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31 December, 2007

More links for 31 Dec 2007

A Hungarian climber ascends a giant column of a frozen waterfall at the Bukk Mountain on December 30, 2007 in Felsohamor, Hungary. [Tiscali]
Scientists have identified an asteroid that has a faint chance of ploughing into the Earth, leaving a two-kilometre-wide crater and wiping out life for 6000 square kilometres. [The Age]
Learn how to make quick, easy, emergency eyeglasses. [Krampf]
Tragic story of world's heaviest woman. [DailyMail]
Hummer sculpted out of Styrofoam. [SFGate]
Car turned into a fish tank. [YouTube]
Time travel theory/project is up for sale on eBay for $10 million. [eBay]
8,000-word memo tells hospital staff how to dress. [DailyMail]


A Cat That Talks When Scratched

This video shows the hilarious reaction and sound that a cat makes when a particular spot is scratched. lol!

Video: YouTube via Arbroath
Previously: Cat Confused By Scratching
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World's Brightest House

Man spends $5,000 in electricity bills to maintain the beautiful Christmas lights at his house and even provides brochure to visitors for free.

Video: Metacafe
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'Van Gogh' Sketchbook Found

A sketchbook believed to have belonged to Dutch master painter Vincent Van Gogh, has been found in the Greek capital Athens.

Video: LiveLeak
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Bird Can Mimic Any Sound Including Those of Chainsaws

I can only begin to imagine the chaos that this species of birds can cause if it is found in your neighbourhood. Skip to the second half of this video to hear the sounds of camera shutters clicking, car alarm ringing and operating chainsaws.

A Lyrebird is either of two species of ground-dwelling Australian birds, most notable for their extraordinary ability to mimic natural and artificial sounds from their environment. Lyrebirds render with great fidelity the individual songs of other birds and the chatter of flocks of birds, and also mimic other animals, human noises, machinery of all kinds, explosions, and musical instruments. The lyrebird is capable of imitating almost any sound — from a mill whistle to a cross-cut saw, and, not uncommonly, sounds as diverse as chainsaws, car engines and car alarms, fire alarms, rifle-shots, camera shutters, dogs barking and crying babies.

Video: Google Video
Source: Wikipedia
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Fruit Salad Literally Grows On Tree

The lemon tree laden with 11 kinds of fruitA lemon tree that bears 11 different kinds of fruit is earning attention for a resident here who has had it growing in his garden for years.

The tree, which is about 30 years old, is growing in the garden of 71-year-old Onga resident Manabu Fukushima. It is loaded with 11 kinds of fruit including dekopon, hassaku orange, iyoyan, amanatsu, and banpeiyu, a variety of pummelo.

Fukushima started receiving citrus tree saplings from neighbors about 15 years ago, and grafted them onto his lemon tree because he wanted to eat the fruit quickly. Since then, the varieties of fruit have gradually increased. Now locals often come too see the unusual tree.

"The harvesting is really fun," Fukushima says. "Next year I want to increase the varieties."

Source: Mainichi
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Garden Fountain Used as a Punch Bowl

BeerThe record for history’s largest cocktail belongs to British Lord Admiral Edward Russell. In 1694, he threw an officer’s party that employed a garden’s fountain as the punch bowl.

The concoction? A mixture that included 250 gallons of brandy, 125 gallons of Malaga wine, 1,400 pounds of sugar, 2,500 lemons, 20 gallons of lime juice, and 5 pounds of nutmeg.

A series of bartenders actually paddled around in a small wooden canoe, filling up guests’ cups. Not only that, but they had to work in 15-minute shifts to avoid being overcome by the fumes and falling overboard.

The party continued nonstop for a full week, pausing only briefly during rainstorms to erect a silk canopy over the punch to keep it from getting watered down. In fact, the festivities didn’t end until the fountain had been drunk completely dry.

Source: MentalFloss
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Man Breaks World Record with 109 Head Spins In a Row

A 18 year-old Japanese man has set a world record for making 109 full spins on his head in the space of one minute.

The Kyoto-based break dancer, known as "spinboy Aichi" had previously set the world record for 101 spins in a minute last September.

Wearing a black cap and bright orange pants, Aichi dropped to his head and spun on stage eventually kicking his legs to get as many spins as he could.

Ono was hoping to get 130 spins in one minute, but said a rough floor had hurt his ability to manoeuvre.

