January 8, 2015

Top News Stories –

Who’s the daddy? –
A Cuban man convicted of spying in the US and committed to a double life sentence in 1998 has become a father a month after his release. Gerardo Hernandez, who was released last month by the US as part of a diplomatic thaw with Cuba, requested to have his wife artificially inseminated with his sperm while he was still in jail.

Imran bowled over –
Sportsman-turned-politician Imran Khan has married his fiance, Reham, at a small wedding ceremony at his home in Islamabad, Pakistan. Khan was Pakistan’s most successful cricket captain, playing for the Pakistani cricket team from 1971 to 1992 and leading them to victory at the 1992 Cricket World Cup.
Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (8414079377)

Team Wiggo launched –
Former Tour de France champion and Sky Team member Sir Bradley Wiggins launches his own cycling team to help preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympics. The four-time Olympic champion will try to break the individual world hour record as part of his build-up to Rio2016. Team Wiggins will operate independently of British Cycling but the governing body has given its backing to the team.
Roubaix - Paris-Roubaix, le 13 avril 2014 (B16)Bradley Wiggins

App designers golden year –
Apple revealed today that app developers earned more than $10 billion in revenue in 2014, partly due to a 50 percent rise in billings. The App Store has grown to 1.4 million apps since launching in 2008, with 725,000 designed for the iPad.

Russia says drivers must not have ‘sex disorders’ –
The Russian government is tightening medical controls for drivers because the country “has too many road accidents”. Transsexual and transgender people are among those who will no longer qualify for driving licences and fetishism, exhibitionism and voyeurism are also included as “mental disorders” now barring people from driving.

Job for life but don’t turn up –
A.K. Verma, an executive engineer at the Central Public Works Department, India, was fired after last appearing for work in December 1990. Even after an inquiry found him guilty of “wilful absence from duty” in 1992, it took another 22 years and the intervention of a cabinet minister to remove him, the government said.

Video of the Day –

When you say you’re a swimmer –

“When You Say You’re a Swimmer” from Chris Shimojima on Vimeo.


February 3, 2015

Top News Stories –

Zoella leaves dressing room for kitchen –
Zoe Sugg the YouTube vblogger with 7 million subscribers is to appear on the celebrity edition of The Great British Bake Off. Zoella as she is known online (@ZozeeBo with 2.6m followers on Twitter) recently featured on Debrett’s list of the 500 most influential people in Britain.
Zoe_SuggZoe Sugg A.K.A. Zoella

AKB48 proposed to open Olympic ceremony in 2020 –
The big debate in Japan today is whether to allow J-pop group AKB48 to perform at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Their creator, Yasushi Akimoto, proposed choosing the best of the 48 girls (who rotate according to social media popularity) to appear but the idea was ridiculed by Japanese TV celebrity and columnist Matsuko Deluxe, who said the group (named after the Akihabara district of Tokyo) would be “an embarrassment”. The group have sold more than 30m records and had sales exceeding $128m (£85m) in 2013.

Big United beat little United –
Despite the support of 6,000 away fans Cambridge United are finally beaten by Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford in the 4th round of the FA Cup. Man Uniteds starting 11 cost £231m in transfer fees, Cambridge’s cost £0. By forcing a repeat two weeks ago the small club will get around £1 million for their share of the attendance fee which the chairman intends to spend on upgrading the toilets at their ground.

Cut down on your jog life –
A report in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds that people who jog at a steady pace for less than two and a half hours a week were least likely to die over a 12-year period that was studied. Those who ran more than four hours a week or did no exercise had the highest death rates.

Video of the Day –

Zoella’s YouTube trailer


June 7, 2015

Top News Stories –

Kate Moss escorted off flight ‘for being disruptive’ –
Supermodel Kate Moss has been escorted off a plane at Luton airport after reportedly being disruptive. The Easyjet flight had arrived from Bodrum in Turkey on Sunday afternoon. In a statement, Bedfordshire Police said they “were called to assist staff in escorting a passenger from a flight arriving into Luton airport this afternoon”. No formal complaints were made against her and she was not arrested. [BBC] In February 2010 Calvin Klein said of Moss – while “a great model,” she was a “difficult” person to work with.
Kate-Moss-with-Mario-TestinoKate Moss with photographer Mario Testino

