A Ship of a Bottle?

A boat entirely made of melted down milk bottle tops made its maiden voyage on the river Cam in Cambridgeshire on Saturday.

This is what we imagine the mark 2 to look like. Photograph copyright Graham Holden 2011 (photos@gholden.co.uk)

Jason Embleton, from Cambridgeshire spent three years collecting over 10,000 milk bottle lids which he melted down and transformed

into the floating vessel.  It made the four mile journey from Cambridge to Waterbeach in just under four hours.  That is only four times the amount of time it would take to walk it.

Apparently a journey down the Cam on a milk bottle top boat is not for the faint hearted.  The intrepid captain faces numerous dangers such as being attacked by swans and taking on water.  Despite this, and flush with the success of this initial journey Mr Embelton said, speaking to BBC Look East:  “Mark two is on its way.”

We will send our man on the ground to Cambridgeshire in approximately two and a half years and update you on his progress.

Speaking exclusively to Newsnibbles Public Figure Oliver Coey said:

“What a waste of time. He should be locked away”

Oliver is perhaps best known for his potato patch.

Related links:



Newsnibbles is not responsible for the content of external links.  If we were they would undoubtedly be much funnier.


Is Anyone Really Prepared for a Zombie Attack?

Well Leicester City Council is certainly not.  The council were forced to admit that they were unprepared for any attack on their city

This cat may be zombiefied… Photograph HB 2010

by hoards of the undead after a letter from a “concerned citizen” requested information under The Freedom of Information Act.

What is perhaps most concerning is that the council seems wholly unconcerned about their poor provisions.  According to a BBC report

the council found the letter amusing.   Lynn Wyeth, head of information governance told the BBC:

“We’ve had a few wacky ones before but this one did make us laugh.”  She did go on to admit “To you it might seem frivolous and a waste of time… but to different people it actually means something.”

Well some might suggest that they will be laughing on the other side of their faces when the dead rise.  Such frivolity in the face of imminent brain sucking must surely be cause for concern.  The citizens of Leicester will have to make their own provisions if they do not wish to be zombiefied.

We sent our man on the ground out on the streets of the UK to ask citizens what they think councils should be doing to prepare in the event of an undead invasion.

Maria Ibbotson from Sheffield had this to say on the subject:

“I don’t think there is anything they could do.   If the virus hits, everyone will turn sooner or later, unless you’re one of the lucky ones who will be immune to it.  Then again would it be luck or not?  If it did happen I wouldn’t want to be around, not a nice way to die… eaten… and then to come back and eat others.  Then again it could be good, to get your own back on people you hate/dislike by having them for dinner…”

We would like to thank Maria for taking the time to give us such a fully considered comment.

Graham had this offering from his trip around the country:

“Think the problem with the whole zombie thing is… how do you distinguish between zombie invasion and Goths on their lunch break from college?  I guess zombies can be motivated, even if it is only by brains…”  Or by the control of their Zombie Master, don’t forget that Graham.  His research hasn’t been as thorough of late.

Ever since we asked Jeff his views on the apocalypse that never was, he has been sitting on the steps to our offices holding a sign saying “The End is Nigh.”  One of our interns made the mistake of asking him for a comment on this story.  Since they put the work in here is what Jeff had to say:

“I think the whole world is going f****** crazy.  Everyone knows Zombies don’t exist. Ducks though, ducks are something else. They have that look in their eyes don’t they? You know what I mean. Like they know something about you and they will tell everyone. They are plotting something trust me. Ducks are evil, one day we will all wake up and ducks will have taken over the world. Dirty, evil B*******. F*** Zombies”

Thanks Jeff.

Here at Newsnibbles we would love to hear what preparations our readers have made for any undead onslaught.   Contact the newsdesk at newsdesk@newsnibbles.co.uk



You can read the BBC’s original report here:   http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-13713798


Graham’s Killer Sudoku

This week Graham has provided us with a Killer Sudoku.  He estimates that it will take the average reader no more than an hour to complete.  As an incentive we are offering the lucky winner the chance to have their picture published with next week’s puzzle.  Good luck.



