2008年12月24日 星期三

Wind blows man up tree 強風把男子吹到樹上

A Chinese man had to be rescued by firefighters after he was reportedly blown onto a tree by a strong gust of wind.

The man, 20, was trying to repair the roof of his home in Beijing's Shijingshan district when the wind caught him.

According to the Beijing Morning Post, he was trying to repair loose slates when a strong gust blew him off the rooftop.

"Luckily I was blown onto a nearby tree, otherwise who knows where I would be," the man reportedly told rescuers.

For a while he was left clinging to the 45ft tree with both arms, legs dangling in the air: "I was terrified and kept shouting for help," he said.

But passers-by called firefighters who arrived within minutes and bound two ladders together to reach the man. He was brought back to earth safely, ending his 20 minute ordeal. (Beijing Morning Post)

2008年12月23日 星期二

World's untidiest car banned 世界最髒亂的車子被禁止開上路

Police in Germany banned a woman driver's car from the road - for being too untidy.

The Vauxhall Astra was so full of junk, magazines, old clothes and even bits of furniture that they could barely see the driver at it roared down a motorway near Dusseldorf.

The driver - who has not been named by police - has been banned from taking the car on the road again until it has passed a tidiness test.

Police said the car was so full of junk the woman's face was pressed up against the windscreen as she drove.

"I'm sure this will make most people feel a lot better about leaving the odd sweet wrapper lying around in their car," joked one police source. (ananova.com)

2008年12月21日 星期日

Painting horse gets own exhibition 「馬」畫家將開畫展

A horse whose abstract paintings sell for more than £2,000 is to have his own exhibition in Venice.

Cholla - pronounced Choyah after a desert cactus - uses his mouth to hold a brush and paints on an easel-mounted canvas in his paddock.

Owner Renee Chambers, 51, of Reno, Nevada, said she first noticed Cholla's hidden talent four years ago when she painted the fence of his paddock.

She said: "He seemed really interested in what I was doing then one day my husband Robert joked to me that I should give Cholla a brush.

"He hasn't looked back since then, I give him the canvas and the paint and he just makes these wonderful pictures."

She said she squeezes the paint out of the tube for him, puts the paint on the brush and hands it to him, but insists that is the extent of her involvement.

"I have thought he might be the reincarnation of a famous artist, maybe Monet or someone, but the one thing he is definitely is a horse who loves to paint."

Rosalba Giorcelli, from Galleria d'arte Giudecca in Venice, which is to show an exhibition of his work in the spring, said she did not initially realise Cholla's work was painted by a horse.

She said: "We exhibited it at a recent art fair, and the reactions by the public and the artists were enthusiastic.

"They all understood we did not want to diminish any human artist's artwork, but we wish to contribute to a debate about contemporary art." (AP)

Shepherd controls flock with wolf poster 牧羊人用狼海報趕羊

A picture of a shepherd controlling his flock with a poster of a wolf has become an online hit in China.

Du Hebing, of Xi'an, told Huashang Daily that he shot the picture by chance.

"After visiting Qinling Wild Animal Park, on the way home I saw a group of sheep walking along the road with a man holding a picture following behind them," he said.

Du said he burst out laughing when he realised it was a picture of a wolf.

"The man was using the wolf picture to scare the sheep and drive them ahead - it was a really funny scene," he said.

"Maybe he was just trying to save some money by not buying a sheepdog - but he is obviously a talented shepherd." (Huashang Daily)

2008年12月19日 星期五

Man pays parking fine with toilet paper 英男子以衛生紙繳納停車罰單

A motorist who paid a parking fine with a cheque written on toilet paper claimed a victory for common sense today after he escaped a further penalty.

Richard Roper, 63, of Long Melford, Suffolk, was instead ordered to spend just over an hour at the back of Sudbury Magistrates' Court.

Mr Roper staged his "peaceful protest" after receiving a £30 ticket for illegally parking his car across two spaces in Sudbury.

But Suffolk Police took the matter to court to reclaim the £15 they said it would cost to process the unusual payment method.

My payment has been written on stationery which aptly reflects my feelings towards the system

District Judge David Cooper, who sniggered while listening to some of the evidence in the case, suggested the compromise punishment as a way of "clearing it all off".

Mr Roper told the judge: "This is not a case of not wishing or refusing to pay but a case of the authorities refusing to accept my payment.

"What I did here, your honour, was done in good humour.

"My payment has been written on stationery which aptly reflects my feelings towards the system which I am unfortunately forced to support through my taxes."

Afterwards, Mr Roper, a retired managing director of a pharmaceuticals company, said: "I don't consider it a punishment. It was a victory for common sense, really.

"At the end of the day, it wasn't me refusing to pay the fine. It was them refusing to accept it." (Metro.co.uk)

2008年12月17日 星期三

Man eats live snakes over a beer 男子配啤酒生吃活蛇

A Chinese man says he likes to relax by eating live snakes and washing them down with beer.

Wen Xide, 41, of Wangzhuang village, Zhumadian, says he has been eating live snakes for 10 years.

He started by eating one to win a bet with friends for a packet of cigarettes.

"From then on I became addicted to eating live snakes," he said.

Wen demonstrated his habit to a visiting journalist from Oriental Today by chewing down two live snakes bit by bit over a bottle of beer.

"It's a bit smelly, but they're very delicious," he exclaimed - although watching villagers said the sight gave them goosebumps and two vomited at the scene.

Wen says his son is now following his lead and has eaten eight live snakes this year.

But Wang Tianming, a doctor specialising in digestion at a local hospital, said Wen could suffer nerve problems and risked infection from parasites. (Oriental Today)

Prison calendar a surprise hit 英「監獄日曆」意外大暢銷

A calendar featuring England's prisons has become an unlikely best-selling stocking filler for Christmas.

Strangeways, Wormwood Scrubs, Dartmoor and Pentonville, are among 12 institutions featured in Her Majesty's Prisons of England 2009, reports the Daily Telegraph.

It follows the surprise success of the Boring Postcard books which became an overnight success with its prints of motorway service stations, roundabouts and shopping centres.

The idea was dreamt up by Kevin Beresford, 56, from Worcestershire, whose fascination with the less aesthetically pleasing features of Britain have spawned a series of books and calendars.

The year begins with Wormwood Scrubs while the Victorian form of HMP Leicester, the all-male Nottingham prison, Long Lartin in Evesham and HMP Gloucester also feature.

"The calendar shows prisons from all over England from Hull to Dartmoor," said Mr Beresford. "It seems to appeal to all sorts of people although I've not had any orders from prisons yet.

"Every year you see the same calendars on the shelves, such as Jordan and Cliff Richard, so I decided to come up with something totally unique

"I'm a courier and everywhere I turn there seems to be a prison so I went up and down the country taking pictures and turned them into a calendar.

"It started off as a bit of a joke but the orders have been pouring in. I gave one to Jacqui Smith, who is MP in my hometown of Redditch, and she thought it was hilarious." (Daily Telegraph)

2008年12月16日 星期二

Man's pet 'dog' was rare fox 男子的寵物狗竟是稀有狐狸

A Chinese man was shocked to discover the dog he had raised from a pup was actually a rare Arctic fox.

Zhang, of Tunkou, bought what he thought was an all-white Pomeranian dog for £60 a year ago on a business trip.

But he found the dog hard to tame, it would often bite him and had several unusual traits, he told the Wuhan Evening Post.

"It can't bark but instead makes little 'em em' noises, and its tail has been growing longer and longer," he said.

"The most annoying thing is that starting this summer, the dog became very smelly. Even when we gave it a daily shampoo bath, the smell was still strong."

Zhang took his 'dog' to a local zoo for answers, and it turned out the dog is actually an Arctic fox, a protected rare species.

He has now donated the animal to the zoo. (Wuhan Evening Post)

World's first refrigerated beach 世界第一座冷卻海灘

The world's first refrigerated beach is being created in Dubai so tourists don't burn their feet.

A computer-controlled system of coolant-filled pipes under the sand will keep temperatures comfortable, reports The Sun.

The beach will be created next to the new Palazzo Versace hotel in the Arab state.

Guests wanting to chill out in summer heat hitting 50°C (122°F) will also have a cooled swimming pool and a gentle breeze generated by huge blowers.

Bosses hope the gimmicks at the hotel, due to open late next year or early 2010, will attract some of the 800,000 Brits who visit Dubai each year.

British firm Hyder Consulting is overseeing the construction. The five-star hotel is linked to the Versace fashion brand and aims to attract designer-conscious clients.

