We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.
FLASHBACK to June 30, 1947, to see Edward Moffitt and his stable of 80 albino racing rats at his home in San Francisco.
Mr Moffitt clocks his rats over the 150-foot course (50 turns of the treadmill) and notes the times. Moffitt’s newly patented rat race is elaborately equipped with six treadmills, dials, buzzers, bells and trick lights which together set up a terrifying clamour when the winner crosses the finish lines.
The Reading Eagle’s report said rats are “a terror to women and a boon to medical science…”
They are a terror to men, also. And – hold the front page – some women love them.
“Look at all the little people of the world, most of them have been in the human treadmill, going around in circles and getting no place. They love to watch my rats do the same thing.”
FLASHBACK to August 28th 1937:
Football League Division One: Chelsea v Liverpool at Stamford Bridge
Liverpool goalkeeper Arthur Riley (r) saves, watched by teammate Matt Busby (second l) and Chelsea’s Harry Burgess (l) and Jimmy Argue (c)
Matt Busby… Whatever happened to him..?
IN1965, Matchbox toys were die-cast objects of delight, produced by LESley Smith and RodNEY SMith’s Lesney Products & Co. Ltd.
This video show us how they were made:
WHAT is your view on the Pulitzer Prize committee awarding their prize for Public Service to The Washington Post and The Guardian for featuring Edward Snowden and his haul of National Security Agency documents?
What did you make of it? Right? Wrong?
MADELEINE McCann: the Sunday Express has Our Maddie on her usual place: the front page.
The headline is sensational. But which Maddie Suspect? Which shirt? Found by whom?
James Murray explains:
A FORMER Scotland Yard detective has uncovered a sensational clue that could help solve the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Peter Bleksley believes the shirt worn by the prime suspect was a rare design produced by beer company Super Bock.
The shirt is this one seen below, reportedly worn by the man linked to attacks on children in Portugal.
So. The man who is no longer a serving policeman – who is not working on the case in any official capacity – has found this shirt?
It was not sold but given away to loyal customers and should be possible to trace. The suspect is a child sex attacker who has been operating for years in the area of Portugal where Madeleine vanished in 2007.
His burgundy coloured top with a distinctive white circle on the back was described by the families of two of his victims.
We thought it looked not a lot unlike this top, as worn by Arsenal FC:
Back to Mr Bleksley, 54, “a founder member of the Yard’s undercover squad”, who tells the paper:
“Some people have suggested it bore a resemblance to a strip once worn by the Arsenal football team.”
Yes. We did.
“However, I think a more likely explanation could be that the man was wearing one of these Super Bock promotional T-shirts.”
More likely? So. He hasn’t found the top worn by the suspect, then?
This is the logo for Super Bock beer:
And this is a super Bock Tee:
What else do we know about Mt Bleksley? His twitter profile tells us:
I write, consult, and comment upon subjects that I know a lot about. Policing, crime, security. Husband. Dad to 3 great sons. Love sport, especially QPR. London
The Guardian tells us he is “a director and co-owner of a business intelligence company”.
So. He’s an independent, self-employed man on the case. All power to him. He’s doing the job of an investigative journalist. He adds:
“From speaking to bar owners I know the design for these T-shirts changes every year and only a certain number are handed out to regular customers. Therefore, it would be possible to check back on all the designs and the years they were produced and see which one bears most similarity to that witnessed by families of victims. Then it would be possible to check the distribution of the T-shirts to see where they were given out. Not all pubs bother with the promotion so through a process of elimination it may be possible to narrow down where such shirts may have been handed out and then bar owners could be asked about their customers.
“We know that some victims said the man smelt of stale alcohol and tobacco and that he had a pot belly, so that would suggest he was a regular drinker or may have worked in a pub or restaurant.”
So. Has he found one?
In the Algarve resort of Carvoeiro we found a tradesman wearing one of the shirts with the words Super Man on it. He said he had owned the shirt for a number of years.
No. He hasn’t found one.