Bradley Wiggins breaks UCI Hour Record at Lee Valley Velopark –
Sir Bradley Wiggins has broken the iconic hour record by completing a distance of 54.526km (33.88 miles). The 35-year-old smashed the record previously held by fellow Briton Alex Dowsett of 52.937km (32.89 miles), which was set in May. Roared on by a capacity crowd at Lee Valley VeloPark in London, Wiggins became the sixth rider to claim a Tour de France title and the hour record. “I’m just glad it’s done. It was torturous,” he said.
“That’s the closest I have ever come to what it’s like to a have a baby,” Wiggins, who becomes the fifth person in the past nine months to break the record, joked. The multiple Olympic and world champion on track and road surpassed Dowsett’s 212 laps, set in Manchester, with 1min 42secs to spare and eventually completed 219 laps.[BBC] In January 2015, Wiggins launched his own cycling team, Team Wiggins, to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
Roubaix - Paris-Roubaix, le 13 avril 2014 (B16)Bradley Wiggins

Dame Helen Mirren reigns at Tony theatre awards –
Dame Helen Mirren has been named best actress in a play at the Tony theatre awards in New York. She took home the prize for her portrayal of the Queen in The Audience. Dame Helen, a previous Oscar-winner for The Queen, accepted the award saying: “Your Majesty, you did it again.” Other wins included Alex Sharp for best actor and Marianne Elliott for best directing of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which was also named best play. [BBC] See List of the Day

Actor, Sir Christopher Lee dies, aged 93 –
See full story on June 11, 2015 when his death was announced.
Sir-Christopher-Lee-in-2013Sir Christopher Lee (1922-2015)

Video of the Day –

My Homemade 40W LASER SHOTGUN!!!!!

List of the Day –

Tony Awards 2015 Winners –

Best musical

An American in Paris
Something Rotten!
The Visit

Best play

WINNER: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Hand to God
Wolf Hall Parts One & Two

Best play revival

WINNER: Skylight
The Elephant Man
This Is Our Youth
You Can’t Take It With You

Best musical revival

WINNER: The King and I
On the Twentieth Century
On the Town

Best leading actor in a musical

WINNER: Michael Cerveris, Fun Home
Robert Fairchild, An American in Paris
Brian d’Arcy James, Something Rotten!
Ken Watanabe, The King and I
Tony Yazbeck, On the Town

Best leading actress in a musical

WINNER: Kelli O’Hara, The King and I
Kristin Chenoweth, On the Twentieth Century
Leanne Cope, An American in Paris
Beth Malone, Fun Home
Chita Rivera, The Visit

Best leading actor in a play

WINNER: Alex Sharp, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Steven Boyer, Hand to God
Bradley Cooper, The Elephant Man
Ben Miles, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Bill Nighy, Skylight

Best leading actress in a play

WINNER: Helen Mirren, The Audience
Geneva Carr, Hand to God
Elisabeth Moss, The Heidi Chronicles
Carey Mulligan, Skylight
Ruth Wilson, Constellations

Best featured actor in a musical

WINNER: Christian Borle, Something Rotten!
Andy Karl, On the Twentieth Century
Brad Oscar, Something Rotten!
Brandon Uranowitz, An American in Paris
Max von Essen, An American in Paris

Best featured actress in a musical

WINNER: Ruthie Ann Miles, The King and I
Victoria Clark, Gigi
Judy Kuhn, Fun Home
Sydney Lucas, Fun Home
Emily Skeggs, Fun Home

Best featured actor in a play

WINNER: Richard McCabe, The Audience
Matthew Beard, Skylight
K. Todd Freeman, Airline Highway
Alessandro Nivola, The Elephant Man
Nathaniel Parker, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Micah Stock, It’s Only a Play

Best featured actress in a play

WINNER: Annaleigh Ashford, You Can’t Take It With You
Patricia Clarkson, The Elephant Man
Lydia Leonard, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Sarah Stiles, Hand to God
Julie White, Airline Highway

Best book of a musical

WINNER: Fun Home, Lisa Kron
An American in Paris, Craig Lucas
Something Rotten!, Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell
The Visit, Terrence McNally

Best original score (music and/or lyrics) for the theatre

WINNER: Fun Home, Music: Jeanine Tesori, Lyrics: Lisa Kron
The Last Ship, Music & Lyrics: Sting
Something Rotten!, Music & Lyrics: Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick
The Visit, Music: John Kander, Lyrics: Fred Ebb

