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.


May 15, 2015

Top News Stories –

BB King: Tributes pour in after blues legend dies aged 89 –
His lawyer Brent Bryson said that King, who suffered from diabetes, died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas on May 14, where he had been receiving hospice care. King’s style of singing and guitar playing was an inspiration to scores of musicians, and he mentored stars including Eric Clapton as well as collaborating with U2 on the 1989 track When Love Comes To Town. [Daily Telegraph] See List of The Day
B.B.KingB.B. King in 2009

Geri Halliwell marries Red Bull F1 team boss Christian Horner –
Former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell has married Red Bull F1 team boss Christian Horner in a wedding attended by a string of celebrities from showbiz and motor racing worlds. The 42-year-old singer wed in St Mary’s Church in Woburn, Bedfordshire. She arrived at the parish church, just off the High Street, in a vintage Rolls Royce ahead of the wedding to Horner, who she first met in 2009. She was accompanied by her daughter Bluebell, who was her bridesmaid. [BBC] In February 2010 Geri Halliwell apparently made then boyfriend Henry Beckwith feel like Duke of Edinburgh according to his father
Geri-HalliwellGeri Halliwell

Janet Jackson Announces New Album, Tour –
Janet Jackson delivered a surprise for fans on her birthday, announcing a new album and world tour. The singer made the big reveal at midnight eastern time on May 16 by tweeting a link to a video in which, in her unmistakable voice, she coos: “I promised you’d hear it from my lips and now you will. This year: new music; new world tour; a new movement. I’ve been listening. Let’s keep the conversation going.” []
Janet-JacksonJanet Jackson

Boston bombing trial: Death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev –
A US jury has sentenced Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death by lethal injection. After 14 hours of deliberation, the jury of five men and seven women came to its decision. Three people were killed and 260 were injured when Tsarnaev, now 21, and his brother placed bombs at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon in 2013. Victims and their family members sobbed as the sentence was read. Tsarnaev bowed his head but showed no emotion. [BBC]

Video of the Day –

Janet Jackson announcing new album and tour

Announcement from Janet Jackson on Vimeo.

BB King Studio albums [from Wikipedia

Year Original album
and alternate reissues
Cat# Peak chart positions Certifications
US US R&B US Jazz US Blues SWI
1957 Singin’ the Blues Modern/Crown CLP-5020
1958 The Blues Modern/Crown CLP-5063
1959 B. B. King Wails
The Incredible Soul of B.B. King (LP, 1965)
I Love You So (LP, 1970)
United Superior
Sings Spirituals
Swing Low Sweet Chariot (LP, 1970)
United Superior
1960 The Great B. B. King Modern/Crown CLP-5153
King of the Blues
Better than Ever (LP, 1966)
1961 My Kind of Blues Modern/Crown CLP-5188
More B.B. King
Blues for Me (LP, 1970)
United Superior
1962 Twist With B.B. King Modern/Crown CLP-5248
Easy Listening Blues Modern/Crown CLP-5286
Blues in My Heart
A Heart Full of Blues (LP, 1970)
United Superior
1963 B.B. King
The Soul of B.B. King (LP, 1970)
United Superior
Mr. Blues ABC-Paramount 456
1966 Confessin’ the Blues ABC-Paramount 528
1968 Blues on Top of Blues ABC/Bluesway BLS-6011 46
Lucille ABC/Bluesway BLS-6016 192
1969 Live & Well ABC/Bluesway BLS-6031 56 11 17
Completely Well ABC/Bluesway BLS-6037 38 5
1970 Indianola Mississippi Seeds ABC Records ABCS-713 26 8 7
1971 B. B. King in London ABC Records ABCX-730 57 15
1972 L.A. Midnight ABC Records ABCX-743 53 21
Guess Who ABC Records ABCX-759 65 14
1973 To Know You Is to Love You ABC Records ABCX-794 71 13
1974 Friends ABC Records ABCX-825 153 27
1977 King Size ABC Records AB-977 154 34
1978 Midnight Believer ABC Records AA-1061 124 27
1979 Take It Home MCA Records MCA-3151 112 22
1981 There Must Be a Better World Somewhere MCA Records MCA-5162 131 26
1982 Love Me Tender MCA Records MCA-5307 179 45
1983 Blues ‘N’ Jazz MCA Records MCA-5413 172 38 21
1985 Six Silver Strings MCA Records MCA-5616 31 23
1988 King of the Blues: 1989 MCA Records MCA-42183
1991 There is Always One More Time MCA Records MCA-10295 76
1993 Blues Summit MCA Records MCA-10710 182 64 93
1995 Lucille & Friends MCA Records MCD-33008
1997 Deuces Wild MCA Records MCD-11711 73 1 33
  • CAN: Platinum
  • US: Gold
1998 Blues on the Bayou MCA Records MCD-11879 186 2
1999 Let the Good Times Roll MCA Records 088 1120422 2
2000 Riding with the King Reprise Records 9 47612-2 3 3
  • AUS: Gold
  • CAN: Platinum
  • US: 2x Platinum
Makin’ Love Is Good for You MCA Records 112 299-2 2
2001 A Christmas Celebration of Hope MCA Records 088112756-2 151 1
2003 Reflections MCA Records 000053202 165 2
2005 B. B. King & Friends: 80 Geffen Records B000526302 45 1 78
2008 One Kind Favor Geffen Records B0011791-02 37 1 78

