Friday, June 29, 2007

Improve Your Sex Life with Yoga

You already know yoga can give you greater flexibility, better muscle tone, a surefire way to release stress, and maybe even enlightenment. But better sex? Really? You betcha. Yoga offers myriad physical and emotional benefits that add up to more fun between the sheets and a more fulfilling, meaningful sexual relationship with your partner.

Whether heating up your sex life is the main goal of your yoga practice or just a happy side effect, chalk this information up as yet another great reason to roll out the mat. Here are the major ways it works:


Yoga is sexy,” says Colleen Saidman, co-founder of Yoga Shanti in Sag Harbor, N.Y., and co-star of Gaiam yoga DVDs Advanced Yoga and Yoga Burn. “How often do you put on as few clothes as possible and stick your butt in the air?”

On a more subtle level, yoga helps you develop an awareness of sensations in your body. Learning to feel the weight rolling into the inside edges of your palms in downward dog, for example, teaches you to savor every sensation in your body — including the really delicious ones that happen during sex. It also helps keep you rooted in your body and out of your head, where your swirling thoughts can keep you from enjoying the experience at hand, whether it’s in class, out with friends or between the sheets.


A recent study shows that people who practice yoga gain less weight as they age than people who don’t do yoga at all. And while feeling more fit is an undeniable turn-on, a sustained yoga practice also encourages you to develop a reverence for your body. “In yoga class you learn all the amazing things your body is capable of — whether it’s handstand or a profound sense of relaxation,” Said man says. “It helps you forge a loving relationship with yourself.”


Raise your hand if you’ve ever dozed off during sex, or felt the stirrings of arousal but were so tired you opted for bed instead. According to a recent survey by the National Sleep Foundation, a full third of women say tiredness causes them to cut back on sex. And a 2004 clinical study at Harvard Medical School showed that just eight weeks of a simple at-home yoga practice significantly improved sleep quality for the toughest audience — chronic insomniacs. It’s a simple exercise to connect the dots — practice yoga, sleep better, have more sex.


Yoga’s effects transcend the physical. It helps us become more comfortable in vulnerable positions — whether it’s a full backbend during class or a heart-to-heart conversation in bed at night. “Yoga helps us peel away layer after layer of our defense mechanisms to get back to our true nature, which is loving and compassionate,” Saidman explains. “When we peel away our protective armor, we can be much more connected to each other no matter where we are, including in the bedroom.”

Better Orgasms

On a purely physical level, many yoga poses — such as upavista konasana, or wide-legged straddle pose — increase blood flow to the pelvis. In our sedentary world, the muscles that run through the pelvis are chronically constricted. “The main arteries of the body run through the muscles of the pelvis,” Said man explains. “If they are tight, blood, oxygen and energy aren’t getting to your reproductive organs as much as they should.” Another crucial aspect of yoga involves engaging and drawing up the muscles of the pelvic floor (known in Sanskrit as mula bandha, or root lock), which strengthens the muscles that play an integral role in orgasm.

Specific Poses

Here are two of the many poses that can help boost your enjoyment in the boudoir:

Upavista Konasana (Wide Straddle Forward Bend)

How to do it: Sit on the floor with your legs wide. Leg muscles are activated and toes and kneecaps point straight up. Lean your torso forward as far as it goes comfortably. Hold for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

Sexual Benefits: Increases blood flow (and thus sensation) in the pelvis. “I have students who have literally had orgasms in this pose,” Saidman reports.

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose, also known as Cobbler’s Pose)

How to do it: Sit with your knees bent and soles of the feet touching. Lightly hold your big toes and lean your torso forward over your legs (back is gently rounded). Hold for 5 to 10 deep breaths.

Sexual benefits: Alleviates urinary and uterine disorders. Strengthens the uterus. Eases irritability, anxiety and fatigue, three reasons we might choose not to have sex.i Found this on gaiam

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Baby pygmy hippo is born at Paris Zoo

PARIS - Aldo looks, eats and lazes like a hippopotamus — but he's only about as big as a human baby, at 21 inches. The pygmy hippo, born this month at the Paris Zoo, is one of only a few dozen in Europe, bred in a special program to boost the rare species.

