November 4, 2015

Top News Stories –

Brazilian prison inmates using a mouse to courier drugs –
As prison guards in one of Brazil’s notoriously overcrowded and chaotic jails, the officers in Barra da Grota prison probably thought they had seen it all. But last week they saw something that shocked even their hardened heads: a mouse, they noticed, was being used by inmates to courier drugs. The animal was seen scurrying along the corridor with tiny bags of drugs tied to its tail, running between the cells. Gean Carlos Gomes, director of the central Brazil prison, 1,100 miles inland from Recife, said the mouse was being used as a “bridge” between cells. “They attached a hook to the mouse’s tail and then used it to carry the drugs and other goods from one cell to another,” he said. “When the animal arrived at its destination, the prisoner took the mouse and removed the hook from its tail.” [Daily Telegraph]

Vladimir Putin is Forbes magazine’s most powerful person in the world –
Vladimir Putin has been named the world’s most powerful person for the second year running by Forbes magazine. Of the 73 listed, 28 are billionaires. Thirty of the individuals are Americans. And only nine are women – the same number as last year. The 63-year-old Russian president has, unsurprisingly, retained his position at the top of the Forbes ranking of the world’s most powerful people. Forbes says the decision is made on the amount of money they control; the number of people they impact; their total spheres of influence; and how actively they wield their power. And in all areas Mr Putin has triumphed; he dominates one of the world’s largest countries, and his actions in Ukraine and Syria are changing the course of history. [Daily Telegraph] See List of the Day
Vladimir_PutinVladimir Putin

WARNING: Do Not Post Your Winning Ticket On Social Media –
Chantelle from Perth won $900 [Australian] by betting on 100-to-1 shot Prince Of Penzance in the Melbourne Cup yesterday… Like many punters around the country Chantelle celebrated the win by posting a selfie with her victorious ticket on Facebook. Little did Chantelle know, the photo of the barcode could be used at an automated machine to claim the cash – which is exactly what someone did. “To the low life who is obviously my friend on Facebook and used my photo to claim our winnings. You’re a massive dick. You ruined my day,” Chantelle wrote on Facebook. Chantelle told Triple M that police were able to track where the money was claimed and are confident of finding the person responsible. [Triple M]
Chantelle winning ticket Facebook postChantelle winning ticket Facebook post

Video of the Day –

Emirates: #HelloJetman
Armed with unguarded ambition and the vision to push boundaries beyond the unthinkable, Jetman Dubai and Emirates A380 take to the skies of Dubai for an exceptional formation flight.

List of the Day –

Forbes Most Powerful People Top Ten 2015 [Forbes]

Rank Name Organization Age
#1 Vladimir Putin Russia 63
#2 Angela Merkel Germany 61
#3 Barack Obama United States 54
#4 Pope Francis Roman Catholic Church 78
#5 Xi Jinping China 62
#6 Bill Gates Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 60
#7 Janet Yellen Washington, United States 69
#8 David Cameron United Kingdom 49
#9 Narendra Modi India 65
#10 Larry Page Google 42

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4 #احتجاج_الهلال… #NerdyCountryMusic Gerrard
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January 10, 2016

Top News Stories –

David Bowie dies of cancer aged 69 –

Singer David Bowie has died at the age of 69 from cancer. Tributes have been paid from around the world to the “extraordinary artist” whose last album was released days ago. His son, film director Duncan Jones, confirmed the news and a statement was issued on his social media accounts. “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer,” it said, asking for privacy for the family. [BBC]
Iman_and_David_BowieIman and David Bowie

‘El Chapo’ Guzman: Sean Penn interview provokes US scorn –
The Obama administration and a US presidential hopeful have criticised Sean Penn’s interview with Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. It was conducted in October in the Mexican jungle after Guzman’s jail break, and published by Rolling Stone. A White House spokesman said the Hollywood actor’s “so-called interview” was “maddening”, while Republican Marco Rubio said it was “grotesque”. Guzman, 58, was recaptured on Friday after months on the run. Unnamed Mexican officials say Penn’s secret meeting helped lead them to the boss of the Sinaloa drug cartel. He has now been returned to the maximum-security Altiplano jail, from where he escaped in July via a tunnel dug to the shower in his cell. [BBC]

Video of the Day –

“Starman” 1972 from David Bowie on Vimeo.

