2007年12月31日 星期一

Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban are expecting their first baby 妮可基嫚和齊斯艾本有了第一個愛的結晶

Nicole Kidman, the Oscar-winning actress, and Keith Urban, the country and western singer she calls the "love of my life", broke the news to their families over the Christmas holiday.

The 40-year-old Australian star had already spoken of "winding down" her film-making activities as much as possible next year.

The baby, whose expected arrival date has not yet been revealed, will be the actress's first natural child.

She adopted Isabella, 14, and twelve-year-old Conor during her first marriage to Tom Cruise.

Miss Kidman was stunned when he filed for divorce in 2001.

Shortly after they split, she revealed that she had suffered an ectopic pregnanacy and a miscarriage during the marriage.

Miss Kidman spent her Christmas holiday in Syndey, after finshing work on Baz Lurhmann's epic romantic adventure film "Australia" on December 21.

She is due to film The Reader with Ralph Fiennes and British director Stephen Daldry in Berlin next month, but has no more cinema work planned after that.

"I just want to spend as much time as possible with my husband," she told the Daily Mail.

Earlier this month the actress also dismissed the idea of returning to the stage next year.

"It wouldn't fit in with the logistics and dynamics of my family", she said - a remark given extra meaning by the news of her pregnancy.

Her most recently-released film is the extravagant fantasy The Golden Compass.

Although the film was attacked by some critics, the actress's performance as the glamorous villain Mrs Coulter won wide praise.

Miss Kidman married Urban in Sydney in June 2006. (Daily Mail)

2007年12月28日 星期五

Is Kat Von D. pregnant? 洛杉磯刺青客凱特方迪懷孕了?

Kat Von D. and beau Alex 'Orbi' Orbison

L.A. Ink’s Kat Von D is reportedly pregnant with her first child. The pregnancy rumors were sparked after several congratulation comments were posted in Kat’s MySpace page.

One post read, “Congrats on the baby news to both of you. I am so excited for you, It’s a lot of hard work to raise a child, but when you have a family and good friends, it’s a piece of cake. Have a happy New Year!”

Is tattooed Kat Von D. pregnant?

However, Kat has not officially announced the news and has a comment posted on her page saying, “Love kids, but not for me.”

Is Kat Von D. pregnant? Maybe, since the L.A. Ink star has officially announced her courtship with Alex 'Orbi' Orbison for some months. (news.finditt.com)

Hole in the wall for smokers 德酒吧在牆壁挖洞讓顧客伸出頭抽菸

A German bar owner has got round a smoking ban by cutting holes in the wall so customers can stick their heads out to have a cigarette.

Michael Windisch, owner of the Maltermeister Turm bar and restaurant in Goslar, Lower Saxony, cut three holes next to tables in his restaurant after local authorities introduced the ban on smoking in all eating places.

Customers who want to smoke can stick their heads through the large holes and their hands through the other two so they can have a cigarette. A curtain has been mounted to keep out the cold.

Windisch said: "Now my customers can legally enjoy a cigarette without having to leave the comfort of the restaurant."

Local media have claimed the idea is likely to catch on in other parts of the country where blanket bans in smoking in restaurants are to be introduced from the New Year.

Carla Bruni covers ELLE magazine January 2008 卡拉布魯妮又登上「她」雜誌2008年1月號封面

Carla Bruni covers ELLE magazine January 2008

Carla Bruni, the 40-year-old former supermodel who is spending a holiday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Luxor, Egypt, has been on ELLE magzine cover for more than a decade. (Random Citations)

Carla Bruni covers 1994 ELLE magazine

2007年12月27日 星期四

Goats fined in sex scandal 山羊嘿咻被罰款

The owner of two randy goats was fined after her pets were caught mating and reliving themselves in their own yard.

The law in Oklahoma says that it is illegal for any two animals to have sex in public within Dibble city limits - even if the animal is fenced in on private land.

But when the owner Carol Medenhall found out about the charges, she said: 'I kind of thought if anyone was caught having sex in public, it could have been me.'

The woman fought the tickets and won partially because she didn't know she lived within city limits.

Her land was recently annexed by the city, located south of Oklahoma City, but she claims no one told her. (Metro.co.uk)

2007年12月26日 星期三

World’s most expensive honey 世上最貴的蜂蜜

Honey, thought to be the most expensive in the world, has gone on sale at Harrods.

Life Mel honey costs a whopping £42 for a pot containing just 120g.

Celebrities including Sienna Miller and Kylie Minogue are huge fans, according to the London department store.

But the jars will not be found on the shelves of the food hall.

Harrods is selling the product in its pharmacy instead, because of its reputed health benefits.

"This is the newest product that has just launched," said Andre Dang, Harrods press and product manager.

"People are tending to use it more as an alternative therapy rather than spreading it on toast."

Life Mel's high price tag is down to the fact that it is made by bees fed on a special diet including herbs such as Siberian ginseng and echinacea.

It has a strong taste similar to manuka honey and is made without artificial ingredients.

The honey, which is made in Israel, is supposed to be eaten by the teaspoonful in the morning and at night. (Sky News)

2007年12月25日 星期二

World's most expensive Christmas drink...Cognac at £105,000 a bottle 全球最昂貴的耶誕酒…科涅克白蘭地一瓶10萬5千英鎊

It may be wise to ensure it's not your round when someone orders a glass of Hennessy's new limited edition cognac - which comes in at a staggering £105,000 (about $210,000 ) a bottle.

The Beaute de Siecle - created to celebrate a Hennessy patriarch's 100th birthday - costs a wallet-wilting £5,000 a glass.

France's exclusive cognac houses have often released special bottles of their pungent spirit. Courvoisier produced 2,000 bottles to mark the millenium costing £2,500 each.

Remy Martin then made 1.5 litre magnum of Louis XIII cognac with a 4 carat diamond attached to the bottle for £25,000.

But Hennessy's new Beaute de Siecle - or which there are just 100 bottles in existence - is now officially most expensive tipple by a very wide margin.

The cognac itself is in a Baccarat crystal bottle contained in an ornate wooden chest embedded with mirrored glass and meted aluminium.

A bronze key opens the box which then triggers a concealed switch to make the bottle rise up on a velvet tray.

The drink itself is blended by Hennessy's cellar master Yann Fillioux from reserve cognacs between 50 and 100 years old.

Company spokesman Thibault Le Mailloux said: "It is truly a work of art in which there is a bottle of cognac.

