Ukrainian Artist Constructs Wooden Miniature Bikes By Woodcarving

The Lvov-based artist dreamed of owning a motorcycle ever since he was just a kid, and rode his first one in the seventh grade. At the same time he was always fascinated in hand-made miniatures, and developed a passion for woodcarving. So even though he couldn’t afford to buy himself a real motorcycle, he found that he could create his own perfect wooden replicas.

The idea of making his first 1:12 scale wooden motorcycle first came to Vyacheslav a year and a half ago, and it promptly turned into a hobby. He was motivated by some other motorcycle miniatures he had seen online, and wanted to see if he could make his own, from wood. In the beginning, he had some doubts he could really pull it off, but after figuring out what kind of wood to use for each component, things started going smoothly. He finished his first bike and noticed that every new one he created looked enhanced than the last.

Vyacheslav Voronovich believes the choice of the right wood spirit is crucial for his art, because every type of wood has its own exclusive characteristics. Pine is easier to work with than oak or beech, but it doesn’t even come close to them in terms of aesthetics. The most hard task is to create the tiny components (handlebars, rear-view mirrors, gear shifters, turn signals, brake discs, etc.), because they often tend to break when they’re nearly completed, and he has to start all over again. But seeing as he only works with a common cutter with disposable blades, he does a pretty splendid job.

The artist’s collection already numbers three choppers he made based on his own taste, and two sports bike replicas of the Honda CBR1000 RR and the Suzuki GSX-R600. He is at present working on a wooden replica of the Honda VT1300 CS cruiser, for which he’s using a new wood-bending expertise to make the handlebars and the frame.

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Extinction Of 'Arabian unicorn' Saved

The return of wild Oryx to the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula is being hailed as a conservation achievement story.

The latest International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species states that the wild population of the two-horned antelope species now stands at around 1,000, nearly 40 years after the last wild animal was hunted and killed.

"To have brought the Arabian Oryx back from the edge of extinction is a major feat, one which we hope will be recurring many times over for other threatened species," said Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Director General of the Environment Agency -- Abu Dhabi.

The species is now listed as "vulnerable" and is the first time an animal listed as "extinct in the wild" has enhanced its status by three categories.

The turn-around has been the result of conservation efforts that began in 1982 in Oman. Captive bred oryx were effectively released back into the desert habitats of the country and then in regions of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Israel and Jordan.

Known locally as Al Maha, the Arabian Oryx is thought to be exclusively adapted to living in harsh, dry environments with its ability to smell water from miles away.

It is thought that it was also the source of the unicorn legend, as when viewed in profile the two horns appear as one.

Eight new species of amphibians are classified as decisively endangered, just one place from "extinct in the wild." The IUCN says that amphibians are one of the most threatened species groups with an estimated 41% at risk of extinction.

The main threats come from habitat loss, pollution, diseases and invasive species.

The IUCN estimates that human impact has meant extinctions are happening at anything between 100 and 1,000 times the natural rate.
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China Unveils High-Speed Beijing-Shanghai Rail

It took Chinese engineers only 39 months to build the country's grandest yet infrastructure project — a $33 billion, 1,318 km high-speed railway line that links the capital with its financial centre.

Starting Thursday morning, trains running at 300 kmph will barrel out of Beijing's ultramodern and sprawling South Railway Station, making the journey to Shanghai — cities as far apart as New Delhi and Mumbai — in only 4 hours and 45 minutes, less than half the duration of the current 10-hour journey.

On Monday, Chinese railway officials unveiled a test-run of the most ambitious segment of their already impressive and fast-expanding high-speed rail network, which stretches across more than 8,000 km and will double by 2020.

The landmark project will open to the public on Thursday, a day before the Communist Party of China marks its 90th anniversary.

“This is the pride of China and the Chinese people,” said He Huawu, chief engineer of the Ministry of Railways. “It took just 39 months to build such a high-standard and world-renowned high-speed rail line, which is a gift for the 90th anniversary of the Party.”

