Typhoon Hagupit hits the Philippines –
Typhoon Hagupit is sweeping across the eastern Philippines, threatening coastal areas with a powerful sea-surge. Roofs have been blown off in the city of Tacloban, where thousands were killed by Typhoon Haiyan a year ago and more than half a million people have fled coastal villages.
Slice of Prince William and Kate’s wedding cake sells for $6,000 at auction –
A wedding cake slice from the 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has been sold at an auction in Beverly Hills for $6,000 (£4,000).
The buyer of this romantic slice of history was bought by Gee Chuang, the CEO of online marketplace Listia.com, who plans to give away the piece of wedding cake on the company’s website in April of next year to celebrate the royal couple’s fourth wedding anniversary. The eight-tiered wedding cake, made by pastry chef Fiona Cairns and her team, was adorned with icing flowers, petals and leaves. [Daily Telegraph]
iPhone crash landing protection –
Apple Inc was granted a patent last week on an innovation that can detect when a handset is falling – and rotates it to avoid the screen hitting the ground. If sensors calculate the screen or camera will hit the ground, a motor is instantly activated within the phone which moves an internal weight fast enough to affect the ‘rotational velocity’ of the device and spin it around so that it lands on a reinforced area. The idea could also work with iPads and other devices.
Al-Qaeda hostage killed during rescue mission –
Luke Somers, a US journalist who was being held captive in Yemen since 2013, has been shot by his captors during a a military operation to rescue him and later died. A video was released earlier this week showing a member of al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) threatening to kill Mr Somers unless unspecified demands are met.
Video of the Day –
I’ve fallen and I can’t get up – Crowd dynamics test using Miarmy for Maya
Space Panic Stations –
Crew members were evacuated from a US segment of the International Space Station when an ammonia leak was detected in the USA section of the craft forcing all the crew to evacuate the area. The six crew members put on breathing equipment and moved into the Russian segment after the alert at around 0900 GMT, closing the hatch to the US side behind them. NASA officials believe a computer problem is likely to have caused the false impression of leaking coolant.
Pub Landlord takes on Nigel Farage –
British comedian Al Murray will stand against UKIP leader Nigel Farage at the general election in May using his character the Pub Landlord as a front. Murray, who has formed the Free United Kingdom Party (FUKP), will stand for election in Thanet South in Kent but said “Let it be known that like many of the parliamentary hopefuls in the forthcoming election, I have no idea where South Thanet is. But did that stop Margaret Thatcher from saving the Falkland Islands? No.” Samsung launches Tizen –
Samsung’s first smartphones powered by its Tizen operating system have gone on sale. The Z1 handsets are only available in India and cost 5,700 rupees ($92 or £60) and have faster boot times and longer-lasting battery life than many budget-priced rivals. All other Samsung phones use the Android operating system.
Yosemite’s Dawn Wall finally scaled –
Tommy Caldwell, 36, and Kevin Jorgeson, 30, become the first climbers to successfully scale Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan mountain’s without bolts or climbing tools. The men have been ‘free-climbing’ the Dawn Wall to the 3,000-foot summit for 17 days, using only ropes only to prevent falling.
Apple says tattoos can cause watch problems –
Apple has said some of the functions on its new smartwatch may not work properly when its worn over tattoos. Darker-coloured artwork and even changes in darker coloured skin types can fool the light sensors on the back of the watch. The problem is not exclusive to the Apple Watch, which performed well in independent tests. But it does show the manufacturer has not solved the sensor problem. “Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can… impact heart rate sensor performance,” Apple said on a support page on its website. “The ink, pattern, and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings.” [BBC] The Apple Watch range
Tesla’s $3,000 Powerwall Will Let Households Run Entirely On Solar Energy –
Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk unveiled ‘Tesla Energy’ — a new business arm that is focused on ending our dependence on grid power and switching instead to solar energy. The first Tesla Energy product is ‘Powerwall Home Battery,’ a stationary battery that can power a household without requiring the grid. The battery is rechargeable lithium-ion — it uses Tesla’s existing battery tech — and can be fixed to a wall, removing much of the existing complexity around using a local power source. For one thing, the company’s batteries cost $3,500 for 10kWh and $3,000 for 7kWh. They are open for pre-orders in the U.S. now; the first orders will be dispatched “in late summer.” [Techcrunch.com] On March 31 2015, Musk tweeted about a new product and shares in the electric car jumped to nearly 4 percent in just 10 minutes – adding a staggering $900 million (£600 million) to the company’s market cap in just 115 characters. Elon Musk
Messenger’s Mercury trip ends with a bang, and silence –
Nasa’s Messenger mission to Mercury has reached its explosive conclusion, after 10 years in space and four in orbit. Now fully out of fuel, the spacecraft smashed into a region near Mercury’s north pole, out of sight from Earth, at about 20:00 GMT on Thursday. Mission scientists confirmed the impact minutes later, when the craft’s next possible communication pass was silent. Messenger reached Mercury in 2011 and far exceeded its primary mission plan of one year in orbit. That mission ended with an inevitable collision: Messenger slammed into our Solar System’s smallest planet at 8,750mph (14,000km/h) – 12 times quicker than the speed of sound. The impact will have completely obliterated this history-making craft. And it only happened because Mercury has no thick atmosphere to burn up incoming objects – the same reason its surface is so pock-marked by impact craters. [BBC] Artist’s rendering of the MESSENGER spacecraft orbiting Mercury Date Source
Video of the Day –
Biggest Trick In Action Sports History – Triple Backflip – Nitro Circus – Josh Sheehan
France train shooting: Americans overpower gunman –
Three people have been hurt after a heavily armed man opened fire on a train in northern France, before being overpowered by American passengers. The incident happened on the high-speed Thalys service near Arras, and the attacker was arrested at Arras station. US President Barack Obama praised the passengers, who included two off-duty US military personnel. [Later named as Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and non-military friend Anthony Sadler] The man arrested was a 26-year-old Moroccan. Anti-terrorist officers have taken over the case. The weapons were said to include a Kalashnikov, a knife, an automatic pistol and cartridges. French authorities said three people were injured, two of them seriously – one with a gunshot wound, the other a knife wound. [BBC]
One Direction release space-themed Drag Me Down video –
One Direction have released their first music video without Zayn Malik and it’s out of this world, kind of. Niall, Liam, Louis and Harry play astronauts in their video for Drag Me Down. Astronauts. Drag Me Down. Gravity. Space. Get it? Anyway, Nasa let 1D film the video at their headquarters in Houston, Texas. Libby Jackson, an astronaut flight education programme manager for the UK Space Agency, reviewed the promo for Newsbeat. “The guys went out to Nasa’s Johnson Space Centre and filmed at their facilities there – so it’s a fairly accurate portrayal of some of the elements of human spaceflight. “It’s obviously impossible to fit an entire astronaut’s training into a three minute video, but they’ve certainly given a flavour. “You see One Direction trying out a prototype Mars rover, which astronauts would need to learn drive for their missions,” she said. [BBC Newsbeat] See Video of the Day and Top Twitter Trends.
Malala celebrates string of top GCSEs –
Among those celebrating exam success is girls’ education campaigner, Malala Yousafzai who gained a string of As and A*s in her GCSEs. Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, took to Twitter to list Malala’s grades which include A*s in GCSE and iGCSE maths. “My wife Toor Pekai and I are proud of Malala getting 6A*s and 4As. #education for every child,” wrote Mr Yousafzai. Malala was shot by the Taliban after writing a diary about life under their rule in North-West Pakistan. Last year, she became the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. [BBC] Malala Yousafzai