"It was created in homage to a Killian Hennessy, the sixth generation descendant of the company's founder, who is 100 years old this year. (Daily Mail)

Katie Holmos' $100,000 Christmas shopping spree 阿湯嫂耶誕節花10萬美元大採購

Katie Holmes (凱蒂荷姆斯) was reportedly having the Christmas spirit when she hit the stores to do a bit of shopping. Katie's shopping spree was said to be $100,000! Here is a list of things she was spotted buying:

1 a $30,000 rose-gold Cartier wristwatch
2 a Prada ski coat for $1,395
3 an Armani suit for $5,400 for Tom
4 Gucci snakeskin sneakers for $990
5 four pairs of a handmade English shoes $825 each pair
6 a $9,000 overcoat
7 a $2,995 car coat
8 a $4,495 leather and cashmere jacket
9 six V-neck sweaters in various colors at $1,350 each
10 $5,000 on clothes for Suri (daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes )
(Gabby Babble & Random Citations)

2007年12月22日 星期六

'Werewolf boy' in Moscow 「狼童」在莫斯科

Russian police are hunting a "werewolf boy" - who snarls and bites - after he escaped from a Moscow clinic just a day after being rescued from the wild.

Doctors expressed shock saying he was found living with a pack of wolves in a remote forest in the Kaluga region of central Russia.

"He's clearly dangerous to other people," said a police spokesman yesterday.

"He's got typical wolf-like habits and behaviour.

"He has very strong and sharp teeth, which could really endanger someone if he bites."

The boy looks about ten - but after tests conducted by Moscow medics, they believe he maybe much older.

They are puzzled because he appears intelligent but does not seem to speak Russian or any other language. It is suspected he has been running wild for many years.

Such cases are not uncommon in Russia where there have been regular reports of 'Mowgli' children abandoned by their parents who are cared for by animals.

The boy moves around with his legs half bent, said Tvoi Den newspaper. "He was running with wolves and searching for food with them."

Villagers found this "wild creature" in a lair made of leaves and sticks in freezing temperatures and told the police who named him Lyokha, though his real identity is not known.

"He's dirty, hungry, and looked to have had a hard time," said the police spokesman. "We brought him to a clinic in Moscow.

"It was simply unbelievable. He doesn't react when we call to him." Medics gave him clothes and said that he sprang down the corridor, bursting into his room and devouring his food like an animal.

His nails on his feet were like claws.

After 24 hours he had evaded security men at the clinic and escaped. He is now believed to be on the loose in Moscow region.

"We didn't even manage to complete the proper medical checks. We only succeeded in giving him a shower, cutting his nails and took some blood and other tests," said a doctor.

"It's quite possible he is a dangerous with psychological problems but also a source of viruses and infections." (Daily Mail)

Giant rats found in 'lost world' 「失落的世界」發現巨鼠

A giant rodent five times as big as a common rat has been discovered in the mountainous jungles of New Guinea.

The 1.4kg Mallomys giant rat is one of two species of mammal thought to be new to science found on a trip to the "lost world".

"The giant rat is about five times the size of a typical city rat," said Kristofer Helgen, a scientist with the Smithsonian Institution.

"With no fear of humans, it apparently came into the camp several times during the trip."

Conservationists also found a pygmy possum - one of the world's smallest marsupials, reports the BBC.

Both of the mammals found in the region, north of Papua province, Indonesia, are being studied to establish whether they are new species.

"It's comforting to know that there is a place on Earth so isolated that it remains the absolute realm of wild nature," said Bruce Beehler, who led the expedition.

The Foja Mountains, part of the Mamberamo Basin, contain the largest pristine tropical forest in the Asia Pacific region.

In 2005, the area was dubbed a "lost world" after scientists discovered dozens of new plants and animals in the dense jungle. (BBC)

2007年12月20日 星期四

Same Xmas card for 29 years 29年來都寄同一張聖誕節卡片

A couple have been sending the same Christmas card to each other for the past 29 years.

Stephen and Glynis Woolner first sent the cards in 1978.

They packed the card away with the decorations and came across them the following year.

Stephen decided to give it to Glynis again as a joke. She decided to do the same and now they do it every year.

Each year they write a new message on the card.

Glynis told The Sun: "We are going to have to glue a sheet of paper in so we can carry on.

"Friends come round and say 'Not those old cards again', but we love it. If he bought me a brand new card now I wouldn't accept it." (The Sun)

Wolf walks into a bar... 野狼走進酒吧…

A wolf walked into a packed bar in Italy, ate a steak sandwich and walked out again.

The wolf strolled into the bar at Villetta Barrea, near to the Abruzzo national park, and helped itself to a steak sandwich from a table.

Bar owner Giacinto Lorenzo, 43, said: "It sounds like the start of a bad joke, but it really happened.

"Everyone here knows what a wolf looks like and there was no mistaking this beast for a big dog. It was one of the wolves from the national park.

"It looked pretty thin and we guess it must have been suffering with the recent cold weather and the snow.

"Everyone was so frightened we couldn't move for about five minutes afterwards, but the wolf just sauntered out as if it was the most normal thing in the world."

Local authorities have sent a team out to search for the wolf. (Ananova.com)

2007年12月19日 星期三

Monkeys and college students as good at mental maths 猩猩和大學生的心算能力一樣好

Monkeys performed about as well as college students at mental addition, U.S. researchers said on Monday in a finding that suggests nonverbal math skills are not unique to humans.

The research from Duke University follows the finding by Japanese researchers earlier this month that young chimpanzees performed better than human adults at a memory game.

Prior studies have found non-human primates can match numbers of objects, compare numbers and choose the larger number of two sets of objects.

"This is the first study that looked at whether or not they could make explicit decisions that were based on mathematical types of calculations," said Jessica Cantlon, a cognitive neuroscience researcher at Duke, whose work appeared in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Biology (www.plosbiology.org).

"It shows when you take language away from a human, they end up looking just like monkeys in terms of their performance," Cantlon said in a telephone interview.

Her study pitted the monkey math team of Boxer and Feinstein -- two female macaque monkeys named for U.S. senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein of California -- with 14 Duke University students.

"We had them do math on the fly," Cantlon said.

The task was to mentally add two sets of dots that were briefly flashed on a computer screen. The teams were asked to pick the correct answer from two choices on a different screen.

The humans were not allowed to count or verbalize as they worked, and they were told to answer as quickly as possible. Both monkeys and humans typically answered within 1 second.

And both groups fared about the same.

Cantlon said the study was not designed to show up Duke University students. "I think of this more as using non-human primates as a tool for discovering where the sophisticated human mind comes from," she said.

The researchers said the findings shed light on the shared mathematical abilities in humans and non-human primates and shows the importance of language -- which allows for counting and more advanced calculations -- in the evolution of math in humans.

"I don't think language is the only thing that differentiates humans from non-human primates, but in terms of math tasks, it is probably the big one," she said.

