Friday, 30 December 2011

So long to 2011

Say it with smiles!
From a shark flashing a toothy grin to a macaque caught monkeying around, these hilarious pictures reveal that some animals know how to have a laugh.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Cat stroking crying baby and sending him to sleep!

How very cute... Baby Connar begins video wailing and writhing around
But cat Stewie quickly calms him and send him to sleep
Cat looks at camera proud of what he has achieved!

At first it appears the last thing baby Connar wants while he cries and writhes around is for a cat to come along and start playing with him.

But this hilarious video shows how Stewie manages to send his new friend off to sleep and stop the tears after some careful and patient stroking.

The clip, uploaded by the baby’s father Aaron Grant, 35, of Canada, ends with Stewie staring at the camera with great pride at what he has done.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

18 Years Old but ONLY 2ft Tall!

Jyoti Amge crowned world shortest woman at just 62cm tall
She weighs only 12lbs - just 9lbs more than she did at birth

Celebrating your 18th birthday is a momentous occasion for anyone, but for tiny Jyoti Amge the milestone is even bigger news.

The 2ft teenager is already a mini celebrity in her hometown of Nagpur, India, but is now set for a huge record when she is officially declared the world's smallest woman.

And despite her miniature stature, 61.95cm-tall Jyoti hopes to celebrate being crowned the world's shortest woman by launching a Bollywood movie career.

She took the Guinness World Record from 2ft 3in American Bridgette Jordan, and celebrated her birthday with a teddy bear which loomed over her tiny 24.4in frame.

She measured 7 centimeters (2.76 inches) shorter than the 22-year-old American Bridgette Jordan, who had held the title since September.

A teary-eyed Jyoti, dressed in one of her finest saris, called the honor an 'extra birthday present' and said she felt grateful for being small, as it had brought her recognition.

She also blew out candles on a birthday cake which was comfortably bigger than her.

Even the Guinness World Records book at the ceremony came up to Jyoti's waist.

Jyoti weighs just 12lbs (5.5kg) - only 9lbs more than she did at birth - and has a form of dwarfism call achondroplasia, which stopped her growing after her first birthday.

She has brittle bones and is likely to need care for the rest of her life, but that has not stopped her tall ambitions of cracking the movie industry.

Budding actress Jyoti, who is set to appear in two Bollywood films next year, told The Sun: 'I want to make people happy.'

As a teenager at school in Nagpur, Jyoti had her own small desk and chair, but said the other students didn't treat her any differently.

She also has to sleep in a specially-made bed and uses utensils that are smaller than average.

This was not Amge's first Guinness record. Until Friday she was considered the world's shortest teenager, but in turning 18 qualified for the new title.

She has grown less than 1cm (0.4in) in the last two years, Guinness said in a statement, and will grow no more due to a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia.

Her teenage title brought the chance for multiple Guinness-sponsored trips to Japan and Italy for tours and meetings with other record holders, she said.

The title of shortest woman in history continues to be held by Pauline Musters, who lived in the Netherlands from 1876 to 1895 and stood 61 centimeters (24 inches) tall.

Friday, 9 December 2011

The 'blingmobile' Mercedes on offer for £7 million

A flamboyant entrepreneur with apparently more money than taste has turned a classy Mercedes into a 'blingmobile' - and wants £7 MILLION for it.

Swiss businessman Ueli Anliker is selling the one-off supercar after transforming it using a team of 35 workers who spent a total of 30,000 man hours and more than £3.5 million.

He has renamed the 200mph plus Merc the 'Anliker McLaren SLR 999 Red Gold Dream'.

But his design changes have fallen flat, with Top Gear saying the paintwork could 'burn a hole through your eyes and into your nightmares'.
Entrepreneur: Swiss businessman Ueli Anliker who spent £3.5 million on the Mercedes

Entrepreneur: Swiss businessman Ueli Anliker who spent £3.5 million on the Mercedes

The garish body has 25 layers of red paint with 5kg of gold dust worked into it. Each of the car's wheels are covered in 24 carat gold as are the headlights and door sills

And the car's supercharged 5.4-litre engine has had power boosted from 640bhp to 999bhp - giving it a top speed of more than 210mph.