Mr. He said the trains were completely safe, and would travel well below maximum speeds, at around 250-300 kmph. Chinese airlines are already cutting air-fares between Beijing and Shanghai, anticipating heavy patronage for the rail line.

The cheapest ticket costs 410 Yuan (Rs. 2870), around half as much as the fare for the two-hour flight, and minus the hassles of air travel.

The financial viability of the line — and the high-speed rail network in general — has also been a source of much debate. China plans to spend 2.8 trillion yuan ($ 430.7 billion) on its railway network in the next five years.

Wang Mengshu, a leading expert on China's high-speed rail network at Beijing Jiaotong University and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told in an interview that in the long-term, the project would bring benefits to economic development, and the government did not expect the high-speed lines to break even. “All passenger transportation loses money, and this is a form of social welfare.”

“There is a very high demand from all destinations to Beijing, and between provincial capitals,” he said.

“In India, where there is greater pressure on roads and space than in China, a similar system, where trains are built on elevated bridges, makes perfect sense.”
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Michel Lepire Wins Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting 2011 Award

The 11th Annual Master Sand Sculpting Competition in Hampton Beach, NH completed its competition on Saturday. The first place winner was Marc Lepire from Charlesbourg, Quebec, Canada with a sculpture titled "Phase Shifter." Lepire wins a cash prize of $3,000 and a trip to the World Solo Championships in Fort Myers Beach, FL.

Karen Fralich from Bulington, Ontario, Canada took second place with the sculpture, "There Was an Old Woman Who Sends Her Kids to Summer Camp." Third place went to Justin Gordon from Groveland, Massachusetts, for his sculpture "And they Ride Among us." Fourth place was the sculpture "Morphobia" made by Guy-Olivier Deveau of Quebec City, Canada. And fifth place went to Carl Jara of Lyndhurst, Ohio with the sculpture "Lamb."

The "People's Choice" Award was given to Michel Lepire from Charlesbourg, Quebec, Canada for the intricately designed sculpture, "Prestine Nature."

The "Sculptor's Choice" reward was given to Marc Lepire for his piece, "Phase Shifter."

The sculptures this year ranged from a gratifying set of hands holding baby's feet to a depiction of the Old Woman in the Shoe to a nod to Boston Bruins' with a sculpture of M.V.P. Tim Thomas.

The sculptors carved over three days, from June 23-25, to full their own private sculpture using 10 tons of sand. Voting took place and awards were given out on Saturday, June 25 and the Awards Presentation took place at 8 p.m. on the Sea Shell Stage. The band the Continentals provided musical entertainment.

The sculptures will stay on display through June 29th, and will be lit for night viewing.
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Yoda Crowned World's Ugliest Dog 2011

A 1.8-pound scruffy mutt named Yoda who has been mistaken for a rat won the World's Ugliest Dog title for 2011 t at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma.

Yoda won a trophy 15 times her size and $1,000. The beady-eyed pooch also gets a picture shoot and an overnight stay in the Loft Suite at the Sheraton Sonoma County, according to fair officials.

Her owner, Terry Devine Schumacher, said her daughter found Yoga in a grassland 14 years ago when the pup was 2.

"I told her to put it down because I thought it was a rat," Schumacher said.

Fair officials permitted the spectators to vote this year via text. Other favorites in the 23rd annual contest were Icky, Cuda, Handsome Hector and Ratdog.
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$2 Million Worth Of Antique Dolls Collected By Doll Addict

Kathy Libraty, an antique doll collector from Brooklyn, New York, has spent the last 25 years searching for antique dolls, and now has an inspiring collection of over 1,000 objects that’s worth around $2 million.

