What Can Your Surname Tell You?

July 18, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

At least for purposes of research, just about every genealogist rues the ancestor whose last name is common, and therefore hard to trace, and rejoices in their ancestors with more unusual names. While an unusual surname undeniably can make genealogical research easier, it doesn’t corner the market on interesting and informative origins.

In Western Europe, surnames first came about in Medieval times as civilizations grew larger and it became necessary to distinguish between people.

Sometimes, names were based on occupation: a blacksmith may have been “John le Smith” (John the Smith) which became, over the generations, “Smith,” and a person named Appleby lived by or tended the apple orchard. Celebrity Robin Leach’s ancestor was probably a physician (because in medieval times, physicians used leeches to bleed people). Actor Christopher Reeve’s ancestor, the one to first take the surname, was most likely a sheriff, and Sarah Jessica Parker’s early medieval ancestor probably tended a park.

Other surnames were based on location: an Acker, which comes from “acre,” lived near a field, and a Hall lived in or worked in a hall of a Medieval nobleman’s house. And it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what a forebear named Young or Strong or Gray looked like.

Higher social status surnames are more rare today — how many Rothschilds (from the German “red shield”) did you go to school with? — and lower status ones fairly common. Lower social status people were also sometimes given unfortunate names by others, such as “Tew” (Welsh for “fat”) or “Dullard,” which means a hard or conceited man.

And in many parts of the world surnames derived from men’s names. A person named Robertson is descended from someone who was the “son of Robert,” and a MacDonald is from a Scottish “son of Donald.” Armenian names of this sort generally end in “-ian,” Polish ones in “-ski,” and Irish ones are put together a little differently, starting with the prefix “Fitz-.”

In Spanish-speaking parts of the world, people often take both their mother and father’s surnames. And some families still use family or “house” names that are not surnames at all, like the royal Windsors or Plantagenets.

Asian surnames have different stories. Most of the approximately 100,000 Japanese surnames in use today only date from 1868 and the Meiji Restoration, when surnames were mandated for the first time. There are just a few hundred common Chinese surnames, and 20 of them (which reflect an entire clan or were adopted by nobles) are shared by half the population. There are about 250 Korean surnames, three of them comprising almost half the Korean population, and just about 100 Vietnamese ones, with three making up 60 percent of all names in that country.

Original story here




Odd news from around the world

TSA thicko: “IT’S the capital of the US, but when a passenger produced a drivers licence from the District of Columbia, otherwise known as Washington D.C., he almost landed in trouble. Gray, who works for WFTV in Orlando, took to Twitter to share the details. He claims he was flying from Orlando International Airport back to D.C. at the weekend when he handed over his licence to a security agent, only to receive a puzzled look. He was then asked to produce his passport, which he didn’t have on him because he had a valid licence so there was no need. After a brief conversation it became clear the employee had no idea where D.C. was, and instead thought Gray was from a faraway nation. Gray was eventually allowed to pass through security where he alerted a supervisor, who assured him his licence was a valid form of ID and said that all airport staff would be given a geography lesson.

Indian man climbs ladder with a motorbike on his head: “Lifting a motorbike up on to the roof of a bus is no easy task. But lifting a motorbike on to a bus by balancing it on your head as you climb a ladder enters the realm of painful and perhaps, even impossible. However a man in India has proved it is feasible and even made it look easy in a video which has been posted online.

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner video shows off new tricks: “It looks like a regular passenger plane and can seat 280 passengers. But it can also take off almost vertically, turn tight corners midair and land then quickly take off again. Boeing has published a video showcasing their new 787-9’s impressive manoeuvrability ahead of attending the final weekend of Britain’s Farnborough Airshow, one of the largest annual aviation events. The video follows hot-weather testing conducted in Alice Springs by the plane designer in January this year, when the average temperature was above 36 degrees. The plane is63 metres long and sells for about $US53 million ($56.6 million). According to Boeing, it can take off and land even if one of the engines fails. The president of Business Jets, Steve Taylor, said the aircraft can also roll in the air. The Dreamliner is the first airliner to be made of carbon fibre, not aluminium, and promises airlines more fuel efficiency a saving of 20 per cent. It also offers 20 per cent less carbon dioxide emissions than comparable aircraft.”

Giant penis appears on Milkybar: “THE Milkybar kid would be shocked if he saw what made its way on to his favourite white chocolate treat. A man in London happened upon the surprising representation while eating a Milkybar during the World Cup, Metro News reports. Robin Jacobs said: ‘What on earth is a penis doing on a kids’ chocolate bar? There’s no point denying what it looks like. It is obvious – we can all see it.” A spokesman for Nestlé said: “Nestlé is surprised and sorry to hear that Mr Jacobs thought the picture on the Milkybar resembles male genitalia, it is in fact an image of a horse’s head, the Milkybar Kid’s horse.”

Brilliant composer considered suicide: “Andrew Lloyd-Webber said he requested the forms to joim assisted suicide clinic Dignitas after struggling with the pain for 14 back and leg operations. The West End composer was so convinced he wanted to die last summer that he requested forms for the the Swiss clinic. He said a bout of deep depression, triggered by the pain from a series of operations, caused him to consider suicide. But the 66-year-old, who previously suffered with prostate cancer, said he now felt it would have been a ‘stupid and ridiculous’ thing to do. The peer is likely to oppose the bill to legalise ‘assisted dying’ tabled by Lord Falconer, the former Lord Chancellor, which will be debated today. ‘I actually got the forms for Dignitas. With hindsight, it was stupid and ridiculous, but I couldn’t think what to do.’ He said as his symptoms alleviated he decided to throw the forms away and expects to oppose the bill but remains torn on the issue.”

Roma gypsies driven out of Belgian town after DJ blasts Dire Straits’ ‘Sultans of Swing’ at them: “A group of gypsies has been driven out of a Belgian town after the mayor hired a DJ to blast rock music at them. The Roma had amassed 30 caravans at a site in Landen, a small town with a population of less than 15,000, around 30 miles east of Brussels, with no plans to leave. But after a DJ played Dire Straits at a volume of 95 decibels – equivalent to the sound of a pneumatic drill from 50 feet away – they caved in and agreed to go. Mr Debroux said the group’s refusal to leave had prompted him to hire a DJ to blast music at them from 9am yesterday. ‘This is a way of putting pressure on them. It was very difficult to negotiate with the gypsy king, as he called himself,’ he said. ‘It’s a non-violent method to ask them to come to an agreement.’ However, by midday, the Roma had agreed with police that they would leave the site. They are expected to depart at some point today.”