Inside, there are jewelled indicators, a gold-trimmed interior and steering wheel and ruby-covered switchgear.

In total there are more than 600 rubies within the car's interior, which would have cost around £300,000 before the staggering overhaul.

Mr Anliker is now selling the Mercedes with a 'minimum' price-tag of £7 million - making it the world's most expensive vehicle for sale on the open market.

A spokesperson for Mr Anliker said: 'Selling the vehicle has never been part of Mr Anliker's motivation but he will consider a suitable offer.

'Having invested about 5 million Swiss francs and more than 30,000 man hours, the car is worth more than 10 million Swiss francs, which is his minimum selling price.'

The SLR was jointly developed by Mercedes in Germany and McLaren in the UK.

It went on sale in 2003 with production running until last year.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The £85m superyacht...

This huge superyacht is so sleek you'd almost be forgiven for mistaking it for a floating limousine.

Click The Images to Enlarge!
Luxury: This 100-metre superyacht, which comes with an onboard garage, is yours for a mere £85million

This is no coincidence - the 'Sovereign' yacht is based on the design of a limo, and even comes with its own matching car.

And the vessel fit for a king could be yours, if you're willing to shell out a mere $132million - that's £85million.

There is a glass helicopter pad, encircled by an infinity pool; 10 guests suites as well as the extensive main quarters; a private cinema; and a nightclub area which epitomises 'elegance and class' - according to Gray Design, at least.

The architects are also installing a golfing green, which can be converted into a god play area for an owner who preferred playing with pets to playing sport.

And of course there's an onboard garage, to store the matching limousine which is an optional extra, or whatever other car the owner feels is necessary to zip around the decks.

Every tiniest detail seems to have been taken care of - part of the bow can rise up to provide shade for the jacuzzi.

And the boat is eco-friendly too, sporting a huge wind turbine which powers the yacht's electricity systems.

Mr Gray insists that the boat is 'in the engineering stage', and is about to enter production.

The one attribute which Sovereign does not share with the supercars on which it is based - and which can be stored in its garage - is speed.

The yacht goes up to a maximum of 30 knots - fairly nippy for a vessel of this size, but perhaps a little disappointing for real petrolheads hoping to transfer to seafaring.

Fashionable: Armani are said to be involved with designing the ship's interior furnishings

Read more:

Sunday, 20 November 2011

The £60,000 Jetlev Ocean Toy

Want to join the jet set? Water-powered jetpack propels fliers up to 30ft into the air... but it still costs £150 a go!

For years their use has been limited to the rich and famous or wealthy James Bond enthusiasts.

But walking on water with a jetpack is now one step closer thanks to a device which uses water from the ocean to propel users across the waves.

The £60,000 Jetlev uses jet stream technology to propel fliers up to 30ft in the air by sucking up water in a huge hose from the ocean and blasting it back out of the pack.

And while the £150 cost for a day using the Jetlev jetpack will still be too excessive for many, the lowered price has at least made jetpack technology available to more than just the incredibly wealthy.

Jetlev trainer Dean O'Malley said: 'This is actually fairly light, it's about 9kg, so it doesn't take much pressure to get you into the air.

'The key to the whole thing is, they off-loaded all the weight from the pack into the actual pod unit.'

The Jetlev R200 has a harness that straps the user into the jetpack's frame, two handles for steering and stability, a throttle for speed control, and two water jets that forcefully propel out streams of water that is pumped in through a hose.

For just £150 per day the adventurous can train to become fliers and experience first-hand the rush of jetpacking over water, eventually pull off dramatic figure of eight turns, fly so low so as to walk on water and even fly hands free.

It is now available for hire at Lake Havasu, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Florida, in the US as well as Germany and Singapore.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Giant Orbiting Power Plants

Giant orbiting power plants could harvest the sun's energy to provide world's power needs Scientists claim...

Harvesting the sun's abundant energy from space could provide a cost-effective way to meet the world's power needs, a group of international scientists have said.