Such are the facts…
Life In The Hollywood Petri Dish: In 1966 Eddie Fisher Married Connie Stevens And Liz Taylor Looked On
ON January 30, 1967, singer Eddie Fisher and actress Connie Stevens (nee Concetta Anna Ingolia) announced their engagement at New York’s Plymouth Theatre.
He wore hair oil. She wore furs.
Eddie was the former TV show called Coke Time.
“If He Fires Me, I’ll Thank Him For It”: Five Great Character Moments in the Timothy Dalton James Bond Era
FASTER than the officials can ban ways of getting high, the kids are finding news ways to get goofed.
They’ve tried smoking bed bugs, and those still able to move and use their hands have moved on to “Beezin”.
‘What’s that?’ you ask.
GOOD to see that Essex Police patrolling the mean streets of Chelmsford, Essex, has downloaded our compilation of the Greatest Songs ABout The Police (not all of them in favour. But was it right for one of the force’s marked police car to blast from its speakers Sound of da Police by KRS One?
An Essex Police spokesman said: “We have viewed the footage and are looking into the matter.”
NICE, eh. The conclusion from the latest piece of research into human sexuality says that men looking for sex should chase women with big bums. That’s not quite how they actually describe the results of their research, this is true, but it is indeed what they mean.
What they’ve done is go and question women about their sexual behaviour. They’ve also measure the width of their hips (this is the bone measurement, not the muscle and fat over it). And they’ve found that women with wider hips are more likely to have a one night stand (ie, a quick shag with someone met in the pub) than women with narrower hips. Thus, obviously, if you’re looking for that quick shag then chase the birds with the fatter bum.
Where they might be wrong though is in their explanation:
The researchers, led by Professor Colin Hendrie, suggest that women with wider hips have more sexual partners because the birth process is generally easier and less traumatic for them than for smaller-hipped women (below 31cm).
He said: ‘Women’s hip width has a direct impact on their risk of potentially fatal childbirth-related injury. It seems that when women have control over their own sexual activity this risk is reflected in their behaviour.
‘Women’s sexual activity is therefore at least in part influenced by hip width.’
That’s a fun theory but it does require that women have some great knowledge of the risks of childbirth and also of the size of their own hip bones: as above, this isn’t the same as their actual hip size.
Other, rather more believable, theories can be used. For example, our society is obsessed with the idea that women are more attractive if they are thin. This means that women who are thin have greater choice about who they have sex with: and it’s a fairly standard part of the analysis of female sexuality that women are less likely than men to be looking for that quick shag. They’d prefer (not, not all all the time, but prefer) the beginning of a relationship to a sweaty fumble. And if thinness is what gives the ability to pick and choose among suitors then those rather broader of beam are going to find themselves offering the sex first in the possible hope that it will become the relationship.
Yes, I know, it all sounds rather sexist but then we are talking about sex. And there’s very good evidence that fat birds are dirtier in bed too, put out more often, for exactly these reasons.
I believe the numbers and results of this research but not the reasoning on offer as to why it happens.
HORROR movies, like any other genre, are products of their time. So, naturally, their soundtracks are going to reflect the popular music of the day. This can be a good thing…. or a devastating handicap when the popular music of the day is disco and breakdancing. Yet, many horror flicks of the 1980s managed to get it right. The soundtrack to Halloween is expertly menacing, as were the soundtracks to Dario Argento’s films (thanks in no small part to Goblin). Perhaps one day we’ll look at the ones that did things right, but today we’re looking at the ones who did things oh so terribly wrong.
Graduation Day (1981)
“Everybody Wants to be the Winner”
I don’t know who sings this opening song, but I can only assume it’s a coked up Leo Sayer. Granted, I’m not a horror movie expert, but I think I’m correct in assuming the opening sequence of a horror film shouldn’t incite peals of mocking laughter. I could be wrong.
Friday the 13th: Part 3 (1982)
An excellent song to breakdance to, I’m sure; however, it seems utterly ridiculous as the opening theme to a slasher movie. The rather disturbing head on a table juxtaposed with a beat-box jam is downright laughable. This would have been right at home as the theme to Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, not a horror movie. I suppose you could make the argument that the Friday the 13th films weren’t exactly serious horror films. Whatever the case, this breakdancing opener is still a laugh.
