Frantic Swiss franc trading –
The Swiss franc has increased in value over the Euro by 30% from 1.20 to the euro to 0.80 in just 30 minutes before settling back at 1.03 Swiss francs to 1 euro. The frantic trading that caused this was a result of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) abandoning the cap linking the two currencies together that had been in place since September 2011. At the same time SNB reduced a key interest rate from -0.25% to -0.75%, effectively increasing the amount investors have to pay to hold Swiss deposits with no return on investment.
Google glaze over –
Google announce that they are to stop making the $1500 Google Glass smart glasses and start developing “future versions of Glass”. Google Glass was originally launched in the US in 2013.
Ginola for President? –
Former French football international and hair product model David Ginola announces he will run for the presidency of FIFA against Sepp Blatter and Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein but he will need the support of 5 football associations to enter the race. Ginola is being paid £250,000 by betting firm Paddy Power, who deny the campaign was a publicity stunt. David Ginola
Date a Neanderthal –
A science centre in Bristol, England is to host a “Neanderthal speed dating” event and is looking for two actors to improvise “early hominids” and will supply “suitable wigs and fur”. The adult-only Valentine’s evening would give visitors a chance to think about whether they would date “homo neanderthalensis”.
Beagle 2 probe found on Mars –
Pictures taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have spotted the missing Mars robot Beagle2, identified its landing location and it looks to be in one piece. The probe designed an promoted by the late Professor Colin Pillinger landed on Mars on 25th December 2003, but no radio contact was ever made with the probe. It was assumed to have crashed but it now seems that for some reason two of the solar panels did not deploy and the radio signal was consequently blocked. Replica of Beagle 2 at the London Science Museum
Britain’s oldest person dies age 114 –
Ethel Lang has died at the age of 114. She was believed to be the last person living in the UK who was born in the reign of Queen Victoria. The oldest person in the world is thought to be Misao Okawa, a Japanese woman who celebrated her 116th birthday in March 2014.
Elon Musk proposes 700 mph test track in Texas –
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) the billionaire founder of PayPal tweets that he will build a test track for his “Hyperloop” transport system that could theoretically travel at speeds of up to 700 miles per hour. He tweets the most likely location for the test track that works in a partial vacuum using magnets is in Texas, USA. Elon Musk in 2013
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. David 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.”