Thursday, February 08, 2018

Canton Tower : The Longest Spiral Staircase Design In The World

Canton Tower formerly known as Guangzhou TV And Sightseeing Tower. is an observation tower near Chigang Pagoda, Haizhu, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. It was topped-out in 2009 and became operational on September 29, 2010 for the 2010 Asian Games. The tower is the tallest tower in the world, replaced the CN Tower at 553 m in Canada, which previous held the title for 34 years. Also the tallest structure in China (preceded by SWFC) and East Asia, the Canton Tower is the fifth tallest structure and the second freestanding structure in the world (after Burj Khalifa). It is named after "Canton", the traditional European name of the city.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Girl Addicted To Eating Soap And Washing Powder | Weird Bizarre Foods

The 19-year-old girl Tempestt Henderson Addicted To Eating Soap And Washing Powder with a dangerous compulsion doctors say could kill her It's the toxic compulsion that doctors claim could kill her.

But this 19-year-old girl claims she is hopelessly addicted... to eating soap.

My bizarre compulsion: Tempestt Henderson, 19, says she is addicted to eating soap - and can go through five bars a week

A rare medical condition has left Tempestt Henderson, from Florida, eating up to five bars of soap a week - and washing powder too.

'I remember the first time I dipped my fingers into the washing powder,' she said.

'I dabbed the powder onto my tongue and it tasted so sweet, and salty…it just felt so right. I was hooked straight away.'

The nursing student says she knew eating soap was dangerous, but ignored the warning labels on the box in favour of licking the deadly powder daily, from the minute she woke up in the morning.

Soon she had moved onto licking the bubbles of soap in the shower, too, a habit that was getting her through up to five bars of soap a week.

'In the shower, I like to lather up a green bar of soap, and lick the bubbles. And as the soap disintegrates, I pop a tiny amount of the soap into my mouth and suck it. It’s heavenly.

'I love the clean feeling it gives me. Eating soap feels so much cleaner than just washing with it.'

After six months of eating soap, unhappy Tempestt decided to be brave and seek medical advice. She was diagnosed with a rare disorder called PICA, which doctors told her is characterised by an appetite for substances that are largely non-nutritive.

Sufferers have been known to compulsively eat metal, coins, chalk, batteries and even toothbrushes. It can often be caused by a mineral deficiency, which explains why pregnant women often crave eating coal when needing iron.

But in Tempestt’s case doctors believed the condition was bought on by stress.

'Things got really stressful for me when my boyfriend, Jason, split up with me and left for college,' she admitted.

'He told me he was going to college in Kansas to study business. I begged him to give the long distance relationship a go, but he told me it was over. I was devastated.'

When Tempestt herself had to leave for college, hundreds of miles away from her family home in Florida, things took a turn for the worse.

'College was five hours away from my family, and the stress got bigger. With no boyfriend and my family miles away, I got lonely, sad and depressed. I turned to bath soap and laundry detergent and my problem got increasingly worse.'

Dr Barton Blinder, the world’s authority on PICA, says that eating soap in these quantities could seriously affect Tempestt’s health:.

'With soap, the worry is the problems associated with ingesting toxic chemicals, which are typically alkaline but there are other toxic substances in soap.

'These can damage someone's metabolism and cause digestive problems. With soap, you're also concerned about the acid-base balance of the blood.'

But for Tempestt, therapy got to the bottom of her addiction to soap, and the cause of her PICA.

'I always knew I loved the smell of washing detergent,' she explained.

I remember the brand my Mum always used to use - I remember the smell vividly, it was the smell of her cardigan when she hugged me, and the smell of my bed sheets as a child.

'I used to love smelling the powder, but when life got so stressful I found only eating the soap would help.

'It is an addiction, I can’t stop, and I have sought the help of a doctor who specialises in addiction. The doctor told me I must empty my house of all washing detergent and soap, anything that triggers my addiction.'

Psychologists have said that Tempestt most likely turned to soap eating as a comforting coping mechanism when she found herself away from her family.

'We use liquid at home now,' she said, 'and for some reason I’ve got no need to eat that.'

The doctor gave Tempestt intensive Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, to give her replacement thoughts that will prevent her from compulsively reaching for soap.

'I’m learning to think about positive things when I feel I need to eat soap,' she said.

She has also been encouraged to go for long walks, avoiding places where soap is present, like bathrooms and laundrettes.