There are no more than 3,000 around the world, mostly concentrated in west African countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau or Liberia, said Juliane Villenain, a biologist at the zoo in the Bois de Vincennes, a park on Paris' eastern edge. According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, pygmy hippos have already disappeared from Nigeria.

Pygmy hippopotamuses are, unlike their bigger brethren, lonely animals, except during reproduction season. The female takes care of the new born by herself, as little Aldo's mother Anais did, Villenain said.

His older brothers, now 7 and 6 years old, live in Spain and Britain.

Aldo likes alfalfa, carrots, apples and all sorts of vegetables. When captive, pygmy hippos also enjoy grainy feed specially made for them.

The fact that Aldo is a male is good news to the European breeding program. Since the project started in the early 90s, there have been 46 males born and 66 females. Aldo is the 47th male of the species.
Aldo, born June 5, was kept away from the public eye immediately after his birth. He will be on view to visitors starting Wednesday afternoon.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Man ban on the beach keeps the pests at bay

Italy has opened its first women-only beach, away from the prying eyes and wandering hands of the country’s notoriously lascivious men.

The beach at the resort of Riccione, on the Adriatic coast, is also closed to children, with mothers encouraged to leave their offspring with their father or grandparents.

Signs at the entrance to Beach 134 say “No Men”. One sign depicts a macho-looking man in a bathing costume apparently ready with his next chat-up line. But he has a diagonal line across his torso, in a manner similar to signs saying “No Dogs”. Ironically, dogs are allowed on the “Pink Beach”.

“This is not a lesbian beach,” Fausto Ravaglia, the businessman behind the idea to ban men, said. “It is simply for women to be themselves.”

Cinzia Donati, 43, a housewife from Milan, agreed. “I’ve left my husband and son behind — and I feel I’ve arrived in paradise,” she said. The beach was “a really classy place, beautifully clean and well organised. It’s perfect for us women. We are so much better off on our own.”

Mrs Donati said that it was “wonderful to relax, read or doze without hearing some child shouting ‘Mamma, Mamma’ six hundred times — and without men ogling you all the time. Men think they are indispensable, but they are not”.

Mr Ravaglia’s daughter, Francesca, 22, who runs the Pink Beach, said: “Life is still quite tough for women in Italy. Men give us no peace.” She said that at Riccione, “no one stares at you to see if you’ve got cellulite. You don’t have to tie yourself up in a beach sarong to disguise your imperfections. Men are so critical. We can’t all be Miss Italy”.

There is a beauty queen on the beach. Marta Magnani, the winner of the Miss Muretto pageant at Alassio in Liguria, offers beauty tips. The beach also offers lessons in deportment, keep-fit classes, manicures, pedicures, and cookery lessons from Roberta Brescia, the 30-year-old chef, who also prepares the “ladies’ lunches” at the beach cafe.

The fitness instructors are all women, as is the beach DJ. The only men tolerated are a hairdresser and the lifeguard. “You need a man to save women in the sea,” Mr Ravaglia said. “It’s a question of muscles”.

La Stampa said that the “beach harem” reflected a growing demand for female rights in Italy, a country that was still largely a bastion of male chauvinism. “My husband won’t even let me go dancing in the evening,” Mrs Donati said. “Sometimes you just want to meet other women and talk, gossip, exchange ideas. Here I am allowed to be myself.”

“This is an oasis of female apartheid,” said Alice Ghresta, 24, a surveyor. “They should put a eunuch at the entrance, like in a real harem.”

Mr Ravaglia said that as far as he was aware, the beach did not breach Italian laws on sexual discrimination


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The baby gorillas who think their keeper is the best mum in the world

For these two baby gorillas, clinging on to mum is the most natural thing in the world - even if she is making a cup of tea, rather than foraging in a tropical forest.

Six-month-old girl Kouki and ten-month-old boy Oudiki were abandoned by their separate mothers soon after they were born.

