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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Human Crop Circle Dance..

Spiritual: The White Brotherhood performs its ritual dance near Babreka Lake,
in Bulgaria's Rila Mountain, to celebrate the start of its New Year

Harmony: The movement is a synthesis of Christianity and Hinduism, with a heavy emphasis on
brotherly love, a healthy diet and living alongside nature

Teaching: The movement's founder is Bulgarian Peter Danov, who started the dance ritual in 1929

High in the sky: Peter Danov laid out his teachings in a series of 7,000 lectures

Teens survive 900ft mountain fall

Two Austrian teenagers astonished rescuers when they survived a 900ft fall down a precipice with a landing so hard it folded their car in half.

J├╝rgen Oster, 16, and friend Felix Lemann, 18 - sailed off the edge of a mountain pass in Zillertal, Switzerland, before landing at the bottom of a valley, say police.

A nearby hunter who raised the alarm was amazed when he discovered both teenagers were still alive after leaving the road on a sharp bend.

"The car had folded in half like penknife. It's a miracle they survived. I spotted it because I saw where it had left the road and saw the vehicle parts scattered on the mountain as the car had crashed down the side," he told police.

Both were airlifted to hospital in nearby Innsbruck across the border in Austria by rescue services convinced the pair mist have massive internal injuries after the spectacular crash.

But incredibly the 16 year old was released a day later and the 18-year-old was also said to have got off lightly with his injuries.

Police said neither of the pair had been drinking and had driven into Switzerland for a short break when the accident happened on the narrow mountain road.

Man hid snakes down trousers

A man has been arrested at a US airport with seven exotic snakes and three tortoises stuffed down his trousers.

Officials at Miami's international airport found the creatures inside the trousers of a passenger trying to board a flight for Brazil.

The US Transportation Security Administration said the man had seven exotic snakes and three tortoises wrapped in nylon bags stuffed into his trousers.

He was discovered as he went through a body scanner at one of the airport's security checkpoints and arrested by US Fish and Wildlife Service officials.

Authorities declined to identify the man or offer any explanation for his botched attempt at reptile smuggling.

Surgeon, 70, swims the Channel

A 70-year-old retired surgeon has become the oldest person to swim the English Channel.

Roger Allsopp set off from Dover at 8am and swam for 17 hours and 51 minutes to claim a new Guinness World Record.

At 70 years and four months, he beat the current record holder, George Brunstad, the uncle of Hollywood star Matt Damon, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Allsopp, from Guernsey, who had to postpone his bid several times because of the weather, was inspired by an inscription at a pub in Dover marking Mr Brunstad's achievement.

His swim raised money to fund world-class medical equipment to help advance cancer research at the University of Southampton.

He said: "I do feel an immense sense of achievement and relief that I have been successful.

"This has been an incredible personal challenge for me and my focus has always been to help raise money for Hope for Guernsey and Wessex Medical Research, a cause that I am extremely passionate about.

"I've never been one to sit on my laurels. Retirement has been wonderful but I know how important it is to keep active in mind and body to live a healthy retirement and so I set myself physical challenges to ensure that I keep as fit and healthy as I can."

Guinness World Records adjudicator Anna Orford said: "To swim the English Channel is a great challenge and to do it at the mature age of 70 years is astounding!"

Cross-eyed opossum retires

Heidi the cross-eyed opossum is being put into retirement at the ripe old age of three-and-a-half to save her from the stress of her celebrity lifestyle.

The mad-eyed marsupial became a worldwide sensation from her enclosure at Leipzig Zoo, Germany, when pictures of her appeared on the internet.

Hundreds of thousands signed up to become her Facebook friends and she even had a stint at co-hosting an Oscars show in a live TV link-up with Hollywood.

Now keepers say she must withdraw from public life so she can enjoy what's left of her life in peace and quiet.

"Opossums in the wild live for three years at the most but in captivity in the right conditions Heidi could make it to five," explained one keeper.

Zoo spokesman Fabian Schmidt explained: "Heidi's lifestyle could have contributed to her problems so we have put her into retirement."

