Friday, November 09, 2007

Strong Man Pulls Bus with his Ears

One of Britain's strongest men has failed in a bid to break a world record by pulling a double-decker bus using his ears in London's Hyde Park.
Manjit Singh is defeated by the Routemaster's coldly implacable inertia

Manjit Singh hoped to pull the 7.5-tonne Routemaster at least 10 metres (33ft) to kick off the third annual Guinness World Records Day, but only succeeded in moving the vehicle part of the way.

'Unfortunately Manjit was not able to move the bus far enough on this occasion,' Guinness World Records spokeswoman Amarilla Espinoza said.
Manjit Singh, before failure struck

'He only managed to pull it around five metres (16ft). He's very disappointed, but that's the nature of record-breaking.'

Earlier this year, Mr Singh, from Leicester, succeeded in pulling a passenger aircraft weighing 7.4 tonnes a distance of 3.4 metres (11ft) using his ears.

He already holds several other records, including one for pulling a double-decker bus with his hair, and another for lifting 85kg (187lb) with his ears.

Tallest U.S. Man is 7-foot-8 Va. Deputy

To all those people who blurt out "Wow, you're tall!" as they stare up at George Bell, He knows. And now, the world will know, too. The lanky, 7-foot-8 Norfolk sheriff's deputy is being recognized Thursday by Guinness World Records as the Tallest Man in the United States.
Tallest U.S. man is 7-foot-8 Va. deputy
George Bell, a 7' 8' sheriffs deputy in the City of Norfolk, Va, works on his day off providing security at a park in Norfolk, Va on Saturday, Nov 3, 2007. The 50-year-old is being recognized Thursday, Nov. 7, 2007 by the Guinness World Records as the Tallest Man in the United States.

That makes him 2 inches taller than the NBA's current tallest player, Yao Ming, but too short to be the world's tallest living man. He stands below, according to Guinness, Ukraine's 8-foot-5.5 Leonid Stadnyk and China's Bao Xishun, who is 7 feet 8.95 inches.

To answer the inevitable questions:

Bell wears size-19 shoes, pants with a 43-inch inseam and shirts with 45-inch sleeves.

He did play basketball, in college and with the Harlem Wizards and Harlem Globetrotters show teams.

And as for how he feels about being so tall?

"I have no choice but to like it," Bell, 50, said in an interview as he paced the sidelines of a Pee Wee football game at a city park, where he was providing security.

"I'm used to a small man's world," he added in a deep voice that suits his stature. "I've been dealing with a small man's world since I was a kid."

Bell was to be revealed as America's tallest man on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday, when 200,000 people worldwide were expected to celebrate Guinness World Records Day by attempting to set records of their own.

Guinness began searching for America's tallest man in August. Bell's ex-wife registered him online, and Guinness spokesman Stuart Claxton said Bell's doctor documented his height.

The Guinness record book now lists only the tallest man in the world, but Bell will be noted -- along with the tallest men in several other countries - in the edition to be published next year.

Bell hit 5-foot-4 at age 9. In middle school, he topped 6 feet. By the end of high school, he was 7-foot-6. He played basketball until, at 30, he lost interest in the sport and switched to law enforcement.

His height doesn't intimidate jail inmates - it helps him develop a rapport.

"They've never seen anyone this tall before, so they're amazed," Bell said. "They want to talk."

Bell focuses on the perks of being tall. For example, he usually gets free upgrades to first class on flights when the ticket-counter attendants realize he's going to need a lot of leg room.

He credits his late great-aunt, Etonia Johnson, with his positive attitude: "She always told me, 'Don't feel ashamed of yourself. Stand tall. God made you. Be happy and show your pride.' "

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Texan Sets Record With 87 Snakes in Tub

Another day, another bizarre world record for Jackie Bibby, the "Texas Snake Man." Bibby spent about 45 minutes in a see-through bathtub with 87 rattlesnakes Monday, fully clothed, shattering his own record by 12 snakes just in time for Guinness World Records Day, which is Thursday. A Guinness official certified the record.

The snakes crawled under his arms, between his legs and anywhere else they could slither, Bibby said. None bit him.

"They can go wherever they want as long as they don't start biting," Bibby said. "The key to not biting is for me to stay still. Rapid movement scares a rattlesnake. If you move real slow and gentle, that doesn't seem to bother them."

Bibby sat in the dry tub with a pillow behind him, wearing regular clothing. The snakes were not defanged and still contained their venom, he said.

The clear bathtub was specially made several years ago for Bibby by the Guinness folks for a televised segment. He has used it for subsequent attempts at the record for sitting in a tub with snakes.

"I have set several world records in that bathtub," Bibby said.

The record was Bibby's latest grab at glory. Last year he set a Guinness-certified record by holding 10 rattlesnakes by their tails in his mouth at once. He said he hopes to break that record Tuesday by squeezing in an 11th.

The Texas Snake Man also claims to hold non-sanctioned records for climbing into a sleeping bag head first with 20 rattlesnakes and going in feet first with 112.

Dublin is about 120 miles southwest of Dallas.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Most Beautiful Bottom in the World

Contestants compete during the final of the "most beautiful bottom in the world" competition in Munich Oct. 31, 2007. 42 finalists from 26 different countries and regions took part in the competition to win a modelling contract and 10,000 euros prize money.