Soheil Abedian, president of the company that owns the Palazzo Versace, said: "This is the kind of luxury top people want."

But Rachel Noble, of Tourism Concern, said: "Dubai is like a bubble world where the things that are worrying the rest of the world, like climate change, are simply ignored so people can continue destructive lifestyles." (The Sun)

2008年12月12日 星期五

Archer has an arrow escape 大陸學童被從眼窩射入的箭貫穿頭部竟大難不死

A Chinese schoolboy had an amazing escape after being shot through the eye with an arrow by a pal.

Teachers at Jiutai City school believe the young archers were practicing on their own when the accident happened.

The arrow went through 11-year-old Liu Cheong's eye socket, completely through his head and was only stopped by the back of his skull.

"If the arrow had been shot with just a bit more force, it would have come out the back of his head," said doctors at Jida Hospital in Changchun, eastern China.

The boy only survived because the arrow miraculously missed his brain.

Surgeons spent four hours removing the 16 inch arrow which had sunk more than four inches into the boy's head. They had to cut away part of it just to get him in the CT scanner.

After brain scans and x-rays, doctors began to cut away parts of his skull to remove the arrow without damaging optic nerves or brain tissue.

His parents have been warned he still faces a risk of infection and may need further ops. The teammate who shot him, a 13-year-old girl called Yan Shin, is being treated for shock.

"It is a miracle he survived the accident," said one medic. (ananova.com)

Company launches pre-chewed pencils 英國公司推出事先咬過的鉛筆

A British design company has launched a new product to help children concentrate at school - pre-chewed pencils.

The company, called Concentrate, says the pencils look like they have already been chewed making pupils less likely to put them in their mouths.

And they say this is a cheap but effective way of encouraging youngsters to get their teeth into their lessons instead.

Concentrate specialises in products to help kids at school and identify why they get distracted or are unable to focus in class, claim the chewed end encourages them to get thinking straight away.

"We know it's daft but just get down to some concentrated thinking and who knows what might happen," said company boss Mark Champkins.

"We began to look at the reasons that children might be distracted, uncomfortable or unable to focus in lessons - and we set about designing some simple, cost-effective products to address some of the problems." (roundup)

2008年12月10日 星期三

Saddam's spicy wings 海珊的辣雞翅

A restaurant in China is using the image of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to promote its spicy chicken wings.

The Passion Barbecue Chicken Wings, in Shenyang, says its seasonings are a challenge for customers, just like Saddam was to the US and UK.

It features a picture of the despot, who has tried and executed for crimes against humanity, outside the building and more pictures inside.

A restaurant spokeswoman told the Liao Shen Evening Post: "Saddam loved challenges, and eating our spicy chicken wings also requires courage, so it's a good match."

Passer-by Qian Lianghui said he found the sign funny because he could not figure out the relationship between chicken wings and Saddam.

And local elementary teacher Fu Lei said: "It's novel but clever, better than just using beautiful models on the sign."

But a social science researcher said the restaurant should focus more on the quality of its food service than "gimmicks". (Liao Shen Evening Post)

2008年12月9日 星期二

8,000 year old piece of string 英考古學家發現8000年前石器時代的繩子

Archaeologists have found a piece of string that is 8,000 years old.

The four-and-a-half inch long string was made from tough stems of honeysuckle, nettles or wild clematis twisted together.

Marine archaeologists discovered it when they found a flooded Stone Age settlement just off the coast of the Isle of Wight.

The team, led by Gary Momber of the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology, cut small blocks of the sea floor out for analysis after seeing the wooded remains of the settlement by chance.

The string was buried in one of them. The find is remarkable because the fibres, made of organic matter, would usually decay quite quickly.

Now the results have been published in British Archaeology magazine whose editor Mike Pitts described it as a "fantastic find".

He said: "I don't think the average person realises what an important piece of technology string has been over the ages." (British Archaeology)

2008年12月7日 星期日

Cat become member of winter swimming club 大陸一黑貓成為冬泳會成員

A cat in China has overcome its fear of water to become the newest member of its local winter swimming club.

The black cat has no name but has become a celebrity among the 200 members of the Changjiang River Winter Swimming Club in Chongqing.

It swims at least 50 metres each day in the cold and broad river, reports the Chongqing Business Daily newspaper.

Club member, Sang Changjiang, said the cat had been swimming with the club for four months - even though it's only six months old.

It's talent for swimming was discovered one afternoon when a club member accidentally knocked the cat into the river when diving into the water from a boat.

"We knew the cat was terrified of water and thought it might drown in the swirling river. But it swam furiously to get close to the boat and was rescued," said Sang.

From then on, club members always took the cat swimming with them, and after only ten days it could swim by itself without assistance.

"Each afternoon around 4pm, we would take it to swim and it has become part of its daily life," added Sang.

After its daily dip, the cat licks itself dry then falls asleep on a sofa on the boat, owned by a club member, which is its home. (Chongqing Business Daily)

2008年12月4日 星期四

Villagers flock to see 'stone flower' 村民蜂擁去看「石頭花」

Villagers in China are flocking to see a giant stone flower which they believe appeared in the woods after heavy rainfall.

Forestry rangers in Meilan village, Jinfeng town, say an elderly villager found the stone flower a month ago when he was collecting firewood deep in the forest.

And villagers have now built a path through the woods to the site because so many people have come to see it for themselves - even though experts have assured them it's a fossil.

Village head Ran Zaizhong says the site used to be buried by soil and forest until a heavy rain caused a mountain slide and made the stone flower suddenly appear.

“It’s a gift from nature,” said Ran, revealing that township officials are to protect and develop the stone flower as a local scenic attraction.

However, geologist Dr Meng Youyan, who studied pictures of the 'stone flower', says the so-called petals are in fact 300 million-year-old chert nodules. (ananova.com)

Schoolboy tycoon makes £30k a month 英少年大亨月賺近150萬台幣

A schoolboy is raking in £30,000 (逾148萬台幣) a month from a business he runs in his spare time.

Gary Cooper, 16, employs four staff selling mobile phones and gadgets on the internet, reports The Sun.

During the day he studies for four A-levels at Southend High School for Boys in Essex. But before and after lessons he runs his business.

Gary, who believes the firm will make its first £1million in a few years, pays himself £500 a month and is saving for a speedboat.

He said: "My staff look after day-to-day running. That leaves me free to oversee major items and get school work done."

Gary, from Benfleet, Essex, even has a deal with Southend United FC to put his firm's name GC's PCs on the scoreboard. (The Sun)

Boy, 9, writes book on how to talk to girls 9歲男童出書教人泡妞

Alec Greven (left)A nine-year-old boy has had a book published in the US - called How to Talk to Girls.

Alec Greven's book began life as a creative writing project in school at Castle Rock, Colorado.

His handwritten pamphlet was then sold for $5 at a school book fair where it was the surprise bestseller.

Local news outlets took up the story, Alec was then invited on to a TV talkshow which led to him sealing a publishing deal with HarperCollins.

And his book is now available as a 46-page hardcover version across the US.

"I saw a lot of boys that had trouble talking to girls," Alec told the New York Post's Jennifer Fermino. "If I say hi and you say hi back, we're probably off to a good start," he said.

His advice to boys includes - stop showing off, go easy on the compliments and be wary of "pretty girls".

"It is easy to spot pretty girls because they have big earrings, fancy dresses and all the jewellery," he writes in chapter three. "Pretty girls are like cars that need a lot of oil."

And he continues: "The best choice for most boys is a regular girl. Remember, some pretty girls are coldhearted when it comes to boys. Don't let them get to you."

Alec's mother, Erin Greven, says her son's insight is down to his avid reading: "He reads non-stop. At dinner, I say, 'Put your book down,' " she said. (roundup)

2008年12月3日 星期三

Walrus plays the saxophone 海象吹薩克斯風

A walrus has become a star attraction with visitors at a zoo in Turkey by learning to play the saxophone.

Under the direction of her trainer, Sara the Walrus grips the brass instrument between her flippers and blasts out a note.

Russian trainer Sergiy has also taught her to strike a nonchalant pose, leaning on a worktop with one flipper under her chin and looking bored.

Sara's skills at mimicking humans extend to dressing up as a railway platform conductor and blowing a whistle.

Sara is delighting onlookers with her routines at Istanbul Dolphinarium in Istanbul which opened its doors this week. (roundup)

Sperm donor fathers 46 children 荷男子捐精生了46個小孩

A Dutchman who has fathered 46 children without having sex is said to be Europe's most committed sperm donor.