Since then, they have been hand-reared by zookeepers Donna Honey and Matt Stagg at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent.

The western lowland gorillas are now doing so well that they are being primed for a return to the wild in their native Africa.

Miss Honey, 25, said that the secret of mothering her two unlikely charges was to behave as much like a mother gorilla as possible.

"We don't tend to carry them," she said. "We encourage them to grip on to us like they would their mum. We also make gorilla noises to make them feel at home."

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Astronaut Sunita Williams Sets the Record Straight, and Long

Call it a great leap forward for women in space.

After six years of people, three of whom have been women, living in space aboard the International Space Station, the female time-in-space endurance record set 11 years ago has been broken.

And it was broken in a single flight.

Image to right: Astronaut Sunita L. Williams, Expedition 15 flight engineer, wearing squat harness pads, poses for a photo while using the Interim Resistive Exercise Device (IRED) equipment in the Unity node of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

NASA Astronaut Sunita Williams set a new record this morning at 12:47 CDT for the longest duration spaceflight by a woman. At that time, Williams surpassed Shannon Lucid’s mark of 188 days, 4 hours set in 1996.

Williams began her record-setting flight when she launched with the crew of STS-116 in December 2006. The Massachusetts native remained on board the station as a member of the Expedition 14 crew and then joined the Expedition 15 crew in April. Her spaceflight will come to a close when she returns to Earth aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis with the STS-117 crew.

Although this is only her first spaceflight, Williams also became the record-holder for most hours outside a spacecraft by a female by completing four spacewalks during Expedition 14 with a total time of 29 hours, 17 minutes.
“It was very exciting to watch her spacewalks and to watch her accumulate more spacewalk time than any other female in the universe,” said Lucid, who set the previous female space duration record while flying aboard the Russian Mir Space Station. “These [long-term] flights are providing the needed confidence so that some day in the near future we can depart low-Earth orbit and head on out to Mars.”

Image to left: Astronaut Sunita Williams participates in the STS-116 mission's third planned spacewalk. Credit: NASA

During her stay on orbit, Williams has worked with experiments across a wide variety of fields, including human life sciences, physical sciences and Earth observation as well as education and technology demonstrations.

Some of these experiments give scientists critical insight into the effects of weightlessness on our bodies while others show ways to prevent effects we already know about like muscle and bone loss.

In addition to rigorous exercise, Williams also collected and stored her blood while in space to add to an ongoing study on nutrition, another key element of living in space for long stretches of time.

The results of this study may impact nutritional requirements and food systems developed for future ventures in space. “Her mission has been critically important to our overall space program,” said NASA Astronaut Eileen Collins, another female pioneer in spaceflight. Collins became the first woman to command a spaceflight mission during the STS-93 mission on Space Shuttle Columbia.

“She truly is a space marathoner who shows young women everywhere that there's a place in the space program for them.” If her stay in space concludes as scheduled, with her return on Atlantis on June 21, Williams will have flown a total of 194 days in space.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Children snatched off the streets to work as slaves

More than 1,000 children may have been kidnapped and sold into slave labour in a brutal human trafficking ring that has shocked and outraged China.

The children, some as young as 8, worked in brick kilns for 16 hours a day with meagre food rations. They were guarded by fierce dogs and thugs who beat their prisoners at will.

Many were abducted right off the streets of cities in the region and sold to factories and mines for as little as 400 yuan (£27). The unfolding scandal, involving negligent law enforcement and even collusion between government officials and slave masters, burst into the open this week.

Horrified Chinese have followed the stark, uncensored images of the slaves on television as they were rescued by police. Some children still wore their school uniforms.

They lived in squalid conditions with many adult workers, sleeping on filthy quilts on layers of bricks inside the brickworks, with the doors sealed from the outside with padlocks and the windows barred with pieces of wood.

Many children had festering wounds on their black feet and around their waists, apparently from burns. Some were even beaten to death by their guards.

Some 35,000 police have raided 7,500 kilns in Henan and Shanxi provinces in central China and rescued 468 people. Local officials said that 250 people had been arrested. They said the number of children forced to work in the kilns could rise to more than 1,000.

