Genius moments: April 2008

I'm Naomi, fly me

Naomi Campbell, consumer-rights champion? Hmmm. The model had thrown a wobbly aboard a jet from the chaotic newly-launched British Airways terminal after a row over a missing bag; when the police were called on to the plane and she allegedly walloped one of them, she was arrested for assault. Campbell claimed that her not-entirely-uncharacteristic fit of rage was born of solidarity with the long-suffering passengers who had to endure the early days at the new terminal; BA wasn't having any of it, and barred the supermodel for life.

William's £30,000 house call

When Prince William landed his RAF helicopter in the garden of Kate Middleton's family home, the pressure was on the Ministry of Defence to defend the prince's "ridiculous" use of the chopper (running costs: £15,000-an-hour). The MOD insisted the "two-hour training" mission was fully authorised.

What planet was he on?

It was a scandal that threatened to bring shame on the travel-writing profession – Thomas Kohnstamm from San Francisco caused red faces at Lonely Planet HQ when he claimed not to have visited a country he was writing about. "They didn't pay me enough to go to Colombia," he told Australia's Herald Sun. "I got the information from a chick I was dating who was an intern in the Colombian Consulate." Lonely Planet said the writer had only contributed the history section to the book and was reviewing Kohnstamm's work.

To baldly go

James Campbell, a retired art teacher from Stirlingshire, claimed he was a victim of disability discrimination. His disability? Baldness. He told a Glasgow tribunal he had suffered from harassment at the hands of pupils who saw his lack of hair as a weakness. Campbell, who retired as an art teacher in 2007, said he steered clear of corridors in the school where he would meet pupils to avoid them shouting "baldy". The judge decided against the claim, fearing it would set a dangerous precedent. "If baldness was to be regarded as an impairment then perhaps a physical feature such as a big nose, big ears or being smaller than average height might of themselves be regarded as an impairment."

Clean sweep for little Sam

The UK Intellectual Property Office's patent No 2438091 comprises only two brooms tied together with rubber bands. But the crude contraption was enough

to make Samuel Houghton, five, the youngest inventor in Britain. The Derbyshire schoolboy was three when he came up with the idea to combine a thick-bristled brush with a thinner one. "The small one gets the first bits and the one at the back gets the bits that are left behind," he told The Guardian. "We are doing this to help Samuel learn," said his father Mark, a patents lawyer. "No," corrected Samuel, "I did it to help Daddy."

See you by the DJ booth, Liz

She suffers from diabetes and congestive heart failure, survived viral pneumonia and had a benign brain tumour removed. Clubbing, you would think, is not high on the list of Liz Taylor's priorities. Yet the wheelchair-bound Queen of Hollywood was spotted holding court in the Abbey, her favourite LA gay bar, knocking back watermelon martinis and tequila shots. And, after a summer of rumours about her ill health, the 76-year-old returned to the Abbey in September.

Gordon and Shakira get it on

The highlight of a spring in which Gordon Brown appeared on American Idol to promote the cause of eradicating malaria and discussed the Darfur crisis with George Clooney came with an evening telephone summit with Shakira. Brown and the Colombian pop star talked about boosting Third World education; Brown would at least have been reassured about the integrity of the 31-year-old's hips, which, according to her duet with Wyclef Jean, "don't lie".

Suggested Topics
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - People Change - Lond...

HR Manager - Milton Keynes - £50,000 + package

£48000 - £50000 per annum + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Shared...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home