Emma Tarr Crowned Miss Whangamata 2010


The Miss Whangamata competition went international as a bikini-clad babe from London almost took home the title.

But Amelia Borley, 17, had to settle for runner-up as Tauranga student Emma Tarr won the judges over in her itsy bitsy frilly black bikini.

More than 1500 people crammed into the Whangamata beachside park to watch 184 contestants take to the stage across five age-group categories. These ranged from "midget" for 4 to 6-year-olds right during to the senior division.

Yesterday's competition was the first time Miss Tarr, a 17-year-old student, had entered a beauty competition but she was no stranger to the popular seaside town.

Runner-up Miss Borley also knows Whangamata well as her Mt Maunganui-born mother brings her relations home to New Zealand for a month every summer.
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World’s First Organ Donor Dies At 79


A man who donated a kidney to his dying twin brother 56 years ago in the world's first victorious organ transplant has died in the United States.

Ronald Lee Herrick died, aged 79, on Monday in the Augusta Rehabilitation Centre, a hospital in Maine, New England, following complications from heart operation in October, his widow, Cynthia, said.

Herrick donated a kidney to his identical twin, Richard, in a pioneering operation on 23 December 1954.

The successful surgery kept Herrick's brother alive for eight years and was the first victorious organ transplant, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Lead surgeon Dr Joseph Murray went on to win the Nobel Prize.

The operation proved that transplants were probable and led to thousands of other successful kidney transplants, and later the transplant of other organs.
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World’s Oldest Father At 92


A 94-year-old man in India claims he has turn out to be the country's oldest father by siring a son.

Ramajit Raghav, a Kharkhoda farm laborer, said his wife, Shakuntala, who is in her mid-50s, newly gave birth to a son at Kharkhoda Civil Hospital. Hospital officials confirmed the birth but did not validate whether Raghav was the child's father. His claims would make him India's oldest father, edging out a man who fathered his 22nd child at the age of 90 in 2007.

Dr Paramjeet Singh, chief medical officer at Kharkhoda Civil Hospital, where the baby was born in November, said: ‘Having babies at such an age is a secluded possibility. It can’t be ruled out.’

If it is true, Mr Raghav will beat present record holder Nanu Ram Jogi, an Indian farmer who fathered his 21st child at the age of 90 in 2007.

Mr Raghav actually claims to be more than 100 years old, but pension records give his age as 94.

Raghav said his son, Karamjit, was "god's gift" to him and his wife. Doctors said the baby is in good health.
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Smithsonian Proudly Announces Birth Of Cheetah Cubs


Cheetah births in internment are rare, so the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute proudly announced the birth of two cubs born to two separate females.

According to a press release, 5-year-old Amani gave birth on Dec. 6 and 9-year-old Zazi had her cub on Dec. 16. The births resulted in the facility's first-ever cheetah cubs.


Since mother cheetahs that produce only one cub, called a singleton, cannot make sufficient milk to keep the cub alive, scientists at the Smithsonian gave Amani's cub to Zazi to nurse after it was hand-raised by staff for 13 days. It's hoped that having two cubs will arouse Zazi to make a sufficient amount of milk.

“When we realized that Amani had a singleton, we detached the cub to hand rear it,” Adrienne Crosier, SCBI cheetah biologist, said in the press release. “So when Zazi gave birth, we decided it was the ideal opportunity to give both cubs a chance at survival as one litter under her care without any additional interference by us. Only a few institutions in North America have ever effectively cross-fostered cheetah cubs, and this is a first for SCBI.”


Amani's cub has already undergone broad testing, including an MRI, because the newborn displayed some worrisome tremors during its first few weeks of life. At first scientists thought the cub had hypothermia, but it displays usual growth and appetite. Then they supposed a congenital brain disorder, but so far there's been no proof of that and the cub seems to be doing improved now.

Nevertheless, cheetah cubs born in custody have about a 20 percent mortality rate, compared to up to 70 percent in the wild in east Africa. Animal care staff will therefore continue to monitor the two cubs intimately in the coming weeks and months. Thirty-three cheetah cubs, including the two new SCBI ones, have been born in North America this year and have survived. The Smithsonian zoo’s two services now care for 13 cheetahs.
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Unseen Childhood Pictures Of Queen And Princess Margaret Revealed


Cherished family portraits of the Queen and the late Princess Margaret from the late Queen Elizabeth’s private collection are to be revealed in public for the first time in an exhibition celebrating the work of the photographer Marcus Adams.

They comprise some of the most informal studio portraits ever taken of the princesses with their parents, which will be among more than 100 prints on display dating from 1926 to 1956.

One of the first photographs is of the three-year-old Princess Elizabeth cuddling her father, the then Duke of York, in 1929. Three years later, the future Queen posed with her younger sister shortly before Princess Margaret’s second birthday, and in 1940 the princesses, aged 14 and nine, were pictured with their mother, when Princess Elizabeth also posed in a skirt and tweed jacket.

Mr Adams, who died in 1959, set up a Children’s Studio in London in 1920 and shortly became one of the country’s most famous photographers of children.

He filled his studio with toys and even masked his camera as a toy cabinet to put his subjects at ease. His studio, which contained no visible cameras, lights or other equipment, was described by him as “a bright and very happy play room” and used a long cable to press the shutter so he did not have to wane behind the camera.

