2008年6月30日 星期一

China launches flying saucer 中國公司發明飛碟

A Chinese company has invented a remote control flying saucer that can hover in the sky at heights of up to 3,200ft.

The 4ft-diameter craft has been flown successfully in the skies above Harbin City in China's Heilongjiang Province.

It is designed to monitor forest fires and manage high rise building rescues from above, flying for up to 40 minutes at speeds of up to 50mph.

The Harbin Smart Special Aerocraft Company spent more than £2million and 12 years developing the prototype.

Its intended uses include aerial photography, geological surveys and emergency lighting.

A small number of the aircraft will be available to buy in September, at a price still to be determined.

The unmanned disc is driven by a propeller and can be controlled remotely or sent on a preset flight path. (ananova.com)

2008年6月26日 星期四

Australian grandmother gives birth to triplets 澳洲祖母產下三胞胎

An Australian grandmother has given birth to naturally conceived triplets, hospital officials said Tuesday.

Janelle Perry, who turns 47 next week, delivered the three boys by caesarian section at Mater Mothers' Hospital in the east coast city of Brisbane last Thursday.

"I can confirm there are three boys, they are potentially identical triplets," a spokeswoman for the hospital told AFP.

The arrival of Cooper, Kyle and Jordan brings Perry's brood to eight -- including four children in their 20s from an earlier marriage and a four-year-old daughter, Rebecca, with her husband Robert.

The grandmother of two told Brisbane's Courier Mail that she and Robert had tried for two years to conceive again but had given up hope after a doctor told them they had only a five percent chance of becoming pregnant naturally.

"We thought, 'Oh, well. It'll probably never happen'," she told the paper.

But youngest daughter Rebecca kept hoping for a bigger family.

"Rebecca kept telling me in November, 'You've got three babies in your tummy, Mummy -- one for me, one for Dad and one for you'," Perry said.

"I thought, 'No way' and told her, 'There's no babies in there'. Then, in December, I found out I was pregnant."

Perry's husband, a crane operator, has taken one year's leave to help her look after the triplets but the new mum said she would be challenged by looking after the boys.

"I'll probably have to use different coloured nail polish on them to tell them apart," she said.

"I don't want to get them mixed up."

David Molloy from the Queensland Fertility group said the chance of having identical triplets at the age of 46 was "probably the same as winning Gold Lotto." (AFP)

2008年6月24日 星期二

72 years at the same firm 在同一家公司任職72年

A Darlington solicitor has finally retired - after an amazing 72 years with the same firm.

Fred Burton was 15 when he was taken on as an office junior at solicitors Latimer Hinks in 1936, reports the Daily Mirror.

Now, aged 88, and a senior legal executive, he has finally called it a day.

Fred said: "I guess the secret was that I really enjoyed it, I loved going into work every day and really got on with the people in the office."

Colleagues held a champagne reception to toast Fred's long service, broken only by a stint in Egypt in the Second World War.

He counts author James Herriot among his clients at the firm in Darlington, Co Durham. He said: "I became friendly with him and his wife."

Once he reached 65, Fred was determined to keep on working and became the office librarian.

Fred believes he may have set a record for a British worker, although he was beaten to a world record by a Goldman Sachs employee in the US who put in 74 years.(Daily Mirror)

2008年6月23日 星期一

The happiest day of the year 今年最快樂的一天 (6月20日)

An academic has worked out a mathematical formula which he says proves June 20 is the happiest day of the year.

It is down to a combination of lighter evenings, the prospect of holidays and memories of childhood summers, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Cliff Arnall, a psychologist and former tutor at Cardiff University, worked out the equation: "O + (N xS) + Cpm/T + He".

O stands for being outdoors, N is nature, S is socialising with neighbours and friends, Cpm stands for childhood positive memories, T is the mean temperature, and He is holiday expectation.

However, his formula fails to take into account falling house prices, rising inflation, stagnating pay rises or the fact that none of the home nations are in Euro 2008. (Daily Telegraph)

2008年6月20日 星期五

Sings with wolves 與狼合唱

A Chinese zoo is creating a singing wolf troupe - and is also planning to teach them how to dance.