She added: 'Doctors have encouraged me to talk about my issues, because they think my addiction is caused by me bottling things up.'

And for the teenager who used to take not one, not two, but three bottles of soap into the shower, she hasn’t eaten soap since September 2010.

When her mother found out about her daughter’s addiction, she ordered Tempestt to return home from college. It may have been a smart move as Tempette admitted: 'I just couldn’t face being back there, alone, with a campus full of soap.'

Today, she faces a long road of recovery, but says she hopes she’ll never have to eat soap ever again.

'I suppose my Mum is secretly relieved that I was addicted to soap,' she admited, 'and not dangerous drugs or something.'

When you can't stop: Doctors have diagnosed Tempestt with a rare disorder called PICA, characterised by an appetite for substances that are non-nutritive

Before it all began: Tempestt as a young girl in an undated family photo

NOT a balanced meal: Doctors say if Tempestt doesn't kick her habit - which they blame on PICA, caused by stress - it could kill her

'It tasted so sweet, and salty': Tempestt claims that the first time she ate washing powder, it just felt right

At least it's not drugs: Tempestt poses with her mother, who was so worried about her habit that she pulled her out of college

Monday, February 05, 2018

African Snails Used Sewage Plant Monitor Levels Toxic Chemicals

Mollusc maintenance: Six African snails fitted with heart monitors and sensors are being used to monitor pollution levels at a sewage treatment site in St Petersburg
Fancy shelling anti pollution device African snails used sewage plant monitor levels toxic chemicals

It's a snail-paced solution to pollution problems.

But a St Petersburg waterworks is putting six giant gastropods to work monitoring emissions from a sewage incinerator.

The African snails, the size of small rats, are attached to sensors that will show them getting sick if they take in too much bad air.

Environmentalists have said the move is just a publicity stunt aimed at distracting attention from unsafe practices at the incinerator.

But the company, Vodokanal, said it was a serious attempt to improve control over what comes out of the smokestack.

The plant uses conventional gauges to check emissions, but company officials said it also wanted to keep an eye on compounds that might be produced in concentrations too low for the gauges to detect or that could harm humans if combined with other substances.

Olga Rublevskaya, director of wastewater disposal at Vodokanal, said: 'Live organisms won't deceive anyone about the danger of pollution.

'This is very strict control for us. Now we are under the watch of snails and crayfish all the time!'

The company is also using crayfish to monitor the quality of city water.

The snails, which grow up to eight inches long, live in a fish tank inside the city's Southwest Waste Water Treatment Plant.

They are attached to sensors that measure their heartbeat and other vital signs. Three breathe clean air, the other three diluted air coming from the plant's chimney.

If the sensors register an unfavourable change in their behaviour and condition, it would be an immediate signal that air coming from burnt sewage residue was dangerous.

'The African snails, which are able to live for up to seven years, will also help to test the influence of possible accumulating substances over a long period,' said Sergei Kholodkevich, an ecological researcher who dreamt up the idea of using the creatures.

Mr Kholodkevich, who works at an institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said he chose snails because they had lungs and breath air 'like people do'.

But Dmitry Artamonov, who heads Greenpeace's St Petersburg office, accused Vodokanal of hiding information about the plant's effects on the environment.

'The issue is that the local treatment facilities are meant for treatment of domestic waste, but not for treatment of industrial waste that contains toxic substances and also gets dumped into the sewage waters,' he said.

'As for snails, it can be hard for them to indicate the environmental danger immediately, because such substances as dioxins, for instance, can accumulate in an organism over a long period of time and only decades later provoke cancer.'

Snail sewage? Three of the creatures breathe clean air, while three have air from the chimney at the incineration plant

Sensitive: The company behind the scheme, Vodokanal, also uses crayfish to monitor water pollution

Novel approach: The South-West Waste Water Treatment Plant in St Petersburg, where the snails live

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Two Headed Snake In Oddballs Show | Rare Double Head Animals Found

A two-headed albino snake is the star attraction drawing the crowds to one of everyone's favourite events of the year - the exhibition of natural world oddballs in Switzerland.

The Basel show features all manner of weird and wonderful animals, from mammals to marsupials.

But it seems the one area everyone is drawn to this year is the reptiles house - which, this month, is the home of the world's most unusual snake, Mince.

This twin-credible freak of nature is an albino garter snake which boasts two heads - making it look even more intimidating than normal.