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February 9, 2016

Top News Stories –

‘Airbnb for sex’ – Entrepreneurs set up KinkBNB for lovers to book guiltless sexcapades –
People who own a Fifty Shades-esque red dungeon of pain, and want to find a use for it when they are on holiday, or who own a honeymoon-worthy castle could now find themselves a lucrative new source of income. KinkBNB is marketing itself as the sex-positive Airbnb – and tenants and renters alike know what they are getting into when they sign up for the site. The Airbnb-style homesharing website now lets lovers book sex-focused getaways without stressing about waking up the next door neighbours or being landed with a hefty damages charge. Its layout is similar to the traditional homesharing site – listing amenities such as washing machines, gardens and swimming pools.
Kink BnB logo

Google boss becomes highest-paid in US –
The chief executive of Google, Sundar Pichai, has been awarded $199m (£138m) in shares, a regulatory filing has revealed. It makes him the highest-paid chief executive in the US.
Mr Pichai became chief executive of the search engine giant following the creation of its parent, Alphabet. The founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have amassed fortunes of $34.6bn and $33.9bn, according to Forbes. Mr Pichai, 43, was awarded 273,328 Alphabet shares on 3 February, worth a total of $199m, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The new award of shares takes Mr Pichai’s total stock value to approximately $650m. [BBC]
Sundar_PichaiSundar Pichai

Video of the Day –

Tongue in a Mouse Trap – The Slow Mo Guys –

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February 15, 2016

Top News Stories –

Taylor Swift disses Kanye West at the Grammy Awards during her acceptance speech –
Taylor Swift’s 1989 has won the coveted album of the year award at this year’s Grammys in Los Angeles. The singer – who is the first woman to win the award twice – also won best pop vocal album and best music video for her track Bad Blood. Swift dissed Kanye [West] during her acceptance speech at the Grammy Awards. She’s the first woman to win album of the year twice and said it was for “all the young women out there”. She said: “There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.” Her speech appears to be in response to Kanye West’s lyric from his new album where he claims to have made Taylor Swift famous. [BBC]

In January 2016 Swift won the Peoples Choice Award for best female artist. In November 2015 she was sued for allegedly stealing the lyrics for her song “Shake it off”. Also see List of the Day.
Taylor_SwiftTaylor Swift

Stephen Fry quits Twitter, saying ‘fun is over’ after Bafta spat –
Bafta show host Stephen Fry has confirmed he has left Twitter declaring “the fun is over”. He faced criticism online after comparing costume designer Jenny Beavan to a “bag lady” when she picked up her Bafta for Mad Max: Fury Road. The presenter later insisted Beavan was a “dear friend” and had “got” the joke. Fry said he has not “slammed the door” on Twitter but said the site had become a “stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous”. Writing on his official website, he said people needed to “grieve” for what Twitter had become, writing: “I like to believe I haven’t slammed the door, much less stalked off in a huff throwing my toys out of the pram as I go or however one should phrase it. “It’s quite simple really: the room had started to smell. Really quite bad.” [BBC]

In January 2015 Fry married his 27 year old partner Elliot Spencer
Stephen_FryStephen Fry

Hollywood hospital held to ransom by hackers –
Ransomware is a growing menace for computer users – but when a hospital is targeted, it makes the disruption far more serious. Computer systems at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center have been offline for more than a week following a ransomware attack. According to local news sources, hackers were said to have demanded $3.4m (£2.4m) to provide the codes to unlock the stolen data. The hospital has confirmed the attack took place, but has not commented on the ransom. A voicemail message at the hospital reassures patients that medical records had not been accessed by the hackers. [BBC]

Video of the Day –

Indoor Snowstorm Prank!!

List of the Day –

Grammy Award winners 2016

Album of the year
Winner: 1989 – Taylor Swift

Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes
To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
Traveller – Chris Stapleton
Beauty Behind The Madness – The Weeknd

Best new artist
Winner: Meghan Trainor

Courtney Barnett
James Bay
Sam Hunt
Tori Kelly

Best rock album
Winner: Drones – Muse

Chaos And The Calm – James Bay
Kintsugi – Death Cab For Cutie
Mister Asylum – Highly Suspect
.5: The Gray Chapter – Slipknot