Video: Reuters
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Berkeley Man Saves All His Trash for a Year

Ari Derfel and his trashAri Derfel leads a trashy life. He just wants to remind everyone else that they do, too.

The 35-year-old Berkeley caterer said he has saved every piece of trash he has generated over the past year to see how much garbage one person creates. In his case, it was about 96 cubic feet.

The experiment began as a way to examine his own consumption habits, Derfel said, but grew into a statement about consumerism and the environment.

"When we throw something away, what does 'away' mean?" Derfel said. "There's no such thing as 'away.'"

The refuse — including every tissue, receipt, food wrapper and plastic bottle — lies in bins in the kitchen and living room of Derfel's apartment. He composts his food scraps.

Derfel said he eventually hopes to donate his accumulated waste to a sculptor.

Source: SfGate & SfGate
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Man Finds $100K in Stocks inside Sale Cabinet

Fred Pietrowski was shopping at a local yard sale for a filing cabinet to store his tools when he brought one for $2.

When Pietrowski took it home he discovered $100,000 in stocks and bonds

"I thought that they were just old papers that, you know, were just thrown away," Pietrowski said. "And then I started seeing all this fancy scroll work with the orange scroll. And one says $50,000, the other says $15,000; I go 'whoa, wait a minute.'"

Included in the paperwork are release papers that transfers ownership of the stocks and bonds to whoever finds them. Pietrowski however says that he plans to return the money to the original owners.

"We've had Christmas' where it was hard to put food on the table, and to take money away from somebody, especially if it was their grandparents or someone, [it's] just not right," Pietrowski said.

If he cannot locate the owners, Pietrowski says that he plans to donate most of it to charity.

Video: LiveLeak
Source: Eagle Tribune & Msnbc
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30 December, 2007

More links for 30 Dec 2007

A little girl thought she was getting an iPod for Christmas but ended up getting a rude surprise, a note. [MyFox]
University of Michigan researchers have developed what they believe is the first unmanned seaplane that can perform its own take offs and landings on water. [Aviation Week]
The impact probability for a collision of asteroid 2007 WD5 with Mars is now increased to 1 in 25. [Nasa]
Pantyhose used in brewing tea. [Reuters]
Vinyl Sleeve Heads. [Yaddog]
Trekking grandmother gains passage across the India-Nepal border with her pensioner's bus pass. [DailyMail]
A Quebec man has sold the "magnificent" two-metre-high snowbank in front of his home on EBay for $3,550, less than two weeks after putting it up for sale. [Canada]
Santa landing on the roof of a car! [GiggleSugar]
Mystery containers wash up on beach. [BBC]


Amazing Pool Kid

An amazing kid! He can play pool better than anyone and he's only seven years old.

Video: YouTube
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Magic Teaspoon

Magic TeaspoonOffer someone this teaspoon to stir their tea - as soon as they dip it into the hot liquid, the spoon bends through 90 degrees!

The liquid does not need to be boiling - the spoon will also bend if placed under the hot tap.

Part of the handle is made of Nitinol or Shape Memory Metal, which 'remembers' a shape that has been previously set into it.

To reset the spoon, just cool it under the cold tap, and straighten it again. The spoon can be used many times, as Nitinol is a very flexible metal.

It costs $50.38.

Source: Grand-Illusion
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Harp-Shaped Radiator

Harp-Shaped RadiatorAn awesome looking radiator shaped like a harp. Now, if one can use it as a musical instrument when the radiator is turned off, it would be even better.

Source: Carisa via Dvice
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Teenager Sunk His New Car at the Beach

Sam Hamilton sitting on his sinking carTeenager Sam Hamilton got that sinking feeling as he took his treasured new car for a spin.

The 18-year-old could only sit and watch as waves engulf his beloved Christmas present.

The teenager had made the mistake of taking his black Fiat Punto for a spin on Blackpool beach while visiting the resort with four friends.

But his delight rapidly turned into a festive nightmare when the car, which he had only been given to him five days earlier, became beached in the sand near the Sandcastle at South Shore.

Despite frantic attempts to save the car, which had cost a whopping £1,600 ($3,200) to insure, it was destroyed when the high tide came in.

Sam, who only recently passed his driving test, came a cropper after deciding to drive down an open sliproad to the beach.

The college student from Bolton said: "I'm absolutely devastated - it was my pride and joy.