As for the teams, both were paid. Boxer and Feinstein got their favourite reward: a sip of Kool-Aid soft drink. As for the students, they got $10 (5 pounds) each -- enough for a beer or two. (Reuters) -- Click here to see the Chinese version

2007年12月18日 星期二

10-husband woman 一女配10夫

A 26-year-old Miami woman was married to 10 men at the same time, prosecutors allege, in a marriage-for-pay scheme to enable the men to remain in the United States.

Eunice Lopez was charged with nine counts of bigamy Wednesday, reported WPLG-TV in Miami.

The charges say she married the men between 2002 and 2006 without divorcing any of them. In one case, she married two men in the same month.
  • On June 22, 2002, Lopez married Mauricio Carlo Matos as evidenced by a Certificate of Marriage filed with the Miami-Dade County Clerk of the Court on June 27, 2002.

  • On Aug. 11, 2003, while still married to Natos, Lopez married Jose L. Ramos. A Certificate of Marriage was filed with the clerk of the court on Aug. 19, 2003.

  • On March 5, 2005, while still married to Natos and Ramos, Lopez married Antonio Roberto Cordeiro. A certificate of marriage was filed with the clerk of the court on March 15, 2005.

  • On Nov. 5, 2005, Lopez married Humberto Navarro Suarez. A certificate of marriage was filed on Nov. 8, 2005. Lopez was still married to Natos, Ramos and Cordeiro.

  • Just 12 days after her marriage to Suarez, Lopez married Leandro Abelha on Nov. 17, 2005. The same day a marriage certificate was filed with the clerk of the court.

  • On Jan. 6, 2006, Lopez married Euclides Yepes Ceballos. There were still no divorce proceedings on file for Lopez with the clerk of the court, but a marriage certificate was issued on Jan. 9, 2006.

  • On May 11, 2006, Lopez married Martin Errazola Alvarez. The same day a marriage certificate was filed with the clerk of the court.

  • On June 2, 2006, Marco Antonio Serrano and Lopez were married. Again, on the same day, a certificate of marriage was filed with the clerk of the court.

  • On July 24, 2006, Diego M. Hernandez-Figueroa and Lopez were married and the same day a certificate of marriage was filed with the clerk of the court.

  • On Nov. 21, 2006, Lopez married Fernando Jose Urroz Leguisamo. A certificate of marriage was filed with the clerk of the court the same day.

She was held at the Women's Detention Center on $75,000 bond, but posted bond Friday morning, according to the state attorney's office.

The investigation is continuing. (WSB-TV)

2007年12月17日 星期一

May ugly swan have found his love? 醜天鵝可能找到他的愛情了?

A male swan shunned by females for his deformed neck may finally have found a girlfriend after seven years.

Crinkly the ugly swan has become well-known at a Gloucester bird sanctuary, after flying in from Russia every winter since 2001.

But conservation workers have watched with dismay as Crinkly failed miserably to attract the opposite sex.

"We were worried about Crinkly because he is such a strange-looking bird," said Jools Mackin, spokesperson for Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

Until now, none the females at the trust was prepared to mate with him but conservation workers say they can see signs of a budding romance.

"We are delighted because we think Crinkly has finally found a girlfriend," said Ms Mackin.

"He appears to be loosely associating with another Slimbridge Bewick's swan called Taciturn.

"It is too early to say whether or not they are mates, but we'll be monitoring them over the next few days to see. At the moment they are associating on Swan Lake.

"They are flying in and out together and we do hope they will become mates."

Experts at Slimbridge were amazed when Crinkly first arrived as a cygnet with parents Lucius and Coletta, with a strangely deformed neck probably caused by a birth defect. (Ananova.com)

2007年12月14日 星期五

Jodie Foster is a lesbian 茱蒂佛斯特是同性戀

Jodie Foster and girlfriend Cindy Bernard

Jodie Foster has finally come out as a lesbian to pay tribute to her girlfriend of 14 years.

The fiercely-private actress has always resolutely refused to discuss her sexuality.

But after winning an award at a Women in Entertainment breakfast, she broke her taboo to thank "my beautiful Cydney".

Her emotional speech brought tears to the eyes of some of her audience at the Beverly Hills Hotel, revealing a vulnerable side to a star who has long resisted calls from gay rights activists to clarify her personal life.

Miss Foster, 44, a double Oscar winner, praised her film producer partner Cydney Bernard "who sticks with me through all the rotten and the bliss".

The couple met on the set of the film Sommersby in 1993 and are raising two sons, Charles, nine, and Kit, six, at their Malibu home.

Although she gave birth to both boys, Miss Foster has never revealed the identity of the father or the circumstances of their conception.

As with most questions about her personal life, the actress has refused to comment on gossip that the father was an old university friend from Yale, who is also gay. (Daily Mail)

Katherine Heigl boycotts Golden Globes 凱瑟琳海格杯葛金球獎

Despite of a Golden Globe nomination, the Grey's Anatomy actress Katherine Heigl may not go attend Gloden Globes awards ceremony if the writers' strike is still on in January. She told Entertainment Tonight

"I'm not crossing the picket line—not unless I'm contractually obliged to do so, which with the Golden Globes I'm not."

"The last episode we did, the writers were on strike, [but] we had to go to work every day and cross the picket line...it feels awful. Unfortunately, the actors were contractually obliged to be there. We could have been sued if we didn't go to work. But it's hard—I'd like to avoid it." (askmen.com)

2007年12月13日 星期四

Amazing escape of fish 令人驚奇的鱒魚脫逃記

The owners of a trout farm were amazed a photographer caught their fish making an extraordinary escape on camera.

He pictured the trout making giant leaps out of their pond into a metal feed pipe three feet above the water level.

They then fought against the current for 30ft to the end of the eight inch wide pipe, which emerges underwater in a tributary of the River Itchen near Alresford, Hants.

Wildlife photographer Dennis Bright, 59, captured the aerobatic fish.

He said: "It was an incredible sight. Swimming against the current is instinctive for trout as they head up stream to spawn but they are doing a remarkable job getting through that pipe.

"They are jumping for freedom in large volumes but sadly I think their fate will be less than happy - there are otter, herons and many other predators feeding from the stream."

David Riley, owner of Hampshire Trout Farms, said he would be extremely surprised if more than one or two fish were making it through.

He said: "I have been a farmer here for about 30 years and have never seen a fish make it to the other side but I know Dennis and if he says he has seen it I believe him."

David Bassett, of the British Trout Association, said: "They will be thinking that water falling from the pipe is a waterfall leading upstream. Then they will follow their natural life cycle to get upstream."

And Paul Knight, of the Salmon and Trout Association, added: "They will follow instinct. I don't think they would be looking up at the pipe and thinking, 'Come on lads, let's go for it.'" (Ananova.com)

2007年12月12日 星期三

Balloons for teacher travel 900 miles 追悼恩師的氣球飄行9百英里

A colorful bunch of balloons inflated to honor a beloved teacher who died of leukemia broke free and traveled more than 900 miles to a South Dakota cornfield.