Believe it or not, Kathy’s attraction with dolls didn’t start when she was a little girl. In fact she remembers she was more of a tomboy and had no real interest in dolls or any girly stuff. Born in France, she and her parents immigrated to the US when she was only 4. After graduating from Brooklyn College with a BA in Art, her zeal for photography took her to Europe and the Middle East, where she took a real concern in history and old art. When she and her husband, Frank, bought an old Victorian house, Kathy decided to pursue her love for antiques and started attending country auctions. She was intrigued that people sometimes remunerated large amounts of money for wigless doll heads, broken limbs and crooked-eye dolls, but not enough to start spending money on them, herself.

It wasn’t until one day, 25 years ago, that Kathy Libraty actually became addicted to collecting antique dolls. She and Frank were driving around the neighborhood when they saw a man emptying boxes of antiques into a dumpster. She saw a doll’s leg sticking out and told Frank to stop the car. They went up to the man and asked him if he was going to chuck all those things away, and he just replied “Yeah, it’s all grimy old junk”, so they offered to take it off his hands. When they got home and looked through the “junk” they found a rare 24″ George Borgfeldt doll, numerous composition mama dolls, and a broken bisque Cuno and Otto Dressel Shoulder head doll. She often wondered what other treasures that man had thrown away in the dumpster that day, but the wonders she managed to get her hands on stimulated her to go out into the world and discover her own priceless treasures.
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New Lytro Light-Field Camera Allows You Focus After You Shoot

An American company says it has developed a camera that can focus pictures - after they have been taken.

Californian firm Lytro says its camera uses a light field sensor to capture more visual information from a scene than a traditional camera.

By capturing all existing light data emitted from a scene, including the direction of light rays, photos can be manipulated with computer software to change the focus from foreground to background, or to change the image from 2D to 3D.

Bringing the image into focus later also avoids "shutter lag" - the small delay between pushing a shutter button and a picture being taken - caused by mechanical focusing.

Capturing more light information should also permit for clearer photos in dark rooms and other low-light situations, they said.

"To make an analogy with a music-recording studio, taking a conventional photograph is like recording all the musicians playing together, rather than recording every instrument on a separate audio track," company founder Ren Ng wrote in his PhD dissertation on the technology.

Prototypes of the camera are being tested but it is not yet accessible to consumers.
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Rocket Ruin’s A Family's Life In Libya's Misrata

Twelve-year-old Faraj Abu Shaiba is burned and in distress but somehow he manages a weak smile from his hospital bed.

Monday evening, a rocket fired by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi slammed into his home in Misrata's Ruwaisat neighborhood.

Faraj's 14-year-old brother, Ibrahim, was killed instantaneously washing his hands at the sink before evening prayers.

"I found this place was on fire," said Ibrahim's uncle, Abdallah, who rushed to the house when he heard the blast. "I threw water on him, and then took him to the ambulance. But he was already dead."

Three rockets hit Misrata Monday evening in quick sequence all packed with metal balls.

"We were sitting at home, the whole family," said Ibrahim's father, Ali. "We didn't know what happened."

The father received burns to his arms and legs. Ibrahim's mother, Fatima, was also wounded in the attack.

"She has got second degree burns to both legs. Both limbs and the face," said Dr. Mohammed Froka. "She has first degree burns on the face. But her situation when she was brought here was a little bit critical."

The day before the attack, the mother gave birth to a son. The family has named him Ibrahim, after the brother who died in the attack.

The older Ibrahim was buried Monday night, just hours after he was killed -- the latest grave in this city's rapidly growing cemeteries.
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Atomic Reactor Turns Into Popular Amusement Park

Wunderland Kalkar is an exclusive amusement park built on the site of a never-used power plant, complete with a fast breeder reactor, in Kalkar, Germany.

Construction of the Kalkar nuclear plant began in 1972, but was constantly delayed due to technical difficulties and protests from those anxious about the security of nuclear power. When it was completed, over 10 year later, authorities decided to pull the plug on the project, and the $4 billion complex was dismantled in less than a decade. The fast breeder reactor remained in place, and in 1995 Dutch entrepreneur Hennie van der Most bought what was left of the Kalkar plant for a mere €2.5 million and managed to turn it into a lucrative amusement park visited by over 600,000 people, every year.

