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 – 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.
Japan earthquake: Tsunami hits north-east –
Japan’s most powerful earthquake since records began has struck the north-east coast, triggering a massive tsunami. Cars, ships and buildings were swept away by a wall of water after the 8.9-magnitude tremor, which struck about 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo. A state of emergency has been declared at a nuclear power plant, where pressure has exceeded normal levels. Officials say 350 people are dead and about 500 missing, but it is feared the final death toll will be much higher. In one ward alone in Sendai, a port city in Miyagi prefecture, 200 to 300 bodies were found. The quake was the fifth-largest in the world since 1900 and nearly 8,000 times stronger than the one which devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month, said scientists. Thousands of people living near the Fukushima nuclear power plant have been ordered to evacuate. [BBC] See Video of the Day
Time 100: Emma Watson makes first appearance in the world’s most influential list –
Emma Watson has been recognised as one of the world’s 100 most influential people together with Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, the former Argyll salmon farmer who founded the charity, Mary’s Meals. The actress has recently won praise for her United Nations campaign on women’s rights. The former Harry Potter child star is one of four Britons named in the new Time magazine list of the world’s most influential people in for 2015. (See List of the Day) [Daily Telegraph] Emma Watson
Matt Stonie beats Joey Chestnut in Fourth of July hot dog eating contest –
America’s Independence Day celebrations were overshadowed on Saturday by the shock defeat of the country’s champion hot dog eating star. Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, 32, began strongly at the annual Nathan’s Famous contest in Coney Island, New York, before being overhauled and beaten by Matt “Megatoad” Stonie, who polished off 62 frankfurters and buns in 10 minutes (to add to a bacon eating record he claimed earlier this year). Mr Chestnut, unbeaten for eight years, fell two short. He managed a smile as he conceded defeat in front of thousands of fans. [Daily Telegraph] See List of the Day Joey Chesnut
Chile beat Argentina on Penalties to win Copa America –
Chile secured the first major trophy in their history on home soil courtesy of a penalty shootout win over Argentina in the Copa America final.
Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez slotted in the winning spot-kick after Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain fired over and Ever Banega was denied by Claudio Bravo.
Higuain had earlier missed from close range after 90 minutes of few chances. Sanchez came closest in extra time for Chile, who scored all four of their penalties in the shootout. [BBC] Alexis Sanchez (playing for Arsenal)
England finish third in the Women’s World Cup beating Germany 1-0 –
Fara Williams’s extra-time penalty ensured England beat Germany for the first time in 31 years to finish third at the Women’s World Cup. The performance was the second best by an England team following the 1966 win by the men’s side and eclipsed the 1990 men’s team, who finished fourth in Italy. The Lionesses had not beaten two-time World Cup winners Germany in 20 attempts but they more than matched their opponents and won the spot-kick in the second period of extra-time after substitute Lianne Sanderson was brought down by Tabea Kemme. Williams, who is England’s record cap holder and was homeless at one point in her England career, beat retiring German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer for her third penalty of the tournament. [BBC]
Video of the Day –
Car Chase by Vania Heymann
List of the Day –
Joey Chesnut World Eating Records (as of July 4, 2015)
Deep Fried Asparagus Eating Championship in Stockton, California, May 2014: 12.8 lbs. deep fried asparagus in 10 minutes.
A rally of war veterans in Kiev calls for Ukraine to abandon the Minsk II ceasefire agreement and to declare war on pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region. Despite two ceasefire agreements since September combat operations, including the use of heavy artillery and ballistic missiles, never stopped.(BBC)
Blackjack-addicted Buddhist monk accused of stealing $150,000 –
A Buddhist monk with an expensive blackjack addiction has appeared in court in New York, charged with stealing around $150,000 (£97,000) in donations to fund his habit. Khang Nguyen Le, 45, was paid $1,000 a month for his role as the most senior monk at the Vietnamese Buddhist Association of Southwest Louisiana, based in the town of Lafayette. But over the past four years he had found himself with a growing gambling addiction and, according to court documents, stole from the organisation to feed his habit. He is accused of spending up to $10,000 every two or three days at the blackjack tables, and hiding in the corners of the casino so no one would spot him. [Daily Telegraph]
Naomi Campbell tries to #freethenipple, fails –
Dislike button: Why Facebook wants to know what makes you sad –
It has finally happened. “Today is a special day” declared Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a live “in-person townhall” event. Almost casually, he dropped a bombshell that has ignited technology commentators overnight: Facebook is getting a new button. Yes, alongside “like” will be something else. It almost certainly will not be a “dislike” button. The widespread news is that Facebook will twin “like” with “dislike”, long one of the most popular suggestions from Facebook users. However, if you actually listen to what Zuckerberg said, he rules this out: “we didn’t wanna just build a dislike button…[where] people were voting up or down people’s posts…what they really want is an ability to express empathy”. [Daily Telegraph] Mark Zuckerberg
‘Universal urination duration’ wins Ig Nobel prize –
A study showing that nearly all mammals take the same amount of time to urinate has been awarded one of the 2015 Ig Nobel prizes at Harvard University. These spoof Nobels for “improbable research” are in their 25th year.
