January 4, 2015

Top News Stories –

51,000-tonne ship deliberately grounded –
A car transporter ship, the Hoegh Osaka, was deliberately grounded by its captain and the pilot in the Solent after it began to list, its owners have said. The ship developed problems after it left Southampton dock and to avoid it capsizing in the shipping lane and risk the lives of the crew, it was steered onto the Bramble sand bank. The ship is now listing at more than 50 degrees and a salvage operation is expected to take several days.
Hoegh Osaka Bramble BankPhil Taylor

Phil Taylor loses power in darts final –
Gary Anderson beats 16 time world champion Phil “The Power” Taylor in the final of the PDC World Darts Championship 7 sets to 6 at Alexandra Palace in London. Nicknamed The Flying Scotsman it is Anderson’s first World Championship.

Phil Taylor

Breaking Bad not so fictional –
Seizures of methamphetamine has risen at the US-Mexico border with a 300 percent increase in meth seizures at California ports of entry from 2009 to 2014. Meth seized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s San Diego field office accounted for nearly 63 percent of all the meth seized at all ports of entry nationwide in the year ending September 30 2014.

Video of the Day –


May 20, 2015

Top News Stories –

Record fines for currency market fix –
Five of the world’s largest banks are to pay fines totalling $5.7bn (£3.6bn) for charges including manipulating the foreign exchange market.
Four of the banks – JPMorgan, Barclays, Citigroup and RBS – have agreed to plead guilty to US criminal charges. The fifth, UBS, will plead guilty to rigging benchmark interest rates. Barclays was fined the most, $2.4bn, as it did not join other banks in November to settle investigations by UK, US and Swiss regulators. Barclays is also sacking eight employees involved in the scheme. [BBC]

Chinese professor accused in ‘Breaking Bad’ drugs plot –
Police in China have arrested a chemistry professor for his part in producing a psychoactive drug in a case that has been likened to US crime drama Breaking Bad. State agency Xinhua said 17 people were arrested including a Xian university professor alleged to have helped provide the recipe for methcathinone. Police seized 128kg (282lb) of the drug and more than 5m yuan ($806,095; £519,450). The drug lab was raided last year. [BBC]

David Letterman saluted by stars on final Late Show –
Four US presidents have joined stars including Steve Martin, Tina Fey, Jerry Seinfeld and Foo Fighters to pay tribute to TV host David Letterman on his final late night talk show. Letterman has bowed out after 33 years and 6,028 late-night broadcasts.He joked that physicist Stephen Hawking had calculated it “works out to about eight minutes of laughter”.He gave emotional thanks to his family, crew and viewers, saying: “There’s nothing I can ever do to repay you.”The 68-year-old began his late-night career on NBC in 1982, before moving to CBS’s Late Show in 1993.[BBC] See Video of the Day and List of the Day.
Dave_LettermanDavid Letterman

Video of the Day –

Celebrity Top Ten Things I’ve Always Wanted to Say To David Letterman

List of the day –

David Letterman’s final Top Ten list – “Top 10 things I’ve always wanted to say to Dave:”

10. Alec Baldwin: “Of all the talk shows, yours is the most geographically convenient to my home.”

9. Barbara Walters: “Did you know you wear the same cologne as Muammar Qaddafi?”

8. Steve Martin: Your extensive plastic surgery was a necessity…and a mistake.”

7. Jerry Seinfeld: “I have no idea what I’ll do when you go off the air. You know what, I just thought of something: I’ll be fine.”

6. Jim Carrey: “Honestly Dave, I’ve always found you to be a bit of an over-actor.” (He gesticulated wildly).

5. Chris Rock: “I’m just glad your show is being given to another white guy.” (Dave: “You know, I had nothing to do with that.”)

4. Julia Louis-Dreyfus: “Thanks for letting me take part in another hugely disappointing series finale.” (Seinfeld smirks). (Dave: “I had nothing to do with that either.”)