He once described taking photographs as “ninety-five per cent psychology and only five per cent mechanical”.
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World's Oldest Human Remains Discovered In Israel


Israeli archaeologists have discovered human remains dating from 400,000 years ago, challenging conventional wisdom that Homo sapiens originated in Africa, the leader of excavations in Israel said.

They were found in a cave near Rosh HaAyin which are considered to be the earliest evidence of modern man, and shows he lived twice as long ago as was previously thought, said Tel Aviv University on Tuesday.

Until now, human remains from only 200,000 years ago had been discovered in Africa, leading researchers to wonder that this was the continent on which Homo sapiens originated.

The cave was uncovered in 2000 near Rosh HaAyin and a morphological analysis was performed on the teeth. The teeth are similar to those of modern man, CT scans and X- Rays showed. They are also “very similar” to evidence of modern man from those discovered at two separate locations in northern Israel and which date from 100,000 years ago. According to the researchers, their discoveries are possible to change the perception that modern man originated in Africa.
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First Miss Deaf Jamaica Queen Crowned


History was made when Jamaica's first Miss Deaf Jamaica queen was crowned.

Out of a field of eight energetic and talented contestants who represented Kingston, St Catherine, May Pen and St Ann, Miss Spanish Town, Cassandra Whyte walked away with the coveted title, as well as the sectional award for Best Personality. First runner-up was Miss Portmore, Kadrieka Thomas while second runner-up was Miss South Kingston, Toneika Kidd.

Miss St Andrew, Kimberly Brown won the Best Smile honor while Miss West Kingston, Yakera James copped the award for Best Walk.

Cassandra Whyte will signify Jamaica for the first time at the annual Miss Deaf World and Miss Deaf International events in Europe and the United States respectively, come July 2011. The winners of each event will turn into ambassadors for the deaf community worldwide.

Among her prizes, the recently crowned Miss Deaf Jamaica, Cassandra Whyte, was presented with a one-year gym membership, valued at $60,000, to the Spartan Health Club by the general manager, Dr Terri-Karelle Reid, along with prizes from other major sponsors like Purity Bread, Island Grill and Red Stripe.
The event was organised by Rian Gayle, chairman of Miss Deaf Jamaica (MDJ). Gayle, who is deaf himself, pointed out that this organization is more than just a beauty pageant.

The winner was crowned by Kerry Moxam, 1st runner-up in the 2010 Miss Jamaica World Pageant and 8th place finalist in the 2010 Miss Intercontinental Contest just held in the Dominican Republic.
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Mao Asada Qualifies For World Figure Skating Championship


Japanese figure skating star Mao Asada signaled her return from a long slump by placing second in Japan's National Figure Skating Championships on Sunday. She scored 127.47 in the free skate on Sunday, which together with the 66.22 she earned in the short program brought her total gain to 193.69 points, just 8.65 points shy of winner Miki Ando.

This season has been near devastating for Asada. The 20-year-old Olympic silver medalist and World Champion came in eighth in the first ISU Grand Prix event of the season, the NHK Trophy, and fifth in the sixth event, the Trophée Eric Bompard. Her chances of making the national team for the 2011 ISU World Championships in March next year were unsure.

But with Sunday's finish she effectively clinched one of the three spots on the national team, and will face her archrival Kim Yu-na, the 2010 Olympic champion who is scheduled to return to competitive skating in the World Championships.

Asada, who was the leader in the short program on Saturday, delivered a solid extended program on Sunday and was hoping to be crowned the national champion for a fifth consecutive year. However, 23-year-old Ando, who was second after the short program with 64.76 points, landed six triple jumps and received 137.58 for the free skate. With a total score of 202.34 points, she toppled the long-reigning Asada and grabbed her first national identify since 2004.
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Hair Fly Discovered Again


This freakish hair fly has once again been seen in Kenya. The first time the insect was seen was back in 1933.

Since the first finding of the Terrible Hairy Fly, many people have traveled to try and find one. The area it was known to be in is a rocky cleft located on the east side of Nairobi.

There were two insect professionals that just recently saw one of the 1cm long insects, also known as the Mormotomyia Hirsuta, just sitting on a rock.

The appeance of the fly is like that of a hairy spider only it has hairy legs. The species has now been rediscovered. Dr Robert Copeland and Dr Ashley Kirk-Spriggs found the spider on an journey that was being led by the International Ctr of Insect Physiology and Ecology or ICIPE.

The fly has only been seen two other times. Once in 1933 and again in 1948. This latest discovery has caused a bit of excitement across the world in insect museums according to the research team members.

The fly is not capable to fly. It does have wings that don’t work. Just for looks. They look like little straps instead of wings. It also has very small eyes.

It likes to place its eggs in bat feces and is thought to live in wet areas where bats exist in crevices. They exist in vague rock areas found in Kenya’s Ukazi Hills.

Since the fly is not capable to fly, and it has no way to attach itself to another animal besides enwrapping it’s legs around a bat, it is most likely that the fly can only be found in this area.
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Endangered Mountain Gorillas Population Increases


The population of endangered mountain gorillas has increased significantly in the last 30 years, say researchers.

A census carried out in the Virunga Massif - where most of the world's mountain gorillas live - exposed 480 individuals living in 36 groups.

Conservationists say that, 30 years ago, only 250 gorillas survived in this same area. Along with the 302 mountain gorillas from a census in Bwindi in 2006, the world inhabitants is now more than 780.

A 2003 census estimated the population in Virunga at 380 individuals - so the current figure suggests that the population has amplified by just over 25% in the last seven years.

But, according to the African Wildlife Foundation and International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP), the animals are still very much under danger.

Director of the IGCP Eugene Rutagarama said: "Together, we cannot let down our guard on the conservation of these incredible animals.

"While mountain gorillas are physically strong, they are also incredibly vulnerable."
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Brave Little Real Life Tinkerbell


A Battling little girl, nicknamed Tinkerbell after the fairy that never speaks, could get the possibility to meet her namesake in Disneyland Paris after her story touched the hearts of a city charity.

The Rudolf Fund, which takes unique children on a Christmas trip of a lifetime to the resort, has urged the parents of Cheyanne Ferreday (3) to apply for a place on next year’s trip after reading about her plight in The Evening Telegraph.

Her dad, Kevin, said: “It would be magnificent. Tinkerbell could meet Tinkerbell.”

Cheyanne, of Oxclose, Bretton, was born with a rare condition which left her with a windpipe so narrow she was not capable to pass a sound through it.

She was lovingly named Tinkerbell by Kevin (37) and her mum Jo (40) after learning to converse through a bell attached to her ankle.

The chronic condition has also left the glossy little girl with a host of medical problems which means she may not survive beyond 16.

She cannot eat properly and if she swallows any liquid Kevin said she could factually “drown” as it goes down into her windpipe and into her lungs.

Cheyanne has battled pneumonia four times and suffers from epilepsy. Kevin said: “When Cheyanne was born doctors said she wouldn’t make the night. Then they said she wouldn’t make the week, then the month.

“When she reached her first birthday the doctor phoned and apologized and when she got to her second birthday he couldn’t trust it.

She was lastly given the gift of speech after having the 43rd operation of her short life last week.

During the procedure, her windpipe was effectively widened using cartilage from her ribs.

A nasal tube which helped her eat was also replaced with a gastric feeding tube, meaning she is at present able to eat a meal without vomiting most of it back up.
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Besiktas In Double Jump For Portugal Stars


Faltering Besiktas have re-inforced their ranks by acquiring their second Portugal international star this week as Hugo Almeida signed for the Turkish side.

Almeida has been given a three-year deal after switching from Bundesliga Werder Bremen for €2 million ($2.62 million).

The 26-year-old has been at Bremen since 2006 -- scoring 41 goals in 117 appearances -- with news saying he has left after failing to agree a new deal.

Almeida, who has also scored 12 goals in 33 games for his country, joins fellow Portugal international Simao at the 13-time Turkish champions.

Simao, who played in the Portugal side which reached the Euro 2004 final and the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup, joins from Atletico Madrid for €7 million ($9.18 million) on a two-and-half-year deal.

The 31-year-old retired from international football after this year's World Cup having made 85 appearances.

The pair will join a team which has slipped to fifth in the Turkish standings, 14 points behind leaders Bursaspor.
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Dr Shock's Electrifying Christmas Display Demands For Guinness


Many go to huge lengths to deck out their houses with lights and decorations over the holiday season, but few can claim their complicated displays earned them a Guinness world record.

Australia's very own Dr Shock, Peter Terren, from Bunbury in Western Australia, often uses hundreds of thousands of volts of electricity to create elaborate art he calls "electrickery". The country doctor documents his displays on his website and has developed a universal cult following.

Terren's Christmas projects are some of his favourites - last year he formed a nine-metre high Christmas tree using lightning-like sparks from a tesla coil and long-exposure photography; this year he's strapped a Christmas tree to a bicycle with a front light that is so prevailing it could be seen from the International Space Station with the same intensity as a bright star (when pointed at the sky). "I would love to send some Morse code to the International Space Station," said Terren, 54.

He has applied to Guinness for the "world's brightest bike light" record, saying he has done his research and, at 100,000 lumens, his making is five times brighter than any other bike light he's seen.

"The current world record holder in Guinness looks pale by contrast," he said.

His 2010 Christmas rig uses 18 high-powered 100 watt LED lights - 15 at the front and three at the back to light up the tree. It is powered by three deep cycle industrial batteries weighing over 30 kilograms.
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International Ice and Snow Festival To Commence Soon

The illuminated ice sculptures at the Harbin International Ice and Snow festival have been attracting people to the Heilongjiang city for almost three decades.

The ice lantern garden party at Zhaolin Park is a festival highlight, featuring close to 1,500 larger-than-life translucent ice structures that sparkle with multicolored lights at night. The ice lanterns are designed with a special theme each year and vary from famous landmarks around the globe, to mythical beasts.

The Harbin International Ice and Snow festival 2011 opens on January 5 and will proceed for a month.

The Yabuli ski resort, located near Harbin, is a great beloved among powder hounds for having China’s largest ski terrain. Club Med newly opened its first Chinese resort at Yabuli.
 
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Westwood Expresses His Anger To McIlroy snub


World number one Lee Westwood has used his Twitter account to articulate his anger at Rory McIlroy being snubbed for the U.S. PGA Rookie of the Year award.

Speaking after his excellent eight-stroke victory in the Sun City Challenge in South Africa, the 37-year-old criticized the decision to give the honor to American Rickie Fowler, rather than to Ryder Cup teammate McIlory.

Westwood wrote: "Sorry 140 letters is not going to be enough for this rant. Just seen Rickie Fowler has been given rookie of the year.

Westwood, 21-year-old McIlroy and Race to Dubai winner Martin Kaymer all declined to start PGA Tour membership in 2011.

And on that subject, Westwood added: "This choice wouldn't have something to do with Rory not joining the Tour next year?

"Maybe the PGA Tour just employs the same voting procedure as FIFA," he continued, referring to the controversial choices of Russia and Qatar as football World Cup soccer hosts in 2018 and 2022 respectively.
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Miss Bermuda Beauty Pageant Set To Comeback In 2011


The Miss Bermuda Beauty Pageant is set to make a comeback in 2011. A latest and new website and Facebook page ‘The Miss Bermuda Pageant’ has been launched. The text from the Facebook page says that “For the first time in over 10 years, Blanc Limited will be producing The Miss Bermuda Pageant.”

“Scheduled to take place in the summer of 2011, the pageant promises to be a very fashionable event as intelligent and beautiful young women ages 18-25, showcase these attributes on stage.”

The pageant has not been held for a number of years, after being a steady fixture for many years.

Miss Bermuda winners from the past have done fairly well on an international level; Gina Swainson won the Miss World Pageant in 1979, Zina Minks made the top 15 in the 1980 Miss World Pageant, and forty years ago Margaret Hill won the Miss Photogenic award at the 1970 Miss Universe – joining the first group of black women to capture foremost beauty titles.
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Solar-Powered Hornet Turning Light Into Electricity Discovered

 The oriental hornet has built-in "solar cells" that produce electricity from sunlight a first in the animal kingdom, according to a latest study.

Scientists previously knew that the hornet species, for unknown reasons, produced electricity inside its exoskeleton, according to study leader Marian Plotkin of Tel-Aviv University.

Plotkin's late mentor Jacob Ishay made the finding after observing that the insect is active when the sun is most intense—unusual for hornets.

Plotkin and colleagues newly went a step further by examining the structure of the hornet's exoskeleton to find out how the electricity is produced.

Their research discovered that pigments in the hornet's yellow tissues trap light, while its brown tissues generate electricity. Exactly how the hornets use this electricity is still not completely understood, Plotkin noted.
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Petrov Signs New Two-Year Contract With Renault

Russian driver Vitaly Petrov has signed a two-year contract to continue with the Lotus Renault Formula One team alongside Poland's Robert Kubica.

Petrov, the first Russian to participate in the sport, enjoyed a reasonable debut season in 2010, finishing 13th in the drivers' championship with 27 points.

"We are delighted to have Vitaly with us for two more years," Lotus Renault said in a statement. "Last year he evidently showed on several occasions that he has the potential to achieve great things.

"It's just a case of putting it all together each weekend, at each race, and that will be his main concern for 2011. Thanks to Vitaly and the team, Russia is opening up to Formula One."

The 26-year-old Petrov added: "I am eager to prolong working with this team and I am sure I can live up to the expectations they have of me."

Russia is taking an rising interest in the sport, and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone announced in October that a deal had been reached for the East European country to host a grand prix in Sochi from 2014 to 2020.

The news of Petrov's new deal came two weeks after Group Lotus plc announced it had acquired a main equity stake in the racing outfit once run by Flavio Briatore, with car manufacturer Renault deciding to sell its holdings in the financially-troubled French team.
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World's Most Expensive Christmas Tree In Abu Dhabi


A Christmas tree that costs $11 million and is thought to be the most luxurious ever decorated has been unveiled at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace Hotel.

But, after putting up the tree, the hotel has expressed regrets for having boasted of the $11 million tree and called it an “overload” in holiday spirit, the local media reported.

The hotel’s general manager, Hans Olbertz, was quoted as saying the 13-metre faux fir has 131 ornaments that comprise gold and precious stones such as diamonds and sapphires, necklaces, watches and bracelets with more than 180 diamonds, pearls, emeralds, and other precious stone.


The hotel claimed the tree was not a spectacular act, but rather an effort to boost the holiday mood for its guests based on the United Arab Emirates’ “values of openness and tolerance.”
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Queen’s Head In British Stamps At Stake


Ministers are drawing up legislation to make sure the Queen’s head stays on their stamps after it emerged that a foreign firm could buy the Royal Mail and remove her image.

Under the privatisation plans drawn up by Labour, the Queen would get a prohibition over the use of her image on stamps. But they do not insist her head is shown meaning any new proprietor could have scrapped it.

 The crisis was spotted by the Liberal Democrat Postal Services Minister Ed Davey. The Government was in talks with Buckingham Palace to endorse an amendment that would ensure the Queen’s image cannot be removed.

The monarch’s head has been on British postage stamps ever since the first was created by Sir Rowland Hill in 1830. The UK is the only country in the world that carries the Queen’s head alone, rather than the name of the nation.

Mr Davey said: ‘I am completely committed to legislating to ensure that the Queen stays on British stamps. Anyone would be stark staring mad to want the Queen’s head detached from our stamps.’ Privatisation of Royal Mail could hoist £8billion. Germany’s Deutsche Post is the favourite to acquire it.

Labour accused the Government of leaving the loophole to make Royal Mail more beautiful to bidders, but Mr Davey said the offending clauses were drawn up by Labour.
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Biggest Camel Beauty Pageant In The World

The Al Dhafrah Festival that is held every year at Madinat Zayed in Abu Dhabi has been drawing the awareness of many visitors who are eager to know more about the UAE's culture and heritage.

Over 20,000 camels competed at the fourth Camel Beauty Pageant in the UAE's capital of Abu Dhabi, as learned from the organizers.

With over $10 million worth of prizes to come for the winners of the competition, which began last Thursday, the contest is actually being considered as a serious business by the camel owners and is considered to be the biggest camel beauty pageant in the world when it comes to the value of prizes and number of participants.

The prerequisite for the camel owners who want to take part in the contest is that their camels must be cleaned scrupulously and made free from any kind of disease.

Some of the leading camel connoisseurs of the Gulf will be judging and ranking the camels on criteria like the grace of their necks, their nose-shape and humps and also their hair style.

The judges will also be categorizing the camels according to their breed, age and ownership. The reason is to revive desert traditions.
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All New Nissan Global Car Sunny Unveiled

Nissan unveiled an innovative Chinese model that is expected to become the Sentra in the U.S.

The model carries the Sunny name in China, which we've always connected with the Sentra name in the U.S. Sentra is the second biggest car in the The Versa is Nissan's smallest car in the U.S. and one of only two vehicles (the other is from Hyundai Accent) that sell for less than $10,000 to start.

It was publicized at the China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition. After it goes on deal in China next month, it will then go on sale in 170 countries, including this one. Sunnys have cruised China since 2003, built there in a partnership.

The Chinese version has a 1.5-liter engine with dual injectors and a new-generation constantly variable transmission, instead of a standard automatic transmission. MacPherson struts are used for the front deferment and a torsion beam for the rear suspension.
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Scientists Develop Sex Trap For Fruit Bugs

Scientists in Queensland suppose they're on the way to developing an early warning system for a bug that costs fruit and nut growers along the east coast $20 million a year.

Fruitspotting bugs harm the surface of things like avocados, macadamias, lychees, mangos and papayas. Senior government entomologist Dr Harry Fay says they're the most destructive pest in the horticultural sector after fruit fly.

He says they're very tiny and green, so hard to spot in an orchard. In work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the scientists have found a way to synthesize a sexual attractant created by male fruitspotting bugs.

The fake male pheromone has now been productively trialled to trap female bugs.

Dr Fay says finding the bugs as soon as they enter in a crop can tell a grower when to spray to prevent damage.

It may be up to two years before a trap is commercially accessible.
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Study Reveals Female Chimps Play Dollies With Sticks

Young female chimpanzees like to have fun with sticks as if they were dolls, according to a new study in the journal Current Biology.

Although both juvenile male and female chimpanzees were seen playing with sticks in Kibale National Park in Uganda, females were more liable to cradle the sticks and treat them like infants.

The researchers studied juvenile actions in a single chimpanzee colony over 14 years, and observed 15 females and 16 males.

Of the 15 females, 10 conceded around sticks, while five of the males were seen with sticks. In one case, an eight-year-old male with a stick stepped out of his mother’s nest, built a smaller nest and laid his stick in it.

Although adult chimpanzees are also recognized to use sticks, they use them as foraging tools, not toys. Juveniles were defined as chimpanzees between the ages of five and 7.9. This is roughly equal to the human age range of six to nine, Dr. Kahlenberg said.
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World Miss University 2010: World's Smartest Beauty Queen Crowned

A graduate from Cambridge shire has been crowned World Miss University. Katie Farr, 24, from Isleham, contested against 42 other women from across the globe.

Katie, who graduated from Leeds University with a politics degree, secured a place in the final after she scooped the Miss Leeds honor and came in the top 20 in the Miss England pageant.

She has an IQ of 140 and is the first Brit to get the crown since the competition was launched in 1986.

World Miss University is an international contest held yearly in Seoul since 1986 and is organized by the International Association of University Presidents. The organizing committee dispatches harmony missions to regions in conflict like Kosovo and Rwanda.

Katie said: “I was in a state of shock and disbelief upon hearing I’d won. We had some actually interesting debates. “We were all students or graduates – it was academically engaging and not cheesy at all.

Katie won a cash prize and is planning to use the cash to pay off some of her student debt. She said: “I’d been looking for a graduate job without success for a year when I was invited to the World Miss University competition.

“I’d already done some aid work in South Africa before my degree, which enthused me to study politics and have recently been applying for grant schemes. “But nothing has quite yet come in concert.”
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Guinness World Records Announces Largest Collection of Santa Claus

 Retired Canadian teacher enters the Guinness World Records 2011 edition with world’s ‘Largest Collection of Santa Claus Memorabilia’

Jean-Guy’s 25,000-piece collection fills his entire house! 74-year-old Jean-Guy Laquerre from Boucherville, Quebec, today celebrates being formally recognised as the largest collector of Santa Claus-themed memorabilia in the world, having accumulated an incredible 25,189 items from 33 countries over the past 22 years. His record-breaking collection, which is still growing in size, has earned him a place in the Guinness World Records 2011 edition and will also attribute as part of the new Guinness World Records iPad app Guinness World Records: At Your Fingertips, which launches today on the iTunes store.

Jean-Guy began his collection in 1988 after being left a Santa Claus statue from the early 1900s by a deceased relative. This touching gesture inspired him to start hunting for all Santa-related, from postcards and brooches to toys and posters. And just like Santa, in his bid to keep expanding his collection, Jean-Guy has his own band of helpers – friends rather than elves! – That sends him gifts from antique shops and garage sales, to assist boost his assortment of Father Christmas merchandise.

Now the enthusiast has been rewarded with a certificate, a place in the 2011 edition book and will also feature in the new Guinness World Records app which launches today. Commenting on his record-breaking collection, Jean-Guy said: “To be included in the Guinness World Records book is a big respect. It’s the best of the best, the top of the top – like being an Olympic gold medal winner! Being part of the iPad app gives me even more joy as it will assist spread the happiness my collection brings to people.”
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Els Wins Fifth South African Open Title

Ernie Els has won his fifth South African Open title after an action-packed final day at the Durban Country Club.

The three-time major champion posted a final round 66 to finish on 25 under, one stroke ahead of national Retief Goosen.

Goosen, winner of the tournament in 2005, finished strongly closing out his round with three successive birdies, but it wasn't enough to overhaul Els who had led since the halfway stage.

Earlier, Els had looked as though he may give up his lead after bogeying the par five eighth hole. But back-to-back birdies at the ninth and the 10th, followed by a birdie two at the 12th put the 41-year-old decisively back in control.

"This is a extraordinary day for me as I faced a lot of pressure, given I was up against great players and a great course," Els said.

"I realized from the start of the day that Retief was the one I had to finish ahead of. He has beaten me down the final straight quite a few times so it was immense to victory this time," he added.
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Robbed Christmas Tree Replaced At Birmingham

The new Christmas tree donated by 98.7 KISS FM was bedecked at Linn Park in downtown Birmingham. The tree will be under 24-hour observation for the remainder of the Christmas season.

The city of Birmingham's first tree was torched by copper thieves. The thieves were stripping the lights off the 35-foot Norwegian Spruce at around 4 a.m and using gasoline to disconnect the copper wire from the plastic insulation when a fire started, The Birmingham News reported.

Melvin Miller, Birmingham's parks and recreation director, told The Birmingham News that the city's tree had never been damaged before. Earlier the new tree was devoted as children hung ornaments and area mayors and business leaders stood by. Dozens of others watched and highly praised the activities even as a cool rain began to fall on them.

"For what somebody meant for bad we're going to turn it into something for good," said Mayor William Bell encircled by students from Phillips Academy "This tree symbolizes unity and kindness that is a part of Birmingham."
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Judges For Miss America 2011 Selected

"The View" co-host Joy Behar and actress Marilu Henner are among seven judges who will choose the next Miss America in January.

Judges for the beauty pageant in its 90th year also comprise country singer Mark Wills, "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry and Miss America 1990 Debbye Turner Bell.

"Dancing With the Stars" choreographer Tony Dovolani and shoe designer Taryn Rose are also on the jury.

The selections include ample of ties to ABC, the network airing the pageant live Jan. 15 at the start of a three-year deal. The pageant hasn't aired on network television since 2004, when ABC dropped it after record-low ratings.

The judges were exposed during Wednesday's episode of "The View." Behar, a comedian, won a daytime Emmy in 2009 for outstanding talk show host.

Henner, 58, is a five-time Golden Globe candidate who starred in the sitcoms "Taxi" and "Evening Shade." She has also appeared in more than 30 films and six Broadway shows.

Judges are picked for their diverse expertise to assess the pageant's 53 beauty queens in swimsuit, evening gown, talent and interview competitions.

The event at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas includes several days of preliminary competitions, with interviews with the judges.

Chris Harrison, host of ABC's "The Bachelor," and "Dancing with the Stars" co-host Brooke Burke will host the pageant.

This year's winner was Caressa Cameron of Fredericksburg, Va.
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South African Open Postponed Due To Heavy Rain

 Heavy rain brought an early end to the opening round of the 100th South African Open in Durban. Only half of the field was able to tee off at the Durban Country Club as the inclement weather brought play to an end before 9am local time.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen was one of five players tied for the lead on two-under-par when officials determined to give way to persistent rain.

In among a group of 12 players on one-under was Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen, who finished six holes, and former European Ryder Cup star David Howell.

Defending champion Richie Ramsay, from Scotland, was on one-over while South African legend Ernie Els didn't even make it off the first tee.

Play was lastly called off for the day at 14.30pm local time with organizers planning to stage round one on Friday, and round two on Saturday.

Tournament director Gary Todd told the European Tour website: "We've had in surplus of three inches of rain, that's a massive amount. Hopefully the wind picks up this evening and it dries up a little bit and it gives the green keeper two hours tomorrow morning.
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Contempo Technologies PVT LTD – Fun Filled Saturday Games

Work while you work and play while you play is a famous slogan. For Contempo Technologies PVT LTD Saturdays games are filled with fun and enjoyment. They are people who not only optimize sites but also feel optimization of work and entertainment is also very important. They have games which have deceptively simple teamwork activity where they can get to know each other and enjoy the fun filled day.

There are enormous benefits to these types of games, benefits that don't essentially occur so readily from computers. Perhaps the most important developmental benefit is all of these games involve workers interaction with each other. They have to discuss rules, take turns, correct and challenge each other. Thus they are thinking of problem solving all the time. These problem solving techniques helps the software engineers in their projects.

In the career of software engineers, listening and speaking skills are essential which they can gain in these types of fun filled games. Contempo Technologies PVT LTD games also deals with the emotional consequences which includes handling loss, helping a friend to handle a loss, being a gracious winner. Beyond the social and emotional benefits of these kinds of games, most of the games also help them to improve their working skills. And Contempo technologies PVT ltd mission incorporates the same.
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Santa Claus’s Dedicated Service Comes To End After 43 Years

A retired Madison firefighter who has played Santa Claus for 43 years made his last appearance Wednesday at American Family Children's Hospital. Dick Lindauer started playing Santa in 1967 when Fire Capt. Art Emerson retired from that role.