"My dad went mad. My mum was just glad I'm alright.

Source: DailyMail
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Nurse Saves Pet with Kiss Of Life

Mandy Wood and her pet catNurse Mandy Wood saved her pet kitten’s life — by giving it mouth-to-mouth.

Quick-thinking Mandy, 33, spotted that Lucky had choked on some food and was not breathing.

She gave the moggy the kiss of life and gently massaged her heart — and after three-and-a-half minutes she felt it beating again.

Vets who saw the kitten the next day said she had made a full recovery.

Source: The Sun
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The Death And Life of Ice Cream

A time lapse video that shows ice cream melting.

Video: YouTube via Presurfer
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Baby Miracle Refused Visa by NZ Govt

Doctors had told the parents of a Samoan baby born with severe facial deformities that she should be left to die within hours. The couple refused, secretly feeding their daughter in hospital with a plastic syringe, and four months later she lives.

The case quickly attracted supporters, moving the public in the Polynesian island nation of Samoa and in New Zealand to donate NZ$103,000 (£40,000) so that a full medical assessment could be carried out on baby Miracletina to determine her future. But the courage of her parents, Sefulu and Mikaele Nanai, and campaigners was tested again yesterday when the New Zealand authorities denied a visa to the baby girl for medical assistance, arguing that surgery would not help.

Miracletina was born with a malformed nose and mouth that prevent her suckling, a double cleft palate, mis-shapen eyes, no fingers, deformed feet and spina bifida.

Campaigner Taufau Gardenia Aukuso, who has raised the $103,000 from communities in NZ and Samoa, is still hoping that Baby Miracle will be allowed in for treatment.

Video: YouTube
Source: Times Online via Arbroath
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'Potholes' on the Highway

This should get drivers to slow down.

Source: Bits & Pieces
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29 December, 2007

More links for 29 Dec 2007

Why do people eat dirt? [Spiegel]
Vets remove 11lbs (5kg) of hair from matted dog in three-hour operation. [DailyMail]
A cafeteria worker in Brownsville who for years made a point of being kind to a sometimes picky customer has received $50,000 and a car from him. [Cnn]
The six-year-old bull that weighs more than a Mini Cooper (2,458lbs/1,115kg) or a BMW 3-series (3,053lbs/1,384kg) and he is still growing. [Telegraph]
A Phoenix woman got a ceramic vase as a Christmas gift that was meant to hold the cremated remains of a stranger. [LiveLeak]
The cafeteria wall illusion is built into the face of a building in Melbourne. The orange floor lines are actually parallel. [Wikipedia]
Swimming pools, volleyball and massages... just a normal day at the office for Google staff. [DailyMail]


Boy Says TV Helped Him Survive Avalanche

An 11-year-old boy said a TV show about surviving an avalanche helped him when he was buried by one at a ski resort.

"Create air pockets," Max Zilvitis told himself, recalling a show on the Discovery Channel.

That's about all he remembers from an avalanche that buried him for about 30 minutes Sunday and killed a 30-year-old Colorado man at The Canyons.

Max was blue and unconscious when found by rescuers, who used a probe to find him in several feet of snow. He regained consciousness Monday at Primary Children's Medical Center and went home Wednesday.

Video: DailyMotion
Source: SFgate
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Lightning Calculation and Other "Mathemagic"

In a lively show, "mathemagician" Arthur Benjamin races a team of calculators to figure out 3-digit squares in his head, performs a massive mental calculation, and guesses a few birth days. How does he do it? He'll be happy to tell you.

Video: Ted & LiveLeak
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Mother Marries Foster Son

Julia Gregg and Krenar LleshiIt could hardly have been a quieter wedding, with just two witnesses, one bridesmaid and a dog.

But that was the way Julia Gregg, 34, wanted it when she married 21-year-old Krenar Lleshi - seven years after she and her ex-husband took him into their home as a foster son.

The couple looked after the teenage Kosovan after he was smuggled into Britain in the back of a lorry.

Miss Gregg grew increasingly attached to Krenar as he battled to be allowed to stay in the country.

After she and her husband Steve Crandon, 38, split up, she began a love affair with Krenar when he turned 19 and a year later they had a child together.

The couple married on Christmas Eve at their local church, St Anne's in Nantyglo, South Wales, with their one-year- old daughter, Hattie, as bridesmaid, and their dog, Cupe (the name is Albanian for "little girl") as a guest.

