Friday, October 27, 2006

Alcoholic Monkey Drinks 3 to 4 Beers A Day

BANNO loves beer, she guzzles at least three to four bottles everyday. And if she doesn't get her quota, she can even turn violent. In fact, Banno has been hooked on the drink for the last decade or so, even as her peers favour bananas. For Banno is a female monkey in Nawabganj locality of Unnao.

For over a decade now, Banno has been living on a tree near a beer shop in Nawabganj. Over the years, she has become the local star, as visitors flock to the area to see the monkey drinking beer.

According to Ram Nath, a local vendor, Banno developed the "addiction" after some taxi drivers gave her some beer on a hot summer day many years back. "Since then, drivers who pass by have been providing her with half or quarter bottles of beer," he says.

And now, the monkey apparently cannot do without the drink, even going to the extent of attacking people. "She injures people and snatches their beer bottles," adds Ram Nath.

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday, October 19, 2006

City At Sea Plans For The World's Largest Ship

City At Sea: Plans For The World's Largest Ship

Nearly a mile long and 25 stories high, Freedom will be the largest vessel to ever sail the seven seas

Freedom will dwarf the Queen Elizabeth II and become a permanent home for 50,000 people. "Walk in a straight line for about 12 minutes," "If you don't dawdle, you'll cover slightly less than a mile. Now, make a right turn and walk beyond the length of two football fields. Duplicate these lines to make a rectangle, then look up to the height of a 25-story building. This is what Freedom will be

"Freedom will be large enough to bring on more than 50,000 residents, 15,000 employees, 20,000 day guests and still have four times as much roaming-around square footage per person as the most modern cruise liners," Nixon says during POPULAR MECHANICS' visit to see how his ambitious plan is progressing. Taller than the highest buildings in most American cities and topped with a runway that can handle jets, Freedom may someday be the globe-trotting address for 17,000 homes and 4000 businesses. Its dimensions are so colossal that it will have to be assembled at sea. Once it's built, Freedom will circle the earth every two years, following the balmy breezes as it approaches the world's major ports. The wealthiest of her "citizens" will leave their 15-ft. by 80-ft. ocean-view apartments and board their private jets or yachts for jaunts to shore. Meanwhile, the 15,000 people who work aboard the ship will gear up for the next on-rush of day visitors anxious to shop at its duty-free stores and guests checking in to vacation in its hotels and time-share condominiums.

Once under way, life aboard Freedom will be more like living in a bustling city than being on a vacation cruise. Because of its size, the ship will have its own railway system. Courtyards set about its decks will create interior park and recreation areas. Nixon has calculated that the resident population can support its own local economy, which means that residents will, in many cases, also be operating businesses at sea, in malls throughout the length of the ship.

As might be expected, this plan for a ship capable of carrying as many as 115,000 people The reason is not simply a matter of Freedom's proposed 4320-ft. length, which is nearly five times that of the currently largest cruise ship, Carnival Cruise Line's 900-ft. Destiny, but the enormity of its mass. When naval architects compare ships, they speak in terms of tonnage rather than length. The Destiny displaces 100,000 tons of water. The largest vessel afloat, the supertanker Jahre Viking, displaces 564,739 tons. Freedom will displace 2.7 million tons.

Nixon says that while there are many factors that determine a beam's maximum length, a steel beam can reasonably be expected to span a distance 15 times its height. "A ship with an effective depth of 80 ft. of hull [measured from keel to main deck] can theoretically span a maximum of 1200 ft.," Nixon says. "On Freedom, the effective beam runs 350 ft., from the bottom of the ship to the aircraft runway." The result is a 4320-ft.-long floating beam that draws 37 ft. of water as it rides atop waves, rather than plowing through them.

"We're not doing anything new," Nixon says. "We've taken technologies used in one area and applied them here." Indeed, Nixon says that during World War II the Navy used floating docks longer than Freedom. More recently, Kvaerner, the Norwegian ship and oil platform builder, proposed that the U.S. Department of Defense build a 5249-ft. floating airfield capable of supporting 10,000 troops. Called SeaBase , it would use Kvaerner's patented linking system to join three giant semi-submersible drilling rigs into a landing field.

Freedom promises to be as different from today's oceangoing vessels as the Queen Elizabeth II is from the Mayflower. Starting with the keel, Freedom doesn't have one. This backbone is missing because Freedom is constructed of 520 airtight steel cells. Each will measure 80 ft. tall. Depending upon its location, each will be 50 to 100 ft. wide and 50 to 120 ft. long. Assembled ashore on rails, they will be bolted together to form base units, each about 300 by 400 ft. These will then be floated out to sea and joined to form the completed base.

