News Round Up

by Patrick O'Connor


WHOOPS! The Daily Telegraph has put the spotlight on a competition run by the Times Higher Education magazine in which university dons nominated 'howlers' made by students.

A University of Gloucestershire student’s claimed that “Sex has puzzled biologists ever since it was discovered by Darwin and Mendel” and a science student wrote in his exam that “Ebola could lead to death”, before adding “in some cases fatal”.

Another exam entry stated that “Nigella seeds can cure all disease except death".

A University of Birmingham exam paper included the statement that Spanish dictator General Franco's success was down to the fact that he “was supported by right-wing panties” and a film studies student claimed that several of Hitchcock's recurring themes arose because he was a “torched Catholic”.

Talk about big foot!

The Sun reports that 13 year old Sam Preston, from Wantage in Oxfordshire, has size 18 feet – the biggest in Britain.

Sam, who is already 6ft 5ins tall, said: “When I was younger I went up four sizes in six months. Mum’s always having to buy me new shoes and get them shipped from America. She is still stunned by how fast they grow.”

The Daily Telegraph reveals that a story in the trade magazine The Grocer says that a pre-cooked boiled egg which only needs boiling water added, is to be available in supermarkets.

Apparently The Dippy Egg – a single pasteurised egg that is pre-cooked in its shell – just has to be removed from its plastic bag, put back in its pot and have boiling water poured on it, before replacing the lid and leaving it for five minutes. It can then be eaten from the lid, which doubles as an egg cup.

Mark Hodson, from makers Pork Farms, told The Grocer: “We’re looking at innovation in traditional markets and want to reinvent them with disruptive innovation”.

According to The Independent, around 70 amateur competitions took part in The Red Bull Soapbox Race at London's Alexandra Palace.

The race involves driving around the track in a homemade, motorless soapbox and included vehicles all shapes and sizes including ones shaped like Mexican wraps and Olympic athlete Usain Bolt.

The winners were the Phya-Bird team from Newcastle, with Coffin Dodgers and Does My Scrum Look Big In This? coming second and third respectively.

What a romantic chappie Ross Chilcott is. Whilst his girlfriend Amber Clarke was out shopping in Cambridge, Ross abseiled from a building dressed as Batman and proposed to her!

The Sun reports that Ross 'nabbed' two pals who were pretending to be crooks, then took a diamond ring from one of them and gave it to Amber.

She accepted his proposal as a band that had been specially hired by Ross blasted out the Batman TV theme.

Ross said: “She likes Batman and she loves seeing my embarrass myself, so I knew she’d love it.”

The Daily Telegraph says that the first trial of driverless cars will take place on Britain's roads later this year.

Researchers from Oxford University have been working with Nissan and they have already tested a car on a private road in a science park.

Although the cars will drive themselves, a back up driver will be in the car as a safety precaution and initially the vehicles will be tested on lightly used rural and suburban roads.

Finally, being a fireman can pose many challenges.

The Halifax Courier newspaper in Yorkshire reports that two women in their 20s walked into the local fire station for help after their handcuffs became stuck!

According to the report, firefighters using tools prised the toy handcuffs off.

Crew commander Paul Gyde told the paper: “They looked real and probably served the purpose for what they wanted them for. We found it quite amusing but the two girls looked a bit embarrassed.

We were pleased we were able to assist them.”

Reference lists:

The Independent (

The Sun (

Daily Telegraph (www.telegraph

Halifax Courier (