Best rock performance
Winner: Don’t Wanna Fight – Alabama Shakes

What Kind Of Man – Florence & The Machine
Something From Nothing – Foo Fighters
Ex’s & Oh’s – Elle King
Moaning Lisa Smile – Wolf Alice

Record of the year
Winner: Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson Featuring Bruno Mars

Really Love – D’Angelo and the Vanguard
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
Blank Space – Taylor Swift
Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd

Song of the year
Winner: Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran & Amy Wadge

Alright – Kendrick Duckworth, Kawan Prather, Mark Anthony Spears & Pharrell Williams (Kendrick Lamar)
Blank Space – Max Martin, Shellback & Taylor Swift
Girl Crush – Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose (Little Big Town)
See You Again – Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz (Wiz Khalifa)

Best pop vocal album
Winner: 1989 – Taylor Swift

Piece By Piece – Kelly Clarkson
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful – Florence & The Machine
Uptown Special – Mark Ronson
Before This World – James Taylor

Best pop solo performance
Winner: Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran

Heartbeat Song – Kelly Clarkson
Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
Blank Space – Taylor Swift
Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd

Best traditional pop vocal album
Winner: The Silver Lining: The Songs Of Jerome Kern – Tony Bennett & Bill Charlap

Shadows In The Night – Bob Dylan
Stages – Josh Groban
No One Ever Tells You – Seth MacFarlane
My Dream Duets – Barry Manilow

Best music video
Winner: Bad Blood – Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar

LSD – ASAP Rocky
I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) – The Dead Weather
Alright – Kendrick Lamar
Freedom – Pharrell Williams

Best dance recording
Winner: Where Are U Now – Skrillex and Diplo with Justin Bieber

We’re All We Need – Above & Beyond Featuring Zoe Johnston
Go – The Chemical Brothers Featuring Q-Tip
Never Catch Me – Flying Lotus featuring Kendrick Lamar
Runaway (U & I) – Galantis

Best R&B performance
Winner: Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey) – The Weeknd

If I Don’t Have You – Tamar Braxton
Rise Up – Andra Day
Breathing Underwater – Hiatus Kaiyote
Planes – Jeremih Featuring J. Cole

Best R&B album
Winner: Black Messiah – D’Angelo And The Vanguard

Coming Home – Leon Bridges
Cheers To The Fall – Andra Day
Reality Show – Jazmine Sullivan
Forever Charlie – Charlie Wilson

Best urban contemporary album
Winner: Beauty Behind The Madness – The Weeknd

Ego Death – The Internet
You Should Be Here – Kehlani
Blood – Lianne La Havas
Wildheart – Miguel

Best country album
Winner: Traveller – Chris Stapleton

Montevallo – Sam Hunt
Pain Killer – Little Big Town
The Blade – Ashley Monroe
Pageant Material – Kacey Musgraves

Best country song
Winner: Girl Crush – Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose (Little Big Town)

Chances Are – Hayes Carll (Lee Ann Womack)
Diamond Rings And Old Barstools – Barry Dean, Luke Laird & Jonathan Singleton (Tim McGraw)
Hold My Hand – Brandy Clark & Mark Stephen Jones
Traveller – Chris Stapleton

Best metal performance
Winner: Cirice – Ghost

Identity – August Burns Red
512 – Lamb Of God
Thank You – Sevendust
Custer – Slipknot

Best rap album
Winner: To Pimp A Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar

2014 Forest Hills Drive – J. Cole
Compton – Dr. Dre
If You’re Reading This Its Too Late – Drake
The Pinkprint – Nicki Minaj

Best music film
Winner: Amy – Amy Winehouse

Mr. Dynamite: The Rise Of James Brown – James Brown
Sonic Highways – Foo Fighters
What Happened, Miss Simone? – Nina Simone
The Wall – Roger Waters

Best song written for visual media
Winner: Glory – Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith & John Stephens (Common and John Legend)

Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey) – Ahmad Balshe, Stephan Moccio, Jason Quenneville & Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd)
Love Me Like You Do – Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, Tove Nilsson, Ali Payami & Ilya Salmanzadeh (Ellie Goulding)
See You Again – Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth & Cameron Thomaz (Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth)
Til It Happens To You – Lady Gaga & Diane Warren