Luo Yong, a keeper at Chongqing Wild Zoo, said he discovered the wolves' singing ability by accident, reports People's Daily.

"Once I was playing guitar and singing the song 'I Am A Wolf From The North', and a young wolf I raised walked up to me and stared at me. Suddenly he howled with the rhythm, and even patted the strings with his claw," he said.

Luo said that ever since he dedicated himself to training his wolf group, and now all 30 wolves at the zoo can sing along to a rhythm.

"My next plan is to find someone to write a song just for them, and also to find people to teach them disco dancing," he added optimistically. (People's Daily)

2008年6月18日 星期三

Whole town, including candidates, forgot to vote 整個鎮 -- 就連候選人 -- 都忘了投票

A tiny US community doesn't know what to do after nobody turned up to vote in its mayoral election - including the candidates.

The current Mayor of Pillsbury, Darrel Brudevold, said voter turnout was usually fairly high in the farming community (pop: 11). (這個小鎮人口僅11人)

"I dare say a half-dozen people usually make it to the polls," he said.

But on 10 June, no one showed up to vote in the Barnes County, North Dakota, settlement. Not even those on the ballot, reports Metro.

Mayor Brudevold ran unopposed for re-election. His wife, Ruth, and Dan Lindseth faced no challengers for their alderman seats.

"Everybody has got a job and they're busy," he added. "It just worked out that nobody seemed to go down there to the polls."

Mr Brudevold said he had intended to vote, but he had crops to tend. His wife, Ruth, the town's postmaster who also runs the beauty shop, said she was too busy with work to make it to the polls.

The council meets about five times a year. Members are each paid £25 annually, and a good portion of that goes for doughnuts at the meetings or gas to get there, Mayor Brudevold said.

Barnes County Auditor Ed McGough said those in office can stay there and appoint people, including themselves, to the jobs until the next election. (Metro)

2008年6月16日 星期一

Cat adopts rat 貓收養老鼠

A pet cat in China has adopted a rat which she is nursing alongside her four kittens.

Sun Shujun, of Yantai City, says the rat has been living with her cat since the kittens were born four weeks ago.

Sun, 81, says that a neighbour came to see the kittens on the day they were born and was amazed to see a rat suckling alongside them.

"At the beginning, I thought I must have seen wrong. So I took a flashlight and had a clear look," said the neighbour.

The rat not only drinks cat's milk, but also plays with its kitten 'brothers and sisters', according to the Qilu Evening Post.

The cat reportedly treats the rat exactly the same as her natural kittens and it has become part of her family.

Sun reckons her maternal instincts must have overwhelmed her predatory instincts to allow her to adopt an animal she would normally see as prey. (Qilu Evening Post《齊魯晚報》)

2008年6月13日 星期五

Woman sweeps roads for 84 years 大陸老阿嬤義務掃街84年

A 104-year-old grandmother has been cleaning the streets in her city in China for 84 years - for free.

Ding Youzhen, of Anfeng town, Dongtai city, sweeps the roads near her home every day, reports the People's Daily.

She says she got into the habit in her twenties when she and her husband ran a teahouse.

"We would clean the roads from the port to our teahouse every day," she said.

And although the teahouse closed several years ago, Ding said she had never got out of the habit of sweeping the roads.

She has won several awards for her work for the community and has become something of a local celebrity. (People's Daily)

2008年6月11日 星期三

Wu-Tang Clan's chess move 街舞樂團「武當幫」成立西洋棋網站

The notorious Wu-Tang Clan rap ensemble have set up a new website to promote their new sideline - online chess.

WuChess.com claims to be the "the world's first online chess and urban social network", reports the Daily Telegraph.

For £29 a year users can take on other rap fans across the world, set up their own chess "clans", and even earn the right do battle with Wu-Tang Clan members and other chess-loving hip hop stars.

Players can compete to win prizes, or "just for the joy of flexing yer mentals", the website says.

The project is a partnership between Wu-Tang Clan producer RZA and the ChessPark social network.

A slice of any profits will be donated to the Hip Hop Chess Federation, the company says.

The eight strong Wu-Tang Clan, from New York, are one of the most successful and acclaimed hip hop groups of all time, but their career has been dogged by controversy.