The abuses came to light only after 400 parents of missing children posted a letter on the internet pleading for official attention to their plight.

Filmed by television reporters from Henan province who accompanied the parents into the kilns to try to find their missing sons, several boys stood dazed and almost mute.

Asked if he wanted to go home, one boy gripped his filthy shirt and sobbed: “I want to. I want to.”

Zhao Yanbing, a foreman who fled a brickworks where 31 men were rescued a few days ago, described on state television how he had beaten a man in his late fifties for not working hard enough. “His performance was so bad, so I thought that I would frighten him a bit. When I raised the shovel over him I never thought that he would get up and confront me, so I slammed the shovel down on his head.” The man never got up again.

The revelations have sparked nationwide disgust. The Polit-buro, the Communist Party’s top decision-making body, sent a team of officials to Shanxi yesterday to investigate.

The People’s Daily, mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, said: “How could officials in the area have connived with such audacious and appalling behaviour to allow this situation to arise under their very eyes?” Parents of missing boys have complained repeatedly directly to government offices in Henan and Shanxi.

Yuan Cheng said that his 16-year-old son disappeared on March 28 while training to install steel window frames at the Golden Port construction site in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province. He told The Times: “When Yuan Xueyu went missing I felt numb. But now I’m even more worried because if I can’t find him when there is so much public attention, then there is no hope.”

Mr Yuan said that more children had been disappearing in the past two or three years as a building boom across China has fuelled demand for bricks.

He had joined 100 other parents at sit-down protests outside government and police offices in Henan. “They just ignored us. But the lower-level police must be protecting these illegal factories and that’s why it’s so difficult to search.”

Robin Munro, of the China Labour Bulletin, based in Hong Kong, said: “My impression is that this is not a common problem, but this kind of thing by definition is off-screen and makes me wonder just how widespread this is. It is one more sign among several of increasing lawlessness in China.”

One mother has been more fortunate than Mr Yuan. After seeing footage on Henan television, she contacted local reporters saying she thought she had seen her missing son. They accompanied her to a brickworks whose owner said all his workers were volunteers. But loading bricks beside a kiln was her missing son. She flung her arms around the teenager and burst into tears. “I never thought I would see him alive again,” she sobbed hysterically. The boy, Zhang Daohu, looked stunned and dazed.

Overworked and underpaid

A quarter of Fanglin village’s children were killed in 2001 when their elementary school exploded. Only then did the rest of the world discover that the school, in the remote mountain village in Jianxi province, had been turned into a fireworks factory using children as free labour

Merchandise for the 2008 Beijing Olympics is produced using child labourers working 13-hour days for minimal wages, according to a report released this month. The publication, by an alliance of world trade unions, said that official Olympic caps, bags and stationery were manufactured by children as young as 12

Seventy middle school students were rescued by authorities in Ningbo last summer when it was discovered that they were employed in a grape cannery under the guise of a “work-study” programme

Friday, June 15, 2007

Cake-Eating contest

Spring is the traditional wedding-planning season, but a group of budding brides on Tuesday looked to have their cake and eat it too, descending on Times Square in a TV stunt to stuff their faces in hopes of winning $25,000 and being declared a "Bridezilla."

The Associated Press reported that Stephanie Florio, of Sayville, N.Y., was declared the winner, though it wasn't clear just how much cake she consumed.

The cakefest promoted the upcoming season premiere of the WE Network reality show "Bridezillas," which follows the lives and wedding preparations of brides-to-be who are determined to have the ideal wedding regardless of how many tantrums they must throw to achieve that dream.

More pictures after the jump. Click on pictures for a larger view.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Two sets of sextuplets born just hours apart

This is the extraordinary moment doctors delivered one of new mother Jenny Masche's sextuplets, all born at just 30 weeks and 3lbs or less in weight.

Remarkably, their birth heralded the arrival of the second set of sextuplets in the United States within a day after a 24-year-old woman delivered six of the best late on Sunday in Minnesota after using fertility drugs.