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July 7, 2015

Top News Stories –

Fat people ‘are better at sniffing out food’ –
Fat people could be gaining weight because their sense of smell is stronger and more vivid, scientists have found. A study by Yale University showed a heightened ability to imagine odours was linked to food cravings and in turn to higher body weight. Researchers found the ability to vividly imagine the smell of popcorn, freshly baked biscuits and even non-food odours is greater in obese adults. They said most people can imagine the view of a favorite location or sing a song to themselves, but struggle to imagine smells associated with our favourite foods. [Daily Telegraph]

Bill Cosby admitted he gave woman drugs before sex –
US comedian Bill Cosby admitted he obtained sedatives with the intent of giving them to women he wanted to have sex with, court papers from 2005 show. The unsealed files, obtained by the Associated Press news agency, show Mr Cosby made the admission in a sex abuse civil case brought by a woman. That case was settled for an undisclosed sum in 2006. Mr Cosby, now 77, is facing a series of sexual assault accusations dating back decades. He has denied the claims. Mr Cosby has never been criminally charged. [BBC] See Top Twitter Trends
Bill-Cosby-in-2011 Bill Cosby in 2011

World’s oldest man dies in Japan aged 112 –
The world’s oldest man, Sakari Momoi, has died in Japan at the ripe old age of 112. Momoi, born months before the Wright brothers made their first successful flight, passed away late on Sunday, said the official at Saitama City, north of Tokyo, where he had lived for many years. The supercentenarian, recognised as the world’s oldest male at the age of 111 last year, died of kidney failure in a care home in Tokyo. [Daily Telegraph]

Video of the Day –

This Is Your Body Over 24 Hours

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Law and crime

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December 15, 2015

Top News Stories –

Spacecraft carrying Russian, American, Briton docks with space station –
A Soyuz spacecraft successfully delivered a Russian, an American and a Briton to the International Space Station on Tuesday after blasting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The otherwise smooth journey ended with a slightly delayed docking at 1733 GMT as Russian commander Yuri Malenchenko aborted the automatic procedure and manually guided the spacecraft towards the station. Alongside Malenchenko, a veteran of long-duration space flights who is on his fourth space mission, were NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and Briton Tim Peake, both former Apache military helicopter pilots. Peake, 43, a former army major who is on a six-month mission for the European Space Agency (ESA), became the first astronaut representing the British government and wearing a Union Jack flag on his arm. The first Briton in space was Helen Sharman, who travelled on a Soviet spacecraft for eight days in 1991. [Reuters]
Timothy_PeakeTimothy Peake

Star Wars: Force Awakens gets world premiere –
The hotly anticipated latest addition in the Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens, has had its world premiere in Los Angeles. Stars from the original series including Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher joined newcomers including John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. The plot of the film remains a closely-guarded secret and a media embargo on reviews is in place until Wednesday. Fans had been camping out for days outside the TCL Chinese Theatre, which along with other LA venues screened the seventh Star Wars instalment. Security was tight, with a giant tent shrouding the red carpet. The TCL Chinese Theatre – formerly known as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre – showed the first Star Wars movie in 1977. [BBC]

