Leonard Nimroy dies aged 83 –
US actor Leonard Nimoy, who played the half-human, half-Vulcan character Mr Spock in the cult sci-fi series Star Trek, dies at the age of 83 in Los Angeles. He had been taken to hospital on 19 February after suffering from chest pains and later tweeted: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.” He signed off with “LLAP” – a reference to his character’s famous catchphrase, “Live long and prosper”. It was to be his final tweet. [BBC]
Internet brought to it’s knees by a dress and it’s not worn by Kim Kardashian-
Social media has been sent into spasms over the colour of a dress – is it black and blue or white and gold? Scottish singer Caitlin McNeill posed the question on Tumblr. What followed was an internet storm. Thousands took to Twitter to fight aggressively in either camp and even some celebrities stepped in on the debate. See Video of the Day.
One Direction, Robert Pattinson help out in first Red Nose Day in America –
One Direction, Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Pattinson were among British stars who helped raise money for the first Red Nose Day in America.
The three-hour TV show opened with a monologue from host Seth Meyers. He announced his plans to trump the UK version of the fund-raising marathon.
“I don’t want the British doing anything in front of the cameras,” said the late night talk show host. “They are famously terrible actors so they are all working backstage.” Cameras cut to Simon Cowell in the director’s chair, Orlando Bloom at the sound board, Naomi Campbell operating a camera, Sir Ian McKellen working the teleprompter, Cumberbatch struggling with cue cards and Dame Helen Mirren making tea. Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne was left with the task of wishing people good luck while Pattinson struggled with valet parking and crashed the first car given to him.[BBC]
Highlight of the night was Cold Play creating a musical version of Game of Thrones with many of the cast appearing including John Snow (Kit Harrington). See Video of the Day. Kit Harrington
Thousands of new words added to Scrabble dictionary –
Thousands of new words – including slang terms lolz, shizzle and obvs – have been added to the latest Scrabble word list, its publisher has said.
About 6,500 words have been added to the latest Collins Scrabble Word List, including a number of slang terms used on social media and in text messages. New words include twerking, emoji, bezzy and ridic – short for ridiculous. One the highest scoring new entries is quinzhee – an Inuit snow shelter – which scores 29 Scrabble points. Other new words now acceptable in the board game include onesie, devo – short for devolution – vape, and shootie, meaning a fashionable shoe that covers the ankle. [BBC]
Kim Jong-un’s ‘brat pack’ brother jets in to London for Eric Clapton concert –
Kim Jong-chol, allegedly passed over as heir to the North Korea regime because he has a weak character, was seen entering the Royal Albert Hall with a female companion and wearing a leather jacket. Wearing a leather jacket, T-shirt and sunglasses, Kim Jong-chol was caught on film by a camera crew from Japan’s TBS channel entering the venue with an unidentified woman. South Korean media reported that Kim was staying at The Chelsea Harbour Hotel and was scheduled to board a flight from London to Moscow on Friday. Rooms at the hotel cost up to £2,184 a night. Mr Kim, 33, was passed over by his father, Kim Jong-il, as heir to the North Korean regime because he has a weak character, according to South Korean intelligence reports. To compensate, he has taken on the mantle of the unofficial leader of the North’s “brat pack” of children of the regime’s elite.[Daily Telegraph]
Video of the Day –
Red Nose Day – Game of Thrones, Coldplay’s New Musical (Episode Highlight)
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
Finland: City hands out ‘survival box’ to new students –
A Finnish city is handing out “survival packs” to new students, taking inspiration from the country’s famous baby starter boxes. The city of Lahti has packaged up a selection of essentials for new arrivals to its universities and colleges, helped by contributions from local businesses, national broadcaster Yle reports. More than 1,000 students have received one of the kits so far. And just like the parcels given to expectant mothers across the country, Lahti’s offering comes in a modest cardboard box. Among the items new students will find inside is a bus pass for trips around the city, some locally produced sheets and socks, and a pack of porridge, Yle says. Students can also tuck into the popular Nordic snack salmiakki – a sour, salty liquorice. The survival pack is meant to introduce students to the delights of Lahti while also serving as a marketing opportunity for businesses in the city. [BBC]
BBC plans North Korea broadcasts –
The BBC is to propose an expansion of the World Service – including its first radio broadcasts to North Korea [on short wave radio] – as it sets out plans for its own future. A children’s iPlayer and a pool of 100 local reporters who would share work with newspapers are also planned. Director general Tony Hall will say the aim is to turn the BBC into “an open platform for British creativity”. The BBC is laying out its plans as part of negotiations with the government ahead of charter renewal in 2016. [BBC]
Samsung patents design for ‘smart’ augmented reality contact lenses –
Samsung has filed a patent on ‘smart’ contact lenses, which can project images straight into the users’ eyes. Wearing the lenses would allow users to experience ‘augmented’ reality, with computer-generated images superimposed over the real world. As Samsung blog SamMobile reveals, the South Korean patent shows a drawing of the lens, which is fitted with a miniscule display, camera and antenna. It’s also fitted with a number of sensors that can detect eye movement and blinking, which is how users would control the display. Since the device is so small, it’s designed to connect to a smartphone for processing power. According to the patent application, written in Korean and translated by SamMobile, the contact lenses would provide much better image quality than existing smart glasses, as well as being far less bulky and intrusive. [The Independent] Samsung Contact Lens patent image
US university in Scalia law school acronym blunder –
Officials at a US university were left red-faced after their decision to rename a law school after late Supreme Court judge Antonin Scalia prompted hilarity over its unfortunate acronym. George Mason University in Virginia said its law school would be called the Antonin Scalia School of Law. The eagle-eyed immediately took to Twitter to point out that the acronym would be ASSoL. The university has since renamed it as the Antonin Scalia Law School. [BBC]
Beyonce sues over ‘Feyonce’ label –
Singer Beyonce is suing a US company to stop it from selling merchandise branded “Feyonce”. Texas firm Feyonce Inc sells clothing, and other items such as mugs with the label, on its website. The pop star claims the label is too near to her own trademarked name and confuses customers and fans and damages her reputation. The singer also claims in court papers filed in Manhattan that the company has ignored her requests to stop. Beyonce’s complaint accuses the San Antonio company, and three individuals, of “brazenly” selling the Feyonce-labelled merchandise. [BBC] Beyonce_Knowles
Video of the Day –
50 ft Flamethrower in 4K Slow Motion – The Slow Mo Guys
Deadly floods hit Ethiopia, leaving at least 28 people dead as seasonal rains come early to the country. The majority of these deaths occurred in the city of Jijiga while elsewhere, heavy downpours of rain were reported with more floods expected in the next few days. (Al Jazeera)
The results, while not official yet, show voters solidly rejecting the approval of the Association Agreement with 61.1 percent and turnout reaching over the 30 percent threshold for the referendum to be valid. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
Toblerone triangle change upsets fans –
A decision to space out the distinctive triangular chocolate chunks in two Toblerone bars sold in the UK has upset fans who say that they do mind the gap. The product’s makers, US-based Mondelez International, said it had changed the design to reduce the weight of what were 400g and 170g bars. Some consumers have described the move as “the wrong decision” and said the bigger spaces looked “stupid”. Mondelez said the move was down to a rise in the cost of ingredients. In a statement on the Toblerone Facebook page, the company said it had to make a decision between changing the look of the bars or raising the price. [BBC] The old shaped Toblerone
Video of the Day –
The Flying Frenchies Surf and BASE Jump From a Zipline