Ed Houben, who was until recently single but has now started a long-distance relationship, has never taken any payment for his services, reports the Daily Telegraph.

He first volunteered his services through an IVF clinic but had to stop a few years ago because he had reached his quota of 25 donations.

Now people find him on the internet and through word-of-mouth. Families he has helped vouch for him by telling of their own good experiences.

Mr Houben has travelled to hotels across Europe to perform his duties as a sperm donor, which is done by self-insemination by the mothers.

"I receive expenses and still travel to meet couples sometimes when it suits them," he said. "But generally people come here to see me."

Because each child will grow up knowing Mr Houben is their biological father, there is no danger of any of his offspring ever meeting and having a relationship.

A group of families including 12 of his children recently attended a reunion at Mr Houben's home.

"The kids had the chance to play with their half-brothers and sisters, which was nice," said Mr Houben. "The families also got to know each other.

"Some of them introduced me to the kids and said this is your real dad. But to be honest it didn't mean much to the children. They just looked at me and smiled and then carried on playing." (Daily Telegraph)

Woman calls police after hubby, 82, takes Viagra 82歲丈夫服用威而剛 太太報警

An 82-year-old Italian man who took a Viagra pill scared his wife so much she called the police.

Giovanni di Stefano, from Palermo, was so excited his wife thought he would have a heart attack and dialled 999.

"The police didn't do anything but their presence had the desired effect. He lost interest in his love life pretty quickly," said a family friend.

Terrified wife Carla, 69, told police: "He is 82-years-old and so I thought so much love could have lethal consequences." (ananova.com)

2008年12月2日 星期二

World's first 'robot play' 全球第一齣「機器人劇」

Scientists in Japan have achieved a major breakthrough in robotics – as they've staged the world's first 'robot play'.
The two robots stars of the play, Takeo and Momoko, appear alongside human actors in the play Hataraku Watashi ('Working Me').

Set in a future where robots and humans co-exist, the drama takes place in the home of a married couple who share a house with two robots.

The robots, which were made by Mitsubishi, are programmed to deliver their lines and hit their marks – although the writer, Hirata Orisa , admitted it was frustrating waiting for the robots to be reprogrammed any time the director wanted to change an aspect of their performance.

The robot actors have yet to throw any artistic tantrums or start scene-stealing like a normal actor would – and one of their fellow human actors admitted to growing fond of them: 'You find yourself developing an affection for the robots. People were saying "they're so cute," particularly the female robot. At first I wondered what the fuss was about but I found myself smiling while I was looking at them.'

The scientists behind the production at Osaka University's Department of Adaptive Machine Systems say they hope to have an all-robot production in theatre within the next two years.

Robots have a long history in the theatre – the word robot was first introduced to the English language by Czech playwright Karel Čapek, in his 1921 play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots). (Metro.co.uk)

Couple wait for wedding to kiss 美一對情侶等到結婚才接吻

A Chicago couple have kissed for the first time - at their wedding.

Claudaniel Fabien, 30, and Melody La Luz, 28, teach abstinence courses in schools and wanted to practice what they preach, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

So they agreed not to even touch lips until the minister said: "You may now kiss the bride" at their wedding.

"It was surreal," said Mr Fabien of the big moment. "It was like, my other self came out and said, 'Look dude, you're kissing her!'"

His bride described the kiss as "magical". "It feels like such a gift," she said. "When you value a kiss, it becomes something of worth."

The couple met on their way to a mission trip in Uganda in 2006. Miss La Luz had taken a seven-year vow not to date until June 2007, and the two lived in different cities, she in Chicago and he in Tucson.

After the trip, they talked on the phone, visited, and became friends. A year ago, Mr Fabien got a job in Chicago, and the two began dating. He proposed last July, writing "WYMM" in sand on a Miami beach. (Chicago Sun-Times)

2008年12月1日 星期一

Britain's oldest newly-weds 英國年紀最大的新婚夫婦

A Devon couple with a combined age of 179 have become Britain's oldest newlyweds.

John Dawkins, 89, and his bride Penny Cooper, 90, wed nine months after she took advantage of a Leap Year and proposed to him, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The wartime navy veterans have become the most senior sweethearts in the country to exchange vows, according to Statistics Authority records.

Mr Dawkins, of Exmouth, said: "It is a wonderful thing to love. It gives me a great amount of pleasure to be with her.

"Without a shadow of a doubt, I would have been a very grumpy old man if I had not met Penny."

The couple, who fell in love after meeting nine years ago, are now settling into happily married life.

Mr and Mrs Dawkins were married at Honiton Register Office, Devon, and the service was attended by their family of four children, five grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

It was their joint navy background which finally brought them together at a charity social event in Exeter in 1999.

Mr Dawkins was urged by his friends to strike up a friendship with his new wife but says he didn't need much encouragement.

He said: "She was the most beautiful young lady in the room." (Daily Telegraph)

2008年11月27日 星期四

Farmer builds 26 robots 大陸農民建造26個機器人

A Chinese farmer fascinated by technology has built himself 26 robots over the past 30 years.

Wu Yulu, 46, who has only a basic school education, designs the robots himself and builds them from scrap materials.

"When I was 11, one day I was sitting on the doorstep, and while watching villagers passing by I suddenly came up with the idea of building a machine that walks like a man," he told the Beijing Times.

His first robot took several years to build and could only shuffle along in small steps as it could not raise its legs.

But his designs became more and more sophisticated, and he has built robots capable of climbing walls, serving water, lighting cigarettes, playing musical instruments and writing calligraphy.

Wu, who lives near Beijing, sees all the robots as his sons, and names them according to the order in which they were invented, from Wu No.1 through to Wu No.26.

"They are all my sons, so they must bear my surname," he said.

Out of all of his mechanical 'sons', Wu says he loves Wu No.25, a robot which can pull a rickshaw, the best.

Each day, Wu No.25 pulls his inventor around the local area. It can walk for up to six hours on one battery charge.

Wu says he has to sell off some of his robot collection after plunging his family into debt by spending up to two-thirds of his monthly income on his obsession. (Beijing Times)

Cheerleading nuns 修女啦啦隊

Basketball fans in Italy say they have been converted after watching a new group of cheerleaders made up of nuns.

The sisters, along with monks and priests, used special dance routines to disco music to wow crowds at a match in Sassari, southern Italy.

A video clip of the routine - shown on You Tube - shows the dancers in traditional robes and habits dancing in the middle of the court.

"You wanted us to speak your language - well here we are," choreographer Father Steven told the audience.

Now the troupe is on a tour of Italian discos and nightclubs to spread the message of Christianity to young people. (Ananova.com)

2008年11月26日 星期三

Boy's heart grows outside his body 大陸男孩的心臟長在身體外面

Doctors in China are trying to treat a four-year-old boy whose heart is growing on the outside of his stomach.

Zhang Weiyuan's heart is covered in only a layer of skin under which it can easily be seen beating, reports the Northeastern News Network.

Zhang, of Hetai village, Panjing, has been taken to Shengjing Hospital, China Medical University, where doctors are weighing up their options.

"We are not sure if we can perform surgery to put his heart back, but we'll try our best," said a hospital spokesman.

His parents wrap him up in clothes with extra padding to protect his heart and stop him playing with other children in case of accidents.

His father, Zhang Xianzhen, a rubbish collector, said he feels guilty for not taking his son to see a doctor earlier.

"My wife and I are both garbage collectors, and we don't make much money. So we didn't take our son to the doctor because we couldn't afford the fees.

"He never cries even though he suffers all the time, which makes us feel even more guilty."( Northeastern News Network)

Woman celebrates wrong birthday - 106 times 英婦女過了106年錯誤的生日

One of Britain's oldest women has been celebrating her birthday on the wrong day - for more than a century.

Lena Thouless, 106, a great-grandmother, from Bowthorpe, Norwich, has spent all her life celebrating her birthday on 23 November.

But detective work by her daughter, Lena Brooks, discovered she should have been blowing out the candles the day before, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Mrs Brooks, 55, also of Bowthorpe, was stunned to discover purely by chance that the extraordinary centenarian was actually born on 22 November.

She found her mother's birthday certificate and is baffled why the family has always marked the occasion a day late.

Mrs Brooks said: "We were quite surprised when we found it out. I have asked but no one in the family has any idea how the mishap occurred. But we still celebrate with mum on the 23rd as that's the day she has come to know as her birthday."