Founder member Ol' Dirty Bastard, real name Russell Jones, was frequently in court on various assault, drug and driving charges before his death in 2004. (Daily Telegraph)

2008年6月10日 星期二

Pregnant man may have more children 懷孕男子可能生更多小孩

The world's first pregnant man says he and his wife may have more children in the future.

Thomas Beatie, who is due to give birth to a girl in four weeks, said that he was "on top of the world".

"I feel fantastic," he said in his most revealing interview since falling pregnant. "I cannot wait to see my baby's face."

Mr Beatie also disclosed that he was inseminated using a syringe supplied by a vet, and that an earlier attempt to get pregnant resulted in a miscarriage.

Mr Beatie changed sex ten years ago but kept his ovaries and womb so he could have children.

He said the love and support he and his wife Nancy received from friends and families prompted the decision to have more kids in the future.

"All the people who really know us and love us, our friends and family, have been incredibly supportive," Mr Beatie told the News of the World.

"So much so we might even have more children. We will just see what the experience is like with our daughter's arrival first and then give it some thought." (News of the World)

2008年6月8日 星期日

Canada deploying cardboard cops to nab speeders 加拿大部署紙板警察來嚇阻超速者

Police in westernmost Canada are deploying life-size cardboard replicas of traffic cops pointing a radar gun at oncoming traffic to try to reduce speeding and road fatalities, authorities said.

And these mock-ups are so realistic that while being tested on a Vancouver street this week, "a tow-truck driver pulled up and started talking to it," Staff Sergeant Ralph Pauw told a press conference.

Eight of the cut-outs will initially be deployed on city streets, Pauw said. And in case some drivers aren't fooled by the facsimiles, "there may or may not be a (real) police officer behind one of these cut-outs," he added.

The police initiative called Operation Silhouette follows similar trickery used elsewhere, including "bait cars" for thieves, fake intersection cameras and mechanical moose used by Canadian wildlife officers to nab poachers. (AFP)

2008年6月4日 星期三

Thong-faced robbers 丁字褲蒙面的搶匪

Police are hopeful of catching robbers who were caught on camera using thongs as masks.

The skimpy ladies pants left most of the daft duo's faces visible, say police in Colorado.

CCTV cameras caught the pair holding up a convenience store in Arvada, reports Sky News.

One wore a green thong while the other opted for blue - but their noses, mouths and chins were barely covered.

Officers also have a few more clues to work with as one of the men failed to cover up a distinctive tattoo on his arm.

The men, believed to be in their 20s, were not armed. They stole cigarettes and cash which they stuffed in a pink backpack.

The suspects also wore T-shirts and pants. One had a left arm tattoo. (roundup)

2008年6月3日 星期二

Indonesian man sends thousands of dollars down from the sky 印尼富商空中撒下鈔票

An Indonesian businessman sparked a scramble for cash when he dropped 100 million rupiah (10,700 dollars) in banknotes from an aircraft Sunday to promote a book he has written.

A 13-year-old girl lost consciousness running after the notes and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital, the Detikcom online news service said.

Tung Desem Waringin, who is promoting his second business motivation book, got the aircraft to fly four times over a soccer stadium in Serang city, some 60 kilometres (40 miles) west of here.

He had wanted to release the money over Jakarta but was refused permission from police.

The money was released in bills of 1,000 and 5,000 rupiahs (11-53 cents).

Detikcom said that on the first and second run, the notes fell around 500 metres from the stadium, and on the latter runs mostly inside the grounds.

Rumours of the stunt had been circulating since Saturday, and many people were waiting in the open air for the plane to fly over.

Waringin has been quoted in his blog as saying he would rather share money earmarked for a conventional promotional campaign with people who needed it. (AFP)

2008年6月2日 星期一

Smiling bumblebee caught on camera 大黃蜂對著鏡頭微笑

Bumblebee has been caught 'smiling' on camera in a once in a lifetime shot.

The image was captured by Chris Cox at his home in Holywell Bay, Cornwall.

'I was testing my camera and thought I'd take some shots,' he said.

'It wasn't until a few days later I looked over the images and couldn't believe my eyes. The bee looked as if it was posing for the camera.' (Metro.co.uk)