"The balloons were still full of air," said Michael Beadle, who recently discovered them while deer hunting near Onaka, S.D.

Stephanie Bernritter, 39, a teacher at West High School, died last month.

On Nov. 30, hundreds of students stood below clusters of balloons as they celebrated their English teacher. Their emotional messages about Bernritter were attached to the balloons.

Most balloons were tied to the football stadium but a few escaped, including a bunch held by Bernritter's husband, Kevin Van der Merwe.

Beadle did some searching on the Internet and learned about the teacher's death.

When he heard about the balloons landing in South Dakota, Van der Merwe recalled how his wife had wanted to fly.

"She was so ready to just be free," he said Monday.

West High Principal Margery Parker described the balloon discovery as closure.

"It kind of makes you feel that everything happened for a purpose," she said. (AP)

Keira bares all...again (but this time it's for Chanel) 凱拉奈特莉再度脫得精光 (但此次是為香奈兒廣告而脫)

AS she would be the first to admit, Keira Knightley is not exactly famous for her hour-glass figure.

But her latest role - which sees her posing virtually naked to advertise a perfume - makes her look subtly different.

Despite the presence of a carefully-placed bowler hat, the 22-year-old actress appears to be just that tiny bit curvier.

The actress has said in the past that she is happy to strip off for a role. Talking about nudity in films, she said: "I have certain tools. One of them is my body."

Even so, she once requested a body double for a scene in which she had to show her bottom, and this new advert, for Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle, keeps her derriere firmly out of sight.

Miss Knightley is thought to have signed a one-year contract worth more than £500,000 to be the face of the scent. (Daily Mail)

2007年12月11日 星期二

Eco-friendly kangaroo farts could help global warming 對生態有益的袋鼠屁可能有助於改善地球暖化

Australian scientists are trying to give kangaroo-style stomachs to cattle and sheep in a bid to cut the emission of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, researchers say.

Thanks to special bacteria in their stomachs, kangaroo flatulence contains no methane and scientists want to transfer that bacteria to cattle and sheep who emit large quantities of the harmful gas.

While the usual image of greenhouse gas pollution is a billowing smokestack pushing out carbon dioxide, livestock passing wind contribute a surprisingly high percentage of total emissions in some countries.

"Fourteen percent of emissions from all sources in Australia is from enteric methane from cattle and sheep," said Athol Klieve, a senior research scientist with the Queensland state government.

"And if you look at another country such as New Zealand, which has got a much higher agricultural base, they're actually up around 50 percent," he told AFP.

Researchers say the bacteria also makes the digestive process much more efficient and could potentially save millions of dollars in feed costs for farmers.

"Not only would they not produce the methane, they would actually get something like 10 to 15 percent more energy out of the feed they are eating," said Klieve.

Even farmers who laugh at the idea of environmentally friendly kangaroo farts say that's nothing to joke about, particularly given the devastating drought Australia is suffering.

"In a tight year like a drought situation, 15 percent would be a considerable sum," said farmer Michael Mitton.

But it will take researchers at least three years to isolate the bacteria, before they can even start to develop a way of transferring it to cattle and sheep.

Another group of scientists, meanwhile, has suggested Australians should farm fewer cattle and sheep and just eat more kangaroos.

The idea is controversial, but about 20 percent of health conscious Australians are believed to eat the national symbol already.

"It's low in fat, it's got high protein levels it's very clean in the sense that basically it's the ultimate free range animal," said Peter Ampt of the University of New South Wales's institute of environmental studies.

"It doesn't get drenched, it doesn't get vaccinated, it utilizes food right across the landscape, it moves around to where the food is good, so yes, it's a good food."

It might take a while for kangaroos to become popular barbecue fare, but with concern over global warming growing in the world's driest inhabited continent, Australians could soon be ready to try almost anything to cut emissions. (AFP)

2007年12月9日 星期日

Eva Mendes stars in 'Fur? I'd rather go naked' ad for PETA 好萊塢女星伊娃曼德絲拍攝寧願裸體不要皮草廣告

Eva Mendes, the latest star of the "Fur? I'd rather go naked" ad campaign for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA -- 人類善待動物組織), unveiled her naked ad Thursday in New York City.

She joins a list of celebrities who have gone nude for PETA, including Alicia Silverstone, Christina Applegate, Kim Basinger and Pamela Anderson.

"There are way too many amazing faux-fur options out there for people to still be wearing real fur," she said. "I want people to know that … killing a poor animal and wearing [its fur] isn't cool. Respecting all life forms is cool."

Mendes is a little more "cheeky" than some of stars who have gone before her, revealing her bare buttocks in the ad. (FOX News)

2007年12月7日 星期五

Rhino poop is auctioning on eBay 犀牛糞上eBay拍賣

Stumped about what to give that special someone this Christmas? How about some rhino poop? The International Rhino Foundation is auctioning separately on eBay four pieces of dung from the endangered species and will use the proceeds to fund conservation efforts.

The pieces come from four of the five types of rhino: white, black, Indian and Sumatran. The Javan rhino is so rare, a sample could not be collected.

Each piece is dried, mounted in a clear trophy case and marked with the type of rhino that produced it.

The auction ends Sunday (Dec. 9) and as of Thursday afternoon bidding had been light, with the top bid for Sumatran rhino poop standing at $500. Black rhino poop was standing at $255, Indian was at $250 and white was at $122.50.

The foundation, which is based at the White Oak Conservation Center, says only about 17,500 rhinos remain in the wild with another 1,200 living in captivity.(AP)

Toyota violin-playing robot 豐田會拉小提琴的機器人

Toyota Motor on Thursday (Dec. 6)unveiled a robot that can play the violin as part of its efforts to develop futuristic machines capable of assisting humans in Japan's greying society.

The 1.5-metre-tall (five-foot), two-legged robot wowed onlookers with a faultless rendition of Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance.

With 17 joints in its hands and arms, the robot has human-like dexterity that could be applied to helping people in the home or in nursing and medical care, the carmaker said.

Toyota also unveiled a two-wheeled, single-seat "mobility robot" that could be used to transport an elderly or disabled person over uneven ground and around obstacles.

Toyota, which already uses industrial robots extensively in its car plants, said it aims to put robots capable of assisting humans into use by the early 2010s.

"We began to use industrial robots in our factories in the 1980s that have been perfected over time to be capable of working on several car models or carrying out different tasks," said Toyota Motor Corp. chief executive Katsuaki Watanabe.

"Now we want to accelerate the development of robots that make a contribution to society, drawing on our knowledge and innovation in the field of automobiles," he told a press conference.