Mrs Thouless, whose great-grand-daughter Riesha Dayns, 17, works at the care home where she lives, said she had enjoyed having all her family come to see her on her special day.

Her grandson Tony Brooks, said: "She is a very special lady and we are really pleased we have been able to come and see her and celebrate with her." (Daily Telegraph)

2008年11月25日 星期二

Blow up balloons using only eyes 用眼睛吹氣球

A Chinese man has been showing off his talent for blowing up balloons using only his eyes.

Ping Zui, of Hubei, was invited to perform at an awards night in Zhuzhou, reports the People's Daily.

By wearing a pair of specially made goggles, Ping blew up the balloon to the audience's applause.

Zhang Mingchan, chief eye surgeon at Xiehe Hospital, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, said Ping's performance was unbelievable.

"The only exit for air is the tear duct, but a tear duct is very narrow and winding. Even if some air can exit from the tear duct, the amount is tiny, so it's really incredible to be able to blow up a balloon using the eyes," he said.

An examination revealed that Ping's eyes are healthy and his eyesight is good.

Ping discovered his talent as a child: "When I was young and swimming with pals in the river, I found my eyes could blow out air," he said. (People's Daily)

Mr Christmas hit by credit crunch 「耶誕節先生」也受到不景氣衝擊

A man who has celebrated Christmas every day for the last 14 years says he's scaling back because of the credit crunch, it was revealed Nov. 24.

Andy Park, known as Mr Christmas, has celebrated every day with a full roast dinner, champagne, cards and presents.

But this year the 44-year-old electrician, from Melksham, Wiltshire, has to make swingeing cuts to keep his unique devotion to Yuletide on the road.

Divorced Mr Park said: "I've been through 37 electric ovens and worn out 23 video recorders by watching the Queen's Speech every day. I've also sent myself 235,206 Christmas cards. But these days the postage is so dear I'm having to deliver them myself.

"I'm not being tight but a few of the little extras are having to go. I'm only having one Christmas tree this year, instead of two, and I'm cutting back on the Christmas lights because of energy bills.

"I used to get a 14lb turkey, now I'm going for a 9lb one. I refuse to compromise on champagne and always have Moet, but now I'm having to make it last two days."

Every morning since July 14 1994, the father of one has breakfasted on mince pies and sherry, before opening the presents he has bought for himself. Then he eats a full roast turkey lunch and watches the Queen's Speech on video.

Mr Park said: "I'll never forget the day it started. The sun was shining, but I was just feeling fed up and bored, so I went home and put the decorations up. Suddenly I was happy. I thought this is fun. So I did it again the next day, and the day after that.

"People do think I'm crackers, but I enjoy treating myself and I'm the only one in the world who does it. When people come to my house it turns a sad face into a smiling one, and the happiness stays with them."

Mr Park is hoping he will be able to afford the £70,000 an undertaker has quoted him for a Christmas funeral, with a sprout-filled coffin, mourners dressed as Father Christmas and Noddy Holder singing Merry Christmas Everybody. (metro.co.uk)

Bacon-flavoured chocolate a hit with Brits 培根口味的巧克力受英國人喜愛

The world's first bacon-flavoured chocolate bar is proving an unlikely success with British consumers.

Selfridges, the only UK stockists of the US invention, sold its entire stock in 48 hours and is urgently seeking more, reports the Daily Mail.

Mo's Bacon Bar, which contains chunks of applewood smoked bacon combined with smoked salt and milk chocolate, sells at a pricey £5.99 per 3oz bar.

Ewan Venters, food and restaurant director at Selfridges, said: "Bacon and chocolate sounds like a strange combination, but the execution is fantastic. It's a real explosion of flavours and people love it."

But the Daily Mail's Claudia Connell, a self-confessed chocolate addict and bacon fan, described it as "the most unpleasant thing ever to have passed my lips".

"The chocolate is intensely salty and the smokey bacon pieces are horribly out of place in something so sweet. The whole sensation is like eating chocolate that has been dunked in an overflowing ashtray," she wrote. (Daily Mail)

2008年11月23日 星期日

Man builds amphibious car 男子建造水陸兩用汽車

A Chinese man spent 13 years building himself a car he can take fishing.

Wang Hongjun, an electrician from Qian'an city, Hebei province, says his "amphibicar" cost him about £100,000 and 13 years of persistence to develop.

After driving it to Beijing to find investors, he told the Beijing Times: "I'm looking for auto producers who are interested in my creation, since I don't want to keep it to myself."

Wang says he often drives his creation to the lake in his hometown to fish, and claims he has even taken his son for a 10-mile drive out to sea.

The yellow sportscar can be sealed to make it waterproof by remote control. A column-shaped thruster and two propellers are installed in the car's boot.

Wang said his car can float and drive in the water, but he refused to divulge exactly how it works.

"It's a business secret, but I can assure you the car was made entirely by my hands. Each plate was welded by me," he said. (Beijing Times)

Karaoke cabbie 卡拉OK計程車

A Chinese taxi driver says business is booming since he installed a karaoke machine in his cab for customers.

Fan Xiaoming spent £600 on three flat screens, 16 speakers, amplifiers and disco lights, reports New Culture Daily.

And he says takings have shot up since he transformed his cab into what he calls "Changchun's only karaoke cab" last month.

"Many people ask for my number for their next trip," he said. "And sometimes they even ask me to take a longer route so they can spend more time singing."

Fan says the passengers' singing doesn't distract him from driving, since he already knows all the songs and it's just like listening to the radio.

"I only sing during my lunch break with some cab driver buddies," he added.

Fan, a cab driver for nine years, said he had always harboured ambitions to be a singer himself, but never had the time as he was always behind the wheel.

"Then one day I suddenly thought, since I spent most of my time in the taxi, why not install a karaoke machine in the cab?" (New Culture Daily)

Cambridge University's page three girl 劍橋大學的第三頁女郎

A Cambridge University student magazine has printed a picture of a topless female student on page three.

The unnamed student was photographed in a black lacy thong and stockings straddling one of the city's historic bridges.

She agreed to pose for the latest edition of Vivid Magazine, which is published by a group of students once a term, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The page three photo shoot was done on Clare College bridge, which goes over the River Cam and is visited by thousands of tourists each year.

It is the first time a student has appeared topless in a University publication and it has caused an outcry.

One student from King's College said: "I can't believe she agreed to pose for the magazine. Everyone has been talking about it. I'm sure she must really regret it now."

Another student, from Clare College, who did not want to be named, added: "Lots of students and professors have seen this. It's a very risky thing to do when you are studying at one of the top universities in the country."

The model, from Homerton College, who is pictured anonymously in the magazine, has declined to comment on reactions to the photo. Vivid's editors also refused to offer a statement.

The magazine is largely constituted of comment pieces of a political and satirical nature.

The magazine is distributed to all the university colleges. It has featured "page three" girls before but none have been as explicit. (Daily Telegraph)

2008年11月21日 星期五

Entrepreneur uses plastic prostitutes to advertise garden gnome business 創業青年用塑膠妓女來促銷「花園地侏」軟體

A Romanian entrepreneur has come under fire for putting plastic prostitutes on the street to advertise his garden gnome business.

Neighbours in Lilieci, Bacau county, complain the realistic figures distract motorists and are an unsuitable sight for local children.

Cristi Birgu, 27, who has just set up his business, defends his "aggressive advertising" and says the dummies will remain outside his house to drum up trade.

Apart from garden gnomes and prostitutes, he makes reproductions of Laurel and Hardy, Elvis, sports stars, cartoon characters and animals.

Mr Birgu said: "So far, my girls have attracted a lot of beeping from truck drivers but not too many customers. Sometimes I am afraid somebody might have an accident, arrested by the view, you know."

Resident Gheorghe N said: "I don't think it's moral to display such objects on the street.

"They are a bad influence especially for children not to mention there are a lot of people with respect for God here and who don't tolerate such things." (ananova.com)

Depressed parrot on prozac 主人過世後得憂鬱症的鸚鵡服用百憂解

A depressed parrot is taking prozac after the death of the man who raised him from a chick.

Fred got the blues after the death of George Dance nine months ago, reports The Sun.

The African Grey bit all his neck feathers off and bobbed his head up and down all day.

Animal experts believe he went into a deep depression because he could not understand why George had disappeared.

But a twice-daily liquid dose of a bird-friendly version of Prozac, called Clomical, has put him back on his perch.

George's widow Helen, of Somerset, said: "He has been in quite a state since my husband died. Fred was very close to George and became depressed."