Wunderland Kalkar has around 40 rides, for children and adults alike, and a 400-bed hotel. Among the most motivating features of the park are the swing ride set up inside the cooling facility, and the climbing wall on its outer walls. Also, chairoplanes, quad bikes, go-karts and a whole bunch of other fun gadgets make trips to Wunderland Kalkar a blast for the entire family.
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Floating Japanese Photographer Captures Herself ‘Levitating’

Japanese photographer Natsumi Hayashi has created a new brand of photography, with pictures that seem to challenge gravity. Though it may look like she's floating naturally in the air, it took hard work to pull off these pics.

At a young age, Natsumi Hayashi had a revelation: Keeping both feet on the ground is hyped.

“I got a thought from an English idiom that says ‘to have one’s feet firmly planted on the ground’ applies to a practical type of person,” Hayashi said in an interview. “In Japan, we have the exact same idiom. But I am not a practical person at all. Therefore, I try not to have my feet on the ground in my self-portrait photos to show my true self.”

Her self-portraits are so fanciful and unforgettable that they’re sparking an Internet sensation and garnering attention all over the globe. What makes them so unusual? Well, for starters, in each photograph Hayashi appears to be levitating.

She achieves this state of mid-air wizardry by jumping up and down.
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Iconic Dress Of Marilyn Monroe Sold For $5.6 Million

Marilyn Monroe's white "subway" dress sold for more than $5.6 million in a Beverly Hills, California sale in which bidders paid another $2.7 million for three other Monroe movie outfits.

It was the first in a series of auctions to sell the huge Hollywood history collection that singer, dancer and actress Debbie Reynolds accumulated over the past 50 years.

Collector Keya Morgan said bids were "totally crazy, particularly in this recession."

Bidding for the iconic ivory pleated dress Monroe wore in "The Seven Year Itch" was "completely magical," Morgan said.

With the auction company getting a $1 million commission, the buyer will pay $5.6 million. It had been predictable to sell for $2 million, the auction house, Profiles in History, said.

Other items sold at the auction included a blue cotton dress and a pair of ruby slippers made for Judy Garland in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. Although both items were only test costumes never worn in camera, they fetched a combined value of nearly $1.75 million.

A bowler hat worn by Charlie Chaplin in numerous films sold for $135,300.

Racing silks and riding pants worn by a young Elizabeth Taylor in "National Velvet fetched $73,800.
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Triplets Of Rare Snow Leopard debut In Swiss Zoo

Rare snow leopard triplets have made their first public appearance at Basel Zoo in northwestern Switzerland. The zoo showed off the eight-week-old cubs beside their mother, Mayhan and father, Pator.

Mayhan, the cubs' mother, was paired with father Pator in 2009 as part of a Europe-wide zoo breeding program. The pregnancy was confirmed in January this year.

The zoo said the cubs, which are still being suckled by their mother, are probable to remain in Basel for their first three years but will later travel as ambassadors for their endangered species.

Snow leopards are an endangered species and only 4,000-6,000 are supposed to still live in the wild.

They are mainly found in the mountains of Central Asia and the Himalayas.

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Man Married To A Mannequin Out Of His True Love

Ned Nefner, 38, is gladly married to his 6-foot-tall mannequin wife, Teagan. The two met back in the ‘80s when Ned spent some time in a Children’s Home. Teagan was just a head when they began their relationship. Over time, he built her a body and ultimately the two were married in 1986.

There are a couple of Facebook pages for Nefer, including the "Syracuse Mannequin Man" and "The guy pushing the manequin." Everyone seems to want to help him, giving him food and noting where they've seen him. And many people talk about Ned's love of Teagan.