Heidi is even to be separated from her breeding partner Teddy to save her from being bothered.

"We do not want to give her any added stress. Due to her advancing age there were only very slim chances of offspring anyway and that chance has now passed," said Mr Schmidt.

Monday, August 29, 2011

one of the world's biggest tall ships squeezes under Tower Bridge...

Ahoy there! Sailors put on spectacular display as one of the world's biggest tall ships squeezes under Tower Bridge

One of the largest tall ships in the world had a tight squeeze today, as it proudly sailed along the Thames.
The ARC Gloria, one of the biggest tall ships in the world and still in service, narrowly passed through Tower Bridge after a successful three-day visit to London.

The three-masted Colombian training vessel, which is making its first voyage to London in 18 years, is currently on a goodwill tour of the world.

Mind your head! The crew of the ARC Gloria balance on masts while singing the ship's anthem

What a send off: The ARC Gloria, one of the biggest tall ships in the world, heads out of the city

The 76-metre long ship, which boasts a crew of of 163 people, including 81 cadets from the Colombian Naval Academy, precariously posed on its masts to wave farewell to the city.

But not only did the brave shipmates need a head for heights and their strongest sea-legs, but they also had to put on a show.

The huge vessel made sure it gave London a rousing send off, by unfurling its massive flag and the 81 cadets singing the ship’s anthem.

During its time in the capital the magnificent ship attracted over 7,000 visitors.


Meteorite blasts across skies of Peru leaving forest fires in its wake

It has now set sail for Spain, and then plans to head to Morocco and the Caribbean before returning to Colombia, according to The Docklands website.

Accompanying the crew is the ship's own trained Labrador called Argos.

The history of the sailing ship ARC Gloria began in 1966, when the Colombian Government ordered that a three-masted barque work as a training ship of the Colombian Navy.

The ship was commissioned on 7 September 1968, with the vessel moored at the wharf of Deusto Channel.

Tight squeeze: Colombia's tall ship sails past, looking uncomfortably close to the top of Tower Bridge

Setting sail: The vast vessel is currently doing a goodwill tour of the world

Hairspray, Beauty Treatment For A Lion

The lion mane tamer: Meet the gamekeeper who gives Jamu the lion a daily hairspray as part of his beauty treatment

British animal wrangler Alex Larenty risks his life daily so he can prune, primps and polishes a massive lion.

Theses amazing pictures show the fearless 50-year-old, from Chipping North, happily fluffing the mane of massive maneater Jamu at the Lion Park near Johannesburg.

He also sprays the 9-year-old beast with special lion hairspray, gives him a manicure and even massages his feet.

British animal wrangler Alex Larenty sprays Jamu the Lion with special Lion hairspray at the Lion Park in Johannesburg, South Africa

And it's all in the name of making him attractive to the opposite sex.

Former truck driver Alex said: 'I use a hairspray that gives Jamu's mane a glossy sheen and hides his gingerness.

'That makes him more appealing to a mate.' 

Alex also gives Jamu a manicure and massages his feet to help him become more attractive to the opposite sex

Alex moved to South Africa in 1999 and has been an animal trainer for 35 years

Having reared many lions from birth, Alex is able safely to walk into the middle of Jamu's pride and play games while surrounded by huge numbers of the massive predators.

He has said previously: 'I built up a relationship with Jamu through putting insect repellent onto him, which is necessary here to keep our animals protected from things like parasites.

'He eventually realised he liked being scratched and tickled.'

The 208-acre Lion Park houses over 300 animals including lions, cheetahs and hyenas.

Having reared many lions from birth, Alex is able safely to walk into the middle of Jamu's pride and play games while surrounded by huge numbers of the massive predators

Saturday, August 27, 2011

'Water' cheeky little Squirt

A small octopus called Squirt is making a big splash at an aquarium in Dorset.

The common octopus at Weymouth Sea Life Park got his name because he gives everyone who passes his tank a soaking.

Like all octopuses he draws water into his body to absorb the oxygen from it and then passes it out again through special tubes alongside his beak.

