Monday, January 14, 2008

News Podcast 14th Jan

Today's news podcast with, as usual, extra material by David Mulholland.

Click here to get your own player.



Scientists say they have used stem cells to make the stripped-out shell of a heart beat again. The lead researcher on the case said Mrs Thatcher didn’t feel a thing.

Also in health Gordon Brown has done something sensible – he’s copied one of Dr Evan Harris’s #hallelujah ideas and proposed that instead of having an opt-in organ donor system, we switch to an opt-out one. This could potentially help 7,000 people awaiting a donor organ in the UK. The Express responded in horror with the headline “Outcry at plan to strip organs without consent”, failing to mention that the organs in question would mainly be coming from dead people, not just those who’ve fallen asleep on the bus.


A new application on Facebook allows users to take the Britishness test which many immigrants face when they apply for citizenship of the UK. The average Briton, it emerges, fails the test. So presumably in the future those who pass will be promptly deported while those who fail will be welcomed with open arms. So I logged on. And failed it. What a stupid test. Here’s a sample question: What proportion of first-time voters used their vote in the 2001 elections? So what they’re asking is: How disillusioned are young people with the state of politics in this country? Is it (a) very, (b) very very or (c) I’m under 24 and I don’t give a shit what the answer to this question is.

Another question asks which minority ethnic group is the most numerous in the UK and gives the possible answers Black Carribean, Pakistani, Indian and good grief how should I know we don’t have them round our way.

Amazingly not included on the test was a question on the recipe for Britain’s favourite dish – the chicken tikka masala.

I personally think we could do away with the whole test in exchange for simply sitting applicants in a room and bringing out a plate of Jaffa Cakes. Anyone not seen eating at least three clearly isn’t British. This would keep out the diabetics too. That is a joke by the way, before anyone starts writing in.


Para-olympian Oscar Pistorus has been told he won’t be allowed to enter the Beijing Olympics as an able-bodied athlete. The runner has two artificial feet which actually work better than ordinary feet for running. The ruling is bad news for Professor Stephen Hawkin who had hoped to enter the marathon in a Nissan Micra.


The Daily Express has a lengthy piece today about how women love dark and brooding men. The first part of the article is about Daniel Day-Lewis who allegedly scared another actor in his latest film, although that sounds like one of those rubbish stories that are just written to help publicise the film. Still fair enough. Daniel Day-Lewis, dark, brooding and sexy. The thing is then they list the other dark, brooding men that women love: Marlon Brando, ok, Jose Morinho, alright, Marco Pierre-White, maybe, Gordon Brown, no, and finally Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Putin!? Dark? His face is the colour of uncooked pastry. He makes John Major look ruddy.

On page six, the Daily Express dedicated about four column inches to the news that British troops could be in Afghanistan for, and I quote, decades, then the whole of page seven gets back to the important news that the nine millionth enquiry into the death of Princess Diana is planning to interview her butler. The remainder of the paper focuses on the shocking news that some famous people may have had sex and offers it’s readers an exclusive chance to win a caravan...

The Independent had it’s own little crack at being ridiculous in their fashion pages with an article about accessories cooing over a Chloe clutch-bag. The thing is the bag is shown being carried by a model in a see-through blouse and no bra. Here’s my fashion advice for the new season – walk around with your tits showing and no-one will notice if you’ve got a cheap handbag.

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