The House on Sorority Row (1983)
Music by 4 Out Of 5 Doctors
The band in the following video clip is “4 Out of 5 Doctors”, who play several songs throughout the film. When you watch this clip, be sure to pay attention to the part where the 3 girls are checking out a “cute” guy who winks at them – this may very well be cinema’s finest moment.
This dude is sporting what was commonly referred to as the “butt cut”. This scene is just priceless – I want to give this dude a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!
4 Out of 5 Doctors actually released a few albums, and were Billboard’s “best new band” one month. In an interview with PM Magazine, the band stated their debut record took five years to craft – each day methodically perfecting the ultimate album.
Hmmm…. not quite. They were also the house band in another horror flick, The Boogieman (1980).
Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare (1987)
“We Live To Rock” by Jon Mikl Thor
You’ve heard the phrase “so bad it’s good.” Well, this is “so bad it’s a blight upon all mankind.” Bodybuilder turned heavy-metal train-wreck, Thor, takes metal music to the absolute bottom of the barrel. Picture the worst songs by Quiet Riot, Ratt, and Twisted Sister all rolled into one. Oddly enough, Thor’s music ends up being the only thing remotely horrifying in the entire film.
The Pod People (1983)
“Burning Rubber Tires”
Repetitive, woefully generic, and best of all, the lyrics are incomprehensible. This would have been terrible on a record, but this embarrassing mess is being filmed, and the results are beyond cringeworthy. The moment at the end when the supposed rock star signals “It Stinks” has become something of an iconic moment among B-movie nerds. Most of the notoriety of “Hear the Engines Roll Now” is owed to Mystery Science Theatre 3000 who parodied it brilliantly.
For those wanting to read the lyrics (and I’m assuming that’s literally everyone reading this article), here they are in their entirety. You’re welcome.
With a fickle mind we kick the nickel beer
Steady as a goat, we’re flying over trout.
Ghetto down the highway at the speed of light;
All I want to feel now is the wind in my eyes.
Sack of monkeys in my pocket
My sister’s ready to go.
Hear the engine roar now
Idiot control now
Hideous control now
Ninny on the road now.
Minnie in control, wheel’s on fire, burning rubber tires.
Leer at jelly rolls now
Hiddy let’s it go now
Ninny inches po down
Pityin’ a po’ boy
Hear the engines roar, bees on pie, burning rubber tires.
HOW was the bedroom tax for you? Did you manage to save for your next egg? Did you keep up with payments? The Housing association Valleys to Coast in Bridgend thanks you for fighting on through the austerity crisis by sending you a letter in the post and the chance to pick up a 60p ‘Creme Egg’.
Locals are welcome to take their own (rotten) eggs round to the Money Matters team and return the favour.
ON 12 Dec 1966, Harry Roberts, John Witney and John Duddy were convicted of the murders of David Wombwell, Christopher Head and Geoffrey Fox.
The murders were known as the Shepherd’s Bush murders as well as the Massacre of Braybrook Street.
On 12 August 1966:
Harry Roberts, John Witney and John Duddy were sitting in a Standard Vanguard estate preparing for a robbery when 3 unarmed policemen in plain clothes – David Wombwell, Christopher Head and Geoffrey Fox – pulled up near them in a Triumph 2000 Q-car, and started asking questions about their insurance and MOT.
Because they were carrying guns and thought were would be arrested they shot the policemen dead and drove off. A local resident made a note of the van number plate and they were later caught.
The hunt for the killers was on:
The Independent recalled the murders:
As two of the officers started to search the van, Roberts drew a 9mm Luger pistol and shot DC Wombwell through the left eye, and then shot DS Head in the back as he tried to flee. As the dying officer staggered away Roberts tried to shoot him in the head, but his gun jammed twice.
PC Fox had remained in the police car. Duddy fired a revolver at the officer twice from close range through the passenger window. Both bullets missed, but a third shot hit him in the left temple. The shot caused the policeman’s foot to push down on the accelerator and the car jumped forward, running over the body of DS Head and getting stuck there, with smoke pouring from its rear wheels. All three Metropolitan Police officers died from the gunshot wounds.
Roberts went on the run, hiding on Epping Forest.
It took 96 days before he was caught after one of the biggest manhunts the British police had mounted.
Roberts knew how to hide. He would later say:
“I was a sergeant and we used to go out on ambushes in the jungle. I would fire the first shot and then everyone would blast away… When I returned to Britain, I took up my old life as a criminal. I teamed up with Witney and we did dozens of armed robberies together – on betting shops, post offices. The most I earned was £1,000 from a single job. Witney was the eldest, the boss: he knew the best places to rob. Duddy joined us later…
“I was only caught because I was stupid. I had been trying to break open a safe at a * * factory and was late getting back to my camp. I had to cross a main road and had a blue holdall with me – no one in the country had a bag like that.”
All three were sentenced to life in prison.
John Duddy died in Parkhurst prison on 8 February 1981.
John Witney was released in 1991.
Roberts lives. In 2004, he spoke to the media. He had served 30 years and wanted parole:
“I don’t want to be Harry Roberts the cop killer. The media talk as if the shootings were yesterday: this keeps alive this image of me as a 30-year-old cop killer. I’m not that person any more. The Home Secretary is just responding to the media hype about me. When does punishment becomes vengeance? I feel my treatment has turned into institutionalised vengeance.”
His time in prison had not been uneventful:
In 2009, The Mail alleged that Roberts was no victim:
In April, The Mail on Sunday exclusively revealed how from his cell Roberts orchestrated a five-year campaign of intimidation against Joan Cartwright, 65, and her son, including horrific attacks on her animals. Mrs Cartwright works at an animal sanctuary in the Midlands, where Roberts worked on day release from Sudbury open prison.
When she secretly complained about his behaviour, he was moved from an open prison to a closed one.
But he then initiated his hate campaign in a bid to stop Mrs Cartwright and her son giving evidence against him at a parole hearing. The triple murderer rang Mrs Cartwright up to five times a week for nearly four years from Channings Wood prison in Devon.
The calls included terrifying veiled threats that coincided with the attacks on her animals. In the worst incident, a horse’s head was hacked at with an axe the night before Mrs Cartwright and her son were due to give evidence.
Another of Mrs Cartwright’s horses had to be put down days after her husband Peter had resisted giving Roberts a character reference. Other assaults between 2002 and 2006 led to a horse losing an eye; a donkey dying after its pelvis was shattered, probably with a baseball bat; the family’s pet cat being electrocuted, and a peacock being strangled.
Roberts also coerced Mrs Cartwright to visit him in jail, so he could repeat his threats to her face.
Not nice. But Roberts’ is a folk hero to some, well at least to those who want to cock a snook at the cops. His name continues to be evoked in song:
“Harry Roberts is our friend, is our friend, is our friend / Harry Roberts is our friend, he kills coppers.”
The band Chumbawamba replaced Hare Krishna with a tribute to Harry Roberts:
You can buy a Harry Roberts T-shirt:
And you can watch the TV show of the novel:
The Times reviews:
He Kills Coppers, confidently adapted by Ed Whitmore from the Jake Arnott novel, is based on the story of Roberts, a small time, semi-deranged crook who knew how to use guns because he had handled them in the Army.
The Times again:
He Kills Coppers is superior, feel-the-lining-on-this stuff – bafflingly good for ITV1. Spall is a low, sure, hypnotic note – a cocksure, slightly bent rookie detective in 1966; all fags, Brylcreem and tarts. The great casting continues with the mesmeric Kelly Reilly as a prostitute who is both fragile and brassily capable: a certain kind of working-class girl you got in “the olden days”, who was a feminist before feminism was invented
After the deaths come the myth and the glamour…
IN 1973, Dolly Parton released the song Jolene. It would become a smash hit.
Mark Wigmore gives some background to the great song:
There are several myths and legends about Dolly Parton’s song “Jolene.” It’s been said that the song is about a bank teller who had been flirting with her husband. There’s another story about a ten-year-old girl named Jolene who asked Parton for her autograph after a concert. But the real story is that of Parton striking out on her own after parting ways with her long-time mentor, Porter Wagoner...
