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
Michel Platini: Uefa president to resign after ban appeal fails –
Uefa president Michel Platini will resign from European football’s governing body after failing to have a six-year ban from football overturned. A Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) panel reduced the ban to four years on Monday. Following the judgement, the 60-year-old said he would be stepping down. Platini and former Fifa counterpart Sepp Blatter, were last year found guilty of ethics breaches over a 2m Swiss Franc (£1.3m) “disloyal payment”. The pair, who deny wrongdoing, had their original bans reduced from eight to six years by the Fifa appeals committee. Platini had taken his case to Cas seeking to get the ban overturned, but a three-man panel said it “was not convinced by the legitimacy of the payment”. [BBC] Michel Platini
Japan vagina artist cleared over kayak model but fined for data distribution –
A Japanese court has found an artist not guilty for displaying a kayak based on the shape of her vagina. The judge ruled that Megumi Igarashi‘s brightly-coloured kayak sculpture did not immediately suggest female anatomy. However, she was fined 400,000 yen ($3,700) after a judge ruled that she broke the law by sharing data from 3D scans of her genitalia, which could be used to recreate the shape of a vagina. Japan’s strict obscenity laws prohibit public displays of genitalia. [BBC]