Lindauer began flying to the hospital through helicopter when Med Flight was introduced to UW Hospital in 1985. Since 2008, he has arrived on a sleigh propelled by a fire truck. "Oh, I've got so many memories, it's amazing!" said Lindauer.

Kaleigh-Ann Williams is five years old. This will be her fourth Christmas at American Family Children's Hospital. "We've seen him here each year for the past four years so he's going to be missed," said her mom, Kathryn Williams.

Lindauer knows what it's like to spend Christmas at Children's Hospital. His daughter died there in 1978 at age 15 after a four-year battle with leukemia. He says her passing has given him the motivation to perform his duties as Santa every holiday season.

"You see a child that might not make it 'til next year. One year, I completed and they called me over and said, 'Santa, would you come over? We want to talk to you. Six of the children you just visited a couple weeks ago have passed,'" said Lindauer.

That's why this is so significant to Lindauer, why he's continued to do it all these years. And it means the world to the kids and their families.

"Before we came down here she was laying in her bed crying for how bad her tummy hurt, and then I said 'Let's go see Santa,'" said Williams. 'It took us a little while to get her out of bed but once we got down here she was cheery. It gives her a minute to forget about what she's going through."

"If I could get one smile out of a child at Children's, it's worth it," said Lindauer.

Eventually, Lindauer's Santa suit will be sent to Superior, Wis. to be displayed at the Wisconsin Fire and Police Hall of Fame, where Lindauer was inducted in 2003 for his dedication to community service.

Madison firefighter Gary Schreiber will take over the responsibility of Santa next year.
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Glowing Snail Uses Light to Avoid Predators

According to the study published in the Royal Society, Hinea brasiliana's bioluminescent body part is placed within its shell and brightens its shine. The shell, however, amplifies the light and illuminates the whole shell surface with the soft glow.

"The shell in fact amplifies the light - making the light source show much bigger," Dr. Dimitri Deheyn of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and leader of the study told state-funded BBC.

An expert in the study of bioluminescent organisms - living things that make their own light-, Dr. Deheyn says Hinea brasiliana is rather unique.

Among the many snails which he has worked on so far, this species is particular in that its green light still glows when it retracts into its opaque, yellow shell to avoid a predator.

Further studies exposed that the bright shell of the tiny creature had a far more effective "light diffuser" than the best commercially accessible product.

"It's also color-specific," Dr. Deheyn explained. "If you shine red light through it, it doesn't work; if you shine blue light it doesn't work.

"It only works for blue-green light that the snail produces."

Scientists say the snail's bioluminescence might have a more significant role than just scaring away predators.

The flashes, they think, put "the spotlight" on a persistent predator, such as a crab so that the creatures that prey on the crab can see it further easily.

This is known as the burglar alarm hypothesis in biology. "It could be the snail's way of saying, 'hey - eat that guy - he's attacking me'," said Dr. Deheyn.

The team is planning to study the shell in detail to find out more about its mechanism and perhaps copy its specialized light-amplifying structure.
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Online "WikiLeaks: The Game" A Great Success

A computer-game parody of the much-talked-about WikiLeaks saga has made a splash online. In the online game, players suppose the role of WikiLeaks founder and outsized personality Julian Assange hiding behind President Obama's desk in the Oval Office.

Using their mouse, players must influence the Assange character to smuggle secret documents from Obama's laptop onto a USB drive as the president dozes off. Those who not succeed are treated to a juicy presidential sound bite and a mock story planted in the newspaper.

More than a million people have visited the website for "WikiLeaks: The Game" ever since it was posted five days ago, developer Sebastiaan Moeys, 21, told.

"Just like governmental attempts to quash WikiLeaks, the game is harder than it looks," Alexia Tsotsis reviewed it. "I've played it five times and I still haven't won."

Game developers have been quick in recent years to benefit from on the popularity of prominent news events.

Satirical animated games have spoofed Tiger Woods' extramarital scandal, the Hudson River plane landing, the Chilean mine save and the rescue of a ship captain from Somali pirates.
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Snowman’s Dearth Forces Bus Driver To Resign

An Illinois, US bus driver has been forced to quit after crossing into the wrong lane to mow down a snowman who was on the road.

The snowman sat in a calm residential street on the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois, south of Chicago, as reported.

The snowman was built by students, who waited in hiding to film the reactions of approaching traffic.

The public transit bus can be seen in the footage, uploaded onto YouTube, deliberately veering onto the wrong side of the road to take out the sculpture.


Moments earlier a motorist driving on the correct side slowed down to cautiously avoid the snowman blocking his path, before the bus came from the other direction and hit the obstacle at full speed.

The students scream with laughter before yelling 'No!' as the four foot high snowman is shattered.

The YouTube video, called 'Insane Bus Driver Brutally Murders Snowman', has been viewed over 26,000 times since being posted.

The bus driver quitted his job after the video was made public, said Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District spokeswoman Jan Kijowski. Ms Kijowski said the district had laid down the rule to all the drivers.

'Whenever an incident occurs, we try to use it as a teaching occasion to remind the operators what are the safe and good choices that can be made,' Ms Kijowski said.

The video has sparked heated debate on social media sites about whether it was the driver or the creators of the snowman at responsibility.

