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Paul McKenna: I chose my wife by Excel spreadsheet –
Paul McKenna, the hypnotist and self-help guru, has disclosed that he decided who to marry by using an Excel spreadsheet. The 52-year-old revealed the software – normally used by accountants and office administrators – helped him to choose his wife-to-be, his long-time personal assistant Kate Davey. McKenna, who is worth around £40m, said a friend had pointed out that although he had dated a “lot of beautiful women”, he “didn’t actually like them”. He was encouraged to “make an Excel spreadsheet” to find out who he loved – and it turned out to be Kate, who has worked with him for 20 years. The pair revealed their feelings to each other three years ago and are now engaged to be married. [Daily Telegraph]
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100 Things we didn’t know last year – by the BBC (67-100)
67. MI5 erroneously suspected novelist Doris Lessing of running a brothel.
68. US Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders released a spoken-word folk album in 1987.
69. It is possible to have orgasms in your left foot.
70. The formula for the perfect poohstick is PP = A x I x Cd.
71. Silk can be made from the solidified saliva of a clam.
72. Gorillas have individual tastes in music.
73. The simpler and more repetitive a song’s lyrics, the more likely it is to reach number one in the Billboard Hot 100, debut in the top 40 and climb the chart more rapidly.
74. The producer who was Gordon the Gopher’s puppeteer ended up as the BBC’s head of editorial standards.
75. Bill Cosby was the first choice to play Sam Malone in Cheers, ahead of Ted Danson.
76. In their spare time, US fighter pilots play a mash-up of pool and rugby called crud.
77. Scots have 421 words for snow.
78. Lies are more convincing when the person telling them needs to urinate.
79. Spotify’s shuffle is not truly random but sprinkles different genres evenly across a playlist and alternates songs by the same artist.
80. The English composer Benjamin Britten wrote a national anthem for Malaysia, only for it to be rejected in favour of a cabaret tune.
81. Elephants almost never get cancer.
82. Actor Brian Blessed says that he delivered a baby in a park, bit through the umbilical cord and then licked the infant’s face clean.
83. People who like their coffee black are more likely to be psychopaths.
84. American toddlers shoot one person a week on average.
85. Biff Tannen’s older self, as portrayed in Back to the Future Part II, was based on Donald Trump.
86. The US used to relocate beavers by parachuting them out of planes.
87. Dancing to Gangnam Style could raise people’s pain thresholds.
88. Pregnancies conceived in December have the best chance of success.
89. Men with beards have a greater tendency to hold sexist attitudes than their clean-shaven counterparts.
90. Footballers have worse teeth than the general population.
91. It’s possible to hallucinate a foreign accent.
92. Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume is almost as good at repelling mosquitoes as commercial insect sprays containing Deet.
93. Germaine Greer wrote a 30,000-word love letter to Martin Amis in 1976.
94. You’re So Vain definitely is about Warren Beatty (and two other men).
95. A 17th Century scientist planned to paint the bubonic plague on to hats to create a biological weapon.
96. The Churchill household spent around £1,160 each year on wine, £104,400 in today’s money.
97. A cow’s flatulence could fill a 55-gallon (250-litre) bag with methane in one day.
98. It would cost £11,602.25 to send a letter to Mars from the UK.
99. Text messages that end with a full stop are seen to be less sincere than those that don’t.
100. Employees who say they love following the rules are the ones who are most likely to be fired for breaking them.
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- Armed conflicts and attacks
- Iraqi Civil War (2014–present)
- Terrorism in India
- 2016 Pathankot attack
- Gunfire and loud explosions are heard at an Indian Air Force base in Pathankot, Punjab, as anti-terrorist operations continue. A further two militants, for a total of six, are reported to have been killed; seven military and paramilitary personnel are reported to have been killed, with up to 20 other security personnel wounded. (DNA)
- 2016 Pathankot attack
- Disasters and accidents
- 2015–16 South Pacific cyclone season
- In the United States, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo orders communities statewide to place homeless people in shelters when temperatures reach freezing. (The Washington Post)
- The United Kingdom designates Ascension Island and its surrounding waters in the Atlantic Ocean as a Marine protected area. The reserve will be almost as big as the UK with just over half of the protected area completely closed to fishing. (BBC)
- International relations
- North Korea and weapons of mass destruction
- Saudi Arabia breaks off diplomatic relations with Iran after Sheikh Nimr’s execution. (BBC)
- Law and crime
- Mexican Drug War
- Two suspects are killed in a clash with police, and three others are arrested in connection with yesterday’s assassination of Temixco, Morelos’s newly inaugurated mayor Gisela Mota Ocampo. Governor Graco Ramírez, who attributed Mota’s killing toorganized crime, calls for three days of mourning. (AP via ABC news)
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