The team behind the urination research, from Georgia Tech, won the physics Ig. Using high-speed video analysis, they modelled the fluid dynamics involved in urination and discovered that all mammals weighing more than 3kg empty their bladders over about 21 seconds. Run by the science humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research, this is a jubilantly irreverent affair. It has become world famous for recognising scientific achievements that “make people laugh, and then think”. This year’s Ig winners travelled from six continents to accept their trophies. The triumphant research included a chemical recipe to partially un-boil an egg, and the discovery that the word “huh?” occurs in every human language. [BBC] See List of the Day
Valcke’s reign at FIFA likely to be at an end –
For the second time in his career, Jerome Valcke leaves FIFA with a cloud hanging over him. Sepp Blatter’s lieutenant for the past eight years, Valcke became the highest profile figure in the corruption-plagued organization to fall during the current series of scandals when he was “released from his duties” on Thursday and it appears unlikely he will return. The Frenchman has not been formally dismissed but Blatter is standing down in February and Valcke had already suggested he would probably go at that time as well. The 54-year-old, however, is now being investigated by FIFA’s ethics committee after allegations he was involved in a plan to re-sell 2014 World Cup tickets for a lucrative profit. [Reuters] Jérôme_Valcke
Sperm banks attract customers by offering them enough cash to buy a new iPhone –
Chinese sperm banks have been saying that there is no need to sell a kidney to afford an iPhone, just your bodily fluids. Renji Hospital in Shanghai is one among several facilities offering enough money to buy an iPhone if men donate sperm. The hospital wrote in an online posting: “No need to sell your kidneys – you can easily have a 6s,” which refers to cases where people actually sold their organs to be able to afford Apple products. The advert says that if a man passes a health test and then regularly donates his sperm, he can earn enough money to purchase an iPhone. This amounts to 6,000 yuan (£610) which is enough to buy the new iPhone 6s. [Daily Telegraph]
Chemistry – Callum Ormonde (University of Western Australia) and colleagues, for inventing a chemical recipe to partially un-boil an egg.
Physics – Patricia Yang (Georgia Institute of Technology, US) and colleagues, for testing the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds).
Literature – Mark Dingemanse (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, The Netherlands) and colleagues, for discovering that the word “huh?” (or its equivalent) seems to exist in every human language – and for not being quite sure why.
Management – Gennaro Bernile (Singapore Management University) and colleagues, for discovering that many business leaders developed in childhood a fondness for risk-taking, when they experienced natural disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and wildfires) that – for them – had no dire personal consequences.
Economics – The Bangkok Metropolitan Police (Thailand) for offering to pay policemen extra cash if the policemen refuse to take bribes.
Medicine – joint award: Hajime Kimata (Kimata Hajime Clinic, Japan) and also Jaroslava Durdiaková (Comenius University, Slovakia) and her collagues, for experiments to study the biomedical benefits or biomedical consequences of intense kissing (and other intimate, interpersonal activities).
Mathematics – Elisabeth Oberzaucher and Karl Grammer (University of Vienna, Austria) for trying to use mathematical techniques to determine whether and how Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty, the Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, managed, during the years from 1697 through 1727, to father 888 children.
Biology – Bruno Grossi (University of Chile) and colleagues, for observing that when you attach a weighted stick to the rear end of a chicken, the chicken then walks in a manner similar to that in which dinosaurs are thought to have walked.
Diagnostic medicine – Diallah Karim (Stoke Mandeville Hospital, UK) and colleagues, for determining that acute appendicitis can be accurately diagnosed by the amount of pain evident when the patient is driven over speed bumps.
Physiology and entomology – Awarded jointly to two individuals: Justin Schmidt (Southwest Biological Institute, US) for painstakingly creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, which rates the relative pain people feel when stung by various insects; and to Michael L. Smith (Cornell University, US), for carefully arranging for honey bees to sting him repeatedly on 25 different locations on his body, to learn which locations are the least painful (the skull, middle toe tip, and upper arm). and which are the most painful (the nostril, upper lip, and penis shaft).