Orbiting power plants capable of collecting solar energy and beaming it to Earth appear 'technically feasible' within a decade or two based on technologies now in the laboratory, it has been claimed.
Such a project may be able to achieve economic viability in 30 years or less.

'It is clear that solar power delivered from space could play a tremendously important role in meeting the global need for energy during the 21st Century,' a study group of the Paris-headquartered International Academy of Astronautics said.

The study, which was led by John Mankins, a 25-year Nasa veteran and the U.S. space agency's former head of concepts, was billed as the first international assessment of potential ways of collecting solar energy in space and delivering it to Earth via wireless power transmission.

The study said government money would probably be needed to get the concept, known as space solar power, to market.

Private-sector funding is unlikely to proceed alone because of the 'economic uncertainties' of the development, it said.

But the study said that both governments and the private sector should fund research to pin down the economic viability of the concept, amid concerns about humankind's continuing reliance on finite fossil fuels that contribute to global pollution.

An estimate of the potential overall price tag for completing the project was not given.

Some scientists believe that space solar power is a potential long-term energy solution for Earth.

The idea is to put first one, then a few, and later scores of solar-powered satellites in orbit over the equator.
Each will be as wide as several kilometers across and the spacecraft would collect sunlight up to 24 hours a day.
This is compared with surface panels now used to turn sunlight into electricity which collect half of that at most.

The power would be converted to electricity on-board the spacecraft and sent to wherever it is needed on Earth by a large microwave-transmitting antenna or by lasers, then fed into a power grid.

Skeptics deem the concept a non-starter, at least until the cost of putting a commercial power plant into orbit drops dramatically.

Other hurdles include space debris, a lack of focused market studies and high development costs.

The study, conducted from 2008 to 2010 then subjected to peer review, found that the commercial case had substantially improved during the past decade, partly as a result of government incentives for nonpolluting 'green' energy systems.

A pilot project to demonstrate the technology even as big as the 400-tonne International Space Station could go ahead using low-cost expendable launch vehicles being developed for other space markets, Mr Mankins said.

Ultimately, tens of billions of dollars would be needed to develop and deploy a sufficiently low-cost fleet of reusable, earth-to-orbit vehicles to launch full-scale commercial solar power satellites, the study group estimated.

The group said the necessary research and development work should be undertaken by countries and organisations in concert, including space agencies, companies, universities and nongovernmental organisations.

International interest in the concept has grown during the past decade, spurred in part by fears that in coming decades global production of petroleum and possibly other fossil fuels will peak and start to decline.

Adding to a quest for new energy sources are projected jumps in worldwide per capita demand for energy to fuel economic development and concern over the accumulation in Earth's atmosphere of fossil fuel-derived greenhouse gases.

The idea of harnessing solar power in space has been studied off and on for 40 years, including by the U.S. Energy Department and Nasa.

U.S. and Indian business, policy and national security analysts in September called for a joint U.S.-Indian feasibility study on a cooperative program to develop space-based solar power with a goal of fielding a commercially viable capability within two decades.

The study group, co-sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations think tank and Aspen Institute India, included former U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair and Naresh Chandra, a former Indian ambassador to the United States.

Colonel Michael Smith, the U.S. Air Force's chief futurist as director of the Center for Strategy and Technology at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, said the idea has the potential to send safe, clean electrical energy worldwide 'if we can make it work.'

'Isn't that what government and industry should be working to do?' he said.

Friday, 4 November 2011

World's first manned flight with an Electric Multicopter

At the end of October 2011, Thomas Senkel of e-volo made the first manned flight with an electric multicopter at an airstrip in the southwest of Germany. The flight lasted one minute and 30 seconds, after which the constructor and test pilot stated: "The flight characteristics are good natured. Without any steering input it would just hover there on the spot". This could be the future of flight, piloting a device as simple as a car.

80kg machine can take off vertically like a jump jet
Powered by Lithium Ion batteries
Inventor claims the 16-rotor machine will make helicopters 'obsolete
Could be used for 'air sports' - or even as a flying car

It might look like as space hopper surrounded by model helicopters, but the 16-rotor E-Volo is an entirely new kind of helicopter - which can hover motionless in the air without input from the pilot

Its bold engineer, Thomas Senkel, took the machine on its first manned flight this week - lasting 1 minute 30 seconds.