A social welfare auditor told the paper, "This is definitely one of the very oddest things I've ever come across, but he seems very happy. I wouldn't sort him as dangerous at all. He seemed quite happy in his own little world."
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Artist Larry Moss Recreates Famous Icons Using Balloons

If Japan is famous for Origami paper folding art show originality and creativity, but now Americans are pompous to variations in this art with balloons, to create files named Airigami very soul, according to news. One of the authors of the balloon was "twisted" Larry Moss is from Rochester (New York, USA).

The Rochester-based artist creates Airigami, which translates as the fine art of folding air, and his delicate masterpieces are by far the most detailed balloon sculptures I have ever seen. Moss uses latex balloons to create all kinds of installations, from giant sculptures to wearable fashion objects, and even intricate replicas of some of the world’s most famous icons and Spinosaurus (Dinosaur Entirely of Balloons.

Among his most impressive works are recreations of Boticelli’s Birth of Venus and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
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Singer Lily Allen Weds Sam Cooper In England

Radiant Lily Allen beamed with joy as she tied the knot then revealed she’s expecting a baby.

Ecstatic Smile singer Lily is pregnant – six months after she suffered a miscarriage. The cheering news was announced by her husband Sam Cooper to guests at their wedding breakfast.

“It was so very, very touching – and ­completely the icing on the cake for them,” one guest revealed. “The day was always going to be wonderful, but when Sam said Lily was­ pregnant there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. There were tears of joy for Lily and Sam.”

The singer was told the pregnancy was healthy at her 12-week-scan. Lily lost her much longed-for baby boy six months into a pregnancy in November last year.

Unfortunately, it was her second ­miscarriage after she lost a baby at four months in 2008 when she was dating The Chemical ­Brothers’ Ed Simons.

Now a traumatic chapter of her life appears to have finished – to the delight of friends and family. As relatives and pals toasted the welcome news in bright sunshine, she beamed with delight. Celeb pals ­congratulated the couple on Twitter.

Singer Boy George tweeted: “Ah, congrats to Lily Allen & Sam! Long may you love & prosper!”

Lily proudly showed signs of a bump at St James the Great church in the Cotswold village of Cranham, near Stroud, Gloucs. The 26-year-old wore a eye-catching vintage-inspired ivory lace dress by Delphine Manivet.

The designer said: “You can see of course the little stomach – it looked very cute with the dress.”
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Junrey Balawing Titled As World's Shortest Man

A teenager from a poor family in the rural Philippines has been confirmed the world's shortest man as he turned 18.

Guinness World Records offered Junrey Balawing, who is 59.93cm (23.6 inches) tall, with a certificate at his birthday party.

Mr Balawing stopped growing when he was two, his father said. He is more than 7cm shorter than the earlier record holder, Khagendra Thapa Magar from Nepal, who had held the record since last October.

Relatives say he has difficulty standing and walking, but the community was caring of him.

"Officially he is the world's shortest man," declared Guinness World Records official Craig Glenday in front of cheering relatives and friends at his birthday party in the rural town of Sindangan on Mindanao island in the southern Philippines.

Well-wishers, including politicians, presented him with cash gifts which his family said would add to their meager savings. "Thank you to all of you for supporting my son, the world's shortest man," Mr Balawing's father said.

Mr Balawing blew out a candle on his birthday cake and said "I'm exhausted". His father said he had been a weak child and doctors had not been able to say why he stopped growing. His three siblings are all of normal size.

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The World's Most Pierced Woman Gets Married In Scotland

Elaine Davidson is a Brazilian-born nurse, living in Edinborough, Scotland, who has made a name for herself by decorating her body with over 6,000 piercings.

Looking at her, you’d possibly think most normal men would run for the hills the minute they laid eyes on Elaine Davidson, the world’s most pierced woman, but she actually got a civilized looking civil servant named Douglas Watson, who doesn’t have any visible piercings, to wed her. The 42-year-old former nurse was dressed in a classic white wedding dress that covered all of her body, excluding the face which was painted green and covered with 192 piercings. In case you’re wondering, no, she didn’t scare off the minister.