Here is the answer to last week’s Spot the Ball.  We just know you’ll be kicking yourselves.



Well done to Tater Tot from Cartwright, Oklahoma for correctly spotting the ball.  The picture she provided us with is published below.


Sometimes we wonder whether our readers take us seriously…

CD Review. Catherine Sykes: Something Wonderful

When Newsnibbles asked me if I would review Something Wonderful by Catherine Sykes, my first question was, “Is it a concept album?”  The response, “No, it’s jazz,” gave me pause for thought.  I don’t know anything about jazz.  That said; I don’t actually know anything about metal and no-one seems to have noticed so far: so I thought, why not?

The album consists of eleven tracks, including one original song written for Catherine by Nicky Campbell of Wheel of Fortune and Watchdog fame.  Personally I’ve been holding out for years for Anne Robinson to write me a Rap.  Together I think that Anne and I could go platinum with the Robinson Rap: Goodbye.  Well, not actually goodbye, that’s what we’d call the rap and subsequent album.  Anyway, enough about me – to Something Wonderful.

As you know, if you are a regular reader of my reviews, I like to spend a bit of time talking to the artist and getting a feel for their intensions for the album.  However, when I phoned Catherine and said that I was writing a piece for Newsnibbles the line went dead.  I have been thinking about changing network for a while now.

Something Wonderful is the second album from a truly original vocalist.  Whilst Signing In (2006) introduced the world to the uniquely haunting vocal styling of Catherine Sykes, this latest album seems to be infinitely more confident.   It combines musical arrangements by Paul Buck, with a wide variety of instrumental support, which creates a different atmosphere for each song, allowing them to stand alone as well coming together into a beautifully compiled album.

The first thing that struck me about this album was its diversity.   It showcases a variety of tempo from the soulful “Every Time We Say Goodbye” to the catchy, upbeat “Taking a Chance on Love.”  With the help of some extremely talented musicians, Catherine transports us to different places with each new number.  “Caravan” immediately carried me away from my slightly mouldy cupboard to the Arabian Desert with images of Valentino’s Sheik.

The album carries a universal appeal and can be enjoyed on many different levels.  “I’ve Got a Crush on You” offers us the mellow, somewhat pensive vocals, with minimal accompaniment from piano, drums and bass.  The next track, “Lean Baby” is a much more up tempo number and sees Catherine really getting into her stride.  It has a number of excellent instrumental solos which are an integral part of jazz and can’t help but cheer you up.   The order of the tracks is very cleverly arranged to ensure each haunting mellow number is followed by an upbeat one guaranteed to get your feet tapping even if you don’t have my nervous twitch.

Of course I can’t talk about the album without talking about Nicky Campbell’s input.  It is what everyone has been waiting hear about anyway.   According to Nicky in his preface to the CD he “was completely blown away” the first time he heard Catherine sing “and immediately offered to write a song for her.”  You’ll be pleased to learn that, in my view, it is jolly catchy.  I can’t help but wonder whether in places he just put a word in because it rhymed, or to showcase his multi-linguistic writing skills, without actually concerning himself too much as to whether in makes sense.  That said it is addictively memorable and, combined with solid instrumentals and vocals he appears to have a hit on his hands.  I can’t get it out of my head, but once I have submitted this review I will try by hitting it repeatedly against a concrete wall.  Thanks Nicky.

Something Wonderful seems to be a group of very talented musicians really enjoying themselves and as such it can’t help but make you smile.  I thoroughly enjoyed listening and I have the distinct impression that the artists really enjoyed making it.  Well worth a listen, check it out for yourselves.

You can hear samples of Something Wonderful and get yourself a copy here: http://catherinesykes.com/


And here if you are in the right place apparently:  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/catherinesykes2

You can read more awesome reviews by moi here: www.rockonnection.com in the “Features” section.