Curator Derek Scales explained: "Squirt's a really inquisitive character and soon learned to lift the top part of his body above the water in his tank to take a look around.

"Then he realised that if he breathed out while he was doing that he could fire a stream of water like a hose.

"He probably fired at one of our team accidentally at first, but having got a reaction he started doing it fairly regularly.

"For the past month he's been squirting anyone who passes his tank."

Aquarist Greg Casten, who spends more time than anyone else amongst the tanks where Squirt is housed, has been drenched more times than he can count.

"We have to clean out Squirt's tank every other day, removing the shells of the crabs he dines on and giving his glass a clean," said Greg.

"It's got so that you have to don waterproofs before starting the job," he added.

Newlyweds 'stole reception food'

A newlywed couple are behind bars in the US - for allegedly shoplifting food and drink for their wedding reception.

Arthur Phillips III, 32, and his bride Brittany Lurch, 22, were arrested for stealing £600 worth of goods from a supermarket in State College, Pennsylvania.

Patton Township police say the couple were captured on CCTV loading a trolley and leaving without paying, reports the the Centre Daily Times.

The couple said they had been married two days earlier and took the goods for their wedding reception that afternoon, police reported.

But they never made it to the party as police charged them with misdemeanor counts of retail theft and receiving stolen property.

And they are currently spending their honeymoon - apart - in Centre County jail after they were unable to raise bail.

Man 'stuffed snakes down shorts'

A US man has been arrested for stealing exotic snakes from a pet shop - by hiding them down his shorts.

Eric Fiegel was allegedly caught on camera trying to smuggle five snakes from a store in Mesa, Arizona.

The 22-year-old wandered round the store for "about an hour" with the snakes stuffed down his shorts before leaving, the shop's owner said.

Christian Kaleta said: "He hangs out here for an hour with the animals in his pockets he doesn't just take off with them he hangs around. Really bold.

"Who steals a snake of all things?"

One of the snakes allegedly stolen by Fiegel was a rare baby albino boa constrictor, worth about £500, reports the Arizona Republic.

Police say Fiegel took the snakes to another pet store where he traded some of them for cash and a large reptile tank.

Thailand Elephant Day

Elephants are fed with banana trees, sugarcane and fruit during a feeding ceremony on the grounds at the Maesa elephant camp in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand.

The ceremony was held to mark the country's 'Elephant Day' participated by nearly 100 elephants. Elephant are recognzied as the national animal of Thailand.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bees on a plane

Passengers panicked when two hives of bees smuggled onto a plane for a flight across Russia escaped in mid-air and began swarming around the cabin.

The bees - sneaked on board in cardboard boxes - became agitated during the 10-hour Yakutia Airline flight from Blagoveshchensk, near the Chinese border, to Moscow .

The trafficker claims an airport official at Blagoveshchensk had asked him to carry the cardboard boxes containing the bees to Moscow where he would be met at the airport.

Official airport documents quoted a passenger as saying that the trafficker seemed "slightly drunk", reports the Daily Telegraph.

Air hostesses eventually managed to seal the bees inside the wardrobe in the flight's business section by sealing it with sticky tape.

But when the plane arrived at its next destination, Barcelona, a new crew discovered that the fumigation had not been completely successful with five bees still on the plane, Russian newspapers reported.

Now the carrier could be stung with a massive £100,000 bill for having to fumigate the Boeing 757 jet and to compensate for the delays caused to the plane's ongoing journey to Spain.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

No fear, no back up - and no rope

A mountaineer who has conquered a string of daunting cliff faces with no rope has been hailed the best climber of his generation.

Free-climber Alex Honnold made his name when he scaled Half Dome, in Yosemite National Park, solo in 2hr 50min, an ascent which can take up to two days.

One photo shows him standing on a 6ins ledge about 1,700ft up Half Dome, with his back to the sheer cliff wall and a sheer drop below.

Although some climbers edge across with their arms along the ledge or inch along on their backsides, he walked across because 'it was cooler'.

The 26-year-old Californian has also climbed 2,500ft cliffs near Mt Kota Kinabalu in Borneo and faces in Chad that had never even been attempted before.