He is the only two-headed albino snake in the world, according to its owner Tom Beser, who also claims he could command offers well into five figures to buy the animal.

'There are eight of these two headed snakes in the world, albino and normal. But this is the only snake which is both two headed and albino,' he said.

'One collector was offered more than £13,000 for his two headed garter snake and his wasn't an albino.

'Mince would be worth much more.'

20 Inch Nails: Woman Grows Nails to Meet Celebrities

“Mrs. Jazz Ison Sinkfield had a interview with Doug Richard from 11 Alive News about her nails that she has been growing for now over 22yrs

"I am very, very blessed," says Jazz Ison Sinkfield, a mother and grandmother with a story to tell.

"One day, I want to meet Oprah," she says. "And a lot of more celebrities. And I just want them to hear my story."

The southwest Atlanta woman expects her story to make her famous, allowing her to share what she calls her divine gift.

The gift: Jazz Ison Sinkfield's fingernails. They represent an ongoing project of 22 years. The longest of them is 24 inches.

"They're a gift, and I can say, a talent too," she says, "because it's something that everyone cannot do."

Occasionally, she says, people see her nails and make ugly remarks. "The women will turn their nose up to me," she says. "Some people are jealous," she adds with utter seriousness.

"I feel as if you can be entitled to your opinions but don't be mean about it."

She believes most women desire extra-long nails like hers, "because it's a fashion statement now."

Jazz Ison Sinkfield backs her fashion statement with regular visits to the Exotic Nail and Spa on Cascade Road. Her nail tech is Rose Nguyen. Her maintenance is a monthly project that takes five hours and costs $250.

"It's easy to get messed up," said Nguyen, looking at her client's twisting fingernails.

"They tangle up," said Jazz Ison Sinkfield.

And maintenance is also about avoidance of the hazards that can threaten her ongoing fashion statement.

"There isn't anything that I can't do. The only thing I can't do is, I cannot tie shoes," said Sinkfield. She adds she cannot type on a computer, nor go bowling.

"Of course, I don't take off the jewelry," she said, gesturing to her rings and bracelets, which would have to traverse her 20-inch nails to come off.

Mud Cake : Poor Haitians Resort to Eating Dirt Mud Cakes Recipe

A woman prepares mud cakes at the Cite-Soleil neighborhood, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Some people eat mud cookies made of dirt, butter and salt to fill their stomachs.

At first sight the business resembles a thriving pottery. In a dusty courtyard women mould clay and water into hundreds of little platters and lay them out to harden under the Caribbean sun.

The craftsmanship is rough and the finished products are uneven. But customers do not object. This is Cité Soleil, Haiti's most notorious slum, and these platters are not to hold food. They are food.

Brittle and gritty - and as revolting as they sound - these are "mud cakes". For years they have been consumed by impoverished pregnant women seeking calcium, a risky and medically unproven supplement, but now the cakes have become a staple for entire families.

It is not for the taste and nutrition - smidgins of salt and margarine do not disguise what is essentially dirt, and the Guardian can testify that the aftertaste lingers - but because they are the cheapest and increasingly only way to fill bellies.

"It stops the hunger," said Marie-Carmelle Baptiste, 35, a producer, eyeing up her stock laid out in rows. She did not embroider their appeal. "You eat them when you have to."

These days many people have to. The global food and fuel crisis has hit Haiti harder than perhaps any other country, pushing a population mired in extreme poverty towards starvation and revolt. Hunger burns are called "swallowing Clorox", a brand of bleach.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation predicts Haiti's food import bill will leap 80% this year, the fastest in the world. Food riots toppled the prime minister and left five dead in April. Emergency subsidies curbed prices and bought calm but the cash-strapped government is gradually lifting them. Fresh unrest is expected.

According to the UN, two-thirds of Haitians live on less than 50p a day and half are undernourished. "Food is available but people cannot afford to buy it. If the situation gets worse we could have starvation in the next six to 12 months," said Prospery Raymond, country director of the UK-based aid agency Christian Aid.

Until recently this Caribbean nation, which vies with Afghanistan for appalling human development statistics, had been showing signs of recovery: political stability, new roads and infrastructure, less gang warfare. "We had been going in the right direction and this crisis threatens that," said Eloune Doreus, the vice-president of parliament.

