if it’s news to me, it must be news to you!
Posing parrot: Before anyone asks the obvious question, I swear it wasn’t me who dressed as a parrot to help sell a house in Bolton.
Funny money: Scientists have created an ultrasecure banknote that uses quantum mechanics and light instead of paper or plastic. It is meant to be impossible to counterfeit but no sooner had the scientists invented than they discovered that it could.
Feed the world: A study has revealed that the world’s spiders eat between 400 and 800 million tons of insects every year which more than the weight of the meat and fish consumed by people.
Man on the Moor: The mystery of the death of David Lytton looks likely to remain so after an inquest recorded an open verdict. Why he should travel from Pakistan to take his own life on Saddleworth Moor would make an intriguing drama.
Flatlands: Graphic designer and photographer Aydin Büyüktaş has used a drone to take overhead photos which he then blends together to create surreal images in a collection called Flatlands II inspired by author Edwin Abbott’s 1884 book Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.
Cheaters cheated: The editors of an online Romanian dictionary changed the meaning of certain words when they realised that students were using the site to cheat in exams. (Google translate needed)
Pop the question: Do you think you can recognise some of the best-known pop songs from the first line? Then try this quiz – for the record, I managed 24/30.
Avast behind: Maverick politician George Galloway has signed a publishing deal to write children’s books about the adventures of an ethical pirate, presumably based on George himself. I’m sure he’ll find the Pirate Translator useful in his endeavours.
Hardnut: Forget the great white shark, Alien or even Donald Trump, the toughest creature on the planet is the tardigrade, or waterbear or moss piglet, that can survive in the deepest ocean, the vacuum of space and even desiccated for decades and still live. But though they have been known about for 250 years, only now are scientists beginning to work out how they do it and it’s all down to disordered proteins.
Brief lives: Joni Sledge of the group Sister Sledge; John Forgeham who starred in the original Italian Job; Robert James Waller, author of The Bridges of Madison County; Lloyd Conover who revolutionised antibiotics in 1952; Great Train Robber Tommy Wisbey; Fred Weintraub who produced Enter the Dragon; tv regular Tony Haygarth and; veteran marathon runner Ed Whitlock;