Mr Honnold, who has free-climbed ten cliffs solo, added: "I would not call myself a rock star or feel that my fame is any more deserved than any other climber.

"People feel more of a gut reaction when they see me without a rope on the side of a cliff.

"They put themselves in my position and they imagine how they could or more likely couldn't do what I am doing."

He added: "When you are climbing well the fear is not there."

Workers down tools at 'haunted' museum

Workers renovating an Italian museum have downed tools over claims that the building is haunted.

The National Archaeological Museum, in Naples, has now invited paranormal experts from all over the world to get the the bottom of the mystery.

Builders, who were working overnight in the museum, claimed that they heard soul-piercing screams, experienced plunging temperatures - and even saw ghosts.

The architect responsible for the works, Oreste Albareno, tried to reassure staff by spending a night with them but ended up also being convinced it was haunted, Italian daily Il Mattino reports.

He said: "I have managed to take a photo with my mobile phone - it shows a little girl but there was no little girl on the site.

"None of the staff took a daughter with them - it is a secure locked site so there was no way the child could have sneaked in."

The experts are now due to arrive in September to investigate.

Mr Feathers refuses to be ruffled

A five-month-old featherless chicken has become something of a local celebrity.

Owner Lao Yin said the unique chicken, who is housed at his farm in Laoshan, Qingdao, northern China's Shandong Province, is often bullied by its peers.

"I started to notice it was different 10 days after its birth because while others were fluffy, he was almost naked," said Lao Yin.

Lao Yin called the featherless chicken Ha Mao (Mr Feather).

Not only does Hao Mao not grow feathers, but it also puts on weight very slowly. It weighs less than half a kilogram, while its peers are two to three kilos.

Lao Yin also owns a farm restaurant, and Ha Mao is quite a celebrity there.

He added: "Some customers are dedicated to visit and take pictures of themselves with Hao Mao. And some have even offered me high prices for it, but I have refused."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Living on the edge

A hair-raising attraction has opened at the top of Toronto's CN Tower - for those with a head for heights.

The EdgeWalk allows daredevils to lean off the summit of the 1,168ft-high landmark.

Plucky visitors are dressed in special jumpsuits and fitted with safety harnesses before carefully stepping onto a newly-constructed 5ft wide walkway.

They then walk in groups of six while attached to an overhead safety rail via a trolley and harness system.

Customers are breathalysed before participating and checked for objects which may fall 116 stories to the street.

The £100 experience lasts an hour and a half, including a 30 minute outdoor walk.

A spokeswoman says: "Trained EdgeWalk guides are there to encourage participants to push their personal limits, allowing them to lean back over Toronto with nothing but air and breathtaking views of Lake Ontario beneath them."

Mark Laroche, president and CEO of the Canada Lands Company which owns the CN Tower, says: "The public has shown that they are ready and eager to push their limits by taking part in Toronto's most exciting attraction in decades."

EdgeWalk opened to the public this month and will operate seasonally from May to October in all weather except for electrical storms and high winds.

Kangaroo caught nicking knickers

A kangaroo is for the high jump after escaping from his owner and going on a knicker nicking spree.

Benji bounced from garden to garden in Prague, Czech Republic, collecting ladies lingerie as he went.

He was only caught when one victim looked out of her kitchen window and saw the two-year-old marsupial hopping it with her undies.

A police spokesman explained: "We had a call from Benji's owner saying his pet kangaroo had escaped. At the same time we started getting reports of a number of thefts from washing lines.

"We didn't think they could possibly be related until he was caught red-handed," he added.

Benji's relieved owner Petr Hlabovic, 35, said: "I'm very relieved to have him back. I've got no idea what he thought he was up to - he certainly didn't pick up the habit from me."

Farmer flies home-made flying saucer

A Chinese farmer has successfully completed a maiden flight in his home-made flying saucer.

Shu Mansheng, who has only a basic school education, controlled the craft to a height of two metres.

He taught himself mechanics and electronics to build the flying saucer which is powered by eight engines attached to propellers.

