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)