported. Each of the boxes contains about 5,000 live bees, some were crushed in the accident while others were freed. Beekeepers used smoke to try and calm the bees before the sun rose, which would raise temperatures and agitate the bees. At daybreak many of the boxes remained on the road and the bees became more active. The fire brigade was called to spray the bees with foam, which resulted in their death. [BBC]

All Nippon Airways Announces ‘Star Wars’ Project With R2-D2 Painted Jet –
In honor of the iconic movie series, the airline will paint one of its brand-new Boeing 787s with an R2-D2 motif. An apparent video rendering of the R2-D2 plane, released on YouTube Thursday, shows the nose of the plane decorated with R2-D2’s signature blue and white stripes, along with graphics depicting the robot’s various ports. A massive “Star Wars” logo dominates the rear of the plane. The R2-D2 jet marks the start of five-year All Nippon Airways “Star Wars” project, which will include “a range of novel initiatives,” the airline announced on its website. (also see Video of the Day) [The Huffington Post]

Japan’s magnetically levitated vehicle train sets new speed record –
Japan’s magnetically levitated (maglev) train has set a new speed record, hitting 366.61mph on a test track. Central Japan Railway Co., which is developing a vehicle that it sees as the long-distance, mass transportation system of the future, is aiming to break the 600km per hour (372.82mph) in more tests scheduled for next week. The seven-car maglev surpassed the previous record, which it sent in December 2003, for a period of 19 seconds on JR Central’s test track in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo, on Thursday. The company is pushing ahead in its development of the maglev, which uses magnetic pulses to propel the carriages, doing away with the need for wheels, axles and bearings, after being granted approval to construct a track between Tokyo and Nagoya. [Daily Telegraph]
JR-Maglev-MLX01 The SCMaglev test track in the Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan

James Anderson breaks Sir Ian Botham’s England wicket record –
English cricketer James Anderson surpassed Sir Ian Botham as England’s highest Test wicket-taker with his 384th dismissal in his 100th match. Anderson, 32, had West Indies’ Denesh Ramdin caught at first slip on the final day of the first Test in Antigua. The seamer, who began the Test on 380 wickets, was mobbed by his team-mates as his family celebrated in the crowd. [BBC]

England’s top Test wicket-takers

Player Wickets Tests Years active Average
James Anderson 384 100 2003-present 29.77
Ian Botham 383 102 1977-1992 28.40
Bob Willis 325 90 1971-1984 25.20
Fred Trueman 307 67 1952-1965 21.57
Derek Underwood 297 86 1966-1982 25.83

Video of the Day –

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser #2 –