How COULD anyone think this photo is anything but innocent?’: “Little Marlow Adamo is blissfully unaware that she is the owner of — in her mother’s words — ‘the most infamous belly button on the worldwide web’. Toddling around in a little pair of yellow wellies, the 19-month-old thinks nothing of pulling up her white cotton top to show it off in that joyful, unselfconscious way that young children do. ‘Belly,’ she says, pointing to it very proudly. It was this charming picture of innocence that Marlow’s mother Courtney, 33, captured on her camera phone last month in the garden of their North London home — and immediately posted on the popular social media site Instagram. In doing so, Courtney had absolutely no idea of the storm of controversy that she was about to unleash. First, Instagram deleted the ‘inappropriate’ photo for violating its rules on nudity. Then, when Courtney re-posted the picture — thinking they must have made a mistake — her account was de-activated. Confused, the businesswoman and married mother-of-four wrote about her bewildering experience on her blog, sparking a furious debate on child safety, which then spread rapidly across the internet.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Nothing like being upfront with your customers

July 17, 2014 at 11:26 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

Heroic tabby Smudge comes to rescue of owner, 5, by jumping on bullies who had pushed him to the ground: “A heroic cat could win an award after rescuing his five-year-old owner from bullies who pushed him to the ground as he played with his younger brother. The moggy named Smudge pounced on the chest of one of the boys after he saw frightened Ethan Fenton being pushed to the ground outside his home in Doncaster. The boy and his friends were so shocked by the tabby cat’s actions that they ran away crying leaving Ethan and his two-year-old brother Ashton alone. Mother Sharon Fenton, 26, who witnessed the attack said: ‘I was keeping an eye on the boys who were playing football in the front garden. ‘That’s when I rushed outside and saw Smudge fly out from under our car and jump on the boy’s chest. ‘I think it was shock more than anything but the boy stumbled backwards, burst into tears and then ran off.'”

Tesla announces Model III: Musk’s next electric car will cost £30,000, be 20% smaller and have a range of 200 miles: “It’s long been known that Tesla were planning on a more affordable version of their revolutionary electric cars, and now details have been revealed of what to expect. The Model III will go on sale for around £30,000 in the UK and about $35,000 in the U.S. from 2017 according to reports, while it’ll have a range of 200 miles (320 kilometres). Details on the Model III were revealed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in an interview with Auto Express. The all-electric vehicle will be a compact vehicle, about 20 per cent smaller than the Model S. Its pricing will also make it more affordable to the general public.”

Demand for £217 McDonald’s wedding parties soars in Hong Kong: “Brides and grooms on a budget can now have the wedding of their dreams – for just over £200. For this bargain basement price, they’ll get venue hire, decorations, audio equipment, food, gifts and invitations. The only catch is… they’ll be getting married at McDonald’s. As unlikely as it might seem, demand for fast food nuptials is booming and McDonald’s has expanded its wedding service programme from three to 15 branches. ‘We started the programme because many customers tell us that McDonald’s is where they first started dating,’ a spokesperson told CNBC. ‘McDonald’s is where their love stories grew. ‘This connection is exactly why they want to hold their wedding parties and even anniversary parties at McDonald’s – to relive sweet beginnings and bring their romantic story full circle.'”

French supermarket introduces lumpy and misshapen fruit and vegetables – sold at a 30% discount – to combat food waste: “It is well known that we eat with our eyes as well as our stomach, however one French supermarket is attempting to re-educate our perspectives on lumpy, ugly, misshapen fruit and vegetables with a new initiative. The third largest supermarket chain in France Intermarché, launched a campaign earlier this year that sought to put an end to food waste. Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables celebrates the ‘ugly’ produce that is often thrown away by growers and considered unfit for consumption. Intermarché wanted to help prevent food waste by proving to customers that unattractive fruits and vegetables are just as delicious as their pristine counterparts. The campaign by Intermarché is supported by advertising agency Marcel who, with the help of photographer Patrice de Villiers, produced seven posters starring the unattractive produce to go alongside it.

Council spends £35,000 building Britain’s most expensive bird nesting box… and it’s taken three years for inhabitants to move in: “Residents in Cambridge are furious after the city council spent £35,000 building Britain’s most expensive bird nesting box, saying that the money could have been better spent elsewhere. The colourful 33ft-high steel tower was built in 2011 as part of a plan to reverse the decline in the number of swifts – a species which sees its population fall by three per cent each year due to a loss of habitat. But the hi-tech bird box has sat empty in a field for three years, with its first feathered inhabitants only moving in this summer. The tower, which features 200 nesting boxes, was built at Logan’s Meadow nature reserve on the outskirts of Cambridge as part of a wider wetland habitat creation plan in 2011. It was commissioned by Cambridge City Council and created by London-based artist Andrew Merritt, who worked with ecologists and swift experts to combine design with a functional home for the birds.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

It’s a dog’s life

July 16, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

‘Poltergeist’ that mysteriously trashed couple’s home turns out to be meth addict who was hiding under the bed: “A Seattle couple returned to their apartment late on Wednesday night to find the home completely trashed. They called the police, who came to investigate, but nothing had been stolen, leading them to wonder whether something supernatural had occurred. However it wasn’t until after the cops – who were equally as baffled – had left after 45 minutes that Brian and Bridget O’Neill made the truly distressing discovery. As the pair began to clean up the mess, Brian moved the bed slightly to pick up a bracelet on the floor. He then heard something underneath the mattress. ‘It was a noise coming from something alive,’ he said. ‘It sounded like a dying possum or raccoon. When the noise got louder, becoming a scratching sound, the couple left the apartment and called the police again. Officers went inside and came out minutes later. They were escorting a ‘lanky, wild-eyed woman’, Vocativ reported. The woman had been under the bed – which stands only about a foot from the ground – for at least two hours.”

Quebec’s Royal 22nd Regiment guards Buckingham Palace as guard changes: “If you’ve been to London, chances are you’ve seen the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. But history was made on Monday, when Canadian soldiers had a turn standing guard. A contingent from Canada’s fabled Royal 22nd Regiment is standing on guard for the Queen today. About 70 members of the unit’s ceremonial guard are in London to protect Buckingham Palace. It’s the first time the francophone regiment has stood guard at Buckingham Palace since 1940, when it was done at the request of King George VI, father of Queen Elizabeth. That also marked the first time the King’s Guard Sentinels got commands not only from a non-British unit but also in French.

Want to appear 10 years younger? Just buy a dog: “Scientists have shown that simply owning a dog can turn back the ageing clock, with canine companionship making owners act 10 years younger. This tonic effect was regardless of the distance an owner walks with their pet, the study found. Researcher Dr Zhiqiang Feng, of St Andrews University, said: ‘If you have a dog in the home, your physical activity level is roughly equivalent to a person 10 years younger. ‘It may not add a decade to your life, but it is very beneficial – it is all about getting up and out and about.’ Remaining active into old age is proven to stave off a host of ailments, particularly muscle and bone conditions, as well as promoting mental wellbeing. In addition to the physical benefits, a dog is also good for the owner’s mental health. ‘On average dog owners have lower levels of depression,’ said Dr Feng, a senior lecturer in the university’s School of Geography and Geosciences.” ‘The bond between pet and owner benefits people’s health generally.’

Do YOU hate modern life? 57% of us would rather live in another decade – and the swinging 60s come out on top: “A survey revealed 57% of adults wish they could live in another time. One in five said they’d rather live in the 1960s. Despite the current advancements in medicine, technology and transport, almost 60 per cent of British people would rather live in any other era than the current one. And when asked which decade they’d prefer to live in, one in five voted for the 1960s. The decade was also voted as one of the most prosperous in the whole of human history, beating the entire 19th century, and the Roaring Twenties. The findings were revealed as part of the Yesterday Historical Report commissioned to mark the launch of show Inquisition on the TV channel, Yesterday. The 1960s were seen as great because of the widespread revolution and change in politics, music and society around the world.”

Germany were so confident they were going to win World Cup they printed five million victory stamps BEFORE the final: “Germany printed five million stamps commemorating their fourth World Cup title before the final on Sunday had even started. The 60-cent stamps are due to go on sale this week after the first commemorative copies are offered to the players and staff. If Germany had lost the final, the stamps, printed by Deutsche Post, would have had to be pulped. The stamps were ordered by Germany’s Finance Ministry, which holds 21 per cent of Deutsche Post’s shares through the state-owned KfW bank. ‘This year I dared to hope very early on that our team would take the title,’ Finance Minister Wolfgang Scaeuble told AFP. ‘It’s wonderful that the team turned this dream into a reality. I hope that this stamp will remind many citizens of the immense joy the team has given us.’

Scientists baffled by gigantic 262ft hole that has appeared at Siberia: “An urgent expedition will leaves tomorrow to probe a giant crater that has appeared in gas-rich northern Siberia. Extraordinary aerial images show a mysterious hole which experts say may be up to 262 feet wide, in the Yamal Peninsula of northern Russia. ‘A scientific team has been sent to investigate the hole and is due to arrive at the scene on Wednesday,’ The Siberian Times has reported. There has been web speculation about the crater indicating ‘the arrival of a UFO craft’. But one Russian expert says the cause is more likely to be global warming releasing gases under the surface, which then explode like a champagne cork. Experts say that the darkening around the inner rim of the crater indicates ‘severe burning’ which scorched its edges.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.


July 15, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Some real notes written by parents in the Memphis school district. Spellings have been left intact

1. My son is under a doctor’s care and should not take PE today. Please execute him.

2. Please exkuce lisa for being absent she was sick and i had her shot.

3. Dear school: please ecsc’s john being absent on jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and also 33.

4. Please excuse gloria from jim today. She is administrating.

5. Please excuse roland from p.e. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.

6. John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.

7. Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

8. Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.

9. Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side

10. Please excuse rayfriday from school. He has very loose vowels.

11. Please excuse Lesli from being absent yesterday. She had the shits. (BEST ONE)

12. Please excuse tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea, and his boots leak.

13. Irving was absent yesterday because he missed his bust.

14. Please excuse jimmy for being. It was his father’s fault.

15. I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because i don’t know what size she wear.

16. Please excuse jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it monday. We thought it was sunday.

17. Sally won’t be in school a week from friday. We have to attend her funeral.

18. My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the marines.

19. Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well.

20. Please excuse mary for being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.

21. Gloria was absent yesterday as she was having a gangover.

22. Please excuse brenda. She has been sick and under the doctor.

23. Maryann was absent december 11-16, because she had a fever, sorethroat, headache and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever an sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I wasn’t the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something going around, her father even got hot lastnight.




Odd news from around the world

Busker gets a big break: “A man who spent 20 years as a street busker has finally hit the big time with a million-pound recording contract. Crooner Si Cranstoun, 38, started writing his own songs and performing when he was just 16. For years he struggled to make ends meet as he played on London’s streets – where Prime Minister Tony Blair once gave him 30p. But success evaded him until April last year when he finally landed a breakthrough deal with music giants Warner. Music mogul from Warner spotted him on street and signed him up. Si is due to release his debut album this summer after being backed by Radio 2 DJ Terry Wogan and he looks set for success after his debut single ‘Caught in the Moonlight’ was shortlisted on the Radio 2 playlist last month.

Couple find huge fire-proof safe that could be 160 years old buried at the bottom of their garden pond: “A couple have found a metre-wide safe they believe is more than a century old in their back garden, but there’s just one problem. They’ve no idea how to get into it. David and Nikki Maguire found the heavy, rusting box – made by the same firm which supplied the Titanic – sticking out of the earth after they drained their garden pond in Gateshead. Mr Maguire, 34, spent an afternoon tirelessly shifting heaps of soil and was astounded to find the safe completely intact. A locksmith is now due to visit the couple tomorrow morning – but for the moment, they are enjoying the mystery. The safe was made by Milners, which began working in 1814 under Thomas Milner and became famous for developing the world’s first fire-proof safes. On the front of the safe found in the Maguires’ garden is a plaque which reads ‘Milners of London, Manchester and Liverpool’ and ‘Patent fire resisting special safe’. It is likely to date from between the mid-19th Century and 1955, when the Milner company merged with the firm Chatwood.”

