AK-wielding geckos levitate in from the Tower of Doom

We're all too busy smirting to stop them

Loony boffins at the University of St Andrews have found a way to make geckos power flying cars. Or to use the power of their feet to make things repel each other. Or something. Regardless, many of you preferred to focus on geckos and balls than the underlying science:

Perhaps the Back to the Future 2 hoverboard that we all loved the concept of really isnt so implausible as it once seemed - Aussuming you dont destroy the universe riding it!

Derek Foley

Finally a use for David Beckham. Seems that this effects reliance on golden balls will actually make the guy scientifically interesting, do we have to make him especially thin in the process too ??

Posted Anon as I dislike admitting to knowing his nick name


Geckos in Scotland? Global warming gone mad.


I stuck live geckoes to my hands and feet years ago, in the hopes of becoming a gecko-powered spiderman (geckoman?). The problem is, I've been sitting in the same position ever since, permanently stuck to the ground. Maybe this is the answer I'm looking for? Please could somebody ask these boffins to install polarity-reversing switches (aka any given Star Trek episode) on the backs of my geckoes, then I'll be able to climb buildings AND hover.

Ian Ferguson

Actually the idea of being able to remove this property from Gecko feet and then watch the little buggers trying to climb things amused me too.

Steve Evans

Pipex used a dirty word. One of its suggestions to a customer wanting to change his password was the appallingly vulgar 'c**nted'. Let's not pussy-foot or beat about the bush, this is simply unacceptable. But it happens a lot, apparently:

Doubtless someone will now get the fun task of writing an obscenity filter for this app.

Back in the 80s I wrote an SSO system for our 'green screens' , which involved a computer-generated five letter password. I was concerned that someone might be allocated an objectionable password, and though I couldn't think of anything too bad that had five letters, I ensured that no password could end in UP, ME or IT. The system went live, 2000 users were given new passwords and, sure enough, someone complained because theirs was PENIS ...

Chris Miller

I've seen the letters to make a word for a part of a woman's body turn up on Countdown (though never in a row). This is the thing that most puts me off applying to be a contestant on the show ..... because there are certain words which, if it's possible to make them from the letters on the board, stick in my brain and nothing I do can make me see a longer word!

I was most disappointed too that when Ricky Tomlinson was the special guest, at no point did the letters M,Y,A,R,S and E show up together. Since every letters round consists, according to the strict rules, of at least four consonants and at least three vowels, it wouldn't be too hard for someone to pre-arrange the letters .....

A J Stiles

Back in the 80s I worked on a suite of Mainframe fulfilment batch programs that processed orders and stock control for A Very Large computer manufacturer. We got a stroppy letter from customer informing us that the semi-random, though unique, invoice code read "AR5E01", which they had interpreted as the exit of the human alimentary canal.

My small team of 20-something, beer-swilling, Viz-reader/programmers were tasked with writing a short batch job and supporting data file that would scrub all invoice codes for potentially offensive terms.

Though we did not have a degree in linguistics between us, we had a wonderful week populating the data file with every phonetic combination we could think of.

And in the large open-plan office we frequented, the sound of school-boy sniggering was met with much tut-tutting and persistent calls to "just finish it, will you?"

Paul Adams

A firm I used to work for installed a lotus notes database for call logging. The call references were the first letter of the users christian name followed by the first two and last letters of the surname and a sequential number. Fine, until Sara Hirst joined the company!


Several years ago i worked for a budget airline (not saying which one but I am now scared of orange...) and we had a similar problem.

The booking reference number was a series of letters and numbers, they were strictly logical (ie if you had aaaa1 the next would be aaaa2 and so on). As you can imagine we got a few phone calls when people booking numbers contained "s**t", "f**k", "c**t" I am sure you can think of all the others. Cencored the words in case El Reg gets to offended.


Thank you, Stephen. We are all of quite a sensitive disposition here. And now we're off to the pub, where we should be safe from gratuitous swearing. Hopefully. ®

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