Roll up, roll up!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Star Today, Gone Tomorrow!

Gregory Peck's star has been stolen from the Hollywood Walk of Fame after thieves cut it out of the pavement it had lain in for more than 40 years.

The star apparently vanished between the 17th and 22nd of November.

Peck's is the fourth star to be stolen since the Walk of Fame began in 1958.

The others - which vanished after being removed during construction projects - belonged to James Stewart, Kirk Douglas and "singing cowboy" Gene Autry.

Two were subsequently recovered by police.


Police have been asked to probe claims that the CIA has used UK airports to move terrorist suspects to secret jails in other countries to be tortured.

The US has refused to confirm or deny the existence of secret prisons, but said its laws had not been broken.

The Foreign Office said it had no evidence of such use of UK territory.

Stephen Crawshaw, of Human Rights Watch UK, said that flight details showed planes travelling between Afghanistan and the US military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were stopping off in eastern European countries.

"The question then comes up, why would you be stopping off in a remote airfield in, say, Poland, or, say, Romania? It's not a refuelling stop, so what is it doing there?" he said.

The airports allegedly involved include Biggin Hill in Kent, Birmingham, Bournemouth, RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, Farnborough, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Mildenhall in Suffolk, RAF Northolt in north London, Stansted and Prestwick.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Tis’ The Season

On average, only 8% of the price of a Charity Christmas Card, from a High Street shop, goes to the good cause.

Manufacturing costs can be as low as 7p a card, and the average price per card is around 71p.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Gobble, Gobble!

This Thursday, the International Space Station crew will celebrate the US Thanksgiving holiday with irradiated smoked turkey, dehydrated green beans and a thermo-stabilised cranberry-apple dessert.

The Down Side

The Health Protection Agency estimates that there are at least 58,300 people living with HIV in the UK, with around 29,700 of those thought to be heterosexuals.

Cases of other STI’s, also continue to increase.


No developing region is on track to meet the international goal of reducing the number of hungry people by half, a UN agency has warned.

Nearly 6 million children die from hunger or malnutrition every year, the Food and Agriculture Organisation says, with many deaths resulting from treatable diseases such as diarrhoea, pneumonia, malaria and measles.

At the World Food Summit in 1996, world leaders announced a plan to halve the number of hungry people by 2015, however this promise is likely to be broken.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

That’s Entertainment!

The number of dead bodies seen on US TV has more than doubled in the last year, a study has suggested.

The survey for the Parents Television Council pressure group recorded 63 corpses on the six main US networks during one week's primetime shows.

Monday, November 21, 2005

November 25th Is Buy Nothing Day

For 24 hours, millions of people around the world do not participate -- in the doomsday economy, the marketing mind-games, and the frantic consumer-binge that's become our culture.

We pause. We make a small choice not to shop. We shrink our footprint and gain some calm.


In August, 1945, President Truman authorised Project Paperclip, a US operation which saw more than 700 Nazi Scientists spirited out of Germany from under the noses of the US's allies. Its aim was simple: "To exploit German scientists for American research and to deny these intellectual resources to the Soviet Union."

Among those extracted, were rocket scientists Wernher von Braun (developer of the V2 rocket, former member of numerous Nazi organisations and an SS officer) and Arthur Rudolph (chief operations director at Nordhausen, where 20,000 slave labourers died producing V-2 missiles).

Project Paperclip’s scientists subsequently went on to provide intelligence for, and work on, numerous US projects including the Nasa moon landings (designing, amongst other things, the Saturn V rocket and the life-support systems), Cruise Missiles, Scramjets and the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Gr8 Xpct8ions

Some of English literature's greatest masterpieces have been condensed into a few lines of text message to help students revise for exams:

Pride and Prejudice:

5Sistrs WntngHsbnds. NwMeninTwn-Bingly&Darcy. Fit&Loadd.BigSis Jane Fals 4B,2ndSisLiz H8s D Coz Hes Proud. Slimy Soljr Wikam Sys DHs Shady Past.Trns Out Hes Actuly ARlyNysGuy &RlyFancysLiz. She Decyds She Lyks Him.Evry1 Gts Maryd.

Romeo and Juliet:

FeudTween 2hses- Montague&Capulet. RomeoMfalls_<3w/_JulietC@mary Secretly Bt R kils J's Coz &&is banishd. J fakes Death. As Part of Plan2b-w/R Bt_leter Bt It Nvr Reachs Him. Evry1confuzd-bothLuvrs kil Emselves


GQ magazine has named Jennifer Aniston as their Man of the Year, because “she showed a lot of poise, grace and good humour during her break up with Brad Pitt this year.”

GQ's other two Men of the Year were Vince Vaughn and 50 Cent, who won for being "hilarious, charming and smart" and "endlessly" fascinating.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Out Of Time

A zoo in Australia has held a 175th birthday party for one of the world's oldest known living creatures, a Giant Galapagos tortoise.

DNA testing has suggested that the giant creature was born around 1830, a few years before Darwin visited the Galapagos archipelago in 1835.


"There is a feeling on the part of the president, according to people very close to him, that the president got unwise political advice and rosy predictions of how a war and post-war in Iraq would play out."

Tom DeFrank, Journalist

Fitter Happier

The Ten steps to Happiness (according to a new BBC series):

1 - Plant something and nurture it
2 - Count your blessings - at least five - at the end of each day
3 - Take time to talk - have an hour-long conversation with a loved one each week
4 - Phone a friend whom you have not spoken to for a while and arrange to meet up
5 - Give yourself a treat every day and take the time to really enjoy it
6 - Have a good laugh at least once a day
7 - Get physical - exercise for half an hour three times a week
8 - Smile at and/or say hello to a stranger at least once each day
9 - Cut your TV viewing by half
10 - Spread some kindness - do a good turn for someone every day

Monday, November 14, 2005

Demolition Derby

Number of cars burnt in current French riots:

7 November: 1,400 cars
8 November: 617 cars
9 November: 394 cars
10 November: 463 cars
11 November: 502 cars
12 November: 374 cars
13 November: 284 cars

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Good Intentions

Environmental group Greenpeace has been fined almost $7,000 (£4,000) for damaging a coral reef at a World Heritage site in the Philippines.

Their flagship Rainbow Warrior II ran aground at Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, in the Sula Sea, 650km (400 miles) south-east of Manila.

Park officials said almost 100 sq m (1,076 sq ft) of reef had been damaged.

Greenpeace agreed to pay the fine, but blamed the accident on outdated maps provided by the Philippines government.

The accident happened while the Rainbow Warrior was on a four-month tour of the Asia-Pacific region to promote environmentally-friendly energy sources.

Greenpeace divers were at the Tubbataha park, off the coast of Palawan island, to inspect the effect of global warming on the coral reef.