The car boot bargain that turned out to be TREASURE: £3 tool revealed as 4,500-year-old ancient Egyptian hammer: “Archaeologists train for years to unearth and identify ancient artefacts, but an ambulance worker from Northumberland has happened upon one at a local car boot sale with no effort at all. Martin Jackson, 50, paid just £3 ($5) for the 4,500-year-old ancient Egyptian wooden maul – a type of hammer – and experts have since valued it closer to £4,000 ($6,800). The maul, which would have been used by craftsmen to create carvings in temples, was among a haul of broken tools at Mr Jackon’s local sale on the quayside at Amble, Northumberland. Mr Jackson said the maul was in ‘a shabby condition’, with electrical tape roughly wrapped around the handle. After removing the tape, Jackson noticed a finely engraved silver band which explained it was an Egyptian maul, and that it had been found at the ancient burial ground Saqqara. It was brought to Ireland in around 1905 by a highly-decorated British officer who is frequently mentioned in dispatches at that time.”

World’s oldest bottle of mineral water uncovered: 200-year-old corked Selters flask found deep within the Baltic sea: “The world’s oldest bottle of mineral water has been uncovered from the depths of the Baltic Sea by Polish scuba divers. The 200-year-old flask, described as in a ‘good condition and still corked’, has the name ‘Selters’ inscribed in its stoneware. Polish archaeologists found the 12 inch (30cm) bottle in shipwreck lying 12.2 metres (40ft) below water in the Gdańsk Bay close to the Polish coast. Produced between 1806 and 1830, the brown bottle is an extremely rare find as most sealed flasks from that period contain either beer or wine. ‘We have not opened the bottle, we are not sure what it contains and what is the taste of the water which is 200 years old,’ said Tomasz Bednarz, National Maritime Museum archaeologist. Selters is a German luxury mineral water brand which gained popularity with Europe’s wealthy during the nineteenth century.

Japanese shrine is dedicated to curing haemorrhoids: “An ancient Japanese shrine dedicated to the curing of haemorrhoids, where people wash their bottoms in holy river water, has seen a resurgence in popularity. The unusual ritual is growing in popularity as more people in Japan are said to be suffering from the condition. According to Japanese tradition, anybody who heads to the shrine in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture simply needs to wash their naked bottom in a local river, point it in the direction of the ‘holy egg’ and then eat boiled eggs at the nearby temple to find themselves cured. It also welcomes people who do not have haemorrhoids at all, on the premise that if they also carry out the ritual, they will never suffer from the problem later in life. The temple fell into disrepair in the 1980s but more recently after a resurgence in the number of people suffering from haemorrhoids, it has been refurbished and reopened and now has experienced a boom in popularity.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

More shopping with the wife

July 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

Eye tests could be used to diagnose early-stage Alzheimer’s disease: “Early trials of two different techniques show that a key Alzheimer’s trait can be identified in the retina and lens of the eye. Both methods were able to distinguish between probable Alzheimer’s patients and healthy volunteers with a high level of accuracy. Although the research is still at an early stage, further work could see such tests used as a first step in identifying individuals with Alzheimer’s. After an initial eye test, more expensive and costly procedures such as PET (positron emission tomography) scans or spinal fluid analysis would then be used to confirm the disease. The eye tests exploit the fact that the eye is, in effect, an extension of the brain. In both studies, scientists looked for signs of beta-amyloid protein, which forms clumps in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and is a key hallmark of the disease. Levels of beta-amyloid in the retina mirrored those shown in the brain by PET imaging.”

Baby delivered by emergency C-section after her pregnant mother was struck by lightning still has STATIC HAIR a year on: “Kimberly Gordon was delivered by emergency Cesarean section a year ago after her mother was struck by lightning in Albuquerque, New Mexico. But not only did the one-year-old survive the electrical jolt, she now has static hair. On July 4 last year, Gordon and his 38-weeks-pregnant girlfriend Kendra Villanueva were watching the Independence Day fireworks when they were hit by a bolt from the blue. ABC News reported the thunderbolt traveled through Gordon’s ear before jumping to Villaneuva’s body and leaving through her thumb. The pair were rushed to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where Villaneuva was induced and gave birth to little Kimberly. She was two weeks out from her due date. More than a year on, Kimberly still has neurological damage from the lightning strike. She can’t sit up, crawl or digest food properly. Doctors also don’t know when she will begin to walk and talk as the case is so unusual. It is not clear why the child’s hair is still static.

British researchers devise material so dark it looks like a black hole: “British researchers have created the ‘new black’ of the science world – and it is being dubbed super black. The material absorbs all but 0.035 per cent of light, a new world record, and is so dark the human eye struggles to discern its shape and dimension, giving the appearance of a black hole. Named Vantablack, or super black, it also conducts heat seven and half times more effectively than copper, and is ten times stronger than steel. It is created by Surrey NanoSystems using carbon nanotubes, which are 10,000 thinner than human hair and so miniscule that light cannot get in but can pass into the gaps in between. Most of the light is then absorbed as it bounces around, the Independent reports, creating the illusion of a black hole. It has been grown on sheets of aluminium foil which can be seen in pictures released by the company. While the foil is crinkled and uneven, the surface covered by Vantablack appears completely smooth because of its light absorbing property.”

The Kaiser and the King (L to R)

A British king in a German army uniform: “For more than a century they have been hidden away in a Royal wardrobe, a reminder of the rift in the House of Windsor caused by the First World War. Now the Queen is facing calls to display the German uniforms worn by her grandfather, George V, to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of war. The close familial links between the British and German monarchs in 1914 – George V and Kaiser Wilhelm II were both grandchildren of Queen Victoria – meant that George held the honorary ranks as a German Field Marshal and as a colonel of German regiments. He was fitted out for Teutonic uniforms to mark his roles as Admiral of the Imperial German Navy, Prussian Field Marshal, Colonel-in-Chief of the 1st Guard Dragoon Regiment and Colonel-in-Chief of the Kürassier Regiment Graf Getzler (Rhine) No 8. At the time, both sides of the family used the name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The uniforms are still held by the Royal Collection, but have been displayed only on rare occasions.”