Best director of a play

WINNER: Marianne Elliott, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Stephen Daldry, Skylight
Scott Ellis, You Can’t Take It With You
Jeremy Herrin, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Hand to God

Best director of a musical

WINNER: Sam Gold, Fun Home
Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten!
John Rando, On the Town
Bartlett Sher, The King and I
Christopher Wheeldon, An American in Paris

Best scenic design of a play

WINNER: Bunny Christie and Finn Ross, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Bob Crowley, Skylight
Christopher Oram, Wolf Hall Parts One & Two
David Rockwell, You Can’t Take It With You

Best scenic design of a musical

WINNER: Bob Crowley and 59 Productions, An American in Paris
David Rockwell, On the Twentieth Century
Michael Yeargan, The King and I
David Zinn, Fun Home

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June 12, 2015

Top News Stories –

Cambridge University professor of Lego proposed –
A professor of Lego could soon be in post at Cambridge University. The Lego Foundation has provided the university with £2.5m to fund a Lego Professorship of Play in Education, Development and Learning. It has also provided £1.5m to support a play research centre in the education faculty, which will be led by the Lego professor. The Lego professorship post would be “open to all those whose work falls within the general field of the title of the office”, the university said. [BBC]

Texan wrestling star Dusty Rhodes dies at 69 –
One of wrestling’s most colourful stars, Dusty Rhodes, the self-styled “American Dream”, has died aged 69. The death of Virgil Runnels, which was his real name, was announced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). His long and glittering career, which began in the late 1960s, earned him a place in the WWE Hall of Fame. “Runnels became a hero to fans around the world thanks to his work ethic, his impassioned interviews and his indomitable spirit,” said WWE. [BBC]
Dusty-RhodesDusty Rhodes

Spain Princess Cristina loses title amid fraud inquiry –
King Felipe VI of Spain has removed the title “Duchess of Palma” from his sister, Princess Cristina, who is to go on trial charged with tax evasion. She was granted the title in 1997 when she married Inaki Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player who is also accused of tax evasion. Princess Cristina had asked the king to remove her title, her lawyer said. But the royal palace said the king made the decision before seeing her request. She denies the tax fraud charges. [BBC]
Infanta_Cristina,_Duchess_of_Palma_de_Mallorca Princess Cristina

White woman ‘posed as black civil right leader’ in years-long deception –
The name of a local civil rights leader in the US northwest is trending worldwide after her parents told the media that she is a white woman who has been passing herself off as black for years. [BBC Trending] See Top Twitter Trends.
Rachel Dolezal, 37, has been the head of the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, or NAACP, in Spokane, Washington, since January. But her parents said Ms Dolezal is of German, Czech, and Swedish descent with a smattering of Native American ancestry. Mr and Mrs Dolezal said their daughter had black siblings who were adopted and that she went to school in Mississippi, where the family were part of a mainly black community. But they said she only began to claim African descent after divorcing her husband, who was also black, in 2004. Her mother, Ruthanne, said Ms Dolezal began to “disguise herself” in 2006 or 2007. [Daily Telegraph]

Video of the Day –

Dave Grohl, Lead singer of the Foo Fighters breaks his leg in a fall on stage in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Top Twitter Trends –

Worldwide USA UK
1 OITNB #NationalExDay Richard Desmond
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September 20, 2015

Top News Stories –

Bridge cheating scandal grows as top German players admit ‘ethical violations’ –
Three weeks after a fellow bridge professional threatened to name and shame those he believed were cheating, German bridge partners Josef Piekarek & Alex Smirnov have publicly confessed to “ethical violations”. In apparent attempt to jump before they were pushed, the pair even suggested their own punishments for their behaviour, saying in a statement: “We are aware of the “whispers” circulating about our ethical conduct, and we are sorry to say there is some truth to them. We have voluntarily agreed never again to play competitive bridge together and to take two years off from playing competitive bridge.” The German Bridge Federation and the World Bridge Federation have yet to respond to the admission by Smirnov & Piekarek, [Daily Telegraph]

Apple’s iOS App Store suffers first major attack –
The company [Apple] disclosed the effort after several cyber security firms reported finding a malicious program dubbed XcodeGhost that was embedded in hundreds of legitimate apps. It is the first reported case of large numbers of malicious software programs making their way past Apple’s stringent app review process. Prior to this attack, a total of just five malicious apps had ever been found in the App Store, according to cyber security firm Palo Alto Networks Inc (PANW.N). The hackers embedded the malicious code in these apps by convincing developers of legitimate software to use a tainted, counterfeit version of Apple’s software for creating iOS and Mac apps, which is known as Xcode, Apple said. [Reuters]