It's not the first electric helicopter flight - but this is a new kind of machine, steered simply by joystick, with the pilot sitting above the rotors. Senkel says it could revolutionise transport.

The multicopter is currently only able to fly for around 20 minutes because it runs on lithium-ion batteries.

But E-volo hope rapidly developing technology will mean they can complete hour-long flights in the near future.

A hybrid drive, in which a conventional internal combustion engine generates the electrical power, would already show an hour-long flight time.

A one-hour flight would cost around six euros in electricity. The machine has few parts, which could wear out, meaning the aircraft needs little maintenance.

E-volo say their aircraft is special because of the 'simplicity of its engineered construction without complicated mechanics, and redundant engines.'

In an emergency, it can land even if four of its 16 rotors fail. And since the propellers sit below the pilot, a safety parachute can also be deployed.

The controls could be integrated with GPS software, the three friends claim, and the machine could even automatically avoid obstacles and direct itself to pre-determined locations. E-Volo have already completed several successful 'drone' flights with the vehicle, controlled remotely from the ground.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Howl-o-ween Pet Parade

Even dogs can celebrate Halloween - and here's a show to prove it.

Canines of all breeds sent tongues and tails wagging as they took part in the 2011 Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade in New York on Saturday.

The field of around 500 very patient pooches was packed with inventive and hilarious costumes, including a stegosaurus, Don Draper from Mad Men and a bride.

The parade of masquerading dogs is the largest Halloween Dog Parade in the U.S.

A pup done up like Lady Gaga from the 2009 VMAs won a prize for being best dressed.

But the top dog gong of Best in Show went to a canine disguised as an M23 New York bus, fully equipped with its very own passenger, the owner's child.

The proceeds raised during the event go to the oldest dog run in New York City.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

One-eyed albino Creatures

This one-eyed albino fetus was cut from the belly of a pregnant bull shark caught off the coast of California this summer

In 2005 a kitten born with only one eye and no nose caused a similar online stir.

The feline, one of two in a litter, became known as Cy (short for Cyclops) and died within a day.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Harvest mouse surveys his land!

click to enlarge!

Perched between two stalks, this tiny harvest mouse adeptly uses his tail and hind legs to steady himself while scratching its nose.

These amazing pictures show one of Britain's most elusive and endangered species in its element.

They were taken by amateur photographer Matt Binstead, who is head keeper at the British Wildlife Centre in Lingfield Surrey.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

World’s First ‘Super Bus'

Room for one more? World’s first ‘super bus’ can take 23 passengers but looks more like a Lamborghini (and boasts a top speed of 155mph)

Click To Enlarge Image below!

You might be waiting a while for one of these to pull up at the local bus stop.

This is the world's first super bus, crafted with state-of-the-art materials which seats 23 passengers and had a top speed of 155mph (250kmh).

Developed in Holland by an astronaut and a former Formula One aerodynamics expert, the midnight-blue, electric-powered vehicle costs £7million and was flown to the United Arab Emirates where it will be used by a sheikh.

The hi-tech bus means he will be able to complete the 75-mile commute from Dubai to neighbouring Abu Dhabi in under 30 minutes.

Made of lightweight materials including aluminium, carbon fibre, fibreglass and polycarbonate, it is 49ft long (15 metres), 8ft wide (2.5 metres) and 5ft 5in high (1.65 metres).

Passengers will be able to enjoy comfort equal to that of a luxury limousine or private jet. The super bus has eight gullwing-style doors on each side to allow for a swift exit.

It has been developed at the Delft University of Technology in Holland under the direction of Professor Wubbo Ockels who in 1985 became the first Dutchman in space when he was part of the team on board the space shuttle Challenger.

The project was backed by the Dutch government, American chemicals company Dow and the Saudi conglomerate Sabic.

The first commercial interest came from the UAE where the super bus was flown in a jumbo jet.

It was tested for the first time on ordinary roads around Abu Dhabi Airport, its batteries fired up by solar power.