Gyrocopter that can hit 112mph on land and in the air goes on sale: “It’s 50 years since the Jetsons first predicted we’d be flying the family about in airborne cars. And now we are finally standing on the cusp of that long-awaited milestone, as the world’s first flying motorcycle goes on sale. The Pal-V One Helicycle is a two-seat hybrid car and gyrocopter that has the potential for making rush-hour delays a thing of the past. It is road – and air – legal and now, two years after its maiden flight, it is finally available to buy – if you have a spare $395,999 (£230,000) that is. The Dutch-built Pal-V One can reach speeds of up to 112mph and goes from 0 to 60 in under 8 seconds when driven on the road. The two-seater vehicle converts from a three-wheeled motorcycle to a gyrocopter in 10 minutes. It has 230hp, four-cylinder engine and reaches speeds of up 112 mph in the air or on the road. The gyrocopter is designed to cruise at low altitudes (below 4,000ft) and it requires a 540ft runway for take-offs. For landing, the vehicle needs just 100 ft. The 27-gallon gas tank provides a 220-mile flight range (750 miles on the road).”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

A touchy man

July 13, 2014 at 3:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A bald amputee with a wooden leg is invited to attend a fancy dress party. Wanting to hide his baldness and his wooden leg, he writes to the Ryde Fancy Dress store to explain his problem and soon receives a parcel with a note:

“Dear Sir, Please find enclosed a Pirate’s outfit. The spotted handkerchief will cover your pate, and your wooden leg you will look the part as a Pirate.”

Outraged that the outfit emphasises his baldness and his leg he writes a strong letter of complaint, and soon receives another parcel and note:

“Dear Sir, Sorry about the previous parcel, whatever were we thinking of? Please find enclosed a monk’s habit. The long robe will cover your wooden leg and with your bald head you will really look the part.”

Incandescent with rage this time, for the same reason, he writes an even stronger letter of complaint. A few days later he gets a very small parcel from the Ryde store, and a note:

“Dear Sir, Please find enclosed a small tin of Syrup with our compliments. We suggest you pour the tin of Syrup over your bald head, let it harden, then stick your wooden leg up your ass and go as a toffee apple.”




Odd news from around the world

Plane is downed… by an escaped CROCODILE: “A plane crash which killed a British pilot in Africa may have been caused by passengers panicking over an escaped crocodile. Today an inquest into his death heard a stampede may have broken out over an escaped crocodile in the cabin, which saw passengers surge forward, causing the plane to nose-dive. The only surviving passenger claimed the reptile spooked a cabin crew member, who ran towards the cockpit causing the passengers to follow. ‘There is apparently a video of the crocodile being taken out of the plane. He added: ‘It would have been a maximum of two or three feet in length. It was apparently quite normal for animals and chickens to be carried on the plane, it was used like a taxi in this regard.’

Do ladies in red make us see… red?: “If you decide to pull on a red dress for a night out, beware: other women might assume you’re out to steal their boyfriend. According to a new study by University of Rochester social psychologist Adam Pazda, women in red are perceived by other women as more sexually receptive and unfaithful than women wearing other colors like white or green. ‘The color of a woman’s shirt affects how men and women think about her,’ Mr Pazda told Today, explaining that red evokes sex because it symbolizes love and lust. ‘Women don’t want other women in red near their boyfriends,’ he added. Mr Pazda said that there is also a biological reason that the might be seen as sexual. ‘When [women] become sexually excited, they blush,’ he explained. The female participants in the study were first asked to look at pictures of women in white, and then at the same pictures which had been digitally altered to make it look like they were now wearing red. When asked which woman looked more promiscuous or ‘receptive to sex’, the overwhelming majority of respondents chose the one in red.”

Victorian camera revived: “It had been left untouched for decades, but thanks to one North-East man a Victorian studio camera has taken its first pictures in almost a century. The camera and stand is around 5ft tall and believed to date back to 1880-1900, a far cry from the digital gadgets of today. But after being discovered in a Sunderland attic, keen photographer Andy Martin has spent the best part of two years bringing the studio camera back to life. ‘I got a call from a friend and their uncle had a garage up in Roker,’ said 29-year-old Andy. ‘He was doing out the attic and this camera had been in there for at least 70 years.’ Knowing Mr Martin was a big fan of the older art of photography, his friend knew the camera would find a good home with him. ‘It was in a really sorry state, covered in dust and paint and unfortunately woodworm had got to quite a lot of the stand to the camera,’ he said. ‘I got it home and started stripping it down,’ said Mr Martin. ‘It’s huge, the plates it takes are 15 inches square. The camera itself on the stand was 5ft tall.’ Andy set about doing a lot of the work himself and said it was good fortune that the camera was made of mahogany as it was protected from woodworm.”

The human bomb magnet who’s been blown up 17 times: “He’s known as ‘the Bomb Magnet’ after surviving 17 explosions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Remarkably, Regimental Sergeant Major Patrick Hyde is virtually unscathed, having suffered just a few cuts and bruises. And no matter how close the call, the 38-year-old has written off every roadside bomb and rocket as an ‘occupational hazard’. Yesterday the unflappable Warrant Officer Class 1 received a gallantry medal for saving his colleagues’ lives while he lay wounded after his 17th brush with death. The soldier, who serves with the 4th Battalion The Rifles, was presented with his Military Cross by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. He received the award for helping to co-ordinate the evacuation of troops injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) that had knocked him to the ground in Helmand on July 19 last year. All but one of the 17 explosions took place in Sangin, a Taliban stronghold in Helmand where more than 100 service personnel perished.”

DIY broadband: “Frustrated residents in a remote village finally have superfast broadband – after they dug trenches and laid new cables themselves. Locals in Dolphinholme, Lancashire, had repeatedly asked internet provider BT to wire them up to the new superfast cable, since it took them several minutes to load a single webpage. But BT refused because of the village’s remoteness and the cost. So volunteers laid new cables themselves to connect the village of around 50 homes to a superfast network, provided by independent firm Broadband 4 Rural North (B4RN). They now have one of the fastest networks in the UK. Allen Norris, of the Dolphinholme B4RN Action Group, it was ‘life changing’ to the village. He said: ‘It’s no exaggeration to say that having hyper-speed broadband is a life-changing event. ‘Previously, we were getting speeds of around one megabit meaning it could take six or seven hours to download a simple smartphone software update and minutes to load a webpage. Now it takes seconds.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

A Man With No Enemies

July 12, 2014 at 7:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Toward the end of the Sunday service, the Minister asked his congregation, “How many of you have forgiven your enemies?”

