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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Daily Drift

The truth be told!
Some of our readers today have been in:
Kampar, Malaysia
Vancouver, Canada
Kedzierzyn-Kozle, Poland
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Kuantan, Malaysia
Katowice, Poland
Miri, Malaysia
Moscow, Russia
Athens, Greece
Haifa, Israel
Cape Town, South Africa
Jasin, Malaysia
Fermont, Canada
Bayan Lepas, Malaysia
Port-Of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Orleans France
Cheras, Malaysia
Ljubljana, Slovenia
Kluang, Malaysia
Davao, Philippines
Subang Jaya, Malaysia
Doha, Qatar
Riga, Latvia
Puchong, Malaysia
As, Norway
Kuching, Malaysia
San Jose, Costa Rica
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Panama City, Panama
Bogota, Colombia
Podgorica, Montenegro
Santiago, Chile
Guargon, India
Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Don't forget to visit our sister blog!

Today in History

1666 The Great Fire of London, which devastates the city, begins.
1789 The Treasury Department, headed by Alexander Hamilton, is created in New York City.
1792 Verdun, France, surrenders to the Prussian Army.
1798 The Maltese people revolt against the French occupation, forcing the French troops to take refuge in the citadel of Valetta in Malta.
1870 Napoleon III capitulates to the Prussians at Sedan, France.
1885 In Rock Springs, Wyoming Territory, 28 Chinese laborers are killed and hundreds more chased out of town by striking coal miners.
1898 Sir Herbert Kitchner leads the British to victory over the Mahdists at Omdurman and takes Khartoum.
1910 Alice Stebbins Wells is admitted to the Los Angeles Police Force as the first woman police officer to receive an appointment based on a civil service exam.
1915 Austro-German armies take Grodno, Poland.
1944 Troops of the U.S. First Army enter Belgium.
1945 Japan signs the document of surrender aboard the USS Missouri, ending World War II
1945 Vietnam declares its independence and Nationalist leader Ho Chi Minh proclaims himself its first president.
1956 Tennessee National Guardsmen halt rioters protesting the admission of 12 African-Americans to schools in Clinton.
1963 Alabama Governor George Wallace calls state troopers to Tuskegee High School to prevent integration.
1975 Joseph W. Hatcher of Tallahassee, Florida, becomes the state's first African-American supreme court justice since Reconstruction.

Non Sequitur


Fewer people watched Ryan's 2012 speech than did Palin's 2008 speech

... Far, Far Fewer  
Does this mean viewers prefer crazy over lies?
As a Republican National Convention speaker, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan isn't nearly as much of a draw as Sarah Palin.

The Nielsen ratings company said an estimated 21.9 million people watched GOP convention coverage Wednesday night over nine networks. The marquee event was Ryan's acceptance speech as Mitt Romney's running mate.

More than 40 million people watched Palin's acceptance speech at the 2008 convention. Nielsen estimated an audience of 37.2 million in 2008 for all the networks except PBS, which pegged its audience at 3.9 million based on a slightly less complete Nielsen sample.

Paul Ryan lied about his marathon time

Does Paul Ryan even know what the truth is about anything? Runner's World is calling BS on Ryan.
It turns out Paul Ryan has not run a marathon in less than three hours—or even less than four hours.

A spokesman confirmed late Friday that the Republican vice presidential candidate has run one marathon. That was the 1990 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, where Ryan, then 20, is listed as having finished in 4 hours, 1 minute, and 25 seconds.

Ryan had said in a radio interview last week that his personal best was "Under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something."

Did you know ...

About draining the medicare pool

That smart women marry rich: big blue eyes or big green bankroll?

And if you're in Tanzania, stop by for the annual goat races

Downtown Waynesville, North Carolina

Waynesville Main Street by esywlkr on Flickr.Where I want to move yo. If you are from there, please write me.

The Most Indebted City in the USA

A lot of cities in the United States are broke and in debt, but Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has the dubious distinction of having the most debt per capita of any U.S. city. The city's 50,000 residents collectively owe $1.5 billion. That's a whopping $30,000 per person.
In a matter of weeks, the city will run out of money. Zoe Chace of NPR's Planet Money has the story, which begins and end with the town's trash incinerator which she dubbed "a fire-breathing, money-burning dragon of debt that sunk the town."
When the incinerator was first built, in 1969, Harrisburg officials hoped it would allow the city would collect fees from towns all over the state for burning their trash.
But by the time Unkovic got to Harrisburg, the incinerator had accumulated $300 million worth of debt. And it had never, in four decades, really worked properly.
When Unkovic first arrived in town, he thought it was just bad management. Now, he thinks it's something more sinister.