This rare occurrence could become more common as more couples seek artificial methods of conception.

One of Jenny Masche's miraculous deliveries
Jenny sees one of her new arrivals for the first time

About 10 hours after the Minnesota births, 32-year-old Jenny Masche delivered by Caesarean section. Due to their premature birth the babies suffered acute heart failure but are now stable.

They will be named Bailey Elizabeth, Savannah Jane, Molli Grace, Cole Robert, Blake Nickolas and Grant William. The Masches have yet to decide who gets which.

The heart problems were due to the huge volume of blood that Jenny Masche was carrying in her body while pregnant, Doctor John Elliott said at a news conference at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Arizona.

The new mother is now stable and is expected to leave the hospital's intensive care unit later today.

Exhausted and wiping tears from his eyes, proud father Bryan Masche said: "I'm very thankful that we had the help of the best physicians, and the best doctors and the best medicine."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Upgrade your memory with a chip inside your Brain

Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel have demonstrated that neurons cultured outside the brain can be imprinted with multiple rudimentary memories that persist for days without interfering with or wiping out others. "The main achievement was the fact that we used the inhibition of the inhibitory neurons" to stimulate the memory patterns, says physicist Eshel Ben-Jacob, senior author of a paper on the findings published in the May issue of Physical Review E. "We probably made [the cell culture] trigger the collective mode of activity that … [is] … possible."
The results, Ben-Jacob says, set the stage for the creation of a neuromemory chip that could be paired with computer hardware to create cyborglike machines capable of such tasks as detecting dangerous toxins in the air, allowing the blind to see or helping someone who is paralyzed regain some if not all muscle use.

Ben-Jacob points out that previous attempts to develop memories on brain cell cultures (neurons along with their supporting and insulating glial cells) have often involved stimulating the synapses (nerve cell connections). So-called excitatory neurons, which amplify brain activity, account for nearly 80 percent of the neurons in the brain; inhibitory neurons, which dampen activity, make up the remaining 20 percent. Stimulating excitatory cells with chemicals or electric pulses causes them to fire, or send electrical signals of their own to neighboring neurons.

According to Ben-Jacob, previous attempts to trigger the cells to create a repeating pattern of signals sent from neuron to neuron in a population—which neuroscientists believe constitutes the formation of a memory in the context of performing a task—focused on excitatory neurons. These experiments were flawed because they resulted in randomly escalated activity that does not mimic what occurs when new information is learned.

This time, Ben-Jacob and graduate student Itay Baruchi, who led the study, targeted inhibitory neurons to try to bring some order to their neural network. They mounted the cell culture on a polymer panel studded with electrodes, which enabled Ben-Jacob and Baruchi to monitor the patterns created by firing neurons. All of the cells on the electrode array came from the cortex, the outermost layer of the brain known for its role in memory formation.

Initially, when a group of neurons is clustered in a network, merely linking them will cause a spontaneous pattern of activity. Ben-Jacob and Baruchi sought to imprint a memory by injecting a chemical suppressor into a synapse between inhibitory neurons. Their goal: to disrupt the restrictive function of those cells, essentially causing the brakes they put on the excitatory members in the network to loosen. "This is like teaching by liberation," Ben-Jacob says. "We liberate the excitatory neurons to do what they want to do."

The pair chemically treated inhibitory neurons by injecting them with droplets of picrotoxin, an antagonist of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. The chemical suppression of the inhibitory neuron created a pattern kicked off by a neighboring excitatory neuron that was now free to fire. Other neurons in the culture began to fire one by one as they received an electrical signal from one of their neighbors. This continued in the same pattern, which repeated for over a day. This new sequence of activity coexisted with the electrical pattern that was spontaneously generated when the neural culture was initially linked.

A day later, they imprinted a third pattern starting at a different inhibitory synapse. Again, it was able to coexist with the other motifs. "The surprising thing is it doesn't affect the other patterns that the network had before," Ben-Jacob says.