It's not the first time the farmer has branched out into aviation - he built two jet planes at home, although both projects failed.

The first one didn't get off the ground after a tyre blew out on his runway while the second crashed on take off.

But Shu, of Wuhan, Hubei Province, was not discouraged and turned his attention to flying saucers.

He spent £6,000 on his first flying saucer last year but that also failed to take off.

Shu went back to the drawing board and started work on the second version this year which he has now successfully flown.

He now plans to further refine his flying saucer and also hopes to set up a school for children interested in similar projects.

"My dream is to establish a special school where kids would be able to learn all sorts of things they don't teach in ordinary schools," he explained.

Rainbow ants are what they eat

An Indian scientist created this photograph which gives new meaning to the phrase: "You are what you eat!"

Dr Mohamed Babu, 53, came up with the idea after his wife showed him how ants turned white after drinking spilt milk.

He mixed sugar drops with edible red, green, blue and yellow colours before placing them in his garden to attract the insects.

Dr Babu said: "I shot the photo in my garden to take advantage of the natural lighting and set a paraffin sheet with coloured sugar drops near some ants.

"As the ant's abdomen is semi-transparent, the ants gain the colours as they sip the liquid.

"I really toiled to get a photo. The crowd always used to become unmanageable within a few minutes and while I managed my camera with my right hand, my left hand was busy removing the extra ants.

"Once I lost the chance, I could only repeat it the next day."

Dr Babu, from Mysore, in South India, added: "Curiously, the ants preferred light colours, yellow and green.

"The darker green and blue drops had no takers, till there was no space around the preferred yellow and green drops."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Adorable odd couple...

Chimp's maternal instincts awakened as she feeds milk to a baby tiger

They are humans' closest relative, sharing a similar genetic make-up and displaying behaviour not unlike our own.

Now this little chimpanzee is showing off a motherly instinct to rival even the most maternal of mankind.

These adorable images reveal the close bond that has formed between a two-year-old chimpanzee called Do Do and a two-month-old tiger cub called Aorn.

Maternal instinct: A two-year-old chimpanzee called Do Do feeds milk to Aorn, a two-month-old tiger cub

Completely at ease in each other's company, the ape's motherly instincts take over as she attentively bottle feeds the baby tiger.

Aorn gratefully laps up the milk as Do Do tenderly holds the tiger in her arms.

At one point, Do Do puts the bottle in her own mouth - almost mimicking the actions of a human mother checking to see if the milk is suitable for her offspring to consume.

For some unexplained reason Do Do is wearing a pair of denim shorts - perhaps to protect her thighs from Aorn's claws.

They were photographed at Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand.

Bonding: The animals both live at Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo on the outskirts of Bangkok

For some unexplained reason Do Do is wearing a pair of denim shorts - perhaps to protect her thighs from Aorn's claws

The crocodile farm, used as a tourist attraction, houses some 80,000 crocodiles and is the largest in Thailand.

Its owners claim to hold the largest captive crocodile, measuring an astonishing six metres long and weighing 2,465lbs.

Regular crocodile shows are staged during which zookeepers place their heads inside the reptiles' mouths.

However, the farm doesn't just contain crocodiles.

As you'd expect from these pictures, monkeys and tigers also live there, alongside elephants, lions, horses and hippopotamuses.
Heat test: Do Do drinks some of the milk, perhaps to make sure the temperature is okay for the tiger cub

Aorn gratefully laps up the milk as Do Do tenderly holds the tiger in her arms

Miracle Escape For 163 People As Plane Splits Into Two In Guyana....

'It's an absolute miracle': Lucky escape for 163 on board plane that crashed and snapped in two in Guyana

* Jet 'overshot' runway in wet weather and barely missed a 200-foot ravine
* Passengers' applause on touchdown 'turned to screams' as the plane broke in two
* Rescuers struggle to reach passengers in dark with no emergency lighting

A jet carrying 163 people broke in half as it crash-landed in the South American country of Guyana.

Incredibly, nobody was killed and only a few passengers were injured after the Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800 from New York overshot the runway at Georgetown's Cheddi Jagan airport in wet weather.