The new robots come three years after Toyota unveiled a trumpet-playing robot -- its first humanoid machine -- in a bid to catch up with robot technology frontrunners such as Honda Motor Co. and Sony Corp.

Makers of robots see big potential for their use in Japan, where the number of elderly people is rapidly growing, causing labour shortages in a country that strictly controls immigration.

Japanese are famed for their longevity of life, with more than 30,000 people aged at least 100 years old, a trend attributed to a healthy cuisine and active lifestyle. (AFP)

2007年12月6日 星期四

Sexy models plus coffins equals calendar 性感模特兒 + 棺材 = 日曆

An Italian firm of undertakers has unveiled its 2008 calendar - featuring glamour models draped over its range of coffins.

The calendar shows women in sexy underwear posing with coffins which can be ordered from the Cofanifunebri undertakers in Rome.

Owber Maurizio Matteucci defended the calendar - on sale at his firm's outlets for just £7 - which has caused outrage in the Catholic country.

He said: "It is good marketing but it is also but also a way to play down such a serious subject and to smile.

"Coffins are consumer goods like any other things, so I sell in the same way as any other consumer goods are sold. The calendar is very popular." (Ananova.com)

2007年12月5日 星期三

Mummified dinosaur reveals surprises 木乃伊恐龍令人驚奇

Fossilized hadrosaur Dakota skin picture (Tyler Larson/National Geographic)

A partially mummified hadrosaur discovered by a teenager in North Dakota may be the most complete dinosaur ever found, with intact skin that shows evidence of stripes and perhaps soft tissue, researchers said on Monday.

Enough of the animal remains to show it ran quickly and was far more muscular than scientists believed such dinosaurs were.

"It's sort of King Tut meets T. Rex," palaeontologist Phil Manning of the University of Manchester said in a telephone interview.

The creature is fossilized, with the skin and bone turned to stone. But unlike most dinosaur fossils, tissues are preserved as well.

This includes large expanses of the animal's skin, with clear remains of scales.

"This is not a skin impression. This is fossilized skin," Manning said. "When you run your hands over this dinosaur's skin, this is the closest you are going to get to touching a real dinosaur, ever."

The remains of the hadrosaur, dubbed Dakota, were found in 2000 by Tyler Lyson, then 17, on his uncle's ranch in North Dakota.

The hadrosaur, a plant-eating dinosaur that walked on two legs, lived 67 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous Period.

Lyson contacted Manning. The National Geographic Society, which helped pay for the expedition, will air a television program about the team's work on Sunday.

Manning had the team remove the monstrous specimen almost intact, with just the tail in a separate block.

It weighed close to 10,000 pounds.

They persuaded the Boeing Company and NASA to use a huge computed tomography, or CT, scanner in Canoga Park, California, that is usually used to scan space shuttle parts.

The dense fossil has taken months to scan, Manning said. "We will know in the next few days if the head is in there," he said.

The tail piece turned up some surprises. The animal's back end is 25 percent larger than previously thought.

Locomotor biologist Bill Sellers of the University of Manchester used a computer program to reconstruct how the hadrosaur would have moved and came up with a picture of an animal that walked not upright, but with its head low to the ground and forearms almost touching.

The strong muscles connecting its upper legs to its tail would have allowed it to run at speeds of up to 28 miles an hour, well ahead of its predator, Tyrannosaurus rex.

Patterns in the scales resemble those associated with skin colour changes in lizards. This provides the strongest evidence yet that the animal had stripes, Manning said.

The researchers are looking for preserved proteins. They have some results that have been offered to a scientific journal, Manning said.

"It's contentious. We say we are finding soft tissues where people previously have not looked," he said.

They also found a second fossil, one that Manning calls the "the hand of doom." The clawed foot belongs to a species of crocodile that may have been dining on Dakota soon after it died in a riverbed.

"It could have crawled up the back passage of the animal, went to get the guts and ended up stuck," Manning said. (Reuters) -- Click here to see the Chinese version

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Under normal circumstances, side effects are mild and can include upset stomach, headache and facial flushing. Other possible, less common side effects are sensitivity to light and a bluish / blurred vision. If experiencing chest pains, nausea or dizziness during sex, seek immediate medical advice. It's not approved by FDA. (womenra.com)

2007年12月4日 星期二

Bikini pictures reveal Jennifer Love Hewitt has piled on the pounds 比基尼照片顯示美國女星珍妮佛樂芙休伊發福了

She was the inspiration behind former boyfriend John Mayer's hit 'Your Body Is A Wonderland,' but not even a famous muse like Jennifer Love Hewitt can escape a little weight gain.

A combination of harsh sunlight and a skimpy bikini left the newly buxom star with nowhere to hide as she hit the beach for a swim during a Hawaiian getaway.

The star's curvy, cellulite-riddled physique was in stark contrast to the slender - and airbrushed - frame she showed off during a recent advertising campaign for US label Hanes.

Still, the star of I Know What You Did Last Summer, who became engaged to Scottish actor Ross McCall last week, says she happily embraces her imperfections.
In a cheeky nod to Mayer's hit, Jennifer recently joked: "My body is far from a wonderland. My body is more like a pawnshop."

"There's a lot of interesting things put together, and if you look closely you'd probably be excited, but at first glance, not so much."

The 28-year-old, who stars in the popular US show Ghost Whisperer, recently wrapped filming on Delgo, a big screen animation which also features Val Kilmer, Anne Bancroft and Freddie Prinze Jr. (Daily Mail)

Cheeky mynah bird caged 罵人的八哥被關進黑籠

A zoo caged a cheeky mynah bird for 15 days for being abusive to tourists.

Eight-year-old Mimi was put in solitary confinement at Yuelishan Park in Changsha city, after a visitor complained.

She had to stay in a darkened cage and listen to recordings of polite conversation in a bid to improve her behaviour.

"I was playing with her, and suddenly she said: "You're a stupid man"," the tourist, Mr Du, told the Chongqing Evening News.

"She also called me an ugly man."

A park spokesman said: "When she swears, the feeder refuses to feed her. And while she's confined, we play her tapes of polite speech."

The park says the sentence has cured Mimi of her habit, and that she is now welcoming guests pleasantly.

"We hope tourists won't teach her to swear again," added the spokesman. (Chongqing Evening News)

2007年12月3日 星期一

Thailand's King has sparked a pink fashion craze 泰皇浦美蓬掀起粉紅色時裝狂熱

Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej has sparked a pink fashion craze.

Clothing stores in the country have seen a rush to buy pink shirts after the King left hospital last month wearing both a pink shirt and blazer.

The Phufa fashion chain said it had sold 40,000 pink shirts this month, reports the BBC.

"Our factory is making these shirts every day, every minute day and night," said a spokeswoman for the company. "We had no idea they would be this popular."