80% held up their hands. The Minister then repeated his question. All responded this time, except one man, Walter Barnes.

“Mr. Barnes, are you not willing to forgive your enemies?”

“I don’t have any,” he replied gruffly.

“Mr. Barnes, that is very unusual. How old are you?”

“Ninety-eight,” he replied. The congregation stood up and clapped their hands.

“Oh, Mr. Barnes, would you please come down in front and tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years and not have an enemy in the world?”

Barnes tottered down the aisle, stopped in front of the pulpit, turned around, faced the congregation, and said simply,

“I outlived all them assholes”

- and he calmly returned to his seat.




Odd news from around the world

Council spent £10,000 on DVD showing tenants how to change a lightbulb that was never even released: “A cash-strapped council has been slammed for splashing more than £10,000 on a DVD showing tenants how to change lightbulb – which hasn’t even been released. Stoke-on-Trent City Council approved the production of the instructional video in 2012, in the hope that it would help save £2 million in housing repair costs. But two years later the DVD – which also offers advice on other minor repairs – is still awaiting ‘final approval’ by town hall chiefs. Now campaigners and local residents have criticised the authority for spending the ‘extortionate’ amount at a time they are looking to make £97 million worth of savings from their budget. John Caulkin, chairman of Eaton Park Residents’ Association, in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, fumed: ‘It has taken longer to release than the production of a Hollywood film. ‘I find it incredible they can spend that sort of money and then be so lax as to let the two-year delay occur.’”

Faceless sjeep: “A Scottish farmer has spent £5,000 on CCTV cameras and guard dogs to protect his new flock of the ‘world’s cutest sheep’. Raymond Irvine paid £55,000 for 10 ewes and one ram of the Valais Blacknose breed and now intends to breed them at his farm near Tomintoul in Moray. The sheep, which are only found in Switzerland, are well-known for their shaggy coats and spiral horns, but it is their distinctive, incredibly dark ‘black hole’ faces – which look as if they have been Photoshopped to have all features removed – that draw much of the attention. His 10 ewes and show-winning ram King Kong are now the first Valois Blacknose herd in Scotland. He and girlfriend Jenni McAllister got a surprise when it turned out one of the ewes was already pregnant, giving birth to Scotland’s first baby Valais Blacknose.

Agave gone wild: “Once upon a time, a couple planted a rare shrub in their front garden. For eight years, nothing happened until – lo and behold – it suddenly sprouted into this 20ft monster dubbed the Giant Beanstalk. The agave Americana is already higher than its owners’ bedroom window and its amazing growth shows no sign of slowing. Sharon McMullan, 54, and her 66-year-old husband Bill bought the plant at a garden centre. It remained dormant for years, producing nothing but spiky green leaves. But following a series of mild winters, it has unexpectedly burst into life – producing the towering stem in a matter of weeks. Mrs McMullan, a grandmother from Paignton in Devon, said: ‘The flower prong is nearly as tall as the house. You can see it getting taller on a daily basis. ‘It’s outside the bedroom window now and it doesn’t seem to have stopped yet. Agaves – which are native to Mexico and used to make tequila – flower only once before the plant dies.”

A tropical oasis in England: “A dedicated gardener has spent a quarter of a century turning his ‘blank canvas’ of a garden into an exotic jungle. Tim Wilmot, who runs a software firm, has spent £10,000 and 25 years of his life transforming the back of his suburban Bristol property into a lush paradise of foliage. It boasts more than 80 species of plants, including bamboo, banana trees and palms hailing from as far as South Africa. Mr Wilmot, 56, spends between three and four hours a week in the garden, helping the plants to grow in the colder British weather. He said: ‘When I first bought the house the garden was a blank canvas – it was just a lawn with a few old trees but now it completely been transformed and it’s totally exotic. ‘I’ve always wanted to create my own little paradise, and I’ve spent 25 years doing it. I’ve got about half a dozen palm trees, all of which are hardened to survive in the UK.”

Triceratops killer: “Hollywood movie director Steven Spielberg is the talk of the internet after a photo of him posing with a ‘dead’ dinosaur went viral. The picture, taken on the set of his 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park, was posted online last Sunday by Facebook meme-maker and wit Jay Branscomb. In an apparent reference to the furor surrounding Kendall Jones, the 19-year-old Texas cheerleader who has gained notoriety for posing with exotic animal she has killed, Branscomb added a jokey caption claiming the photo showed a ‘despicable’ hunter. But it appears that not everyone was able to appreciate Branscomb’s sarcastic sense of humor and failing to recognize the world famous director, they took the photo at face value. One Facebook commenter who misunderstood Branscomb’s humor was PenelopeRayzor Bachand. She labelled Spielberg an ‘inhumane p****’ and ‘animal killer.’” A number of other commenters also apparently fail to realize that the triceratops has been extinct for 66 million years ago and that Spielberg, one of the most famous movie makers of all time, is sitting beside a mechanical prop from a movie”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.


July 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

Scientists unveil low fat food they say tastes exactly like the real thing: “Researchers may have discovered the holy grail of dieting – low fat cake and cheese. British researcher say they have created a protein that mimics the taste and texture of fat perfectly. The proteins will enable food manufacturers to remove much of the fat used in their products without compromising on product quality. By studying the proteins’ chemical structure, the team has developed a detailed understanding of how they behave when they are heated or undergo other food manufacturing processes. This has provided the basis for modifying proteins so that they can be used as effective fat substitutes. The proteins could encourage development of a wider choice of low-fat foods, helping consumers to eat more healthily and reducing obesity. Protein-for-fat substitution is not a completely new idea, but to date it has been restricted to products such as yogurts. In cheeses and cakes it has proved less successful in ensuring the authentic taste and texture vital to consumer satisfaction, mainly because proteins could not mimic the behaviour of fats closely enough.

PAPER BAG speed-dating??: “We’ve had silent speed-dating and dating in the dark but the latest activity for singles in London is possible the quirkiest yet. It involves participants placing a paper bag over their head, and has been dubbed, ‘The thinking person’s Tinder,’ because decisions are fast but based on personality (and body) alone. The event has just debuted at the British Science Museum and, according to organisers, it’s bags of fun. Each participant wrote an amusing comment or personal fact on their bag to act as a conversation starter. Said Londoner Ian Maddison, 31: ‘It was an interesting balance to Tinder and Grindr, but also quite difficult as it’s hard to get to know someone in two minutes. ‘Your first impression does include how people look and that was denied.’