Source: This Is London
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Pilot Lands Safely After Propeller Falls Off

Engine missing a propellerA pilot managed to land safely after the propeller fell off his plane and oil splattered on the windshield.

Barry Cox had to glide 8 miles and navigate without being able to see out the windshield before landing smoothly at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport on Wednesday.

"(Cox) just did a tremendous job," the airport's assistant aviation director, David Ulane, said. "Not only did he land without a propeller, he wasn't able to see out the front...It's one of the more tremendous things I've seen."

Cox, his daughter and two acquaintances were 10 minutes into a 110-mile flight to Denver International Airport in a single-engine Piper Malibu when the oil splashed across the windshield and he heard a loud boom.

"I didn't know it at the time but that's when the propeller fell off," Cox said.

He managed to turn the plane around navigating through the side windows, then followed procedures he had studied and practiced through more than 30 years of flying.

The local fire and sheriff's departments were called to the airport, but Cox landed without incident before they arrived.

Video after the jump.

Source: Cbs4
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James Bond Stamps to Be Launched

James Bond stampThe centenary of the birth of James Bond creator Ian Fleming is to be marked next month with six extra-long UK stamps, Royal Mail has said.

Each stamp has been lengthened to show a number of different Bond novel covers, with first-class stamps featuring Casino Royale and Dr No.

The 54p stamps reveal the covers of Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever.

And the final 78p pairing, also launched on 8 January, has For Your Eyes Only and From Russia With Love.

Source: BBC
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Egg Shaped like Gold Ingot

Oddly-Shaped EggMr Xu who lives in Yingkou, a city in northeastern China's Liaoning Province, and owns a rural farm, raises more than 1,000 chickens. A few days ago, he discovered an odd-shaped egg which looks like a type of gold ingot that was used in ancient China. The egg was kept frozen.

Source: Xxhh
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Snorting a Brain Chemical Could Reduce Sleep

SleepIn what sounds like a dream for millions of tired coffee drinkers, Darpa-funded scientists might have found a drug that will eliminate sleepiness.

A nasal spray containing a naturally occurring brain hormone called orexin A reversed the effects of sleep deprivation in monkeys, allowing them to perform like well-rested monkeys on cognitive tests. The discovery's first application will probably be in treatment of the severe sleep disorder narcolepsy.

The treatment is "a totally new route for increasing arousal, and the new study shows it to be relatively benign," said Jerome Siegel, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA and a co-author of the paper. "It reduces sleepiness without causing edginess."

Source: Wired
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Two Cars in One

Two front halves of cars were combined to construct this funny car. With steering wheel and engine on each side its movement is very funny.

Video: YouTube via Bits & Pieces
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Bird Playing Dead

If not for the blinking eyes, one would really think that it is dead.

Video: YouTube
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Meow! It's Hello Kitty for Young Men

Hello Kitty merchandise for menHello Kitty is no sexist.

The cute cuddly white cat from Japan's Sanrio Co., usually seen on toys and jewelry for girls and young women, will soon don T-shirts, bags, watches and other products targeting young men, company spokesman Kazuo Tohmatsu said Friday.

"We think Hello Kitty is accepted by young men as a design statement in fashion," he said.

The feline for-men products will go on sale in Japan next month, and will be sold soon in the United States and other Asian nations, according to Sanrio.

The usual bubble-headed shape of Hello Kitty was slightly changed for a more rugged look to appeal to men in their teens and early 20s.

For example, a picture of the cat on a $36 black T-shirt has the words, "hello kitty," instead of the usual dots for the eyes and nose.

Source: Sun-Sentinel
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Woman Without Arms Uses Feet to Dial Cell, Type, Thread Needle

Author and lawyer Adriana Macías was born without arms, but that's not stopping her from doing with her feet the things people with arms can do.

Video: Breitbart
Source: Univision
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28 December, 2007

More links for 28 Dec 2007

It is not the best address to spend Christmas, but a hapless burglar passed a very uncomfortable yule stuck in the chimney of a bar. [Daily Telegraph]
A dragon bike. [Laughing Squid]
Otherwise known as reverse shoplifting, shopdropping involves surreptitiously putting things in stores, rather than illegally taking them out, and the motivations vary. [New York Times]
The world’s loneliest Prada store. [Deputy-Dog]
Scientists developing new liver drug that reverses damage of binge drinking. [Guardian]


Furs Found After 30 Years in Storage

A room of fursHaskins, the new owner of a hardware store, made an unexpected discovery early this month when he started poking around the basement: a climate-controlled vault containing six fur coats, about a dozen suits and some dresses and hats, apparently untouched since the late 1970s.