King Bhumibol spent three weeks in hospital last month having treatment for heart problems and other ailments.

Thai commentators said pink first became an important colour for him earlier this year, when royal astrologers determined it was a good colour for his health.

On that recommendation, a pink royal crest was designed for his 80th birthday on 5 December.

Civil servant Rose Tarin, 56, recently camped outside a clothing store from 4am to ensure she was able to buy one of the latest shipments of pink shirts.

"Wearing pink brings the king luck. I don't want him to be sick," she said.

The King, who has traditionally always worn dark suits in public, has now also taken to wearing a range of other brightly coloured items.

This has led to Thai newspapers predicting runs on green and blue shirts.

The world's longest serving monarch, King Bhumibol is regarded by some as semi-divine and his picture hangs in most Thai homes.

The rush for pink shirts is not the first fashion craze he has started.

Since King Bhumibol's 60th anniversary on the throne in 2006, many Thais have worn bright yellow shirts every Monday, because that was the day of the week on which he was born. (BBC)

2007年12月2日 星期日

Top ten highest-paid actresses in 2007 2007年前10位片酬最高的好萊塢女星

Reese Witherspoon

1. Reese Witherspoon (瑞絲薇斯朋) -- $15 million-$20 million
2. Angelina Jolie (安潔莉娜裘莉) -- $15 million-$20 million
3. Cameron Diaz (卡麥蓉狄亞) -- $15+ million
4. Nicole Kidman (妮可基嫚) -- $10 million-$15 million
5. Renee Zellweger (芮妮齊薇格) -- $10 million-$15 million
6. Sandra Bullock (珊卓布拉克) -- $10 million-$15 million
7. Julia Roberts (茱莉亞羅勃茲) -- $10 million-$15 million
8. Drew Barrymore (茱兒芭莉摩) -- $10 million-$12 million
9. Jodie Foster (茱蒂佛斯特) -- $10 million-$12 million
10. Halle Berry (荷莉貝瑞) -- $10 million
(source: hollywoodreporter.com)

Thai candidates accused of vote-buying with Viagra 泰候選人譴責用威而剛買票

Parliamentary candidates in Thailand's upcoming election are trying to buy the votes of elderly men by passing out free Viagra, a local government official said Friday (November 30th).

Thais head to the polls on December 23 for the first time since the military toppled the elected prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra in a bloodless coup last year.

Residents in Prathumthani, on the northern outskirts of Bangkok, reported some of the candidates were passing out doses of the anti-impotence drug in exchange for promised votes, said Sayan Nopkham, a local government official.

"The villagers told me they have been given one or two pills of Viagra by candidates. Then they come to me to ask for more pills, or sometimes coffee, in exchange for voting for my brother, who is also running for a seat," he told AFP.

Thailand has a long history of vote-buying, but laws banning it have recently been toughened.

Anyone found guilty of buying votes could face up to 10 years in prison while voters who accept money face up to five years in jail.

Charungwit Phumma, an investigator with the Election Commission, said he had received no formal complaints about a Viagra-for-votes scheme.

"It's a funny claim," he said.

Charungwit said the most common complaints filed with his office were voters being paid to join a political party or being promised cash for going to the ballot box. (AFP)

2007年11月30日 星期五

Paris Hilton does upskirt 巴莉絲裙短露臀

Paris Hilton looked as if she forgot to take off her nightdress as she took to the street in a lingerie-style slip of a silk dress - which was so short it left her matching blue tights exposed and barely covered her modesty.

Reformed bad-girl Paris Hilton wore the bizarre outfit to meet her pregnant pal Nicole Richie for lunch in Los Angeles yesterday.

In a vain attempt to create a proper outfit, the heir-head, 26, threw on a pair of shades, a chain, the tights and some shoes and took her nightwear on the road to keep a lunch date with her former Simple Life co-star.

It was lucky that Paris was saved from complete exposure by her opaque blue tights which went some way to protecting her modesty. (Daily Mail)

Chantelle Houghton's new improved bust line 英國真人秀女星仙黛爾休頓的胸部變大了

It's an unusual way to put the past behind you - but following the swift end to her ten-month marriage to singer Preston, reality TV winner Chantelle Houghton has opted for a post-divorce boost - in the bust area.

Determined to cheer herself up after her split from Ordinary Boys frontman Preston, Chantelle spent £4,000 on boosting her cleavage from a 32B to a bountiful 32DD.

She showed off her new look in a revealing corset at the opening of a new Ultimo store in - where else - Essex on Nov. 28.

Chantelle had wanted to go under the knife while still married, but Preston forbid her, calling breast implants "absolutely grotesque."

But now that the couple, who met on Celebrity Big Brother, have called time on their fairytale marriage, Chantelle went ahead with the operation.

A source said: "It's a big change – she's gone from a 32B to a 32DD but they don't look ridiculously out of proportion and Chantelle feels fantastic."

Chantelle added: "I'm so happy with them – I absolutely love them and can't stop touching them."

The former Paris Hilton lookalike is also rumoured to have a new man – electrician Chris Neal, 26 who is said to have dumped fellow BB contestant Nikki Grahame, 25, in favour of the Essex-born model. (Daily Mail)

2007年11月29日 星期四

Marko Jaric is the luckiest man alive: He’s Adriana Lima’s boyfriend NBA灰狼隊控衛馬可賈里克是目前在世最幸運的男人:他是巴西超模阿德瑞娜利瑪的男友

Up until precisely this moment, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Marko Jaric had been known for two things: Entering an NBA game with his jersey on backwards, and being on the receiving end of a vicious Kobe Bryant forearm shiver. Those two incidents will forever take a backseat to some of the best news to hit the NBA this season: Jaric is dating one of the most beautiful women in the world, Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima.

Understandably, his teammates are shocked. “Ever since he started dating Adriana Lima, he’s a new man,” [Mark] Madsen said, laughing. “He’s flying all over the court. He dunked! I’ve never seen him dunk.” (UPDATE: Aaron Gleeman made note Monday that Jaric is quite the player - seems as if a Penthouse Pet went on a radio show last week and talked about “dating” him. You’ll have to scroll down on the link a bit.)

