Genius moments: June 2008

The real dragons' den

The British divers who went missing off the coast of Indonesia must have thought they had got through the worst. They negotiated 10 hours in shark-infested waters and finally made it to a deserted island – only to be confronted by a gang of carnivorous 10ft Komodo dragons. The next two days mainly consisted of beating the grisly lizards off with their hefty diving belts, until the coastguard finally found them, ensuring a happy ending for all. Except the Komodos, of course, presumably still in search of a square meal.

Lovers' leap

It was one of the stories of the summer: the news that Hans Rausing, an heir to the Tetra Pak fortune, had exited through his bedroom window when the police arrived to question him at home in London. Unfortunately, any enjoyment of this slapstick image waned as the facts emerged: Hans and Eva Rausing, longtime strugglers against addiction, had earlier in the year decided it might be a good idea to liven up an American Embassy party with a couple of lines of cocaine. That incident led to a caution and a promise to get treatment; two months later, when Hans was involved in a hit and run, which led to the police visit to their home, it became clear that the couple's wealth had done nothing to insulate them from the torments of addiction.

Hippies embrace hip hop

Beforehand, there was nothing but trepidation and acrimony. Noel Gallagher said it was wrong; disgruntled fans flooded the NME messageboards; and a week earlier some moron threw a banana skin at Lethal Bizzle at the Download festival, in what seemed like a worrying precursor of things to come. But as soon as Jay-Z stepped on stage at Glastonbury and struck up a rendition of the Oasis hit "Wonderwall", the audience went mental. And then he launched into "99 Problems" – and absolutely smashed it.

Sail of the 18th century

HMS Ontario was considered the holy grail of shipwreck hunters, and 228 years after she foundered in a storm on the Great Lakes of the American-Canadian border, news broke of her rediscovery. There are over 4,000 shipwrecks in the lakes, but none as well preserved as this British warship, which sank in a storm. The Ontario was a 22-gun, 80ft vessel and was discovered after three years of searching by two deep-sea divers; eerily, she's sitting upright, her main masts are still erect, in 500ft of water – but her exact location remains a secret.

Death shall have dominion

Poor Gheorghe Dobrescu. The election hopeful in the village of Voinesti, Romania, could not even beat a dead man to the office of mayor. His rival, Neculai Ivascu, who had led the village for more than 10 years, died from a liver disease shortly after the polls opened – too late for voting to be halted. And the dead man duly beat Dobrescu by 23 votes. "I know he died, but I don't want change," one arguably delusional villager told Romanian TV. Dobrescu was later handed victory but can hardly claim to have a strong mandate.

Sarko strikes again

A second entry for Gaul's most explosive statesman! Asked who was to blame for Ireland rejecting the EU treaty in June's referendum, Sarko replied: "Mandelson." The treaty must be ratified by all 27 member states to take effect, and Mr Sarkozy said that the European Commission's trade policies, as advanced by Commissioner Mandelson, had alarmed Irish farmers. But the row didn't stop there: a French newspaper reported Sarkozy calling Irish voters "bloody fools", adding that "they have been stuffing their faces at Europe's expense for years and now they dump us in the shit."

Spurred into auction

When Ian Usher said he was going to sell his life on eBay, he wasn't kidding. Usher, a 44-year-old Brit living in Australia and looking to move on from a difficult divorce, invited bids for his house, his car, his motorbike, his skydiving gear, his job – even his friends. In the end, Usher got £180,000 for the package, and struck out anew with nothing but his passport and wallet. How the winning bidder disposed of their own life is not recorded...

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes