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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Man wins £350,000 with £1 bet

Man wins £350,000 with £1 bet

A man has won more than £350,000 after staking just £1.

Bookies William Hill said the Glasgow-based man, who wishes to stay anonymous, scooped £353,000 after winning a seven-horse accumulator bet.
The single father has not worked in five years after he had surgery on his heart, and admitted he was struggling.
He said: ''I'm shocked. I regularly place these little bets and everyone tells me I'm mad.
''I've hit the bar a few times but this is incredible.
''My brain was a wreck and I couldn't understand the balance on my account. I first thought it would pay about £21,000 and had to get my son to come and translate that the numbers meant I'd actually won £353,000.''
He said he would spend his winnings on buying his own home, and planned to visit his sisters abroad.
He placed his 50p each-way accumulator on seven horses running at Brighton, Nottingham, Towcester and Kempton.
A spokesman for William Hill, who took the bet, said: ''He's our luckiest ever punter.''

Man admits having sex with 1,000 cars

Man admits having sex with 1,000 cars

A man who claims to have had sex with 1,000 cars has defended his "romantic" feelings towards vehicles.

Edward Smith with one of his former partners
Edward Smith with one of his former partners Photo: SWNS
Edward Smith, who lives with his current "girlfriend" – a white Volkswagen Beetle named Vanilla, insisted that he was not "sick" and had no desire to change his ways.
"I appreciate beauty and I go a little bit beyond appreciating the beauty of a car only to the point of what I feel is an expression of love," he said.
"Maybe I'm a little bit off the wall but when I see movies like Herbie and Knight Rider, where cars become loveable, huggable characters it's just wonderful.
"I'm a romantic. I write poetry about cars, I sing to them and talk to them just like a girlfriend. I know what's in my heart and I have no desire to change."
He added: "I'm not sick and I don't want to hurt anyone, cars are just my preference."
Mr Smith, 57, first had sex with a car at the age of 15, and claims he has never been attracted to women or men.
But his wandering eye has spread beyond cars to other vehicles. He says that his most intense sexual experience was "making love" to the helicopter from 1980s TV hit Airwolf.
As well as Vanilla, he regularly spends time with his other vehicles – a 1973 Opal GT, named Cinnamon, and 1993 Ford Ranger Splash, named Ginger.
Before Vanilla, he had a five-year relationship with Victoria, a 1969 VW Beetle he bought from a family of Jehovah's Witnesses.
But he confesses that many of the cars he has had sex with have belonged to strangers or car showrooms.
His last relationship with a woman was 12 years ago - and he could not bring himself to consummate it, although he did have sex with girls in his younger days.
Mr Smith, from Washington state in the US, kept quiet about his secret fetish for years, but agreed to be interviewed as part of a channel Five documentary into “mechaphilia”. He is shown meeting other enthusiasts at a rally in California
Talking about how his unusual passion developed, Mr Smith said: "It's something that grew as a part of me when I was a kid and I could not shake it.
"I just loved cute cars right from the beginning, but over the years it got stronger once I got into my teenage years and was my first having sexual urges.
"When I turned 13 and the famous Corvette Stingray came about, that car was pure sex and just an incredible machine. I wanted it.
"I didn't fully understand it myself except that I know I'm not hurting anyone and I do not intend to."
He added: "There are moments way out in the middle of nowhere when I see a little car parked and I swear it needs loving.
"There have been certain cars that attracted me and I would wait until night time, creep up to them and just hug and kiss them.
"As far as women go, they never really interested me much. And I'm not gay.”
Mr Smith is now part of a global community of more than 500 “car lovers” brought together by internet forums.
  • My Car Is My Lover is on Five on Wednesday, May 28.