It slid through a chain-link fence and barely missed a 200-foot ravine. Had it fallen into the ravine it would have almost certainly killed crew and passengers.

Lucky escape: Miraculously no-one on board the Caribbean Airlines jet was killed when it crashed in Guyana

The crash happened just after midnight local time as it arrived from the Caribbean island of Trinidad, where it had made a stop before continuing its flight to Georgetown.

'It's an absolute miracle what happened here in Georgetown,' said Caribbean Airlines chairman George Nicholas, as he visited the crash site.

'Everything started caving in and the girl next to me just sat there motionless in shock,' said passenger Betsy Myndyllo, who escaped with the help of her nephews and left the crash on foot, in the dark, arriving at the terminal 20 minutes later.

'I saw death flash before me,' said Guyanese-born Maxine Eversley, whose husband and niece were injured as they jumped to safety after the crash.

Eversley was one of the 96 U.S. passport holders on the plane, most of them believed to be Guyanese-born.

One woman said simply 'it was terror', while another described how the passengers' applause at the safe landing 'turned to screams' when they released the plane had broken in half.

Terror: Passengers struggled to find their way out of the broken fuselage of the Boeing 737-800 in the dark

Horror crash: Rescue workers at the scene this morning after the Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800 broke in half when it overshot the runway in Guyana

A passenger managed to push open an emergency exit and most managed to clamber out by themselves, but rescuers struggled to free people in the dark as there was no emergency lighting.

Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo said: 'We are very, very thankful and grateful that there are no deaths.'
'I realised that everything was on top of me, people and bags. I was the second to last person to get off that plane in the dark'

Caribbean Airlines said it did not know the cause of the accident, which happened during good visibility and light rain.

Investigators from the U.S. and Guyana were sent to retrieve the black box.

The country's health minister, Leslie Ramsammy, told French news agency Agence France Presse that one passenger suffered a broken leg while several others walked away with minor bruises.

All of them were taken to a hospital in Georgetown. Flight BW 523 was carrying 157 passengers and six crew, the airline said in a statement.

Smashed: The impact was so great that the plane's fuselage broke in half entirely

Around 100 required medical attention, and four were hospitalised with serious injuries.

Geeta Ramsingh, 41, from Philadelphia, was one of the injured passengers. She was returning home to her native country for only the second time in 30 years.

She said that passengers had just started to applaud the jet's touchdown when it 'turned to screams'.

She escaped the craft by hopping on to the wing and and then on to the dirt track outside the runway fence.

She said: 'I am upset that no one came to rescue us in the dark, but a taxi driver appeared from nowhere and charged me $20 to take me to the terminal.

'I had to pay, but in times of emergencies, you don't charge people for a ride.'

'Terrifying': The plane crash landed in the dark before splitting in two - just short of a 200-foot ravine

Recovery: Emergency workers at the scene of the crash as the sun came up this morning

Adis Cambridge, 42, of Guyana, said she felt the thump of a hard landing but did not think much of it until seconds later.

She added: 'I realised that everything was on top of me, people and bags. I was the second to last person to get off that plane in the dark.

'I hit my head on the roof. It was so scary.'

Another passenger, an unnamed woman, told Guyana's Kaieteur News service: 'It was terror. I was praying to Jesus.'

She also said her husband opened an emergency door, allowing passengers to escape the craft.

The airport was closed, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded and delaying dozens of flights.

Incredible escape: The plane crashed when it overshot the runway at Cheddi Jagan airport in Georgetown, Guyana. All those on board survived, and only four people were injured

At first, the authorities struggled to reach passengers due to a lack of lighting and emergency equipment.

Devant Maharaj, transportation minister in Trinidad where Caribbean Airlines is based, said the company is sending a team to Guyana to help investigate the crash.

President Jagdeo has also asked for assistance from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

The crash is the worst in recent history in Guyana, the only English-speaking country in South America.

It is one of only a few serious incidents involving the Trinidad-based airline, which is the single largest carrier in the region, operating at least five daily flights.

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