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Monday 27 August 2012

As Right As Rain

Rain water is about as radioactive as a tadpole! According to a recent study, that is. The results have shocked scientists, who previously believed that a single drop of rain water contained about the same amount of radiation as a blade of grass, or a marble.

The study hasn't been without its detractors though, with reports that a rival group, who had been hoping to prove the link between levels of radiation in rain and the prevalence of velcro, dramatically committed mass suicide in protest.

The result comes as good news for microwave manufacturers, who hope to one day harness the natural power of the rain to heat a cup of tea that you've left lying too long and want to drink instead of making another one.

Friday 21 October 2011

Behind the Music

Contrary to popular belief, the record label Motown was actually given its name as a contraction of "Motherfuckingtown". The news was revealed in footage of a little known interview with Berry Gordy which was recently unearthed.

The received view is that the title comes from the colloquial name for the label's original home-town Detroit, which combines "motor" and "town". However, Gordy clearly confirms this as a myth while expressing his amusement at the widespread assumption. Smokey Robinson is yet to comment on the revelation.

The news follows claims from music historians that EMI was originally derived as an abbreviated form of "Entertainment for Motherfucking Idiots" and that BMG was the shortened form of "Brilliant Motherfucking Grooves".

Sunday 28 August 2011

Bread of Life?

A group of scientists and historians is attempting to prove that Jesus was lactose intolerant. The controversial research program has set tongues wagging among religious scholars, who have traditionally devoted very little attention to the possible food allergies of the messiah.

The research has been undermined by a recent investigation, which uncovered details of the funding structure for the program. It turns out the team are being paid by a conglomeration of producers in the soya industry as part of a bid to force Christian churches to use vegan host products.

Past studies by food standards regulators found communion wafers in the UK to contain a variety of unsavoury ingredients including insect larvae, wombat extract and ground sparrow husk.

Some manufacturers defended their methods by pointing out the fact that the host is primarily a symbolic object and therefore cannot be judged on its literal content. A decision has yet to be reached about whether emblematic Christ constitutes a banned food product under either UK or EU law.

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Egg on your Face?

Director Howard Hawks used to insist on his actors carrying around duck eggs in their underwear during particularly intense scenes. He believed that the technique would result in more considered, precise performances, but in actual fact they tended to make the actors feel extremely nervous and agitated. Lauren Bacall found the scenes especially stressful, since she had experienced a traumatic incident involving an aggressive mallard as a child.

The director eventually abandoned the practice, instead adopting a technique in which he would remove one item from the luggage of each actor, placing them around the set at arbitrary locations. If the actors accidentally noticed and looked at the items during the scene, they would be forced to read their lines while preparing a cooked breakfast for the entire crew.

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Peanuts or just plain Nuts?

During the Cold War, Russian intelligence personnel mistakenly believed that Charles Schultz' Peanuts comic strip was actually being used as a communication medium with undercover U.S. agents operating in Europe. An entire department was created within the KGB to analyse the antics of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Co. and several complex theories were developed regarding the coding methods thought to be employed.

Agents believed that the central character, Charlie Brown, signified the American nation, Snoopy the U.S. space program, Lucy van Pelt the pro-Communist movement in Cuba, Woodstock the American nuclear arsenal and Peppermint Patty was the Soviet Union itself.

The erroneous beliefs were the subject of much heated debate within the dedicated department throughout the 1950s and 60s until it was disbanded in 1974. However, it has been reported that rogue operatives who disagreed with closure of the unit continued studying the work of Schultz and ultimately attempted to communicate with the cartoonist himself, who, one particular day in the 1980s, was somewhat baffled to receive a crude drawing of a mouse wearing a ballgown in the mail.

Saturday 12 February 2011

After the Fact

People who eat cabbage at least once a month earn approximately 8% more than those who do not. That's just one of many startling revelations reviewed in a recent publication. Other statistical gems include the little known fact that people with long earlobes are 16 times more likely to have a failed marriage, and the amazing discovery that the bald are 27% more prone to accidents involving glue.

Thursday 2 December 2010

Who's Who

Marylin Monroe owned a collection of vintage bedpans that she liked to use as unusual flower vases. That's just one of the revelations in a fantastic new book, which provides an unprecedented insight into the private lives of such stars as James Dean, Rock Hudson and Russ Abbott. Among the more surprising revelations is the news that James Cagney once paid for a sickly relative to fulfil their lifelong dream of parachuting into an artificial lake filled with cream soda. Christ, I Didn't Expect That Type Of Thing by Zackary Rackman is out next week.

Thursday 16 September 2010

Bad Hair Day

Chewbacca's costume in the first Star Wars movie was actually woven from the hair of George Lucas' children in a budget minimising move. The children had to have their heads shaved several times in the run up to the production, and rumour has it the family dog was also roped in to the procedure when the children failed to produce enough hair in time for filming.

The production was famously short on funds, and a number of innovative cost-cutting measures were employed. Princess Leia's white gown doubled up as a bed sheet, while Alec Guinness reportedly donated a pair of false earlobes that he had worn as a prop in The Ladykillers, which were auctioned off to raise money. Previous tales of Harrison Ford demanding two chocolate biscuits per day when the budget would only stretch to one per cast member have consistently been denied.

Saturday 21 August 2010

Waste Not

Up until the 1950s it was not uncommon for carpets to be woven from recycled skin and hair. During the war years it was of course necessary to economise wherever possible, and home furnishings were no exception. Many families used bodily fluids to add a little colour to their wall paint, and in particularly deprived areas, men's beard shavings would often be used by the ladies in the house for makeup, and toenail clippings found new lives as an alternative to dessicated coconut for children's birthday cakes.

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Bent Out Of Shape

We all know that the combined shapes of Turkey, Malaysia and Jamaica look like a freshly baked shepherds pie, but did you know that if you trace the outlines of Japan, Iceland, Nottingham and the Blackpool Pleasure Beach and place them all in a line, perpendicular and adjacent to one another that they form an uncanny resemblance to Orson Welles' left ventricle? Thought not.