Saturday, September 16, 2017

Research into cats just purr-fect for awards


Have you ever wondered whether playing the digeridoo can stop you snoring or if cats are liquid or solid?

If so, you may be interested in the new Ig Nobel Prize spoof awards, which were held in Cambridge, Massachusets last week.

The awards, which also considered research into how holding a crocodile influences gambling, are the brainchild of Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research.

According to Abrahams, the Ig Nobels are intended not to honour the best or worst in science, but rather to highlight research that encourages people to think in unusual ways.

“We hope that this will get people back into the habits they probably had when they were kids of paying attention to odd things and holding out for a moment and deciding whether they are good or bad only after they have a chance to think,” declared Abrahams.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Parents buy their kids good grades

American kids who are stressed out by their mountain of homework need no longer worry - their rich parents are paying hard-up graduates to do the work for them.

An investigation in the New York Post reveals mums and dads are willing to lash out large sums of money just to get their children an "A".

One Northern New Jersey mother tells the Post she paid a Columbia engineering student $1,500 to do her high-school son’s physics assignment.

Explains one dad who bought his daughter a good grade: “She's a hard worker, but she was incredibly stressed out and stretched thin. I don’t believe that homework assignments necessarily groom you for success.”

Friday, May 13, 2016

Foul-mouthed priest sparks unholy row

Good Heavens! An Irish American priest who turned the air blue with a series of foul-mouthed outbursts is now being sued  by outraged teaching colleagues.

Father Michael Reilly, headmaster of St Joseph by-the-Sea high school in New York,  is said to have repeatedly used the word “f**k” and racially abused a black colleague, according to a 12 page lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The cleric is also alleged to have called women "tw*ts" and “bitches”.

In the suit, filed by three teachers, Father Reilly is accused of, “unleashing a constant stream of rude, crude and inappropriate remarks including saying the word f**k in almost every sentence in some form.”

An Archdiocese spokesman  called the lawsuit “absurd”.

 It may or may not be absurd but Father Reilly also has low rankings on website “Rate my Teacher,” with students describing him as “stubborn” and “biased.”

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Taxi owner delivers fare rental price

Falling asleep in one yellow New York cab won't leave you hugely out of pocket. That's because its owner has deliberately converted it into a guest room.

The taxi hotel, which will set punters back $69 a night, is one of several unique rentals that are appearing on website Airbnb.

The owner of the taxi, known only as Jonathan, also advertises a Chevy van  which goes for $39 a night.

The listing claims:  "This Taxi has been renovated into a swanky living quarters! It was in service since 2002 driving New Yorkers up and down the busy manhattan streets!

"From actors to real estate tycoons, the cab drove thousands of people around the bustling streets. Now for the first time its parked. Don’t worry the meter is not running. Sleep in this Cozy One-of-a-kind NYC Taxi Van."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

In for a penny - American coin collector splashes out

Look after the pennies and the pounds (and dollars) will look after themselves.

A Beverly Hills rare coin dealer has just purchased a 1792 American penny for nearly $2.6 million (1.7 million pounds), the most ever paid for a one-cent piece at auction.

Named after its engraver, Robert Birch, the so-called "Birch Cent" was among the first pennies struck for the United States, part of a series of prototype coins.

There are believed to be only ten left in existence and coin collector Kevin Lipton reckons his coin is in the best condition of the lot.

"I felt elated, just wonderful," said Lipton. "This was a really good buy."

Lipton wasn't finished there though. So excitedwas he with his purchase, that the next day he spent another $2,232,500 for the “Wright quarter,” America’s first quarter.

“For 26 cents,” he said, “I spent $4.8 million.”

Friday, December 12, 2014

Fear of flu vaccines could be damaging to your health

A warning to Americans - paranoia might be damaging to your health. More than 40% of our transatlantic cousins still believe the myth that flu vaccines can give you the flu, according to a new survey.

And even correcting that misconception might not convince them to get the vaccine, it is suggested.

“It is absolutely biologically impossible to get the flu from the vaccine,” said Dr. Gregory A. Poland, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who studies the immunogenetics of vaccine response.

But his words will probably fall on deaf ears. Perhaps Americans should listen though - the flu still kills up to 30,000 Americans each year.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lego lapdancers cause controversy

Parents will probably want to keep their kids away from the latest Lego creation - it's an adult strip club.

The set, produced by Citizen Brick, includes four minifigures and a club with zebra-print couches and a pole.

And just like a real night out at an exotic dance joint, the entertainment doesn't come cheap: The whole Lego set costs $275.

Citizen Brick owner Joe Trupia boasts he's sold a few hundred so far. The company has been customising Legos since 2010. It produced a popular "Breaking Bad"-like set last year.

"We're fanatically doing things that Lego wouldn't do," explains Trupia.