Most of Elaine Davidson’s piercings are in her genitalia, over 500, located both on the outside and on the inside. The total weight of her “jewelry” adds up to three kilograms. Doctors say this type of extreme modding involves serious risks, such as infection and transmission of diseases like hepatitis or AIDS. Despite her bizarre appearence, Elaine wants the public to know she doesn’t do drugs, drink alcohol or smoke cigarretes. Her only vice is Coca-Cola.

Brazilian-born Davidson first broke the record for most piercings in 2000, when Guinness examined her body and found 462 piercings, counting 192 on her face. She’s come a long way since then and the last count exposed she now sports 6,925 piercings, weighing around three kilograms. Believe it or not, she never takes off any of her piercings.
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Aelita Becomes The Youngest Professional Painter In The World

A four-year-old Melbourne girl is drawing fans in New York with her first solo art exhibition. Aelita Andre is said to be the youngest proficient painter in the world, and has been compared to the likes of artistic giants Picasso and Jackson Pollock.

Her work is previously commanding top dollar, with a Hong Kong collector last year shelling out $24,000 for one of her pieces. Now her colorful paintings are on show at the Agora Gallery in Manhattan.

Gallery director Angela di Bello says Aelita, who produced her first significant body of work before turning two, is a talented artist.

"What's interesting about her work is that I also I find that it is conceptual expressionism, but that she's also surrealist in the way she includes objects in her works and how she includes those objects," she told.

It seems inspiration runs in the family, with Aelita's parents - Nikka Kalashnikova and Michael Andre - both artists in their own right. And her father cannot wait to see what his daughter does next.

"So here she is totally and absolutely innocent, just with an innocent eye almost coming to a canvas," he told.

"I'm looking at it from an opposite and thinking, 'let's see what she does'. I'm just so interested to see what somebody in that position produces."Andre's solo exhibition, aptly named The Prodigy Of Colour, runs until June 25.
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Miss USA 2011 Contestants Meet In Las Vegas

Despite the apparent glamour, the beauties that have come to Nevada from all around the United States to compete for the title of Miss USA 2011 face a wonderful few days.

Based at the Planet Hollywood hotel, the girls are tied into a heavy program of 16-18 hours of interviews with judges each day.

Then there are back-to-back photo shoots at diverse Sin City hotels, not to mention the filming of segments to form part of the NBC live broadcast on June 19th.

They're an eclectic group, too - last year's winner Rima Fakih was the first Muslim to ever win the competition, and she's back this year to motivate the new crop.

Las Vegas's own queen, Miss Nevada, Sarah Chapman, 27, is even a director at a local pre-school, and as the oldest contestant, feels she brings a different slant to events.

This year's theme is described as a 'high fashion concept salute to America.'

The 23rd Miss Asia USA pageant will attract contestants from 58 Asian countries. The finale will be held on August 19-20, at Redondo Performing Arts Center, California.
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Puyehue Volcano Erupts In Chile With Sparks And Lightning

The Chilean volcano which erupted on Monday has sent a towering trail of ash across South America, forcing thousands from their homes, grounding airline flights in southern Argentina and coating ski resorts with a gritty layer of dust instead of snow.

Booming explosions echoed across the Andes as toxic gases belched up from a three-mile-long fissure in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic complex - a point between two craters just west of the Chilean-Argentine border that began erupting Saturday.

Winds blew a six-mile high cloud of dust all the way to the Atlantic Ocean and even into southern Buenos Aires province, hundreds of miles to the northeast. Authorities in Chile went house to house, trying to convince stragglers near the volcano to evacuate because of an increasing danger of toxic gas and flash floods.

Winds fanned the ash toward neighboring Argentina, darkening the sky in the ski resort city of San Carlos de Bariloche, in the centre of the country, and its airport has also been closed.

The explosion in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain, about 575 miles south of the capital, Santiago, also provoked authorities to close a busy border crossing into Argentina.

It was not instantly clear which of the chain's four volcanoes had erupted because of ash cover and weather conditions. The chain last saw a major eruption in 1960.