About 10 months after the start of construction on the first airtight cell, three base units will have been assembled at sea. At this point, the tempo of construction will increase. Meanwhile, on shore, four assembly lines will be dedicated to building airtight cells. At sea, work will begin on the 25-story superstructure. By the 17-month mark, the last base unit will be bolted in place and the 25th level completed.

Two years after the start of construction, 4000 of Freedom's planned 21,000 units will be ready for Well, not exactly. Freedom won't have the sort of boilers you find on traditional ships. She will be propelled by 3700-hp motorized units protruding through 100 of her watertight cells. About half of these will be shrouded propeller units. The balance will rotate 360 degrees, like those used on tugboats. At about $1 million each, these are among the world's most expensive marine power plants. Using GPS, Freedom's captain could simply sketch the ship's route on a touch-screen and the $6 billion ship would find its own way.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A baby born with two HEAD

A Dominican infant born with a second head will undergo a risky operation Friday to remove the appendage, which has a partially formed brain, ears, eyes and lips.

The surgery is complicated because the two heads share arteries.

Led by a Los Angles-based neurosurgeon who successfully separated Guatemalan twins, the medical team will spend about 13 hours removing Rebeca Martinez's second head.
The 18 surgeons, nurses and doctors will cut off the undeveloped tissue, clip the veins and arteries and close the skull of the 7-week-old baby using a bone graft from another part of her body.

"We know this is a delicate operation," Rebeca's father, Franklyn Martinez, 28, told The Associated Press. "But we have a positive attitude."

CURE International, a Lemoyne, Pa.-based charity that gives medical care to disabled children in developing countries, is paying for the surgery and follow-up care.

Dr. Jorge Lazareff, director of pediatric neurosurgery at the University of California at Los Angeles' Mattel Children's Hospital, will lead the operation along with Dr. Benjamin Rivera, a neurosurgeon at the Medical Center of Santo Domingo. Lazareff led a team that successfully separated Guatemalan twin girls in 2002.

Doctors say if the surgery goes well Rebeca won't need physical therapy and will develop as a normal child.

Rebeca was born on Dec. 17 with the undeveloped head of her twin, a condition known as craniopagus parasiticus.

Twins born conjoined at the head are extremely rare, accounting for one of every 2.5 million births. Parasitic twins like Rebeca are even rarer.

Rebeca is the eighth documented case in the world of craniopagus parasiticus, said Dr. Santiago Hazim, medical director at CURE International's Center for Orthopedic Specialties in Santo Domingo, where the surgery will be performed.

All the other documented infants died before birth, making it the first known surgery of its kind, Lazareff and Hazim said.

Hazim said the surgery must be done now so the pressure of Rebeca's other brain doesn't prevent her from developing.

Rebeca shares blood vessels and arteries with her second head. Although only partially developed, the mouth on her second head moves when Rebeca is being breast-fed. Tests indicate some activity in her second brain.

Martinez and his 26-year-old wife, Maria Gisela Hiciano, say doctors told them before Rebeca was born that she would have a tumor on her head, but none of the prenatal tests showed a second head developing.

Martinez works at a tailor's shop. Hiciano is a supermarket cashier. Together they make about $200 a month. They have two other children, ages 4 and 1.

Lazareff says Rebeca's chances of survival are good. Still, he refuses to make a prognosis.

"We'll do everything we can to make this successful," he said.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Python Eats Pregnant Sheep

September 15, 2006—A fresh lamb dinner might sound like a manageable meal for an 18-foot-long (5.5-meter-long) python. But maybe the hungry snake should have waited for the lamb to be born.

Last week firefighters in the Malaysian village of Kampung Jabor were called in to remove the bloated snake (pictured) from a roadway. The reptile had swallowed an entire pregnant sheep and was too full to slither away and digest its supersize meal.

But the stress of being captured likely triggered the python to purge—it eventually regurgitated the dead ewe.

Pythons are constrictors, meaning they rely on strength, not venom, to kill their prey. About once a week the large snakes ambush a likely meal, grab hold with backward-curving teeth, and wrap around the victim, suffocating it to death. Pythons then open their hinged jaws wide to swallow their prey whole.

Sometimes, though, it seems like the voracious reptiles don't think before they snack. This particular snake isn't the first python to get a tough lesson in the dangers of swallowing oversize prey.

In July a pet Burmese python in Idaho required life-saving surgery to remove a queen-size electric blanket from its digestive tract . And last October a python in the Florida Everglades apparently busted a gut when it tried to make a meal of a 6-foot-long (2-meter-long) American alligator

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Smalest West


Monday, October 02, 2006

Pickpockets at Pedestrian Crossing

Watch your back and your bag!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Gay and Lesbian Weddings! (Dream Come True?)

Gay and Lesbian Weddings!

Dream Come True