A 2,000 strong Facebook group set up to get the driver his job back as they think he performed a civic duty in removing the blockage. Bookmark and Share

Storm In Israel Unveils Ancient Statue

 A huge storm that distorted part of a cliff on Israel's central coast led to the discovery of a statue dating back to the Roman period, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

The white marble statue of a woman wearing a toga and sandals is probable to be 2,000 years old. It stands 1.2 meters tall, weighs about 200 kilograms and was found with no head or arms, according to a news release by the authority.

A person walking on the coast at Ashkelon on the coast west of Jerusalem made the discovery, the authority said. "The statue fell into the sea when the ancient nautical cliff collapsed as a result of the storm," said Yigal Israel, the Ashkelon district archaeologist. "The collapse also ruined a bath house and mosaics that had been in the sea cliff for many hundreds of years."

The storm, one of the strongest Israel has experienced in recent years, brought winds of more than 100 kph that sent 10-meter waves deafening into Israel's coast. Bookmark and Share

Laura Bechtolsheimer Wins At Olympia

British number one Laura Bechtolsheimer continued her rich vein of form by posting an vigorous victory in dressage World Cup grand prix qualifier at the London International Horse Show.

Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris, the horse on which she won three silver medals at this year's World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, cruised home amongst a 15-strong field.

Their score of 82.936% after being drawn last to go beat nearby challenger Adelinde Cornelissen, aboard Parzival, by more than 4%.

Cornelissen's Dutch colleague Edward Gal was third on Sisther de Jeu, while the British combination of Amy Stovold and Macbrian completed a creditable fifth on their Olympia debut.
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Emily Crowned Miss Astro Chinese International Pageant 2010

Emily(C) from Kuala Lumpur wins the championship at the grand finale of Miss Astro Chinese International Pageant 2010 (formerly known as Miss Malaysia Chinese International Pageant) held in Kuala Lumpur. She will represent Malaysia to contend in Miss Chinese International beauty pageant 2011.





















Miss Astro Chinese International Pageant is an annual beauty contest organized by Astro (Malaysian satellite television) since 1998. The winner will stand for Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur in the Miss Chinese International beauty pageant held in Hong Kong the next year.

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Scientist Discover New Lemur Species In Madagascar

British researchers say they've confirmed a species of lemur living in Madagascar forests and supposed to be new to science.

Primate expert Russ Mittermeier has confirmed the endurance of the creature, dubbed the fork-marked lemur for a black stripe on its head, when he and his colleagues captured and took blood samples from the small primate before returning it to its forest home.

Mittermeier, the president of Conservation International, is convinced it is a new species, although genetic testing of the samples will be needed to verify it.

Forked-marked lemurs fit in to a small genus called Phaner. If confirmed as a new species, they would be only the fifth member of that group.

"This is yet another significant discovery from the island of Madagascar, the world's highest priority biodiversity hot spot and one of the most amazing places in our planet," Mittermeier said.

"It is particularly remarkable that we prolong to find new species of lemurs and many other plants and animals in this heavily impacted country, which has already lost 90 percent or more of its original vegetation."

Due to its very restricted range, Mittermeier said, it is possible the fork-marked lemur will turn out to be an endangered or significantly endangered species.

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Santa Visits Georgetown Again!

The Georgetown Fire Department conducted its annual Santa Tour on Sunday, despite rainy, windy weather. Not rain nor sleet nor dark of night will keep Santa Claus from touring every street in Georgetown and bringing toys for Toys for Tots.

Since 2000, the Georgetown Fire Department has been collecting Toys for Tots. The citizens of Georgetown have donated well over 25,000 toys and made it probable for the USMC Reserve and Toys for Tots to put a smile on thousands of children’s faces on Christmas morning.

"The response from the community has been awesome and unbelievable every year," Ricker said. "Between the churches, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts and the community, it's amazing how much support we have."

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Alexandra Kocs Crowned Miss Plastic 2010

Alexandra Kocsis was crowned the winner of this year's Miss Plastic beauty pageant which jury contestants based on the cosmetic surgery they've had.

Anita Gyuris came second in the contest while Kata Szakal won third place in the pageant, which is now in its second year. Student Alexandra, 24 won after judges praised the efficient stitching on her boob job.

'I was very enthusiastic on sport when I was young that I never had enough fat on my body for a really great big pair of breasts.' 'So I asked my doctor to give nature a helping hand and his work turned out to be stunning.'

'The jury seemed to love them because they said my boobs and my operation were the most natural beauties in the show.' Twenty two contestants competed in the national rounds of Miss Plastic 2010 which was staged in Budapest, Hungary.

Girls can only succeed for the contest if they have received cosmetic surgery and must bring in their medical notes from the ops as proof. Judges rated them on their beauty - and a individual medical panel added extra marks once they have rated the quality of the plastic surgery.

Kocsis will proceed with international contestants in Miss Plastic Universe.

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Egypt Plans To Construct First Nuclear Plant By 2019

Egypt's minister of electricity says the country plans to construct its first nuclear power plant and have it fully operational by 2019.

The state-owned MENA news agency quotes Hassan Youniss as saying that Egypt also plans to construct three more nuclear plants by 2025. Youniss said Egypt will release international bidding for the plant's construction at the end of the year. The facility is probable to cost between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion.

President Hosni Mubarak first announced plans to build a number of nuclear power plants in 2007, stimulating a program that was publicly shelved in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl accident at a Soviet nuclear plant in what is now Ukraine.

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