The wealthy owner of the super bus plans to travel on normal roads and at normal speeds in the region while it picks up passengers in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

Length: 49ft (15 metres)

Height: 5ft 5in (1.65 metres)

Breadth: 8ft (2 metres)

Top speed: 155mph (250kmh)

Seating: 23

Cost: £7 million

However once it leaves the city, the vehicle is able to switch to a dedicated concrete track which runs parallel to the motorway and accelerate to a cruising speed of around 150mph.

As it approaches its destination, it would once again slow to rejoin the ordinary road network.

Project designer Antonia Terzi, former chief aerodynamics expert at the BMW Williams Formula One team, made the first test drive in Abu Dhabi.

She said it drove 'just like a car', thanks to two sets of manoeuvrable rear wheels which helps it around corners. If the super bus went into service, there would be no set routes or schedules.

Ms Terzi said: 'Commuters would book online or with their mobile phone and one of a fleet of buses would pick them up and drop them wherever they wanted.'

Abu Dhabi ’s traffic police chief Brigadier General Hussein al Harethi said: 'Electrically-powered vehicles like this would not only alleviate traffic congestion but reduce air pollution. Electric vehicles are the transportation methods of today and we want to see more of them.'

Dubai Roads and Transport Authority director Peyman Younes Parham added: 'It’s a brilliant idea. It’s not something we could use as a public transportation vehicle but it would be a great driver for executive commuting and for tourism.'

Friday, 30 September 2011

38 STONE Atlantic halibut fish

That's one helluva halibut! Retired policeman battles for three hours to catch 38 STONE fish

* 8ft 3in Atlantic halibut smashed previous world record by 58lb
* Would make 1,000 fillet portions and as a good quality fish restaurant can charge £25 for halibut main course, it could have realised a value of £25,000

A retired policeman battled for three hours to catch a halibut weighing a whopping 38.5 stone to claim a world record.

The super flat fish was so big that at one point Reinhard Wuhrmann's rod snapped in two as he was tried to snare the creature off the island of Senja in northern Norway.

The 62-year-old and two others were only able to haul it onto their boat after tying a rope around it when it came alongside.

The 8ft 3in Atlantic halibut tipped the scales at just over 540lb - smashing the previous world record by an impressive 58lb.

It would have sold for about £2,500 at a British fish market and made about 1,000 fillet portions.

A good quality fish restaurant can charge £25 for a halibut main course, meaning the record fish could have realised a value of £25,000.

Despite being very tired after catching the halibut, Mr Wuhrmann still went through with a bet to shave off his beard the men had previously made for netting the biggest fish.

Boat skipper Ulrich Alstetter, 53, said: 'It was an incredible experience and we are very proud.

'Reinhard was very tired afterwards but also intoxicated by the experience and by claiming a world record.

'We had made a bet to shave his beard if he caught the biggest fish. Like a good sport he went through with it.'

Ulrich said: 'The halibut took Reinhard's little jigg bait and his rod bent over double.

'We all watched for a few minutes and then it became clear this was going to be a big fish.

'After about 90 minutes of Reinhard trying to reel it in his rod broke in two from the pressure it was under. It was his favourite rod.

'Because I am taller than him I took what was left of his rod and after another hour the fish was alongside the boat. It was then seen for the first time and it was a huge fish.

'It then shot another 100 metres deep and it took me another 15 minutes to bring him up and another 15 minutes to get a rope around it.

'It was a team effort but Reinhard was the official catcher.'

The men each took about 25lb of halibut fillets home and the rest was given away to other anglers and locals.

The previous record for an Atlantic halibut was held by fellow German Gunther Hansel who caught a 483lb specimen off Iceland last year.

Anglers Bosse Carlsson and Hans-Olov Nilsson caught a 464lbs halibut off Norway in 2009.

Before that Danish angler Soren Beck caught a then-record 443lbs specimen in the Arctic Circle off Norway in 2008.

The biggest Pacific halibut caught was by Jack Tragis off Alaska in November 1996 with a 459lbs fish.

Atlantic halibut - Hippoglossus hippoglossus in Latin - is among the largest bony fish in the world.

Their native habitat is the northern Atlantic, from Greenland to the Barents Sea and as far south as the Bay of Biscay.