Local media said the smell of sulphur hung in the air and there was steady seismic activity. As a precaution, the government said it was evacuating 3,500 people from the surrounding area.

Chile's chain of about 2,000 volcanoes is the world's second largest after Indonesia. Some 50 to 60 are on record as having erupted, and 500 are probably active.
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Wildwood Ferris Wheel Accident Kills 11-Year-Old Girl

An 11-year-old girl on a school field trip died after falling about 100 feet from a moving Ferris wheel at New Jersey’s Wildwood Boardwalk.

The girl fell on a day when the park was greatly attended by schoolchildren. She fell from the upper half of the ride while it was in motion, Wildwood Police Captain Robert Regalbuto told The Press of Atlantic City.

Will Morey, president of the Morey Organization, who has owned amusement parks at the Jersey shore since 1969, said it appears Jones was alone in a passenger gondola, which is secured with a double latch.

Morey’s said the reason was being investigated. Both Morey’s and police said the problem did not appear to be mechanical.

The Ferris wheel was last inspected by the state Department of Community Affairs' division of codes and standards on March 17 and passed assessment, said DCA spokeswoman Hollie Gilroy.

Capt. Lynn Frame of the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office said the incident is under investigation, but it appears to be an misfortune. New Jersey carnival amusement inspectors have arrived and are investigating the incident, along with Wildwood police.
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Kogan Launches World's First Chromium OS Laptop

Kogan has launched what it claims is the world's first laptop that's based on Google's Chromium open source operating system, one which makes the item different from the real Chromebooks launched a few weeks ago by Samsung and Acer.

The laptop doesn't come with embedded 3G or a dedicated search button as its rivals. It even has a Windows button which shows that the laptop was not initially designed to support Chrome OS natively. Sadly though, Kogan didn't go the ARM way which would have helped it save a few dollars.

Unlike current Chromebooks, the Kogan model comes with an Intel Celeron M ULV SU2300 processor clocked at 1.3GHz; this should permit it to comfortably outrun the competition although the 1GB RAM might be just a little too tight for comfort.

It also has a 30GB SATA SSD hard drive, a 11.6-inch WXGA LED Display, a 1.3-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, three USB, LAN, VGA, HDMI and microphone ports plus a 4-cell 4600mAh battery that can send an autonomy of up to 3.5 hours. Kogan's Chromium lapptop is expected to be available from the 7th of June in the UK.
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New York Hosts World’s First Fancy Rat Convention

The ‘much-hated’ rats are valuable pets for many in New York as they can be trained like dogs and are clean like cats.

According to them, the social creatures are also expressive, able to bond and very playful.“Rats are very misunderstood, noting that to know one is to love one. The rat is as much a part of us as your dog is a part of you and your family. We love them, and we feel love back,” The New York Daily News quoted Raquel Citron, organizer of the N.Y.C. Rat Meetup Group, as saying.

Dozens of rat lovers gathered in Manhattan to attend the world’s first Fancy Rat Convention, where pet fashion designer Ada Nieves showed off her rodent clothing collection, featuring rat tuxedos, wedding dressed, bridesmaids gowns and other elite designs. Her creations come complete with crystals or feathers and sell for about $80 each. ‘The rats look very pretty and seem to like wearing them. Rats are much admired these days and the owners love to dress them up,’ the pet fashionista said.

According to rat owners present at the Fancy Rat Convention, in spite of the negative stereotype people have about rats, these creatures have astonishing personalities which make them much more suitable pets than cats, dogs or ferrets. They are very sociable, clever, loving, and can be trained to do all kinds of tricks, from dancing to fetching stuff.

The pet-rat trend took off when celebrities began adopting rats and showing them in public and now people spend up to $115 for the latest breeds, and a lot more on cages, toys, designer clothes and other accessories. The models for the Fancy Rat Convention fashion show were offered by the Big Apple Rattery, which specializes in Manx and Dwarf rats, in case you’re interested.
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