Men: Do We Really Think They Can Be 'Over'?

  ... and What Are They, Anyway?

Women are overtaking men in the workforce.  

Are men 'over'? This is really a question being debated, in new books like The End of Men: And the Rise of Women, by Slate editor Hanna Rosin. "Who wears the pants in this economy?" The New York Times Magazine asks this weekend, in a story adapated from Rosin's book that focuses on female bread-winners who have been forced into the workplace by their partners losing their jobs. In the shifting American economy, higher-paying jobs traditionally held by middle class men have disappeared and job-creation has been in lower-paid but female-dominated sectors, where the hiring bias may even be against men. Rosin writes, "It's not hard to imagine a time when the prevailing dynamic in town might be female bosses shutting men out of the only open jobs."

Rosin's work focuses on men and women who have a traditional, religion-based definition of 'man' as a breadwinner, head of the household and authority figure to whom a woman is supposed to be submissive. The men in the story want to be able to take care of their women financially and practically, in case of a home invasion or other danger-scenario. The women by and large grew up accepting that type of role, and still insist that their men, even if they aren't breadwinners, are the protector and head of household. Rosin shows this mentality shifting and vanishing in the younger generations, even in these traditional households.

It remains to be seen if these demographic shifts will result in the kind of dystopian future that Rosin seems to imagine, where females replace males as the head of the household and discriminate against them at work, and males find themselves unable to succeed at non-manly jobs. An equally likely, and more hopeful scenario, is that the breadwinner model may disappear, replaced by a society in which both parties expect to work (and both parties expect to participate in the formerly female domestic sphere). In other words, there may be enough pants to go around. Or, considering the state of the economy, we'll all wear shorts and not feel too badly about ourselves.

Do Shine readers think it's possible for 'men' and 'women' to be over? Are people attached to the idea that men and women should have different roles? Do ladies in this day and age still want to be protected? Is 'the end of men' a possible thing, or a good thing? What does your husband or boyfriend do that's a particularly 'man's job'? Discuss.

Venice premiers first-ever Saudi film

Venice premiers first-ever Saudi film photoVenice premiers first-ever Saudi film photo
By Colleen Barry

Haifaa Al Mansour has the distinction of being the first person to ever film a movie in Saudi Arabia, never mind that she's a woman.
Al Mansour's "Wadjda," which premiered this week out of competition at the Venice Film Festival, is about a 10-year-old girl who dreams of having a bicycle so she can race a neighborhood boy. But the dream is just a little too subversive for a deeply conservative Muslim society where women live segregated existences and girls around Wadjda's age are expected to begin fully covering their faces when in public.
"I feel so proud honestly to have shot the first film ever to be shot inside Saudi Arabia," Al Mansour told The Associated Press. "It was an extremely difficult experience, but still it's very rewarding and it says something about the country — that the country of Saudi Arabia is opening up, and there is a place for arts to grow, and there is a place for women."
Despite having support within the Saudi royal family, Al Mansour said she had to cope with limits present within society. For example, severe restrictions on the mingling of men and women created challenges in directing male actors in outdoor scenes, she said.
"I had to stay in a van and talk through a telephone sometimes or through the producer," she told a news conference.
The movie offers a rare and perhaps even unprecedented look into Saudi daily life.
Wadjda lives alone with her mother, played by Reem Abdullah, and they are visited only sometimes by her father. Devoted as he appears in person, he is seeking a second wife to have a son, a source of stress for Wadjda's mother.
Wadjda is as unfazed by the family drama as her mother is distracted by it. The girl instead focuses on how she can get enough money — 800 Saudi riyals, or $213 — to buy a green bicycle from a nearby store, despite being repeatedly told that girls do not ride bikes.
She charms the shopkeeper into putting it on hold for her, while selling homemade bracelets and extorting small sums for favors to raise the cash. Then, a school announcement that a Quran-reading contest will have a prize of 1000 riyals suddenly awakens a modicum of devotion in an otherwise uninterested girl.
Many of the scenes at school emphasize the universals of growing up. Children gossip about their teachers, tease each other and hide minor transgressions. The girls listen to music and wear high-top sneakers, which peek out from under their robes.
But Al Mansour also elegantly underlines the unique plight of girls when a classmate of Wadjda's pulls out photographs of her own wedding from her Quran during religion class. The teacher smiles, simply asks the groom's age — 20 — and kindly tells the girl that photos are not allowed in school.
Al Mansour sought producers from outside the region, and chose a German production company, Razor Studios, that had worked on Palestinian director Hany Abu Assad's "Paradise Now" and Israeli director Ari Folman's "Waltz with Bashir," both of which won Golden Globes for best foreign film.
But while she walked along with the 12-year-old star Waad Mohammed on the red carpet in Venice on Friday, there won't be any gala openings in Riyadh because there are no movie theaters there or anywhere in the Arab country. The film will, instead, be distributed by DVD and shown on Saudi TV, said co-producer Fahad Al Sukait of Saudi Prince Waleed Bin Talal's production company, Rotana Studios.
Al Mansour, who has made three short films and a documentary previously, said her work in the media had made her a "polarizing" figure in Saudi Arabia, and that she had received death threats.
"But I never take that personally," she told AP. "I know that they think that I threaten their values, but I always try to be respectful because I want to engage them in a dialogue rather than fight with them."
Al Mansour said the fact that she ultimately was able to direct a film in her own country was due to changes that are happening in the society there.
"There is an opportunity now for women to believe in themselves, to push and believe in their dreams," she said. "Society will put pressure on women to stay at home. But women must stick together and fight for what they want to achieve. "