Experts say tropical birds are very emotional and the number needing anti-depressants is rising.

Fred is featured on a Cutting Edge show called Special Needs Pets on Channel 4. (The Sun)

2008年11月20日 星期四

Lost parrot rang owner 走失的鸚鵡打電話給飼主

A missing parrot has been reunited with its owner after chirping its own name down the phone from the home of its rescuer.

The woman who found two-year-old cockatiel Smokey wanted to be sure she was speaking to the rightful owners.

So she passed the phone to the bird, and it immediately squawked its name, reports the Daily Post.

Smokey went missing after flying out of the door of Mr David Edwards' home in Gwersyllt, near Wrexham.

His two-day adventure in the wild came to an end two miles away in Wrexham, when he perched on accountant Sue Hill's shoulder.

She took him in and phoned the RSPCA which put her in touch with Mr Edwards who had reported his cockatiel missing.

Sue said: "I called and spoke to his wife who told me her pet was called Smokey and asked me to put him on the phone.

"As soon as he heard her voice, he stopped chirping and began saying 'Smokey', it was very funny. That was the first time the bird had spoken and it was then I was sure that he belonged to them."

Mr Edwards said he was "over the moon" to have Smokey back. He said: "Smokey belongs to my 16-year-old grandson but lives here with us because we have two other birds.

"They all have free rein over the house but I hadn't realised Smokey was upstairs when he flew past me and out of the door." (Daily Post)

2008年11月19日 星期三

Sheepdogs join swimming club 牧羊犬加入游泳俱樂部

Two sheepdogs have become honorary members of a Chinese swimming club.

Four-year-old Paris and her six-month-old pup Carlo swim at least 5km each day in the Jialing River in Chongqing, reports the Chongqing Morning Post.

The dogs are now the most popular members of the city winter swimming team - and even have their own shower cubicle.

"If other team members accidentally drop something into the river, Paris jumps in and retrieves it," said owner Yu Guoqing.

He said Paris has been swimming every day since she was Carlo's age and both dogs love their daily swim.

Every afternoon they join their non-canine swimming companions and - at a whistle signal - leap from a 10ft high platform into the river.

Yu said: "Originally I bought Paris as a swimming mate but I never expected her to take to it like this. Each day she swims at least 3km, and sometimes as far as 25 km."

Yu said he and his wife are both keen swimmers and record the dog's distance each day. They estimate she has swum a total of 10,000km. "We are so proud of her," he added. (Chongqing Morning Post --重慶晨報)

2008年11月18日 星期二

Miracle pup clings to bonnet 小狗奇蹟般抓著疾駛汽車的引擎蓋不放

A miracle pup clung to a speeding car for more than 15 miles after being knocked down.

The motorist, Marco Menozzi, didn't even stop when he mowed down the one-year-old pooch while doing 70mph on a side road in Cozze, southern Italy.

But he hit the dog so hard he was embedded in the grill under the bonnet of the Peugeot 207 and managed to cling on until the car eventually stopped.

Vets have treated the stray for a broken leg and bruising and he's now in a police pound looking for new owner.

"He's a very lucky boy. He was saved because he was hit so hard. Any softer and he would have bounced off the car and been crushed under the wheels," said a police spokesman. (ananova.com)

Life-saving beer tastes awful 救命啤酒很難喝

A beer that can help prolong life and prevent illness has been created - the only problem is it tastes awful.

BioBeer has been genetically-modified by students in Texas.

It is brewed using a yeast called resveratrol.

The same yeast is used in red wine and is thought to help prevent heart disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's.

Researcher Thomas Segall-Shapiro told The Sun: "No way would anyone drink this until it tastes better." (The Sun)

2008年11月15日 星期六

US space-funeral company plans to launch lunar cemetery 美國太空葬禮公司計畫在月球設立公墓

A US funeral business that specializes in launching cremated human remains into Earth's orbit has begun taking reservations for landing small capsules of ashes on the moon, announced the company's founder.

"Celestis' first general public lunar mission could occur as early as 2010 and reservations are now being taken," said Charles M. Chafer, Celestis founder and president, in an email to AFP.

"We can send up to 5000 individual capsules to the lunar surface," he said.

The company hopes to install a cemetery on the lunar surface to hold cremated remains of the dead, or a smaller symbolic portion of them, which one day could be visited by relatives of the deceased, said Chafer.

For transportation, Celestis has made deals with two other US private space companies, Odyssey Moon and Astrobotic Technology, which are currently working on making commercial flights to the moon.

For sending a tiny, one gram portion of cremated remains to the moon, the company charges 9,995 dollars, according to Celestis' website.

Other funeral services besides the full lunar trip include sending ash into Earth's orbit -- the cheapest option, starting at 700 dollars -- and all the way up to launching remains far, far away into deep space, for which the company charges more than 37,000 dollars.

The latter option is expected to be available from 2011, after the development of a special capsule to hold the remains, the company said.

Ten years ago NASA paid tribute to top US astronomer Eugene Shoemaker by carrying into space a portion of his cremated remains.

After a year in lunar orbit Shoemaker's remains were intentionally planted on the moon's south pole, the first time human remains have been landed on the lunar surface -- but maybe not the last time. (AFP)

2008年11月14日 星期五

Tractor bucket wedding 在牽引機鏟斗中舉行空中婚禮

A Chinese couple got married in mid-air in two tractor digger buckets.

The idea was to honour a tradition in Xi'an that the bride's feet shouldn't touch the ground during the journey from home to the ceremony, reports Huashang Daily.

Organiser Fan Yalin said the usual way of following the tradition was for the groom to carry the bride in his arms from the car.

But as the groom sells heavy machinery for a job, his colleagues came up with the idea of having them stand in two tractor buckets.

The bride and two bridesmaids were in one and the husband and two best men in the other.

The couple said they loved the novel ceremony, describing it as "dangerous but sweet".

While one guest, a Ms Yang, was quoted as saying: "It was really cool to have a tractor bucket marriage. Very interesting." (Huashang Daily – 陝西「華商日報」)

Man granted divorce for mother-in-law's nagging 岳母太嘮叨 男子獲准離婚

A hen-pecked husband (妻管嚴或家有母老虎的先生) has been granted a divorce in Italy because his mother-in-law keeps nagging him.

Shopkeeper Luca Rossi, 36, told the court in Salerno that his wife's mother didn't leave him alone throughout four months of marriage.

"I'd never believed stories and jokes about mothers-in-law but my marriage was hell and it was all her fault," he said after the hearing.

"It was hell right from the moment we said 'I do' at our wedding until the moment we split, just because my mother-in-law interfered in every single thing in our lives.

"It was impossible. It led to one argument after another and there was no way a marriage could survive after that."

Rossi said he would consider marriage again - but only if he did not have to deal with a mother-in-law.

"Next time I'm hoping to find a girl who's an orphan," he added. (ananova.com)

Prisoner mails himself to freedom 囚犯把自己當包裹寄到獄外 成功脫逃

An inmate escaped from jail in Germany by posting himself out of prison in a giant FedEx box of dirty laundry.

Drug dealer Hans Lang, 42, hid in the laundry room after other inmates had finished work there and bundled himself up in dirty bed sheets in the large box.

The package was then loaded onto a van and driven through the gates at the prison in Willich near Dusseldorf.

He is understood to have waited until the driver made his next stop before getting out of the box, picking the lock on the back of the van and running off into nearby woods.

It was only discovered that he was missing after the driver saw the empty box and realised the lock to his van had been picked from the inside.

A spokesman for police who are now hunting him said: "It's the kind of thing people think only happens in films - but in this case it is very real." (Roundup)

2008年11月13日 星期四

Woman killed by husband's coffin 巴西一婦女被靈車上她丈夫的棺材擊斃

A Brazilian woman has died after being struck by her husband's coffin when a hearse was involved in a car crash.

The 67-year-old woman was on the way to the cemetery to bury her husband, reports the BBC.

The hearse was struck from behind by an Alfa Romeo car, police said.

The coffin slammed into the head of the woman, who was sitting in the passenger seat of the hearse, killing her instantly, according to officers.

Marciana Silva Barcelos and her family were on the way to a cemetery in the town of Alvorada in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, for the funeral of her partner, Josi Silveira Coimbra.

The 76-year-old man had died of a heart attack on Sunday after attending a dance.

Following the accident, the driver of the Alfa Romeo was trapped for around 50 minutes in the wreckage and was taken to hospital.

