By Robbie Levin
(ThePostGame) One whale's trash is an 8-year-old boy's treasure.
Charlie Naysmith was walking along the beach at Hengistbury Head in
southern Britain when he picked up a large object that looked and felt
like a stone.
As it turned out, that object was actually a piece of ambergris, a
substance which is regurgitated by sperm whales. Ambergris is used to
prolong the scent of perfume, and therefore is extremely valuable.
The vomit, which weighs a little more than one pound, could be worth as much as $63,000.
"He is into nature and is really interested in it," said Charlie's father, Alex. "We have discovered it is quite rare and are waiting for some more information from marine biology experts."
Charlie is still unsure what he will do with the profits, but according to the Daily Echo, he may build a house for animals.
It is rare that the ambergris gets to shore, but when it does, it is worth its weight in gold. In 2006 a man found a 32.5-pound piece of ambergris on a beach in South Australia that was estimated to be worth nearly $300,000.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
(MSN) When filmmaker Tobias Mathijsen learned his punk kid brother had altered (or “fraped”) his Facebook page, he didn’t get mad. Instead, he invited a bunch of his friends over and they got to work transforming his younger sibling’s room into a little girl’s room. They painted the walls pink, hung Justin Bieber posters, painted flowers on the walls and set up a dresser complete with makeup and accessories. The younger brother’s reaction to his new estrogen-soaked abode is about what you’d expect. The video above is a handy lesson in how to say “No!” over and over in Dutch.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Legend has it that the Loch Ness Monster was first sighted in the sixth century by an Irish monk while preaching by the lake. Now, a Scottish sailor who has spent the last 26 years of his life searching for the elusive creature, says he has the best picture yet of “Nessie.”
George Edwards takes his boat, “Nessie Hunter,” out onto Loch Ness nearly every day, often with tourists who hope to see the creature for themselves. Early one morning in November of last year, Edwards was turning his ship back to shore after spending the morning searching for an old steam engine on the lake floor, when he saw something else.
“I saw something out of the corner of my eye, and immediately grabbed my camera,” Edwards told ABC News. “I happened to get a good picture of one of them.”
The typical “media Nessie,” as Edwards calls it in his thick Scottish accent, depicts the creature with three humps sticking out of the water and a long neck with a head like a horse, but Edwards says that’s probably not what Nessie looks like.
The picture Edwards took shows what he says is the back of one of the Loch Ness monsters.
“In my opinion, it probably looks kind of like a manatee, but not a mammal,” Edwards told ABC. “When people see three humps, they’re probably just seeing three separate monsters.”
While many people think of the Loch Ness monster as a single creature, Edwards maintains that can’t be true.
“It was first seen in 565 AD,” Edwards said. “Nothing can live that long. It’s more likely that there are a number of monsters, offspring of the original...” (continued)
(AFP) Microsoft co-founder turned global philanthropist Bill Gates on Tuesday launched a search for a new toilet better suited to developing countries.
"Toilets are extremely important for public health and, when you think of it, even human dignity," Gates said in a statement at thegatesnotes.com.
"The flush toilets we use in the wealthy world are irrelevant, impractical and impossible for 40 percent of the global population, because they often don't have access to water, and sewers, electricity, and sewage treatment systems."
The Toilet Fair was described as a swirl of about 200 inventors, designers, investors, partners and others passionate about creating safe, effective, and inexpensive waste management systems.
Universities from Britain, Canada, and the United States were awarded prizes in a competition launched a year ago challenging inventors to come up with a better toilet.
First place went to the California Institute of Technology for designing a solar-powered toilet that generates hydrogen gas and electricity.
Loughborough University came in second for a toilet that transforms waste into biological charcoal, minerals, and clean water.
Third place went to the University of Toronto for a toilet that sanitizes human waste and recovers minerals and water.
"Four in 10 people worldwide don't have a safe way to poop," the Gates Foundation said in a message beneath a Reinvent the Toilet video at its gatesfoundation.org website.
Approximately 2.5 billion people worldwide don't have access to safe sanitation systems for handling the basic and vital need to dispose of bodily waste, according to Gates.
"Beyond a question of human dignity, this lack of access also endangers people's lives, creates an economic and a health burden for poor communities, and hurts the environment," Gates said.
Food or water tainted with fecal matter causes intestinal diseases that kill 1.5 million children annually -- a figure higher than deaths from AIDS and malaria combined, according to Gates.
"Inventing new toilets is one of the most important things we can do to reduce child deaths and disease and improve people's lives," Gates said.
"It is also something that can help wealthier countries conserve fresh water for other important purposes besides flushing."
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
(BBC) Police in Thailand say that they will charge a member of the Thai parliament with causing death by negligence for accidentally shooting his secretary dead with a submachine gun.
Senator Boonsong Kowawisarat took out a 9mm Uzi submachine gun while waiting for food, the Bangkok Post reported.
He told police the gun accidentally discharged and his secretary was shot in the stomach.
Police say that the shooting happened in Phrae province, northern Thailand.
Police say that because Mr Boonsong was in shock after the incident, the restaurant owner rushed the secretary to hospital where she succumbed to gunshot wounds.
Correspondents say that it is not clear whether Mr Boonsong knew the gun was loaded before the shooting.
"From our initial inquiry, the secretary's family will not sue because they were relatives and it was an accident - he did not mean to do it," a local police officer told AFP by telephone.
Officials said it was also unclear why the senator was armed at the meal.
Police have yet to arrest the senator - a member of the upper house of the Thai parliament - as he is protected by parliamentary privilege, the Bangkok Post reported.
Mr Boonsong faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a 20,000 baht ($636;£405) fine if convicted.
Friday, August 10, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
(AFP) Italy's highest court ruled that telling a man he has "no balls" as an insult is a crime punishable with a fine because it hurts male pride in a ruling on a curious row between two cousins.
The case was brought to the supreme court by a lawyer named only as Vittorio against his cousin Alberto, a justice of the peace, for the phrase uttered during a heated courtroom exchange in the southern Italian city of Potenza.
"Apart from the vulgarity of the term used, the expression definitely also has an injurious quality," the male judge, Maurizio Fumo, said in his ruling as quoted by Italian news agency ANSA.
"It refers not only to the target's lack of virility but also to his weakness of character, lack of determination, competence and coherence -- virtues that, rightly or wrongly, are still identified as pertaining to the male gender."
The court also found that because the insult was uttered at the workplace with third parties present it could be seen as damaging Vittorio's reputation.
Vittorio's lawyer had argued that the expression implied that his client was "worth less than other men because he did not have the attributes."
A judge will now rule on the fine that Alberto should pay to Vittorio.
The ruling, which comes after years of legal dispute, did not specify whether any insults against women should now also be considered crimes.