White House releases much-anticipated beer recipe

After some pressure from the online home brewing community that included a petition on the White House website and a Freedom of Information Act request, the Obama administration gave in Saturday and released its homemade beer recipe.

Study: Quit smoking, exercise, and going out adds 5-6 years to life

Not that it's a surprise, but eating healthy food, exercising and having a social life is good for your health. BBC News:
They showed that smokers died a year earlier, but people who quit in middle age were almost as long-lived as those who had never smoked.

Swimming, walking and gymnastics increased life expectancy by around two years. People with a rich social circle lived a year and a half longer than those without.

Combining figures for healthy, low risk, lifestyles showed men could extend their lives by six years, and women by five years, by adopting the most healthy options.

Superheroes Aren't Hard To Find

This 5 year-old got separated from his father at a convention and went to The Flash and Wonder Woman for help because he 'knew' them. They found his dad. Who says superheroes aren't real.

The Sweetest Heist of All Time

The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist
 The United States have the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. China has the Strategic Pork Reserve. And Canada? Apparently it has its own strategic maple syrup reserve and it's been hit by sticky-fingered thieves in what is probably the sweetest heist of all time:
The warehouse in rural Quebec held more than C$30 million ($30.4 million) worth of maple syrup, a whopping 10 million pounds of the amber pancake topping.
It was not clear exactly how much of the sweet stuff was taken in the heist, which occurred at some point over the last few days and was uncovered during a routine inventory check.
"We don't know yet how much is missing - we do know it is significant," said Anne-Marie Granger Godbout, executive director of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers.
Numerous barrels in the warehouse were emptied of their sticky contents. The remaining barrels need to be weighed and tested to ensure the syrup inside had not been tampered with.
The robbers "were wise enough, they tried to hide their crime," said Granger Godbout. "We just want to make sure we know how much is missing and how much is still there."
Aunt Jemima is wanted for questioning.
The Vancouver Sun reports: here.

Frat boys & bear repellant ...

  ... What could go wrong?

 Two Boulder men accused of spraying a woman and a group of fraternity members with bear repellent before crashing their scooter because the caustic fumes blew back at them have pleaded guilty.

21-year-old Robert Normand McManus pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal trespassing. Meanwhile, Stephen Armbruster, also 21, pleaded guilty to third-degree assault.
Prosecutors say the men, after a day of drinking, sprayed the repellent into a house with the woman inside and then sprayed the group of fraternity members. The men told investigators they were seeking "retribution" after someone stole items from a fraternity house yard, though they did not know who committed the thefts.
McManus and Armbruster received a deferred sentence.

Drunk driver who flipped car while flipping off mormon agitators jailed for one day

A Bainbridge, Indiana, man who flipped his car has been sentenced to one day in prison and ordered to pay $820 in fines and court fees. Greencastle police arrested Benjamin Brewer, 24, on August 18 after he flipped his silver Honda Civic at around 8:40 p.m. in front of Sigma Chi fraternity and Gobin Memorial cult-house while driving intoxicated over the legal limit.