Monday, November 05, 2007

Twin Girl with Eight Limbs in India

A toddler born with eight limbs and believed by some to be the reincarnation of the multi-limbed Hindu goddess Vishnu, is set to undergo a 40-hour operation to remove half of her limbs.

Lakshmi Tatma was born joined to a 'parasitic twin' and will go under the knife at the hands of 30 surgeons to remove two of her useless arms and legs.
Torment: Lakshmi can not walk or crawl and is unlikely to survive her teens without surgery

The headless 'twin' is joined to Lakshmi at the pelvis and has its own spinal column and kidney.

Without the operation the little girl would never be able to walk or crawl and would be unlikely to live past her early teens, doctors said.

The extraordinary eight-limbed baby was born in a poverty-stricken region of Bihar, India - on the day devoted to the celebration of the four-armed Hindu deity Vishnu.

Fused: Lakshmi's body is joined with the parasitical twin which is attached to her body at her pelvis

Her mother Poonam Tatma said she believed her daughter was "a miracle, a reincarnation" of Vishnu.

Dr Sharan Patil, who will be leading the surgery at the country's Narayana Health City, in Bangalore, said: "Fortunately, Lakshmi has one complete body with a near perfect set of organs.

"Her skeletal system involves two bodies which are fused together at the level of the pelvis.

"The operation itself, although presents several challenges, is not the most complex in the world. What is highly unusual in Lakshmi's case is precisely how her bodies are fused, almost mirroring each other."
Parents Poonam Devi and Shambu Das, who earn about 50p a day as casual labourers, were turned away from several hospitals before her plight was taken up by Dr Patil.

The operation is expected to cost about £100,000.

Hope: Lakshmi and mother Poonam prepare for the op which could save the toddler's life

Poonam, who gave birth to Lakshmi on the celebration day of the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity after whom the new born was named, said: "She is a miracle, a special blessing from God. But she is my daughter and she cannot live like this."

Laskhmi is the subject of a Channel 4 documentary as part of the Bodyshocks series.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Most Beautiful Camels In The Desert


Prince Mushal (C) brother of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia attends the Mazayen al-Ibl competition, to find the "most beautiful camels", in the desert region of Shaqra 300 km far from Riyadh November 1, 2007. While tremendous oil wealth has brought rapid modernisation to the desert state of Saudi Arabia, the camel remains celebrated as a symbol of the traditional nomadic lifestyle of Bedouin Arabs.






Friday, November 02, 2007

Eight of the World’s Most Unusual Plants

Weird is relative. What seems weird to me might not seem weird to you. In the plant kingdom, however, there are definitely some species that most people would acknowledge are highly unusual. In the wack spirit of Halloween, some of my findings follow.

1. Rafflesia arnoldii: this parasitic plant develops the world's largest bloom that can grow over three feet across. The flower is a fleshy color, with spots that make it look like a teenager's acne-ridden skin. It smells bad and has a hole in the center that holds six or seven quarts of water. The plant has no leaves, stems, or roots.


2. Hydnora africana, an unusual flesh-colored, parasitic flower that attacks the nearby roots of shrubby in arid deserts of South Africa. The putrid-smelling blossom attracts herds of carrion beetles.
Image Credit: Martin Heigan (via creative commons)
3. Dracunculus vulgaris: smells like rotting flesh, and has a burgundy-colored, leaf-like flower that projects a slender, black appendage.


4. Amorphophallus: means, literally, "shapeless penis." The name comes from the shape of the erect black spadix.



5. Wollemia nobilis: This bizarre-looking tree was known only from 120 million-year-old fossil leaves before 1994; fewer than one hundred exist in the wild. They have strange bark that looks like bubbles of chocolate, multiple trunks, and ferny-looking leaves growing in spirals. They can grow up to 125 feet tall.

6. Welwitschia mirabilis consists of only two leaves and a stem with roots. Its two leaves continue to grow until they resemble an alien life form. The stem gets thicker rather than higher, although this plant can grow to be almost six feet high and twenty-four feet wide. Its estimated lifespan is 400 to 1500 years. Mirabilis grows in Namibia, and is thought to be a relic of the Jurassic period.


7. Drakaea glyptodon: an orchid. It is the color of, and smells like, raw meat. Pollinated by male wasps.
8. Wolffia angusta: the world's smallest flower. A dozen plants would easily fit on the head of a pin and two plants in full bloom will fit inside a small printed letter "o."



Thursday, November 01, 2007

First Bikini Hairdresser's Opens In Virginia

The first bikini hairdresser's "Heaven" opens in Virginia, Oct. 2007 All the hairdressers in the shop are young women in bikini.

100 Year Old Woman Glides into Record

One-hundred-year old Peggy McAlpine paraglides off a 2,500-foot (762-meter) mountain peak in Kyrenia, northern Cyprus Oct. 31, 2007. The self confessed "daredevil" leaped into record books on Wednesday by paragliding off the mountain peak. The jump was to mark McAlpine's 100th birthday, which she had celebrated the day before when she received a congratulatory telegram from the Queen.