They can reach up to 15ft in length, weigh up to 700lbs and can live for 50 years.

Their diet is usually other fish like cod, haddock and herring although they do face predation from seals and the Greenland shark.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Wow! This Blog has reached 100 Destinations around the World!

This is to celebrate the fact; as of today, that this Blog has been visited by 100 destinations around the World!

Just click on the Destination Image; top right, and you'll be taken to the log where you can view where guests have visited us from!

Remember, it's not a page hit, but a global destination, so we could have had 40+ guests just from one destination!

Thank you all for visiting...hope you've found it an interesting visit!

Boo, the cutest dog in the World

Is this the cutest dog in the world? Boo the Pomeranian has millions of fans and his own book!

He has nearly two million fans and a book deal. But Boo isn't a reality TV star, actor or a pop singer - he's a pet dog.

The five-year-old Pomeranian has the fame most celebrities dream of after amassing 1.79million fans on social networking site Facebook.

And Boo is also a hit with the ladies. He attracted the attention of Hollywood stars including Khloe Kardashian, who posted a picture of the dog on her blog last year and singer Ke$ha, who Tweeted that Boo was 'her new boyfriend.'

Since then, Boo's Facebook page, launched in 2009, has gone viral, receiving thousands of new fans a day.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Ways to dissolve a corpse

Forget cremations or being buried, how about being liquidised? Funeral home brings in machine which turns dead bodies into 'brown syrup'

A Florida funeral home has introduced an eerie alternative to burial or cremation - body liquefaction.

The stainless steel machine can dissolve a corpse in just under three hours, and the 'brownish, syrupy' liquid is then pumped into the municipal water system.

The bones remaining can be ground down and returned to the family, rather like ashes from a cremation.

Resomation (from the Greek 'resoma' meaning 'rebirth of the human body') is an environmentally friendly alternative to burial or cremation, according to a BBC report.

The Anderson-McQueen funeral home in St Petersburg had the body liquefier put in just days after Florida became the seventh state to legalise the machines.

They plan to try it out on some dead bodies over the coming weeks.

The 'alkaline hydrolysis' unit, installed by a Glasgow-based company called Resomation Ltd, works by submerging the body in a solution of water and potassium hydroxide, which is then pressurised and heated to 180C for two-and-a-half to three hours.

The end result is a small quantity of green-brown tinted liquid containing amino acids, peptides, sugars and salts and soft, porous white bone remains which are easily crushed.

The white ash can then be returned to the next of kin of the deceased.

The liquid can be recycled back to the ecosystem by being applied to a memorial garden or forest or simply put into the sewerage system.

Resomation Ltd founder Sandy Sullivan said: 'Let's face it - there's no nice way to go. You have to go from what looks like a human person to ash and bone, whether you get there by flame or decomposition.

'If you stood in front of a cremation, with the flames and heat, it seems violent. You go next door and the resomation is quiet.

'It's stainless steel and clinical and sterile. It seems nicer and returns (a body) quickly to ash.

'We're using the exact same chemistry that's carried out by bacteria but instead of happening over months and years, it happens in three hours.'

A funeral director in Columbus, Ohio, reportedly had his body liquefying operation shut down a few months ago - after 19 uses - because it was not approved by the state.

Resomation Ltd claim that the system can reduce a funeral home's greenhouse gas emissions by 35 per cent, and that mercury emissions - typically released from dental fillings during cremations - are eliminated.

A scientist told the BBC that disposing of remains in a municipal water system is perfectly safe.
The UK is considering bringing in the technology here.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Giant 21foot Crocodile captured - largest in the World so far...

It weighs one ton and is believed responsible for eating at least one fisherman, but this monster crocodile has finally been caught by 100 very cautious men.

Measuring 21ft from snout to tail, the massive creature is the largest crocodile captured alive in recent years.

The beast was caught, after a three-week hunt, in a creek in the Philippines by villagers who had lived in fear of it for more than 20 years.

Its nearest rival in the monster stakes is Cassius, an Australian salt-water crocodile which measures a 'mere' 18ft - and which is still on the loose in the Northern Territory.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Cat Bully!