The driver of the hearse and a son of the dead man, who was also travelling in the hearse, were treated for minor injuries. (BBC)

Thieves steal church 竊賊把整座教堂偷走

A church has vanished from the Russian village where it stood for almost 200 years.

The Church of Christ's Resurrection, in the central Russian village of Komarovo, was built in 1809 but in early October someone reportedly took it away brick by brick.

Father Vitaly a spokesman for the local Russian Orthodox Church, said: "We have sent a letter to local prosecutors. Who exactly did this, the investigation will show."

The church was in an isolated area only occasionally visited by clergymen, so the disappearance was not immediately noticed, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Komarovo is in the Ivanovo region, north-east of Moscow. The church was not in use but clergy had been considering resuming services there.

A survey of the large, two-storey church a few months ago found that it was structurally sound, but now all that remains are the foundations and sections of walls, the statement said.

"This is not an isolated case," said Father Vitaly. "In many villages in central Russia sites of historical interest are being dismantled and people suffer by being deprived of their cultural heritage." (Daily Telegraph)

2008年11月12日 星期三

Dog adopts kittens 母狗收養小貓

A female dog is nursing a litter of kittens which were orphaned when their mother died in China.

Their owner, Cai, of Jiangmen, said he has been raising cats and dogs together for more than 10 years, and they all got along together well.

But this was the first time he had ever seen kittens being nursed by a dog, he told the local Guangzhou Daily.

The four kittens seemed happy and content with their new mother's milk, while the dog was tending to its adopted family with love and care, Cai added.

"Several days ago, the kittens' mother died after eating a poisoned rat, leaving behind a litter of kittens without a source of milk," he said.

"The kittens' cries may have stirred the dog's maternal nature, since it too had recently given birth. It volunteered to take over and feed the kittens of its old friend."

The dog's own puppies had been taken away by one of its grown-up offspring.

Cai said: "That's perhaps another reason why the dog adopted the kittens. She lost all of her own children." (Guangzhou Daily)

2008年11月11日 星期二

Armless thief steals TV 無臂賊偷走電視機

Police in Germany are hunting a thief with no arms who managed to walk out of a shop with a 24-inch TV.

Two accomplices used clamps to fix the TV to his body before helping him out of the store in Munich, Germany.

Staff did not realise what had happened until they noticed a TV was missing from its stand and looked back at CCTV recordings.

A police spokesman said: "Staff only knew about the theft after they saw one of the display TVs had been taken off its stand.

"It's hard to believe that the sight of an armless man walking along with a giant TV clamped to his body did not get anyone's attention." (ananova.com)

2008年11月7日 星期五

Woman arrested for calling Japanese police 7,177 times 日女子狂打7,177通電話給警方而被捕

Japanese police arrested a woman for making more than 7,000 emergency telephone calls because an officer did not take her initial complaint seriously, a police spokesman said.

The 38-year-old was arrested on November 4 on charges of obstructing police work, a police spokesman in western Osaka said.

She made 7,177 calls during the day or night between September 14 and October 13 this year, sometimes shouting "drop dead" at police, he said.

The woman first called in 2005 to say she had been hit by a man, but the officer who answered her call "did not take the allegation seriously, because what she said was hard to understand," he said.

"She apparently had a grudge against police officials," he said. (AFP)

2008年11月6日 星期四

Man builds Lamborghini in cellar 美男子在地窖自製藍寶堅尼跑車

A US man who built a Lamborghini sportscar in his cellar had to dig into the foundations of his house to get it out.

Ken Imhoff began building the sportscar after falling in love with it during the movie Cannonball Run, reports the Daily Telegraph.

But it took him 17 years to build his own version of the car in the basement of his home in Wisconsin.

However, when he finished assembling it, he was confronted with the problem of how to get the car out.

He had to hire an excavator to gouge out a slope in his garden and then dig down into the foundations of his house. The car was then hooked up to the excavator and pulled out.

Despite the amount of effort involved, Mr Imhoff said that it was all worth it.

He said: "I was like an expectant father watching it come through the wall. I was literally shaking and running the supposed plan over and over in my head. 'Have I overlooked anything? Is some of the wall going to fall on my work of seventeen years?'

"The neighbours started gathering around as it emerged, waiting for me to remove the blankets. It was like an artist unwrapping his masterpiece. I had never seen it in the light of day either.

"As the last blanket and car cover were removed I knew at that moment I had accomplished what I had dreamed about so many years ago and to see it sitting there in front of me was surreal.

"The next day we filled the hole in the basement with new blocks. In no time it was good as new." (Daily Telegraph)

2008年11月5日 星期三

Nudists want their own polling booth 天體人士想要有自己的投票所

A nudist resort in Florida has had a request for a naked polling booth for the US election turned down.

Naturists at Caliente Resort, near Tampa, asked Pasco County elections officials to set up a clothing-optional polling place for their community.

Resort spokeswoman Angye Fox insisted it was a serious request, reports the St. Petersburg Times.

"It's about freedom," she insisted. "People take their civic duty seriously and in many cases nudism is a very serious part of their lifestyle."

But Brian Corley, Pasco's supervisor of elections, dismissed the request as a publicity stunt.

"I think they're just doing some marketing hype," said Corley, adding he heard there was a news release by Caliente touting its request.

Corley said the request came a few weeks ago, and there's not enough time to set up a new polling place for this election. Even for 2010 would be difficult, he said.

County Commissioner Pat Mulieri, whose central Pasco district includes the resort, doubted the need for a new precinct.

"They can do absentees," she said. "They can do early voting - I mean, they do leave the place." (St. Petersburg Times)

Brazil markets GPS lingerie 巴西推出全球定位系統女性內衣褲

Lingerie maker Lucia Iorio says her new design targets the modern, techno-savvy woman, but the GPS-equipped "Find Me If You Can" line has raised the hackles of feminists who call it a 21st-century chastity belt.

The lingerie combo consists of lace bodice, bikini bottom and faux pearl collar, with the GPS device visibly nestled in the see-through part of the bodice next to the waist.

"This collection... is a wink to women and a challenge to men because, even if she gives him the password to her GPS, she can always turn it off," Iorio told AFP.

"She can be found only if she wants to."

"It's not a modern chastity belt. Some men think they can keep tabs on their girlfriends with it, but they're wrong," she added.

Unconcerned with the controversy her new collection has raised, Iorio is also dismissive of the global financial crisis and its adverse impact on luxury items sales since the GPS lingerie retails from a cool 800 dollars, with a standard Global Positioning System, to 1,100 dollars with a more advanced model.

So how many has she sold?

Iorio admits to selling only a few so far, but is full of optimism for the future.

"Some women are now interested in buying it for protection," she said, adding that in a violence-prone country like Brazil her GPS lingerie should soon be selling briskly. (AFP)

2008年11月4日 星期二

Teen's 'fantastic' new name 19歲少年的新怪名

A Somerset teenager has changed his name to Captain Fantastic Faster Than Superman Spiderman Batman Wolverine Hulk And The Flash Combined.

Music graduate George Garratt, 19, changed his name by deed poll online for £10, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Captain Fantastic said: "I wanted to be unique. I decided upon a theme of superheroes."

He joins a number of people with unusually long names, including Rhoshandiatellyneshiaunneveshenk Koyaanisquatsiuth Williams, a girl born in Texas in 1984.

The teenager, from Glastonbury, added that while he thought the new name was "crazy", his grandmother was no longer speaking to him. (Daily Telegraph)

Man glued to toilet, taken to hospital 男子被強力膠黏在馬桶後送醫

A man had to be taken to hospital still attached to a toilet after super-glue was deliberately smeared on the seat.

Firefighters were unable to free the man and were forced to remove the stainless steel toilet with the man still attached.

The 35-year-old was in a public toilet cubicle in Brierley Hill in the West Midlands when he became stuck, reports the BBC.

He was taken to hospital where doctors had to get into the ambulance before using chemicals to free him.

An ambulance service spokesman said: "He appeared to be none the worse for his ordeal other than being understandably somewhat embarrassed."

It is thought the glue had been smeared on the toilet seat by a prankster.

An ambulance crew and a rapid response vehicle attended the scene but they were unable to free the man.

"With the help of a local authority and the fire and rescue service, the man was removed from the cubicle still attached to the stainless steel toilet," the spokesman said.

The toilet was later taken back to the public convenience and re-installed. (BBC)

2008年11月3日 星期一

Daredevil fisherman 不怕死的釣客

A daredevil angler who fishes while balancing on a narrow pipe high above a river is attracting crowds in China.

People who gathered around Tuoban Bridge, in Nanjing, were amazed to see the young man's technique, reports Modern Express.