Royalty dined on human flesh... but that was over 300 years ago


British royalty dined on human flesh (but don't worry it was 300 years ago)

Last updated at 12:58 AM on 21st May 2011
They have long been famed for their love of lavish banquets and rich recipes.  But what is less well known is that the British royals also had a taste for human flesh.
A new book on medicinal cannibalism has revealed that possibly as recently as the end of the 18th century British royalty swallowed parts of the human body.
The author adds that this was not a practice reserved for monarchs but was widespread among the well-to-do in Europe.
 Portrait of King Charles II c.1675 Mary II (1662-1694), elder daughter of James II
Medicinal cannibalism: Both Queen Mary II and her uncle King Charles II both took distilled human skull on their deathbeds in 1698 and 1685 respectively, according to Dr Sugg
Even as they denounced the barbaric cannibals of the New World, they applied, drank, or wore powdered Egyptian mummy, human fat, flesh, bone, blood, brains and skin.
Moss taken from the skulls of dead soldiers was even used as a cure for nosebleeds, according to Dr Richard Sugg at Durham University.
Dr Sugg said: 'The human body has been widely used as a therapeutic agent with the most popular treatments involving flesh, bone or blood.
    'Cannibalism was found not only in the New World, as often believed, but also in Europe.
    'One thing we are rarely taught at school yet is evidenced in literary and historic texts of the time is this: James I refused corpse medicine; Charles II made his own corpse medicine; and Charles I was made into corpse medicine.
    'Along with Charles II, eminent users or prescribers included Francis I, Elizabeth I's surgeon John Banister, Elizabeth Grey, Countess of Kent, Robert Boyle, Thomas Willis, William III, and Queen Mary.'
    New world: Depiction of cannibalism in the Brazilian Tupinamb√° tribe as described by Hans Staden in 1557. But Europeans also consumed human flesh
    New world: Depiction of cannibalism in the Brazilian Tupinamb√° tribe as described by Hans Staden in 1557. Whether true or not, the myth ignored the fact that Europeans consumed human flesh
    The history of medicinal cannibalism, Dr Sugg argues, raised a number of important social questions.
    He said: 'Medicinal cannibalism used the formidable weight of European science, publishing, trade networks and educated theory.
    'Whilst corpse medicine has sometimes been presented as a medieval therapy, it was at its height during the social and scientific revolutions of early-modern Britain.
    'It survived well into the 18th century, and amongst the poor it lingered stubbornly on into the time of Queen Victoria.
    'Quite apart from the question of cannibalism, the sourcing of body parts now looks highly unethical to us. 
    'In the heyday of medicinal cannibalism bodies or bones were routinely taken from Egyptian tombs and European graveyards. Not only that, but some way into the eighteenth century one of the biggest imports from Ireland into Britain was human skulls. 
    'Whether or not all this was worse than the modern black market in human organs is difficult to say.'
    This painting of Charles I's execution in 1649 shows people surging forward to mop up the former King's blood. It was thought to have healing properties
    This painting of Charles I's execution in 1649 shows people surging forward to mop up the former king's blood. It was thought to have healing properties
    The book gives numerous vivid, often disturbing examples of the practice, ranging from the execution scaffolds of Germany and Scandinavia, through the courts and laboratories of Italy, France and Britain, to the battlefields of Holland and Ireland and on to the tribal man-eating of the Americas.
    A painting showing the 1649 execution of Charles I showed people mopping up the king's blood with handkerchiefs.
    Dr Sugg said: 'This was used to treat the "king's evil" - a complaint more usually cured by the touch of living monarchs.
    'Over in continental Europe, where the axe fell routinely on the necks of criminals, blood was the medicine of choice for many epileptics.
    'In Denmark the young Hans Christian Andersen saw parents getting their sick child to drink blood at the scaffold. So popular was this treatment that hangmen routinely had their assistants catch the blood in cups as it spurted from the necks of dying felons.
    'Occasionally a patient might shortcut this system. At one early sixteenth-century execution in Germany, 'a vagrant grabbed the beheaded body "before it had fallen, and drank the blood from him..".'
    The last recorded instance of this practice in Germany fell in 1865.
    Dr Richard Sugg's book, which carries a picture of John Tradescant the younger (1608-1662), botanist and gardenerAuthor Dr Richard Sugg
    History: Author Dr Richard Sugg, from Durham University, delves into the dark world of medicinal cannibalism in his new book Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires
    Whilst James I had refused to take human skull, his grandson Charles II liked the idea so much that he bought the recipe. Having paid perhaps £6,000 for this, he often distilled human skull himself in his private laboratory.
    Dr Sugg said: 'Accordingly known before long as "the King's Drops", this fluid remedy was used against epilepsy, convulsions, diseases of the head, and often as an emergency treatment for the dying. 
    'It was the very first thing which Charles reached for on February 2 1685, at the start of his last illness, and was administered not only on his deathbed, but on that of Queen Mary in 1698.'
    Dr Sugg's research will be featured in a forthcoming Channel 4 documentary with Tony Robinson in which they reconstruct versions of older cannibalistic medicines with the help of pigs' brains, blood and skull.
    The book, called Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires, will be published on June 29 by Routledge and charts the largely forgotten history of European corpse medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians.


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1389142/British-royalty-dined-human-flesh-dont-worry-300-years-ago.html#ixzz1MzT41RSI

    Earthquake moved ocean floor 79 feet sideways and 10 feet higher...


    Japanese superquake moved ocean floor 79 feet sideways and 10 feet up - and new data shows region is under more strain

    Last updated at 10:03 AM on 21st May 2011
      And researchers are warning that immense amounts of seismic stress remain stored in the area, putting it at risk of further devastating earthquakes.The ocean floor shifted sideways by 79 feet in the Japanese earthquake in March - much further than scientists originally predicted.
    The journal Science has published three new papers about the effects and causes of Japan's March 11 mega-quake, which paints a picture of an earthquake hot spot much more complex and potentially dangerous than scientists had ever anticipated.
    Waves of tsunami come toward Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, causing a leak
    The tsunami comes crashing towards Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex. Researchers say the area is at risk of further serious quakes
    In one paper, the Japanese Coast Guard has released data from five geodetic instruments that in 2000-04 they had placed underwater along the fault line responsible for the colossal quake. 
    One of the instruments had actually been placed almost on top of the epicentre of the Magnitude 9.0 quake, at a station called MYGI.
    Measurements taken in the week following the earthquake showed that at the MYGI site, the sea floor had moved about 79 feet to the east-southeast since the previous measurement in February. It had also risen about 10 feet. 
    Dr Mariko Sato, a geodesist with the Japan Coast Guard in Tokyo, believes almost all this movement happened during the quake.
    Ships sitting on a rice field amid rubble from the quake and tsunami. Scientists now believe the disaster moved the sea floor much further than originally thought
    Ships sitting on a rice field amid rubble from the tsunami. Scientists believe the disaster moved the sea floor much further than originally thought
    'The scale is almost double that estimated only from the terrestrial data,' Dr Sato told BBC News.
    Under the seabed, the movement may have been even greater - perhaps 160 to 200 feet, by some estimates.
    In another study sure to raise alarm in Japan, scientists from the California Institute of Technology have reconstructed how the Tohuku-Oki earthquake unfolded using GPS data recorded at more than 1,200 sites.
    Their data showed that - contrary to previous opinion - the area had built up massive amounts of strain prior to the earthquake.
    Earlier, there had been general agreement among researchers that the 'Miyagi segment' of the fault line was not under the stress of other segments along the Japan plate boundary, where large earthquakes occur at a regular basis. But Professor Mark Simons' team showed that this assumption was deeply flawed.
    This raises questions about other sections of the fault line that had previously been considered low risk - including areas further south, closer to Tokyo. 
    This 'Ibaraki segment' of the plate boundary has been thought to behave in similar fashion to that of the Miyagi segment, and Professor Simons says it may likewise hold large amounts of seismic stress. 
    In recorded history, this southern area has experienced only one set of quakes larger than magnitude 8 - which means the region could be ripe for its own rupture. 
    The quake may also have destablised nearby areas of fault line, making them even more vulnerable to a catastrophic rupture.
    'We have to entertain the possibility this area can produce a large quake,' Simons said. 'This area will warrant a lot of attention in the near future.'
    The earthquake and subsequent tsunami left more than 24,000 people dead or missing, and wiped out entire towns.