3. Peyton Manning: “Dave, you are to comedy what I am to comedy.”

2. Tina Fey: “Thanks for finally proving men can be funny.”

1. Bill Murray: “Dave, I’ll never have the money I owe you.”

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January 1, 2016

Top News Stories –

Rat on a plane: Air India flight returns to Mumbai after rodent spotted on board –
An Air India plane flying to London was forced to return to Mumbai after passengers spotted a rat on board, the airline said on Thursday. Though the rat was not found, the pilot returned to Mumbai on Wednesday keeping passenger safety in mind, Air India said in a statement. Passengers were later flown by a separate aircraft to London. The aircraft would be fumigated and checked before it is returned to service. Maintenance workers would have to make sure that the rat did not damage equipment or chew any wires and the plane is certified to be rodent-free, an airline official said. [Daily Telegraph]

China’s new two-child policy law takes effect –
Married couples in China will from Friday (Jan 1) be allowed to have two children, after concerns over an ageing population and shrinking workforce ushered in an end to the country’s controversial one-child policy. The change, which was announced in October by the ruling Communist Party, takes effect from Jan 1, 2016, Beijing’s official Xinhua news agency reported over the weekend. The “one-child policy”, instituted in the late 1970s, restricted most couples to only a single offspring through a system of fines for violators and even forced abortions. For years, authorities argued that it was a key contributor to China’s economic boom and had prevented 400 million births. [Channel News Asia]

Video of the Day –

Philips Presents: The Longest Night from T Brand Studio on Vimeo.

List of the Day –

100 Things we didn’t know last year – by the BBC (1-33)

1. It costs £300 to operate on a constipated goldfish.

Find out more

2. Traditionally, police horses in England’s Thames Valley force can be called Odin, Thor or Hercules, but not Brian.

Find out more

3. Barack Obama calls David Cameron “bro”.

Find out more (Time)

4. The first sports bra was made from two jockstraps.

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5. One in 10 of Britain’s train carriages still flush toilet waste straight on to the railway tracks.

Find out more

6. Jamaica, Colombia and Saint Lucia are the only countries in the world where a woman is more likely to be a boss than a man.

Find out more (Washington Post)

7. You don’t have to speak French to become French-language Scrabble world champion.

Find out more

8. Kolo Toure, the Ivory Coast and Liverpool defender, hasn’t touched his own dog for seven years.

Find out more (Metro)

9. An egg can be unboiled.

Find out more (Metro)

10. There are four different ways to pronounce diplodocus, and the way children say it is probably more technically correct than the academics’ preferred option.

Find out more

11. A 51-year-old software engineer named Bryan Henderson has edited Wikipedia 47,000 times to remove the ungrammatical term “comprised of”.

Find out more (Backchannel)

12. Buzz Aldrin claimed $33.31 in travel expenses connected to his trip to the moon.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

13. Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond once played a ghost in a Bollywood soap opera.

Find out more (Buzzfeed)

14. “Let us turn ours into a country of mushrooms by making mushroom cultivation scientific, intensive and industrialised!” is an official slogan of North Korea.

Find out more

15. Roughly 56% of average monthly earnings in Malawi are spent on mobile phone charges, compared with about 0.11% in Macau, China.

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16. Quentin Tarantino still records films from TV on VHS cassettes.

Find out more (Independent)

17. Lollipop men and ladies who “high five” pedestrians may be breaching official protocol.

Find out more

18. Squid can fly – but they tend to do it under cover of darkness.

Find out more

19. It’s possible to trick the brain into thinking it can hear Mariah Carey sing All I Want For Christmas Is You.

Find out more (New Scientist)

20. King Arthur may have been Glaswegian.

Find out more (The National)

21. A man-sized lobster lived 480 million years ago.

Find out more

22. At Hotel Football, run by ex-Manchester United players, Gary Neville is represented in the bathroom by blackcurrant-extract shampoo while brother Phil is a bar of soap.

Find out more (Financial Times)

23. Vicars and priests have the highest job satisfaction of all UK workers.

Find out more

24. Narwhals’ long tusks – an exaggerated front tooth used for courtship – are super-sensitive.

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25. There is only one concert grand piano in Gaza.

Find out more

26. Boston in Lincolnshire is one of the most neurotic places in Great Britain while Orkney is one of the least.

Find out more

27. Michael Jackson made a series of prank calls to Russell Crowe.

Find out more (Guardian)

28. Breaking Bad is the show people most often lie about having watched.

Find out more (Radio Times)

29. The UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency does not permit the wearing of colanders on heads in driving licence photos, even for religious reasons.

Find out more (Daily Mirror)

30. People who swear have larger vocabularies.

Find out more (Toronto Sun)

31. The Queen likes to have her pre-lunch gin and Dubonnet in front of BBC Two’s The Daily Politics.

Find out more (Daily Mail

32. In September 1944 the New York Times explained pizza to its readers and included a rare use of its plural “pizze” – there was an earlier article but it only mentioned pizza in passing.

Find out more (New York Times)

33. There is little international trade in onions – about 90% are consumed in their country of origin.

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