They were were even more amazed to discover that he was fishing without any bait, but simply dropping his hook into the water to catch fish.

Within half an hour, the young man had already caught four fish. His partner on the bridge said with pride that no fish were safe when his friend goes fishing.

The fisherman told onlookers he was a wholesaler at a nearby market who had come fishing for fun because business was slow.

Responding to concerns about his safety, he added: "I have a good sense of balance. And anyway, I'm a good swimmer!" (Modern Express – 現代快報)

World's most amazing face paintings 世界最令人驚奇的臉部彩繪

Face painting usually means tigers or lions at the fair or national flags for football matches.

Well, meet John Kuhn, the Leonardo da Vinci and Picasso of face painting all rolled into one.

The drag queen, former nudist and born-again Christian is halfway through a project to create a design for his face every day for a year.

He has daubed his visage with everything from a giant carton of pop corn to Loony Toon Tweety Pie and even a big scary gorilla.

His face has hosted a menagerie of animals, but perhaps the most striking ­images are those of food.

One shows him wolfing down an ice-cream, while another transforms him into a pineapple.

He also makes a pretty convincing burger. Michigan-based Mr Kuhn, 46, who began his project in March, said he wants to take face painting 'to a higher level'.

He said: 'Face painting is the most exciting thing that has happened to me in a long while! I believe it may have magical powers!'

Sit back and have a look at his wonderful gallery of face painting art here. (Metro.co.uk)

2008年11月2日 星期日

World's remotest school 全球最偏僻的學校

Children in a remote part of China face a hazardous walk to school - because it is halfway up a sheer cliff.

The school in Gulu village, Sichuan province, lies halfway up a mountain and climbing up from the base takes five hours.

The elementary school has only one teacher who has been there for 26 years, reports the West China City Daily.

Villagers say going to school is very dangerous for the children, since the path is only 1ft 4ins wide at the narrowest point and has a sheer drop on one side.

Walking along the narrow, zigzagging path also makes the children feel dizzy, they say.

The school has five concrete buildings and a playground with a basketball hoop made of two wooden poles and a broken blackboard.

However, the children are allowed to only pat the balls, as if they throw them and they go over the edge of the cliff, it would take half a day to retrieve them.

Shen Qijun, 45, the teacher, has threatened to quit several times, but each time the villagers plead with him to stay as there would be nobody else to teach their children.

Shen teaches Chinese and Math to the students, but says only two students in 26 years have gone on to university because of the isolation.

A volunteer who has been teaching there for three months said: "The students work very hard, but they have never seen computers, cars or even flushing toilets." (West China City Daily -- 華西都市報)

2008年10月29日 星期三

Man puts wife up for sale 男子在中古車網站賣妻

A Romanian man has put his 25-year-old wife up for sale on a website specialising in used cars.

Alex Cretu, 20, who lives in Bucharest, hoped to get around £4m but has lowered his price to £3,000 for a quick sale.

His ad on www.okazii.ro reads: "Wife for sale. Model 1983, good condition. Full option, nice suspensions, spacious boot, second owner.

"Price is negotiable, comes with three-year-old and five-year-old accessories. Seriousness demanded."

Alex says he placed his ad on the site partly because he had got fed up of his wife nagging him all of the time and partly as a joke.

He said he waited until his wife left for a job in Spain so as she wouldn't know about the sale.

He had received a number of offers but none were acceptable so far as the potential purchasers either offered too low a price or wanted to buy her in instalments. (Roundup)

2008年10月28日 星期二

Driver follows sat-nav into lake 駕駛人照著衛星導航指示駛入湖中

A Polish driver steered his mini bus straight into a lake - after his sat-nav told him to.

Stunned police got a frantic call from the bus driver as he called from the Mercedes van screaming that he and his two passengers were drowning.

"A man phoned in panic from his mobile phone. He managed to say that he had driven into a lake and he was sinking fast," said police spokesman Marcin Guzenda in Glubczyce, south west Poland.

"He said he had two passengers but he couldn't open the doors - and then he got cut off."

Police, fire and ambulance services rushed to the lake and found the driver and his passengers perched on the top of the mini-bus's roof.

The trio were taken to hospital after the accident but released after treatment for shock.

"There used to be a road there until last year until the local water company flooded the valley to build a new reservoir lake," said one police source.

"It seems that the GPS hadn't been updated and was still showing a usable road running through where the lake now is. It's a huge lake and it's hard to imagine how you could ignore or not see it, but he certainly managed it.

"The driver had such faith in his sat-nav that he didn't even notice all the traffic signs saying the road had been closed," they added. (Ananova.com)

2008年10月27日 星期一

Walking house 會走路的房子

They say it would make the ultimate home for beating floods or neighbours from hell, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The 10ft high home is solar and wind powered and can stroll at walking pace across all terrains. It has a living room, kitchen, toilet, bed, wood stove and mainframe computer which controls the legs.

The pod is set to take its maiden stroll around rural Cambridgeshire at the Wysing Arts Centre in Bourn. It was built by art collective N55 in Copenhagen, Denmark, in conjunction with engineers at MIT in Massachusetts, USA.

N55 artist Oivind Slaatto, who says he was inspired by meeting Romany travellers in Cambridgeshire, plans to live in the house when it returns to Copenhagen.

"This house is not just for travellers but also for anyone interested in a more general way of nomadic living," he said.

Designers say it provides a solution to the problem of rising water levels as the house can simply walk away from floods.

The prototype cost £30,000 to build, including materials and time, but the designers believe it could be constructed for a lot less. (Daily Telegraph)

2008年10月23日 星期四

Kung fu fan blows out candles with eyes 功夫迷用眼睛吹熄蠟燭

A Chinese martial arts enthusiast says he can blow out candles with only his eyes.

Wearing specially made goggles, Ling Chunjiang, 35, of Kaifeng, blows air from his eyes through a hose and can put out 12 candles in one minute.

Lin, who started to practice kung fu with his grandfather when he was eight years old, found he could blow air out of his eyes if he pinned his nose.

Another one of Lin?s stunts is to hit off the bottom of a beer bottle while keeping the rest of it intact, reports the China News Network.

"I used to have a small restaurant. In my free time I would fill the empty bottles and strike the tops for fun. Once I was surprised to find I could hit off the bottom without damaging the rest," he said. (China News Network)

2008年10月21日 星期二

Police in hunt for stolen beach 警方尋找遭竊的海灘

Police in Jamaica are investigating the puzzling theft of a beach on the island's north coast.

An estimated 500 truck-loads of sand have been removed outside a planned resort at Coral Spring beach, reports the BBC.

Detectives say rivals in the tourism sector could be suspects, because a good beach is a valuable asset to hotels on the Caribbean island.

The beach at Coral Springs, in Jamaica's northern parish of Trelawny, was 1,300ft of white sand. The theft of its most important feature has led to its developers putting their plans on hold.

Three months on, and with no arrests or charges in the case, the main opposition People's National Party have suggested that some people now think there has been a cover up.

But the deputy commissioner for crime at the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Mark Shields, insisted this was not an open-and-shut case.

"It's a very complex investigation because it involves so many aspects," he told the BBC.

"You've got the receivers of the stolen sand, or what we believe to be the sand. The trucks themselves, the organisers and, of course, there is some suspicion that some police were in collusion with the movers of the sand."

Police said they were carrying out forensic tests on beaches along the coast to see if any of it matches the stolen sand. (BBC)

2008年10月20日 星期一

Schoolgirl breaks record for having most snails on her face 英女學童締造最多蝸牛爬在臉上紀錄

A nine-year-old Cheshire schoolgirl has broken the world record for having the most snails on her face at once.

Tiana Walton allowed 25 of the slimy creatures to cover her eyes, nose and mouth - beating the previous record of 15 held by Australian Liam Kenny.

Before her record breaking attempt, now in the Guinness Book of World Records, Tiana's previous personal best was just nine.

She had just one minute to put the snails on her face and then had to tip her head forward for 10 seconds. Any snails that fell off during that period were not counted.

Tiana said: "I am not squeamish. It is relaxing but it feels a bit cold. They are quite smelly and you can see their big long eyes."

Asked whether she thought her new record would be beaten, she added: "I don't think many people will be bothered about putting snails on their face!"

With Tiana's success, it would seem that record breaking runs in the Walton family.