Pet terrors: “Meet Britain’s most badly behaved pets which include a pug that climbs blinds, a cat that licks milk cartons, and a Labrador that shreds any doormat in sight. Three hundred pets contended for the crown, but it was German Shepherd and Keeshond cross Yodie who was voted the naughtiest animal in a survey carried out by online blind firm Direct Blinds. Owner Laura Vitty, 25, who is a teacher from Newcastle, said her beloved pet had caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to her home. She said: ‘When I first saw the mess Yodie had made, I actually thought it was scrambled egg, but it’s the inside of cushions. ‘It was all over the entire house – I was picking up bits of cushions for hours.’ Yodie, who is a rescue dog, has a habit for shredding cushions but Miss Vitty says she loves him all the same. She said: ‘This particular cushion attack occurred when he was very bored as he had to stay indoors for three weeks on vets orders. ‘Although he has chewed and destroyed his dog bed and countless other items, he is a lovely dog and I couldn’t be without him.’

Terrified police officer shoots dead ‘aggressive’ tortoise ‘in self defence’ in Uganda : “A police officer in Uganda has reportedly shot a tortoise dead after being attacked by the ‘aggressive’ creature. The incident happened in the Nebbi district in the north of the country near the Congolese border. The officer, named as Charles Onegi, said the animal entered his home and attacked him while he was enjoying a cup of tea after his morning shift. ‘I tried to scare it but the tortoise became very aggressive,’ he told the New Vision newspaper. ‘I took a stick to chase it but it instead became more violent. ‘It then got out of the hut and moved towards the latrine as people rushed to my rescue. ‘When it came out, I reached for my gun and shot it dead. It was a very big white tortoise. As I talk now, I am still scared.’ Onesmus Mwesigwa said he thought his officer’s extreme reaction to the attack may have been down to local superstitions ‘where people think ‘somebody is after me’.”

Hospital trials roving ‘Star Wars’ robot that uses UV light to kill bacteria: “It looks uncannily like the R2-D2 robot from the Star Wars films, but in fact this roving robot is already hard at work in a Pittsburgh hospital, zapping superbugs. The robots emit ultraviolet light that penetrates and damages bacteria, including Clostridium difficile (C. diff), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), all of which are commonly referred to as ‘superbugs’ because they are highly resistant to traditional antibiotic treatments. The $67,000 machine emits UV light to penetrate through the cell walls of bacteria and viruses and destroy their DNA, rendering them unable to reproduce. After a hospital environmental services employee thoroughly cleans a room with germicidal disinfectant, a trained technician wheels the robot into the room, opens all the interior doors and drawers to expose surfaces where germs could lurk, turns on and programs the robot, and leaves the room.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

All cars should have ‘Catholic converters': The exam howlers that earn an F in annual competition to find the best gaffes

July 10, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In future, all cars will be fitted ‘with Catholic converters’, if under-pressure students are to be believed. The statement, written by a University of Ulster undergraduate in a paper on vehicle emissions, is just one of a string of exam howlers identified by academics during this summer’s marking season.

It was submitted to a Times Higher Education competition by John Milliken, a lecturer in education, who was also amused by another student’s claim that ‘the [hole in the] ozone layer was caused by “arseh*les”. Dr Milliken said: ‘He probably meant aerosols, but then… maybe not.’

One topical blooper was entered by Verity Brack, information technology programme director at the University of Sheffield, after a student wrote that Google was ‘one of the two main suppositories of data in the world’.

Meanwhile, Josephine Kelly, a lecturer in business and government at Aston University, was intrigued to read that the Coalition government had a ‘toff stance on tax avoidance’. She noted that the student actually meant to write ‘tuff’.

There was also a new interpretation of London’s thriving social scene in the 18th century in a paper on the creation of the Spectator publication in 1711.

‘Within these coffeehouses, men from all different parts of the world could interfere with each other’, wrote a student in a paper marked by Andrew Rudd, lecturer in English literature at the University of Exeter.

Modern history was equally troublesome for a first year at the University of Southampton. According to Suzanne Reimer, senior lecturer in geography, the student observed that ‘globalisation has led to a growing interconnectedness between small-scale people and larger-scale cities across the globe’.

Britta Osthaus, senior lecturer in psychology at Canterbury Christ Church University, who teaches a course on the mental capacities of animals, was surprised to read that ‘octopuses are intelligent because they have been found to be able to predict the winners of football matches during the World Cup’. This was a reference to Paul the Octopus, the cephalopod that ‘predicted’ results in the 2010 tournament.

Meanwhile, Alix Green, lecturer in history at the University of Hertfordshire, was baffled to hear that ‘Hitler’s role in the Second World War is often overlooked’.

Original story here




Odd news from around the world

Amazonian rain forest was created just 2,000 years ago by climate change which wiped out ancient farmers: “Huge areas of the Amazon rainforest were grassland until just 2,000 years ago, it has been revealed. Researchers say the find sheds new light on the Amazon’s history – and show it was a savannah rather than the high forest it is today. They believe much of the area was grassland until a natural shift to a wetter climate about 2,000 years ago let the rainforests form, according to a study that challenges common belief that the world’s biggest tropical forest is far older. By analysing pollen and other particles trapped in the mud, the group was able to build up a picture of how the ecosystem has changed, on both local and regional scales, over the previous 6,000 years. The scientists also studied man-made earthworks, uncovered by recent logging in Bolivia, that included ditches up to about a kilometer (1,100 yards) long and up to 3 meters deep and 4 meters wide.”

Mountain top airport: “This is a new airport runway set to open in China next month. Chinese architects levelled several mountain tops to build the spectacular £80m development in Hechi, a city in China’s southern Guangxi province. Engineers managed to slice off the mountain tops to create a 1.4-mile runway that will provide a spectacular if nail-biting panorama for arriving passengers. It sits amid several mountain ranges, including Jiuwangda to the north, the Phoenix Mountains in the north-west, Fengling to the east, and Duyang to the west. The Green Dragon Mountains sit to the south-west. The airport, which is 2,200ft above sea level and has only one terminal and one runway, is so narrow that it can only accommodate three flights an hour – compared to the number that the mainland’s busiest airports handle on an hourly basis which is 20 times that.”