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February 18, 2016

Top News Stories –

Hairy panic sets in as homes are swallowed in masses of tumbleweeds –
Bizarre images have emerged of houses inundated with tumbleweeds in rural Victoria after extreme dry conditions cover homes in clouds of ‘hairy panic’. Residents have been left frustrated and exhausted trying to rid their properties of the ghost-like weed, which has engulfed front and back yards, gardens and garages. Named hairy panic, the weeds of Wangaratta are world-class, holding their own against Texas tumblers. Locals say the tumbleweed has been around for a couple of years but, with dry conditions, this summer is by far the worst. They suspect it’s coming from a nearby paddock that a farmer has failed to maintain. The council can’t help because the situation is not considered a fire risk, which has left homeowners to clean up indefinitely. [Yahoo News Australia]
Hairy panic tweet

‘Unauthorised trousers’ kill Canadian zoo’s otter –
A Canadian zoo is under scrutiny following the death of an otter which had been given a pair of trousers to play with in its enclosure. Logan, a 12-year-old American river otter, drowned at Calgary Zoo after being given the article of clothing as an “unauthorised enrichment item”, the Calgary Sun newspaper reports. The zoo’s general curator, Colleen Baird, says Logan got trapped in one of the trouser legs, and two employees have subsequently been disciplined following an investigation into the incident. “It was human error and we take animal deaths very seriously,” she tells the paper, but refuses to be drawn on who was responsible. “It’s irrelevant how exactly the pants got in there, it’s more that the pants got in there in the first place.” [BBC]

Video of the Day –


Skylight from Chris Pritchard on Vimeo.

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  • At least 71 people are killed in a head-on collision between a bus and a truck in Ghana. (Sky News) (BBC)
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  • A man sues an Oklahoma gun range after he is told to leave after identifying himself as a Muslim. The gun range owners though claim that the man was acting belligerent. (Associated Press via MSN)
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March 16, 2016

Top News Stories –

Chinese city brings in penalty points for dog owners –
A city in eastern China is tackling negligent dog owners with a new driving licence-style system. The pilot scheme, which started this month, gives pooches in the city of Shaoxing a licence pre-loaded with 12 points which are then gradually docked for breaking the rules, Qianjiang Evening News reports. Taking a dog into a public place such as a school or restaurant will cost an owner three points, while “failing to take effective measures” to stop a badly behaving dog results in six points being docked. A microchip under the dog’s skin will hold data on the penalties incurred. The biggest penalties are reserved for owners who use their pets to cause deliberate wounding, and those who abandon or abuse their animals – they’ll lose all 12 points and be banned from reapplying for an ownership licence. “Like drink-driving and other bad behaviour, dog owners will be blacklisted, and won’t be able to raise dogs again,” says city official Zhang Zhuoming. The paper says Shaoxing has experienced problems with both stray and domestic dogs, with more than 7,000 dog biting incidents registered last year. [BBC]

Pigeons track air pollution in London with tiny backpacks –
A small flock of pigeons have been given tiny backpacks to monitor air pollution in London. The project was dreamt up by Plume Labs, a company focused on the environmental problem, and the marketing agency DigitasLBi. The rucksacks are fitted to the birds using small fabric vests, and the sensors inside are able to measure nitrogen dioxide and ozone levels. Only 10 birds are in flight at any one time, so the amount of data being collected is pretty small. However, it’s still a creative way of analysing the air that millions breathe in every day in the capital. [Endgadget]

Video of the Day –

X-Men: Apocalypse | Official Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX

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  • The Washington Metro, a commuter rail system which transports nearly 1 million passengers across the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area per day, shuts down to allow for an emergency inspection of 600 electrical cables, following two fires occurring over the past 14 months. Officials say the system is scheduled to resume service by the following morning, though individual Metro lines or stations could remain closed indefinitely if problems are identified. (The Washington Post) (The Washington Times) (CBS News)
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  • Scientists release a small flock of pigeons, dubbed “The Pigeon Air Patrol”, carrying tiny backpacks to monitor London‘s air quality during a period of moderate to high pollution. The backpacks contain sensors used to measure nitrogen dioxide and ozone levels. (Engadget) (The Guardian)
  • The PGA of America announces it is discontinuing the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, a special postseason event among the year’s winners of the four major championships of regular men’s golf. This year, it was set to be held at Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles, California. The 2015 event was cancelled after the PGA decided to move the exhibition contest from the same Trump Club, and they couldn’t find a replacement course golf course with suitable dates. (AP) (PGA) (ESPN)

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