Her mother Tommy appeared in the Guinness Book of World Record in 1980 for growing the largest lemon in the world, which weighed in at 3lb 14oz. (Ananova.com)

2008年10月18日 星期六

Drunken horse falls in pool 醉馬跌入泳池

A drunken pony called Fat Boy fell into a swimming pool after bingeing on fermented apples in Cornwall.

The horse escaped from his stable, broke into Sarah Penhaligon's back garden in Newquay and ate hundreds of rotting apples.

Fat Boy then stumbled across the garden, lost his footing and fell head first into a swimming pool, reports the Daily Mirror.

Sarah, 28, woke up after hearing a huge splash and found the moorland pony in the shallow end.

Unaware that Fat Boy was drunk, Sarah, from Newquay, fed him more apples to keep him calm before fire crews arrived.

"When I looked outside I saw this massive animal in the dark and I thought the Beast of Bodmin was in the pool," she said.

"I was terrified, but when I took a closer look I realised it was a horse. I didn't have a clue what to do next - who do you call when there's a horse stuck in your swimming pool?

"I dialled 999 and they asked which service I wanted and I said I didn't know - I just had a horse in my pool and needed help."

Police and fire crews raced to the scene at 3am and spent two hours building a set of hay steps in the pool to rescue Fat Boy.

They finally hoisted him out of the water at 5am with the help of several harnesses. (Daily Mirror)

2008年10月16日 星期四

Pet dog as best man 寵物狗當男儐相

When Harriet and Andrew Athay got married there was only one choice for their best man - their pet dog Ed.

And he wasn't the only canine member of the bridal party as the couple's two female dogs, Humbug and Goulash, also walked with them down the aisle.

Ed wore his very own miniature tuxedo for the big day, while whippet Humbug and Hungarian vizsla Goulash had pink sparkly collars.

Harriet and Andrew felt it was only right that the doggy trio should be at their wedding because it was they who had brought them together in the first place.

The couple first met while they were walking their respective dogs along Mudeford Beach in Dorset in August 2007.

As their dogs played with each other, Andrew and Harriet stopped to chat for a few minutes. Admiring Ed's glittery collar, Andrew asked Harriet where she had got it from and she revealed that she ran a pet accessories company.

Harriet thought nothing more of the encounter until the next morning when she found a new order for a pink diamante dog collar came complete with a message from Andrew asking her out for a drink.

It wasn't long before they were seeing each other everyday. Five months later in January 2008, while they were on holiday in Dubai, Andrew got down on one knee and proposed.

Back home in Dorset they started to plan their wedding and knew that there were three special guests who just simply had to be there.

Wanting a sunny wedding they booked a villa in Tuscany, Italy, for their reception and a large town hall in Florence for the ceremony itself. (Roundup)

2008年10月15日 星期三

Teen changes name to website 美少女合法改名為網址

In a move that she will definitely not regret later in life, a North Carolina teenager has changed her name to that of a website – and is now legally called CutoutDissection.com.

The former Jennifer Thornburg - whose driver's license now reads Dissection.com, Cutout - wanted to do something to protest animal dissections in schools. The 19-year-old's new name is the web address for an anti-dissection page of the site for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, where she an intern.

'I normally do have to repeat my name several times when I am introducing myself to someone new,' Cutout told The Asheville Citizen-Times. 'Once they find out what my name is, they want to know more about what the Web site is about.'

Ms. Dissection.com, currently working in Virginia, said she began opposing dissections in middle school after a class assignment to cut up a chicken wing made her uncomfortable. She helped create a policy at her high school that allows students who object to dissections to complete an alternative assignment.

Despite her legally changing the name, she said most of her family members still call her Jennifer.

'It will take me a while,' said her dad, Duane Thornburg, who lives in Daytona Beach, Florida. 'She's still Jennifer to me. I understand why she's done it. Believe it or not, I totally respect it.'

It is unclear how Cutout will feel should PETA ever forget to renew the domain, and she discovers that her legal name suddenly points to a cyber-squatting smut-portal for dissection fetishists. (The Asheville Citizen-Times)

2008年10月13日 星期一

Couple had sex outside police station 情侶在警局外面車震

A US couple have been arrested after having sex in their car - in a disabled space outside a police station.

The couple told officers they were unaware where they had parked, reports the Morning Call newspaper.

They hadn't noticed several marked police cars in the other parking spaces nearby.

They were outside the main police station in Hellertown, Pennsylvania, with the engine running in the early hours of the morning when a police officer tapped on the windscreen.

Dennis Cullen, 23, and his female companion, who has not been named, told police they had been drinking at a university function earlier in the evening.

Cullen was charged with drink driving. Neither he nor his companion was charged in connection with having sex in the car. (Morning Call)

2008年10月11日 星期六

Virgin at 105 105歲的老處女

A Cornish woman says she is still a virgin - at the age of 105.

Clara Meadmore says she decided as a child never to wed or have sex - and insists she has never missed it.

She told the Daily Mirror: "I've just never been interested in or fancied having sex. I imagine there is a lot of hassle involved and I have always been busy doing other things.

"I made my mind up at 12 never to marry and I've not gone back on that."

Clara, born in 1903, instead spent her youth in Egypt, Canada and New Zealand before coming home in her 20s to become a secretary.

She added: "I've never had a boyfriend or been bothered about relationships. When I was a girl you had sex only with your husband.

"I've had lots of platonic friendships with men but never felt the need to go further."

Clara now lives in a nursing home in Perranporth, Cornwall, and spends most of her time glued to Radio 4.

Best pal Josie Harvey, 72, who visits daily, said: "You're as young as you feel. Clara is by no means 105 in many ways.

"Maybe never having a man under her feet has kept her young all these years." (Daily Mirror)

Man writes with tears 大陸男子用「眼淚」寫書法

A Chinese man can write calligraphy with water he shoots from his eyes.

Ru Anting, 56, of Luoyang, Henan province, sucks up the water with his nose and then sprays it through his tear ducts.

He recently demonstrated his skill at the Lotus World park in Shanshui city, Guangdong, where he wrote four characters, 'Fu Ru Dong Hai' ('Fortune as vast as the sea'), on a board covered with red paper.

Ru told the China News Network that he discovered his unusual talent as a child while swimming in the river.

"Sometimes I would swallow water while swimming, and once I accidentally discovered the water I swallowed could be shot out through my eyes. My friends were all shocked to see it," he said.

But it wasn't until the 1990s, when Ru lost his job in a local fertilizer factory after more than 20 years, that he began to develop his unusual talent.

"At that time I started to train myself and hone my eye spraying skills," he explained.

After three years of intensive training, he found he could shoot water accurately up to 10ft from his eyes at will. (China News Network)

2008年10月8日 星期三

Radiotherapy cures chicken of cancer 放射療法治癒雞的癌症

Eve the chicken has become the first of her species in Britain to be cured of cancer using radiotherapy.

Her owners Elaine and Chris Denney spent more than £1,400 (NT$80,000) in treatment at the Animal Health Trust in Sussex.

And the three-year-old Sussex Buff Cross has now been given the all clear by the vets who treated her.

Eve was initially struck by cancer in her left leg and had to have the limb amputated. The operation left her able to half fly, half hop around the couple's country smallholding in Worcester.

However, in September last year Eve started to have a build up of scales on her leg which they initially thought was merely a harmless skin infection.

The couple, who are self-employed accountants, took her to the vets who told them that Eve had developed the disease in her remaining leg and the Denneys faced the heartbreaking prospect of having her put down.

So they decided to save her life - by paying for surgery to remove the growth, followed by a course of radiotherapy, at a total cost of £1,400.

Mrs Denney, 43, said: "Eve is a pet to us. It doesn't matter if she has four legs, two, or, in this case, one. She jumps around the garden and responds to her name just like a cat or dog.

"If we hadn't done anything, she would have had maybe two or three months to live and one of our options was to put her to sleep. But after a lot of soul-searching we decided to do what we could for her.

"She has so much personality. Anyone with a dog or a cat would probably take the same decision we have with our chicken." (Roundup)

2008年10月7日 星期二

Card game amidst crash chaos 三名連環車禍生還者竟在現場玩起橋牌

Three road crash victims in China were captured on camera playing cards in the midst of a chaotic accident scene.

More than 20 vehicles were involved in the pile-up on a motorway in Luoyang, Henan province, which caused three deaths, two critical injuries and left dozens more hurt.

A journalist from China News Network arrived at the scene to find three people, an old couple and a middle-aged woman, sitting right in front of a wrecked truck and playing cards.

"It looked like they didn't know what was happening at all," said the shocked journalist, Zhao Xiaoli. (China News Network)