Enjoy spending the better part of today getting to know Lima, who, because she is a lingerie model, has between 17 and 20,688 “fan sites” on the internet. (thebiglead.com)

Pregnant Christina Aguilera posed nude for magazine Marie Claire 身懷六甲的美國天后歌手克莉絲蒂娜阿奎蕾拉為「美麗佳人」雜誌拍裸照

The mother-to-be mama is totally gorgeous even though she balls all! Christina Aguilera speaks about her pregnancy in the January 2008 issue of Marie Claire. She revealed that her baby boy was conceived from Power Egg and Super Sperm when her husband Jordan Bratman visited Georgetown during a tour stop, and many many more things.... Make sure check out People.com for the detailed infomation. (Random Citations)

Victoria Beckham's boobs deflated noticeably 貝克漢老婆維多利亞的胸部明顯洩了氣

Spotted in a similar decolletage dress a year ago in New York, Victoria Beckham, the 33-year-old mother of three once so pert and perky, looked positively deflated as she cheered on Spice Girls bandmate Mel B who competed in the final of hit US show Dancing With the Stars on Nov 26 in Los Angeles. (Random Citations)

2007年11月28日 星期三

First moon surface picture by China's Chang-E 1 lunar probe 中國嫦娥1號探月衛星傳回第一張月球表面照片

The black and white picture showing rough surface scattered with big or small pits was made public at a gala ceremony in Beijing Aerospace Control Center on November 26 by Premier Wen Jiabao, who hailed it as a major step in "the Chinese race's 1,000-year-old dream" of exploring the moon.

Wen asserted in a passionate and inspiring speech on Monday that China has joined the select group of world powers with the capabilities to engage in deep-space exploration.

The success, he said not only manifested China's rising national strength and technical innovation capability but also elevated the country's international status and cemented national cohesion.

"It showcases eloquently that the Chinese people have the will, the ambition and the capability to compose more shining new chapters while ascending the science and technology summit," Wen said.

Citing a letter from an overseas Chinese, Wen said that the farther the China-made satellite flew, the higher would the overseas Chinese hold their heads.

The area covered by the picture, about 460 km in length and 280 km in width -- about half the size of the United Kingdom, is within a location of 70 to 54 degrees south latitude and 83 to 57 degrees east longitude. (China Daily)

Tabula Peutingeriana unveiled 羅馬帝國地圖公諸於世

Tabula Peutingeriana, made in the Middle Ages, is the only surviving copy of a road map from the late Roman Empire. It dates from the late 12th or the early 13th century and was made in Southern Germany or Austria.

The nearly-7-metre-long parchment scroll shows the network of main Roman roads from Spain to India.

At first sight, it looks very unlike a modern map.

Both the landmass and the seas have been stretched and flattened. The Mediterranean has been reduced to a thin strip of water, more like a river than a sea.

Instead of being oriented from north to south, the map, which is only 34 centimetres wide, works from west to east.

At the centre of the Tabula Peutingeriana is Rome. The city, represented by a crowned figure on a throne, has numerous roads leading to and from the metropolis. Some, such as the Via Appia and the Via Aurelia, still exist today.

The Tabula Peutingeriana, one of the Austrian National Library's greatest treasures, is normally never shown to the public and has been on display for only one day to celebrate its inclusion in Unesco's Memory of the World Register on 26 November 2007. (BBC/Random Citations)

2007年11月27日 星期二

Scissorhands! 剪刀手

A barber in China has set a world record by cutting a customer's hair with 10 pairs of scissors simultaneously.

Wang Zedong, 41, of Jiujiang city, Jiangxi province, demonstrated his stunt in a television studio with hundreds of people, and Guinness officials, in the audience.

In less than three minutes, Wang cut the model's hair, reports Zhejiang Online.

Wang says he started practicing this stunt to try to cope with the number of customers coming to his barber's shop.

"At first, many customers had to wait more than an hour in my shop, so I had to find a way of cutting hair more efficiently," he said.

Instead of recruiting more staff, Wang trained himself to cut hair with more than one pair of scissors.

He says he can actually now cut hair with as many as 18 pairs of scissors simultaneously, and with his eyes covered.

"But the TV station designed a whole set of actions for me, to make a good visual impression. They required me to have flowing movements and a strong cutting rhythm," Wang said.

"In order to shoot the 10-minute program and meet their requirements, I had to rehearse for two days." (Zhejiang Online)

Cow gives birth to quadruplets 大陸一母牛產下4胞胎

A cow in Pingluo County in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (寧夏回族自治區) gave birth to four calves on Sunday.

The feat is said to equal the world record set by a cow in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, which gave birth to four calves on December 13, 2003 and got itself in the Guinness World Records.

"It is the first time I have seen so many calves born from a cow at one time," said Guo Xuefeng, the cow's owner, who is known as a skilled cow breeder in the county. Three of the newborn calves are female and they are all in good condition.

Animal experts said cows generally give birth to one calf and the probability of producing twins is only 2 percent to 4 percent. It is extremely rare that three calves are born at one time and the probability of quadruplets is much lower. (China Daily)

2007年11月25日 星期日

Scientists find fossil of bigger-than-man sea scorpion 科學家發現比人還大的海蠍子化石

Scientists say they have found the fossil of part of a sea scorpion bigger than a man.

The armoured giant was 8ft long, weighed 400lb and terrorised the seas 400 million years ago.

The huge scorpion prowled the ocean floor but may also have crawled on to the land, scientists said.

After a foot-long fossilised claw was found in a German quarry, British expert Dr Simon Braddy said: "This is an amazing discovery.

"We have known for some time that the fossil record yields monster millipedes, super-sized scorpions, colossal cockroaches, and jumbo dragonflies.

"But we never realised until now just how big some of these ancient creepy-crawlies were."

The scorpion, called Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, was found by scientists including Markus Poschmann.

It had eight legs, two paddles for swimming plus two huge serrated claws. The creatures, called eurypterids, may be the ancestors of all arachnids - the group which includes scorpions and spiders. (AP)

Man wins mince pie contest 英男子贏得吃肉餡餅比賽

A man has won £1,000 by eating 26 mince pies in ten minutes.

Clive Pearson, pictured, took part in the contest at Wookey Hole, Wells, Somerset.

He said the secret to his success was sipping water between pies.

He now hopes to take part in the world eating championship in Las Vegas, reports the Daily Mirror. (Daily Mirror)

2007年11月24日 星期六

Firms asks women to work in their undies 台灣公司要求女員工只穿內衣上班

A Taiwanese lingerie company encouraged all its female office staff to go to work in their undies for the day.

The Audrey Underwear company in Taizhong city named November 21 Camisole Day to celebrate record sales.

All 500 women working in the firm's headquarters were encouraged to wear only camisoles and knickers - much to the excitement of their male colleagues.

"We have been waiting for this day all month. Today, we are super high, and don't know where to put our eyes," salesman Cai Mingda told Straits News.

More than 90% of female workers reportedly went along with the spirit of the day and worked in their underwear.

Zhang Yufeng, 32, a mother of two, admitted: "I have been on a strict diet to get ready for the day. When I was trying on my outfit at home, my husband told me I should dress like this every day."

And Liao Wenshen, 30, added: "The men were red-faced all day, and were becoming so polite to us. It's so funny!"