One puss' venture into a box ended in a cat-astrophe after its calculating companion cruelly trapped them in there.

The contented white puss initially looks like the cat that got the cream as it contentedly sits in his large box and stretches while exploring its new play-thing.

But little did it know that it was being coolly appraised by it's feline foe.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The 10 most polluted fruit and vegetables!

Between 2000 and 2009, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested 53 popular fruits and vegetables, to find those that had high levels of pesticides.

If, in your quest to reduce exposure to pesticides, it’s not possible for you to eat organic food and vegetables (at least for the 10 fruit and vegetables below) all the time, at least try to always eat locally grown produce from reasonable agriculture.

Understanding the impact of pesticides:

* Why are pesticides toxic? Because they were created to kill living organisms (plants, weeds and insects that attack crops), pesticides present a danger to man as well. Pesticides are accused of provoking nervous system problems, cancer, and hormonal deregulation. Therefore it’s important to avoid pesticides as far as possible, and above all avoid accumulating them in the body.

* Should we stop eating fruit and vegetables? Of course, not – fruit and vegetables are essential human foods, and guarantee good health while preventing a number of diseases. The benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables remain higher than the known risks involved with pesticide exposure. That being said, by eating organic produce, we can avoid most pesticides.

* Is washing and peeling my fruit and vegetables effective against pesticides? Not really, as the Environmental Working Group (EWG) study was carried out with washed fruit and vegetables. And while washing all your fruit and vegetables before eating is definitely necessary, systematically peeling them is not the best solution because most of the vitamins and antioxidants are found in the skin. In addition, many fruits and vegetables store the pesticides in the flesh as well.

The ten most polluted fruit and veg:

Apples: More than 700 apple samples were tested by the EWG. 98% of them contained traces of pesticides and 92% contained at least 2 different types of pesticide. Along with peaches, apples are one of the most highly pesticide treated fruits, with not less than 56 different chemical substances being employed.

Blueberries: With their porous and fragile skin, blueberries hold pesticides deep within them. And what about frozen blueberries? While blueberries are often found in the frozen section of your supermarket, it’s best to avoid them as freezing helps preserve the pesticides too.

Celery: 96% of the celery samples tested positive for pesticides and nearly 90% contained a number of different types of pesticide. The problem with celery is that it takes time to arrive at maturity and is thus exposed to pesticides for a longer period than other vegetables.

Grapes: On one sample of grapes imported from the US, 14 different pesticides were detected. The presence of these traces is partly explained by the grape’s thin skin, that lets pesticides into the flesh. However, grapes produced locally in France showed that only 17.5% of samples contained traces of pesticides, while a study of European non-organic grapes showed that 99.2% of the samples were contaminated with pesticides.

Nectarines: 90.8% of the nectarines tested contained traces of at least two types of different pesticides. While the results don’t actually exceed authorised limits for each individual pesticide, these traces can still pose a problem as they become more powerful when combined with each other.

Peaches: 85.6% of the tested peaches contained traces of at least two different types of pesticide. With their thin skins, peaches are more receptive to absorbing pesticides.

Strawberries: On a single sample of strawberries, some 13 different types of pesticides were detected. And while you can wash a strawberry, you probably wouldn’t want to try peeling one!

Peppers: During this study, one sample of peppers contained more than 13 different chemical substances. During the European study, the pepper shone as the vegetable containing the highest number of pesticide traces – 21 in total. Unless they are organic, avoid red and yellow peppers if you can, as they are more mature versions of the green pepper and thus have more exposure time to the pesticides.

Potatoes: Like all vegetables that grow directly in the earth, potatoes are more exposed to pesticides than other above ground vegetables. And their skin is so thin, that they easily absorb a number of pesticides and fungicides. According to the EWG study, 91.4% of potatoes contained pesticide traces.

Spinach: As spinach also grows close to the earth, they are highly exposed to insects and are thus overly protected with pesticides.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Floating Cities

PayPal-founder Peter Thiel was so inspired by Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand's novel about free-market capitalism - that he's trying to make its title a reality.