Brexit fallout, Cameron quits, markets rocked –
Britain has voted to leave the European Union, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing the biggest blow since World War Two to the European project of forging greater unity. Global stock markets plunged on Friday, and the British pound saw its biggest one day drop in history, as results from a referendum defied bookmakers’ odds to show a 52-48 percent victory for the campaign to leave the bloc Britain joined more than 40 years ago. The United Kingdom itself could now break apart, with the leader of Scotland, where nearly two-thirds of voters wanted to stay in the EU, saying a new referendum on independence from the rest of Britain was “highly likely”. In an emotional speech on Friday, UK Prime Minister Cameron, who led the campaign to remain in Europe to defeat, after promising the referendum in 2013, said he would leave office by October. Lawmakers from the opposition Labour Party launched a no-confidence motion to topple their leader, leftist Jeremy Corbyn, accused by opponents in the party of campaigning tepidly for its Remain stance. The British pound fell as much as 10 percent against the U.S. dollar on Friday to levels last seen in 1985 on fears the decision could hit investment in the world’s fifth-largest economy, threaten London’s role as a global financial capital, and usher in months of political uncertainty. The euro slid 2.0 percent against the U.S. dollar. [Reuters] In February Cameron secured a deal with the EU to try to avoid an exit vote. David Cameron
Video of the Day –
Brexit: UK prime minister David Cameron addresses British voters on leaving the EU
Lionel Messi announces international football retirement after Argentina loses Copa America final –
Argentina superstar Lionel Messi says he is finished with the national team after the side’s loss to Chile in the Copa America final. The five-time world player of the year announced as much in the immediate aftermath of Argentina’s gut-wrenching loss to Chile, 4-2 in a penalty shootout on Monday. “The national team is done for me,” Messi told reporters. The 29-year-old was booked for simulation and sent his attempt over the crossbar in the decisive shootout as he fell short for the fourth time in a major international final. “It’s difficult, it’s a hard moment for any analysis. In the dressing room I thought that the national team is not for me,” he added. [ABC] In April Messi scored his 500th career goal. Lionel Messi
Video of the Day –
Fastest time to pop 100 balloons by a dog – Guinness World Records
Ex-Wham! singer George Michael dies –
Singer George Michael has died aged 53, his publicist has said. The star, who launched his career with Wham! in the 1980s and later continued his success as a solo performer, is said to have “passed away peacefully at home”. Thames Valley Police said South Central Ambulance Service attended a property in Goring in Oxfordshire at 13:42 GMT. Police say there were no suspicious circumstances. Michael, who was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou in north London, sold more than 100m albums throughout a career spanning almost four decades. Earlier this month it was announced that producer and songwriter Naughty Boy was working with Michael on a new album. In a statement, the star’s publicist said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period. [BBC] Michael performing on stage on the Faith World Tour in 1988.
Bezeq, an Israeli telecoms company, says that it has received word from the country’s telecoms regulator that it will be allowed to end the “structural separation” of its business operations by product (i.e. mobile phone, internet, land lines). (Reuters)
Medical research reveals shrinkage in women’s brains as a result of pregnancy. Loss of gray matter in certain regions of the brain may make the brain more efficient and specialized for child-rearing. There is also evidence of links to long-term changes in brain. (ScienceNews)(Nature)
Argentina: Uproar as new year message omits disputed Falklands –
A new year’s message by Argentina’s social development ministry has caused uproar after it excluded the disputed Falkland Islands from the country’s map. Former combatants and social media users said the message was offensive to those who died in the 1982 war. The ministry has apologised, saying it was a mistake by the design team. The islands are a British territory in the Atlantic claimed by Argentina, where they are known as the Malvinas. President Mauricio Macri, who took office in December 2015, promised a “new kind of relationship” with the UK, a step seen as aimed at boosting Argentina’s flagging economy. [BBC]
In New Haven Connecticut, two men are suspected of approaching a man claiming to have a gun, took his cellphone and wallet. Then they stole his SUV and apparently lost control as they were killed when their stolen SUV accidentally crashed into and seriously damaged a synagogue (Hartford Courant)
In Dearborn Michigan the driver and passenger of a minivan being pursued by police for missing plates were killed when they struck a car, lost control and hit several parked vehicles. (Huron Daily Tribune)
In Detroit, Michigan an African American man was shot in the head driving a car which crashed, police are searching for two men who ran from the car after the crash (WXYZ)
A first-year New Rochelle Police officer crashed his Jeep into a tree, killing passenger Isaac “Hooshie” Ward. He will be charged with vehicular manslaughter as his Blood Alcohol Content was above the legal limit (newrochelletalk)
Huzaifa Shafeeq was arraigned on burglary charges after police say the stole from a Long Island mosque charity box on Christmas and New Years Day. Islamic Center board member said the amount taken wasn’t large, but called police as the thief needed help. (ABC7NY)
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