The bottom line, the authors wrote: "these findings hint chemical signaling mechanisms might play a crucial role in memory and learning in task-performing in vivo networks." see more information:-Sciam

Monday, June 11, 2007

World's first twins born to two different women

Born minutes apart and with almost identical looks, there seems little to set Lauren and Hannah Bernaba apart from any other pair of newborn twins. But the girls are the world's first twins to be born on the same day to two different women.

First, biological mother Amy Bernaba gave birth to Lauren, weighing 7lb 10oz, then, half an hour later, surrogate mum Torry Keay delivered 7lb 3oz Hannah.

The double pregnancy happened after Mrs Bernaba and husband George had undergone IVF treatment for 12 years in an effort to conceive a baby brother or sister for their son Jeremy, now 15.

Eventually, doctors decided that 40-year- old Mrs Bernaba would almost certainly be unable to carry another baby because of a problem with her immune system.

So they tried an extremely unusual procedure, implanting eggs fertilised by Mr Bernaba's sperm into her womb and also into surrogate Mrs Keay's.

Mrs Keay became pregnant, and against all the odds so did Mrs Bernaba. Both women had straightforward pregnancies before giving birth on May 27 in neighbouring rooms in a Los Angeles hospital.

Mr Bernaba, who runs his own security business, saw Lauren delivered by Caesarean section before doctors told him Hannah was on the way.

He raced to watch her arrival and took photographs to show his wife.

Yesterday, the couple told of their joy as they settle in to life at home in Beverly Hills with the twins.

Mrs Bernaba said: "I feel so happy to have them. I can't stop smiling.

"All the strain and heartache I've been through in the past few years have definitely been worth it, just to have these very special twins."

Although the twins are not identical because they came from separate eggs, they look very alike and Mrs Bernaba said she is only now starting to tell them apart.

"They both have dark brown hair and big blue eyes, but Hannah has gold streaks in her hair and her eyebrows are slightly lighter.

"She is the lively one, while Lauren is more quiet and relaxed."

Mrs Bernaba was 24 when she gave birth to Jeremy, and the pregnancy "just happened". It was only two years later when the couple tried to conceive again that her complex fertility problems emerged.

The Bernabas spent thousands on 14 IVF attempts which resulted in only one pregnancy.

Tragically, an ultrasound scan at four months found the baby had not developed properly and had to be aborted.

Finally, Mrs Bernaba was treated by U.S. fertility doctor Dr Michael Vermesh, who has one of the world's highest IVF success rates at 50 per cent.

Dr Vermesh also produced an earlier world first when he helped a woman give birth using an embryo frozen 12 years before.

The Bernabas contacted mother-of-six Mrs Keay, 31, via a friend, and she immediately agreed to help. Mrs Keay, a hairdresser, lives in Lake Arrowhead, three hours away, with her husband Billie, who runs a construction company.

She was paid an undisclosed sum to act as surrogate.

She said: "I immediately knew I wanted to do it and Billie supported me. We have a big family and we love children and we felt so sorry for people who weren't as lucky as us.

"I was excited to be helping somebody and when we met Amy and George and saw what a lovely couple they were, we were even more convinced."

The two women, who are now close friends, had their prenatal appointments and scans together.

Doctors decided to induce Mrs Keay so she would give birth at a similar time to Mrs Bernaba's Caesarean delivery.

Mr Bernaba, 40, said: "It was really quick. They had just cleaned up Lauren and we were holding her, when they said Hannah was being born.

"They handed the baby straight to me, so I could take her to see her mum and her twin sister."

Mrs Bernaba said: "We are going to tell the girls exactly how they were born and make sure they know they're both as special as each other."

The idea of implanting a woman's embryos into the mother and a surrogate at the same time is still extremely rare.

There has been only one other set of twins born this way, Americans Connor and Cameron Payne, who were born to mother Kathy and surrogate Angel Willis 16 days apart last June.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hungarians reconquer world kissing record

RECORD KISS: A couple kisses as part a successful bid by Hungarians to break world record for simultaneous kissing more than 6400 couples joined lips few seconds at a party outside country's parliament in Budapest.

Hungarians have broken the world record for simultaneous kissing when more than 6400 couples joined lips for a few seconds at a party outside the country's parliament, the organisers said.