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1389247/Japan-earthquake-Ocean-floor-moved-79-feet-sideways.html#ixzz1MzRQlYwg

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    One way to put up scaffold - India


    So much for elf 'n' safety: Scaffolding that looks like a stairway to heaven (if the builders aren't careful)

    Last updated at 3:36 PM on 20th May 2011
      It is a city famous for its architecture and ancient temples - where construction methods seem to have remained firmly in the past.
      This incredible photograph shows the death-defying lengths workmen in the east Indian city of Bhubaneswar are going to in building a new shopping mall.
      Each of these 15 workers are seen perched precariously on panels of thin wire mesh, as they pass poles up to each other to put up a scaffold.
      Best foot forward: Workmen put up scaffolding for a new shopping mall in Bhubaneswar, India
      Best foot forward: Workmen put up scaffolding for a new shopping mall in Bhubaneswar, India
      As capital of the Orissa state, Bhubaneswar was one of India's first planned cities and is currently enjoying a mini-boom in the retail industry.
      Telecommunications, IT and engineering firms poured into the city in the 1990s - leading to the increase in demand for shopping malls.
      Alongside Puri and Konark, the city forms the Swarna Tribhuja (The Golden Triangle) and, with more than 600 religious sites, is nicknamed the Temple City of India.
      Bhubaneswar was also the base for England's cricket team during its series of one day internationals in 2008.
      But the team returned home early following the Mumbai terrorist attacks when gunmen stormed hotels in the city.


      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1389168/Head-heights--Indian-workmen-Bhubaneswar-best-feet-forward-building-new-shopping-mall.html#ixzz1MvC1nvSb

      Insurance firm staged orgy to reward staff...

      • 20 May 2011, 10:14

      Insurance firm staged orgy for staff

      Orgy /Rex
      One of the biggest insurance companies in the world held an orgy to reward successful salesmen.
      Ergo, a part of Munich Re - the world's biggest re-insurer, hired prostitutes for the 2007 party, reports the BBC.
      The Roman-style orgy was held in the Hungarian capital Budapest's historic Art Nouveau thermal baths
      A German business newspaper said the 20 prostitutes had worn colour-coded arm-bands designating their availability.
      According to Handelsblatt, quoting an unnamed participant, guests were able to take the women to four-poster beds at the spa "and do whatever they liked".
      "After each such encounter the women were stamped on the lower arm in order to keep track of how often each woman was frequented," the paper quoted the man as saying.
      "The women wore red and yellow wrist bands. One lot were hostesses, the others would fulfil your every wish.
      "There were also women with white wrist bands. They were reserved for board members and the very best sales reps."
      Ergo said it regretted what had happened and that the party was a "serious violation" of company rules.
      "The managers and board members responsible no longer work for us," a spokesman said.

      Ferrari owner parks car in front living room every day...