Readers’ Letters

We would have added this sub-section to the site earlier, but no-one bothered writing to us until now.  Each letter will be followed by a response from our editor, who will carefully read every syllable before drafting a measured response.

Dear Mrs. Peabody,

Thank you for taking the time to write in.  Why is it that no-one ever takes the time to write in about something positive?  I do the reviews myself as I genuinely believe that no-one could do them as well as me.  I take the time to examine each aspect of what I am reviewing to ensure the reader has a full picture of what ever it is.

That said I am very busy being the managing editor of a cutting edge news website and have been thinking about subcontracting out the reviews to someone who has a remote interest in the subject.  We have approached a music reviewer for this week’s CD review.  She has agreed to take on the challenge providing we plug her regular site.  Since every other reviewer we approached wanted money, we agreed.  Everyone wants something these days don’t they?

I hope this placates you.  I will publish the review exactly as it is submitted and totally unedited for your enjoyment.  If I feel the need to add anything corrections will be published in a separate editorial.

Yours Sincerely,

Newsvamp (Managing Editor, Newsnibbles)


Good News for Bus Enthusiasts!

Members of the British Trolleybus Societywill be positively buzzing with excitement this week as an old Reading trolleybus will

Photograph copyright Graham Holden 2011 (photos@gholden.co.uk)

be on display at Reading Transport’s fourth annual open day on Sunday the 3rd of July this year.

According to local news the bus will be alongside the most recent model to mark the 50th anniversary of the British Trolleybus Society

(BTS) which fittingly, was actually formed in Reading all those years ago.  Along with the festival it is one of the things that put Reading on the map.  Well that and of course most places are on the map, unless your map is very old, or of a different country.

Reading Transport chief executive James Freeman told getreading.co.uk: “This will make a remarkable comparison with a brand new electric hybrid chassis.”

The open day is an absolute must for all bus enthusiasts.

We asked Catherine Sykes what she thought about the exhibition.  She burst into tears.  We had no idea she was so passionate about buses.  We think between sobs she said something about a CD being available on her website, but could not make it out clearly.

Looking for Fun Mum from Bristol (yes, it does sound like a singles ad, but we will take our comments where we can) told us:

“If the price to get in is as high as it is to get to the centre on the bus then I’ll pass thanks.”

Perhaps she is not a bus enthusiast.

If you want to check out the bus for yourself you can on the 3rd of July between 10am and 4pm at the bus company’s depot in Great Knollys Street.  All proceeds from the event will be going to the bus company’s chosen charity of the year, Duchess of Kent House.

If you can’t make it to Reading, but would still like to see a bus all you need to do is wait long enough on a bus stop near you.  Something very similar is bound to turn up eventually.

You can read more on this story and more about Reading here:http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2093943_historic_trolleybus_on_display


No News is Good News

Well today is certainly a quiet day for news in Newcastle.  One of our eager beaver interns (not an actual beaver you understand, and

This mockup of a plane crashed on grass is by our very own man on the ground. Copyright Graham Holden 2011 (photos@gholden.co.uk)

as we don’t pay them they tend not to be that eager either so perhaps we could more accurately say one of our interns) turned up a little nugget from BBC Newcastle for us to investigate further.

According to the BBC report a light aircraft came to rest on some grass near a runway in Newcastle.  It remained upright and no-one was

hurt.  The airport was closed for fifteen minutes, which doubtless inconvenienced passengers who were accustomed to their public transportation running precisely to schedule, but these little mishaps cannot be helped.  Well it made the BBC so perhaps there was something more to this story than met the eye?  Perhaps the “privately owned” craft belonged to a spy?  Further investigation revealed nothing of the kind.

We asked Cheryl Cole for a comment, but couldn’t understand what she said.

We sent our man on the ground to an airport near him to interview some frequent fliers and gain their views on the “events” in Newcastle this morning.  One penny pincher and frequent flier interviewed told him:

“This reminds me of a plane journey I once took where nothing much happened. Why are you people wasting my time and your ink?”  He was so upset by her tone that he felt unable to offer us his usual insight.