Scott Brezenski and Myles Anderton, two agitators of the cult of jesus christ of latter-day saints, said that the driver crashed while he raised his middle finger towards them as they walked past. The right side of the car hit the curb then ramped up the support of a telephone pole in front of the Studebaker Memorial Administration Building, launching the car into the air, they said.

The car spun and landed on its top about 20 feet away from the pole in front of Sigma Chi, Brezenski and Anderton said. “We were just walking, and he looked back and flipped us off,” Brezenski said, adding the driver was carrying a cigarette in the hand he used to make the gesture. “Then the car flipped 10 to 12 feet in the air.”

DePauw Public Safety and the Greencastle Police Department were on the scene about five minutes later. Brewer registered a .17 blood alcohol content at the scene. Brewer pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle with a BAC of .15 or more and will have his driver’s license suspended for 30 days. He must then use a probationary license for 180 days.

Woman arrested 4 times in 26 hours

A woman who generated numerous loud noise complaints with her blaring music — which included playing AC/DC’s hit song “Highway to Hell” at 1 a.m. — was arrested four times over a 26-hour period.

Joyce Coffey, 53, who lives at 64 Mast Road in Epping, New Hampshire, but also has an address in Kentucky, faces several charges after police arrested her three times this week because she allegedly refused to turn down the music on her radio at home and a fourth time after her nephew accused her of throwing a frying pan at him.

Full story here.

Police officer delivered handcuffed 11-year-old boy to school

An 11-year-old boy drew a lot of attention on Wednesday morning when a police officer dropped him off at school shackled in handcuffs. Some parents wonder if the officer escorting him went too far, but they might be surprised to know who called in the law in the first place. Students and parents were outside Yeso Elementary School in Artesia, New Mexico, when the police car pulled up.

"I didn't think anything was wrong until I noticed the police officer," said one witness, who did not want to be identified. "She got a little boy out of the backseat." The witness said she and others were shocked to see the 11-year-old boy was handcuffed and being escorted into the school by the officer. "He wasn't looking up; he was very sad," the witness recalled. "He didn't think it was a joke or anything. He was very sad. I felt awful. I felt angry that they were doing that to him."

But according to the police report, the boy's own mother and grandmother called police saying the child refused to go to school. The responding officer found the boy hiding on a playground slide. The report states the child was belligerent and refused to come down from the slide. The officer went up the slide, restrained him and then placed him in the patrol car. The police report quotes the mother as telling the officer to "be mean and yell ... to teach him a lesson and scare him." The mother asked the officer to take the boy to school in cuffs, according to the report.

Still, some witnesses said it wasn't right. "It was way too far," one said. "I mean we're supposed to be good parents, encouraging our kids, be there for them, not to humiliate them in front of their peers." The school principal said what happened was out of the school's control, and they had nothing to do with it. School officials said they're doing their own investigation as to why the child was brought to school in that manner. They also said safety is of the utmost importance and that no student was ever in danger. Artesia police would not comment on the matter pending an internal investigation.

Marikana miners' lawyers say murder charges are 'bizarre'

In a letter to President Jacob Zuma, lawyers Maluleke, Msimang and Associates have questioned how the miners could be charged with the murders.
Been wondering that ourselves - How do you charge the victims for the crime? The policed murdered the other miners so why is it they aren't being charged?

Russian arrested in killing denies Pussy Riot ties

This image taken from TV footage provided by The Associated Press Television News shows a place where two women stabbed to death were found under this sign on the wall of their apartment in the central Russian city of Kazan on Thursday, Aug. ...

Disturbing Works From The History Of Art

Paintings are often viewed for their illustrative value, and the stories behind the images are either speculated about or left up to individual interpretation.
But this list of disturbing works leaves nothing to the imagination, and the stories behind these paintings can be downright sick!
Read for yourself what these paintings are really all about, you may be left with a better appreciation of fine art...or a bad taste in your mouth.

Breast milk promotes a different gut flora growth than infant formulas

The benefits of breast milk have long been appreciated, but now scientists at Duke University Medical Center have described a ...
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Scientists sequence the genome of Neanderthal relatives, the Denisovans

Model of a Neanderthal at Prehistoric Museum in Halle, Germany.A new report describes the complete sequence of the Denisovan genome, shedding light on the relationships between these archaic humans ...
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New research eclipses existing theories on the Moon formation

The Moon is believed to have formed from a collision, 4.5 billion years ago, between Earth and an impactor the ...
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A 98-year-old message in bottle found

It was scooped up from the sea after 98 years, and now officials say a message in a bottle discovered in Scotland has set a world record.