Hungary has been engaged in a kissing duel with the Philippines since 2004, when 5327 couples kissed in Manila, followed by new records in Budapest in 2005 and 6124 couples in Manila again this February.

"The news came a few months ago that Filipinos had overtaken us, we became defiant and said we would take it back again," journalist Ferenc Pallagi who organised the Kissing Party, said.

One young couple who identified themselves as Orsi and Pityu started kissing during the rock concert half an hour before the official record attempt.

"That's the least we can do for the nation," Pityu said.

Pallagi said he was pleased the square in front of the ornate parliament building by the river of Danube was the scene of such peaceful emotions. The square had been cordoned off for months after being the scene of protests against the government.

"It is early summer. . .and how else could these young people express themselves than through their love and emotions," he said before the couples in white baseball caps kissed and the concert resumed.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

hot principal's wife who's going to jail for sex with a student

A Larimer County judge chided teacher Carrie McCandless, a principal's wife, for acting like a love-struck teen and sentenced her to 45 days in jail for a sexual liaison with a 17-year-old student.

Judge James Hiatt told the 30-year-old former Brighton Charter High School teacher that she was supposed to be the trusted adult who set the boundaries.

"All of this sounds like something a 16- or-17-year-old student would be doing and would have been expelled for," he said.

McCandless got the maximum sentence under an April deal with prosecutors in which she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of having unlawful sexual contact, a second misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and a felony count of tampering with physical evidence. She will serve five years probation and be required to register as a sex offender.

The sentencing capped a lurid saga of the striking blond teacher accused of having a sexual tryst with a teen boy while chaperoning an overnight school trip to YMCA of the Rockies camp in Estes Park in October. She was fired from the Brighton charter school, where her husband, Chris, is principal.

Prosecutor Michael Pierson showed the judge a note that McCandless and the victim had passed back and forth after the incident at the camp.

McCandless didn't deny in the note that the incident occurred, the prosecutor stressed. Instead, she wrote that she was "f---ed up in the head."

She was way over the line morally, ethically and according to criminal law, the prosecutor said.

"It wasn't a onetime casual encounter," Pierson told the judge. "It was as if the defendant was grooming the victim.

"She is probably one of the prettiest teachers in school. She brought a bottle of alcohol (on the trip) and was sharing it with the victim and his friends."

During the overnight trip, a female student said she awoke to overhear McCandless and the boy talking about the first time they had sex with each other, Pierson recounted.

But the teacher's defense attorney, M. Trent Trani, said the young witness gave differing accounts and didn't recognize the two figures making out on the floor in the dim light.

In McCandless's version, she was slumbering in a sleeping bag on the floor when she was awakened by the boy fondling her from behind, Trani said.

In court today,as McCandless, clad in a tailored white shirt and black slacks, was led away, she blew a kiss to her husband and friends, saying: "Goodbye, guys."

Bike riders strip-down for the environment

Cheeky environmentalists shed their clothes today and streaked through the streets of a seaside city on bicycles to highlight the damage caused by car dependency.

More than 200 cyclists in various stages of undress took part in the World Naked Bike Ride in Brighton and Hove to promote cycling as an environmentally-friendly form of transport. People of both sexes, all ages and every conceivable shape and size decided to fully disrobe.

But others chose imaginative ways of preserving their modesty, including body paint and sticky tape, while some men opted to wear socks - but not on their feet.

Organisers of the seven-mile ride were warned by Sussex Police last month that participants could face prosecution if officers received complaints about the nudity.

But following advice from the civil liberties group Liberty, cyclists entered discussions with local police chiefs and resolved the impasse.

Duncan Blinkhorn, 45, one of the organisers, said: "This is a fun if outrageous way to make the serious point that we should not have to tolerate roads, cities and a planet dominated by the brutishness of cars that routinely foul the air we all breathe, destroy lives and impoverish the environment.

"We are celebrating our vulnerability as cyclists and human beings but also showing our strength of feeling and strength of numbers. "Bikes and naked bodies harm nobody. Car fumes and accidents kill tens of thousands every year in the UK alone and are driving us all to climate chaos.