"The fans were spinning and the furs were spotless," said Haskins. "Everything inside was very nice and clean. The fan was set on 65 degrees and that is exactly what the thermometer read. Everyone wants to know who has been paying the electricity bill."

Haskins, 56, bought J&H Hardware in May and the building — a three-story structure on the village square — in September. In surveying the basement, he figured there might be usable space hidden behind a wall that had hinges on it.

With son Jeremy Haskins, 27, he rented an electric hammer and then a jackhammer and eventually bored through 18 inches of brick and mortar, four inches of wallboard and then a cement wall to find the room once used by Royal Furriers, a business that closed in the late 1970s.

Haskins said he had no idea what the coats are worth, but planned to have them appraised.

Source: Reformer & Sfgate
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Girl, 12, Is Sole Survivor of Panama Plane Crash

A 12-year-old girl who was the sole survivor of a plane crash in Panama has been reunited with her family.

Francesca Lewis, from the US, was one of four passengers in the aircraft, which crashed in a remote mountain area on Sunday.

The girl, who is being treated for hypothermia, bruises and muscle injuries, met family members on Wednesday at a hospital in the town of David, capital of the province of Chiriqui.

Dr Samuel Cattan, who is treating her, said: "She lost consciousness, and she only remembers (the plane) falling into a cloud, and then she saw trees."

The crash of the Cessna 172, which happened about 270 miles west of the capital, Panama City, killed Francesca's friend Talia Klein, 13, Klein's father, Michael Klein, 37, of Santa Barbara, California, and Panamanian pilot Edwin Lasso, 23.

A preliminary investigation showed the plane struck a tree and split in two, according to Roberto Velasquez, director of Panama's National Civil Protection.

"It is miraculous that the girl could survive that impact," he said.

Video: Telegraph
Source: Telegraph
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A Smile in the Sky

Three birds forming a smile in the sky.

Source: Wallout
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Moo Moo - When You Miss Someone

A USB cow toy to keep in touch with friends and loved ones. Switches trigger ambient light and "moo" sounds over the Internet to help users keep in touch. Cute!

Video: YouTube
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Artist’s Friends Scatter Ashes Worldwide

An envelope containing the ashes of the artistFriends of an artist were handed envelopes containing her ashes at her memorial service and given a task: Spread the ashes wherever they felt appropriate.

Sculptor Patricia Renick’s ashes ended up all over the world, her friends said, from a courtyard at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Mo., to the side of a Tibetan mountain covered with Buddhist prayer flags.

The 75-year-old Renick, who died in May, was a University of Cincinnati professor emeritus of fine art.

Her longtime companion Laura Chapman came up with the idea to distribute the ashes. She said the idea grew out of a conversation the two had about memorials, cemetery art and traditions for dealing with death.

Source: Enquirer & Whec
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Overweight Wombat Gets Stuck In a Flower Pot

A wombat stuck in a flower potWombats, those burly beasts from Australia, are renowned for their digging prowess.

But when baby Peaches could not find any decent earth to practice in at her carer's wildlife rehabilitation centre, she set to work on the flower pots.

She started digging into the earth in carer Shirley Lack's verandah pots, uprooting all the plants and breaking a few pots in the process.

The noise woke up Shirley at her home in the wildlife centre in the town of Tomerong, north of Sydney.

Hurrying out in her nightgown, she caught four-month-old Peaches in the act – pushing her nose deep down into one large pot and clawing out the roots of one of Shirley's prize camellias.

Source: DailyMail
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27 December, 2007

More links for 27 Dec 2007

Britain's friendliest face revealed. [Metro]
World's ugliest dog. [Cnn]
Weird and wonderful hotel experiences from around the world. [DailyMail]
Lithuanian man builds house almost entirely out of glass bottles and store his will in a champagne bottle embedded in the walls. [LiveLeak]
Photoshopped images depicting the human face with mouths in the place of eyes. [Freaking News via Boing Boing]
17-year-old student brings new school to rural Cambodia. [Msnbc]
Liquor lock. [Sportys]


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