      The driver whose Ferrari is so precious he parks it in his FRONT ROOM

      Last updated at 12:10 PM on 20th May 2011
        A proud Ferrari owner loves his sports car so much he parks it - in his LOUNGE.
      Devoted Jon Ryder, 28, cleared the top half of his living room and drives the gleaming yellow Ferrari 355 Spider through a garage door at the end of the room.
      He can now stare lovingly at his pride and joy as he relaxes on his sofa and watches TV.
      The garage door is concealed behind a curtain - giving the car nut an easy exit for when he wants to take the 1996 Ferrari for a spin.
      Parking bay window: Jon Ryder cleared the top half of his living room and parks the gleaming yellow Ferrari 355 Spider in the front room
      Parking bay window: Jon Ryder cleared the top half of his living room and parks the gleaming yellow Ferrari 355 Spider in the front room
      Married Jon, a steel worker from Sheffield, said: 'I've owned the Ferrari for more than three years and the novelty still hasn't worn off.
      'I still smile every day at owning my ultimate dream car. It's my favourite piece of Italian art and it takes pride of place in the house.' The Ferrari F355 was built by the Italian car maker between 1994 and 1999 and is regarded by purists as one of the great driver's cars. They cost £83,000 new but are currently worth around £35,000.
        Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson, who owned one back in the 1990s, described it as 'like a quail's egg dipped in celery salt and served in Julia Roberts' belly button.' It can accelerate from 0-60mph
         in 4.6 seconds and has a top speed of 183mph.
        When John moved into his new house last year he set about converting the garage into a 'bachelor' TV room which would accommodate his car.
        Easy Ryder: Petrolhead Jon Ryder moved into his new home last year and immediately began converting the garage into the ultimate lounge
        Easy Ryder: Petrolhead Jon Ryder moved into his new home last year and immediately began converting the garage into the ultimate lounge
        He said: 'When we decided to move house last year I instantly saw the potential to convert it.
        'The conversion took me about a month working singlehandedly (apart from the plastering) between my full-time job.
        'I furnished the room with items we'd not used after moving house - the TV cabinet was a towel box, the curtains and matching cushions came from our last living room.
        'I tried to keep everything to a reasonable budget since my wife did keep reminding me, 'it is just a garage'.
        'She now admits it's a very nice comfortable lounging room and garage!' Jon takes the 355 to events organised by supercardriver.com where owners of other exotic cars meet up for a chat and a drive.
        Proceeds from these events go to charity, with one event in March raising £2,500 for the Bluebell Children's Hospice in Sheffield.


        Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1389073/The-driver-finds-space--parks-Ferrari-FRONT-ROOM.html#ixzz1MtSwoO5v

        Roman coins from third century AD discovered in a pot....


        Saved for a rainy day: Hoard of 1,200 Roman coins unearthed on building site

        Last updated at 12:29 PM on 20th May 2011
          Archaeologists have hit the jackpot after unearthing more than 1,200 coins buried in a Roman piggybank.
        The extraordinary haul, believed to be more than 1,700 years old, was discovered in a small grey pot on a building site on former Army land in Colchester, Essex.
        The find - hailed as a 'hugely significant national discovery' - has now been sent to the British Museum for analysis and will eventually be donated to the the town's museum. 
        Pot of gold: Unusually, the coins were neatly stacked and stored in a clay pot
        Pot of gold: Unusually, the coins were neatly stacked and stored in a clay pot
        Philip Crummy, director of the Colchester Archaeological Trust, said the coins, which are made of copper with a thin silver coating, date from the third century AD.
        He said: 'All the coins appear to have been put in the pot at the same time and then buried.
        'Interestingly many of the coins inside the pot looked as they had been placed in there in little stacks.
        'From this, we can visualise the owner sorting out his money in neat piles on a table so that he could count it accurately before putting the coins in the pot stack by stack.
        'I imagine the owner was better off than the average person, but I am not sure if he would qualify as rich.'
        Lucky find: The coins were unearthed during routine archaeological survey work on former Army property
        Lucky find: The coins were unearthed during routine archaeological survey work on former Army property
        Well-preserved: The coins date from around 270 AD - a time of turmoil in Roman Britain
        Well-preserved: The coins date from around 270 AD - a time of turmoil in Roman Britain
        The historian believes the hoard was buried for safekeeping during troubled times but a forgetful owner may have been unable to find it again.
        Mr Crummy added: 'The burial of coins seems to have been more common in periods of unrest or uncertainty.
        'The 270s was a difficult time in eastern England because of civil war in the Roman Empire and serious raiding along the coast by foreign peoples.'
        The coins will be donated to Colchester Museum by developer Taylor Wimpey, which has rights to the find under treasure trove laws.
        Company managing director Simon Brown said: 'This amazing collection of Roman coins is a hugely significant national discovery which brings even more life and colour to Colchester's rich and fascinating history.
        'The hoard was discovered during the course of routine archaeological survey work at the former Hyderabad and Meeanee barracks site in March, and otherwise might have lain undiscovered for many years to come.'


        Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1389018/Saved-rainy-day-Hoard-1-200-Roman-coins-unearthed-building-site.html#ixzz1MtS7JlqU

        Thursday, May 19, 2011

        Funeral expo uncovers latest weird coffin trends...


        Coffins you wouldn't be seen dead in: Funeral expo showcases the latest trends in undertaking

        Last updated at 10:05 PM on 19th May 2011
          As the Asia Funeral Expo kicked off in style in Hong Kong today, over a hundred traders showed the latest weird and wonderful burial products on offer.
        Coffins lined with silk or sheepskin, or made out of paper; a dead loved one's DNA captured in a pendant; a headstone in the shape of a motorcycle - products such as these can all be found at the exhibition which attracts funeral professionals from around the world.
        The expo is the key annual event for international funeral parlour, with around 130 companies exhibiting their wares in the hope of starting a trend that will catch on.
        Fort Knox: Funeral professionals examine a secure looking coffin. Around 130 companies from around the world are exhibiting this year
        Fort Knox: Funeral professionals examine a secure looking coffin. Around 130 companies from around the world are exhibiting this year
        Suits you sir: a man tries a coffin for size and, er, comfort at the Asian funeral Expo which kicked off today in Hong Kong
        Suits you sir: a man tries a coffin for size and, er, comfort at the Asian funeral Expo which kicked off today in Hong Kong
        Funerary customs can be quite complex in Asian countries, and vary greatly from region to region. 
        They can incorporate elements of Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, shamanism, local folk religions, ancient ancestor worship traditions and Communist ideology.
        In recent years, ostentatious funerals have made a comeback, the Chinese media has reported.
        Spending on funerals is considered important and it is not unusual for a family to spend the equivalent of several years' income on a lavish funeral. 
        Intricate detail: A paper model house with a garden made by a Taiwanese company is designed to be burnt for ancestors
        Intricate detail: A paper model house with a garden made by a Taiwanese company is designed to be burnt for ancestors
        From cradle to grave: A couple of funeral parlour workers examine the cosy, lined coffin complete with squishy pillow
        From cradle to grave: A couple of funeral parlour workers examine the cosy, lined coffin complete with squishy pillow
        The funeral industry is reported to be one of the most profitable business sectors in China. 
        On the other side of the coin, reflecting the growing interest in 'green' funerals, some companies showed low emission or zero carbon coffins, or coffins made in part of recycled materials.
        Overcrowding in Hong Kong, lack of burial space and fears for the environment have led some Hong Kong companies to champion coffins made simply from paper, a trend that is steadily gaining converts.
        Eco credentials: Natalie Verdon of Life Art International shows a lightweight, low emission coffin made in part of recycled materials for cremation
        Eco credentials: Natalie Verdon of Life Art International shows a lightweight, low emission coffin made in part of recycled materials for cremation
        Coffin linings are still very popular in Asia, with hundreds of designs to choose from.
        In Asian countries most people believe that making a person comfortable in the afterlife is of the utmost importance and that if dead ancestors are taken care of they can bring happiness and prosperity to their caretakers.
        It may seem odd to Westerners for comfort to be so important for the dead, but sheepskin, silk and even fur linings are popular with many families.
        Meet your maker: A visitor stands in front of a tombstone in the shape of a motorcycle. Perhaps this would attract a daredevil who believes he might die on the road
        Meet your maker: A visitor stands in front of a tombstone in the shape of a motorcycle. Perhaps this would attract a daredevil who believes he might die on the road
        Visitors to the exhibition are often able to take away souvenir coffins from particular companies to display at their funeral parlours for clients to examine.  In urban areas of China, cemeteries are rare because they are considered a waste of space and most people cannot afford a funeral, burial and tomb for their loved ones.
        The number of cremations continues to rise although in the countryside old beliefs about burying the dead still hold sway. 
        By one estimate 70 percent of China's dead in rural areas are buried, but burial sites are becoming increasingly scarce.


        Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1388846/Coffins-wouldnt-seen-dead-Funeral-expo-showcases-latest-trends.html#ixzz1MqXSStaf