The Forgotten Temple of Lysistrata

Wooden Russia Of The Past

Photos of ancient Russian cities taken by a Russian photographer Prokudin-Gorskoy are often called 'pictures'. The cities are shown in their unreal and unearthly beauty and harmony where landscapes are naturally combined with buildings. 99% of Russian people of those days lived in nice wooden houses the only exception being formed by the capitals.

Red Barn

Waynesville Barn by esywlkr on Flickr. 
In Waynesville, NC

Ten Ten Tallest Concrete Dams as Seen From Above

They generate power, withstand enormous pressure, and when viewed from above are enough give anyone vertigo. Prepare for the 10 Tallest Concrete Dams as Seen From Above. More

The Mysteries and Tragedy of Russia's Bottomless Karst Lake

Tree underwater in deep karst lake, RussiaYellow moss in deepest karst lake in Caucasus MountainsBranches in extremely deep Russian karst lakeDiver's light in deep karst lake, RussiaRock in deepest karst lake in Caucasus MountainsRock in deep Russian karst lake
Like a deep blue gemstone nestled in the Caucasus Mountains, this karst lake, one of the largest and deepest on Earth, guards dark and mysterious secrets in its depths. More

Exploding tree narrowly misses man

A man cheated death by seconds when a freak lightning bolt sent a tree branch hurtling through the rear of his car. Bernard Williams had just removed his gym bag from the boot during a rainstorm when the bolt hit an adjacent willow tree catapulting a 10-foot long piece of wood across the road. The branch smashed into the car’s back window – directly where Bernard had been standing - and ended up in the alleyway next to the house after taking a tail light with it.

CCTV footage taken on the property’s security camera shows Bernard arriving back home in torrential rain and then grabbing his gym bag before running towards the front door of the house. But just four seconds after leaving the car there is a massive flash as lighting hits the tree and blows it apart. Jagged pieces of wood flew across the road hitting the car and neighbouring houses.

Bernard, 55, initially thought the explosion on Wednesday afternoon was a sonic boom but his wife Alison, who was in her car waiting to pull on the drive, saw how close he came to being killed. “If he had been stood at the car four seconds later he would almost certainly have been killed or maimed,” she said. Bernard, a comprehensive school assistant head teacher was driving back home in a rainstorm to Pudsey, West Yorks, ahead of his wife. Alison, 43, said: “Just seconds after Bernard had parked up and grabbed his gym bag, the tree across the suddenly lit up.

“There was a terrific explosion and pieces of the tree flew across the road. Bernard was very lucky because a large lump of wood smashed into the car and narrowly missed him.” Pieces of the 40-feet high willow tree smashed a neighbours window and tore off tiles in another nearby house. Engineers have removed the damaged tree remains strewn across the road in Hough Top, Pudsey and Bernard is hoping insurers don’t write off his nine-year-old Vauxhall Zafira when they examine it.

There are photos showing the aftermath here.

The Beautiful Bamboo Forest of Kyoto

The giant grass of Kyoto's bamboo forest is not only a captivating part of Japanese culture; it can also help us in our efforts to make our planet a greener place. More

Awesome Pictures

What Is Ambergris?

You may have heard the story about eight-year-old Charlie Naysmith from Dorset, UK, who was walking along the beach with his dad and found what looked to be a very odd rock. He and his dad used Google to help identify it as ambergris. Weighing more than a pound, it is said to be worth up to U.S. $63,000.

Ambergris is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull gray or blackish color produced in the digestive system of and regurgitated or secreted by sperm whales. But why does it have such a high value?

The Battle Over Michigan's New Swine Rules Goes Hog Wild

Mark Baker produces cured pork from a type of hybrid swine recently put on Michigan's invasive species list.