Giant sinkhole opens up under Chinese parking lot and takes the cars with it: “This car park in China collapsed into a pit after a sudden and heavy rainfall washed away the soil beneath. The stricken building is next to a construction site in Chengdu, in south-west China’s Sichuan province. Five cars dropped 30ft into a deep pit and another left hanging precariously over the edge after the incident, which took place earlier today. Several trees were also dragged in, but no casualties were reported.

The $500 rocket skates you could ride to work: 12mph motorised electric skates: “While we wait for the hoverboard to arrive, one Los Angeles inventor has come up with a worthy stopgap – motorised roller skates. RocketSkates are designed to be strapped on over regular footwear, and monitor foot movements to make them easy to control. They also lets riders simply tip forward to stop, should they find themselves needing to climb stairs, for example. Each skate has two hub motors controlled by an on-board microprocessor, and are powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. When you want to let each skate’s two hub motors do the work, you just tip your feet back so that only the rubber wheels make contact with the ground. Their maximum speed is 12 mph (19 km/h), and the range depends on the model chosen. The $249 R6 will get you around 6 miles (9.7 km) or 45 minutes of use, the $499 R8 is rated for 8 miles (12.9 km)/70 minutes, and the $599 R10 will whizz along for 10 miles (16 km) or 90 minutes. For all models, a full charge of the lithium-ion batteries takes 1.5 hours.”

‘Pornographic’ 100-ruble note needs to be replaced says Russian MP: “A Russian MP has called for the replacement of ruble bank notes featuring a nude Greek god, claiming the image’s miniature genitals are pornographic and a bad influence on children. The widely circulated 100-ruble note, worth around $3, depicts a statue of Apollo on the portico of the legendary Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. The figure has a partially visible penis peeking out from under a cloak. Roman Khudyakov, a lawmaker in the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, said he had written to the central bank asking it to change the note’s design. “I sent an official request to the Bank of Russia asking it to replace the 100-ruble notes showing the naked Apollo,” Mr Khudyakov told AFP, adding he was alerted to the image by sniggering school children.

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

Friendly horse

July 9, 2014 at 4:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment




Odd news from around the world

Phone goes on a trip from USA to Japan and back again: “Whitney’s phone started it’s long journey across the globe back in October 2013, when the farmer accidentally lost the phone in a grain pit on his Chickasha farm. ‘I had it in my pocket and I bent over to work on a copper bottom door and it fell out of my pocket into my grain pit and went up the elevator,’ he told KFOR. Whitney went out and got a new phone the next day, while his bin of 280,000 pounds of grain was moved to another Oklahoma grain facility, down the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers and then to a Louisiana depot where it was loaded on a ship bound for Japan’s Hokkaido island. It was at the Zen-Noh Grain Corporation processing facility in Japan that that mill worker found the phone and sent it back to America. Last May, Whitney received a phone call from Eric Slater, manager of Zen-Noh’s terminal in Convent, Louisiana, telling him that the phone had been recovered. Slater says he charged up the phone and scrolled through the pictures of the wedding and a vacation and knew he had to return the phone to it’s owner.”

Fukushima residents react to reports that they live in fear of nuclear meltdown with hilarious dance video: “Residents in the Japanese province of Fukushima have decided to tell the world that they are alive and well and living perfectly normal lives despite the recent nuclear disaster by recording a music video with Pharrell Williams’ hit song Happy as the soundtrack. About 200 people, including Fukushima Mayor Kaoru Kobayashi, small children, Buddhist monks, and people from all walks of life in the area appear in the video and dance in their own styles. Participants were given a free rein to dance to the song in their own way, and the video they produced as a result was filmed at various locations including the Fukushima Train Station, local tourism attractions such as the hot springs, a rice paddy and vineyards, and a shopping mall. Kumasaka filmed the video over two weeks in May and then released it last month, with 500,000 views so far.

Go freeze your head: “A cancer victim endured agonising head freezing sessions cooling her scalp to -4C to save her hair from gruelling chemotherapy. Shelley Cain opted for the painful treatment after her 10-year-old daughter Ruby begged her not to go bald. The 38-year-old vowed to fight for her life and her looks, after breaking the news of her breast cancer to her two children. Mrs Cain had to endure three hour sessions of the ‘cold cap’ treatment, which doctors warned was hit-and-miss, not guaranteeing its success. The therapy stops hair loss from the cancer-killing drugs by cooling the head to -4C. It meant the HR worker retained a full head of hair, as well as her eyebrows, throughout her treatment. And she now credits her stringent beauty regime with helping save her life, keeping her sane and positive throughout the process.”

PLASTIC manhole covers?: “Cost-cutting Communist Party officials are coming under fire after three people have fallen into manholes because of the authority’s insistence on using cheap plastic covers. The cheap alternatives look similar to the metal manhole covers, apart from the fact that they are bright green or blue. Locals say they easily break when stepped on, resulting in at least three accidents in Nanjing City, the capital of the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu. Local media said that the thin plastic covers are no more than 7mm thick, and that there have been several incidents where they have broken after people walked on them. Local party spokesman Kuan-Yin Cheng, 46, said: ‘The plastic lids are thin but they have steel bars through them which means they are more than enough to bear the weight of an ordinary pedestrian. ‘The accidents happened by people illegally driving their cars onto the pavement which weakened the lids, causing these accidents.'”

Apple’s iPhone 6 ‘indestructable’ sapphire display tested: “Apple’s iPhone 6 will have a virtually indestructible screen made of sapphire, it has been claimed. A YouTube videomaker claims to have acquired one of the screens – and has subjected it to a barrage of abuse, from stabbing it with a knife and keys to bending and twisting it. In the video, the screen emerges totally unscathed – raising hopes is could lead to a far more resilient handset from Apple. Synthetic sapphire is a hard, transparent material made of crystallising aluminium oxide, produced at high temperatures. As the material is heated, it forms disks that can be sliced using diamond-coated saws. These round disks are ground into shape, and polished, to become glass. The technology is traditionally used in watch displays because it is thin, super-strong and scratch resistant. Apple already uses sapphire crystal in the Touch ID fingerprint scanner on its latest iPhone 5S and to protects the phone’s camera.

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

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