"It is time more motorists stripped off their armour plating and moved around more gently on this earth

Cyclists assembled at The Level to begin the ride around Brighton and Hove via the Palace Pier, the Royal Pavilion, Churchill Square, Hove Town Hall and the West Pier before finishing at Black Rock.

Some of today's riders were intending to travel by train to London to take part in the capital's leg of the World Naked Bike Ride, starting at Hyde Park Corner this afternoon.

The international event, held in more than 40 cities, took place yesterday in Manchester, York and Southampton.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Smoke on the Water' strikes world record chord

More than 1,683 guitar players attempt a world record by playing the Deep Purple song "Smoke on the Water" in Kansas City, Kansas, on Sunday.

KANSAS CITY, Kansas (AP) -- More than 1,680 guitar players turned out, tuned up and took part in what organizers say was a world record rendition of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" -- a song that was the first many of them ever learned.

Some came from as far away as California and Germany on Sunday to take part in a Kansas City radio station's effort to break a Guinness world record for the most people playing the same song simultaneously. The record had been 1,323 people playing the same song in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1994.

"It was cool to see little kids playing, people who had been playing for their whole lives, like older people, and then I'm sure there were people like me who just picked up the song a couple days before," said Autumn McPherson, of Winfield, a senior at the University of Kansas.

Preliminary numbers show 1,683 people played the popular early '70s guitar riff on Sunday at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.

"I thought it was going to be kind of cheesy," said Hannah Koch, of Prairie Village, who came clad in an elf costume. "But after I got here, I got caught up in the excitement of it."

Tanna Guthrie, a morning show host for KYYS (99.7 FM), came up with the idea for the record attempt. She said her station will send participant sign-up lists, photos, videos and copies of media coverage to Guinness seeking official recognition of a record.

Guthrie said she chose "Smoke on the Water," a track off Deep Purple's "Machine Head" album, because it's one of the first songs many guitarists learn.

"You never know if you can pull something like this off," she said.

One of the participants, John Cardona of Hanford, California, said he brought felt-tip pens so he could get others to sign his guitar.

"It was the guitar I learned on," the 41-year-old said. "It was very dispensable on the way here, but very valuable to me now."

source:- smoke guitar

Monday, June 04, 2007

The tiny orphaned possum that was rescued after his mother was killed by car

This baby Brushtail possum has had a tough start in life.

Only a few inches in length he has to be fed - carefully - using a tube and a syringe.

After his mother was hit and killed by a car in the outer suburbs of Sydney, Australia, the tiny possum was rescued by Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife, a voluntary organisation that is dedicated to caring for Sydney's sick, injured or orphaned native animals.

Brushtails are among the best known of Australia's possums as they thrive in urban environments and often come into contact with people.

When fully-grown, this lucky little marsupial will grow to around 50cms in length.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Baby hedgehogs rescued after they are born too early

These tiny newborn hedgehogs are proving a handful for carers at a rescue centre - after the mild weather triggered a string of early orphaned arrivals.

The seven babies - from two separate families - have all been handed in to the Prickly Ball Farm Hospital in Devon in the last week.

Staff say Britain's mild spring weather has caused the females to come out of hibernation and give birth around a month early.

This means that animal rescue centres are dealing with the inevitable orphaned offspring weeks earlier than expected.

The three smallest orphans at Prickly Ball are just 72 hours old. They were found huddled in a pile of blankets by a homeowner clearing out his garage in Dartmouth.

The other four are around four weeks old and were found nesting in a bag of rubble by a couple who are renovating their home in Plymouth.

All seven are being cared for by Andrew Ward, 26, who is general manager of the rescue centre near Newton Abbot.

He and his staff are currently feeding them with goat's milk every two hours throughout the day and night.

"I do the feeding during the night so I need a lot of coffee," he said. "But they are gaining strength quickly and doing well."

The animals will gradually be weaned onto solid food and then taught how to fend for themselves before being released back into the wild aged four or five months.