Since she is from somewhere up north and has been on a plane a few time we thought we would ask Catherine Sykes her thoughts on events in Newcastle this morning.   She told us:

“You know I hate flying!  Why are you people tormenting me?  How did you get my number?”  She then took a deep breath and added, “Sorry, the stress of releasing a totally awesome jazz album is getting to me.  You can get your copy at www.catherinesykes.com

She may have mentioned that a few times, still it is nice of her to keep talking to us like this.

You can read the BBC report in its entirety here:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-13678055


Graham’s Spot the Ball

Well congratulations to last week’s winner, Sarah Darling from London, who found the correct answer of 60 for Graham’s Brain Teaser.   As promised we have published the picture she submitted to us.  We presume that this is not a recent one, but we weren’t specific so that’s OK.

We can only assume that our challenging puzzles are keeping her brain active after all these years.



This week Graham has produced a Spot the Ball puzzle.  After the success of last week’s challenge we are offering the lucky winner the chance to have their picture published with next week’s puzzle.  Good luck Nibblers.




Clamper Nicked for Obstructing the Queen

Don’t you just hate it when you meet a friend for lunch in a new place without realising you parked in a clamp zone?  Well this is just what happened to the Queen last week in Portsmouth.

Can't say they weren't warned...

Two unmarked police cars were clamped during Her Majesty’s unexpected visit to Portsmouth.  According to a police spokesperson the officers were with the vehicles when they were clamped.  The clamping company claimed that the police declined to prove that they were on duty to their agent.  The subsequent arrest of said agent seems to serve to contradict this statement.

All this fuss was started by the Queen deciding to have an impromptu lunch aboard a luxury Yacht.  Had she chosen Burger King there would have been free parking and the whole embarrassing event could have been avoided.

Our man on the ground had this to offer us by way of a statement:

“If Freddie was still alive he’d be really upset… and I think this is the sort of thing that made John Deacon retire from the music industry.”

We don’t think Graham has been paying attention of late.  Ever since Cheryl was dropped he just hasn’t have the motivation.

In order to keep some integrity to our work we asked a speed demon who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of clamper retaliation what she thought of the whole thing:

“It’s typical of clampers to let the power go to their head. It really makes me mad. Grrr*”


Original BBC report available here. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-13575380

*The Grrr is our translation of the guttural angry sound made at the end of the statement.


US XF Drops CC

In entertainment news last week we heard that the US version of the X Factor has dropped Cheryl Cole for fears that the audience

Apparently photos of Our Cheryl are subject to copyright, so this is Our Graham, doing his best impression for us.

would not be able to understand her accent.

Just when we thought we were moving towards a time where regional accents were acceptable poor Cheryl is knocked back like this.  If

only she had spent her shoe fund on elocution lessons she would have taken America by storm.  Then perhaps Henry Higgins passed her by as he though her even beyond his skills.

This knock back from the States has a larger impact on the British entertainment industry.  Any plans for reviving Byker Grove for a US audience will now surely have to be scrapped.  Perhaps BBC America could make a series called Eton Place where the school boys will have nice well modulated tones.

This form of regional discrimination must surely be stamped out if we want Geordies to be accepted like everyone else.  Surely the high tech bods behind the scenes could subtitle Cheryl for any viewers who struggle to follow the singer’s thoughts.  Or perhaps she could scribble her thoughts on Carol Vorderman’s white board, since Countdown finished it has only been gathering dust.  Then she would lose any illiterate viewers, so it is a broad as it is long.

As always we approached Graham, our man at St James’ Park for his views on the whole debacle:

“Ah divvent knaa what’s wrong wi them! Dyer knaa what Ah mean? OK, Aa’ve had enough, Ahm gunna the boozah .”

We did not actually understand a word of that.  For some time now we have been thinking about letting Graham go.  We have had feedback that viewers do not understand him.

In the meanwhile Cheryl will have to make ends meet advertising a well known shampoo.  Well she is worth it.