Western Blue Jays Hold a Funeral for Dead Bird

Humans are not the only animal that mourn their dead, but this is quite surprising: when a Western Scrub Jay bird encounters a dead bird, it will call out to others to stop foraging and, well, for lack of better words, attend a bird funeral.
The revelation comes from a study by Teresa Iglesias and colleagues at the University of California, Davis, US. They conducted experiments, placing a series of objects into residential back yards and observing how western scrub jays in the area reacted.
The objects included different coloured pieces of wood, dead jays, as well as mounted, stuffed jays and great horned owls, simulating the presence of live jays and predators. [...] The jays reacted indifferently to the wooden objects.
But when they spied a dead bird, they started making alarm calls, warning others long distances away.
The jays then gathered around the dead body, forming large cacophonous aggregations. The calls they made, known as "zeeps", "scolds" and "zeep-scolds", encouraged new jays to attend to the dead.

Dog walks nearly 500 miles to reunite with Myrtle Beach owner

By Amanda Kelley
  • Buck traveled nearly 500 miles to return to his owner Mark Wessells in Myrtle Beach. Amanda Kelley Photo

Mark Wessells didn’t think he’d ever see his dog again.
Wessells had taken his black lab to visit his father in Winchester, Va. He left the dog on his father’s mountain property to return to Myrtle Beach where he was in the process of moving and temporarily couldn’t have the dog.
“I wanted him to be up in Virginia where my dad has all this other property and he would’ve been happy,” he said.
About a week after leaving Virginia, Wessells’ father called saying Buck was gone.
“He just disappeared,” Wessells said. “We thought somebody stole him because that was the only thing we could think of. For the longest time, my dad and brother had been keeping an eye out for him, but never saw him.”
Brett Gallagher found the lab in Bellegrove, a Carolina Forest subdivision, about two weeks ago. He asked around the neighborhood, but nobody had reported a missing dog. Gallagher started calling the lab Deuce because he found him around 2 a.m.
For two weeks, the dog played happily with Gallagher’s own yellow lab mix Hannah.
When his schedule finally allowed, Gallagher took the dog for a checkup at Grand Strand Animal Hospital where the veterinarian found a microchip identifying the dog and his real owners. Microchipping is a process that puts an identification into a pet, usually between the shoulder blades, through an injection.
“The nurse came back and said, ‘Are you Buck?’ and he got so excited,” Gallagher said. “It must have been the first time he heard his name since he left.”
As soon as Wessells entered the exam room the 2-year-old lab that traveled about 500 miles to get home showered his owner in kisses.
“I still don’t know how I feel,” Wessells said. “I’m just glad he’s back.”

Dog trapped in bathroom of house after owner dies survived for a month by drinking water from toilet

A dog named Basil survived for as long as a month locked inside a house when his owner died from a long standing illness at Port Lincoln, Australia. The plucky blue heeler's instinct for survival kicked in and he resorted to the only option he had - drinking water from the toilet. Neighbor Colin Peterson says police found Basil on Thursday trapped in the bathroom.

"I think he had the run of the house for a while," Mr Peterson says. "He would have had food for a while because there was a big bag inside and he eventually found out that the toilet was the best place to go for water. But he's a biggish dog and he's tried to turn around in the toilet and what he's done is pushed the door shut and that's where they found him. I think it's just marvelous that he's survived." Mr Peterson heard the dog's cries for help - but didn't think Basil was trapped.

"We thought we heard Basil barking ... but it was muffled and we thought it was coming from the other neighbor's place," he said. Mr Peterson believed his neighbor was away with work for the past month or so - something he did regularly. But noticing letters piling up he eventually realized something wasn't right and contacted the real estate agent who contacted the police. When Basil was released, Mr Peterson says food and drink was his top priority.

"It looked like he lost about 3kg," he said. "He drank two five-liter water containers in no time flat. And he was very, very hungry." But even after surviving Basil may now have to deal with another battle. Mr Peterson and his wife already own three poodles and don't know if they can cope with another dog. "I'd like to keep him ... he's a nice dog ... but its hard," he said. "It's very sad really," Mr Peterson said. Police say there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Basil's 37-year-old owner. The cause of death is unknown and police will prepare a report for the Coroner.

Elephants Play Soccer And Enter Beauty Pageant In Nepal

Each year in Nepal, people gather to watch an elephant race, an elephant beauty pageant and even an elephant soccer game. In the beauty pageant, the elephants were judged on movement, physique, health, cleanliness, sense and capabilities and the decorations that their owners painted on them.

The elephants who played soccer gave it their all, and they used all four feet and even their trunks to score goals. Apparently they are trained to hit the ball when someone yells 'kick.' The elephants were even treated to a special meal of rice and sugar wrapped in grass.

Animal Pictures


Black Jaguar (by sparky2000)