As desperation rises so does production of mud cakes, an unofficial misery index. Now even bakers are struggling. Trucked in from a clay-rich area outside the capital, Port-au-Prince, the mud is costlier but cakes still sell for 1.3p each, about the only item immune from inflation. "We need to raise our prices but it's their last resort and people won't tolerate it," lamented Baptiste, the Cité Soleil baker.

Vendors of other foods who have increased prices have been left with unsold stock. In the Policard slum, a jumble of broken concrete clinging to a mountainside, the Ducasse family tripled the price of its fritters because of surging flour prices. "Our sales have fallen by half," said Jean Ducasse, 49, poking at his tray of shrivelled wares.

The signs of crisis are everywhere. Aid agency feeding centres reported that the numbers seeking help have tripled. At a centre in the Fort Mercredi slum rail-thin women cradled infants with yellowing hair, a symptom of malnutrition. "Now we're having to feed the mothers as well as the babies," said Antonine Saint-Quitte, a nurse.

In rural areas the situation seems even worse, prompting a continued drift to the slums and their mirage of opportunities. Lillian Guerrick, 56, a subsistence farmer near Cap Haitien, yanked her seven grandchildren from school because there was barely money for food let alone fees. "I've no choice," she said, a touch defensive, amid wizened corn stalks.

Anecdotal evidence suggests school attendance nationwide has dropped and that those who do make it to class are sometimes too hungry to concentrate. "I use jokes to try to stimulate my students, to wake them up," said Smirnoff Eugene, 25, a Port-au-Prince teacher.

Border crossings to the Dominican Republic are jammed with throngs of merchants hunting lower prices in their relatively prosperous neighbour.

"Beep beep, out of the way!" yelled one teenage boy, sweating, veins throbbing, as he heaved a wheelbarrow impossibly overloaded with onions through a crowd at Ouanaminthe's border bridge.

Haiti's woes stem from global economic trends of higher oil and food prices, plus reduced remittances from migrant relatives affected by the US downturn. What makes the country especially vulnerable, however, is its almost total reliance on food imports.

Domestic agriculture is a disaster. The slashing and burning of forests for farming and charcoal has degraded the soil and chronic under-investment has rendered rural infrastructure at best rickety, at worst non-existent.

The woes were compounded by a decision in the 1980s to lift tariffs, when international prices were lower, and flood the country with cheap imported rice and vegetables. Consumers gained and the IMF applauded but domestic farmers went bankrupt and the Artibonite valley, the country's breadbasket, atrophied.

Now that imports are rocketing in price the government has vowed to rebuild the withered agriculture but that is a herculean task given scant resources, degraded soil and land ownership disputes.

There is a hopeful precedent. A growing franchise of localised dairies known as Let Agogo (Creole for Unlimited Milk) has organised small farmers to transport and market milk, generating jobs and income and cutting Haiti's £20m annual milk import bill.

President René Préval has hailed the scheme as a model but Michel Chancy, a driving force of Veterimed, a non-governmental organisation which backs the dairies, was wary. "For 20 years politicians have been talking about reviving agriculture but didn't actually do anything. If this food crisis forces them to act then it is a big opportunity." That was a big if, he said.

Walk along a beach in the morning and you find Haitians gazing at the azure ocean horizon, dreaming of escape. They are fiercely proud of their history in overthrowing slavery and colonialism but these days the US, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic - anywhere but home - seems the best option.

The only thing stopping an exodus are US coastguard patrols, said Herman Janvier, 30, a fishermen on Cap Haitian, a smuggling point. "People want out of here. It's like we're almost dead people."

The last time Janvier tried to flee he was intercepted and interned at Guantánamo Bay. "I offered to join the American army. I offered to clean their base. They said no. So I am back here, on a boat with no motor, doing what I can to survive."

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Feline Fanatic Collects Thousands of Ceramic Cats | Wired Collection

A feline fanatic has spent the last 60 years amassing a bizarre collection of over 2,000 ceramic cats… and she won't stop until it's purr-fect.

Pamela Cole, 60, from Birmingham, has been collecting the cats since the late 1940s, after her mother gave her a replica of a beloved kitten.

The collection, thought to be worth over £50,000, contains ornaments worth anything from 10p to over £1,000 and she even has one cat dating back to 600BC.

Pam, who now has a staggering 2,222 cats of varying shapes and sizes, says she keeps them in her spare bedroom and has stopped anyone sleeping in there.

But despite already being short of space to display them, she said she can't wait to get her paws on more.