‘Late’ Madonna rebuffs fans over Manchester gig complaints –
Pop singer Madonna has told fans she is no “diva” after technical hitches meant she was late on stage for a gig in Manchester. The 57-year-old artist made the comments on Monday at the Manchester Arena during her Rebel Heart tour. “If you diva bitches want to keep complaining about it, then don’t come to my show,” she said. She added: “I’m not back there eating chocolate and filing my nails and getting my extensions done, all right?” However, the singer told fans: “Tonight, our video crashed, and we had no video, and our back-up file was – I don’t know – it was compromised, put it like that… So praise the Lord and thank you God but that is why we are late, all right? For no selfish diva bitch reason.” [BBC] In July 2015 Madonna compared herself to Pablo Picasso.

World’s longest-surviving castaway sued for $1 million after being accused of ‘eating his colleague’ –
A fisherman who stunned the world by surviving 15 months lost at sea is being sued for $1 million (£650,000) by the family of his dead colleague, who accuse him of eating their relative to ensure his own survival. Salvador Alvarenga, 36, is the only man known to have survived for over a year at sea. And when he set sail from the coast of Mexico in November 2012, he thought he was setting out on a two-day fishing trip, having paid 22-year-old Ezequiel Cordoba $50 to accompany him. But a vicious storm with 10ft waves knocked out the 25ft boat’s communication systems, and washed their supplies overboard. The pair survived for several months by catching fish and birds, and drinking turtle blood and rainwater. He eventually died, extracting promises from Mr Alvarenga not to eat his corpse, and to find Cordoba’s mother and tell her what happened. [Daily Telegraph]

Video of the Day –

The Physics of Car Crashes

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December 30, 2015

Top News Stories –

Freak storm pushes North Pole 50 degrees above normal to melting point –
A powerful winter cyclone — the same storm that led to two tornado outbreaks in the United States and disastrous river flooding — has driven the North Pole to the freezing point this week, 50 degrees above average for this time of year. From Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning, a mind-boggling pressure drop was recorded in Iceland: 54 millibars in just 18 hours. This triples the criteria for “bomb” cyclogenesis, which meteorologists use to describe a rapidly intensifying mid-latitude storm. A “bomb” cyclone is defined as dropping one millibar per hour for 24 hours. NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center said the storm’s minimum pressure dropped to 928 millibars around 1 a.m. Eastern time, which likely places it in the top five strongest storms on record in this region. [Washington Post]

Uber claims one billion journeys in five years since launch –
Uber claims to have made one billion journeys since its launch in 2010, underlining the massive growth of the ride-sharing service and its challenge to the traditional taxi industry. The company said its billionth trip was completed in London on Christmas Eve – five and a half years after its first journey in San Francisco. The figure suggests that Uber has averaged more than 600,000 rides a day since its driver-hailing app went online, although the figure today is much higher. Uber said last year that it was arranging 1 million trips per day, and has since expanded in dozens of new cities around the world. [Daily Telegraph]

Canadian Bad Santa pulls Christmas Eve heist, escapes in Hummer –
A man dressed as Santa Claus robbed a small-town Canadian jewelry store at gunpoint on Christmas Eve, before dashing away in a Hummer, police said on Wednesday. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the red-and-white-garbed robber entered a jewelry store in Stettler, Alberta, in late afternoon last Thursday. He demanded jewelry and diamonds from a clerk and left with a bag of them. No one was hurt. An employee at the store declined to comment. [Daily Mail]

Video of the Day –

How To Prevent Hangovers (With Science)

List of the Day –

Google Trends 2015 –
Top Searches – Movies

Source: Google

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1 #ParaEl2016Prometo #Thanks1DForAnAmazing2015 Oliver Letwin
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January 3, 2016

Top News Stories –

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]
Paul_McKennaPaul McKenna

Video of the Day –

Infinity Room – [TIEE] from Refik Anadol on Vimeo.