Greek elections: Alexis Tsipras emerges as clear winner in shock result –
Greece’s radical former prime minister Alexis Tsipras returned to office on Sunday night after his far-left Syriza party won a clear victory in Greece’s general election. Despite a tepid campaign that saw Mr Tsipras’s personal popularity fall sharply, preliminary results showed the 41-year-old’s far-left Syriza party had won sufficient seats to form a coalition government in the coming days. After a tight race, Syriza ran out comfortable winners, with initial projections showing them falling only five or six seats short of the 151 seats needed to govern. [Daily Telegraph] Tsipras announced he was resigning has called an early election on August 20, 2015
Alexis Tsipras winning tweetAlexis Tsipras winning tweet
Alexis_TsiprasAlexis Tsipras

Video of the Day –

Agostina Gálvez captures three Olympic gymnast hopefuls in action from NOWNESS on Vimeo.

List of the Day –

Primetime Emmy Award winners [Reuters]

BEST DRAMA SERIES – “Game of Thrones”



ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES – Viola Davis, “How To Get Away With Murder”

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES – Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES – Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”

ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES – Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES – Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”



VARIETY TALK SERIES – “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”

VARIETY SKETCH SERIES – “Inside Amy Schumer”


LIMITED SERIES – “Olive Kitteridge”

ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE – Richard Jenkins, “Olive Kitteridge”

ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE – Frances McDormand, “Olive Kitteridge”

Top Twitter Trends –

Worldwide USA UK
1 Jackie Collins #Emmys Jackie Collins
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December 3, 2015

Top News Stories –

Oscar Pistorius verdict changed to murder –
Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of murder after a South African appeals court overturned an earlier manslaughter verdict. He killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013 after shooting her four times through a locked toilet door. He is currently under house arrest after spending one year of his original five-year sentence in jail. Pistorius will have to return to court to be re-sentenced, for murder. [BBC] Pistorius started community service in November 2015
Oscar_PistoriusOscar Pistorius competing

UK Trading Standards officers seize 15,000 unsafe hoverboards –
More than 15,000 unsafe hoverboards – otherwise known as self-balancing scooters – have been seized at ports and airports around the UK. Trading Standards officers said the boards were in danger of overheating, exploding or catching fire. The London Fire Brigade said at least three house fires were caused by such devices over 10 days in October. Many have plugs without fuses, faulty cables or chargers that can burst into flames, according to Trading Standards. It said that 88% of the hoverboards it seized around the UK were found to be defective. [BBC]

Black Friday breaks record with 185K gun background checks –
More Americans had their backgrounds checked purchasing guns on Black Friday than any day on record, according to data released by the FBI this week. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System processed 185,345 requests on Nov. 27, one of the largest retail sales days in the country. “This was an approximate 5% increase over the 175,754 received on Black Friday 2014,” wrote Stephen Fischer, the FBI’s chief of multimedia productions. “The previous high for receipts were the 177,170 received on 12/21/2012.” [USA Today]

Video of the Day –

The First Hope from Jeremy David White on Vimeo.

Top Twitter Trends –

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August 14, 2016

Top News Stories –

Wayde van Niekerk wins Olympic 400m gold in a new world record! –
The South African produces an absolutely astonishing run to wrestle the Olympic title away from Kirani James, who comes second. Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old world record is finally beaten! He looked to have set out far too quickly but, incredibly, got faster around the top bend and then sustained that top speed down the final stretch. The 2008 Olympic champion, LaShawn Merritt, gets the bronze. To give you an idea of how incredible of an athlete Van Niekerk is; he’s the only athlete in history to run 100m under 10 secs, 200m under 20 secs, and 400m under 44 secs. [CNN] See List of the Day
Wayde_van_NiekerkWayde van Niekerk

Video of the Day –

Vocabulary 1 from Becky James on Vimeo.

List of the Day –

Time Athlete Nationality Location of race Date
43.86A Lee Evans  United States Mexico City, Mexico October 18, 1968[1]
43.29 Butch Reynolds  United States Zürich, Switzerland August 17, 1988[1]
43.18 Michael Johnson  United States Seville, Spain August 26, 1999[1]
43.03 Wayde van Niekerk  South Africa Rio de Janeiro, Brazil August 14, 2016[4]

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