Jolene was her first single after Dolly made the decision to embark on her solo career. It was released in October of 1973 and reached the number one position on the country charts in the U.S. and Canada in February of ’74. It was also her first song to cross over to the pop charts. “I Will Always Love You” followed suit a few months later. By the middle of 1975, Dolly had five number one hits in a row and a bona fide superstar was born.
But did you know that when played at 33 RPM, it sounds like this:
Spotter: Fraser Nelson
FLASHBACK to May 12, 1984:
Subway commuters point to a poster sporting a caricature of a nearly nude Walter Mondale that promotes the current issue of Penthouse Magazine at a Times Square Station in New York. CBGB, the birthplace of punk rock, is gone. No longer can visitors to Coney Island plunk down a few coins to play the unsettling attraction called “Shoot the Freak.” And seedy, edgy, anything-might-happen Times Square? These days, it’s all but childproof. Around countless corners, the weird, unexpected, edgy, grimy New York _ the town that so many looked to for so long as a relief from cookie-cutter America _ has evolved into something else entirely: tamed, prepackaged, even predictable. (AP Photo/Jim Lukoski, File)
THE latest from yet another of that long line of “sex doctors” who would tell us all how to do it. Which is that you might be having sex that average number of times, two or three times a week, but you might also not be having sex for long enough. For, amazing though this might be to the young among us, well known to the more weighted with years, women can take longer than men to reach orgasm.
Now, a leading sexual health doctor has claimed the average couple has sex two to three times a week. But, many men are not able to hold out long enough to satisfy their partners, Dr Harry Fisch claims.
The urologist, from New York Presbyterian Hospital, says about 45 per cent of men orgasm within two minutes of starting penetrative sex, which is much too quick for the average woman. He adds that most women need five to seven minutes to reach orgasm, Nerve.com reports.
Hmm, sounds like it might be necessary to offer some comfort to a very large number of unsatisfied women out there. Fortunately there is indeed a method of doing this: have sex more often.
READING old romance comic books is like slipping into the subconscious mind of the mid-century female. It was a time when their entire well-being and happiness revolved around dumb men; when every single action and decision was predicated on pleasing oblivious males. Thus, in comic after comic, with rarely an exception, you have the requisite scene of the beautiful female lying in bed pining desperately over some clueless oaf.
No doubt, it’s still pretty common for females to fantasize over men. Women’s Lib made great strides towards creating a more level playing field, but it didn’t do away with human nature. To a certain extent, the cliché is a timeless truth: girls will be girls, and boys will be boys.
JOSIE Cunningham is the victim of a Twitter hunt. Righteous of Twitter is in favour of killing the mum-of-two who said she would abort her child to appear on Big Brother. These clear thinkers would leave Josie’s children motherless and possibly orphaned. The “bitch”, “c*nt” and “slag” had it coming. We’ve compiled a selection of the more robust tweets. They all seem sincere and devoid of humour. And, remember, that what you say on Twitter can earn you a prison sentence two and a police raid.
But there is a caveat, if the Twitter police don’t like you (see Emma West should be raped and “Let’s hunt him down”) you really can say what you like. Free Speech, it turns out out, is only free on Twitter if the illiberal mob agree that their target is fair game and won’t snitch on you.
Let’s kick off with a call for the children to be taken away from their mother, whose been jailed for having an abortion:
STEPHEN Sutton, 19, has terminal cancer.
He aimed to raise £10,000 for charity. It was one of his 46 bucket list of things to do.
Then he posted a “final thumbs up”. He said he was “nearing the end”. People noticed. And the donations began to skyrocket.
JUSTIN Bieber has visited a shrine to Japanese war criminals, causing painful embarrassment to Japanese war criminals.
The Canadian pop star has been to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo which marks the lives of Japan’s 2.5 million war dead, including convicted war criminals who committed atrocities when the Japanese occupied large parts of China and South Korea. People like General Hideki Tojo, who was executed for war crimes in 1948.