2008年12月24日 星期三

Wind blows man up tree 強風把男子吹到樹上

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008年12月23日 星期二

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008年12月21日 星期日

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008年12月19日 星期五

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008年12月17日 星期三

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008年12月16日 星期二

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008年12月12日 星期五

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008年12月10日 星期三

Saddam's spicy wings 海珊的辣雞翅

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008年12月9日 星期二

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008年12月7日 星期日

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008年12月4日 星期四

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008年12月3日 星期三

Walrus plays the saxophone 海象吹薩克斯風

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008年12月2日 星期二

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2008年12月1日 星期一

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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