Huang Bihui, PR manager of the company, explained: "We introduced eight new camisoles into market and sold more than 20,000 in less than two months so we named the 21st as Camisole Day."

Employment lawyers said there was nothing illegal in the move so long as it was voluntary but it had its critics.

Wu Juanyu complained: "Some women may feel forced to join in because of peer pressure and job competition. I don't know if the company is selling underwear or women's bodies." (Ananova.com)

Man beaten for being bald 印度男子因禿頭挨揍

A man was beaten by his fiance and in-laws in India after they found out he was bald and wearing a wig.

Prabir Das, of Dispur in Assam, was also relieved of his belongings, reports the Daily Telegraph.

He told police his fiancee yanked off his hairpiece after dinner and began beating and abusing him for hiding his pate.

Her parents then joined in, ripping his expensive wig apart and relieving the 33-year-old of his wallet, mobile phone, motorbike and driving licence as 'penalty' for his deception, he alleged.

Mr Das, who works at a private hospital, had advertised for a bride in the matrimonial columns of a local newspaper and Dilip Roy, seeking a match for his daughter Shreshta, responded.

The wedding was fixed for December 12, and the bride's family began putting together Shreshta's dowry.

The superintendent Rajen Singh said Mr Roy had been questioned and denied the fracas. The wedding, police said, appears to be off. (Daily Telegraph)

2007年11月23日 星期五

Primary school built in cave 建在山洞中的小學

A remote Chinese village has built a school in a giant mountain cave.

The school, named Dongzhong (literally meaning "in cave") School, is located in the middle cave of a mountain in Getu village, Guizhou province. (貴州洞中小學)。

It has expanded from just one class when it first opened to having eight teachers and 186 students, reports Sohu News.

"The students are very eager for knowledge, and the student who lives the farthest has to walk six hours each day," says the headmaster.

The school is like a normal school in every other way, with classrooms and a playground, but most of the buildings have no roofs "since they're not necessary", adds the head.

The huge, aircraft hanger-sized natural cave, carved out of a mountain over thousands of years by wind, water and seismic shifts. (Ananova/Reuters)

2007年11月22日 星期四

World's largest and tallest motorcycle 全世界最大最高的摩托車

Gregory Dunham, from California's Stockton, built the world's biggest motorcycle, which was officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.

The beauty shop owner said he created the monster bike because his friends said it couldn't be done and he wanted to prove it could.

Greg Dunham spent three years in his workshop crafting this 11 feet tall, 20 feet long monster bike which was powered by a 8.2 liter (V8 engine and has tyres that are 1.88 m tall.

Even though, the 6,500-pound motorcycle with a pricetag of $300,000 is totally rideable (watch video below), we think, very few people would like to buy the world’s tallest motorcycle. (Random Citations/geekervision.com)

2007年11月21日 星期三

Painting found in trash sells for 1 million dollars 垃圾堆裡找到的一幅畫賣得100萬美元

A painting found in a pile of trash on a New York street sold at Sotheby's auction house late Tuesday (November 20th) for a million dollars, nearly 20 years after it was stolen from a warehouse in Texas.

"Tres personajes" ("Three People"), a 1970 work by Rufino Tamayo, one of Mexico's best known artists, was bagged for 1.049,000 dollars by a north American buyer who fought off a telephone bidder, the auction house said.

It had been saved from the garbage by Elizabeth Gibson, who spotted the work while out walking one morning in 2003. She found the painting, measuring 98 by 130 centimeters, in perfect condition.

"It was a Saturday morning. I went out for a coffee at 7:00 am. I saw it on the sidewalk among black plastic garbage bags," she told AFP ahead of the sale.

"I passed my way and had my coffee, but a voice inside kept telling me to go back and take the painting. So I stopped reading my book and I went back and took the painting, which had a very bad frame but was in perfect condition."

The work, with bold strokes of red, purple and yellow, was bought for 55,000 dollars in 1977 by a Texas man for his wife's birthday. The couple put it in storage while they moved house and noticed the painting was missing in 1987 when picking up their belongings at the warehouse.

Where the painting went for the next 16 years remains a mystery, but for several months after discovering it, Gibson kept it on the wall in her apartment.

Tipped off by a friend that the painting could be valuable, Gibson started investigating only to find on the Internet that the work had been featured on US television show "The Antiques Roadshow" in a segment on missing paintings.

Gibson approached Sotheby's, which helped return the painting to its original owner, who remains unidentified.

Federal FBI detectives are still investigating the case.

The painting carried a pre-sale estimate of 750,000 to one million dollars. Gibson has already received a 15,000-dollar reward for helping secure its return and was to receive an undisclosed sum from the sale.

Marysol Nieves of Sotheby's Latin American art department said the piece was a classic example of all the important elements of the artist's work.

The auctioneer sold four other major pictures on Tuesday. Among them, "Dejeuner sur l'herbe" ("Lunch on the Grass") by the Colombian painter Fernando Botero fetched 1.3 million dollars.

The sale came amid a week of Latin American art auctions in New York expected to fetch around 50 million dollars and as the city's first contemporary Latin American art fair wrapped up after selling some 300 works.

The city's Museum of Modern Art is also due this week to unveil an exhibition of its most recent Latin American acquisitions. (AFP)

Teen breaks blindfolded texting record 紐西蘭少年打破蒙住眼睛打簡訊世界記錄

A New Zealand teenager has broken the world blindfolded texting record by sending a 160-character message in just 45 seconds.

Elliot Nicholls, 17, broke the previous record of 83 seconds twice, by sending the message in 51 seconds on his second attempt and then 45 seconds on his fourth attempt.

"I've been practising about 20 minutes every day for the past week, I knew I could do it, I just had to get the phrase into my brain," he said.

The teenager has worn out the keypads on four mobile phones already. He says he sends around 50 text messages a day.

His father says he gives Elliot a copy of the Guinness Book of Records each Christmas, so he wasn't surprised his son was "attempting something quirky".

The text he had to send was "the razor toothed piranhas of the genera serrasal musand pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world, in reality they rarely attack a human".

Elliot's own text message had to match it exactly, including spaces, punctuation and spelling with no mistakes. (Ananova.com)

Ryanair cabin crew girls strip off for charity calendar 英國萊恩航空空服員脫掉制服拍攝清涼日曆

The British Cabin Crew Girls of Ryanair strip off their usual blue suits, pout and pose in the skimpiest of bikinis in various locations around an airport and on-board their planes for the hottest Ryanair Charity Calendar 2008.

This exclusive Ryanair charity calendar 2008 will be available on board all flights from Saturday November 17, with money going to Angels Quest, which provides respite care for special needs children.

Passengers will be able to bring a dozen of Europe's most stunning cabin crew home for just £5. (Daily Mail)