Speaking of her collection Pamela said: "I really do have them from all over the world, and I've bought them in china shops, toy shops, antiques shops, at craft fairs, antiques fairs and on eBay.

"I try to get them as different as possible, and I have them from every continent."

Friday, February 02, 2018

Villa Escudero Resort with the Waterfalls Restaurant in Philippines

Villa Escudero Resort is located in Quezon Province, Philippines, offering a vast hacienda filled with comfortable rooms, and a museum of curious things. Perhaps the most curious thing at the villa is the amazing Waterfalls Restaurant, where lunch is served against an impressive backdrop of thundering clear spring water. Grass fringed buffet stations and bamboo dining tables stand steadily in just inches of flowing river water from the sparkling falls, as it washes around the feet of diners enjoying delicious local dishes.

The experience of dining as water is running over your feet would certainly create a memorable holiday moment, and possibly one of your most unusual experiences ever, as they boast this “is a truly singular and memorable experience only Villa Escudero can offer.”

Villa Escudero Plantations is 800 hectares (2,000 acres) of working coconut plantation and hacienda located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south of the city of San Pablo, Laguna province on the border with Quezon province.Since 1981, the plantation has opened its doors as a resort offering village tours, museum tour, food and accommodations. It has developed a worldwide reputation as a focal point to experience Philippine culture and history in a beautiful rural setting.

The plantation encompasses three municipalities in two provinces: San Pablo City in Laguna and the towns of Tiaong, and Dolores in Quezon province. The entrance to the resort is located just a few feet from the Laguna/Quezon boundary arch.

Villa Escudero Plantations was founded in 1872 by Don Placido Escudero and his wife Doña Claudia Marasigan. Originally planted to sugar cane, the crop was converted to coconut by their son Don Arsenio Escudero in the early 1900s. A pioneering agriculture industrialist, he built the country’s first working hydroelectric plant - Labasin Dam - to supply his desiccated coconut factory and the Escudero Plantation house, which he and his wife Doña Rosario Adap built in 1929.

The plantation was opened to the public in 1981 as a tourist attraction, offering glimpses of plantation life. The family's eclectic private collection was presented as a Museum tour. Carabao cart ride takes visitors to the resort area, surrounded by park-like setting while being serenaded by locals. Dining is offered in a unique al fresco restaurant where the dining tables are situated below the spillway of the hydroelectric dam (or the 'Labasin waterfalls') while diners enjoy their lunch dipped in the flowing calf-deep water. Later attractions include an authentic live cultural dance show choreographed by National Artist Ramon Obusan, performed with live music. The resort has since expanded offering accommodations, more restaurants, sports facilities, and a conference center.

In 2008, 415 hectares (1,030 acres), more than half of the estate, was converted into an exclusive residential development called Hacienda Escudero.

Villa Escudero Resort
Villa Escudero Resort with the Waterfalls Restaurant in Philippines

Villa Escudero Resort
Villa Escudero is equally nature bathed, with stunning views from bamboo decks overlooking the still waterscape of Lake Labasin, and the tropical Philippine countryside.

Villa Escudero Resort
Filipino Restaurant at the Foot of a Waterfall

Villa Escudero Resort
Best Batangas Resorts & Hotel

Villa Escudero Resort
Villa escudero

Villa Escudero Resort
Incredible Waterfall Restaurant at the Villa Escudero

Villa Escudero Resort
Waterfall Restaurant

Thursday, February 01, 2018

The World's Top Most Expensive And Luxury Bed Goes On Sale

A handcrafted double bed has gone on sale for £4 million and is touted as the world’s most expensive place to rest your head.

The Baldacchino Supreme is inlaid with 107kg (236lb) of 24ct gold and is fashioned out of chestnut and ash wood with a cherry wood canopy.

It comes complete with Italian silk and cotton drapes and the headboard can be customised to take diamonds for that hint of extra bling.

The luxury item was made by British designer Stuart Hughes, who specialises in dolling up items for the super rich, such as gold-plating iPhones and selling them for £22,000.

He also hit the headlines when he customised an iPhone 4 with a 65million-year-old T.rex tooth and meteoric stone.

The 39-year-old Liverpudlian, who worked with Italian design company Hebanon for the bed, said the ‘incredible’ detail made it ‘out of this world’.

‘It is the sort of thing only the super rich can afford, billionaires who have everything and are always looking for unique gifts,’ he added.

He has made two of the beds so far, with each one taking three months.

One has already been snapped up by an Italian businessman.