The Silicon Valley billionaire has funnelled $1.25million to the Seasteading Institute, an organisation that aspires to launch a floating colony into international waters, freeing them and like-minded thinkers to live by libertarian ideals.

Mr Thiel recently told Details magazine: 'The United States Constitution had things you could do at the beginning that you couldn't do later. So the question is, can you go back to the beginning of things? How do you start over?'

Life on the ocean wave: A design for one of the floating cities which Peter Thiel wants to start constructing next year off the coast of San Francisco

The floating sovereign nations that Mr Thiel imagines would be built on oil-rig-like platforms anchored in areas free of regulation, laws, and moral conventions.

The Seasteading Institute says it will 'give people the freedom to choose the government they want instead of being stuck with the government they get'.

Mr Theil, the venture capitalist who famously helped Facebook expand beyond the Harvard campus, called Seasteading an 'open frontier for experimenting with new ideas for government'.

After making his first investment in the project in 2008, Mr Thiel said: 'Decades from now, those looking back at the start of the century will understand that Seasteading was an obvious step towards encouraging the development of more efficient, practical public sector models around the world.

'We’re at a fascinating juncture: the nature of government is about to change at a very fundamental level.'

Mr Thiel and his colleagues say their ocean state would have no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons.

Aiming to have tens of millions of residents by 2050, the Seasteading Institute says architectural plans for a prototype involve a movable, diesel-powered structure with room for 270 residents.

The long-term plan would be to have dozens and eventually hundreds of the platforms linked together.

Patri Friedman, a former Google engineer who is working on the project told Details that they hope to launch a flotilla of offices off the San Francisco coast next year.

'Big ideas start as weird ideas,' Mr Friedman said.

He predicted that full-time settlement will follow in about seven years.

But while some Ayn Rand acolytes may think the idea is brilliant, it's not without its critics.

Margaret Crawford, an expert on urban planning and a professor of architecture at Berkeley, told Details: 'it's a silly idea without any urban-planning implications whatsoever.'

Mr Thiel told an audience at the Seasteading Institute Conference in 2009 that: 'There are quite a lot of people who think it's not possible.

'That's a good thing. We don't need to really worry about those people very much, because since they don't think it's possible they won't take us very seriously. And they will not actually try to stop us until it's too late.'

Friday, 19 August 2011

Donald Trump's $100m magnificent 757 jet

If you've got it, flaunt it - and Donald Trump certainly did that on Thursday by releasing a video tour of his amazing $100 million Boeing 757. 
Presented by the beautiful Amanda Miller, who appeared on his hit reality show The Apprentice, the video gives us a three-minute glimpse into this presidential suite on wings.
Decked out in his trademark black and gold livery, the plane is a shrine to decadence.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Squid comes back to life!

Diners in Japan looking for a moving experience over dinner can now order a squid that dances off their plate.

A restaurant has created a dish, named Odori don - literally meaning dancing squid rice bowl - by adding soy sauce to a fresh squid.

The high salt content in the sauce reacts with ions in cells of the squids' tentacles creating voltage differences, and making the squid move.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Space Shuttle Time Lapse

Space shuttle Discovery gets prepped for flight—in just under four minutes.

Onboard cameras capture the amazing journey of Atlantis into space, and the dramatic return of the solid rocket boosters.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Glum puppy dog find unlikely playmates!

When worry is etched on your face, friends can offer a different perspective - even if they can't quite stop you frowning.

These two glum-looking bulldog puppies found some unlikely playmates to entertain them at a studio in Surrey.

Angel Star got close to a chirpy feathered friend, while Prince George showed he was too gentle to let the fur fly with his companions.

Photographer Mark Taylor, 46, said: 'I had no idea that bulldogs were such good fun.

'I expected them to be rather sedate and ponderous.'

Mr Taylor has an animal assistant who positions the pets but whips them out of the way if any claws come out.

His work with the iconic breed has seen him contacted by major calendar companies in the United States.

He said: 'A calendar company in the USA was keen on me supplying images for their 'Bulldogs & Friends' calendar so I arranged for the pups to come back in three weeks time.

'The dogs were absolute stars and they are extremely characterful and have such lovely natures.'