List of the Day –

100 Things we didn’t know last year – by the BBC (67-100)

67. MI5 erroneously suspected novelist Doris Lessing of running a brothel.

Find out more (Independent)

68. US Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders released a spoken-word folk album in 1987.

Find out more (Dangerous Minds)

69. It is possible to have orgasms in your left foot.

Find out more (New York magazine)

70. The formula for the perfect poohstick is PP = A x I x Cd.

Find out more

71. Silk can be made from the solidified saliva of a clam.

Find out more

72. Gorillas have individual tastes in music.

Find out more (Discover Magazine Blogs)

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.

Find out more (Psychology Today)

74. The producer who was Gordon the Gopher’s puppeteer ended up as the BBC’s head of editorial standards.

Find out more

75. Bill Cosby was the first choice to play Sam Malone in Cheers, ahead of Ted Danson.

Find out more (Hollywood Reporter)

76. In their spare time, US fighter pilots play a mash-up of pool and rugby called crud.

Find out more (New York Times)

77. Scots have 421 words for snow.

Find out more

78. Lies are more convincing when the person telling them needs to urinate.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

79. Spotify’s shuffle is not truly random but sprinkles different genres evenly across a playlist and alternates songs by the same artist.

Find out more

80. The English composer Benjamin Britten wrote a national anthem for Malaysia, only for it to be rejected in favour of a cabaret tune.

Find out more

81. Elephants almost never get cancer.

Find out more (Nature News)

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.

Find out more

83. People who like their coffee black are more likely to be psychopaths.

Find out more (Huffington Post)

84. American toddlers shoot one person a week on average.

Find out more (Washington Post)

85. Biff Tannen’s older self, as portrayed in Back to the Future Part II, was based on Donald Trump.

Find out more (Daily Beast)

86. The US used to relocate beavers by parachuting them out of planes.

Find out more (Mashable)

87. Dancing to Gangnam Style could raise people’s pain thresholds.

Find out more (Wired)

88. Pregnancies conceived in December have the best chance of success.

Find out more (Netmums)

89. Men with beards have a greater tendency to hold sexist attitudes than their clean-shaven counterparts.

Find out more (Mental Floss)

90. Footballers have worse teeth than the general population.

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91. It’s possible to hallucinate a foreign accent.

Find out more (Brain Decoder)

92. Victoria’s Secret Bombshell perfume is almost as good at repelling mosquitoes as commercial insect sprays containing Deet.

Find out more (Daily Beast)

93. Germaine Greer wrote a 30,000-word love letter to Martin Amis in 1976.

Find out more (the Guardian)

94. You’re So Vain definitely is about Warren Beatty (and two other men).

Find out more

95. A 17th Century scientist planned to paint the bubonic plague on to hats to create a biological weapon.

Find out more (New Scientist)

96. The Churchill household spent around £1,160 each year on wine, £104,400 in today’s money.

Find out more (the Economist)

97. A cow’s flatulence could fill a 55-gallon (250-litre) bag with methane in one day.

Find out more (Grist)

98. It would cost £11,602.25 to send a letter to Mars from the UK.

Find out more (Daily Mirror)

99. Text messages that end with a full stop are seen to be less sincere than those that don’t.

Find out more (Wired UK)

100. Employees who say they love following the rules are the ones who are most likely to be fired for breaking them.

Find out more (New York Magazine)

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May 24, 2016

Top News Stories –

Facebook to update Trending Topics –
Facebook has announced changes to the way it runs its Trending Topics feed, following an internal investigation. There will be more training for staff and the feed will no longer rely on a list of news organisations, including the BBC, Washington Post and Buzzfeed News, to validate subjects. The feed, which lists popular headlines along with a brief description, has been accused of political bias. However, Facebook’s report found no evidence of this. Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch said the investigation analysed 3,000 reviewer decisions following allegations that conservative issues were being suppressed. [BBC]

Google’s Paris HQ raided in tax probe –
French finance officials have raided the Paris offices of US internet giant Google as part of a tax fraud investigation. Reports say about 100 tax officials entered Google’s offices in central Paris early in the morning. Police sources confirmed the raid. Google said: “We comply with French law and are co-operating fully with the authorities to answer their questions.” Google is accused of owing €1.6bn ($1.8bn; £1.3bn) in unpaid taxes. [BBC]

Video of the Day –

Chewbacca Mom Takes James Corden to Work

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